What a great thread. I have to agree with Tiny Mike (who looks like a total cutie) about using harsh chemical surfactants to clean your skin. The beauty industry is just that, an industry, and they want you to use their products as much as possible. They don't have your best interests at heart and don't care what the long term affect of the products use may be.
Breast cancer tumor biopsies have revealed parabens inside. No check out how many ingredients end in the term -paraben in your daily products. Paraben has also been implicated as a estrogenic compound. You know what that means...Man Boobs!
Just like we should be aware of the chemicals we ingest from food and the environment (including that shower filter!), we must also be aware of what we put on our body. Our bodies take in the chemicals we slather on to be soft and to smell good. Whole Foods has an easy method for identifying the safest products.
I mix olive oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and a few drops of essential oils (all 100% organic) to make a thick body butter that I use right after the shower. I live in Phoenix so it's really dry year round and this works great! I also love Burt's Bees products, although you have to read their ingredients critically.