What’s Lurking in Your Soap?
Every winter my hands crack and bleed from the cold, dry conditions. So I slather on lotions that claim instant relief while washing my hands throughout the day with vitamin E infused products. And I always get the same results: dry, cracked hands. So I live with it.
Until this year. I decided to start replacing my soaps with more natural products, simply to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in my home. I didn’t even research why! I just figured it would be better. Besides, the government came out with research last year about how anti-bacterial soaps may not be any more effective in preventing disease than regular soaps. There are also lots of people out there (myself included) that would argue about how important bacteria is for your health! Good bacteria and bad bacteria play an important role in our bodies immune system, and when either is out of balance, we can get sick. Not to mention that there are some seriously toxic chemicals in our soaps!
I used to buy Soft Soap’s Moisturizing Aloe soap. But recently, after I started making my own hand soap, I discovered what exactly was in my soap. Using The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, I found out that my soap contains two highly toxic substances, as well as half a dozen fairly toxic substances.
What was first on the list? Fragrance. Why is it toxic? Well, first of all, it can be a problem for allergies. Second, it can cause eye, skin, and lung irritation. Last but not least, it can cause toxicity in non-reproductive organs. The second ingredient, DMDM Hydantoin, is a formaldehyde releaser and can cause cancer, cause contamination, as well as allergies and skin, lung, eye irritation. YIKES. And that’s my aloe soap! Check out your handsoap and see what toxic ingredients are in your soap!
My decision to switch to a more organic soap was purely a gut feeling about the health of my skin, but now I realize that these toxins were causing my skin irritation!
At any rate, to help hydrate my skin, I bought a pure, liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild) that is made out of organic coconut, olive, hemp, and jojoba oils. With this as a base, and with my collection of essential oils from Nature’s Fusions it is super easy to adapt my soap to whatever I need.
I simply fill up a handsoap bottle 1/2 of the way with the castile, and then the other half with water. Then, I drop 5-10 drops of an essential oil into the bottle and shake it gently. Ta-da! It really is that easy. Don’t be deceived when you first squirt it out….it is thin and watery, but suds up really nice!
For the bathroom, I include 10 drops of lavender oil (another skin reliever!). For the kitchen, I put in 5 drops of tea tree and 5 of lemon. This is my stronger disinfectant soap for when after I come in contact with raw meats or eggs.
You can buy the castile soap with fragrance oils already added, or plain like I did. It is also available in hard soap form as well.
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