vegan deoderant by Soapwalla, Toms natural toothpaste, White Magick Alchemy Oils or South Austin Soap People Soaps (used in my basic manicure or for washing Rilo) or Solstice Scents for my apothecary needs. When it comes to the skin and health of my family I want the best! These days I feel like consumers are left in the dark about a lot of what goes into products. The sad fact is that big companies pump out "soaps" full of chemicals that are just too strong or bad for us. The viscous cycle ensues when these products are made and marketed so cheaply! For most families it seems unimportant to even think about switching to natural soaps. We are a nation obsessed with economizing and we're conditioned to believe that "common" skin ailments are normal. These are all common misconceptions, I will share links at the end for soaps that are around the same price as popular brands, are multitasking (for hair, face, shaving and body) and these large bars will last twice as long, they suds up the same as traditional brands, they don't leave any residue (another common misconception of natural soap use) and smell great without using harsh artificial perfume additives.
To believe that one can avoid all of the "bad" chemicals is unrealistic, its doing little things that make a huge impact, like buying a natural product when you can or telling a friend why you would like to buy natural. If you only take one thing from this post, please watch this video The story of cosmetics it is incredibly informative and really made me think about what I put in and on my body. Why it is incredibly ignorant to think I can escape all products that contain unhealthy/harsh chemicals, being informed is a step in the right direction. So I ask you guys to watch and read, and above all be informed consumers...
Now on to soap... Most of the products we use to remove dirt from our bodies are just too strong, A lot of detergents are made of the same things we wash our cars with! If you're body is as riddled with dirt as your car, then by all means use a strong detergent but 99% of the time its overkill, especially on kids. Its been proven that natural bars remove roughly the same amount of dirt as the ones packed with antimicrobial agents. Also, especially when it comes to lady parts, girls you don't want to get rid of all bacteria! You need some of that stuff to regulate your self cleaning oven, with out that good bacteria you let your natural yeast production go into overdrive and that is just not good! Its not that these products are all bad, they're just too strong for our skin.
Some of the issues I had before switching were dandruff, KP on the upper arms, spontaneous rashes/irritations, chronically dry skin, and acne break-outs. I decided to make the slow switch back to the natural products my grandmother and mother used, and sure enough one by one my skin ailments cleared up. Jeremy hardly ever gets a flare up of eczema anymore and I use a bit of olive or almond oil on my body if I notice a particularly dry patch but its rare, lotion is rarely used these days. So here are the basics for soap...
What you want to look for when picking a good natural soap are:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS and SLES) Free
Artificial Fragrance Free
Artificial Coloring/ Dye Free
And always-Biodegradability and NEVER animal tested
Here is what we use from top top to bottom:
Frankincense & Myrrh Vegan Bar- This bar has walnut husk in it so is an excellent to exfoliate with weekly or use for shaving
Unscented Natural Soap Bar-This is good for sensitive parts/Lady bits. its full of oatmeal and aloe to soothe sensitive areas.
Peppermint Oatmeal Bar- Excellent for tired feet at the end of the day with bits of oatmeal that exfolliates (this is Jeremy's Favorite Soap for everyday use).
Tea Tree Facial Bar- This is my favorite bar, I use it everyday on my face morning and night and it has done wonders for my acne issues!
Mint Slice Bar- This is my everyday soap for hair and body. This can come in odd shapes but I promise its such a great bar!
All of these bars are inexpensive and last for a long time. If you aren't a fan on minty bars (like us) then go for something soothing like lavender or sandalwood. Most shops will send samples with purchase so you can decide which is best for you, and like us use different bars for different things!
I hope you found this post informative, if you would like to learn more about natural soap or even how to make your own check out the sites below.
Learn more About soap and its benefits when natural here. Take a look at whats lurking in your soap here
A list of what to look for when soap shopping here along with Natural Soap Botiques recipes to all their popular soaps here
You can check for popular additives in common brands here. And read a report on a few dangers behind toxicology of SLS/SLES here