Have you ever looked at the back of a hand soap container? I know that many people are probably used to reading food labels (you should if you’re not), but most people don’t look at ingredients in non-food items. However, the things we use that we use ON our body should be scrutinized as much as something you put IN your body. That’s because it affects your health just as much as food does.
Here is a label from a very common hand soap that may be in your home right now. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients you should probably leave it on the store shelf. I don’t know about you, but I can’t pronounce many of these words. Let’s see what some of these ingredients are. All information was taken from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Centrimonium chloride: This was rated very high on the scale for immunotoxicity. This means that it can cause harm to the immune system and it can also cause allergies. CLICK HERE for more information.
Lauramidopropylamine oxide: There really wasn’t much information available for this ingredient. It did state that it is a low concern for allergies and immunotoxicity. There was “no data/some concern” for cancer or respiratory problems. CLICK HERE for more information.
Tetrasodium EDTA: The information from the EWG stated “Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful” CLICK HERE for more information.
Methylchloroisothiazaolinone: The EWG says “Possible human skin irritant.” Really? It’s in hand soap. Amazing! CLICK HERE for more information.
Methylisothiazolinone: This was one of the worst ingredients. The worst category was allergies and immunotoxicity. The EWG said, “Known human immune toxicant or allergen.” They also said there was “strong evidence” that it is a human sensitizer and human skin toxicant. CLICK HERE for more information.
I could go on, but with just the information above, I know that I don’t want this stuff on my skin absorbing into my body which will negatively impact my health. Fear not! There are alternatives.
Did you know that you can make your own soap? It’s actually pretty easy. Now, I am talking about liquid soap. I have not delved into the bar soap arena and probably never will as I understand that is a hard and lengthy process. I will continue to rely on local soap makers who source their ingredients carefully and don’t add toxins for my bar soap needs.
I only used a few ingredients for my liquid soap. Here they are:
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap: This, ideally, should be scent free, but I only had rose scented so I decided to use it up. This castile soap is very good on it’s own, but if you want to tweak it to get softer hands and a nice scent you have to add a few more ingredients. According the shop.drbronner.com their soaps contain “Only the purest organic & fair trade ingredients. No synthetic preservatives, no detergents or foaming agents—none!”
Vitamin E: According to healthline.com, “Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may be effective at reducing UV damage in skin. And vitamin E applied topically may help nourish and protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.”
Oil : This can be any oil of your choice — ideally sourced from quality ingredients. The recipe I used called for fractionated coconut oil, but I didn’t have any. I decided to use up some jajobo oil instead.
Glycerin: This helps keep your skin feeling soft.
Essential Oils: I used Young Living Patchouli and Abundance oils. This is purely a personal choice. Add whatever you want or none at all. I do encourage you to use high quality oils like Young Living. If you buy your oils at a grocery store, convenience store, or a drug store, there are probably of low quality.
Distilled Water: This is best because it has all impurities removed.
- Put 3-4 tablespoons of castile soap in a pump bottle.
- Add about 2-3 teaspoons of Vitamin E
- Add about 1 tsp. of oil
- Add about 1 tsp. of glycerin
- Add 10-15 drops of each essential oil (or none — your choice)
- Fill up the container with distilled water.
Give it a good shake and start washing your hands with toxin free ingredients. It suds up really well. Plus my hands smell wonderful. While store bought soaps are made to smell good, they smell that way because of chemicals. The essential oils add a wonderful scent naturally.
One last thing….I know that antibacterial soaps are all the rage right now. However, we use them so much that we are losing all the good bacteria on our bodies as well as the bad. Not all bacteria are bad. A simple hand soap, like the one you can make yourself, will do a great job of cleaning your hands and will reduce bad bacteria while keeping the good bacteria. I have also heard that regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap at killing disease causing germs. There is no reason to buy more expensive antibacterial soap.
Give this homemade soap a try. And let me know what you think if you make it!