Most commercially produced bars contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colours, and a concoction of chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps often contain triclosan. Triclosan is a toxic chemical that is known to cause cancer. Here
is an article from The Australian that explains how Woolworths and Aldi are looking into removing Triclosan from their soaps ‘within the next 12 months’ after its ban in the USA.
Always remember that your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with, much the same as sticking something in your mouth. Chronic use of chemical laden products will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body fat or even in the brain. With enough accumulations of toxins in the body, illness can occur.
These nasty chemicals and toxins are now finding their way into our eco-system. Every time that lather goes down the drain.
So where is the good news?
There are an array of natural, organic and handmade soap on the market that are readily available. Sure, these soap bars generally cost more than the detergent bars you’ll find at cheap shops, but the difference is these soap bars are actually good for your skin, and are good for the planet.
Choosing the right soap
Just because it’s handmade doesn’t mean it’s good for you, however. You need to understand a few things about the soapmaking process to know what to look for.
There are basically three ways to make soap. One common way is called “melt and pour” soap. There are even melt and pour kits you can buy to make cute soap shapes with your kids. These are generally glycerine based transparent soaps. They’re not as harmful (usually) as the commercial bars, but they’re not what we’re looking for here.
The other two methods are “hot process” and “cold process.” The hot process method utilises heat after the saponification process has taken place, while the cold process method does not. The cold process method takes the most time, but is undoubtedly the best method for producing the highest quality soaps – Cedar + Stone Cleanse Bars are ALL Cold Pressed, yoo hoo!
Now, we need to discuss the ingredients. Cold process soap bars are made using a combination of oils or fats and lye. Lye sounds a little scary, but all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during the saponification process. When the lye interacts with the oils or fats, it creates glycerine. The type of oils and fats used make a difference in how hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how well it lathers.
When purchasing a soap read the label for fake colours, you can usually tell by the vibrancy, the more bright the pink or blue etc the more of a chance its a chemical colour. Also beware of anything that says fragrance – essential oils are the way to go!
Another nice ingredient to find in your soaps is Clay. Clay is often used to increase lather in soap bars. It has the added benefit of being a natural detoxifier. Clay binds with and removes toxins from your body, and it’s extremely eco-friendly.
To sum it up, the best soap for your skin and our planet is an all natural cold process soap bar. Once you’ve tried one of these lathery treasures, you’ll never again be satisfied with ‘store-bought’ bars. So do yourself and your world a big favour and start using soap that you feel good about.
Kate & Keri
‘Soap is to the Body, what Laughter is to the Soul’