Next time you buy soap at the store, pay attention to the packaging. You might notice that most “soaps” don’t even mention the word soap on their labels. It might say moisturizing bar, body bar, beauty bar or some other generic term. They can’t legally claim to be soap because they are actually detergents, where they add synthetic lathering agents and chemicals to trick you into thinking you are getting clean. We associate a good lather with cleanliness, but it is actually just chemical trickery.
Commercial soap manufacturers actually remove some of the “good stuff” that normal soap contains. For example, they often remove glycerine that is produced during the soap making process. This glycerine is more often sold to other companies to make lotions. Most “soaps” contain synthetic lathering agents (to trick you into thinking you are getting squeaky clean), artificial colors or scents and some antibacterial soaps contain triclosan, a toxic chemical. All of these chemicals aren’t just bad for you, but they are bad for the environment. These soaps often end up in lakes and rivers and kill off our wildlife.
So if you are worried about the type of soap you use every day, switch to an all-natural or handmade soap. Look for small companies that make their own soap that have ingredients you can actually pronounce, instead of a slew of chemicals. If you want scented soaps, look for ones made with pure essential oils that will not harm your skin. It is even better if the company is certified organic. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even learn to make your own soap with natural ingredients. They sell soap making kits, but make sure to take a good look at the ingredients before buying.
Some of my favorite all-natural soap companies are Bubble & Bee, The Blue Ridge Soap Shed, Kiss My Face and Moon River Soap Company. You can even search on Etsy to find people who make and sell all-natural soaps. These soaps may be a little more expensive than what you’re used to, but they are worth it because they often last longer, are better for you and for the environment.
Do you use chemical free, all-natural soap? Have you ever made your own soap? Tell us about your experiences or if you plan to try all-natural soap and ditch detergent soaps.