KILLER TOXINS Lurking in Your Soap---Why I Make Our Own Soap
Here’s what most people don’t know about commercial "soap" these days: It’s NOT really soap! If you go take a look in the soap aisle in the stores, you’ll see words like, “Beauty Bar,” or “Cleansing Bar,” or “Bath Bar.” You will rarely see the words, “Soap,” and that’s because it’s NOT real soap.
Soap is only soap if it is made with sodium hydroxide (or sodium potassium, in the case of liquid soap) and fats or oils that when mixed together, go through a chemical process called saponification. What is left over from this chemical process is good old soap and some glycerin, which is highly prized for its moisturizing qualities. The FDA has actually ruled that commercial “soap” makers cannot use the word “soap” unless it meets these criteria.
So... What ARE these "soaps" sold in the stores? Well, they are basically concoctions of dangerous chemicals, as cheaply made as possible for the greatest profit possible. But these commercially made cleansing bars you’ll find in the stores contain dangerous toxic chemicals, and most of the time any glycerin is stripped out and used for other things.
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A Chemical Free Journey
We are on a journey in our family....we are trying our best to go as chemical free as possible. And when I say "chemical," it means anything man-made about which I know nothing or know to be dangerous. I have defined it this way for myself because my daughter is in a PhD program for biochemistry. She loves to point out to me that "everything is made of chemicals." I know this---so I have to be more specific when I discuss "chemicals" with her!
The thing is, we all really need to be aware of what we are putting on and in our bodies. We can't blindly trust that the commercial products made by big business found in the store aisles are good for us! We can't trust that the government will protect us from these products (see the section about Triclosan, for example). We all must do our due diligence to be sure that what we are feeding our family and the products we use in our homes are truly good for us.
Here are Eight Common Toxins Found Lurking in Commercial Body Cleansers:
This is actually a pesticide! So-called “soap” manufacturers added it to their soap products so they can state the soap is “antibacterial.” Triclosan is terrible for the environment and is one of the toxins to blame for the recent resilience of bacteria. More importantly, it is a known endocrine disruptor. This means it negatively affects hormones, especially the female hormone estrogen. Breast cancer, anyone? Imbalanced hormones? There are many causes these days, and here is one of them! The FDA has finally banned triclosan from use in cleansers, however, companies have several years in which to get rid of it from their products.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS):
SLS is one of the worst chemical agents in “soaps” these days. Not only is it carcinogenic, it is able to be absorbed into your skin very easily. It may cause skin irritation, mood disorders, promotes storage of toxins in your cells, and like Triclosan, is a hormone disruptor.
- Formaldehyde and other chemicals that may release formaldehyde (such as diazolidinyl urea) are very common in commercial soaps. First of all, everyone knows formaldehyde is the chemical used to preserve dead bodies, right? Formaldehyde may weaken the immune system, and may contribute to chronic fatigue, headaches, respiratory issues, and even cardiovascular problems such as irregular heartbeats.
- This chemical should be avoided because it is highly toxic to the kidneys, liver, and the brain. It is a known carcinogen.
If you see TEA in your soap’s ingredients, you should know that it is also a derivative of DEA. These are terribly carcinogenic chemicals, specifically affecting the liver and kidneys. In addition, unborn babies may be affected second hand because this chemical causes disruptions in how much choline a pregnant woman may be able to absorb, and this is an essential nutrient for the brain of the fetus to properly develop.
- These are preservatives that are commonly added to products, including soap. More labels are actually stating when parabens are not contained in the product—which we can infer means they are pretty bad. Parabens are hormone disruptors, especially of estrogen, and may be a cause of breast cancer. They are also thought to contribute to neural system issues.
- Another dangerous chemical with links to breast cancer, due to its effects on hormones.
- Fragrances can be just about anything and can include thousands of different chemicals—the effects of which are unknown. When you see the word, “fragrance” on an ingredients label, you should just stay away!
Why I Make My Own Soaps
All of these are all toxins that should be completely avoided! When you make your very own soaps, you will know exactly what is in the soap and the ingredients will not be unknown to you. This is a pretty powerful feeling, especially when you know that your skin is the largest, most permeable organ on your body! Why put poisons on your skin when you could be using healthy ingredients instead?
Are you scared yet? These are not things I want on my body or anyone in my family! This is actually the main reason why I make my own soap—-or buy from trusted soap makers!
There are also other reasons why I choose to make and only use my own soaps: the pleasure I get from the creative process, being able to make something beautiful and useful for my family, and the sense of empowerment I get to feel about not having to ever purchase soaps from stores again. I can walk right by those aisles without a care...or a need. And that feels great!
If you are interested in some soap making tutorials with step-by-step directions and pictures to go along, check out these articles or explore my website by searching "soap":
and lots more on the blog!
Final Thoughts About Toxins in Soaps
My plea and hope and desire for all of us is to read the labels on foods, cleaners, skincare products....and if you don't know what those big words are, don't buy it. There are other, more healthy options. We owe it to ourselves and our children and grandchildren to educate ourselves (because nobody else is going to do it for us) so that we can make the best decisions possible. And that's why these days I try my best to make products myself.
Here's the thing: It's so easy to go blissfully through our existence and pooh-pooh people who are raving about toxins and poisons everywhere. I know this. But I'm serious--once you start learning about these things and realize that as consumers we have very little protection from big business and government entities, you'll hopefully be inspired to make some positive, safer changes.
When the world is all about the money, how can we trust what we find on our store shelves to contain only the most healthy and safe ingredients? We can't. So it's up to each and every one of us to learn, read, and research so we can make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.
Sorry about the rant. No. Not sorry. I wish more folks were speaking out about the fact that unless you have some skills and alternatives (like making your own), you're kind of at the mercy of the powers-that-be. And that's not a good thing, in my opinion.
Do you make your own products? And are your reasons similar to mine? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave comments in the comments section!
By the way, not everything on my blog is this ranty and ravey. There's some pretty fun stuff there too, so I hope you'll go explore! :-)
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance!!!
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