Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why bother with handmade soap? Is it really better for you?

Have you ever tried a bar of old-fashioned handmade soap? Are you worried you will burn your skin or have scaly itchy dry skin when you hear of lye in handmade soap? Well, let me ease your fears and tell you exactly what real handmade soap is. Soap can not be made without lye. Oils and lye mix in a process called saponification resulting in soap. The soap cures for 24 hours and is ready to cut and there are then no traces of lye left. Soap is cured depending on the soap maker between 3-6 weeks. This lets the soap rest and harden. The longer it sets the harder and milder it becomes.

Now that is the short of it but there are many different oils and additives you can put into your soap. I basically use 5 ORGANIC oils, olive, coconut, sunflower, sweet almond & palm. The basic additives I use are ORGANIC cocoa butter, raw unfiltered Indiana honey, ORGANIC fresh ground oats, poppy seeds, and 100 % pure essential oils. I have made a bar of blueberry that is from a fragrance oil.


There are many differences in handmade soap and store bought soap. Handmade soap has tons of natural glycerin in it. Factory soap makers take the glycerin out to make lotions and skin creams which is why after a shower using store bought soap you have to put on lotion! Handmade soap leaves all the good stuff in it. Handmade soap uses no chemicals or detergents. Factory soap is mostly detergent and adds so many chemicals you would have to put each one into the Environmental Working Group database to find out the danger of each ingredient. Which is what I have done for you.

If you take a stroll down a Wal-Mart isle you will find many selections of bar soap. Dove, Olay, Ivory, Caress, Yardley of London, Camay, Canus Goat’s Milk, Tone, the options keep going. EWG rated all these soaps based on the ingredients in them.  The scale ratings are 0-2 as low hazard, 3-6 moderate hazard and 7-10 high hazard. Now you understand we are rating hazardous to our health people!

Lever rates an 8
Olay rates a 6
Everyone else rates a 5


What are the ingredients that are hazardous? Let’s look at some.
Lever 2000 ingredient list from packaging:
WATER, AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE, AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, FRAGRANCE, PEG-10 SUNFLOWER GLYCERIDES, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E ACETATE), RETINYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN A PALMITATE), PANTHENOL (PROVITAMIN B5), PANAX GINSENG ROOT EXTRACT (GINSENG), COCAMIDE MEA, PEG-5 COCAMIDE, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, AMMONIUM CHLORIDE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, ETIDRONIC ACID, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, BLUE 1 (CI 42090), GREEN 3 (CI 42053).

We will look at just a couple of these ingredients. The fragrance used could cause neurotoxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity at a level of 8 on a scale of 0-10.
The synthetic form of Vitamin A which is retinyl palmitate has been shown to cause cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), biochemical or cellular level changes. Again at a risk level of 8 on a scale of 0-10.
Now are you going to get cancer from using these products? Maybe we should be asking another question. Are you okay with moderately risking your health ever single time you shower?

I also looked up some soap companies with a rating of 0 and 1. I also listed if they were organic (OG) and the price per bar and ounce.
By Valenti True Castile right near here in Shamburg, IL (Chicago area) rates a 0 at $7 for a 5oz bar/OG
Kiss My Face rates a 0 rates a 0 at $3.99 for an 8 oz bar NOT OG
Trader Joes Oatmeal & Honey
Coastal Creations Oatmeal
which is the face bar I use to use rates a 0 and is now $9 per 3.5oz and is NOT OG
Aubrey Organics Evening Primrose rates a 0 at $5.95 for a 4 oz bar and the only OG ingredient is the evening primrose oil!
Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint rates a 1 at $4.49 for a 5oz bar/OG 

We personally test our soaps on ourselves so we know it will be gentle to your skin. We also put in each ingredient at the EWG database and our soap rates a 0. You can also feel good about buying a bar because each recipe is thought out and each oil has different health benefits. Each bar is hand cut, weighed, stamped and wrapped. You are buying the best product we can provide for the best possible price.

May Special
$10 for 3 bars
$13 for 4 bars
$15 for 5 bars

http://likeabubblingbrook.com/2011/05/biblical-womanhood-friday-4th-ed/
http://jasmine-aboverubies.blogspot.com/2011/05/domestically-divine-homemaking-link-up_17.html
http://raisinghomemakers.com/2011/homemaking-link-up-30/
http://womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/2011/05/danger-of-bloggers.html
http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2011/05/mondays-homestead-barn-hop-this-weeks-happenings/
http://wholenewmom.com/traditional-tuesday/traditional-tuesday-blog-hop-may-31-2011/

5 comments:

Betty @ Little Farm in the Big City said...

Wow, excellent post! Thank you!

Hen & Chicks said...

Thanks Betty, was hoping it wasn't to long winded.

mosey said...

Wonderful and informative! My sister inlaw just started making soaps for the family.. I am SO thankful

Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook said...

Very thorough post! I'll bet your soaps are wonderful!

By Valenti Organics said...

Hi there, just stumbling on this post. Thank you for mentioning our True Castile Soap! Just one thing, we're located in South East Michigan, not in IL. Also there is no such thing as Organic Soap. By USDA standards no soap can ever be organic as it contains no more than 90% of organic ingredients after calculations, even if all the oils are certified organic. The higher classification any soap can receive from the USDA NOP is "Made with Organic Ingredients".