Natural Soap. Why would you?
As some of you know thanks to Facebook, I make my own natural soap. At the moment its just a hobby; I wanted to learn a craft, however the main reason for me choosing to make my own was because I’m trying to decrease the amount of toxic chemicals in my life and my thinking is that by making my own soap I would be in control at least of some of those harmful levels.
We are surrounded by poisonous chemical in our homes, we consume them through food and drink, and we also cover our bodies in them. Most soap and other beauty products are basically full of parabens and sls (sodium lauryl sulphate), both detrimental to your health and we absorb these chemicals through our skin, our largest organ. Our immune and endocrine systems are constantly having to fight to process these chemicals and dis-ease occurs when the load becomes too great.
So what are parabens?
Parabens basically are preservatives that have been round since the 1950’s and they stop fungus and bacteria from growing inside creams and make-up. You’ll find them listed on thousands of personal care products like soap, body lotions, deodorants, mascara, shampoo, and even some foods. Their names end in ….paraben. So where lies the danger? Parabens have an ability to mimic estrogen and have been found in breast cancer cells. Raised estrogen levels is linked to breast cancer. Though no-one is claiming that it has been proven parabens are carcinogen you have to ask could increasing rates of female and male breast and testicular cancer be down the fact that these chemicals disrupt our endocrine systems? Other questions being asked are do they promote skin aging and infertility in men? The suspicion is there. And they have found to be an environmental toxin leaking into our water supply.
What is sodium lauryl sulphate?
SLS is a chemical used in cosmetics and cleaning products and basically turns liquid into foam. You’ll find it in scores of beauty/personal care products but it has found to be a skin irritant. It is actually a pesticide and herbicide and is commonly used to kill plants and insects. Need I say more? No, but I will! It emits toxic fumes when heated (think about that next time you’re under the shower shampooing your hair). A study from the American College of Toxicity concludes it corrodes the fats and proteins that make up skin and muscle. It can be found in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash soaps. Another study shows it permeates eyes, brain, heart and liver! The list of negatives is pretty endless and scary.
Learn to look for products labelled with ‘paraben and sls free’, though do check they’re not full of other chemicals! There are actually plenty of chemical free brands out there, and the products are not expensive. Don’t fall for all the advertising attached to the well-known high-end cosmetic brands – and many of them still test their products on animals. I can’t understand how they get away with both the conscious harming of animals and the poisoning of ourselves, the human race. My blood curdles whenever I see ads on TV with all these top models or actors. The regulating bodies employ biochemists for heaven’s sake and must know the harm these chemicals can do. The advertising board have a lot to answer for! The EU has increased restrictions on the use of parabens and has banned some. The latest restrictions are quite recent reducing the maximum amount of propyl- and butylparaben. So a start has been made, but the cosmetic market is a trillion dollar industry (as is the treatment of cancer), so I suspect progress in banning harmful chemicals will be slow or even non-existent.
Don’t fall for very smelly!
There are specialty soap shops selling (to me vile) very smelly soaps. You can smell the shop a mile off. The smell is purely chemical and makes me feel sick to be honest! They use manmade essences of oils in their products, to appeal to our senses (and purses). No natural soap smells very much at all. You may get a hint of the smell when you pick it up, but it isn’t until you use it with water that the aroma’s from the essential oils becomes apparent. Pick a soap up and smell it before you buy. If you’re only getting a hint of an aroma, its usually natural.
The choice is yours. There are natural soapmakers out there, people like me producing soap in their own kitchens. Its a strictly controlled business. You are not allowed to sell home-made soap unless you are a member of the soapmakers guild, and can only become a member of that when you have your soap checked out and vetoed by a pharmacist. But if you buy these soaps you can rest assured that you will not be overloading your immune system, on the contrary, some soaps are actually good for your skin and your health.
There are of course when you ‘google’ both parabens and sls or sles the sceptics who say they are safe, but why take the risk is my thinking. I would rather clean or moisten my body with natural products then animal-tested, industrial chemicals any day. Wouldn’t you?