Big Companies Killing Our Planet
Lions, tigers and bears? Yes! These are big companies that are mass producing harmful soaps. Health, skincare & nutrition are important topics to study and understand in order to live a healthy future.
The next time you walk down the soap isle at your favorite store enjoying the fresh, clean scents and the bright colorful packaging, pay attention. Look at the labels. The vast majority of the products on the shelf don’t say ‘soap’ on their labels. They might be called beauty bars, moisturizing bars, or body bars, but not soap. That’s because, these bars aren’t actually soap and can’t legally claim to be; they’re detergents. The manufacturers have removed most of the ‘good’ stuff that occurs in the soap making process, and replaced it with synthetic lathering agents and harsh chemicals. These cheap, plentiful detergent bars are not only bad for your skin, they’re bad for the planet, too.
What’s so bad about it?
Commercial soap manufacturers make it a practice to remove the glycerine that is produced during the saponification (soap-making) process. The glycerine is a highly profitable substance, often sold to other companies who use it to make lotions and moisturizers, which your skin, now dried out from the harsh detergent ‘soap,’ desperately needs.
Most commercially produced bars contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colors, and a slew 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. According to the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), manufacturers of a number of triclosan-containing products claim that the active ingredient continues to work for as long as 12 hours after use. Consumers are, therefore, exposed to triclosan for much longer than the 20 seconds it takes to wash their hands or face.
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 the brain. With enough accumulations of toxins in the body, illness can occur.
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?
Natural, handmade soap – yes real soap. Sure, these soap bars generally cost more than the detergent bars you’ll find at Wal-Mart. But the difference is these soap bars are ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN AND THE PLANET!
There are basically three ways to make soap. One common way is called “melt and pour” soap. These are generally glycerine based transparent soaps. They’re not as harmful (usually) as the commercial bars as long as they are properly made & sourced.
The other two methods are “hot process” and “cold process.” The hot process method utilizes 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. Cold process soaps take 6-8 weeks to make– hence why they are more expensive but they have the most beautiful nutrients for your skin. So its worth the wait!
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.