Thursday, February 13, 2014

Getting on my Soapbox: Non-toxic Soap

Following up to this entry from the other day, here's the start to a mini-series of non-toxic alternatives to things you use everyday.

I've been on a long road to get here, and I'm still learning and experimenting. It's gotten easier to find good-for-you products in the last few years with awareness growing about the chemicals we unquestioningly expose ourselves to everyday, so all of the items I'll be listing in the days to come I've found at your usual grocery stores.

However, before I launch into these products, I do want to make you aware of something when you are shopping for safer products: Companies know that more consumers are looking for and choosing healthier foods and products. To meet this growing demand and also not lose out on the organic bandwagon revenue, companies such as Coca Cola, Kelloggs, Kraft, Heinz, etc. have developed their own offerings and standard of "organic"; even creating new sub-companies with healthy sounding names and packaging to seem as "small company" as possible. Ever heard of Kashi? Owned by Kelloggs. Naked Juice? Owned by Pepsi. For a good run-down of others you may or may not know of, see this fun list from buzzfeed  (don't blame me if you get stuck on buzzfeed, hehe).

The same has happened with many "green" and "organic" shampoo, soaps, and lotions that look like they are produced by small hippy companies but are actually owned by large companies such as Johnson & Johnson, or as in the case of Burt's Bees, Clorox. Don't take a product's packaging as the tell-all sign that the product is "healthy" or "natural".

Companies such as Burt's Bees did not start out owned by Clorox; they definitely had their customers health in mind when they were still a small company. But once sold to Clorox, their ingredients have been compromised. This is something to just be aware of when looking into products.

There's a ton of info out there about the harmful toxins found in everyday soaps. Here's a few links to get you started in finding out more:

- Toxins found in Dove soap: scroll down a bit to see a list of the ingredients and what they are, as well as the health concerns they pose. Keep in mind how absorbent our skin is.
- Antibacterial Soap: I am guilty of still using these liquid soaps for hand-washing.  >.<  But, I am working to phase them out because of the unnecessary hazards they pose. If we stopped using this kind of soap, our immune systems wouldn't be so bogged-down trying to get rid of the chemicals we put in it, and could instead do what it's meant to do: ward off germs. Trust you body.
- Overall list of ingredients in soaps to avoid and why

Ok, I'm done with that side of things. Now let's get onto the soap!

Dr. Bronner's Body Soap in Lavender

I love this soap! I recognize all of the ingredients, it lathers really well, and smells really good.  It is paraben, sulfate, gluten, and overall toxin free (and organic to-boot). Furthermore, it doesn't leave my skin feeling like there's a film on it, or dry it out. There are additional scents to choose from such as almond, rose, peppermint, and citrus. (click here to see a full list). I find this at my local grocery store for $3.50, and it lasts me several months.

Ingredients: Organic coconut, organic palm and olive oils, water, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, lavender extract, organic lavender oil, salt, citric acid, vitamin E.

I'll be covering more items such as shampoos, lotions (body and facial), deodorant, shaving gel, hair dye, laundry detergent, and makeup in upcoming posts!  

Keep thinking this to yourself: small changes add up.

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