You eat healthy. You exercise. You get a yearly physical. You visit the dentist regularly. You recycle as much as possible. Have you stopped to consider the choices you make about your soap or other bath and body products?
A dear friend of mine recently put it all in a nutshell. Sixty percent of what you put on your body gets absorbed into the bloodstream—60%! That is downright scary if you think about it. The one thing that everybody does every day (at least we hope so!), is to take a bath or shower with some kind of soap whether it be bar soap or liquid soap. Have you ever read the ingredients label? Do you understand even half of what those ingredients are, much less be able to pronounce them? Is it even soap? If you visit your local grocery store or big box store to purchase your bath and body products, you typically go to the aisle where “soap” is plainly listed on a sign at the end of the aisle. However, did you know that a lot of the bars you will see here are not actually soap? Start looking at the packaging next time you are at the store and look to see if the word “soap” is listed on the packaging. These are major, well-known brands. Even uninitiated physicians will recommend these brands. You will be shocked.
The reason the word “soap” is not on the packaging is because it is not true soap. They are really detergent bars. The FDA spells out the definition of soap as “a product in which the non-volatile portion consists principally of an alkali salt of fatty acids.” In plain English, the only possible way to get true soap is to mix lye with oils. Period.
Looking at the ingredients list of your current bar, you will likely find detergents and preservatives. These are completely unnecessary and multitudes of people are finding these type of bars are causing a skin condition or aggravating a skin condition they already have. At the very least, they are probably having problems with dry skin. To add insult to injury, commercial detergent bars have the very desirable glycerin (a natural byproduct of soap making) brined out and sold to make higher-priced products such as lotions and conditioners. So, the detergent bar you just used has dried out your skin and now you have to purchase lotions to rehydrate your skin. The public has been scammed into using commercial detergent bars, causing them to buy more products to fix what they caused in the first place!
Start reading ingredient labels. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are apps out there you can download for free to “read” a product’s barcode. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to find a local, reputable soap maker and switch to handmade soaps. You will never go back to detergent bars again!
Melissa Brown is the founder and Chief Executive Soapsmith of Nautilus Soap Company based in Lutz, Florida. With over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare field, she began making soap as a hobby and quickly became passionate about handmade bath and body products. The business has grown out of the house and is now contained in a manufactured office building behind the home she shares with her husband Doug, stepson Nick, two dogs, one cat and one very talkative African Gray parrot. She also has a son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Hudson, and a daughter in New Port Richey. Melissa is a member of the Lutz chapter of Keep it Local – Kingdom Business Alliance.