Saturday, July 19, 2008

HANDMADE SOAP BETTER THAN DETERGENT BARS?

First let me say this: one reason I like making soap is because I can control what I put into it, therefore, control what goes on my body. Before I ever made soap I would buy soap from a local soapmaker (for the same reasons), I liked knowing what the ingredients were and that it was natural.

Today when I was at the farmer's market looking at some of the stands of local soap sellers a thought came to mind. When you are telling people about soap it often times is natural to tell them why handmade soap is better than commercial made soap (or I should say detergent). But in all honesty, can we tell people that handmade soap is better than detergent bars if our soaps contain frangrance oils?? We dont' know what goes into the creation of a fragrance oil because of the "trade secret" law. Often times what is in a fragrance oil isn't always safe for our bodies.

Fragrance oils are a mixture of aroma chemicals. The mix can either be part artificial and part synthetic, or all synthetic.

phthalates are often used in synthetic fragrances and phthalates are hormone mimic's. The FDA doesn't regulate the use of phthalates in cosmetics.

Here is a link with some information on synthetic fragrances: CLICK HERE

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I do use FO's in my products and I also use products on myself that contain FO's. I prefer EO's but I, like many people, love scents that I cannot get in an EO. I know the "warnings" and I choose to continue using FO's.

But.... my question is this: when I'm selling my soap can I still promote it as being better for a person than detergent bars if it contains and FO? Doesn't an FO possibly carry with it the same risks as a detergent bar's chemicals carry? I also sell EO soaps and always tell customers to do a patch test before using (since we can be allergic to anything, natural or not) but since FO's are "synthetic" what is your opinion on that?

(I hope no one takes offense to this post. This is something I struggle with personally and would just like advice/opinions on, nothing more than that).

11 comments:

2 Virgos Designs said...

Very good point and an issue I also struggle with. While I try to use EOs whenever possible both for their purity and aromatherapy values often I use FOs or a blend of the two. I do promote my soaps as better than storebought detergent bars, for they do have fewer or no petrochemicals in the soap base and I fully label and warn on my products. It seems impossible to completely avoid FOs though, one of my premier product lines and wildly popular is Black Knight, an FO. It is a conundrum. Thanks for the informative and thoughtful post.
http://2virgosdesigns.blogspot.com/

Heidi said...

This is an interesting question. I have been working through the idea of using fo's and colorants. I love using both...

Some companies say if their fo's have pthalates. I'm going to start asking the companies I buy from if their fo's have pthalates. At the very least they should be able to report that.

Sherrie said...

I have been thinking the very same things. I agree with Heidi - we should start asking the distributors of FO's if they contain phthalates. If enough people create a demand for phth-free FO's and let the distributors know that we want to know what's in the FO's, it should make a difference. :) I also agree that handmade soaps are better than store 'soap' as they mainly consist of natural oils, rather than chemicals. Thanks!
Sherrie

Michelle said...

Thank you for your comments ladies!!

I never thought about asking whether phalates are in FO's, GREAT IDEA Heidi & Sherri! I did notice that WSP notes when an FO is phalate free, which is a positive step in the right direction :)

Virgo, you are right, so many people want the FO's and even I am drawn to some synthetic fragrances (plumeria and pikake being the top 2).

Joanna Schmidt said...

I understand that phlalates are toxic in high doses and in plastics (sex toys, Teletubbies toys...etc.). I use FO's at 1% generally, and only a tiny pecentage of that is phlaltes so really, how toxic could 1/10 of 1% can harm you? Maybe I am just not in the mood to follow the scare tactics I see out there.

If one wants to live completely natural, I honor and applaud that, but if we are going to live in this society, can we please put things into perspective? (I am not talking to you all, I am making a general statement)

sulfates, parabens, phlaltes, mineral oil, .....the list is huge. I think if we were slathering 100% concentration of any of these, it could be harmful after a few years, but 1/10 of 1%? I LIKE the smell of chocolate. I will take the chance and off an alternative for those who don't want to.

:) Sorry I babbled....

Michelle said...

Your not babbling! :)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!

Joanna Schmidt said...

I meant to say "offer", not "off an alternative for those who don't want to."

ps: I also think sunscreen is a good idea (as I sit here with a terribly burned back), but that has ALL sorts of chemicals. I'll take the chemicals over this scary stupid sunburn and me standing with my aloe plant.

Michelle said...

Speaking of sunscreen. I have a chemical free alternative (handmade) if you are ever interested. It has a natural spf of 10.

Joanna Schmidt said...

interested? Do you sell it? Cn you tell me where?

Michelle said...

No, I don't sell it. I just make em. LOL! I don't use sunscreen but I do use it on my kids. They don't need anything higher than an SPF of 4 or so. They are naturally dark and have no problems burning. Sesame oil is a natural sunscreen and it works for the kids. But I did come across a natural recipe that is an spf of 10.

I'll email you the recipe.

One thing I love about sesame (which I'm sure everyone probably already knows) is it keeps the skin healthy after the sun too.

Carrot oil is another great one.

Carrie Garvin said...

Michelle~ this is such a great post with lots of "healthy" info, and FO for thought...