Friday 9 September 2011

Coming Clean About Soap

Soap is something most of us use every day in one form of another. It is a globally distributed product that the majority of the world’s population use.

 It got me thinking – is soap safe?

If soap isn’t safe, it sure is going to affect a whole lot of people and particularly vulnerable little babies who don’t have mature immune systems. I started to research everything I could find about what goes into soap.

What I found out shocked me!

The first thing I found disturbing was that the Food Drugs and Administration body do not consider bar soap to be a cosmetic, so bar soaps have no requirements to comply with any colouring guidelines. That piece of information set off my alarm bells immediately. It is common knowledge that a lot of artificial chemicals are toxic.

Bar soaps, liquid soaps and bubble bath come in a range of pretty colours and beautiful scents. They smell and look wonderful! All very alluring isn’t it? But you need to avoid using them if you are not sure of their source.

The fact is that most colours are produced from coal tar and can pose serious health risks, including cancer. Toxic chemicals such as acetone and hexane have been used to extract colours from plants.

Natural colours are NOT natural!

As for fragrances, nearly off of them originate from a petroleum source and are extremely dangerous to human health. Did you know that over 3,000 aromatic synthetic chemicals hide behind the word ‘fragrance’? Manufacturers do not have to disclose them because they are ‘trade secrets’.

The bottom line is that most companies are out to make profits and the bigger the profit the better they like it. Their focus is not on the outcomes for people’s health or the environment.

Manufacturers care about the financial health of their bank accounts, not the health of those who use their products.

For example, they will use cheap dangerous synthetic fragrances such as ‘natural’ lemon because the real thing, organic essential oil, costs at least fifty times more. They prefer to use beef fat that is loaded with antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides because it is cheaper than using vegetable based oils.

While I can understand the need to keep the cost of products down, I do not consider profit margins a valid reason for knowingly poisoning people!

It seems to me that the non-ethical companies don’t care about the rising numbers of migraine headaches, skin rashes, hyperactivity disorders, seizures, depression, asthma and other respiratory diseases caused by inhaling ‘fake’ perfumes.

They don’t care how many neurotoxins are infiltrating the blood stream and attacking the immune systems, spinal cords, brains, livers and nervous systems of our babies.

During my research I came across a press release dated February 8, 2007 on a breast cancer website with the heading, “Cancer-Causing Chemical Found In Children’s Bath Products”. In part it read, “Washington – A hidden cancer-causing petrochemical has been found in dozens of children’s bath products and adult’s personal care products, in some cases at levels that are more than twice the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations lenient recommended maximum”.

Who would know there was so much toxicity in one small bar of soap! It is almost safer to slip on a bar of soap than to use it!

So what can we do?

It is fine to know all the negatives about something, but that is not much use if we are not going to discuss ways to overcome them. I get frustrated with articles that do not provide solutions.

Learn to read labels

Don’t blindly trust what manufacturers say. An EWG study showed that 35% of products labelled ‘natural’ contained artificial chemical preservatives, and 80% of products described as ‘gentle’, ‘soothing’ or ‘hypoallergenic’ contained ingredients linked to allergies and skin irritation.

If you want to know what is in the soaps and personal care products you use for your family, check them at the EWG Skin Deep data base and while you are there also check out the section titled Children’s Product Guide.

Purchase Fragrance Free Products

 At least you are reducing the number of chemicals you are using by doing this.

Use Soap, Gel and Shampoo Sparingly

Make your mantra ‘ More is Less’. There is no need to be drowning in bubbles!

Make Your Own Soaps

It can be fun and at least you have control over what goes into them

Research Safe Brands

Check for reputable companies on line that sell natural safe products such as Joli Natural Skin Care who make beautiful luxurious safe soaps. Their Australian made products are made with ingredients sourced from Australian manufactuers.

The soaps are stunning to look at as well. Check them out. I like the Petit Soap which is a natural Castile soap made with 100% pure olive oil.

I will now get off my soap box!

Take care & Good Health


  1. Another one that worries me is products that say 'dermatologically tested'. They also contain ingredients linked to allergies and skin irritation. 'Dermatologically tested' gives the impression of a safety level suitable for sensitive skin, baby skin, skin allergies etc. though this is not necessarily the case.

  2. I agree . We have to be so vigilant to protect the health of our little ones. Thanks for sharing that :)

  3. It's a real concern what they'd have us believe are in products...that's why it's up to us to take responsibility for knowing what we put on our skin and in our bodies. Thank you Sonja for a very informative blog.