Conscious Consumption :: The Truth About Soap

Soap... Hopefully you use it everyday.

But if I asked you "what is soap?" could you give me a truthful answer?

If I asked you what the ingredients are in soap, what would you say? 

On a scale of 1 to 10 how aware are you of what you are absorbing through your largest protective organ (your skin)? Most don't have a clue. 

So here is the truth, soap is created by mixing fats or oils with lye. Lye is a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water, meaning lye is what makes the bubbles and gets you clean.  You can not mix oil and water together without lye.  This chemical reaction produces glyercin which is extremely moisturizing for the skin.   Soap can have various smells by adding essential oils and herbs.  Sounds simple right? 

Unfortunately, just like our food system, the soap and commercial hygiene industry is extremely processed and saturated with harsh chemicals.  Popular brands that are mass produced like Zest and Dove are just cooled chemicals branded and marketed to you as good for your skin.  These companies are legally not allowed to call their products soap so phrases like "Body Wash" and "Foaming Cleanser" were invented. These "soaps" are made with synthetic detergents that have other unwanted chemicals such as fillers, petroleum by-products, colorants, harsh preservatives or other carcinogens.  What gets scary is that most of the products branded as natural or more organic are just as bad. 

SO if that wasn’t a mindf*ck enough, here are some more reasons to consider as to why you shouldn’t be using store bought - chemically ridden - soap:

1. Mass Produced Soap is Actually Detergent

Commercially produced soap is a detergent based product because it is made of synthetic chemicals and wetting agents.  Your body soap is more closely related to laundry detergent than it is actual soap.  Another issue with detergent based soaps is that the preservatives required to keep these acidic soaps from growing bacteria are toxic and drying as well. Detergent is made to dry out your skin so that you will also buy lotions and creams.  

2. Harmful Chemicals

Seriously...WTF is in this soap? Can you pronounce anything on that label? I feel like I don't even need to explain why this is bad.  These chemicals are toxic compounds which can promote cancer.  You are absorbing all of these chemicals everyday through your skin. 

3. Mass Produced Environmental Waste

Now let's think outside of ourselves for a minute. How many bath products do you use in a single shower? Soap, shampoo, conditioner, scrubs, etc.  Take all the chemicals from those products combined and you are basically pouring a chemical cocktail down your drain and into your local water supply.  Now expand your mind to think about the entire neighborhood or apartment in which you live.  This means everyone's chemical cocktail all combining together, mixing with all these artificial and synthetic compounds flowing directly into the local water supply.  This is water pollution on a macro giant scale.  

4. Glycerin Removed

Glycerin is a natural by- product that is created during the soap making process when you mix fats and oils with lye.  Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin.  Glycerin is also a highly "hygroscopic" liquid, which means that it absorbs water from the air. So in summary, Glycerin is the ingredient in soap that makes your skin so soft.

Handmade soap bars will contain glycerin but commerical bars do not. Why? Commercial hygiene companies have figured out that they can extract the Glycerin and blend it into several other products including lotions and cosmetics. The companies have figured out if they sell you a soap that dries out your skin they can sell you a lotion as well and make double the profit.  For this reason there is no glycerin in commercial soap.  

5. Fragrances Are Lies

Observe how Dove uses the term beauty bar instead of saying it is soap anywhere on the label

Observe how Dove uses the term beauty bar instead of saying it is soap anywhere on the label

"Betaine Fragrance" .... not sure what that is or how that smells

"Betaine Fragrance" .... not sure what that is or how that smells

Real soaps use essential oils not natural fragrances.  Essential oils used in handmade soap are crafted with aromatherapy to create unique blends specific for different types of skin and therapeutic properties.  Using the word “natural”, companies have utilized a giant loophole in avoiding the FDA’s standards placed upon organic products.  Anything labeled as natural does not need it’s ingredients disclosed, companies have figured out that,  so what is this vaguely marketed version of “natural”? It is a bunch of chemicals you probably can’t pronounce, let alone would want to absorb into your body.  

According to the FDA, natural flavor can be anything as long as it comes directly from a plant or animal source. This is extremely vague has technically McDonalds chicken nuggets would classify as "natural" chicken. 

Just like pretty much every other artificial thing we consume, natural flavors are complex chemical formulas invented in a lab that a small handful of flavor companies own and distribute around the world.

6.  Not Animal Friendly

The first ingrident is Sodium Tallowate which is code for animal fat 

The first ingrident is Sodium Tallowate which is code for animal fat 

Soap originally was made from animal fat, but as of lately animal fat is not needed.  Animal fat can still used today in ANY soap making process, but it is specifically used in commercially produced soap because it is cheap to buy in bulk, it is easy to process and makes a hard bar of soap.  All mass produced soap is made with Sodium Tallowate, which is smart talk for animal fat mixed with sodium hydroxide. It is simply another word play for branding purposes.  The animal fat is melted, mixed with chemicals and blended into the fragrences.  Many soaps and beauty products are tested on animals. 

 

So whats the truth about soap? You aren't even using soap.  You are using an animal fat based detergent chemical bar made in a factory with article fragrances.  You are absorbing cancer causing agents through your skin everyday while you shower.  You are a slave to the system because the the natural moisturizing ingredient glycerin is being removed and sold separately to you in the form of lotion. 

Taking care of your skin and having a healthy glow no matter what age has been eternally valued.  Using vegan and hand made soap is an easy and inexpensive transition to give your skin the same treatment you give the rest of your body through your diet and health.  Now that you are conscious you can make the decision! 

Check out our soap store here and please email me for any questions! 

Stay woke fam <33

-Natalie