Not too long ago, someone who used natural products may have been the anomaly. They would have been stereotyped as a granola-eating, Birkenstock-wearing, hippy-dippy child. We all know stereotypes are fatally limiting. But do we know why natural products are a better choice? Let’s take a look at the benefits of using natural soap as part of your efforts to live a more natural lifestyle… Birks are optional.
On or In Our Bodies- It All Matters
Many health experts focus on diet and exercise, because what goes in our bodies affects our well-being. The same can be said for what goes on our bodies. Unfortunately the regulations that exist in the food and drug industries are not the same in personal care products. In the US, a mere 11 chemicals have been banned from use in comparison to the European Union’s 1,328 no-no list. Their ban prohibits the use of chemicals which are suspected carcinogens or genetic and hormone disruptors.(1) If we’re not protected by a regulating body, we must be our own advocates.
Since your skin is absorbing what is used on it, it is important to pay attention to the ingredients in your personal care and cosmetic products. What goes on your skin is then delivered to the bloodstream and beyond. Synthetic soaps are everywhere, but they don’t openly identify themselves as such.
With marketing claims such as, “formulated for the softest skin”, or “made with natural ingredients”, the waters become murky, and it’s not the dirt from your skin doing so. It’s important to pay attention to the synthetic materials used in your bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, or favorite hand cream. The preservatives, fragrances, and moisturizers used may be doing your body more harm than good.
What is Natural Soap?
The basis of all truly natural soaps is fairly simple: caustic salt (lye) & fat. The two combined make a nifty chemical reaction, resulting in a product that effectively and naturally cleans. While soap’s origins start with those ingredients, the fun begins when additional ingredients are added for specific needs.
Got dry, sensitive skin? Goat’s milk is loaded with vital nutrients that nourish and soothe your skin. Our handmade bar soap, Oat Milk Rx, is a God-send for those with highly sensitive skin, eczema, and psoriasis.
Looking to restore and renew that glowing look? We turn to honey for sweet results. This sticky nectar is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. We recommend our Honey Loofah Bar Soap for gentle exfoliation and smooth, hydrated skin. This clever little bar has a dose of nourishing honey, fragrant honeysuckle, and a built-in loofah to scrub away dull skin and moods.
Natural soaps are created using plant or animal-based ingredients (ours are always cruelty-free). Synthetic soaps are usually not even “soap”, but lab-made detergents. These cheap and easily mass produced detergents have all but replaced actual “soap”. They’re used in everything from shower gels and body washes to laundry detergents to industrial liquid hand soap, to car washes. Next time you are at the drugstore look for the word “soap” on a bar of soap or a body wash. They legally can’t call it soap, they usually say “body bar” or “shower gel”. The harsh surfactants found in liquid soaps and solid bars are made to effectively remove dirt and oil. With this action, your skin’s natural oils are stripped away.
While we tend to think of getting rid of oil as a good thing, our skin needs these beneficial oils for protection and hydration. To counteract the effects of the “stripping” (and leaving your skin dry and itchy), manufacturers add in petroleum-based silicones to their formulas. While this may sound logical, it’s not. And it’s not good for you, either. The concern is the notion that we should replace the natural oils that our body actually makes to keep skin soft and moisturized with crude-oil based ingredients. Ingredients your body should not be absorbing. Detergents, fillers, foaming agents, and synthetic perfumes may achieve desired results on the outside, but they can be wreaking havoc on your health.
The creation of natural soaps is so much simpler than it’s synthetic cousins. The combination of emollient ingredients like olive oil and shea butter are “saponified” with lye to create soap. Superfatting (putting in more “oils” than the amount of lye and create soap with) makes natural soaps effective at cleansing AND moisturizing skin at the same time. Glycerin is also a byproduct of saponification, which adds excellent hydrating properties as well. Fun Fact: When large manufacturers create soap, they often strip the glycerin out of it to sell separately – which makes the batch more profitable. The only loser is your skin..
So, how do you know if what you’re using is good or bad? Just read the labels, right? Well, unfortunately labels are often misleading. Certain keywords lead us to believe the ingredients used are chosen with the consumer’s health as the highest priority. Oh, if only this were the case. Even the word ‘natural’ can be a bit ambiguous. According to the FDA, there are no regulations surrounding the use of this word.(2) If you want to be certain about what is going in or on your body, your best option is to research ingredients and company standards. You can start by looking for the most ubiquitous and commonly used “bad” ingredients out there. We call these the “Dirty Dozen”. Those are 12 of the worst-for-you ingredients we will never use in any of our products.
The KIND soap company Standard
We’re committed to the highest standards when it comes to choosing what we add to our natural soaps, lotions, balms, bath bombs, or anything else that bears our beautiful label. Our goals are deeper than looking and smelling fabulous. We bear it all (our ingredients, of course…), because we want to you be confident in the products you use on your loved ones.
Our foundation will always rest on the Three Pillars of KINDness: being KIND to your skin, the earth, and others. Our natural soaps are labeled to disclose each ingredient thoughtfully chosen to pamper your skin. Curious as to why we used chamomile in our Tea Tree Rx Antibacterial Lotion? Visit our Glossary to research what goes into your KIND products. And if you’re still wondering about the chamomile… we love the way it soothes minor dermatitis, irritations, and inflammations caused by acne.
Our KIND fans are the best! (Seriously. We love you guys!) You’re a community of beautiful people who cheer us on. You send your friends and family to us, because you know that we’re here to listen and help you find products that are safe, luxurious, and carefully crafted. Our handmade soap’s origins began with a mother’s passionate search to help her eczema-ridden son. You can now find a KIND solution for many common skin issues and needs. Going natural doesn’t mean you’ve gotta eat the granola… it’s a conscious decision to make choices that fit into the way YOU rock your life.