In my ongoing quest to make our lives healthier, I have switched our family away from mainstream soaps and body washes. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the ingredient in soaps, detergents, and even toothpastes that causes them to foam.
Check out this info from Kitchen Stewardship (where Katie references an article from Natural News) :
Sodium lauryl sulfate did not start off as a detergent that was meant for use in consumer products. It was initially sold as an industrial strength detergent primarily used for heavy duty cleaners and degreasers. It is now found in products which are in close and frequent contact with human skin. The reason it is used in so many products today is that consumers have come to expect abundant lather in products that are supposed to cleanse in some way. It is one of the most largely manufactured chemicals in the United States since many companies use it as a cheap lathering agent.
The other reasons listed for sodium lauryl sulfate’s transgressions include:
- irritates and dries out skin
- allows toxins to penetrate
- is toxic
- erodes eyes, gums, and hair follicles (yep, gum disease from toothpaste and hair loss from shampoo…makes sense, right?)
So, because of these concerns, we have switched to natural body washes, and I make our own toothpaste. But I haven’t been really happy with the alternatives- the natural body washes were more expensive, even with buying them through our natural foods co-op. Plus they didn’t smell as fragrant, and of course, didn’t have the great lather we were used to. So I began thinking of alternatives.
I looked up how to make your own body wash, and it is pretty common sense: grate a bar of soap in some hot water, mix and pour into your bottle.
I have not dived into soap making yet, because to be honest, the lye part of the process scares me, so I used 2 soaps: a piece of Zum Bar soap I got from our local grocery store. (They sell in bulk in the natural section, or you can purchase regular bars). I love that they are a a local company, and their soaps are so fragrant, I actually associate the smell with health food stores)
Katie also had a bar of lavender goats milk soap she hadn’t used yet that a homeschooling friend made. She makes a wonderful variety of soaps, we even gave them as Christmas gifts last year. Her company is called Red Shed Soap company. I used this to make Katie’s body wash.
According to the recipe, for 3 ounces of soap, (grated) **you can add 1 cup of hot water. I think you can add more than that, as ours gelled up to a really thick consistency. I am happy to be saving some money, at least half off of what I was paying for body wash. And I know we are using less because of the better foaming. Plus, I dilute it by 90 percent and use it in a foaming pump for a hand soap, so that saves even more! (Make sure you use hot water so the soap dissolves well, or it may clog your pump)
Over all I am really pleased with the ease of the process and the results. Really fragrant, body wash with great lathering at a much cheaper price. You will definitely notice a difference even in the way your skin feels. My husband said it first you might think it feels dry, but we all agree now that it just feels DIFFERENT, not dry.
Let me know if you give it a try!
** Remember the old Salad Shooter? I will never be without one in my kitchen. I use it to grate cheese (straight into freezer bags, and freeze), and I use it to grate the soap for this recipe too.