DIY Hand Soap Recipes: Safe Washing For Germaphobes
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Many of us are starting to slowly wake up to the harsh reality of what is actually contained in many of the products we buy off the shelves of our local stores these days. The issue has indeed plagued most of us for many years, but somehow it’s taken us more time than it should have to realize that we, as consumers, have an active role in it.
We either participate in the continued manufacturing of these products or establishing them as successful household brands by buying them. Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that you raid your cupboards, cabinets and pantries and throw out everything that may contain harmful chemicals or be produced in unethical circumstances, but rather to be mindful of what you’re buying the next time you go shopping.
One of the areas we tend to overlook with regards to this is personal hygiene. We generally assume that buying products that are ‘antibacterial’ are good for us. That they help to remove germs and ultimately afford us better quality of health and prevent various infections and illnesses. This may indeed be true, but is it a truism? What do I mean by this?
Well, essentially the fact stands that normal hand soap will disinfect and remove germs just as well as a disinfectant. We’re generally driven to purchase these products based on targeted marketing strategies that often appeal to our basic fear of germs and that they spread illness and disease.
So we believe that we are doing the right thing by treating our skin with these disinfectant products, that we’re promoting good health and striving to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. The irony is; at what cost are we risking our health by using these products?
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but to anyone who’s ever turned a bottle of almost any personal hygiene product around and read the ingredients, you’ll be well aware of what I’m referring to.
Soaps are designed to keep our skin clean, yet the ingredients that are often used to create these products are harmful chemicals that we would never want anywhere near our body (let alone on our hands and faces) when used alone i.e. not in the form of a nicely packaged product.
So why then, do we remain stuck in this harmful cycle? Perhaps it’s time we investigate the matter a bit further, and try to come up with some applicable solutions to break out of the mold and make the shift -- easily and effectively.
The Importance Of Using Liquid Hand Soap With Safe Ingredients
I feel as though the title of this paragraph largely explains itself. It’s really more of a statement than a rhetorical question. Let’s dissect this a little more, and find out exactly what it is I’m referring to. Many of us prefer to use liquid hand soap because it is held in a separate container which makes it more hygienic.
You don’t have to worry about sharing the germs that might come with using a standard bar of hand soap. Plus it doesn’t stain or melt like some soap bars do overtime. For those among us who are veritable germaphobes, this is the common ‘go-to’ option along with the aforementioned antibacterial or antiseptic ingredients.
However, we may be overlooking a few of the more obvious downsides of this approach to personal hygiene. In my opinion, this is overkill. Now, I’m not suggesting that liquid hand soap in a separate container is a bad idea. Quite the contrary -- it’s a more effective way of neutralizing the spread of germs and bacteria. I am referring more specifically to the type of soap we use and the ingredients contained in it.
Harmful Ingredients in Liquid Soaps
Most mass-made liquid soaps, whether antiseptic or not, contain roughly the same kinds of ingredients. Many of these can be very harmful to our skin or health in general. I’ll list a few and explain them to you. As an interesting thought experiment, I’d recommend going back to your bathroom and figuring out how many of your hygiene products actually contain some or all of these ingredients.
The first is one that’s commonly found in a large variety of hygiene products and is something I discussed in a previous article on DIY Shampoo. It’s generally referred to as ‘Fragrance’, which is a title that can cleverly be used to disguise a long list of harmful or volatile chemical ingredients. Companies do not have to disclose this if the ‘fragrance’ is a trade secret.
Regular exposure to these products can lead to or cause anemia and a lowered blood cell count which means that your skin will take longer to heal when wounded. It can also lead to a variety of other health issues such as liver and kidney damage.
Then there are parabens, which are contained in an equally wide variety of skin care products. These can affect hormone balances and lead to excess fat storage and weight gain -- the last thing you’d expect from a skincare product.
One of the ingredients that occurs most often in many skincare products is known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s an emulsifier which means that it helps bind products together and mix more easily. However, this ingredient also breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier and allows other chemicals to permeate more deeply into your skin tissue.
When it mixes with the other ingredients commonly found in liquid hand soap, it can become a harsh carcinogenic. Carcinogens are a chemical that propagate the development of cancer in your body.
So as cleanly and hygienic as you might think using liquid hand soap is, the true nature of the ingredients of these products can be far worse for your overall health than you ever imagined -- and these are just 3 harmful ingredients that I listed. The reality is that there are far more than most of us are aware of. So what can be done? There are two alternatives.
Namely, sourcing an ethically manufactured product that contains no harmful ingredients or making your own hand soap at home so that you know exactly what’s in it and what effects it will have on your body. This is cheaper in the long run and gives you the freedom of deciding how to treat your own skin. That is appealing to any of us who wish to live a more natural and healthy lifestyle.
DIY Liquid Hand Soap Recipe And Guide
The DIY approach to making your own liquid hand soap is one of the easiest DIY recipes you’ll ever encounter. It will literally take you less than an afternoon to do! It’s a basic 2 step process that only uses 3 ingredients and you’ll save 3 times the money that you would on buying manufactured soap products. Plus, you’ll lead a healthier and more natural life. So there’s really nothing holding you back from at least trying this option in my opinion. What you’ll need:
- Liquid Castile Soap (the amount depends on how much soap you’d like to make, so buying in bulk will work out to be cheaper in the long run). Castile soap is an all natural product that’s generally made out of coconut, olive or castor oil. It lathers well and won’t irritate your hands.
- Distilled Water (again, the amount depends on the amount of soap you’d like to make).
- 10 Drops of Tea Tree or Eucalyptus oil (a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent).
- 10 Drops of an additional essential oil that you’d like to add for fragrance purposes. I’d recommend Orange, Lemongrass, Lavender or Witch Hazel as they have added antiseptic properties and will help to leave your skin feeling moisturized and nourished.
- A liquid soap container to hold the mixture.
To make the soap, simply add 2 tablespoons of the castile soap to the soap container. Then fill the rest of the container up with the distilled water. Now add the essential oils and seal the container. Then shake well for at least 2 minutes to ensure that the ingredients mix. And there you go! The easiest DIY experiment you ever tried at home.
Before And After Results Of DIY Liquid Hand Soap
After using the liquid hand soap, your hands should feel soft and smooth. The castile soap will moisturize the surface of your skin and leave it feeling great. Most chemical soaps leave your skin dry and irritable. The fragrances will also make your hands smell fantastic.
Once you get a feel for this recipe, feel free to add whichever fragrancing ingredients you wish. You can experiment with different spice and herb infusions as well as essential oil blends to produce different scents and effects. Your creativity is your only limit here!
DIY Soap Bar Recipe And Guide
Making your own soap at home is actually a lot easier than you may think. Before you begin, you’ll need to make a shopping list to make sure you have everything you need. Even though some of the ingredients may be expensive, you’ll save money in the long run by how much soap you can actually make. You may already have some of the ingredients already in your kitchen.
In order to make soap, you’ll need specific cookware and tools that are designated for soap making. You’ll need the following things to make this Milk and Honey Soap.
Organic Raw Honey
Goat’s Milk Soap Base
4-Cup Glass Measuring Cup
Silicone Honeycomb Molds
Yellow and Red Soap Coloring
This is a very easy recipe and isn’t that difficult to make
You can use about one pound of the soap base at a time. It will make nine bars of soap if you use the honeycomb molds. The goat’s milk soap base is very soft and very easy to slice with your average kitchen knife. Put the pieces that you cut into the measuring cup and let it melt in the microwave for 20-30 seconds increments. Stir in between each increment and microwave until it melts completely.
After the soap is melts completely, you can stir in the raw honey. You should put in about three tablespoons. Put in some of the yellow dye as well. If you want your soap to have a little golden hue, add a drop of the red dye also.
You can then pour your soap mixture into the honeycomb molds. You’ll need to wait till the soap has completely cooled. This can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours depending on the temperature and humidity of the room.
When the soap cools completely, you can remove it from the molds. Enjoy using these amazingly scented and beautiful soaps!
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Before and After DIY Soap Bar Recipe Results
Once you’ve let the soap mature, it should leave your skin feeling soft and smelling fantastic. It’s better to wait until the soap is done maturing before using it. Otherwise, the lye can harm your skin and leave it feeling dry and itchy.
Regardless, the soap will act like any other store bought soap you’d find on the shelf at your local supermarket. Only difference is that it’ll cost a fraction of the price and contain less than half of the toxic chemicals you’ll find in most other soaps.
Personally, I always enjoy taking on DIY projects for the thrill of being able to stand back and say that I made something with my own hands. But the added benefits are that you’ll be able to save a ton of cash in the long run and make the shift towards leading a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.
I think the majority of us would rather know what we’re treating our skin with -- especially if those ingredients can lead to a series of somewhat serious ailments or irritations. So if knowing is half the battle, then making the switch to a herbal or natural product is your way of planting the flag and making a milestone in your journey to getting rid of harmful chemicals in your household.