If you want to get off using heavily commercial “soap” products, hand soap is one of the first to do. In many bathrooms, there will be the standard pump container of liquid hand soap. It might be so heavily scented, your hands reek of chemical-y scent for hours. It might be antibacterial. Whatever it is, it isn’t soap by any means, but rather a mixture/brew of various chemicals designed to act like soap. It’s also way more than we really need. In most cases, a more natural version can be made, that is gentler on the skin – and isn’t antibacterial.
For example, a major brand (let’s call it SS), a liquid hand soap, contains this:
• Active: Benzalkonium Chloride (cationic surfactant)
• Cetrimonium Chloride (quaternary ammonium salts)
• Glycerin (the soap part, can be vegetable or animal based)
• Lauramidopropylamine Oxide (nonionic surfactant)
• Cocamide MEA (compound synthesized from coconut oils and ethanolamine)
• Sodium Chloride (salt)
• PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate (surfactant, polyethylene glycol ether of the diester of methylglucose and oleic acid)
• Citric Acid
• Tetrasodium EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, also known by several other names, is an aminopolycarboxylic acid and a colorless, water-soluble solid. Its conjugate base is ethylenediaminetetraacetate. It is widely used to dissolve limescale.)
• Methylchloroisothiazolinone (also referred to as MCI, is a preservative with antibacterial and antifungal effects within the group of isothiazolinones. It is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast, and fungi.)
• FD&C Red No. 40
• FD&C Yellow No. 5
• D&C Red No. 33
The ingredients list for the base castile soap I used contains:
Water, Potassium Oleate (Potassium Salt of Oleic Acid), Potassium Cocoate (surfactant,potassium salt that originates from the fatty acids present in coconut oil), Glycerin (this is the soap part, this brand is vegetable based), Potassium Citrate (potassium salt of citric acid), Citric Acid
(I added in what most of the ingredients are)
Liquid castile soaps vary, but you can find pretty good versions online and in stores that carry “natural” items for body care. We have to avoid Jojoba Oil, as Alistaire is allergic to it. But if you can use it, Dr. Bronner’s makes a good base. I have put links in the recipe, and there are many options out there. Just look at ingredient lists, and research non-biased sites for what the ingredients are, and what they do. The best part though, is no added dyes, and you control the scent!
DIY Lavender Lemon Hand Soap
- Unscented liquid castile soap (or any of these)
- 56 drops Lavender essential oil
- 32 drops Lemon essential oil
- 8 drops Peppermint essential oil
- Foaming soap dispenser
Add about 4 ounces liquid castile soap to the dispenser bottle, add in the oil drops, stir to blend, then top with soap, and stir again.
Put on lid, and use, it may take a few pumps to get the soap moving.
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