Natural vs. Synthetic
Wow, have you read the labels on products that you've bought lately? Anytime I'm in a store, I tend to pick up random items and read what's actually in them. This weekend I came across a lotion that I will admit I was using up until a few years ago when I really started to look into what ingredients were in it. YIKES!!!! Here's the list off the label...do you even know what most or any of these are? I didn't and had to look them up!
Brand "X" Lotion: (Synthetic ingredients or chemicals are colored Red)
"Water, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Aloe Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), Polyacrylamide, Panthenol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethiconol, Ethylparaben, Sorbitan Stearate, Titanium Dioxide, Polyquaternium-10, Cetearyl Glucoside, Propylparaben, Laureth-7, Peg-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Stearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ammonium Polyacrylate"
(Of the 31 ingredients, 16 are synthetic chemicals! Over 50%!)
Compare this to our all natural Acai Berry Facial Moisturizer (I use this one every day since it's an all natural choice, smells yummy and works like a charm!)...
Acai Berry Facial Moisturizer: (Do you see any Red ingredients?)
"Water, Aloe vera, Shea butter, Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Olive Squalane, Glycerin, E wax, Vegetable Stearic acid, Acai berry powder, Bilberry powder, Blueberry powder, Pomegranate powder, DL-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B), Honey, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Green Tea Extract, Silver Dihydrogen Citrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Berry Scent"
(Of 22 ingredients, 0, yep, ZERO are synthetic chemicals!)
Taking the 2 lotion samples above, remember that 60% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed. Which lotion do you think is safer?
So what soap are you using? Take a look at the package and read the ingredients. If it is a "real" soap, it will have "Soap" on the label and ingredients such as Olive oil, coconut oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter, etc. If you only see a "Beauty bar" or other similar wording, then you have a bunch of chemicals in your hand and not real soap. (Check out the previous post on our "real" soap line if you missed what soap really is). Soap or the chemical substitute is used and rinsed off, but some of those ingredients can and do remain on your skin. Trying to avoid as many unnatural ingredients will increase your chances of not being exposed to unwanted chemicals that can be dangerous to your health over time.
It's easy to assume that items we use every day are safe....but it doesn't take much time or research to realize that even though products are deemed "safe", they really aren't the best choice and can be quite dangerous over time. These ingredients are used simply because they are easy to acquire and are lower in cost than natural ingredients. Reading the labels on the products you use and becoming familiar with the ingredients can help you make safer buying decisions for you and your family.
Until next time...thanks for reading!
For quite some time now, I've been so anxious to get into the art of Cold Process soap so that I can offer my customers a true "from scratch, nothing but natural" soap line. So I've spent many a month doing research on what various oils have to offer the skin, which ones make a healthy lather, which ones might clean "too" well and dry out the skin, which ones make a hard bar and which are too soft, what ratios of each oil are needed to make a healthy lather that cleans but doesn't dry that smells yummy but it hard enough to last in the shower...whew! And my head was spinning!
But now that I've read and researched, and spent time playing in the kitchen, I'm finally happy with a recipe I've tweaked as my base soap. Once I decided on my base, I was able to get some creative fun going by using different liquids to see what might be the result. Even though my base oils are the basically the same, using different liquids can totally change the outcome, smell, and feel. Some of the liquids I've been playing with are strong chamomile tea, organic lemon tea, flat amber ale, Guiness stout ale, fresh-brewed coffee, apple cider, and wine. All these liquids actually do have skin-loving properties and each one makes its own special type of soap.
So just what is "real" SOAP?
Each oil has a saponification value or SAP that tells how much lye is needed to turn all of that oil into soap. Each oil can be a different value, so careful calculation is needed to make sure enough lye is used but not too much to have any left over...or you might just have irritated skin! I always calculate my ratio to include about 5% extra oils that won't be saponified so that they are left to add moisture and skin-conditioning qualities to the soap. An after-product of making soap is glycerin which I leave in my soap to add skin-softening and moisture-drawing attributes in each bar. Essential oils are added for scent and skin-loving properties, as well as, herbs, coffee grounds, and other additivies to enhance the finished soap. Sometimes I'll add a fragrance oil to enhance the scent of the soap since some scents just don't exist in an essential oil.
Once the soap is taken out of the mold and sliced, it needs to air dry for 4-6 weeks before using. This cure time allows all the lye to react with the oils so that nothing but clean, nourishing soap is left! Below you'll see some examples of the different soaps currently curing and how each one looks different from the others.
Plans are already in the works to expand the line to include milk soaps using goats milk, coconut milk, yogurt, heavy cream...just about any type of "milk". Cleopatra swore by milk soap knowing how beautiful it can help keep your skin! So stay tuned!
Welcome to Tailored Tidbits!
If I'm not in the kitchen cooking up new items for my shop, I'm sewing fabric baskets, taking care of our honeybees and Ms. Kitty, pitching in on the latest project at my son's, or planning a trip somewhere with my daughter. Here, I'll share a "day in the life" at Tailored Touches!
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