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It’s something we use everyday. Multiple times a day. We are always reminding our kids to do it.
Did you wash your hands? Yes
Did you use soap? Ummmmmm
Hand soap is a quick, easy, inexpensive thing you can swap out to reduce your toxic load.
I’m not saying to skip using the soap at the airport bathroom here because of artificial colors!! I want to emphasize DOING THE BEST WE CAN. I’m so done obsessing about every little thing.
However, there are some nasty chemicals in most hand soaps. Here’s what’s in many conventional hand soaps that we want to avoid when we can.
What to Avoid:
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
These are surfactants and inexpensive and effective foaming agents. They are a known skin or eye irritant, linked to organ system toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, possible mutations and cancer. Sodium Laureth Sulfate also becomes contaminated with 1,4-dioxane during manufacturing, which is a carcinogenic byproduct.
What to look for: SLS, SLES, Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, Sodium salt sulfuric acid, Monododecyl ester sodium salt sulfuric acid, A13-00356, Akyposal SDS, Aquarex ME, Aquarex methyl
This is an aggressive antibacterial agent. The European Union and other countries ban this ingredient. It is a hormone disruptor and could be causing bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.
What to look for: Triclosan
These are another type of antimicrobial agent. These are allergenic, can induce asthma, may cause adverse genetic and reproductive effects. May also be contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria.
What to look for: alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC), benzalkonium chloride, and didecyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride.
These are preservatives used to prevent the growth of microbes so that our products will last longer. They mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone system disruptors. They have also been linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity.
What to look for: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben
These are complex chemical mixtures that manufacturers are not required to disclose. They are considered to be trade secrets. Let’s call them dirty little secrets. This can include chemicals that are allergens, hormone disruptors or linked to cancer and more.
What to look for: fragrance, parfum
Hand soaps are rated in the Skin Deep Cosmetics Guide from Environmental Working Group. The Environmental Working Group or EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.
The Skin Deep Guide has a scale of 1-10, with 1-2 being least hazardous. 3-6 being moderate hazard and 7-10 being high hazard
EO Hand Soap, Lemon & Eucalyptus This is rated 2 by EWG. I like it because I can buy a large refill bottle and refill the built in hand soap pump in our kitchen sink.
California Baby Calendula Handwash This is rated 1. It’s gentle and moisturizing.
California Baby Eucalyptus Ease Handwash. This is also rated 1.
For all my bathrooms I use Foaming Hand Soap
Foaming soap dispensers reduce the amount of soap used by 75%!
It is a money-saver and is very easy to make.
I like this foaming soap dispenser from the Container Store.
I have also purchased a foaming hand soap from Target and then refilled it with this recipe once I used it up.
If you want to add essential oils, use unscented castile soap. I love to use lemon, or Joyful Moments, or Immune Strength oil blend during the winter.
Here’s my Recipe:
With love & gratitude,
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried any of these soaps and what you think.