When you look at the ingredients in our soap, there are only two preservatives that you will find — sea salt and sodium citrate (Citric acid, from the juices that we use in our soaps, that have reacted with the lye.) Those same ingredients work two-fold. Since the ingredients that we use are so rich in vitamins and minerals, they would normally be very desirable for bacteria as well. However, the excess sodium and citrate make those ingredients less desirable and therefore increase the shelf life of our soaps. So, while one of their purposes is to act as natural preservatives, they also have benefits for your skin. The sea salt helps your sebaceous glands to balance the oils on your skin, while the citrates chelate heavy minerals that would normally create soap scum in your bathroom. It’s an all natural win-win.
We want our soaps to clean AND nourish your skin. So we are very selective about what we put in our soaps. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It literally covers 100% of your body, and it plays a major role in your endocrine and excretory systems. It is a complex organ composed of tissues and membranes that helps to excrete toxins through your sweat, but it also absorbs nutrients and minerals that it uses to produce melatonin and vitamin D. Unfortunately, it also absorbs chemicals.
That said, I find it interesting how many people ask if our soap is as “gentle” or “safe” for their face or sensitive skin types. Normally, I just smile and nod, but then one day I got the idea to take a closer look at the ingredients of some of the soaps that some “mainstream” people are using. Ummm. . . Whoa! I'm surprised the human race has survived this long. So, for those who ask about the ingredients of our soaps, let me ask this question in return:
Do you know what’s in your soap?!?
Let’s start with the most common commercial soap chemicals.
Parabens are widely used preservatives in cosmetic products, including soaps, creams and makeup. The most common parabens in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Typically, several parabens are used in combination to increase their effectiveness. All parabens have been linked to low sperm count and sterility.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a common ingredient in liquid body washes that in 2004 was voted Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.
Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, IPBC is a suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxin, and is thought to present risks to human reproduction and development, having been linked to the potential for reduced fertility and increased risk of pregnancy problems. It's a suspected teratogen, which means that it may increase the risk of birth defects.
This isn’t even half of the list! Commercial soap companies pack their soaps with synthetic chemicals and preservatives. The following lists are actual ingredient list from some of the “sensitive skin” formulas of three of the most commonly used brands.
Sensitive Skin Formula
Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Lauric Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Glycinate, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, BHT, Sodium Isethionate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947).
Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Cocamide MEA, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, PPG-9, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Red 33 (CI 17200), Blue 1 (CI 42090).
Ingredients. Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Fragrance, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Green 3, Green 5, Red 33.
Now compare those examples to the ingredients in our soaps.