Ever since we made the switch to a more natural version of cleansers, both personal care and household, I was questioned as to whether or not that is actually getting clean. “There are no suds” I was told. To be honest, I too thought the more suds we achieve, the cleaner it gets, right? Well, that’s just not true. Most soap lather is artificially created for the consumer, not because it is needed to be a more effective cleanser. The purpose of detergent is to trap and remove dirt, but in order for that to be effective, the trapped soil needs to be completely removed. Too many suds won’t allow that to happen. We have become victims of excessive sudsing. The reality is that we end up putting more toxins onto our bodies than what is healthy, all for the misconception of being cleaner. Don’t get me wrong, suds are not bad, it’s the added synthetic chemical suds that have become the problem.

One ingredient in particular, sodium lauryl sulfate (aka. sodium laureth sulfate) is a known skin irritant, hormone disruptor and has possible links to cancer. Studies have indicated that with excessive use, SLS can leave a residue in the heart, liver, lungs and brain all from skin contact. That means once SLS enters your body, some of it never leaves, causing a slow build-up of chemicals internally. (read more on SLS here) Why use this ingredient if it is so questionable you ask?, Simple, because it is an inexpensive detergent that makes your product lather, and we like suds! Unnecessary? YES!

Not only do most commercial soaps contain toxic chemical additives that make them “soapy”, they also contain perfumes and fragrances that are known to cause irritation. These fragrances again, are chemically derived and they use a plethora of cancer-causing ingredients, which allow the fragrance to linger. The simple generic term, “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label can indicate the presence of over 2,000 separate ingredients. Studies have shown that some of the chemicals used in soap fragrances can cause skin irritations, birth defects and even liver damage in animal testing. If you decide to make your own personal and household care products, by using essential oils, you can accomplish the same “fragrant” results, naturally.

By changing what we buy and continuing to demand chemical-free products, we can minimize and even reverse our exposures to toxins. Not to mention the added bonus of rinsing less toxic chemicals down the drain. There are plenty of “greener and healthier” versions of most all products you would normally use. You just need to be vigilant and make sure you know what the ingredients are. Many are hard to recognize and it can be so overwhelming to read.every. label. I find it is much easier, and most likely more cost effective if you try to make your own household cleansers and personal care products at home. They generally include minimal ingredients, even those you have on hand, so you can feel good about using them (and being able to pronounce them)!

So, sweet daughter, to address your question “is that getting clean?” My simple answer is YES!

~ Jen

*FYI: In the near future, I plan on posting my favorite store bought natural brands as well as my favorite DIY versions.

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