Why change to an all-natural soap?To be honest, I think I was so concerned about changing my family’s eating and other green living habits, that I ignored the fact that I was using a potentially toxic soap on my babies’ skin.Yes–I said toxic. The thought of changing one more thing overwhelmed me. And I thought it would be much too expensive.But the more I’ve researched natural living, the more I’ve realized the skin is our biggest organ—and it absorbs EVERYTHING. Dr. Joseph Mercola, of Dr. Mercola’s Natural Health Center, says that we may actually absorb more toxins when we put something on our skin than if we were to eat it. (link removed)“The truth is, when you consume toxins in foods, such as pesticides in fruit and vegetables, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach often break them down and flush them out of your body,” Dr. Mercola said. “Food also passes through your and kidneys, so the toxins that make it through are detoxified to varying degrees by enzymes before they reach the remainder of your body.” But when toxins are absorbed through our skin, Dr. Mercola said, “they bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream and tissues — with absolutely no protection whatsoever.”If I am careful about every little thing my children ingest, why wouldn’t I take the same care with what I put on their skin?
Does Baby Wash Contain Toxic Ingredients?Although many conventional baby washes tout themselves on being “all-natural,” tear-free solutions, the ingredients list all kinds of substances I cannot even pronounce. Check out this list of some controversial ingredients you can find in the leading brands:
- PEG-80, which is potentially toxic to organs
- Sulfates, which can irritate skin, is potentially toxic to organs and could even lead to endocrine disruption or cancer
- tetrasodium EDTA, may cause some eye toxicity
- quaternium-15, may irritate skin allergies
- orange 4, may potentially be toxic to humans
Safer Alternatives for Baby SoapThankfully, there are several natural body care options available on the market today. I have used and really liked Burt’s Bees. My local Target also carries Earth Mama, California Baby and Yes to Carrots. I’ve also heard good things about Butt Naked Baby and CJ’s Carcass Cleaner.If you are new to Vitacost, and want some easy options if you aren’t into DIY, you can get $10 off your first order through my link (first time customers only).But my dilemma remained: If we were to afford to eat healthier, how would we be able to afford natural skincare products, too?So I decided to start making my own.
Homemade Baby Wash and Shampoo
I found variations of this recipe in different places on the internet, but I tweaked it to fit my liking. I also use a foaming soap dispenser because the consistency is really too thin if just using an old baby wash bottle. There are also many options available on Amazon. You might need to tweak this recipe depending on the skin type of your children, but here is what works for my family:Print
Mix ¼ cup of castile soap with ¾ cup of water. Mix in 8-10 drops essential oils. Pour everything in a foaming soap dispenser. That’s IT!
I use this soap to wash my daughters’ hair and body. I occasionally use it to wash myself too—but my hair needs a little more cleaning oomph. (Anyone have a suggestion to a good natural alternative? I’m still looking!)
Warning: Do not get this in your child’s eyes. It is NOT tear-free. I sometimes just use warm water to wash my girls’ faces anyway. I recently read that newborns really only need to be cleaned with water anyway (it’s not like they’re out rolling around in the mud!).
Keywords: soap recipe, baby soap, hand soap
Need a little help getting healthy food on the table every day? Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more! You remain totally in control: use your own recipes, accept theirs, and teach the system what your family likes…Check out how powerful it is here!*Katie popping in here: babies and children don’t really need the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil, and I’m more and more cautious with essential oils and babies and young children. If it’s not totally necessary, why bother? Read this post for more of my thoughts on EO and here’s some info about kid-safe essential oils. The soap will work just great without any essential oils.
Safer, Natural Soap for the Whole FamilyMy whole family is actually now using this formula as hand soap. I found a little tutorial for making a cute foaming hand soap dispenser out of a canning jar, and with my hubby’s help (I am SO not crafty), we made one for each bathroom and the kitchen. Overall? I feel like this formula gets my babies’ clean, my hands clean–AND best of all–it’s not antibacterial!
Further Reading on Babies and Safe Soap
- Natural Health Information Center
- “What are Sulfates” by Organic Skin Pro
- “Children’s Diseases Linked to Chemicals are on the Rise” by Dr. Mercola (link removed)
- “Shampoo and the Planet” by Green Living Tips