Best All Natural Hand Soaps – Eco-Friendly, Toxin-Free Soaps You’ll Love!

Hand Washing
December 19, 2018 Connor Morgan 22 Comments

The simple process of hand washing is something that could easily be overlooked in our daily routine. It’s become so second nature that most of us probably don’t even notice how often we do it, what soap we use, or how it leaves our hands feeling afterward. I mean, honestly, have you ever stopped to consider just how many times you wash your hands daily?

Let’s assume you wash your hands at least 10 times per day (likely more). That adds up to 3640 times a year! If you’re washing for 30 seconds each time you’re looking at spending over 30 hours washing your hands. That’s an awful lot of time spent and a lot of soap exposure to your skin. Of course, this is time well spent, but for many of us, this comes at the cost of having dry/irritated skin. Ever consider the cost it’s having on the environment as well? 30 hours of washing is a LOT of suds down the drain.

One simple way to step up your hand washing game and decrease your environmental impact is to use all-natural, eco-friendly hand soap. Fortunately, there are many wonderful options ranging from bars to liquids and even natural soap powders. Today we’re going to dig a little deeper into the impacts of our hand washing and share some of our favorite soaps with you. We hope by the end of the article you’ll feel much more informed and equipped to find the best all-natural hand soap for YOU!


Wash.Rinse.Repeat.

According to the Clean Living Institute’s National Clean Hands Report Card Survey, 50% of those surveyed wash their hands 10 or more times a day, while an additional 38% wash 5-10 times daily. If you happen to fall into the 10 or more washes per day category, congratulations! You are doing it right! Studies suggest that most of us should be washing our hands at least 10 times a day, for 30 seconds per wash. It has been shown to dramatically reduce the spread of cold and flu viruses as well as lower the risk of food contamination.

Unfortunately some years ago this simple process became saturated with the emergence of “antibacterial” soaps, which can have harsh effects on your skin as well as the environment.  According to the CDC, these antibacterial soaps are no more effective for killing disease-causing germs than regular soap and water. In fact, they often kill some of the healthy bacteria that are beneficial for your skin health. While washing your hands is certainly not an inherently BAD thing, the soaps we use can definitely have negative impacts on our health and the environment.


Why use Natural Soap?

Toxins:

Many commercial hand soaps contain synthetic chemical ingredients that can really do a number on your hands and beyond. Most of these soaps utilize cleaning agents that strip away natural oils and cause irritation, dryness, and even chapped or cracked hands. In addition to topical skin irritation, health effects have also been found internally as our skin pores absorb toxins directly into our bloodstream.

Let’s take a look at some of the common harmful chemicals used in commercial hand soaps:

  • 1,4 Dioxane
  • SLS/SLES
  • Triclosan
  • Parabens
  • Ureas
  • Synthetic Colors
  • DEA
  • Pthalates (Synthetic Fragrances)

I HIGHLY encourage you to empower and protect yourself by checking the ingredients used in your cleaning products. Luckily there are many reliable resources available for free online including:

  • EWG’s Skin Deep Database – A database collection of products and ingredients commonly used in a wide range of cosmetics, cleaners, and personal care products.
  • Alkalize for Health – A toxic cosmetics ingredient directory, many of these ingredients are used not only in cosmetics but a variety of household products.
  • There is also a really handy list put together by the Lion Bear Naked Soap Company detailing ingredients to avoid. You can easily refer to this list or print it and take it with you when purchasing household products to be sure they are free of many harmful chemicals: Unacceptable Ingredients List

Environmental Impact:

Many synthetic surfactants, foaming agents, and preservatives have a range of nasty effects on the ecosystem. Drain water can leech into the waterways through improper disposal and even through sewer systems. Many sewage treatment plants don’t entirely remove these chemicals from the water before it is released back into nature. Ultimately, this leads to aqua toxicity build up in rivers, lakes, and oceans (which are already suffering from a myriad of human waste products such as plastic and pesticides). Chemicals drained into the soil can lead to problems with erosion and soil toxicity as well as pose a hazard to wildlife dependent on healthy soil.


Natural Benefits:

Using natural soap, in addition to reducing toxicity risks to yourself and the environment, comes with many benefits! High-quality natural soaps contain nourishing natural oils for both scent and moisturizing qualities. This leaves your hands soft and moisturized instead of stripping them of their natural oils. Often these oils have natural antimicrobial properties as well. Many natural soaps also include mineral salts which can soften the skin and provide it with needed minerals. Soaps scented with pure essential oils also offer aromatherapeutic benefits. For example, peppermint/eucalyptus oil can help to open up your sinuses while the aroma from lavender oil is known to have relaxing and calming properties.


Soap Making 101

Soap Making

Soap Making 101

One of the most important ways of determining the quality of the soap you are purchasing it to understand some of the basics of the soap making process. In addition to the ingredients themselves, the process used in soap making can be a huge factor in determining the quality of the soap. Particularly the saponification process as well as the specific ingredients used are the best measures of a soap’s quality. So let’s have a closer look at this age-old process:

Saponification is the process by which oils and fatty acids are converted into soap. This involves mixing liquid oils (such as olive oil or castor oil) and solid oils (such as coconut oil and palm oil) with lye (sodium hydroxide). Look for soaps that feature “Cold-process” as this method of saponification ensures that the soap retains it very beneficial glycerin.

The “Cold-process” for saponification involves melting the solid oils and bringing the lye and other oils to a gentle heat of 100 degrees. Then, the lye is slowly mixed with the oils and whisked continuously. As the ingredients are stirred they begin to interact with one another and change their structure on a molecular level. The triglycerides that make up the vegetable oils are broken into two base parts – fatty acids and glycerol. The lye is also broken into two parts – sodium ions and hydrogen ions. The fatty acids from the vegetable oils and the sodium ions from the lye combine to create soap, while the glycerol from the vegetable oils and the hydrogen ions from the lye combine to create glycerin.

The glycerin created offers many benefits such as nourishing and moisturizing your skin. However, glycerin is often separated and extracted from mass-produced soaps and sold to be used in other cosmetics leaving only the cleanser behind. Soap that has been stripped of glycerin can often dry your hands out, leading to cracking and irritation. Companies that remove glycerin to be used in other cosmetics will then often add synthetic chemicals to take the place of glycerin. This can lead to exposure to toxins and cause allergic reactions.

All-natural, cold-processed soaps are the best for your hand health because they aren’t cut with any synthetic chemicals and they retain a high glycerin content to leave your skin nourished even after many washes.


Soap Picking 101

Despite the numerous synthetic soaps lining the shelves of most commercial shopping outlets, there are also MANY wonderful natural soaps available. When it comes to choosing which soap is right for you, here are a few important factors to consider:

Cost:

How expensive is the soap? How much soap do you get for the given cost?

Ingredients:

Does the soap contain any potentially toxic or harmful ingredients? Does it contain any particularly beneficial ingredients?

*In this article we have identified any POTENTIALLY harmful ingredients such as SLS or preservatives with an asterisk*

Quality:

How effective is this soap for cleaning your hands? How concentrated is it (how much do you need to use for it to be effective)? Does it have a pleasant fragrance or have any skin benefits from added ingredients? Does it leave your hands feeling soft? Does it cut grease? Is it vegan? Biodegradable? Greywater Safe?

Packaging & Sourcing:

What types of materials are used in the soap’s packaging? Is it produced responsibly? What is the environmental impact of its sourcing, shipping, and packaging? Where and how is it manufactured?

Sustainability:

Does the producer have any sustainability certification, initiatives or programs? Is it manufactured using renewable resources?


Soap Bars

Soap Bars

There are many all-natural soap bars on the market, but it is always best to check the ingredients and manufacturing process to be sure “Natural” actually means “Natural.” Natural bar soaps work very well for both hands and body so keep one by the sink and one in the shower. Here are a few of our go-to bar soaps that are truly natural, smell wonderful, and leave your skin feeling moisturized and soft.

Honest® Company – Bar Soap – Juniper Sage

Cost:

  • $ 4.95 ( 5 oz)  when purchased directly from The Honest Company.

Ingredients:

Quality:

  • Cold Processed (glycerin retained)
  • Triple-milled (milling is a process by which saponified soap is run through steel rollers to help the soap become smoother, harder, and last longer).
  • Many natural skin nourishing moisturizing oils including shea butter, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, argan oil, apricot oil, and jojoba oil.
  • Organic essential oil scents with aromatherapeutic properties such as lavender, juniper, sage, and vanilla oils.
  • Includes some organic ingredients (though not all).
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Vegan
  • pH Balanced
  • Works well for both hand and body soap.

Packaging & Sourcing:

  • Made in the USA
  • Packaging standards include the elimination of certain toxic plastics, maximizing package recyclability and the use of recycled materials.
  • Not tested on animals and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
  • Label Transparency

Sustainability:

  • Uses palm oil with RSPO (Roundtable for sustainable palm oil) certification.
  • Certified EPA Safer Choice product
  • The Honest Standard includes maximizing sustainable production and manufacturing practices using renewable resources.

A Wild Soap Bar – Pine Tar Neem

Cost: 

  • $7.99 per 3.5 oz bar

OR

Ingredients:

  • cold processed (glycerin retained)
  • premium saponified vegetable oils (organic extra virgin olive, organic coconut, sustainable organic palm, organic virgin neem, organic sunflower)
  • creosote-free pine tar
  • organic gluten-free oat flour
  • essential oils (tea tree, pine, cedarwood)
  • organic aloe vera juice concentrate
  • sea salt
  • No potentially harmful or toxic ingredients

Quality:

  • Many natural skin nourishing and moisturizing ingredients including olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, neem oil, sunflower oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera juice, and sea salt.
  • Tea Tree enriched to naturally aid with dry skin, eczema, irritation, and rashes.
  • Powerful smoky fresh pine tar, pine, and cedarwood fragrance derived from natural essential oils and creosote-free pine tar.
  • Biodegradable
  • Uses 100% Certified organic vegetable oils.
  • Works well as both hand and body soap.

Packaging & Sourcing:

  • Made in the USA
  • Recyclable Packaging using minimal packing material.
  • Not tested on animals and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
  • Label Transparency

Sustainability:


Dr. Bronners – Lavender Castile Soap

Cost: 

Ingredients:

  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Palm Oil
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Water
  • Organic Olive Oil
  • Lavandin Extract
  • Organic Hemp Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Lavender Extract
  • Sea Salt
  • Citric Acid
  • Tocopherol
  • No potentially harmful or toxic ingredients

Quality:

  • Glycerin retained after saponification
  • USDA Organic Certified Ingredients
  • Many natural skin nourishing and moisturizing ingredients including olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil, and sea salt.
  • Soothing lavender fragrance derived from all-natural essential oils.
  • Biodegradable
  • Vegan
  • Works well as both hand and body soap.

Packaging & Sourcing:

  • Made in the USA
  • Not tested on animals and contains no animal-derived ingredients (Leaping Bunny and Vegan Action certified).
  • Uses exclusively post-consumer recycled (PCR) polyethylene (PET) bottles and incorporate a variety of packaging innovations.
  • Label Transparency
  • Fair For Life Certified
  • Non-Gmo Product Verified

Sustainability:


Liquid Soap

Liquid Soap

If bar soaps just aren’t your jam, many liquid soap options are all-natural and work wonders on your hand hygiene. Toxin-free liquid soap can be a little more difficult to find due to the viscosity, many brands contain SLS or SLES. Liquid Castile soap is one of the more common types of natural, effective liquid soap that is widely available. It also usually highly concentrated so can be diluted and used for a wide variety of cleaning tasks. Another added benefit of liquid soap is that you could use a refillable bottle and take it with you to keep your hands happy all day. Have a look at some of the liquids we love:

Dr. Bronners – Eucalyptus Castile Soap

Cost: 

  • $ 57.59 ( 1 gal )  when purchased on Amazon.

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Organic Palm Kernel Oil
  • Organic Olive Oil
  • Organic Eucalyptus Oil
  • Organic Hemp Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Citric Acid
  • Tocopherol
  • No potentially harmful or toxic ingredients

Quality:

  • Glycerin retained after saponification
  • USDA Organic Certified Ingredients
  • Many natural skin nourishing and moisturizing ingredients including olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil, and sea salt.
  • Warm, earthy and uplifting eucalyptus fragrance derived from all-natural essential oils.
  • Biodegradable
  • Vegan
  • Ultra Concentrated (must dilute)
  • Multipurpose cleaner, offering 18 suggested uses ranging from hand, body, and hair cleaning to mopping liquid, dishwashing liquid, and laundry washing liquid. See Dr. Bronner’s Dilutions Cheat Sheet for suggested uses and dilution ratios.

Packaging & Sourcing:

  • Made in the USA
  • Not tested on animals and contains no animal-derived ingredients (Leaping Bunny and Vegan Action certified).
  • Uses exclusively post-consumer recycled (PCR) polyethylene (PET) bottles and incorporate a variety of packaging innovations.
  • Label Transparency
  • Fair For Life Certified
  • Non-Gmo Product Verified

Sustainability:


Lion Bear Naked Soap Co – Sunflower Castile Soap- Tea-Tree 

Cost: 

Ingredients:

  • Saponified Helianthus annuus oil (Non-GMO Sunflower Seed)
  • Elaeis Guineensis oil (Organic Palm Kernel }
  • Naturally forming vegetable glycerin
  • Reverse osmosis purified water
  • Melaleuca alternifolia oil (Organic Tea Tree)
  • Citrus limonum oil (Lemon)
  • No potentially harmful or toxic ingredients

Quality:

  • Glycerin retained after saponification
  • Many natural skin nourishing and moisturizing ingredients including sunflower seed oil,  palm kernel oil, and tea tree oil.
  • Tea Tree enriched to naturally aid with dry skin, eczema, irritation, and rashes.
  • Bright, uplifting citrus and tea tree scent derived from natural essential oils.
  • Vegan
  • Nut Oil Free
  • Grey Water safe
  • Made with organic and natural ingredients.
  • Ultra Concentrated (must dilute)
  • Multipurpose cleaner, offering many suggested uses ranging from hand, body, and hair cleaning to mopping liquid, veggie wash, and carpet cleaner. See Lion Bear Naked Co. Website for suggested uses and dilution ratios.

Packaging & Sourcing:

  • Zero-Waste manufacturing in Denton, Texas, U.S.A.
  • Source their main oils from Run Sunflower Farm in Minnesota.
  • Ingredients are USDA Organic, VEGECERT, and Non-GMO certified.
  • HDPE recyclable packaging. Pouch designed to lay flat in case it ends up in a landfill.
  • Not tested on animals and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
  • Label Transparency
  • Maintain strict Unacceptable Ingredients policy.

Sustainability:

  • Pursuing implementation of 100% compostable bottles.
  • Supports local agriculture.
  • Sustainable Zero Waste facility

Soap Powder

Soap Powders

Personally, I really enjoy powder soaps. Usually, they offer a little extra exfoliation and are great for really dirty hands ~ ever checked your hands after changing your engine oil?? I also love that the containers can be repurposed afterward and the soap powder can be used in a variety of other DIY cleaner recipes. Here’s one of our favorites:

Gaia Natural Cleaners Castile Powder – Lemongrass

Cost: 

  • $10.00 (6.4 oz ) when purchased on Amazon.

Ingredients:

  • Sodium Cocoate ( from coconut oil )
  • Glycerin
  • Water
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil)
  • No potentially harmful or toxic ingredients

Quality:

  • Glycerin retained after saponification
  • Coconut oil and glycerin moisturize and sooth skin
  • Pleasant, uplifting lemongrass fragrance derived from natural essential oil.
  • Lemongrass oil is known to have antifungal, antiseptic, and insecticidal properties.
  • Vegan

Packaging & Sourcing:

  • Recyclable Packaging
  • Contains no animal-derived ingredients.
  • Label Transparency

Sustainability:

  • No data indicating sustainable manufacturing practices or certifications. Will update in the future as more information becomes available.

Go Get Soapy!

I believe that each one of us is responsible for deciding what’s in our own best interest, especially where health and personal care are concerned. I encourage you to try an all-natural hand soap and see if it works for you. The suggestions we have given are just a few of the more widely available brands of soap that you will likely be able to have delivered right to your home. Better yet, take the time to visit a local health store or Co-Op that carries all-natural soaps. It can be so rewarding to support a small business in your community and you will have the added benefit of cutting down on shipping emissions and waste. Many places offer samples to try as well. Have fun with it and you’ll be surprised how much joy you can add to your daily routine with this simple lifestyle switch.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative in your quest to find the best natural products. If you would like to know more about all-natural hand soap or share your experiences please leave us a comment below. We’re so happy to hear from you and work together to share information about all things GREEN!

Connor Morgan

Founder – Green Roots Lifestyle

22 People reacted on this

  1. I love this blog! I have always been a huge fan of handmade soaps (that’s what my country calls them haha). Locally available options are very limited here as well so I started making my own, following recipes on the internet. I looked at the ingredients and the thought of making the same soap bars came across my mind, but I checked again – the price is a steal! I’m not sure I can get all the ingredients I need to make a bar for less than $5, and it’s gonna save me some time as well having them ordered. Thanks so much for the article. Cheers!

    1. Very happy to hear that Laureen! Kudos for looking into both the DIY option and the options available to purchase. We are also fans of handmade soaps as you pointed out local options can be very limited. Stay tuned for future articles with DIY hand soap recipes, you’ll be surprised how cost effective (and FUN) it can be once you get a few base ingredients. For now, I hope you enjoy trying some of the natural soaps we’ve listed. Your skin and the planet will both be grateful 🙂 

      Cheers,

      Connor

  2. Hi, Connor.
    Thanks for an excellent article on Eco friendly – natural hand soaps. It was very educative.

    You have specified six variations of Natural soaps, Including Soap Powder and Soap Liquid,
    I think the first choice would be Honest Company’d bar soap named Juniper Sage. It contains much of the oils, cold processed and triple milled. Apart from hand wash, I would like to use it as bath soap also. 

    Thanks once again for detailed information.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    1. Thanks Gaurav, I’m glad you found the article educational. I agree, the Honest Company soap bar is also my first choice although all of the soaps listed are really great for both hands and body wash. Hope you enjoy your eco friendly products in the future!

      Best wishes,

      Connor

  3. Go natural while combacting skin threatening bacteria! That’s what this review is passing.  Synthetic soap are bringing more harms than good this days. That’s why we need to go natural. All the ingredients these different natural soap contain have their different roles they do on the skin. Apart from fighting against deadly bacteria, they can moisturise and keep the skin firm. That’s the beauty. This review is able to provide the best way of producing natural body loving soap. This will be of great help.

    1. Thanks Stella, I hope you are able to try some of the soaps we’ve shared or even try making your own! 

      Best wishes,

      Connor

  4. Hi Connor 🙂

    This is the first time I’ve seen more soap in my life. I didn’t know about the antibacterial soap problems but then again, that would explain why my skin sometimes became dry when using it (is that one of the effects? I could be wrong). The Honest Company is actually the only all-natural soap company stated by you that I’m familiar with and have used before. I got a soap (forgot which one though) for Christmas from one of my relatives saying I should try it. Did wonders for my hands! Never been smoother but due to my budget as a poor college student, I couldn’t buy it anymore and had to save the money for basic necessities. A shame I couldn’t think of considering the rest of the soaps as the pictures didn’t load for me to see directly…maybe it’s a problem on my part but yeah.

    1. Hi Ann,

      Thanks so much for the feedback! I am happy to hear your experience with all-natural soap in the past was a good one. You’re definitely right that some of the higher quality soaps can cost a bit more but I think you’ll be surprised at the true cost breakdown after use. If you find a cold process bar that’s been triple-milled for example or a highly concentrated castile soap, you actually use considerably less soap per unit and may have a similar overall soap cost to the synthetic soaps. 

      Of course, your budget and your costs are your business though and I hope you find whatever works best for you! I haven’t included images with every soap but there should be at least links to each soap company or retailer for each soap. Thanks for pointing that out, I’ll have a look to be sure all of the items have functioning links 🙂 

      Best wishes,

      Connor

  5. Well thanks for your article here. This is also a reminder for me, because I sometimes neglect washing my hand with soap, especially after work. I love the idea of using eco friendly hand soap. I think I remember seeing Dr. Bronners soap in a local store. It has a nice smell and I love the fact that it’s a vegan friendly soap too. I will check other soap you’ve recommended above and told my nature activist friends too. 

    1. Hi Alblue,

      Yes, you probably have seen Dr. Bronner’s soap. It is one of the most widely accessible all-natural brands and it works SO well for a wide variety of cleaning tasks (not just your hands). I particularly enjoy their Lavender as well as their Peppermint scents, all made with pure essential oils! Thanks for spreading the word, I hope you enjoy trying a new all-natural soap.

      Take care,

      Connor  

  6. I am certainly one of the 50% that wash my hands more than 10 times a day. I am a stickler for clean hands, and especially as a home cake decorator, this form of hygiene is a top priority.

    I have to agree with you, the soap I use is quite harsh on my skin, and often leaves my hands looking old and haggard, which I try to solve with lathering more hand cream on. I am not a fan of using hand cream, as I always had the belief that more dirt is attracted to my hands with the residue of wet oily hand cream.

    Your post is great information, because now I can see clearly, why my hands dry out every time I use my normal soap. I never new how many toxic ingredients are used to make a bar of shop soaps. The thought makes me shudder, at what I have been using on my skin. I am sure those toxins will have adverse impact on my health later, if I keep using them.

    Right! you have sold me. The juniper sage soap bar from the Honest company looks very appealing. I can almost feel the soothing foam of those lovely natural ingredients that you have listed, in your post. Who can say no, to shea butter and coconut oil or jojoba.

    The Pine Tar neem is also just as impressive. Actually, I think I will go and visit your links for further information. Thank you so much, for providing me with such a helpful solution, to my dry and wrinkled hands.

    1. Hi Ilaisaane,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment! I am so happy to hear you found the post helpful and informative. I truly hope you (and your poor hands!) enjoy trying one of the natural soap bars! Both the Juniper Sage and the Pine Tar Neem are wonderful options. You’re right, It’s pretty amazing how most of us just assume household products are safe because they are sold in a supermarket. There are so many items have been recalled/banned over time due to research about toxicity. Many of the toxic ingredients used in cleaning products have yet to be fully studied and researched for long term impacts on health, let alone environmental impact. I hope you enjoy perusing through the various natural soaps that are available and would love to hear from you in the future if you try one of the soaps we recommend. 

      All the best,

      Connor

  7. Thank you for your article. My 4 girls have sensitive skin when it comes to chemicals. They break out in blotches and the one actually gets blisters from using chemicals.

    It seems like no one understands the heartache that a parent goes through trying to find a soap or detergent that they can use for their children so that their skin does not blister, hurt or itch.

    Thank you for bringing this to peoples attention. Maybe people will realize what they are using and change to something that is healthy for your skin and for your family.

    1. Hi LeeAnn,

      So sorry that your girls have such severe skin irritation challenges. I can totally relate, my fiance has pretty severe eczema and it’s so itchy and painful when it’s not cared for. It can be quite challenging finding personal care products that aren’t irritating on the skin, which is one of the reasons we started our blog. We really want to share what’s worked for us in hopes that others (and the environment) can benefit. For my fiance, changing to all-natural soap has helped immensely. The other scary part is that the long term effects of many synthetic chemicals have yet to be fully understood so even if immediate skin irritation isn’t happening, there could be organ toxicity still occurring. So happy you found our article and I hope you and your girls are able to benefit from using all-natural products.

      Many thanks for sharing your experience!

      Connor

  8. I never would have thought about hand washing having an impact o the environment. But it’s true, I do it constantly throughout the day.

    What’s the difference between an anti-bacterial soap and normal soap? I thought all soaps were anti-bacterial.

    I’m glad there are liquid soaps that are natural. I have the castile soap already. I just wish I didn’t have to dilute it. I don’t have proper preservatives so it goes bad if not used right away.

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thanks so much for your comment and question. It really is amazing how easily we go through our daily routines without considering the health/environmental impact. I think that’s one of the aspects that make “awareness” one of the most important goals when discussing being eco-friendly. Most of the time people simply aren’t aware of the damage they may be causing (or how great and beneficial some natural products really are). 

      In terms of the difference between anti-bacterial soap and normal soap, the main distinction is that anti-bacterial soap contains added “active antimicrobial” ingredients not naturally occurring in soap (such as triclosan, alcohol, and benzalkonium chloride). These added ingredients can be useful in certain situations such as hospitals or veterinary clinics where people with lowered immune systems may be exposed to higher levels of certain bacterias. However, according to the CDC these soaps are no more effective than regular soap for killing disease-causing germs. So you are right, actually, all regular soaps have some natural anti-bacterial properties and especially soaps made with certain oils (such as olive and coconut) have some additional antiseptic qualities. 

      Regarding your liquid castile soap, the concentration can definitely be a good thing but it can also be a challenge if you have too much of it! You could consider using it in a wider variety of cleaning tasks or splitting a bottle with a friend to increase your usage before expiration. 

      Thanks again for your thoughtful contribution, best wishes! 

      ~ Connor

  9. I like how your article is packed with information that we can really incorporate in our daily lives. I understand that there are really harmful chemicals on soap so thank you giving us lists of ingredients to watch out for and websites that we can visit to get more info.  

    It’s just disheartening that we are destroying the environment. Be it with all innocence or neglect, people should change their ways. I never knew that aqua toxicity may build up merely because of the synthetic soaps we are using everyday. If you take it by heart, then ýou’ll know the danger you are imposing  in the ecosystem.   

    Making your own soap is a good solution especially for those who are EO enthusiast. We can make use of all the EOs we bought for aromatherapy. But for those who don’t have time, we can still work it out by buying natural and organic products. Consumers should be wise, let those manufacturers adjust and give us what we really need. Buyers can do this by only supporting natural products that is safe and healthy for us and the environment. 

    1. Thanks for your comment MissusB,

      I am so glad you found the article informative and a good resource. I definitely agree that many of us just aren’t aware of the environmental impact of the products we use because we are just so routine about it. Once something is down the drain or in the garbage it’s often completely forgotten about. Unfortunately, in many situations the chemicals we discard simply end up going back into the ecosystem in a harmful way. Although it can be disheartening, I see now more than ever as a time for all of us to step up and change our ways to leave a healthier planet and way of life for the next generations to come.

      I really appreciate your mentioning of essential oils as well!  I would just add that it’s important to be sure that you are using pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils that are sustainably sourced for your DIY projects. Yet again, many EO manufacturers are doing damage to the ecosystem by overharvesting, creating high levels of emissions, or using single-use packaging. Many EOs are also cut with various synthetic fragrances, especially those marketed as just aroma oils. These can actually be harmful to use on your skin so it’s good to be sure of the exact oils you are using, what’s in them, and where/how they are sourced 🙂 

      Otherwise, it may be a much more viable option to try some already made natural soaps first to see how you like them and then pursue trying to make you own! I hope you enjoy trying some natural products yourself and do let us know if you or your friends try making soap, we’d love to hear about it! 

      All the best,

      Connor

  10. Apart from the amazing read, and insight into the production of soap, i got an enormous amount from your article. The one thing that didn’t shock me was the potential amount of toxins in mass produced soaps.

    i think that i must have OCD or something because I found the average number of hand washes very low, i must wash and rinse my hands about 50 times a day. LOL

    The current action on the use of plastics at the moment must surely have an effect on the market, and how people facilitate their washing. the only problems with this are obviously costs P&G and co, are producing effective cleansers at a very cheap cost to the consumer, where as natural products are understandably more costly, the difference at the moment though is massive and needs to be addressed.

    Thed image is also tainted by some companies that advertise all natural products and then package them in plastic, these companies really do need to up their game.

    1. Hi Adrian, 

      Thanks so much for the comment. Yes, the economic climate that drives many consumers to use toxin-filled products is definitely a big hurdle. I, along with many others, often find it difficult to justify spending more money on an all-natural product when there are so many cheap alternatives. Hopefully, as people begin to see the effects of their health and the environment, they will HAVE to adjust their habits and buy more natural products, allowing the economy to shift. 

      The way I look at it is if you don’t have your health, what do you have? Many natural products are quite affordable (some soap bars for just $4-5) and often last longer. The cost of health care in the US is through the roof and I see taking care to avoid toxins as a way to be proactive and hopefully cut my medical costs long term. Let’s hope that in the future there will be more natural products with a higher demand that can drive the costs down so they are accessible to everyone! 

      You also make a good point about the way many commercial companies utilize branding and marketing to make their products appear safe and natural, only leading to confusion for the consumers. This is another issue that can really only be addressed by consumer education. I hope Green Roots Lifestyle can be a resource to empower us all as consumers to better understand the products we use and make educated choices based on what’s best for our health and the planet.

      Thanks so much and best of luck in your pursuit of using natural products!

      ~ Connor

  11. I have been interested in soap making lately. I have the bug of DIYs and I saw that making natural soap was not that hard. But I do not think it really my cup of tea, because, I hate chemistry. That is why I landed in your blog. If I can’t make it at least I need to know how to find them and how to pick the best ones. And I have got my answers from your awesome blog post. I need to try a soap bar and a liquid soap. I will go for the Eucalyptus Castile Soap and A Wild Soap Bar, Pine Tar Neem.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. I’m so happy to hear you are interested in trying all-natural soap (DIY or otherwise)! You’re right, the process of soap making is definitely simple in theory but often takes some time, practice, and yes, chemistry, to yield a high-quality soap. It’s definitely worth pursuing and can be really rewarding once you have the process dialed in.

       In the meantime, I am so happy that you have found some soaps to try without the hassle of making them yourself. I think you’re going to be very pleased with both Dr. Bronners and AWSB Pine Tar Neem. You’ll also find that the castile soap has SO many different applications and is highly concentrated so it quickly becomes a staple to have in your cleaning arsenal. Please keep an eye out for our more detailed soap making DIY posts in the future!

      Best wishes,

      Connor

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