My family got an eye-awakening lesson in health last year. A dog in the neighborhood attacked youngest son and then he was further traumatized by mommy going to the hospital a couple months later for a scheduled pelvic reconstructive surgery. It was too much for a six-year-old to process and he plunged into obsessive compulsive behavior. He was afraid of everything – germs, going outside. It was ruining his life and ours. We tried everything we could think of to calm and reassure him. I then got information about essential oils and environmental toxins. I felt an optimism that things would get better. They really did.
The plan of action primarily included an evaluation of all things coming in contact with his skin. The reason: If it is on the skin, it goes in the skin and into the body. That is why I would only use Young Living essential oils. They are organic, therapeutic grade, and the only oils I would ever recommend. (You can never be sure of what you are getting with any other brand.) The main offenders in personal care products are sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), propylene glycol, and synthetic fragrances. SLS gives soap and shampoo its lather. It can be a mutagen that has been used in studies to change the genetic material in cells.
Propylene glycol is the main ingredient in Prestone antifreeze. When put into products, it keeps them from drying out, but what does it do in our bloodstream and cells? It has been implicated in organ damage, liver abnormalities, and disruption of the central nervous system, but its use was grandfathered in by the FDA in 1938 for use in personal care items. Also, there are over 800 neurotoxic chemicals used by the cosmetic and perfume industry. So when “fragrance” is listed in the ingredients, you are getting an unknown combination of at least some of these.
Needless to say, I threw out bagfuls of stuff and then went on a search for nontoxic substitutes. They were very hard to find. I approached the “organic” section of the supermarket with reverence, but was sorely disappointed. I decided at that point that, being the resourceful person I am, I could perhaps make my own soaps and shampoo. Didn’t people make their own for centuries?
After many hours of research and weeks of experimentation, I discovered a wonderful soap. It is simple and pure and can even be used as a lotion. Rub the bar with wet hands and then rub your hands wherever your skin is dry. The soap can also be used as shampoo.
Real soap is made by combining a base (sodium hydrochloride, “lye”) and an acid (vegetable oil or animal fats). When done properly through a process called saponification, no lye is present in the final bar of soap. All real soaps sold commercially are made in this way, however, most soap sold today is really detergent from petrochemicals. Glycerin is a natural by-product of saponification, but is usually removed and sold separately. Propylene glycol is cheaper. Lather is naturally occurring in real soap, so no need for SLS.
The scents in my soaps are from therapeutic grade essential oils (Young Living) which means they are the highest grade available and provide comfort to the skin while smelling great. So, you get clean and have the reassurance of knowing you have avoided harmful toxins. Oh, by the way, my son is doing fantastic – no more OCD!