Would you eat it?
I realize that this is a strange title for a blog post, but that's my question for you. Would you eat it? Would you eat any of your bath and beauty products?
So no, I would not eat this soap(nor would i recommend that you do either). There's a reason that our mothers/grandmothers/forgotten relations, etc..used to wash sassy youngsters' mouths out with soap. It tastes yucky. All those delicious scents that make it smell fruity or sweet- NOT DELICIOUS.
So why am I asking about consuming products? I guess I really could have asked, "Can you pronounce the ingredients on your packaging?" Or "Do you recognize the names of the things on your ingredient list?"
I'm not just asking to be combattive. Hear me out.
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Yup, a little biology lesson. Like your lungs, hearts and pancreas, your skin is considered an organ. If we were giving out awards, your skin would win "Most likely to quickly absorb anything." That's right. When you put things on your skin, it wants to absorb them.
So again, what are you putting on your skin? Would you eat it? Do you actually know what it is?
With the obvious exception of lye(sodium hydroxide), all the ingredients I use are edible on their own. In fact, I use coconut oil quite often to grease pans and in yummy things like cinnamon rolls or chocolate cake.
Palm oil is most often used in pastries or frying- which I don't do much right now as it's summer and we don't have air conditioning. It is only 50 % saturated, which makes it better on your arteries than the next one.
Palm kernel oil or flakes are similar to coconut oil and palm oil chemically speaking. While it is used in bath products or for home remedies, it is frequently used in things like ice cream and chocolate! So yes, you've probably eaten some before. And on a fun note, it contains no trans-fat and is high in vitamin A. So it can be considered the best oil for frying.
Olive oil is used in everything! Salad dressing, marinades, cooking, baking, I even use it as a hot oil treatment for my hair.
Sunflower oil is also common. It can add a nutty flavor to vinaigrettes and marinades or be used in its refined form for high heat cooking. As a beauty treatment it is non-comedogenic and highly absorbent.
Castor oil is lesser known, but has been in use for centuries. When consumed, it is most commonly used as a digestive aid or laxative. Anyone remember the original Mary Poppins? Jane and Michael Banks sing about it. It would have been taken in small doses. Because it's a rather unique oil, it has been used in cosmetics, soaps and just directly on the skin as far back as the Ancient Egyptians.
Rice bran oil is an up and coming oil for culinary use in the United States- even though it's been used for centuries in Japan. It is considered a heart friendly oil as it does not contain trans fats but does contain an antioxidant that is thought to lower cholesterol. Most frequently, it is used in dressings for salads. Because of its antioxidants, it makes a great hair and face treatment as well.
You'll notice that avocado and sweet almond oil also pop up as ingredients in my soaps from time to time. They are very similar to olive oil, both in culinary uses as well as beauty treatments. They are both trans fat free and high in vitamin E. In addition, avocado oil is great for high heat cooking as well as being high in vitamin A and two B vitamins(riboflavin and thiamin)
Raw goats milk. Yup, we drink that. Lots of it. ALL THE TIME.
Canola oil, most commonly used in baking sprays or in cakes.
And now Lard. While you don't see it on my current ingredient list, it will be in some soaps I have coming soon. It is, very simply, pig fat. And yes, the lard I use is from our very own free-range pigs. I know what you're thinking, "Seriously, how can that be good for you?" Well, when coming from a pastured/free-range source, lard is a great source of vitamins. So all the vitamin D the pig picks up from the sun as well as minerals and vitamins in their feed as well as the earth they root around in- all of those things are present in their fat. So home-rendered lard(or from a reputable source) can be good for you. And basically, it's GREAT for your skin. Pig fat mimics your own human fat so well that it is ideal for cleansing your skin. Have you ever heard of the idea that "Like dissolves like?" It basically means that using a similar substance(in this case, lard) to help dissolve something(in this case oil removal on a human's skin) will work the best. Look it up!
And as a side note, have you ever had a really delectable pie from a local bakery? Most likely, it contains lard. It is a hidden ingredient that makes THE flakiest pie crust. I have a recipe if you're interest:)
Now on to the colorants and fragrances. I use mica to color the soaps as they seem to "stick" better in goats milk soap as well as give me a truer color. While mica is edible(think edible glitter on baked goods), it's not recommended in large quantities. The same is true with the other oxides I use. They are found in food storage containers and sometimes food products themselves.
Do you wear lipstick? The oxide colorants and micas I use are often used for those products and are considered safe. I mean really, unless you’re chomping down, you’re not really consuming your lipstick, right?!
On to fragrance. Anybody else buy lip gloss because of its flavor? There are lots of lip safe fragrances out there; I happen to use a lot of them. Again, we’re not talking about drinking them down like your morning coffee, but the amounts used in products near your mouth are A-okay.
And while most professionals agree that consuming essential oils is bad, there are some doctors that recommend them like medicine(again, emphasis in small quantities). Still consumable though.
That’s my ingredient list. I won’t ask you to look at your own products, but I’m sure you can imagine what they say;)
So to sum up... Would you eat it?
And please remember, I'm not a doctor nor am I giving health-care or nutritional advice. But one thing I will advise; please DON'T EAT SOAP!