Many of the personal care products sold in retail stores contain harsh chemicals that can damage the skin. Ingredients include detergent, dyes, preservatives, and synthetic fragrances. These aggressive substances can dry out the skin and cause allergic reactions, especially in people who are sensitive to certain chemicals.
Synthetic soaps contain detergents that remove the natural oils that protect the skin. Commercial soap makers eliminate glycerin, a by-product of the manufacturing process, because it shortens shelf life. Glycerin is a humectant and draws moisture to the surface. Organic soaps contain glycerin, which helps hydration and prevents dryness and flaking.
The animal oils used in the production of commercial products are highly saturated. They clog pores and interfere with the body’s natural detoxification process of excreting waste. Vegetable oils, including walnut, palm and olive oils, are lighter and allow the skin to breathe naturally. The higher the oil content in the recipe, the smoother the stick will be. If the oil content is too low, the stick is hard and brittle.
Commercially manufactured products use synthetic fragrances and chemical additives to add scent. Essential oils extracted from plants are water soluble and add fragrance without the use of synthetic ingredients. Certain oils have healing properties that provide additional benefits to users. Commonly used oils for this purpose are eucalyptus, rosemary, spearmint, and lavender.
Eucalyptus oil is a natural antiseptic that is helpful in healing wounds, burns, and cuts. It is also effective in relieving the symptoms of insect bites and stings. Some people use it to treat various skin infections.
Products that contain rosemary oil have a fresh, herbaceous aroma. They can relieve acne symptoms and are good for oily skin. Many natural hair care products contain this essential oil.
Like eucalyptus, spearmint oil has antiseptic properties. The constituents of menthol, caryophyllene and myrcene can help heal wounds. Spearmint is also an effective insecticide that repels ants, flies, moths, and mosquitoes. It pairs well with lavender, rosemary, and jasmine.
When added to skin care products, lavender soothes and accelerates the healing of rashes. It can help reduce inflammation and balance oil production. In some cases, it can prevent scars.
Consumers who want to avoid using products that contain chemical additives can use organic handmade soap as an alternative. These products will not irritate sensitive skin and can provide therapeutic benefits. Like commercial products, organic soaps are available in a wide variety of scents and colors.