There are a lot of great brands out there. Just make sure to look for these ingredients:
1. Harakeke:uses the gel of the Harakeke plant for its skin soothing and hydrating properties. It also makes a pure and natural alternative to petrochemically derived synthetic gels.2. Kelp: In skin care, kelp’s mild antiseptic properties cleanse and purify, while the silica found in the kelp helps build and maintain strong, healthy hair.3. Kumerahou:The antimicrobial saponins act as natural defenders for skin and hair. For example, Kumerahou can naturally fight against the fungi associated with dandruff.4. Honey: Honey has been used as a beauty and skin aid for centuries. Rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients, antimicrobial, Honey is one of the most biologically active and beneficial honeys found in nature and is known to fight infections and stimulate the immune system.Not only does it encourage healing, this powerhouse ingredient acts as a humectant, drawing moisture into the skin while providing valuable nutrients to help cells metabolize. It also promotes quick tissue repair to fix past damage, while the lactic acid found in the honey smoothes away dead skin cells.5. Oil: help combat irritations and infections cause by everyday micro-organisms, such as the ones that cause acne.the Maori to heal a variety of problems including burns, fevers, colds and skin disorders, Oil has long been prized for its potent healing properties.6. Totarol: Totarol is used in Living Nature products to help repair and combat environmental damage by fighting free radicals and protecting against oxidative stress.7. Halloysite Clay: This clay is renowned for deeply, yet gently, absorbing toxins and impurities from the skin. These remarkable properties are especially useful in banishing excess oil, clearing blackheads and gently exfoliating to aid and nurture oily and acne-prone skin.8. Calendula: It is used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herb for its gentle ability to soothe and calm irritated skin.
There are many eco-friendly soaps that can be found at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. For dish soap, Seventh Generation is a reputable company that makes great products. Seventh Generation soap comes in both liquid and detergent. For hand soap, many are organic brands. Dr. Bronner, Nature’s Gate, Avalon Organic, and NatureOil are just a few of the many eco-friendly / organic soaps on the market.
The bottom link will direct you to a website that sells eco-friendly products (soap being one of them) and will lease an acre of rainforest in Guyana for every purchase made from the company.
If you’re a bit more hand on, you could always make your own. Most soap is made with animal fat and a base, usually lye. Lye is a form of sodium hydroxide. This ingredient is used in every recipe I found for “natural” soap; the oils need a base to bond with for the soap to form. If you are OK using those ingredients, this recipe looks great, from soaprecipes101.com:
1 & 1/2 c. clean rendered tallow1 c. cucumber pulp or fine chopped lettuce1/2 c. vegetable oil3/4 c. cold soft water1/4 c. lye flake3s1/2 tsp. wheat germ oil or vitamin E oil (external use)2 drops oil of cloves (optional)
Grate cucumber fine, peel and all, or if using lettuce-be sure to chop it fine. Melt tallow and add lettuce or cucumber. Keep on lowest heat for half an hour or on back of wood stove for several hours. The pulp will add tiny greenish-yellow specks to soap.
Add vegetable oil to fat and set aside to cool. Stir lye flakes into cold water until dissolved and set aside to cool.
Grease molds thoroughly with petroleum jelly.
When fat and lye are lukewarm, add lye to fat slowly,stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the mixture is thick and creamy. Add wheat germ oil or vitamin E oil, add a drop or two of oil of cloves, beating well to distribute evenly.
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