Most commercially available soaps are made with sulfates. Sulfates are a group of detergents or surfactants that are used in most personal care products today. Sulfates themselves are classified as a skin and membrane irritants. They can also become a possible carcinogen with repeated exposure and can create even more toxic by-products by the other ingredients they are usually blended with. Additionally, most soaps contain an industrial detergent like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Sodium lauryl sulfate dissolves the oils on your skin which leads to a drying effect. When we constantly strip all our oils, our skin tries to repair itself by replacing the oil stripped away. Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by producing more oil.
Castile soap is different than most soaps available today. It represents one of the best natural and biodegradable soaps that can be manufactured by hand.
Named after the medieval Spanish city of Castile, this kind of soap was originally made with olive oil. Today, solid and liquid forms are made with vegetable oils like palm, coconut, hemp, jojoba, and olive.
Unlike commercial soaps that rely on sodium lauryl sulfate to create a soapy lather, Castile soap’s bubbles come from saponins in the oils that are released from the reaction of lye and oil.
Why Castile soap is the best option for you
Doesn’t cause skin irritation
Castile soaps are free from foaming agents, like sodium laurel sulfate, that are typically found in detergents and cause skin irritation in some people. Castile soap retains all its moisture, allowing your skin to be hydrated every time you use it.
Triclosan, the chemical in most antibacterial commercial soaps has been found to interact with chlorine in the water to form chloroform gas. Also, it is a hormone disruptor, and can potentially cause cancer.
However, laboratory tests showed that organic Castile-based soaps, when used against all the kinds of germs, commonly found in the hospitals, showed a significant reduction in the numbers of gram negative and gram positive bacterial cells.
Castile soap promotes skin’s natural healing properties.
Great for skin sensitivities
Castile soap has zero chemical additives, synthetic fragrances, no parabens, or other harsh chemicals that could trigger an allergy. It’s best for people with skin sensitivities because it is very gentle on the skin.
It’s a true soap, not a chemical detergent, making castile soap completely safe and biodegradable.
Uses for Castile soap
Homemade hand soap
Fill a foaming soap dispenser with 3/4 boiled or distilled water and 1/4 liquid Castile soap. You can add 5 drops of tea tree essential oil for its antibacterial properties and lavender oil for its fragrant and relaxing scent.
You can avoid those pricey and toxic shampoos, most of which are filled with chemicals that can cause lots of problems for your hair in the long term. Making your own shampoo with Castile soap is very easy. Simply mix together 7 tablespoons of Castile soap with 6 teaspoons of coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil. This will make about 7 applications. It will store best in the fridge for an about a week.
Homemade face wash
Using a foaming dispenser, add 1/4 cup of liquid Castile soap and fill it to the top with distilled water. Add 5 drops each of tea tree and frankincense essential oils. Both oils help fight bacteria and can reduce acne.
Castile for shaving
For your face, use about 10 drops; for the underarms, 3 drops should do the trick and for the legs use about a 1/2 teaspoon. Simply work into a lather in wet hands and then apply to the area. You can add olive oil to the mix for some added moisturizing while shaving.