Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Soap - What's in YOUR Shower?

I was excited to learn about the Great Canadian Soap Company, a small family-run business not far from our vacation rental home in Prince Edward Island.  We were warmly welcomed and took a short tour, watched an informational video about their soaps, petted the goats, and were treated to some free samples of soap and shea butter lotion. If you haven't guessed yet, goat's milk is one of the primary ingredients in their soaps and lotions.

Really hungry baby goat trying to eat my fingers
I confess, I was tempted to buy one of everything! They have some very yummy smelling products.  I decided only a few things would fit in my suitcase, so I decided on an unscented shaving bar and a Super Soap "muffin" for the Hubby and I to share, and a lemongrass shampoo bar for me.  I am especially excited about the Super Soap - the Hubby has eczema and I get really bad acne breakouts (I feel like a teenager sometimes!) and I've been looking for a more natural alternative to the somewhat ineffective cleansers and topical solutions we've been using.  I plan to review the products for you after using them for a few months, so stay tuned.

 Here's a thought provoking question: did you know that most of the "soap" in the average American household actually contains very little soap?  I've never actually read the ingredients list of hand soap or body wash until now.  Want to know what I found?  My "soap" doesn't actually contain soap... weird, huh?

So, you may be wondering (like I was until just recently), what on earth is soap then?  Chemically speaking, soap is a combination of an alkali (base) metal salt containing at least 1 ion of hydroxide and an acid substance (some type of fat). Soap is the result of a chemical reaction called saponification, which happens when you mix the two substances together and the fat molecules bond to the hydroxide molecules.  All right, let me crawl out of Frankenstein's lab and break it down for you.  Lye (in either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide form) is the most common alkali substance for soap...you mix that with a fat, like cream or olive oil and BAM! Soap is born, er... made... whatever.  From there, you can add some extras, like fragrance and exfoliates.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? That's what I thought. Until I started label reading. I'm thinking, what's with all the extra chemical stuff? Is that really necessary? I submit that it is not. My body wash alone has 27 separate ingredients. 27!! Yikes. And the majority of them are unpronounceable and unnecessary. I was reminded recently that your skin is really your largest organ - what do you want it absorbing?

Hmmmm.... looks like it's time to ditch the long list of chemicals and get back to the basics. In the meantime, I'll jump down off my soapbox (pun intended) and call it a night.  Bubbles up!

Disclaimer: I do not represent The Great Canadian Soap Company or get paid for mentioning or reviewing their products. This is simply my honest opinion of their company and their product.


  1. Hi Raye,
    I am loving how my skin feels since using the soap we bought at 'The Great Canadian Soap Company'. I feel less dry and itchy--so far, so good.

  2. So I didn't realize that M had eczema like me. If y'all find something good that treats it, please let me know. Love you!


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