Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beware of Pseudo-Soap!

A few days ago I was browsing my local "all things imported" store, (which shall remain nameless) and since I had a little time to kill, I worked my way through the imported furniture, imported pillows, imported baskets, imported foods (do you get the picture?), and stumbled into the bath and body section...imported of course!

I thought I'd check out the competition in bar soaps. And first impressions were fantastic: Lovely packaging with colorful labels. Nice, chunky bars with exotic names and intoxicating scents. The price was right...only $6.00 for a 4-5 oz. bar.

But then, I looked more closely. "Made in China" and "Made in India" was the name of the game on these soap bars. And upon even closer inspection, the ingredients contained many chemical names I could not even pronounce. No mention of olive oil, jojoba, or shea -- the ingredients I have come to know that make great, handcrafted soap!

Then, it got even more interesting...

In even smaller print, the label said:

- avoid contact with eyes (O.K., all soap can burn if it gets in your eyes)
- avoid contact with lips (Huh? How am I supposed to wash my face with this?)


- avoid contact with sensitive areas

So, exactly how am I supposed to use this soap? Isn't all skin "sensitive" since it is porous, with a direct path to the bloodstream?

Back to my title. One meaning of "pseudo" is "fake," or "not genuine." And I would go so far as to say that the imported soaps I was investigating the other day were just that. They were compressed, processed chemicals in disguise to look like soap. Real soap I WOULD put on my skin. I'll pass, thank you very much, on the fake soaps -- regardless of where they are mass produced.

Bottom line: Read the labels on the soap you purchase. Where is it made? Can you pronounce or recognize the ingredients? Are there warnings in fine print?

My shop, SoapSense, and many other reputable handcrafted soap sellers on Etsy take great pride in their soap ingredients. We are very conscious about taking care of your skin, and not introducing any harmful elements.

Do a little research, and happy soap shopping!

No comments: