It started simply enough.
Problem: commercially available soaps dry my skin too much. I get itchy, scratch until I bleed, and literally, lather, rinse, repeat.
Goal: Find better soaps to alleviate the problem.
Solution: Homemade soaps with better moisturizing properties.
We got a few bars of soap from a friend when she got into soap making at home. They were nice, but we had specific needs and getting specific soaps could be tough. After all, someone is making them for you and she used her own budget. She didn’t charge us for them, but could have. She didn’t even charge us shipping. Very generous.
But we discovered another friend of my wife‘s – who doesn’t mind loooooonnng drives to bring us soap – has been a soapmaker for several years. She also had formulations for her family which matched what we were looking for – less drying, better moisturizing.
So she gave us a long-lived supply of soaps because she loves my wife. When we got back on our feet financially I insisted on paying for them, and she didn’t argue too hard. She did, however, allow us to set our own price, so we try and be reasonable, but she could be charging a lot more for the products she’s making.
We continue to buy soaps from her to this day.
So, my wife really liked those soaps. And when she saw all that went into soapmaking, she wanted to try it. Over time she’s amassed books in her to-read list about it, and has a wish list full of things she’ll need, but she hasn’t gotten started yet.
So we use homemade soap at this point, and soon, it will be LITERALLY homemade. That started me thinking.
Recently I’ve gotten into “Old School” hair products for men, not because I’m suddenly into my hair, but because I really got tired of gluing it down. When I saw forums full of men talking about how these near-forgotten products leave their hair feeling soft and not sticky, not crunchy, with some hold, well…I’m sold. So I collected several to try them and found I enjoyed using them (to the point of not being able to decide which to use).
But, there are some aspects of those products which trouble me. They probably wouldn’t have bothered me five years ago, or even three years ago, but they trouble me now. The first and foremost is, they’re full of petrochemicals.
Technology’s a great thing, but I wouldn’t dream of putting motor oil in my hair. Yes, the chemicals used in these products aren’t exactly motor oil, but a lot of them are by-products of oil refining or chemically-generated somehow. So, when I say “petrochemical” in this post, that’s what I mean. With me?
I’ve come to believe, as I age less-than-gracefully, in going as natural as possible in our daily use products. For instance, I’ve questioned for years why fluorine, a deadly poison, is used in our mouths. Hm. Seems counter-intuitive to me, but hey, I’m not a chemist. I’m not a biologist. I’m not even clever, so I have no idea whether that stuff’s safe or not.
Because my father worked in a waste water treatment plant for more than 20 years, I know for a fact there’s a lot of chlorine in most water sources. (You can smell it.) And no, there’s nothing safe or healthy about chlorine. So not everything done to our water supplies are healthy. (Yes, I get it; you have to get the bugs from the fish poo dead somehow.)
So as I age, I guess I’m becoming a hippie, to a degree. I still love my air conditioning, and you can take it away from me when you pry my gun from my cold dead hands. (I don’t own a gun, but I AM staunchly a Second Amendment supporter, full stop, end of story.) I want to remove chemicals from things going into my body as much as possible, but don’t you DARE try to take my car away and make me use a horse-drawn carriage.
So…kind of a hippie. Kinda not.
So to remove another source of them – though I’m not eating or drinking this particular source – is to ask my wife to branch out from soapmaking into making other stuff for our hair and skin which lack the petrochemical elements of commercial products. So, homemade hair creams were of recent interest, because I use things like Brylcreem and Vitalis in my hair.
But now, I’m starting to think maybe homemade toothpaste might be a good idea too. We can control the ingredients – though an argument could be made bycarbonate is a chemical, albeit a naturally-occurring one – and we can eliminate what we don’t want.
My one concern here is bad breath; my understanding is halitosis isn’t treated by homemade toothpastes, but I guess I could be wrong.
I don’t know if my wife is onboard with this line of thinking or not, but every time I turn around I see someone making something at home I didn’t know you can make at home, and it makes me want to make it at home so we don’t buy it full of petrochemicals any more.
*Sigh* All I’m missing is the compound in Idaho. I’ve already got my tin hat ready.
How about you? Anyone out there reading this gone all natural and not looking back? Did you go through a similar phase and outgrow it? Or am I just a few steps closer to the nuthatchery than I thought?
Have a happy Monday, y’all.