Choosing only natural ingredients is imperative for all Made to be Clean products. Each ingredient is thoroughly researched before it is selected. At first, working with natural ingredients was inconvenient, causing delays in releasing new products, and it limited the creative process. Many artificial ingredients used in handcrafted, artisanal soap reduces processing time and produces eye popping colors. Unfortunately, not all handcrafted soap is created equal. Soaps may be “handcrafted” but one must ask if the product is beneficial to skin. The majority of skin products are more harmful than helpful. The more I researched each ingredient the more I found Made to be Clean’s purpose. Made to be Clean’s mission is to create handcrafted, natural, artisanal soap as well as produce a product that promotes healthy skin with every use.
Canola oil and Shortening – NEVER
Canola and shortening have been marketed for many years as healthy and affordable oils. When using Canola in soap making, it creates a nice creamy lather. Canola and shortening can be used as a substitute for olive oil. Up to 40% of olive oil can be saved by using the cheaper substitute. Cheaper is not always better.
Made to be Clean does not use Canola or Shortening — Why not?
The canola plant is a genetically modified version (GMO) of the rapeseed. Rapeseed oil first appeared during the Industrial Revolution where it served as a lubricant in ships, steam engines, and other machinery. The canola plant was one of the first plants to gain acceptance for genetic modification. Canola oil is heavily processed and not sustainable. The canola seed is at first inedible and only becomes edible when it is processed through a laboratory. Furthermore, the plant is responsible for vast monoculture farming methods that create food deserts and imbalanced eco-systems. The process for extracting the oil from the seed involves using hexane, an inedible solvent found in gasoline. Hexane is a byproduct created during the refinement of crude oil. Once the solvent is removed, the oil is bleached to lighten the color before it is bottled. Even after considerable refining, some of the solvent remains in the oil. Canola oil goes through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming – all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals. Since canola is high in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, (11% and 21% respectively) it often becomes rancid and foul-smelling when it comes in contact with oxygen or high temperatures which requires deodorization. Canola should not come in contact with skin.
If you understand how Canola is made, you will recognize why it should not be used. Check out this 4 minute pro Canola video that describes the extensive process involved: How It’s Made- Canola Oil. After viewing this documentary, the decision was easy, I do not want Canola oil in my kitchen, diet or soap!
Fragrance oil – HOLD YOUR BREATH!
Every day we are bombarded with synthetic fragrance. From the moment we wake up to the minute we go to bed and then, all night long synthetic fragrance lingers. The sheets on the bed, the shampoo, the air freshener. All these products use synthetic fragrance. When walking through the mall and passing the body product store, or smelling the freshly washed tables in the food court, exposure to synthetic fragrance is everywhere. Even if you (like me) have intentionally removed as much synthetic fragrance from your life as possible, you will find that it is near impossible to remove fragrance.
Why is fragrance a problem?
Fragrance oils are not regulated by any governing body. Due to trademark laws, manufacturers do not have to list the ingredients of fragrance oils. Fragrance oil compounds can contain hundreds of different chemical compounds leaving consumers uninformed about the chemicals and additives they might encounter. Synthetic fragrance is known as the new “second hand smoke”. Please read the following article to find out more about synthetic fragrance.
Colorants: Micas, Oxides and Ultramarines, OH NO!
Mineral pigment, cosmetic colorants, and ultramarines are colorants too. All of these colorants are not natural. While mica is a mineral substance found in nature, it has too many impurities such as lead and heavy metals that are potentially unsafe for skin contact. The mica found in soap, eyeshadow, bath bombs and lipstick are misleading. Created and colored in a lab these synthetic colorants are labeled ‘natural identical’ which is not natural at all. FD&C colorants are used to create artificial tones from neutral colors to neon green.
Melt and Pour Soap bases, FORGET IT!
Melt and pour soap contains natural soap ingredients like oils and lye but to make it melt easily, alcohol based emulsifiers (sorbitol, sorbitan oleate) and solvents (propylene glycol) are added. Synthetic ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate are added to make soap foam, and a chelating agent like EDTA is added to prevent soap scum. Some melt and pour bases are part soap and part detergent containing ingredients like triethanolamine (a petroleum based detergent). The best melt and pour soap bases are not natural, and not good for your skin.
Palm oil – NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
All of my products are palm-free! Even ‘sustainable’ palm will never be used by Made to be Clean because the cost to our environment is too high.
Please read these articles to find out more:
Glitter – NO WAY!
While shine and sparkle are nice, I appreciate ingredients that are entirely biodegradable when heading directly into our water supply. The new ‘biodegradable’ glitter is made from eucalyptus leaf extract which is mineralized with aluminum. It is then colored with things like mica, titanium dioxide and synthetic fluorphlogopite to achieve the bright colors. So, this additive is definitely not natural. Since all Made to be Clean ingredients are extensively researched, glitter is currently off limits until an environmentally friendly product is available.
Titanium Dioxide – DOES THIS SOUND LIKE IT IS SKIN FRIENDLY?
The skin is the largest organ. Although it is only a few millimeters thick it makes up about 1/7 of our body weight. Your skin senses hot, cold and pain. Skin helps our bodies cool when it is hot through perspiration. The skin is responsible for vitamin D absorption. Melanin helps to protect our body from the sun’s UV rays and is used by the skin to create beautifully diverse skin shades. Our skin does much more than cover our bones, it is our beauty.
Titanium dioxide is used by many soapmakers to lighten the base color of the soap from an off white to a purer white. This makes color contrasts more vivid. Titanium dioxide is nanoparticles which are ultramicroscopic in size, making them able to readily penetrate your skin and travel to underlying blood vessels and your bloodstream. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies titanium dioxide as a Group 2B carcinogen, which means it’s “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This was based on an animal study showing inhaling high concentrations of titanium dioxide dust may lead to lung cancer.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (SLES) or Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA)
The name probably gave this one away. SLS, SLES and SLSA are surfactants. Surfactants are chemical compounds that reduce surface tension making it a little easier to cut through the grease. See What’s the Story with Soap? to find out more about grease cutting. Surfactants are the building blocks of detergents. Some handcrafted soapmakers choose to add surfactants to products to improve lather, improve performance in hard water, increase size of lather and decrease soap scum. Soaps claiming to be artisanal may use a surfactant. Since the introduction of SLS in the 1920’s and use by the general population in the 1940’s, skin conditions have skyrocketed! Surfactants are harsh and can be found in everything from shampoo to laundry detergent. Surfactants are very good at stripping oil from surfaces and that oil stripping action includes your skin! No oils are left behind to protect your skin. There is no doubt that exposure will make your skin irritated and could, with repeat exposure, leave you open to skin irritations. Here is more detailed information about surfactants.
How is Made to be Clean Different?
Made to Be Clean’s primary focus is all natural products and eco-consciousness. By using sustainable plant based ingredients our products are a natural and healthy way to nourish skin without undesirable hidden ingredients. By providing an all natural, well researched product, Made to be Clean creates products that will help you love your skin!