Why use Natural & Organic Hand Soaps / Sanitizers?

(banner photo) The Kirk Estate organic bar soap.


What I learned to look for when purchasing (or making my own) hand soap or sanitizer:

  • a Certified Organic symbol on the label or some Certified Organic ingredients on the ingredient list (the more the better). Some companies will put that they are 70% organic on the front of the label, for example, but what about the other 30%? is the other 30% of ingredients close enough to organic to be considered healthy? Read the label, research ingredients, and decide for yourself what's healthy for you and your family.

  • EWG.org (Environmental Working Group) is "a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment".  You can research hand soaps, body soaps, hand sanitizers, household cleansers, air fresheners, and much more for ingredient ratings on whether they are a threat to your health. Here's a link to to EWG's SkinDeep site where you can search for the ratings for soaps/sanitizers.  

Two common products used on the skin that have moderate to high health hazards in review of ingredients by EWG.org are Dial Hand Soap and Purell Hand Sanitizer:

Dial Hand Soap -> has a 5 out of 10 rating saying that it's a moderate health hazard. For Dial's Antibaterial Hand Soap, Gold with Moisturizer, we find it says this "HIGH concerns: Contamination concernsIrritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)MiscellaneousOccupational hazardsPersistence and bioaccumulationOther MODERATE concerns: Endocrine disruptionOrgan system toxicity (non-reproductive)Other LOW concerns: Enhanced skin absorptionCancerData gapsEcotoxicology".

Purell Hand Sanitizer -> has a 4-8 out of 10 rating saying that it's a moderate to high health hazard. "HIGH concerns: Multiple, additive exposure sourcesIrritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)MiscellaneousOther MODERATE concerns: Contamination concernsOrgan system toxicity (non-reproductive)Occupational hazardsOther LOW concerns: Enhanced skin absorptionBiochemical or cellular level changesCancerData gaps, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation".

So, as you can see, there are moderate to high health risk factors with These two very commonly used products: Dial Soap & Purell.

So what do we do about this? Well, it's easy to control what's going on in our own home by make sure we read ingredient labels and searching for the closest thing to pure, wildcrafted, and organic as possible - but what about when we are out using the bathroom at a grocery store or at another public location? 

  • Decide to bring your own alternative in your purse. Choosing to carry your own travel sized soap or hand sanitizer may seem silly (maybe not for the sanitizer) - but this can benefit your health - based off the resource above. 
  • Influence education about this subject to your local/online community. 
  • Stop supporting the companies that don't make healthy products - choose healthier alternatives. 


Natural & Organic Hand/Body Soaps

Aren't antibacterial soaps more beneficial than plain old soap?

According to several sources, such as Dr. Mercola, NPR,  phys.org, and Wellness Mama (to name a few), plain soap is just as effective as antibacterial hand soap in removing germs/bacteria. 

In fact, Dr. Mercola (along with several others) state that there are actually harmful effects in the use of antibacterial hand soaps affecting hormonal imbalance and much more because of the chemical triclosan found in some antibacterial handsoaps.

Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey has called for strict limits on the use of triclosan. “Despite the fact that this chemical is found in everything from soaps to socks,” said Markey, “There are many troubling questions about triclosan’s effectiveness and potentially harmful effects, especially for children.”

One study showed that the chemical can alter hormone regulation. A number of other studies have demonstrated that bacteria exposed to triclosan could potentially become resistant to antibiotics.
— Dr. Mercola

Here's a video from CNN (from 2010) on this subject of the possible harm of triclosan:

Where to purchase soap? How to make it myself?

  1. Oils of Shakan offers a line of hand/body soaps made with all natural pure essential oils some of which are organic. I use their products and for the ingredients that are not organic, they are pure & natural and I feel safe using them for my family. These products can only be purchased locally in one of their retail locations in Connecticut.
  2. Vermont Soap Company has been a leader in the natural & organic soap industry for some time. They offer personal size to large sized bulk containers of their soaps and have a wide variety for sale online. I have purchased their 1 gallon sized castile soap and used that to make my own foam soap (see Wellness Mama's recipe)
  3. Call or visit your local health food store for options.
  4. To make it yourself, see Wellness Mama's recipe.


Natural & Organic Hand Sanitizers

DIYNatural.com gives a recipe for a homemade hand sanitizer and talks about the risk to commonly used hand sanitizer's on the market and compares them to natural alternatives, including a recipe to make your own. If you look on Pub Med, you can see the research that backs this up. Here's link to >> Tea Tree research and here's the link to >> Lavender research. These oils, DIYNatural.com, says are considered to have these "beneficial properties: antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal". 

Pub Med says that tea tree oil has been found in clinical studies to kill most types of bacteria at a concentration of 0.5-1% (so to make sure you adjust recipes to follow this concentration). 

Amoung the claims made for lavender oil are that it is antibacterial, antifungal, carminative (smooth muscle relaxing), sedative, antidepressive and effective for burns and insect bites (Grieves 1931, Gattefosse, 1937).

Where to purchase Hand Sanitizer? How to make it Myself?

  1. Oils of Shakan offers a hand sanitizer that contains similar ingredients to that of DIYNATURAL.com's recipe. There is a 1% amount in tea, 1% in lavender, and 1% of lemon in Oil's of Shakan's hand sanitizer. It can be purchased in one of their retail store locations in Connecticut. 
  2. EO Products offers an Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray
  3. Call or visit your local health food store for options. 
  4. To make it yourself, see DIYNatural.com's recipe
         www.oilsofshakan.com                       www.vermontsoap.com                           www.eoproducts.com

         www.oilsofshakan.com                       www.vermontsoap.com                           www.eoproducts.com