Did you know that soaps and detergents play a huge role in the treatment of eczema and other skin conditions? It’s pretty much impossible to get through life without using soaps, so making the right choices can make the difference between soft and itch-free skin and skin that’s simply causing problems. Allergen free soaps are possible to find. Today, we’d like to explore a few things to consider when choosing hand and bath soaps as well as clothing detergent soaps for your family – you might just be surprised at the difference a good soap makes!
The Skinny On Soaps
Soaps are typically plant or animal based. For sensitive skin, washing clothes in soap is suggested over detergents as they are synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum and plant oils. Since the word “soap” is sometimes used interchangeably with detergent, it’s best to check the ingredients to double check. When it comes to washing clothing, keep in mind, that switching to a soap over a detergent isn’t enough. If clothes were previously washed in detergents, they must be stripped first otherwise, the addition of soap to detergent cleaned clothing may add an additional layer of residue that is irritating to the skin. Also, using high quality soaps from health food stores, or making your own allows you to quickly eliminate any possible allergens.
If your little one has contact dermatitis, take a look at detergents used all around the house. For example, detergents are in dishwashing “soap” and some shampoos.
Bath & Hand Soaps
When we wash our bodies, soap gets to work removing oils and dirt so that we can look and feel great. When eczema, rashes, inflammation, or other skin conditions are an issue, the wrong kinds of soap can cause aggravation that may not be immediately clear. Soap used with water is often more mild, but the reside can cause some serious itching and irritation later on.
There are some great natural hand and body soaps on the market right now, but all of them are not created equal. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a great soap option for your family…
- Are there artificial fragrances or perfumes in the soap?
- Are the any artificial ingredients?
- Is it organic?
- Is the soap colored using chemical dyes?
- Does the soap contain moisturizers? If so, what kind?
- Does the soap work well with the body’s natural oils and chemistry? Ok so you won’t know this one until you try it.
As with all things, it;’s a good idea to spot test a new body soap before using it all over. The inside of the wrist or elbow tend to be great places to look for a reaction in a controlled way. You can apply a small dab of activated soap to the areas and gently rub them in. Let it dry naturally and look for any signs of redness, irritation, or swelling. Rinse a few minutes later, air dry, then check again at 10 minute intervals for about an hour.
Also, tallow could be an option for you.
Detergents: The good, the no so good.
Detergents helps keep our clothing looking and smelling great… but what about how it affects our skin? Detergents leave residue on fabrics and will work it’s way onto the skin over the course of the day. And those lovely fragrances inside of detergents are actually chemicals such as formaledahyde. Doesn’t sound as pleasant once contents are reviewed. See what I mean here. It’s easier to understand how detergents can irritate the skin, especially as residue builds up onto our clothes.
When it comes to finding the right clothing detergent, consider the following…
- How is it scented?
- How is it dyed?
- What are its ingredients?
- Be sure to check the website for a full list of ingredients or call the company as the “active” ingredients are not always listed on detergent containers.
Have you considered the “un-detergent” route? Like soap nuts (soap nuts are not nuts, but berries) ? They can be used for more than laundry too!
Company we love:
The good news is that we have tons of great options on the market right now, and you can use the same spot testing process as suggested above to make sure it’s safe for your family.
Here’s to itch-free cleaning!