Red, Dry Hands? Irritated Skin? Try This
While working in a food manufacturing plant trying to perfect our manufacturing practices I noticed my hands had turned red and dry and a bit sore to the touch.
When asked what might be the problem most people just shrugged and changed the subject until one friend said; “are you washing them more frequently?”. I nodded my head in the affirmative and they said; “It’s the chemicals in the soap you’re using.”
Not knowing what to say I changed the subject. After the conversation, I began checking the ingredients on the soap used in the plant and for the leading national brand that I used at home.
Here’s the national brand’s ingredients statement:
Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Water (Aqua), Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
Then I wondered what I’d find in the body lotion I use and found this for an ingredient statement:
Water, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Cetaryl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Ethylparaben.
Then I goggled the issue to find that:
The skin has its own biome. It consists of good bacteria and other things that form the ideal environment for healthy skin. If disturbed a variety of conditions including; dry skin, red and tender skin along with more serious conditions can result. Chemicals, preservatives and fragrances are the leading cause.
I came up with two solutions to my problem.
One, stop washing my body. This includes showers, baths and anywhere else commercial soaps are used. Thankfully I was able to come up with a better solution.
Two, find a viable alternative that moisturizes naturally and helps build a healthy skin biome.
Now I use organic, all natural soaps exclusively. The result:
- The discomfort that I had experienced is gone.
- I no longer have the need to use chemical based lotions that contain artificial preservatives to moisturize my skin. This is a big deal. I live at the tip of the Mojave Desert where humidity levels are typically 15% or lower. Having my skin look moist naturally is huge.
- I’m supporting a local business that hand makes my soap.
You’ll find several brands of hand made soap online or in your local farmers market. Some brands like Oh! Organics or Aspen Kay are terrific. Oh! is less expensive and the oils and botanicals they use are certified organic. Check them out, your skin will love you for it.