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In 4 Personal Care Products You Should Never Buy Again, we listed antibacterial soap due to its toxic ingredients, including triclosan, that are known to cause endocrine (hormone) disruptions and create resistance in bacteria. Aside from triclosan though, consumers should also be wary of regularly “cleaning” their hands with ingredients classified by The Environmental Working Group as “expected as toxic or harmful” like Tetrasodium EDTA, a preservative made from formaldehyde, or sodium lauryl sulfate.

The list of ingredients to avoid in commercial hand soap is nearly as long as the list of ingredients in the hand soap itself. Among the others to avoid are parabens, which have been found in breast cancer tissues, suggesting a link between the two, and artificial fragrances that can irritate and dry skin. Ideally, though, why have anything unnecessary in your hand soap at all? It’s time more of us understood that the luscious bubbly lather of what marketers say is “high-quality soap” is chemically induced with a potential health cost included. Why risk it when other options exist? Why not just mix up an eco-friendly soap every few weeks, save money, and time shopping, and protect your health and your family’s health at the same time? This DIY recipe for amazing, cleansing, fail-proof hand soap makes it easier than ever.

1. Castille Soap

This is a concentrated soap that will cost around $10-20 upfront but will last for dozens of batches of liquid hand soap. In the end, it is less expensive than buying soap refills or even bars of soap. You can purchase it scented or unscented. If you decide to spend the extra dollars for a scented variety, you don’t need the next ingredient: essential oils.

2. Essential Oil(s)

You have two options here. You can choose your favorite scents like cinnamon, lavender, or peppermint, and switch them up every few months, perhaps with the seasons. Or, you can remember this handy guide to oils and pick the best one to benefit your home. Either way, you get non-toxic, fresh soap every time.

Some Favorite Soap Oils:

Blood Orange – Besides having an amazing ability to perk you up, blood orange also reduces inflammation, is anti-septic, and works to gently detox through the skin. It leaves your hands feeling and smelling clean.

Lemon – Lemon oil is naturally anti-bacterial, providing a safe, gentle cleanse with again, a fresh citrus scent to lift any mood. It is great at improving skin conditions.

Peppermint – Peppermint has a cooling effect on the skin, making it great for chefs working in hot kitchens or anyone on a balmy summer day, really. Peppermint is known to reduce itchiness and repel mosquitoes, too.

3. Water

All you need with the Castille soap and essential oil is water. Use cold water, so as not to harm the quality and potency of the essential oil.

DIY Essential Oil Hand Soap Directions:

1. Take 1-2 Tablespoons (1 for typical soap dispenser, 2 for larger)
2. Place soap into the chosen dispenser
3. Add 15-25 drops of essential oil of your choice (keep dropping until you can smell the oil from the top of the dispenser)
4. Add water near the top of the dispenser
5. Add pump lid
6. Shake

You can put this recipe into literally any pump dispenser, remembering that it will be thinner than commercial soap. Once you rub your hands together though, lather forms, and you get the same hand-cleansing experience, without the toxic chemicals. These make fun, eco-friendly holiday or birthday presents as well!

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