What other definition would you use? If we want to avoid any ingredients partially derived from petroleum distillates we can just say that. Calling a product which automatically includes chemicals produced through large scale electrolysis "natural" is like calling reduced calorie ice cream health food. If you want soap that is actually natural, go buy a pig and start a fire, cause we're gonna be here awhile.
If you have adverse reactions to a certain product, then by all means avoid it. But avoiding SLES and other compounds because they don't seem natural to you is a silly motivation in my eyes... made more so by the inability to define these restrictions beyond a Potter Stewartism.
Last edited by SliceOfLife; 08-18-2012 at 03:12 PM.
Forget about shaving: Mr Natural does not even trim his beard, because blades are unnatural. Soap is unnatural, too.
I learned something new today. According to wikipedia, sodium lauryl sulfate is made from laurel alcohol, which can be made from palm oil or coconut oil. Is it natural? If not, where in the process does it stop being natural?
Myself I think it is better to define products in terms of traditional ingredients and techniques. Maybe some small-scale soap-makers could get together and define these? It could be useful for their branding, something like traditional styles of wine, cheese, etc.
Note to self: never post about "natural" soaps.
~It's not the razor...or soap...or brush...or water...or position of the moon...~
Last edited by SliceOfLife; 08-18-2012 at 05:46 PM.
this reminds me of the old school propylene glycol debates in the cigar and pipe forums of 10-20 years ago...
I suspect they are still debating the point. :)
If you aren't grateful for what you've got, nothing that may be coming down the pike will likely do the trick for you.
I understand perhaps a little frustration from those asking the question, but the term is so basically meaningless in terms of being able to determine what one is looking for or looking to avoid that one may as well state they are looking for a bottle filled with a liquid or a canister filled with a gas.
Don't feel bad; the whole "natural soap" debate always gets heated, even on the soapmaking forums. There's no real definition of what is natural and what isn't. But, for the sake of argument, let's say that it's generally agreed that natural soap retains all of its naturally occurring glycerin and is made of the basic ingredients: oils saponified with sodium and/or potassium hydroxide. Whether or not it should only use essential oils for scent and natural colorants derived from minerals and plants is hotly debated. And then someone always points out that sodium and potassium hydroxide aren't "natural" substances (and we are not going back to soaking wood ashes in water to make our own lye!) and the argument starts again.
The pissing match about what is "natural" notwithstanding ...
FWIW I use Ivory bar soap for shaving; it's also what I use for washing my face and what I use in the shower.
I'm weird, though. I use 70% isopropyl alcohol for aftershave.
So I said to him, I says, "Get your OWN monkey!"
But I have all these wood ashes saved up.
That raises an interesting question actually, how many shaving soaps out there use salts that were actually produced by the manufacters instead of buying soap bases and just balancing, adding stuff and mixing. MdC is the only one that isn't considered an "artisan" I know of that brags about it. I wonder if there are any that aren't self-distributed that do.
Do you seriously use 70% Isopropyl as aftershave? Do you hate your skin?
Last edited by SliceOfLife; 08-18-2012 at 06:47 PM.
No heat here at all. Trying to get across to folks that the term Natural has been coopted by those who would seek to mislead, or to fear monger the unsuspecting. Both groups ultimate goal is to forward their own agenda, be it profit or power, by any means necessary.
I've no issue whatsoever with people who wish to avoid SLS, or parabens, even though I personally believe their fears to be unfounded for the vast majority of healthy normal people. It's their choice and they can buy whatever they want.
The issue arises when folks ask for "Natural" products as if there is some meaning to the term, and there simply isn't. Natural is truly in the eyes of each individual beholder.
I'm all for people trying to simplify their life if that is a goal, and to avoid possible complications by reducing exposure to ingredients that may not have all the evidence in yet, but blanketing that desire by asking for a "Natural" product is a disservice to themselves and anyone who reads what is written about it.
Like an exercise program, or a specific diet, a little real work is necessary to get to your goal. In the case of an exercise program it is the physical labor of a work-out. In the case of a diet, it is the research and the willpower to eat the items in the quantities that are necessary.
Likewise, the search for products which would fill the gap of these mysterious "natural" products requires some research, homework, and a bit of specificity on what an individual is willing to accept in terms of industrial processes. The only alternative is the soaking wood ash in water and making your own unscented, uncolored, unrefined tallow soap from an animal you butchered.
You can carry it to extremes and ask how will you start the fire to make the wood ash? Matches and lighters are right out. What processes were involved in making the knife blade and handle used to butcher the animal? What will you use as utensils and containers in your soap making process?
Ludicrous certainly. Those characteristics don't have a thing to do with the ultimate ingredients of the soap, but it goes right back to that question about what is "natural".
And I like Mitchells Wool Fat, though it does contain EDTA as a preservative, a necessary evil when not living next door to a soap maker.
Last edited by luvmysuper; 08-18-2012 at 07:04 PM.
Whew, good thing i didn't chime in here!
Laughter, love and shaving!