soap-free alternatives?

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green_pea
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soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232745 green_pea
Sat May 21, 2011 1:23 pm

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any recipes for soap-free homemade body-washing-stuff? I currently use dove soap-free bar as anything containing soap ingredients makes my skin really dry and feel like it has paper-cuts :pale: .
I've heard of soap nuts and soapwort roots, but then I'm guessing they contain the same soapy stuff so would be unsuitable, are there any natural alternatives apart from these? Preferably that I could grow at home and need not add chemicals to.
:flower:

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232780 Green Aura
Sat May 21, 2011 10:28 pm

It's difficult to know how to advise unless you know which bit of the soap gives you the problem.

Have you tried a good castille soap - as in the very simple soap made from olive oil, sodium hydroxide and water, not Knight's!? :lol: You could make your own - can be really cheap to do and you can always give it away if you find you can't use it. Or you could try Dr Bronners - very mild.

The saponins that make plants like soapwort soapy aren't like the ingredients in a bar of soap (lots of soap in that sentence, sorry :roll: ) so they might not give you the same trouble. However, I've read that soapwort can cause skin problems so I've been reluctant to try it.

At the other extreme you could just use oil - olive or similar, not mineral. Rub as little as you can, all over, then get in the shower (without slipping!) and wash it all off with a loofah or one of those scrubby things. At least you'd be well moisturised!
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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232802 chickenchargrill
Sun May 22, 2011 9:13 am

Oh, is that what castille soap is? Keep forgetting to look that one up. I've seen lots of recipes including a castille soap base online.

I saw a recipe once for shower gel that was just your favourite herb boiled in 100mls water. Strain and add 2tbsps glycerin to the water and that was it. Haven't tried it though :dontknow:

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232807 green_pea
Sun May 22, 2011 9:54 am

I tried the olive oil thing this morning, I was expecting it to be all greasy and horrible and for it to not really work, but it was good! I just put a little bit on a cotton pad and wiped it all over my face (loads of muck came off on the pad, eurgh!), then used my little face exfoliator brush thing. My skin feels lovely, thanks for the tip. The only bad thing is the smell, I grow lavender so I was thinking maybe I could infuse the oil with some dried sprigs to make it smell a bit more pleasant?
Do you know if the used water would still be ok for watering my plants with if it had a little bit of oil in it from washing like this? Not much seemed to come off (I didn't use hardly any) so I'd assume it'd be ok.
That recipe looks nice and simple, chickenchargrill, shame I'd have to buy glycerin then though. I wonder if there is any alternative I could make at home.. hmm.. :?

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232809 Green Aura
Sun May 22, 2011 10:01 am

If it's mainly for your face gp, have a look at the threads on oil cleansing.

http://www.selfsufficientish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=14801&hilit=oil+cleansing

This is pretty much the method I use - with some essential oils added. I've not used soap of moisturiser on my face for about a year now and a customer who I've not seen since the beginning of last season remarked on how good my complexion is :cheers:
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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232810 Susie
Sun May 22, 2011 10:03 am

green pea, I know this might not be helpful, but have you tried home-made cold-process soap rather than soap you get in the shop? I'm hazy on the chemistry of this but they're actually quite different - cold process soap retains all the glycerin (or something) and I think a lot of shop soap is not actually soap but detergent. I have very dry skin too and cold-process soap helps it. But if that's nonsense please ignore me ;-).
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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232812 green_pea
Sun May 22, 2011 10:15 am

Susie - my mums friend makes her own soap, she gave me some for christmas and to the same effect on my skin unfortunately. Never tried making it myself, though. Might be worth a try (if I can find the time to experiment :shock: ) as I might find a recipe that suits me. :icon_smile:
GA - I'll have a look at the thread, thanks. I'm going to be using it all over, just wanted to try a small patch first so my face seemed like a good guinea pig! :sunny:

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232813 Green Aura
Sun May 22, 2011 10:16 am

No susie it's not nonsense.

The glycerin that gp was talking about buying is a by-product of the soap making industry! I don't know what they do put in it (somehow they don't seem to have to follow the same cosmetics Regs as small-scale soap makers like me, who have to list all the ingredients!) but I do know that most commercial soap is made from granules of whatever which are compacted under high pressure.

Home made soap is quite easy as long as you follow the instructions carefully - getting the right ratio of lye to oil is the most important bit. So if you're going to have a go use a good lye calculator like the one here

http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php
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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #232831 chickenchargrill
Sun May 22, 2011 3:57 pm

For a facial toner I make my own rose water, it works beautifully and is nice and kind to the skin. Then add the appropriate EO if you suffer from the occasional spot or problem skin. Not tried the oil cleanser, but would imagine it would be nice to follow it with a toner.

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #233247 wildbee
Thu May 26, 2011 5:29 pm

I washed my face with olive oil two days ago and it made my skin so soft :) I also haven't felt the need to use anything other than water in the 4 days since. Rose water is really nice to use for freshening up, I found some for 70p in the local indian supermarket, I'd prefer witch hazel but it's a bit expensive.

How do you make yours chickenchargrill?

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #233263 southeast-isher
Thu May 26, 2011 7:19 pm

Aqueous cream?

I shave with it. And was told by a friend that a doctor recommended body washing with it in a shower. I got a huge tub for about £4.

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #233289 green_pea
Fri May 27, 2011 7:34 am

I'm hooked on the olive oil! Thanks for the suggestions, though.

Are you still using it wildbee?

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #233293 chickenchargrill
Fri May 27, 2011 8:00 am

wildbee wrote:I washed my face with olive oil two days ago and it made my skin so soft :) I also haven't felt the need to use anything other than water in the 4 days since. Rose water is really nice to use for freshening up, I found some for 70p in the local indian supermarket, I'd prefer witch hazel but it's a bit expensive.

How do you make yours chickenchargrill?


I put a generous amount of rose petals (red is supposed to be best but I've found no difference) in the bottom of the pan. Pour in enough cool, boiled water to cover them. Place a bowl on top of them. Put the lid on upside down and turn up the heat to boil it.

Once it's boiling, put ice cups in the upturned lid. Turn down the heat so it simmers and keep topping up the ice every now and again. I used a tea towel to leech off excess water when the lid becomes a bit too full. This takes up to two hours but at the end of it you should have collected a fair bit of rose water in the bowl.



Other ways I've read you can do it, but I've not tried these.

Least effort - For every 1 firmly packed cup of rose petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top. Cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals, and refrigerate the rose water in a sterilized jar.

Oven method - Preheat oven to 230°. Line an enamelware roaster a few inches deep with rose petals. Fill with distilled water until the petals are just covered. Place the roaster uncovered into the oven and bring to a boil.
As soon as it starts boiling, turn off the heat and cover the roaster. Leave in the oven until the water is cool (several hours). Once cool, strain the water and squeeze all the petals to remove the liquid. Store the rose water in the refrigerator.

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #233355 wildbee
Fri May 27, 2011 5:31 pm

southeast-isher wrote:Aqueous cream?

You must be joking? That stuff's full to the brim with toxic nastiness.

chickenchargrill wrote:I put a generous amount of rose petals (red is supposed to be best but I've found no difference) in the bottom of the pan. Pour in enough cool, boiled water to cover them. Place a bowl on top of them. Put the lid on upside down and turn up the heat to boil it.

Once it's boiling, put ice cups in the upturned lid. Turn down the heat so it simmers and keep topping up the ice every now and again. I used a tea towel to leech off excess water when the lid becomes a bit too full. This takes up to two hours but at the end of it you should have collected a fair bit of rose water in the bowl.

This sounds like it takes a lot of work (and roses) but must be loads better than shop bought stuff.

green_pea I used the olive oil again last night and it's soooo great, I love it. I agree with you on the smell though it does go once it's washed off. Not like the vinegar in my hair ...

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Re: soap-free alternatives?

Post: #233358 green_pea
Fri May 27, 2011 5:52 pm

Brilliant isn't it, I feel gutted I hadn't heard of it sooner. I was surprised at how un-smelly I was after using it, might still try adding something like lavender to it though just to experiment.
My partner and I have decided to try and make everything we use cosmetically (shampoo, washing stuff, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc) from as little ingredients as possible, so I'm with you on the vinegar in the hair!


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