IT’S ALL ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
COOKING UP IDEAS ABOUT SOAP FROM THE EPICENTER OF THE ORGANIC MOVEMENT
By Grayson West for The National Business Post
Just when they said to wash your hands for as long as you can sing, Happy Birthday, what started as a party favor for her children’s birthday party, four years ago, has quickly turned into a full time business with clients in Hawaii and across the US.
Beatrice Laver - former ballerina with the National Opera House in Bucharest, Romania - wanted to cook up something for her boy’s party favors. As she has always been creative, she wanted to make something. Her friend had been making soap for the last few years, so Beatrice decided that she would gift soap as party favors. Make them fun for the kids, and maybe the kidswould wash their hands – or at least, maybe they would want to wash their hands. She would make Ninja Turtle hand soap. Her kids were at that age when everything becomes a mess, hands included.
It worked. Green Ninja Turtle soap was a success. Kids loved it. Parents loved it. That was the beginning. Beatrice had found her next creative passion; creating artisan hand-made soaps.
“My whole life has been a creative process. I spent twenty eight years as a classically trained dancer and choreographer. I worked eight years as a producer with Romania’s first privatized television network, PRO TV. I love to cook. I thought what would I name a soap company if I was to make this happen. Ingredients were of the utmost importance. I wanted to use all organic ingredients.”
And so it was, Organic Soap Bakery was created.
“I always had eczema and psoriasis, various skin ailments. I found when I used regular store bought soap, that my hands would crack. My friend had been making soap which I started to use – ingredients that were found in your kitchen – and I found my hands began to heal. I thought, I could do this.” Today, Organic Soap Bakery incorporates all organic ingredients into the making of soap.
“For me, it was the ability to make something interesting, organic and unique. So I began by making bakery items, hand-made and hand painted, using ingredients from the kitchen, but everything was soap. All my friends from Beverly Hills wanted something unique to gift to friends or use for their family’s special occasion. So I made really unique individual luxury soaps, bath bombs, and body butter.”
Soon Beatrice was heading off to trade shows, setting up accounts with various hotels and began to take over rooms of her house with her supplies, cooking up new soaps every other week in her kitchen. From unique hand painted bakery items, Beatrice began to explore the possibility of making a brand of bar soap – that could be more incorporated into someone’s daily living. Hotels had taken an interest.
What Beatrice didn’t realize at the time was, that as she was that as she was cooking up more organic ideas in her kitchen for soap, the FDA was in the process of banning certain harmful chemicals from liquid soap, foam, gel hand soaps, bar soaps and body washes.
Think of how many products are used every day by the average American in order to keep us well groomed. According to a survey by the Environmental Working Group, EWP, the average person uses 9 products daily which contain more than 126 ingredients. From creams, to balms, to soap, and deodorant, we are spreading topical creams and ointments over the largest permeable organ of the human body – our skin.
With more than 2 million holes – pores – the skin has the ability to absorb molecules into the bloodstream. According to aEnviron Health Insights article, “Potential Health Effects Associated with Dermal Exposure to Occupational Chemicals, (December 17, 2014, U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health), contact dermatitis is one of the most common types of occupational illnesses accounting for approximately 90-95% of all occupational skin disorders in the United States. Interestingly enough, the occupational industry first highlighted in the article was cosmetology.
In another article “No More Toxic Tubs – Getting Contaminants out of Children’s Bath and Personal Care Products”, out of the baby products tested for contaminants, 61% of commonly known “mass marketed” products – labeled as “safe and gentle” - contained formaldehyde and I,4-dioxane. These ingredients, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin, gastro-intestinal tract, and lungs, have been recognized as carcinogens in animal studies. More specifically, formaldehyde has been known to trigger skin reactions, such as contact dermatitis.
Recently the FDA made a final ruling under which OTC (over-the-counter) consumer antiseptic wash products (such as liquid soap, foam, body wash, and bar soap), containing the majority of the antibacterial active ingredients – including triclosan and triclocarbon – would no longer be able to be marketed in the U.S. (Triclosan is a chemical ingredient found in “antibacterial” soap known to block certain thyroid hormone function. These ingredients have been added to many consumer products with the intent of reducing and preventing bacterial infection, however laboratory studies have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.)
Do note that the above ruling does not yet apply to hand sanitizers.
Therese M. Michele, MD of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products says, “Following simple handwashing practices is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness at home. It’s simple and it works. There’s no data demonstrating that antibacterial products (with chemicals like triclosan) provide additional protection from diseases and infections. If you use these products because you think they protect you more than soap and water, that’s not correct.”
As Beatrice says, “The FDA is busy. And these companies continue to use toxic chemicals in these products simply because they are not banned yet, and they are cheaper than organic.
I get it. Ten to twenty dollars for a bar of soap is not cheap. But what value do you place on your health. We need to read labels and make better choices for ourselves and our children.”
OSB (Organic Soap Bakery) does recommend simply scanning labels of the daily products you use on your skin, checking to make sure they do not include the following ingredients, as they have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, learning disabilities, and other serious health problems:
At present, the FDA has restricted only 11 out of more than 12,000 ingredients currently used in the cosmetics industry here in the U.S. By comparison, the EU has banned 1,100ingredients. “We have a long way to go. I just want to continue to educate the general public about how important it is that we understand what we are putting on and into our bodies. It might look like soap, but it’s not the soap you once knew.”
All of the soaps produced by Organic Soap Bakery are made by hand in Los Angeles, California home to 40 percent of all organic commodities sold in the U.S. (68% percent of all organic vegetables sold in the U.S. are grown in California.) Needless to say, OSB sits at the epi-center of the organic movement. And organic ingredients are what gives OSB its namesake.
The base ingredients used for all of OSB’s bar soaps include:
Presently in stock:
Organic Soap Bakery continues to produce unique one of a kind, hand-made, hand painted, artisan soaps for both luxury gift ideas and unique gifts celebrating special occasions – weddings, business gatherings, baby showers, birthdays.