Product Overload – Slippery When Wet
This is the third post about my attempts to get rid of STUFF and to pay more attention to the products I do buy. To see more details check out the original posts under the category Product Overload.
August 29, 2008
The category is SOAP.
With 776 bar soaps listed on the Cosmetic Database I should be able to find a soap to replace my dearly beloved Ivory soap. I checked out all the soaps in the “natural” section at the local Cub Foods. I was curious to see if these products are actually safer than the ones in the “regular” aisle. There are just 4 so I’ll (briefly!) evaluate them all. The first two are products I didn’t like because of their strong scents, not to mention expensive price tags.
Reviva Labs All Natural Seaweed Soap 3.49 for 4.5 oz. This exact product is not listed, but 79 other Reviva Labs products are, with hazard scores ranging from 2 to 9. While only 1% of the 299 ingredients the company uses rate a high hazard, 95% have no data / high uncertainty and 93% have no FDA review. I’ll skip this brand.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps All-on-one Hemp Rose 4.19 for 5 oz. This product rates a 2 hazard score, which is a good start, but has a 79% data gap and 91% of ingredients have no FDA review. 49% of bar soaps have lower concerns. Geez Louise.
I guess the lesson here is that I need to research all products, even if the company labels it “natural”. Please don’t take away from this that products in the natural section are no better than anything else. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap still rates better than Lever 2000 (7) or Dial, Dove and Aveeno (all 5s). I know this process takes a lot of time – it’s taking up more time than I anticipated. I am surprised and unhappy about how many unknown and potentially hazardous ingredients are used in these common products.
Look, I don’t want to walk around fearing I’m going to get cancer from touching a bar of soap. In the past, when I’ve started to read about the potential hazards of body products I just felt overwhelmed and frustrated. This time I’m taking it one product category at a time and I think in the end I’ll fell better knowing I’ve made the best and most informed choice possible.
Runner-up: Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap. (Also available in Olive & Aloe) Now we’re getting somewhere. I should buy this product. It has a hazard score of ZERO and a data gap of only 33%. The data gap is because of the Olive Oil which has had no FDA or industry review (for topical use I presume, but considering how much olive oil I injest I’m not going to worry about it being a hazard as a soap). NO PRODUCTS are listed as having less concerns – this is the safest out of 776 bar soaps. I cannot detect any scent through the paperboard packaging and it is the best deal at $3.49 for an 8 oz. bar. But, I am intimidated by the weight. What if I drop it on my foot? This happens at least once per week since A. I am clumsy and B. soap is slippery when wet. Also, it is made in Greece then distributed in New York. That’s a long way for a bar of soap to travel.
Finalist: Clearly Natural Lemon (Also Cucumber, Unscented and several others). I am intrigued by the lemon scented variety. At $1.99 for 4 oz this is also one of the better deals and is made in Georgia. The clear plastic packaging which shows off the rainbow of colors. Unlike the Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap which I suspect is a dull brownish color, the lemon soap is a bright pretty yellow which will match my bathroom. Shallow? Perhaps. What can I say – I’m the oldest, I like things to match. The Clearly Natural only rates a low 1 for the hazard score. HOWEVER, there is a 91% data gap and 100% of the ingredients have no FDA or industry review. And one of the ingredients is sodium hydroxide, about which the EWG says, “one or more animal studies shows metabolic effects at very low doses” and “one or more animal studies show sense organ effects at very low doses.” Agh! I was getting so excited. So …
The winner is:
I have liked many Kiss My Face products and I’ll just have to be careful to not drop the soap on my toes. Eventually the bar will get smaller.
Out of curiosity I checked the price on the recently banished Ivory Soap. It costs $2.09 for 4 bars, total 18 oz. That is cheaper. But is it a better deal?