Posted in Everyday Life, Living Simply

Bubble, Bubble Soap & Trouble

For some time I’ve been using bar soap in the bathroom I use most. There are several reasons I’ve switched to bar soap. First, full disclosure. We are weening off liquid soap in all the other bathrooms and kitchen sink. We will probably keep liquid soap in the kitchen and hall bath on main floor, just due to visitors using that bathroom. We are switching to safer liquid soap in those areas. It costs a bit more, but we will be using much less of it.

If you look at the two photos at the top of this post, I think you can see the main reason for the switch. The liquid soap has tons of stuff I’ve never heard of in it, and note how there is the warning to use this soap on your hands only! If this soap is so bad that you can only use it on your hands, why use it at all? The other photo is of a bar of soap on an inexpensive wooden soap holder that lets the soap air dry.

There are a lot of bar soaps on the market, many by large companies. Some of these soaps contain many of those chemical listed on the liquid soap bottle. The best commercial soap I can readily find is Jergens. This can easily be found at Target or other department and grocery stores. Jergens has less chemicals than most commercial soaps, and the company is well rated, as you can see from the link.

A couple bar soaps commonly mentioned are Dr. Bronners and Mrs. Meyers soaps. Personally I find them a bit too harsh and drying. Their scores are on a par with Jergens.

I am also interested in buying handmade soaps. They are generally more expensive than commercial soaps, but many have a wonderful blend of essential oils.

The other big reason to use bar soaps is the packaging. Paper or chipboard packaging vs. a big plastic refill container of liquid soap. A no brainer. Method brand liquid soap is readily available, has a good safety score, and the refill packaging is not plastic. This is more expensive than Soft Soap or store brand liquid soap, but again, since we will be using more bar soap, we will be using far less liquid soap..

Soap is not a sexy blog topic,but it pertains to all of us. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, and we only had bar soap. Ivory soap was the go-to soap in our house. I started using liquid soap in the early 90’s because it was convenient.

It seems that we pay a big price both with our health and our environment for convenience. Something to think about.

Thanks for reading and as always,

Blessed Be!

Posted in Everyday Life

Wear Sunscreen

IMG_0525The other day, I came across the column written by Chicago Tribune Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Mary Schmich in the late 90’s, which was entitled, Wear SunscreenThere was lore that it was a commencement address given by Kurt Vonnegut, but that wasn’t the case. It was later made into a song by Baz Luhrmann, which you can find below.

When I was a kid, we used to go to the swim club about a 1/2 mile from our home. It was largely a neighborhood thing, so most of our friends went there too. We usually went with our mothers, most of whom were housewives in those days. I vividly remember all the moms taking out their bottles of baby oil, slathering it all over their skin, then laying in the sun for hours on end. It was more frying than tanning. Many of these women had really, really dark tans.

Back then, that was the thing to do. The more tan you were, the better. Sunscreen was not a thing, it was suntan lotion, and it’s main function was to help you get tan. I was not so lucky in with tanning. Light complected, I simply burned, turned red, peeled, and back to pale. I can remember being so jealous and envious of those who could easily tan.

We now know better. Most dermatologists will tell you that tanned skin is damaged skin. Many of my friends’ moms began to appear far older than their age starting in their 40’s. Many had bouts with skin cancer. A price was paid for those deep, dark tans.

People are still tanning. Some people think tanning beds are better for you (they’re not), or if you use sunscreen while you tan you are perfectly fine (again, no). Just as some young people think smoking is something that makes them sophisticated or look cool, there are still those who, no matter what the science community tells them, think tans make them more appealing.

I have noticed that many of the younger celebrities, who are looked up to by lots of young people are celebrating pale skin. People like Kristen Stewart, pictured above, proudly flaunt their non sun-damaged skin. Hopefully, their message spreads near and far.

Wear sunscreen.