Shower gel, bubble bath, whatever…

I saw a programme a few months ago that was exposing the bathing industry – DID YOU KNOW that shower gel and bubble bath/bath essence are exactly the same thing, but just labelled and sold as two different products? Scandal, I hear you cry! On my next visit to Superdrug (or was it Boots?), I picked up a bottle of Herbal Essences shower gel and the same fragrance in their bubble bath range – exactly the same ingredients and the bubble bath was twice the size and half the price! Following this revelation, I now buy bubble bath as a multi-use product; shower gel and bubble bath. Now that I think about it, when I was a teenager, I realised we had run out of bubble bath, so I squeezed some shower gel under the running tap instead and noted what amazing bubbles it produced… Always good to read the ingredients methinks.

What’s in it?

The soaps we make at the soap cabin are very different to your bog standard soap bars that you get at the supermarket. Our soaps are made of vegetable glycerin, with the addition of essential oils (or fragrance for our fruity varieties) and a hint of cosmetic colour and flowers, poppy seeds or pumice powder.

We always had Imperial Leather in our bathroom when I was growing up, and you somehow felt comfort in how squeaky it made your hands. So what is in it?

Ingredients: Aqua, sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, glycerin, talc, parfum, sodium chloride, tetrasodium EDTA, etidronic acid, coumarin, eugenol, linalool, benzyl benzoate, gerniol, citronellol, alpha-isomethyl ionone.

Commercial soaps are basically detergent and often heavily perfumed and extremely cheap to buy.

Talc is not only used in cosmetics, but also in paper making, plastic coatings, paint, rubber, electric cable and pharmaceuticals. Tetrasodium EDTA is a preservative made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Etidronic acid is a chemical that prevents soap scum. Coumarin is a synthesized perfume. Of course these chemicals are not in their original state once processed and are therefore safe, but it doesn’t mean they are doing anything good for your skin.

You certainly won’t find these soaps in my bathroom nowadays!


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