mercredi 11 mars 2015

Why Many People Are Turning To Organic Vegan Soap

By Leslie Ball

Many people turn to a vegetarian philosophy of life because they can no longer ignore the cruelty domestic creatures experience on their journey to becoming fast food. While soap is definitely not edible, it usually contains fat derived from animal sources, in combination with some form of lye. Organic vegan soap is made without using animal byproducts containing growth additives, and is not safety-tested on laboratory animals.

Animal fat has traditionally been a primary ingredient in many widely-used personal care formulas. Unless contradicted by the label, there are also additional chemicals commonly incorporated to enhance both smell and appearance, as well as to improve lathering. Some products also contain residual traces of hormones and antibiotics originally placed in feed to maximize growth prior to slaughter.

Coconut oil and beef fats are commonly incorporated into commercially produced brands together with formulas based on other readily available sources, including palm oil. Although widely used in most commercially sold personal cleaning products, they are not really necessary. Soap can be manufactured using any fat source when combined with alkali or ash. Low cost and availability makes rendered fat a more cost-effective ingredient.

Products advertised as organically produced may not qualify as truly vegan. Natural ingredients such as lanolin, beeswax, honey, royal jelly, fish, emu, and mink oil, and others are made by or from creatures that may have enjoyed life on a humane, sustainable farm, with no additional pesticide use or chemical growth additives. They are still organic, but are not considered vegetarian.

Rather than searching for retail products that contain no hint of beef tallow or lard, many people are learning to make their own. Virtually any vegetable-based fat will work, and there are a wide variety of recipes available on line. Cocoa butter is widely featured, and has a good reputation for moisturizing. If a firmer bar is needed, coconut oil produces good lather while maintaining a solid shape.

Generic Castile soaps features olive oil as the primary ingredient, and has long been known to cause fewer skin irritations or allergic responses. Shea butter derived from African sources has existed for many decades, and is well known for retaining moisture while softening skin, and can be used as a stand-alone cosmetic product. Sweet almond oil conditions skin effectively, and is a lighter choice that appeals to many.

Palm oils are considered vegetarian, but in recent decades have been produced on increasingly large south-Asian plantations that displace the natural tropical vegetation, destroy endangered species habitats, and contribute to the environmental hazards associated with deforestation. There are some brands of palm oil produced using sustainable methods, a fact usually stated on the packaging.

Organically grown and vegan are not synonymous, and avoiding animal-based ingredients does not automatically create a superior product. People genuinely intent on avoiding participation in commercial cruelty must become aware of the actual translation of the information provided by labels. Stating that a product is natural has little real impact on humane farming methods or the use of additives.

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