The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
4 All-Natural Soaps Safe for Your Skin and the Planet
So much of what we buy to use in our bathrooms contains chemicals, chemicals and more chemicals. The lists of bafflingly named compounds on those lotions, cleansers, moisturizers and shampoos can take up half the label, with phthalates and parabens and formaldehyde and the ever-popular and mysterious "fragrance." Even your soap may just be a little slippery bar of chemicals. So many of us are looking for safer, healthier alternatives.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Rodale News to the rescue! They went through Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database to find soaps that scored in the low hazard range (o-2), did not contain plastic chemicals or "fragrance" made up of undisclosed compounds and were easily to find at major retailers in the U.S. They prioritized organic products but since the term "organic" is looser when it comes to personal care products than food, they included non-organic soaps with a focus on being natural and sustainable and containing no toxic chemicals.
Here are four of their top finds:
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
Anyone who has gone all-organic in their personal care products knows about Dr. Bronner's, which uses no synthetic ingredients. You'll find no questionable chemicals here. The only unfamiliar thing on the label is tocopherol, basically another named for vitamin E. Rodale's tester tried unscented (Baby Mild), peppermint, eucalyptus and citrus orange, and said the soaps left her skin feeling less dry in addition to having plenty of cleaning power.
Cost: $11 (16 fl. oz.) or $18 (32 fl. oz.)
EWG Rating: 1 (of 10)
John Masters Organics Body Wash
This one comes in blood orange, vanilla and unscented which the Rodale tester said did a good job of cleaning and still kept her skin moisturized. Just under half the ingredients are certified organic. They include blood orange, which encourages collagen production in addition to providing scent, bourbon vanilla for scent, moisturizing vegetable glycerin, pink grapefruit to balance the skin's oils and antioxidant milk thistle.
Cost: $18 (8 fl. oz.)
EWG Rating: 2 (of 10)
Acure Body Wash
The tester tried coconut-pumpkin, which she found to smell more natural than she expected rather than like a pumpkin latte or piña colada. This 100 percent biodegradable body wash is vegan and gluten-free and uses as many fair-trade-certified and certified-organic ingredients as possible. Ten of its 30 ingredients are organic, including coconut oil, pumpkin, chamomile, açaí berry and blackberry. It comes in mint and lilac for breakout-prone skin and unscented as well. Acure also carries three USDA National Organic Program–certified castile liquid soaps in unscented, tropical citrus and peppermint. The tester found that it was an effective cleanser in addition to leaving her skin softer and smoother.
Cost: $9.99 (8 fl. oz.)
EWG Rating: 2 (of 10)
Burt's Bees Natural Skin Care for Men
Burt's Bees products are easily found in regular chain stores—you don't have to go to a specialty store to find them. The products aren't organic but they contain safe ingredients. The gel is 100 percent natural; the bar is 99.7 percent natural, made from a natural vegetable soar with lemon, fir and orange oils and rosemary extract. It does contain a synthetic preservative, but it's one that doesn't have parabens or release formadehyde. Burt's Bees Natural Skin Care for Men comes in bar and body wash varieties, which are cleansing without being overly drying.
Cost: $4 (bar, 4 oz.); $8 (liquid, 12 fl. oz.)
EWG Rating: 1 (of 10)
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."