How To Make Soap For Kids
Did you know that most commercially-made baby skincare products are laced with harsh chemicals that could damage your baby’s tender skin? We tell you how to make soap for your child at home.
By Amrita Gracias
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed” – Linda Wooten, author
Radhika browsed the shelves at the supermarket, looking for suitable soaps and shampoos for her little daughter. She was shocked as she read the labels of several popular products. She couldn’t believe the amount of harmful chemicals that were actually being transferred on to the tender skin of her little one! That very minute, she made up her mind to immediately switch to skincare products that used only natural and organic ingredients. And why not even try making them at home? She was sure it would be well worth her time and effort! Read on to find out how to make soap for your kid!
Mothers are finicky when it comes to their child’s well-being. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for parents to make DYI soaps and shampoos at home owing to the growing awareness of the dangerous chemicals that are added to most commercially-made skincare products. If you too strongly feel about the need to switch to safer, natural products for your child, you have come to the right place. We give you DIY soap recipe right here!
Why switch to natural home-made products?
Although many baby skincare products are marked as safe and gentle, it is important to check the safety of the ingredients used — that they are free from chemicals and irritants that could harm your child. It is commonly advised that the soaps and shampoos that you use for your baby contain ingredients that are natural and organic, meaning the ingredients used are free from chemicals and pesticides.
Most commercially-made soaps, however, are made with chemical hardeners and synthetic lathering agents, colouring agents, artificial perfumes and fragrances. They also contain parabens, which are chemical preservatives that can be harmful to the delicate skin of a baby in the long run. Synthetic perfumes, although they make the product smell nice, are known to cause skin allergies, skin conditions and can even aggravate issues like acne or eczema. Artificial colouring agents can also cause skin to irritate and the eyes to burn. Chemicals like formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, some of the most dangerous chemicals (even known to cause cancer), are unfortunately commonly found in several baby care products.
How to make your own bath products?
Contrary to popular belief, making your own bath products is, in fact, simple, convenient and easy to prepare too. And, more importantly, you can be sure of the safety of the ingredients used. Natural ingredients are known to nourish the skin and maintain its natural pH levels. Therefore, it is less likely that your child will have allergic reactions to these products. The process is rather inexpensive too.
Popular ingredients in home-made soaps and shampoos:
- Liquid castile soap: This is a commonly available inexpensive ingredient that is made from vegetable oils. It does not contain any animal fats or synthetic ingredients (dyes or chemicals). More importantly, it is biodegradable and non-toxic, therefore making it absolutely safe to use for kids, especially for tender and sensitive skin. It also acts as a natural moisturiser as it is rich in Vitamin E and is even known to have anti-bacterial properties.
- Glycerine: Although optional, glycerine is a humectant, which means it has the ability to attract moisture from the air to one’s skin, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It is an organic compound and can be obtained from vegetable oils. Soaps with glycerine have a lower pH content and therefore helps the skin retain its natural moisture. It also helps make the consistency of the soap thicker and gives more lather to the wash.
- Carrier oils: These are mainly plant-based oils that are used to dilute the essential oils, which are too concentrated to be used on their own. There are several oils that can be used for making soap. The most common oils include coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil, argan oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and almond oil. You can choose any of these oils based on their valuable properties and your baby’s skin type.
- Essential oils: If you prefer your soaps and shampoos to have natural fragrances, then essential oils are a great choice, as these are extracted from herbs, flowers and plants. Some commonly-used essential oils are lavender, lemon, lemongrass, orange, cinnamon, peppermint, rosemary and tea tree oil.
- Distilled water: This is optional and is usually used instead of tap or filtered water in order to avoid any impurities floating around in the solution. However, regular water is more than enough for DIY soaps or shampoos.
Recipe for DIY soap and shampoo
- 1 cup of water (filtered or distilled)
- 1 cup of liquid castile soap (unscented)
- 1-2 tablespoons of the carrier oil
- 10-15 drops of the essential oil
- Add the water in a jar or soap dispenser.
- Pour in the liquid castile soap and mix well.
- Then add in the carrier oil followed by the essential oil.
- Add in the glycerine (optional).
- Your soap or shampoo is ready. Shake well before use.
- Do not add too much of the carrier oil to the solution, as this might leave the skin or hair greasy. It might get difficult to wash off.
- Do not make too large a quantity. Instead, make smaller batches of soaps and shampoos that can be used quickly. It isn’t advisable to keep water-based products without preservatives for too long.
What to expect from natural hand-made soaps and shampoos?
Do you like your soap and shampoo to make a rich lather as you bathe? Can you expect the same with natural ingredients?
Common Oxen, a brand well-known for their use of simple, yet rich, ingredients and natural materials in their products, says that making the move from regular soaps to those that are entirely natural and non-toxic requires a shift in expectations too. For instance, natural soaps and shampoos tend to foam less. But, lack of foam does not necessarily mean that the soap cleanses less effectively. In fact, this occurs only because the product is free from chemicals.
Also, if you are used to taking a bath with a bar of soap, liquid soap which needs a good shake before use, might not appeal to you initially. But do you know that to solidify the ingredients, your store-bought soaps have used synthetic emulsifiers? So, what would you prefer, a good shake of bottled soap made with natural ingredients or use of synthetic emulsifiers to make bars?
As their website explains, Common Oxen says that the skin, the largest and most responsive organ, easily absorbs what we apply to it. And there is growing evidence of the increasing dangers that synthetic chemicals have on our bodies and health. Natural cleansers nurture skin and body tissue and free them of chemical build-up. Natural products contain ingredients that have high botanical content that are holistically far superior to synthetics and even work as, or more, effectively.
Hence, more reason to embrace natural products! As these products help reduce our dependence on dangerous chemicals that are otherwise so conspicuous in our daily lives.
Mahalakshmi Socrates, mother and founder of Amaara Handmade Natural Skincare, says that she was inspired by her grandmother who is an expert at putting together simple ingredients from the kitchen for regular skin care. She, too, prefers to use natural ingredients in skincare products rather than those laden with chemicals. “I simply re-invented recipes using natural ingredients like nourishing herbs, oils and grains to use for myself and my children”, she says. “The natural ingredients in my soaps helped get rid of my daughter’s dry skin and uneven skin tone that was caused by mosquito bites”, she explains. “I encourage others to try these products as well and guaranteed that they won’t regret the change, and neither will you!”
So, go ahead and make use of some of these natural organic ingredients for your baby’s bath. After all, there’s nothing as precious as your baby and her well-being!
About the author:
Written by Amrita Gracias on 18 April 2019.
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