handwashing with soap

How to Protect Your Family from Covid19

Coronovirus, or COVID-19, is coming. It’s going to affect you. It’s going to affect your children and your wider family. People will possibly die in their thousands. The very fabric of our existence is going to be ripped to shreds?!? So, How to Protect Your Family from Covid19?

Suddenly all those apocalypse movies you watched have an educational benefit – you know what to do right? Isolate yourself and your family. Stockpile supplies. Arm yourself against intruders. And wait for some clever scientists somewhere in a lab to create the vaccine that will save us all.
Our newsfeeds show us empty supermarket shelves, desperate people fighting over toilet paper, people wearing hospital grade masks and the ever increasing number of those infected. The panic button has been hit good and proper. And panic is what we should do…. Or is it?


What if there was a simple solution to controlling this epidemic? What if you (yes, YOU) could protect your children, your family, your community?

What if we literally held the answer to the future existence of the human race in the palm of our hand?  

Soap and Water Saves Lives

Soap and water is your best defense against any viral illness.

 


Soap.

 

That’s it.

 

Just soap.

 

Oh, and a bit of water.

 

Proper Handwashing is the best protection against most contagious illnesses.

 

Yes, Handwashing Saves Lives!


You got it – washing your hands regularly and ensuring those around you do the same is the single most effective way of stopping COVID-19 in its tracks.
A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that at any one time, only 20% of people at an airport have clean hands. If that number could be increased to 60% the worldwide spread of coronovirus could be reduced by 70%. 70% percent!!!

Just by people washing their hands!!

Even if that figure was achieved at just the top ten key airports, transmission could be cut by nearly 40%.

The COVID-19 virus is spread through respiratory secretions – saliva and mucus, essentially. An infected person touching their face transfers the virus onto their hands. That can end up on surfaces (supermarket trolley handles, for example) or directly onto someone else’s hands, they touch their face and bingo – another one to add to the tally.

But this chain reaction can be broken by just 20 seconds of washing your hands with soap and water, reducing any bacterial presence by 92%,. And it doesn’t even have to be antibacterial soap. In fact, studies have shown that antibacterial soaps don’t provide any more significant protection against germs and may even be causing us harm. (http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/say-goodbye-antibacterial-
soaps-fda-banning-household-item/)

In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, ‘Handwashing is like a do-it-yourself vaccine’.

So, we don’t have to wait for the men in white coats to do their thing after all!

There is a right and wrong way of washing your hands – check out this link where microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles from the University of Auckland demonstrates the best technique. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice is an essential part of the process (although the chorus from ‘Stayin’ Alive’ is also popular and good practice for when you need to carry out CPR. One song, two vital health uses!)

And if you, suffer from dry skin and sore hands washing with commercial products, try one of our natural soaps. They are great for frequent washing as they don’t strip the natural oils from the skin while still removing all manner of dirt and germs. They are also easily broken down in water treatment systems (so you are saving the environment, as well as mankind) AND you’ll be supporting a small, NZ-based business.  The liquid soaps are especially good for frequent handwashing and contain natural germ fighting essential oils.  Just use in a foaming bottle and they will last you ages!

It’s a win:win:win.

So take that, COVID-19.  You now know the most effective way of how to protect your family from covid19.

This is a very cool TED Talk that really brings home how important washing your hands is to protect us from all sorts of nasties.

antibacterial soap

Antibacterial soap – Skip It!

Why You Should Stay Away From Antibacterial Soap (And Use Natural Soap Instead)

We all want to live safe and healthy lives, and the personal hygiene and cleaning products we select for ourselves and our loved ones indisputably play a role in that. But sometimes certain products, like antibacterial soap and even some hand sanitizers, can do more harm than good. In many cases, traditional soap is proven to be more effective than antibacterial soaps.

And while antibacterial soap sounds like a good idea at first, especially with its reputation for killing germs, it might actually be putting you more at risk.

One relatively simple (but still very dangerous) risk involves a key ingredient that can be found in much antibacterial soap: triclosan. Triclosan has been considered potentially hazardous by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration of the United States) since the late 1970s, due in no small part to the fact that when triclosan comes into contact with chlorinated water (which can be found in a wide variety of places these days) it has a chemical reaction that produces chloroform, a compound that is considered a carcinogen and known to be toxic and dangerous. In fact, the FDA has enacted a ban on triclosan in recent years, forbidding its use in many products such as hand soaps and body washes due to all the potential hazards it presents. Unfortunately, this ban is not universal and some products still contain triclosan.

Antibiotic resistance – Scary!

Another main risk factor (and perhaps the most concerning one) associated with antibacterial soaps is one that is becoming increasingly more important and talked about, and that is the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

It’s becoming more widely known that the overuse or improper use of antibiotic medicine (and any product with antibacterial or anti-fungal properties) can result in the creation and evolution of more resilient bacteria. These bacteria, commonly called “super-bugs”, have adapted to be resistant to antibiotics and anti-bacterial products. In many cases, these mutated super-bugs are resistant to triclosan specifically. In general, this resistance to antibiotics means that some bacteria remain alive and unharmed by antibacterial products including it even while other more susceptible germs are killed.

And because these antibiotic-resistant bacteria are usually the primary survivors, that resistance grows and spreads, causing an increased risk for illnesses that cannot be treated with antibiotics. And if an illness cannot be treated in a timely manner (or treated at all, in some cases) the patient’s condition will only grow worse over time, both from the original illness as well as from the myriad of complications that can follow.

MRSA

Some bacteria, such as the notorious MRSA (which has the full designation of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) have even become resistant to numerous types of antibiotics, making it a bacterial strain that is incredibly difficult to treat.

In some cases, MRSA can lead to infections of the bloodstream, pneumonia, sepsis, and even death. And while accurately tracking the number of MRSA cases is currently quite difficult, it’s estimated that over a million people in the United States contract MRSA per year. The number of fatal cases has decreased recently due to efforts made by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization) but antibiotic-resistant bacteria remain a serious problem that is enabled by products like antibacterial soaps and washes. Therefore, it’s important to not become over-reliant on these types of products; they must be used cautiously and in moderation.

Natural Soaps have benefits

Additionally, natural soaps are actually quite beneficial to you. Handmade soaps, in particular, can be very hydrating for your skin, thanks to the glycerin they contain (which is a byproduct of the soap-making process). This glycerin can also result in softer and smoother skin. Read our previous blog on this topic!

Normal non-antibacterial soap is also better for you because they contain fewer artificial ingredients. Many artificial chemicals that can be found in certain soaps (especially antibacterial ones) are potentially harmful to not just your skin but your overall health as well; some of these chemicals can even aggravate existing allergic conditions or cause skin conditions like rashes or eczema, making more natural soaps a much better option by comparison.

All in all, while the decision for whether or not to use antibacterial soaps is ultimately up to you, we sincerely hope that you consider the information we’ve shared here with you.

liquid castile soap

What is Castile Soap?

Find out about Castile Soap

Castile soap is a household essential for people who care what they are putting on their bodies, into their homes and into the environment.  Castile soap is a fantastic environmentally conscious choice for everything from a household cleaner through to personal care.  It is environmentally conscious because it is made from pure natural ingredients (fats and oils) and is fully biodegradable. These natural ingredients are combined with a strong alkaline, which is made using pure rainwater.  The byproduct of this is natural soap.  Castile is marked apart from other soaps, in that it contains few ingredients and it NEVER contains animal fats or oils.  Castile soap can also be either a solid or liquid soap.

Most castile soap is marketed as containing olive oil but any vegetable oil can be used to make a pure castile.  Castile soap is said to have gained its label from the Kingdom of Castilla, now a part of Spain.  Apparently the King of France insisted upon the finest soap made from extra virgin olive oil, and hence the name Castile was born. 

Natural castile soap is known to be a long lasting, effective and potent.  It can be used for a variety of applications, from washing your face through to a dog and pet wash.  This pure soap can be used safely and effectively used in the laundry and is really popular among vegetarians and vegans as it contains no animal products.  It is also great to use with kids, as its pure natural effectiveness washes away grime and dirt without stripping their sensitive skin.

All of Be Natural’s soap range is castile soap.  This is because we only use top quality vegetable oils and butters and we keep ingredients lists pure and natural.

Top Ten uses for Castile Soap

Here are my top ten uses for using Be Natural’s range of castile soaps in my own home:

  • As a facial cleanser. (I use Be Smooth with Pink Clay – divine and last forever)
  • As a yummy body wash!  Both solid and liquid! (the kids use our liquid Sweet Orange and Lavender soap as an all over hair and body wash)
  • Shampoo!  We make a fantastic solid shampoo bar!
  • As a great shaving soap!  Looks after sensitive skin and prolongs shaving blades life! (My hubby is stoked that he doesn’t have to shell out so much for expensive blades!!!)
  • As a dishwash – apply the liquid castile directly to roasting dishes and baking tins.
  • Use the liquid castile cleaning soap as a bathroom cleaner, including showers and toilets. (Yes, I use the same soap we clean the kids with!)
  • Add the liquid castile (or some grated solid bar) to the washing machine!  Also makes great laundry handwash (is very kind to my skin too!)
  • Use the liquid castile to help clean windows, apply a squirt directly and clean with a microcloth.
  • Use the liquid castile to mop floors, brings a natural and clean scent to the room.
  • Use the liquid castile in the windscreen wiper cleaner dispenser in the car.

All Purpose

Castile soap can be used anytime you need an all purpose cleaner – it is proven to be very effective  – and can not only save you dollars but will help declutter your shelves of the multitude of different products (that you don’t really need).  It is also really good for people with sensitive skin as it cuts out contact with other nasty chemicals.  Be Natural sells our liquid castile in bulk – please contact us for prices and delivery.

So why not ditch the toxic chemicals, and try some pure castile today?  Your household, your body and the environment will thank you for it.  You can purchase directly from us here or from one of our retailers nationwide – contact us on benaturalsoap@gmail.com and we can tell you where your closest retailer is.

Please note:  We produce unscented liquid soap in 5 litre cans.   Unscented castile is great as you can add your fragrances/essential oils or use as is for a variety of purposes.

make up brush cleaner

How to clean make up brushes

Be Natural has just launched its new solid make up brush cleaner – Be Conditioned.  Why is it so important to keep your make up brushes clean though?  And why should you care about what kind of cleanser you use on your brushes?  And lastly, how should you clean your make up brushes?

Well, really gross things happen if you don’t clean your brushes.  Let’s get the gross part over and done with first.  You wouldn’t neglect to wash your face, because otherwise it gets a build of oils and grime – and it’s the same for your brushes!  They need the same attention in some ways.  Rule of thumb – wash your brushes at least weekly, if not more often if you are a regular user of make up.  Here’s why:

Regular make up brush cleaning will help avoid:

  • Bacteria Build Up – eeeeeww.  Bacteria from our skin will form a build up which, if left, can lead to microbe colonies getting out of hand.
  • Breakouts – yes, dirty brushes can lead to breakouts caused by an overload of microbes on the skin.
  • Skin irritation – dirty brushes can irritate skin due to not being conditioned and constantly reapplying bacteria.
  • Clogged pores from old oils on the brushes. Another eeewwwwww.
  • Viral infections – yes, gross but true.  Dirty brushes which have been shared can lead to some unpleasant viral infections such as more breakouts and pink eye.
  • Bug infestations – yes!  Double eeewwwww!
  • Damaged Bristles – regular cleaning takes care of the bristles and prolongs the life of a brush.

Ok, so you are now convinced that regular brush cleaning is the way to go.  Good.  Go grab some brush cleaner from Be Natural!

If you do decide to use a natural cleaner such as Be Condtioned, you are doing yourself and the environment a favour.   Itis important to look after your skin by using as little toxic chemical as possible – our skin absorbs substances and sends these substances straight to our blood, which over time does accumulate and can lead to sluggish physical health.  While washing brushes your skin comes into contact with the cleaner, and it will leave your skin as soft and supple as your bristles, so nothing to worry about there.

How should I use a solid make up brush cleaner?

Firstly, run your brushes under tepid water.

Secondly, Swirl the brush around in the tin or on the solid cleaner to create a foam.

Thirdly, Use the palm of your hand or a make up brush cleaner pad or our timber rack to clean the brush thoroughly.

Forthly, rinse the brush in tepid water, gently squeeze out excess water and lay out to dry.

Lastly, rinse the solid cleaner with water and leave to dry before replacing lid.

make up brush cleaner

With a routine like this, your brushes should last a lifetime and your make up will also become more long lasting.

 

 

baby soap

Babies, Skin and Soap

Young Skin – how to avoid chemical overload.

Did you know that a babies skin and children’s skin is more vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals than adults?  This is because their immune systems and central nervous system are still developing, which results in less elimination of chemical toxins than adults.  On top of this, young babies and children have nearly double the skin surface per unit of body weight than adults!  This means that a child can proportionally absorb more chemicals.  That’s why it is so important to think about what products you are using on your babies and children.

Mum and I made our first every batch of soap when I was pregnant with my third child Joseph.  I had been buying natural soaps (some actually not so natural) for the household and the older babies, but I really wanted a pared back soap for my new baby, something with no chemicals, no fragrance, no colours.  Our first batch of soap was an organic honey and oat – and Baby Jo got the use the whole batch with us.  That’s when we started making soap for others and Be Natural was born.  Our mission is to produce great effective products that use only natural ingredients.  In fact most of our ingredients you can eat!

Babies Skin is Special!

baby soap

A natural gentle soap will gently cleanse and nourish your babies skin.

Back to babies though!  It is important that firstly, you don’t over wash them!  Babies do not need much cleaning – usually only 2-3 times per week, otherwise you risk drying out their skin.  Use a natural soap, preferably organic and plain water.  There is no need for expensive petroleum based bottled baby washes or bubble bath.  Likewise, with baby balms and lotions.  Choose natural oils such as avocado, olive, cocoa butter or shea butter and use directly on baby.  These oils are all available at the supermarket or online, are cost effective and go a long way.  By using them, along with a natural soap you are considerably reducing your childs exposure to damaging chemical such as parabens and phthalates — dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP).  I read that some laboratory studies have found evidence that phthalates and parabens have the potential to alter hormone levels in the body.  This means they could interfere with normal development, when they are absorbed through the babies skin.

As the children get older, it is important to keep using the natural soap.  This not only reduces their chemical load but also encourages them to use natural products of their own choosing as adults.  A lifelong habit of natural products will hopefully be born – which over their lifetime, may help in reducing chemical toxicity in their bodies.  And remember – using natural product is also better for the planet!

Be Natural has a great line of soap products which are all safe to use on babies skin.  We also have a lovely baby soap – Be Gentle – made with avocado and lavender oils.  Whatever, you choose, make sure it is 100% natural, our childrens health depends on it.

 

 

 

 

Why we avoid Palm Oil

Palm Oil in Soapmaking

FACT:  Palm oil makes great soap.  FACT:  Be Natural does not and will never use Palm Oil in soapmaking.

Lets look into this a bit further.

Palm Oil needs land to grow.  Much of the best growing regions for palm oil are in the Asia region, where precious rainforest is still being cut down to make way for palm plantations.  Palm oil led de-forestation is the single biggest human induced cause of climate change.   This is because palm oil plantations have cleared the way through carbon capturing ancient forests – the lungs of the earth.  Deforestation has a massive impact on soaring global temperatures.

One organisation, Say No To Palm Oil, estimates that every single hour, the area of the size of 300 football fields is being cleared in Indonesia and Malaysia.  Of course, this ALSO causes huge amounts of damage to the endangered species that live in these areas.

The orangutan is under serious threat – and could become extinct within the next 50 years – as a direct result of the palm oil industry.  That is not cool – why would you choose to use products with palm oil in it knowing this?

There is also numerous and widespread human right abuses in the palm oil industry.  These abuses include child labourers being exploited and human trafficking.  Read more about this topic here.

Here at Be Natural we spent time investigating the Responsible Roundtable on Palm Oil Production, which is an organisation that business can sign up to in order to say they use “sustainable palm oil”.  However, after our investigation, we discovered that there is no way of knowing that palm oil is sustainable – as the criteria is so weak and enforcement so lax that “sustainable” has no meaning.  So when you read that a country uses sustainable palm oil – don’t be fooled, it may not be sustainable at all.

There are numerous other amazing oils that can be used in soapmaking – coconut oil, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, shea butter, rice bran oil – the list goes on.  All of these oils have fantastic skin food qualities and make beautiful hard soap with great lather.  And by using a Be Natural Soap, you are not contributing to the terrible impact of palm oil production.

 

foaming castile soap

Natural Liquid Soap – why is it beneficial?

Natural Liquid Soap

 

Be Natural’s Organic Liquid Soap is a pure castile natural liquid soap that you can use in many different ways, including as a hand soap.  It is made with organic oils of coconut, New Zealand Avocado and essential oils of Sweet Orange and Lavender – which makes a rich lather and prevents drying the skin. As for preservatives, we use none – the essential oils maintain the self life of the soap. Be Natural Liquid Soap is highly concentrated, which makes it great value.  Make sure that you use this natural liquid soap in a foaming dispenser; otherwise, it will be really hard to use and you will waste a lot of soap.  The number one reason to use a natural liquid soap is to lessen your exposure to nasty toxic chemicals that are in many of the supermarket branded liquid soaps.  Marketed as soap, these concoctions are in fact detergents, and contain thickeners, colours and parabens.  Most of the ingredients in these so called soaps are not even there to help clean you – they are there to maintain shelf life, colour the product and thicken it.  Our soap is pure soap – and every drop of it will cleanse and nourish your skin.  Did you know that when you apply something to your skin, that it is absorbed to your blood stream within 30 seconds?  If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth – don’t put it on your skin!

Being organic and pure, it won’t strip the skin of vital oils, and leaves it soft and clean.  It can be used as a top to toe wash – great for hair, body and face.  Kids love it as it foams and they can easily wash themselves.  It is septic tank friendly, easily breaking down in both regular and eco systems.  Our soap can be used for a variety of purposes too!  I use it as a window cleaner, floor cleaner, spot cleaner, vanity and shower cleaner, foot soak, car wash, laundry handwash and sometimes I add it to the washing machine and dishwasher dispensers!  My husband even uses it as a shaving foam!  Be Natural has recently released 1 and 2 litre containers, available through the website or through direct contact, use these to top up your existing foaming soap dispensers!  Make sure that you use this natural liquid soap in a foaming dispenser; otherwise, it will be really hard to use and you will waste a lot of soap.Great value, less chemicals!  Shop online today for this fantastic product at

Organic Sweet Orange & Lavender Liquid Castile Soap

 

In our next blog we’ll show you some photos of our liquid soap production process, then you can see clearly the natural and pure ingredients that go into our soap!

kids dirty hands

Children and the Toxic Load

For some time I have been aware of the damaging affects that chemicals in everyday products can have on our children.  Clever and powerful marketing combined with busy lives means often we reach for the nearest and easiest solution to cleaning, protecting and treating our children.  But with a bit of time, you can make some simple changes and dramatically reduce your childs toxic load.

Children are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemical as their vital organs are still developing, any damage can be long lasting. They are smaller in size than adults and their developing organs are at greater risk of being affected by toxins. They also have a reduced ability to eliminate toxins from their developing bodies.  Their skin is thinner than adult skin and absorbs everything put on it – within seconds, the chemical enter the blood stream.

There are alternatives, and often they are more cost effective and just as easy.  Here’s some simple tips:

 

  • Use natural sunscreens, or at least those with most nasties taken out – there is an ever increasing range of great products on the market.
  • Stick to natural soaps for body and handwashing.  Research clearly indicates that a bar of natural soap is just as effective at cleaning hands as antibacterial handwash.  There is nothing wrong with washing your childs hair with natural soap either, works a treat.
  • Buy eco, plant based detergents for the dishes – every time you use a plate, there are traces of whatever chemical you previously used – this enters our children.
  • Keep a supply of liquid castille soap in the cupboard for cleaning windows, floors, cars, table tops etc etc.  This negates the need for a cocktail assortment of different products.  (Be reminded that Be Natural produces bulk bottles of castille soap).
  • Remind caregivers, schools and child care agencies of the importance of reducing our children’s exposure to nasty chemicals.
  • Eat organic where-ever possible.

By keeping life simple, you will naturally see the nasty chemicals become eliminated from your life.

 

kids dirty hands

 

 

 

 

benefits of natural soap

Benefits of Organic Handmade Soap

What are the benefits of natural soap?

Natural soap is produced using the same methods that were developed hundreds of years.  We have refined the ingredients and have many more beautiful natural additives that we can now use, but the process is still the same.  True soap is always natural – supermarket soap is actually solid chemical detergent – it contains natural oils and butters, either animal of plant derived.  Natural soap is saponified using a strong alkaline which is neutralised by the oils and butters and produces a hard bar of soap.  There are many benefits of natural soap, some of which are explained below.  The biggest benefit however, is that using natural soap can reduce the chemical load that your body is exposed to.  Unlike commercial soaps which contains synthetic lather elements, artificial colors and harsh chemicals, handmade natural soaps usually contain only plant derived substances.  These substances are so much less likely to cause irritation of rednedd when being used.  Our skin is very absorbent.  The skin obsorbs everything put on it – usually within seconds.  So, if you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin.

It doesn’t end there though – check out these benefits of natural soap.

  • In the making of natural soap, glycerine, which moisturises or skin naturally, is preserved, not separated out like commercial soaps.  Glycerine moisturises and hydrates our skin and helps us to avoid dry and rough skin.
  • As our natural soap is made from vegetable oils, it maintains the natural oil of your skin, which protects your skin from harmful effects of wind, sun and even bacteria.
  • Natural soap is feeds your skin your skin the fatty acids it needs to stay healthy – AND it is also good for Aotearoa and our planet Earth.
  • As natural soap is chemical free, it may help skin problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
  • Natural soap has anti-oxidant nutrients. The anti-oxidant nutrients provides long life to skin cell.
  • Natural soap helps you to balance your skin complexion.
  • This soap is not only good skin, organic soap also gives wonderful aromatic smell.

Be Natural Soap has a large range of soaps, made here in New Zealand.  Their is a soap for everyone – from facial bars through to hand scrubs.  Go over and have a browse – worldwide shipping is available.

 

benefits of natural soap