One CafeMom Goes Green: Week 3

Kim Conte


Science_Spot recently made the decision to go all green in her household and blog about it along the way.

This week, she tells us about her hunt for plain old white soap. (It's actually harder to find than you would expect.)

Each week, Science_Spot updates us on her family's natural transition. This week, she reports about her hunt for plain old white soap.

The search for new soap, baby wipes, and rash treatment continued this week. I started in the CafeMom group Green Organic Natural Simple Living so that I could get some help deciding which soap I should be looking for and where to get it. This group is a great resource for anyone starting out, like me. I will be coming back here as I need help working through my transition of personal and cleaning products.

It seems like a lot of people like Burt's Bees products, including their soaps, which sell for about $4 a bar. Dr. Bronner's (also about $4 each) and Kirk's soaps (about $2 each if I buy in bulk) are also very popular natural soaps. These are coconut-based castile soaps, which means they are made using vegetable oils instead of animal fats (tallow) or various chemicals. I can buy each of these things online, but since I just want to try one bar before committing to a larger order, I decided to look around locally for these products.

THAT was an eye-opening experience!

The town I live in really isn't that small. It is a decent size, with a decent variety of stores available, so I hoped there were natural products there I had just never noticed before. I started with the grocery store, since I go there all the time anyway (what mom doesn't?). I was looking for a natural diaper rash solution and some natural, all-purpose soap, whether it was a brand mentioned above or not. That was a complete failure. The grocery store only carried "traditional" name brand products, full of the chemicals I am avoiding. Oh well, there are other stores in this town. The next day I tried both Rite Aid and our new Walgreen's drug stores. They both had a limited selection of Burt's Bees products, but nothing from their baby-care product line. Rite Aid also had Tom's of Maine natural soap (about $3 a bar). I decided to try a single bar of Burt's Bees Milk and Shea Butter Body Bar.  I went home, a little shocked those natural products were this hard to find around here. The next time I am in the next (larger) town over, I will have to look again for more soap and some natural baby care products.

I used the Burt's Bees soap for the first time that night to wash my face. I absolutely loved it because it smelled so good, felt good, lathered well and left my skin really soft. I didn't even need to use my moisturizer after washing. I immediately threw away that odd pink bar I had been tormenting my face with for weeks. I would definitely never use that again!  After two more days of using this soap for face washings, I decided I liked this soap a lot and now really wanted to try a few more brands because the Burt's Bees contains some fragrance I would rather limit my exposure to. I was definitely on the right track, at least. It has also occurred to me that I may not need my moisturizer, although I do love the Mary Kay one I have been using for years.

This week, I also used the Burt's Bees soap on Sarah's body and hair in the bath. I was careful not to get it in her eyes because it really stung mine the first time I used it. She didn't have any trouble with this soap, but her diaper rash still looked the same. I decided to make a solution with some of this soap (shavings) in water, so I could use a spray bottle to squirt it on Sarah instead of using Huggies wipes. This was a fine time to find out the only spray bottle I had was not working (stupid Dollar Tree!). Instead, I added that to my Target list and continued using the damp paper towel method, which is a real pain in the butt (for me and Sarah, actually)!

Do you use natural soap? Which kind do you use?


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