Yesterday, I found a small package on my doorstop. I looked at the return address and discovered it was from my sister Chris who lives in Columbus, Ohio. I ripped the package open, and before I could see the contents, I could smell the fresh fragrance. Inside was a bar of soap. Not just ordinary soap, it was handmade with natural olive oil and oatmeal; its fragrance came from lavender.
I smiled when I read that the farm’s name was Freckle Bear Lavender . What’s the story behind that name? I’m going to make it my mission to find out what it is. The soap was made by Bear Naked Goods. The person who dreamed up these names must be creative. Then I noticed the logo, and laughed.
I’ve never thought much about soap. For most of my life, my favorite was Ivory Soap. When I took a bath, it would float around the tub making it easy to find. What it was made with never crossed my mind. Over the years, I’ve become more careful what I put on my skin.
This past summer, my hands were rough and red with a strange rash on my palms. I went to a dermatologist who took one look at my hands and asked, “Are you using antibacterial soap?”
I answered, “yes.” Then she told me antibacterial soap was probably the culprit. She told me to stop using it. My hands were back to normal within a week.
When I was researching lavender farms in Virginia, I came across a farm called The Lavender Path. This was posted on their home page:
“You need to read the most recent article explaining the negatives of anti-bacterial soap published by Scientific American. Our hand soap is one of the most popular products and the lavender essential oil has natural anti-bacterial properties. That means the Chesapeake Bay does not get any nasty chemicals to harm the ecosystem.”
Now I’m even more aware of the risks of using antibacterial soap. Not only does it cause skin rashes for people who have sensitive skin, it contains potentially dangerous chemicals that can disrupt hormones and “may actually be aiding in the development of superbacteria.” Another problem is that these chemicals eventually get into our water supply, soil and food.
I am grateful to lavender growers like the one at The Lavender Path for getting the word out about the benefit of using natural soaps. If you are like me, and have not thought much about soap, I ask you to consider switching to natural soap made with natural ingredients.
Thank you, also, to my sister, for a thoughtful gift!