~ Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.~ Allen Saunders
I grew up on a small hobby farm in Lapeer, Michigan where we made our own butter, bread, cheese and a plethora of other things. We also made occasional soap with home rendered tallow or lard.
I started making my own soap in my early 30s, I attended amateur soap and beauty product making classes throughout my 40s, because I enjoyed it so much. My friend and I made a lot of our own beauty products during that time.
Thinking back about it, I avoided many store bought items because of issues. I really hadn't put it together, mainly because it had been over a lifetime, but the list kept growing. They didn't connect easily until I was in my late 40s and started having reactions to certain foods.
While trying to understand my food allergies I found a group on Facebook that connected my food allergies and the beauty product and medication reactions.
Sulfates and sulfites including Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), salicylates, phthalates, certain scents among many other items quickly became more evident that they were issues and then my life changed forever.
My food allergies became airborne anaphylactic and with that I became allergic to sulfates extremely allergic (airborne anaphylactic) to aloe vera. Toothpaste, shampoo, soap, conditioners, laundry detergent, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen were nearly instantly impossible. I asked in the group and the recommendations I purchased also caused issues and I quickly realized I was nearly alone with this allergy.
One of the people in the group mentioned she made her own soap. That was when I realized I already possessed the skills I needed. I made my first batch of post allergy soap shortly after and it was glorious. No frills, no scent, no surfactants or sulfates, just oils that I knew were safe and lye (sodium hydroxide) and distilled water (AKA our Just Plain!)
Then the shampoo bar that I had found that was working became obsolete and I had a half of a bar left. Not a lot of time. I did some research and found a recipe that I had the ingredients for and tweaked it to be safe for myself. I absolutely loved it, I sometimes kick myself for not trying sooner. The partial store-bought bar sat in the shower for probably a year and a half before I felt safe to throw it out.
When I look back on my experiences I am very thankful that I already possessed skills that I would be in need of! Looking forward, I hope that my experience can help others, I understand allergies and cross contamination. I know what it is like to feel that nothing around you is safe, not even the air. (I can't be outside if the neighbors are cooking or doing laundry.) I also hope that my products are good enough for everyone but especially those, who like me, need products that are safe.
If there is an ingredient you are allergic to contact me and we can talk about custom soaps, as long as I can use oils and things safe for myself we can formulate something wonderful together!