Above is the moral compass for my products. She is the most precious thing in my world. If I wouldn't use it on her, I won't use it in my products.
Today dear reader, allow me to share with you a concern that has arisen on several occasions. Over the years, I have had individuals question the use of some of the ingredients in my products. Some object to my use of olive oil, canola oil, or lard. It seems there is a school of thought banning almost any ingredient for one reason or another. When I began this soaping journey, I spent innumerable hours researching ingredients, their properties, safety, sustainability, and ethics in procuring. I wrote off some components, such as palm oil, because of the destruction of habitat for wildlife. I also wrote off certain micas because they harm a vital insect group. I also try to procure my non-local ingredients from small woman-owned or family-owned businesses. There are enough big businesses out there harming the environment, taking advantage of poor individuals, and making it impossible for a small business to succeed and sustain a family or community. My goal was to offer something unique, safe, and natural that supported the proverbial little guy or gal. Most recently, the use of titanium dioxide in some of the bar soaps has come into question. As a professional and an entrepreneur, I am happy to discuss and defend my choices and stand behind my products.
When this question arises, I respond with the open and candid explanation that I use titanium dioxide to help whiten my soaps because milk-based soap tends to turn a light tan to dark brown during the curing process. The use of titanium dioxide allows me more freedom of creativity with my swirls and designs. I offer an honest and straightforward explanation. However, I know this conversation will not end here.
Individuals have stated they would love to buy my soaps but can not in good conscience use them because they know the dangers of titanium dioxide. Sigh. Allow me to explain. I base the use of the ingredients in my products solely on safety, simplicity, and nature. Let us follow the path of research, science, and good common sense. The shortened abridged version of the situation is this: In the last several years, the use of titanium dioxide has come under fire because nanoparticles inhaled by laboratory rats showed an increase in lung cancer and pre-cancerous cells. This research is accurate and true. There is no dispute.
However, when used in food and topical applications, there is no danger or conclusive evidence to show any adverse long-term effects on one's health or well-being. I do not use nanoparticles in my products. The natural version of titanium dioxide (TiO2) is too large to absorb into one's skin. One does not inhale or ingest the particles when used in soap.
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, particles measuring 10 micrometers or less, are on California's Prop 65 list. These nanoparticles are used in aerosol or spray products such as sunscreen, hairspray, and spray-on deodorants. This is the form of titanium dioxide that has come into question. It has been brought into question because when used in this form and these products, there is the possibility for people to inhale them.
In 2019, Europe warned that there is inconclusive evidence of cancer-causing agents with the use of titanium dioxide as an ingestible colorant for food. Admittedly, there are gaps in the research, and further testing is required. Until that testing is completed, a warning has been placed upon the ingestion of titanium dioxide. However, for topical use of TiO2, there has never been any concern.
I respond to all questions with time, care, and respect. I'm happy people are informed and educated. I'm thrilled people are reading the ingredients used in my products and, hopefully, all products. I respect the fact that I am not going to agree with every school of thought, and individuals won't agree with mine. I accept this and appreciate it as well as respect the individual. I adhere to the fact that people need to be educated and informed. They also need to take an active role in seeking information. Once you are armed with knowledge, no one can take that away from you. You can then make educated, informed decisions for yourself and your family. Don't stand by apathetically and allow individuals or agencies to tell you what is good, correct, or accurate. Search out this information for yourself and make your own choices. Lecture over. It's the residual teacher in me who firmly believes in educating oneself. The rebel in me advocates for individual choice…insert wink.
The bottom line is this; I use the health and well-being of my baby as the scale of acceptance for an ingredient. If I would not use it on Jordan, I won't have it in my products. If you are a frequent reader of my blog or know me personally, you know this is the gold standard. I have committed my life to ensure the safety and well-being of this child. This is my moral compass, and it's bulletproof.
If you have reached out to me and stated that my products are not for you, I accept this and respect it. My products cannot be for everyone. However, I will advise you to find a small batch soaper who aligns with your beliefs and standards. There is a small soap company for everyone. My go-to suggestions for high-quality, natural vegan soaps are Dusty Tree Soap and Ritual Soap. I know both of these women personally, and they have the highest standards, exceptional quality, and outstanding products and are, simply, good people.
I have a dear friend who is allergic to all dairy products. I have purchased Ritual Soaps for her and support her in good conscience. Know dear reader; I have only the best of intentions for everyone. There is not a decision made that is not made with research, time, and careful deliberation. If I did not use it on my most beloved, I wouldn't offer it to you. I proudly stand by my choices and products.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, arm yourself with knowledge, and keep washing your hands.