When your little ones come home from a long day of school, activities, and playing with friends, they are likely ready for a bath. Whether your child prefers soaking in bubbles or standing under the shower, personal hygiene is an extremely important lesson to pass onto our kids. But all too often, the products that we use to help our children get clean are full of harmful chemicals.

Many of the cosmetic and cleaning products that we put on our skin are not strictly regulated by the FDA, including soap. And since this product goes directly on the skin — usually on a daily basis — it is easily absorbed by the body.

“One of the main ways your body acquires nutrients, other than eating, is transdermally — through the skin,” Erin Zailkis writes in Healthy Woman. “Your skin is your largest organ — 22 square feet on average—and 60 percent of the substances you put on it are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. This semipermeable membrane allows us to absorb vitamins and minerals, but, unfortunately, it absorbs harmful chemicals we put on it, too.”

The solution to this chemical problem? Natural and organic soap. Handmade soap made by soap artisans contain fewer chemicals and might be the best option for your children’s daily hygiene routine.

Organic soap is free of harmful chemicals.

Commercial soaps contain sulfates, parabens, fragrance chemicals, and other ingredients. Organic soaps have oils and other ingredients that occur naturally on the Earth. These will leave your child’s skin balanced with its natural composition.

Handmade soap contains glycerin.

Glycerin is an ingredient that is formed by the soap-making process, and it does wonders for your skin. This ingredient has water-attracting properties that retain moisture in your skin. While it might be added to commercial soaps, you can’t beat naturally occurring glycerin.

These natural ingredients contain fewer allergens.

If your child has sensitive skin, they may react better to handmade soap. Commercial soaps can be harsh and irritate skin conditions such as eczema. Natural ingredients in general will make your child feel more comfortable in their own skin — literally.

You can get the same soapy benefits.

Many natural soaps contain coconut oil, which contains 50% lauric acid. This ingredient is what creates those big, fluffy soap bubbles that your child likes to splash in or turn into crazy hair-dos.

Your family can support local businesses.

Health benefits aside, using handmade soap supports a local small business rather than a large corporation. When you buy your care products from local makers, educate your little ones about the important of buying local. They might carry this into adulthood.

By building a medicine cabinet of natural products, you can take steps to minimize the chemical content of your home. This will help keep your family as healthy as possible as you move through the years. And of course, you will teach your children about the importance of a green life as well.

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