Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why antibacterial soaps are dangerous and not neccessary.

Antibacterial soaps were first developed for use in hospitals and clinics where sterile environments are often necessary. In recent years, these soaps have made their way onto the shelves of nearly every store that sells body care products. While the claims of killing up to 99.99% of bacteria on your body may seem attractive, in reality they may cause more harm than good.

Known harmful effects:
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria, but not viruses which are the cause of colds and the flu.
  • Using antibacterial soap will kill both good and bad bacteria
  • Bacteria evolve quickly and can develop resistance to antibiotics in the soap. This leads to strains of bacteria that are multidrug resistant such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA.
  • Exposure to bacteria helps to strengthen our immune systems.  Using antibacterial soaps on a regular basis may make you more prone to bacterial infections. It is very important for young children to be exposed to bacteria so that they can develop a strong immune system.
  • Researchers are finding a link between allergies and the use of antibacterial soaps. This is again due to a weakened immune system caused by a reduced exposure to bacteria.
One of the most common antibacterial agents found in commercial hand soap is triclosan. In addition to the harmful effects stated above, triclosan produces some harmful effects of its own:
  • When triclosan is mixed with chlorinated water (plain tap water) they combine and produce chloroform gas. Chloroform can cause a person to loose consciousness and thus could cause drowning when taking a bath. In addition, chloroform is toxic and is listed as a carcinogen.  
  • Triclosan can cause accumulate in fat cells and cause hormonal problems and liver damage.
  • Triclosan is also linked to eczema, asthma, and allergic reactions.

So what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe from germs? It has been shown that regular soap is just as effective in removing bacteria and viruses from the skin as antibacterial soaps. While regular soap does not kill bacteria, it does make it easier for the bacteria to be washed away. Soap is an amphipathic molecule meaning that one end of the molecule is hydrophobic (water-hating) and the other end is hydrophilic (water-loving). Since bacterial cells are encased in a lipid membrane, the hydrophobic end of the soap molecule will bind to the lipids and the hydrophilic end of the soap will bind to the water. This allows the bacteria to be easily removed from your body by washing with water.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New beginings

As some of you may know, I run a small soapmaking business called Ladybug Soapworks. This business was really started as an impulsive decision without much planning.  As I have run the company for the past few years, I have come to realize that I would like to focus on creating a more natural and upscale brand. I am very passionate about using plants for healing, comforting, and beauty. This has let me to do a lot of self-study and take a college course on ethnobotany.  Ethnobotany is the study of how indigenous peoples use plants. I am especially impressed with the knowledge that these people have learned over the many generations of their relying on nature for survival. Sadly, much of this knowledge is being lost as shamans pass on without apprentices to carry on their knowledge for future generations. Indian Aryuvedic medicines, Chinese medicine, and medicines used by indigenous peoples throughout the world are great resources if you are looking to heal and sooth your body using plants. While I will not be producing products that cure or heal due to regulations, I would like to use plants that have been known for hundreds of years to soften skin, promote thick and shiny hair, or relax a person through aromatherapy. With this goal in mind, I will be re-branding and renaming my business to Vitae Essentia.  Vitae essentia means essence of life in Latin. This name truly encompasses what I hope my new company will represent. My goals are to create a product line that is made from only natural ingredients. I want to take the essence of pretty flowers and turn them into sensual perfume. I want to capture the beauty of nature and use it revitalize our own beauty. This is the purpose and meaning of Vitae Essentia.
My new logo...what do you think of it?

Please check out my new website at and follow this blog to see product pictures, tutorials, herbal information, life musings, and pretty much whatever  else I think you might enjoy. Hopefully, this blog will be a place for discussion and inspiration.  I look forward to sharing much more with you in the future.

Holiday Soaps for Sale on

While I have lagged way behind on blogging, I have been doing a lot of work behinds the scenes. Big changes will be coming to Ladybug Soapworks in the next year. I will be transitioning it to a new name (Vitae Essentia) hopefully by January. My products will be focusing more on using essential oils. I may keep Ladybug Soapworks as a division of the company making fragrance oil soaps, but that is not yet decided. For now though check out my holiday soap offerings at my Etsy site.I just listed them a few hours ago.

If you are interested in learning more about Vitae Essentia, you can check out my new website, blog, twitter, and facebook page.  I am so proud of myself for making the website. I think it looks so professional! The website is still a work in progress and I have it set to a showcase mode so purchases can not be made you from the site.  Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve the site!
Pumpkin Pie Soap
Bayberry Soap

Gingerbread Soap

Apple Pie Soap