The reason we got into the natural soap business is because our founder Ricky suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Ricky literally got sick and tired of constantly being accidentally contaminated with hidden chemicals. They were in his soaps, shampoos and especially laundry powder. Its ironic that the products he was using to clean himself were actually so dirty. So he started a journey in search of clean natural soap bars and other organic products.
For years he struggled to find daily use products that were safe for him to use. Most products, including ones that claimed to be natural would make him terribly ill. Ricky is not alone in this situation, the prevalence of MCS is growing rapidly every year. It affects people of all ages and walks of life. Some of the common side effects people experience are headaches, rashes, asthma, difficulty breathing, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, memory loss and confusion to name but a few. Having this condition in our modern world essentially makes people allergic to life. With constant exposure they become more reactive over time.
This condition is incredibly isolating for those are afflicted with it. They can literally go nowhere in public because most people are unknowingly drenched in chemicals. Ricky has not been to a restaurant or shop in years. Even a whiff of synthetic fragrance left in someone’s clothes by their laundry powder can make him gravely ill.
It’s not just products that off gas chemicals, it the substances we use to build our homes, computers, cars… everything. There are countless people out there trying to figure out how to escape the synthetic chemicals that are everywhere. Some people resort to sleeping in old tents in their gardens or on public land somewhere. Some are ‘lucky’ to have an old car that was never polluted by perfume as their hideaway. They drive around aimlessly trying to stay upwind of anything with synthetic chemicals. Isn’t it wild to think what a difference clean skin care products would make to these individuals lives. The smallest change to hand crafted, natural soaps and other products can make all the difference.
MCS suffers are thought of as human canaries who react earlier and more severely to chemical pollutants than other people do. It’s very hard for the rest of us to even vaguely imagine what it is like for them. Even harder to believe is that what we clean ourselves with could have such a negative impact on someone else’s life.
Some studies have shown that up to 22 percent of people with chronic health issues also have some degree of chemical intolerance. So this situation is probably much bigger than those who have been diagnosed with MCS. We should all be paying attention, especially for the sake of the children of this world.
There is a big movement in the USA where there are many MCS suffers. People are working tirelessly to have the government recognise the condition so people can claim for disability. They are also working towards creating fragrance free zones in public spaces. The same way smoking has been banned from public spaces. So those afflicted can begin to venture out in the world without being made sick. One sufferer compared it to the lengths public spaces go to for people in wheel chairs. These people would like their disability recognized so they can have equal rights to accessing the world. This could only happen if we clean up our skin care!
There is a lot of awareness and education that is going to have to happen before this becomes a reality. There is also a level of acceptance that needs to be reached in the general public. We need to come together and open our eyes to the fact that our lives are saturated with chemicals. From what we eat, to what we clean our bodies, clothes and homes with. Most of these chemicals have not been properly studied, tested or regulated. We don’t understand the long term health risks related to toxic build up from all of these different synthetic chemicals. Or what happens when all these different products come together in our bodies.
Science and medicine have no clear answer on what cause MCS. We have to look at how life on this planet has changed since the chemical revolution began. We really have to wonder whether these things we have been told are safe really are. Then make our own informed decisions. We really have nothing to loose by switching to a local, hand made in small batches, natural soap bar.
This topic of synthetic chemical use is close to our hearts and affects us on such a personal level. We feel the calling to share details on what we have learned and become a part of the solution. We hope to begin to turn the chemical tide for people and all life on this planet.
There are more than 12 000 chemicals approved for use today in the personal care industry. One of the major areas and needs for chemical use are preservatives. With products produced in huge volumes they require a long shelf life. Producers need preservatives to ensure their products do not go off.
We recently did a little digging into the dirty side of Parabens, probably the most common of all preservatives. Have you noticed how many brands are jumping on the paraben free band wagon? This made us think. If a product is mass produced then the paraben will have been replaced by another preservative that is as effective.
We discovered that there are even more dangerous preservatives such as | FORMALDEHYDE | and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs).
Interestingly one of the chemicals that bring MCS and self-care products together is Formaldehyde. Exposure to which is considered to be one of the causes of MCS.
Apparently a minimal amount of formaldehyde is harmless. Low levels are found naturally in many things like plants, smoke and food. Yet many daily use products contain these ingredients and it’s wise to become aware of your overall exposure.
FRPs are used in products like shampoos and liquid baby soaps. They are easily absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer, rashes and allergic skin reactions.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen but most studies have focused on the risks of inhaling it. Absorbing it through the skin has not been as well studied. The lack of regulation in this industry is frightening, especially when you look at the steps some countries have taken. In Japan and Sweden Formaldehyde has been banned from use in cosmetics and toiletries. In the EU its use is restricted in personal care products.
All of that to make sure a product doesn’t go off! Really makes one realise how much more power you have when you choose to buy organic. Especially biodegradable, hand crafted products that are made in small batches…
We love that our soaps are chemical free. They are kind to your skin and the health of all life on this beautiful planet. Everything we use on our bodies while bathing goes down the drain and right back into the earth. If people are suffering so much due to chemical exposure imagine the unknown effects we are having on the earth. We pride ourselves in the fact that our soaps are plant based, gentle on your skin and biodegradable.
Our range is hand made at Ricky’s Drift, a small organic farm in the Klein Karoo. We use only pure, simple and natural ingredients like pristine water from the Karoo Mountains and locally grown olive oil. All our products are made by our team of artisans, in small batches. This means there is no need for unkind preservatives.
This personal touch is actually so powerful and should be one of the things to look for in a brand. Because of Ricky’s condition we have a personal commitment to make sure our products are always 100% natural and chemical free.
Organic, hand made products are wonderful because they don’t have to be tested on animals. None of our products have been tested on animals. Rather they were extensively tested on our friends and family. They loved them so much we were inspired to share our soaps with everyone.
We understand its scary to start peering down this rabbit hole. There is already so much to worry about in life. Its worth it though, for your health and that of our loved ones.
We wish you well on your journey to discovering alternative natural products that are good for you and for nature.
With love and zero chemicals…