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2017 Safe Soap and Moisturizer Resolution #1

Barbara Mansfield


My new soap room!This is a year of big changes for Phoenicia Soap Co. I'm ramping up production and making soap my primary vocation. I have gone from churning out soap in less than 20 square feet (including the top of my dryer) to a roomy 40 square feet of production area. You'll see that I'll have more inventory and new product listings on this site in the coming weeks. Please join my mailing list to find out about new soaps, where you can buy Phoenicia Soap in person, and to get special offers.

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Also, I have joined the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and urge you to check out this group's RED LINE list of no-no ingredients. Yes, it's a loooong list. So, if you're generally overwhelmed these days, I'll start unpacking this list by calling out phthalates.

Pronounced f-thal-ates (Merriam Webster says to to drop the "f" sound, but if you do it won't sound like spitting on the ground in disgust) are esters used to soften plastics. Imagine anything flexible and plastic, from shower curtains to hospital IVs, and you will also begin to understand that none of us can entirely avoid phthalates. That said, you don't need them in your soap, and you especially don't need them in leave on products like make up or moisturizers. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission did a nearly 600 report in 2014 elaborating the ickiness that is phthalates, if you're up for some light reading.

So, how did phthalates get into your cosmetics?

The most common culprit on your ingredient lists is "fragrance." The tricky part is that the cosmetics industry does not have to specify anything other than "fragrance" on labels--so you don't necessarily know if a company is using phthalate-free fragrance, unless they say so. 

I use mostly phthalate-free essential oils in Phoenicia Soap, however, in the few cases where you see "fragrance" in one of my soap's ingredient lists, I promise you that I source only phthalate-free fragrances. I want plastics out of everything, and that includes packaging. More on that, and that Red Line list another time...


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