04:00 Natural Living & Health

The Truth Behind “Hand Wash” | Why Use Liquid Castile Soap

Stop washing your hands and your dishes with the same dish detergent.

For years, we’ve been telling you why you should wash with real soap instead of the commercial body washes out there, that are harsh chemical detergents masquerading as soap. And the same goes for your hands – you shouldn’t be washing your hands with a “hand wash” more fit to wash your dishes. Your hands deserve to be treated better. The good news is that not all liquid cleansers are created equal, and there is such a thing as real hand soap out there. This mythical concoction, liquid Castile soap, is a natural liquid soap made by the same process as our natural bar soaps. Keep reading to learn more about liquid Castile soap, how it’s made, and why you should be using it to wash your hands.


What is Liquid Castile Soap?

The process we use to create our soaps (bar soap or otherwise) is known as saponification, which has been used for hundreds of years to make real soap. Fatty oils like coconut and olive oil are mixed with lye, which react together to create soap and glycerin. 

Castile soap retains the nourishment and moisturization of the natural fatty oils used in the saponification process. The saponification reaction also produces glycerin, a natural humectant (meaning that it retains moisture). Due to these powerful moisturizing ingredients and the absence of harsh cleaning agents, repeated washing with this natural liquid soap will keep you clean without over drying.

Why is Castile Soap Better than Standard "Hand Wash?"

Many commercial liquid cleansers and hand washes are not made through the saponification process, meaning that when you wash with these common products, you’re actually using a detergent. If you’ve read the blog before or watched any of our videos on Youtube, you know the drill (if you haven’t, you should) – but here’s a quick refresher:

Big- brand personal care companies use cleaning ingredients called surfactants blended with water and other additives to create their products. These products often contain harsh, industrial grade detergents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). These formulations are classified as detergents, not true soap. The issue is that chemicals like SLS are too effective as cleansers (yes, there’s such a thing), since they strip away everything- including the natural oils on your skin, along with dirt and germs. 

Your skins’ natural barrier protects it from the environment, so stripping away these oils can lead to irritation and dryness. Formulators add moisturizing ingredients to detergent-based cleansers to combat this effect, but they’re not identical to your skin’s natural protective barrier so they dry out your skin in the long-term anyways.

And the cherry on top? In addition to these harsh chemical cleaning ingredients, these commercial products also use synthetic dyes and fragrances to make them seem more appealing. In reality, these additives can further contribute to skin irritation.

Liquid Castile Soap Uses

Now that we’re all hyper-aware of washing our hands for at least 20 seconds every chance we get throughout the day, have you noticed your hands getting dry? That’s probably ‘cause you’re washing with the same harsh chemical “hand wash” that your mom put by every sink in the house when you were growing up.

The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water as the best way to avoid illness caused by germs. The key word here is soap – nowhere do they recommend washing your hands with detergent. The FDA has also reported that antibacterial soaps do not provide more protection against illness than traditional soap formulations. 

Our liquid Castile soap is a great option for those of you who are used to washing your hands with a liquid instead of a thicc bricc, or for when you’re on the go and can’t carry around your bar soap. And repeated washing won’t dry out your hands, thanks to the natural moisturizing ingredients. 

Even better, this liquid soap is super concentrated, so a little goes a long way. If you get stuck in the woods for months and it’s all you have, you can make it last – and you can dilute it with water to make it last even longer. 

The Dr. Squatch Difference

You’re not a dish, you’re a man – so stop washing your hands and your dishes with the same dish detergent. Our liquid soap is made the Dr. Squatch way using natural ingredients and simple processing. It’s natural, biodegradable, and sulfate-free. 

Alexandra Blackstone, Product Development Manager @ Dr. Squatch

Alex Blackstone is a scientist and product development expert with 10 years of experience working on major brands including Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, and Burt’s Bees. She has a master’s degree from Dartmouth College and a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia. She joined the Dr. Squatch team earlier this year.

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