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September 1, 2017


We hear about gluten-free, fat-free, and sugar-free?

But what about SLS FREE?

Listen to your washerwoman (lavandera): Ma’am, ayaw po bumula. (Ma’am, it doesn’t bubble or lather). And I’m like, “Do we need bubbles or lather to clean stuff?”

But what do TV ads show our kasambahays? Bubbles. Advertisers teach them that bubbles can clean and get the dirt out. NO, it’s not the bubbles. Clean does not need to bubble. Bubbles are made by synthetic chemicals that detergent makers put because it’s cheap and can bubble a lot giving the impression that it cleans better. It does not necessarily do that. It’s just bubbles. Natural coconut oils, for example, without added chemicals, will NOT bubble as much. But they will clean, even with less bubbles. Why do we need a lot of surfactants or bubbles anyway? We also use up so much water to rinse our clothes when they contain so much of this synthetic chemical. Use less SLS, use less water to rinse and you have a lower water bill.

How about shampoos and conditioners? Same thing. Whatever creates so much lather contains the chemical stuff. Clean your hair and body with more natural choices—which luckily for us, are available locally or are locally-sourced. Coconut does it. Coconut oil as a base for cleaning and washing. That’s your detergent and shampoo. And that goes for massage oils and conditioners and other body care products we use everyday. Learn the language- SLS- Make it SLS free and be kind to your hair and body. And be kind to your color-treated hair too. Natural and SLS-free products preserve the color of treated or dyed/colored hair.

Now, let’s go to smell or scents. Does clean have a smell? No. Naturally-clean is odor-free and what smells clean should be free of any scents which almost always are again cheap chemicals which mimic natural scents like flowers or herbs. So, if we want a scent over the clean scent, we must choose naturally-occurring scents like lavender and rosemary, mint, and olive. These are essential oils extracted from nature’s gifts and not done in a lab to copy Nature’s smell. So, beware of overly-scented laundry, overly-scented shampoo, hair gels, even hand sanitizers. SLS free, natural essential oils, and again COCONUT, the queen of Nature’s gifts to us.

  • Be an enlightened consumer. I recently compared how much water I use to rinse off my hand soap vs a commercially-produced one. It takes me longer to rinse with the cheaper product because it has SLS. It lathers much and needs more water. This is what I even tell airline executives. You use up so much water to rinse in the airplane because your liquid hand soap is synthetic! Save that water by changing our hand soap. And that also happens in our homes, in public bathrooms and everywhere where you see soap or detergent.
  • Compare and find out for yourself. Read the ingredients, not just the price. Luckily our patrons in ECHOstore always read labels before they read the price. They know the ingredients they want to avoid. Not just because it is harmful to young babies and kids, but also for pets and grown ups.
  • Save water and save water bills. Think of the soap you use everyday. Think of the laundry and how much water we use up. Then think of your own personal care—your shampoo, your conditioner, your liquid soap. You want to clean naturally, not using harsh chemicals that not only pollute, but use up a lot of water, too.

It’s not just for Mother Nature. It’s for you, your pocket, and your bills, too. The more conscious we become, the kinder we will be to the planet, too. Mindful consumption means using stuff responsibly and ultimately becoming wiser consumers. Who does not want to save on water bills?

So, when we read labels and choose natural over chemical, we become more responsible citizens. Not just for ourselves but also for our families. After all, women  make 80% of purchase decisions—what soap to buy, which shampoo, etc.

So, take another look at what you use everyday and maybe you can explain to Ms. Lavandera that bubbles don’t clean and that CLEAN does not have a smell. And lastly, that her hair color will stay longer if she used natural products. (Gugo, for example, is a natural product that is getting more popular.).

NATURAL is FREE from anything artificial and free from harmful chemicals. Be mindful.



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