Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products

Have you paid attention if your household supplies are good for your skin or eco safe? I talk a lot about skincare on my blog and today I’d like to expand the chat to products that also affect our skin wellbeing. When I lived in Japan I didn’t only suffer from adult acne, but I got a nasty skin reaction probably related to my laundry routine. Since then I’ve tried to be conscious about my household cleaners and laundry detergents, creating an eco friendly home at the same time. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk (*) have been gifted for consideration.
This post contains affiliate links to support the blog.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My Background and Itchy Skin

About 5 years ago when I lived in Japan I didn’t have my own washing machine. I used a local coin laundry (very common in Japan) to wash my clothes, sheets and towels. The washing machines were set to wash everything in 40° and they did gather dust which nobody else seemed wipe off. I used local, pretty general laundry detergents and after a while I started to get very itchy skin. I doubt this was a reaction to water or any personal cosmetic product (such as body lotion) that I used. There was no visible reactions such as rash, but I felt very uncomfortable. After returning to Finland my skin calmed, but I wanted to avoid getting the same odd reaction. I was already a vegetarian and wanted to live an environment friendly life, so started to investigate eco detergents and soaps.

While “normal” laundry detergents are effective, they are often heavy on fragrance, cleaning agents and chemicals that prevent dirt from settling back or work well in harder water. I’m not going to list any “harmful” ingredients here as I couldn’t find too many reliable sources and this article is not about green washing. I want to share some options you can try, if you wish.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Soap Nuts | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skin Safe & Eco Friendly Way to Wash Clothes: Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are my favorite way to wash laundry, I’ve used them for about 5 years now. This may sound “too hippie” to some of you, but hear me out! Soap nuts are very simple, easy and wallet-friendly way to wash clothes efficiently. You take about 4 soap nut halves for one medium amount of laundry (check the instructions from your packaging), place them in a sock or a small cotton/muslin bag, close it, crush the soap nuts (I step on them) and put the soap nut bag with the laundry. You’re done. You may even reuse the nuts if your laundry isn’t very dirty.

Soap nuts contain an ingredient called saponin which is a powerful natural surfactant with foaming and cleaning properties. This works very well for clothes that are washed between 40°-60° celsius, removing dirt, oil and stains. Once the soap nuts soften or you’ve washed a couple of laundries with them you can compost the nuts! I know it’s possible to even make your own liquid soaps from soap nuts by cooking them, but I personally I’m lazy and reach for readily available products.

Mummi ja Minä | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Liquid Laundry Detergent and Laundry Vinegar

Since soap nuts work best in warm to hot water, I do have a regular laundry detergent for silk/wool. Lately I’ve washed sensitive materials such as linen and underwear with an eco safe laundry detergent called Mummi ja Minä*. These detergents are made in Finland and have a light fragrance, which has proven to be useful when washing workout clothes. They are rather expensive (~€12 for 500ml), one bottle equals about 16 washes. I only do laundry for 1 person, so these have lasted me a while – especially when I reserve the liquid for workout clothes and hand washes. My favorite is the laundry vinegar that makes my sheets soft and smell pleasant. I’m using it in the place of fabric softner.

The ingredients of the Peppermint Detergent* are only: Plant oil compound (Anionic surfactants) 5–10 %, alcohol <5 %, sea salt <5 %, peppermint essential oil 5 %. pH ~6. If you’re very sensitive to essential oils I might do a test wash first, but I don’t find the fragrance any way overpowering. The Laundy Vinegar (Peppermint)* has: vinegar >5%, essential oil < 5%, Natrium Benzoate (preservative), < 5% with pH ~3.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Other Cleaning Supplies

I do like to use Mummi ja Minä dishwashing liquid* as well thanks to the lovely bottle and nice, natural scent, but when I have very dirty dishes or perhaps grimy coffee pots I do reach for “regular” dishwashing liquid as it cuts oil better. With other eco cleaners I haven’t noticed much difference in efficacy vs regular ones.

I’ve purchased some eco conscious home cleaners by brands Lilly’s, Method and Ecover. Especially the Ecover Toilet Cleaner is very efficient and available at my super market. Otherwise I think I’ll dilute liquid home soaps myself in the future with Dr. Bronner’s.

Dr. Bronner's castile soaps* are very versatile and rather affordable, they can be diluted as hand soap, cleansing liquid, mopping, dishes, toilet cleaner, plant spray for bugs, even shampoo and brushing your teeth! Yup, lovely Mia told me she has tried.. and it tastes like soap. Dr. Bronner’s products are also biodegradable. The unscented castile soap* is one of the best for washing beauty sponges and puffs as it’s gentler than rubbing your sponges against a soap bar.

Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap* is nice for mopping when diluted in water, I got stains off my floors very efficiently. My new kitty, Haku, likes to carry his food around.. so it can get pretty messy, you know. The tea tree scent is fairly prominent while mopping, but does fade pretty quickly. I think I’ll purchase the eucalyptus scent for creating my own hand soap and kitchen spray.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What are the ways you’ve made your home more eco conscious and skin friendly? Have you heard about soap nuts before or gotten a skin reaction to a cleansing product? Let me know! x

I Am So Fat and Ugly So What’s The Point?

I’ve wanted to keep my blog strictly about beauty, but self-esteem and self-care are topics that I keep popping to my mind.. and I guess they’re related enough? Today’s post was intended to be a mascara review, but things changed when I scribbled the title phrase in my diary. I’ve done it multiple times, especially when anxious, jealous, depressed, stressed or plain tired, monsters from my past raise their heads.

 
Self-Worth post | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
 

Me, My Muffin Top and Road To Achieve Self-Worth

When I was in my late teens-early twenties I had the worst self-esteem. I had good social relations, family, I was good in my studies and things usually went the way I wanted. On the outside I had no reasons to be unhappy. But we don’t always get to bloom without growing pains and for several years I strongly believed that my looks were equivalent of my self-worth. Instead of focusing on self-acceptance or discovering what I really wanted to do, I decided to focus on getting as skinny as possible. Eventually things turned out that I became double times heavier than I was at my skinniest. My life was the worst. Even with help and support it took me years to heal and grow from my destructive beliefs and behaviours. 

There isn’t a day I’m uncomfortable with my body. My muffin top, big face double chin, enormous boobs and flabby arms. My BMI says I’m overweight and that should be enough reason to loose the extra kilos; for my health, my climbing performance, my looks. But what I’ve come to realise that despite its flaws I have a working body and that alone should give it some respect. For example, I don’t have any chronic pain, which makes me very, very appreciative of my (healthy) body. In the end, my body is my tool to move and live - not the mirror of my self-worth.

You Do You, But There’s A Catch

Let’s get real: Many of today’s beauty standards or ideals are plain unrealistic. We probably all acknowledge that on some level. But can one change the whole society? No. What you can do (eventually) is to change your own perception of beauty and above all - how you view yourself. If you want to be a beach babe, have botox, dye your hair, not shave your armpits and dye them green, get tattooed or maybe – not give a damn about your looks, go ahead. I cannot stand behind any body or appearance related shaming. Your beauty ideals shouldn’t concern anyone, only the reasons why you pursue them. 

My point is, you can “fix” things in your appearance, but you cannot fix yourself with your appearance. Trying to please others or control your insecurities or dysmorphia is a slippery slope with no happy ending. Your looks won’t fix your shitty job, toxic relationship or low self-esteem. Don’t be afraid of askin help when you struggle. If your goals, ideals, tastes have a healthy background such as self-expression, fun or getting healthier, then by all means - go ahead.

Challenges or food for thought: 

  • Think what you appreciate in your body (appearance doesn’t count)

  • If you want a change, what are the realistic motives behind it?

Self-Esteem Post | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Afterword

How did you like today’s post? Feel free to agree or disagree with me, but I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! Due to the sensitivity of this subject, I decided to publish this right away after typing without .. otherwise it might never see the sunlight, as most of my more unconventional topics. Take care! x

(PS: There has been some problems with comment approving. If you don’t see your comment, drop me a message on IG!)

Happy Holidays!

Hi loves! Wishing you a great holiday season with my newest painting (featuring Clara, gingerbread men and Mouse soldier from the Nutcracker ballet).

Claire and the | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Wether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope you can take some time off to enjoy yourself. In Finland we got a white Christmas for once!! It’s snowy and bright while I’m typing this, but cold and frosty at the same time - an idyllic weather to spend some time in the country side with the fam. I’m not a huge holiday person myself, but I don’t mind it either. After Christmas lunch I’ll cozy up in the corner with a hot cup of mulled wine my laptop or Wacom tablet and paint more… lol.

If you’re a regular reader of the blog I apologize the lack of updates in December. Don’t worry, this is only temporary as I have a lot of cool products and post ideas for 2019! Lots of beautiful luxury (and a few bargain) makeup, eco luxury skincare, some opinion pieces, self-care etc.. I’ve been wanting to touch on health subjects as well, but mainly from skin/hair/mental perspective. I have a huge empties post coming up and I’m thinking of doing a general favorites of 2018 post as well.

So why the radio silence? I don’t think I’ve mention this but this Fall/Winter I started doing more freelance photography (while trying to continue my studies..), but come December I’ve been very immersed with my digital painting as well… and.. fallen in love. ;) There you go. In 2019 I hope to find a good balance and work towards doing photography and painting full-time! While blogging regularly, of course.

Best wishes,

Laura xx