The market of chemical cosmetics has long taught us that if the product creates a lather, it means it washes well. But natural cosmetics, unlike those of the mass market, do not form lather at all. Not soap, nor shampoo, nor detergents or dish soap. Does that mean that they don’t work?
Ash instead of SLS. How do natural cosmetics work?
In natural cosmetics, the main cleaning ingredient is lye. Until the end of the XIX century, it was the only substance that was used everywhere in Russia and in Europe. Lye is an infusion or decoction of wood ash. It was used to wash the head and body, dishes, clothes, the home, and fabrics.
How is lye made?
It’s very simple. Previously, people made it themselves in their own yards so that it was always on hand. Even children knew how to make it. Clean water is poured on the wood ash, the floating particles are removed, and the rest is left to stand for at least three days. To speed this up, you can put the container in heat. Ten hours is enough, and if put over fire, it will be ready in an hour. The water will become a little yellowish and soapy to the touch. It must be carefully drained so as not to let the ash come out. This is lye. Before use, the lye is diluted with clean water 10-15 times, otherwise it will make skin or clothing very dry. It’s very concentrated in its pure form.
Prepare lye from birch ash, or in extreme cases from alder, aspen or linden. Never from coniferous trees, because they contain resins and are not suitable for such purposes.
Lye’s safety is time-tested
Perhaps this simple cleaning method is the reason why our ancestors did not have hair problems, and you will not find a single mention of dandruff in the records. Lye is not only safe and environmentally friendly, but also useful. The used lye was used for watering the garden for better plant growth. It was taken orally for stomach problems: colic, flatulence, gastric acidity, bacterial infections and berry poisoning. Not to mention the obvious things: there are no synthetics in lye in the form of preservatives and foaming components (Sodium Lauril Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, SLES), as well as co-sulfate (cocosulfate, sodium coco sulfate) and other artificial ingredients.