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Cheap and Chic: Soaping Up

Think anti-bacterial soap is the key to keeping your kids healthy? Think again.

According to the FDA, anti-bacterial soap is no more effective than - you guessed it - plain old soap. (If you're like my sister and don't believe me, go here.)

The jury is still out on whether the triclosan in anti-bacterial products has led to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. Regardless, why buy into a marketing claim that doesn't hold water?

Lately I've been lathering with Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Pure Castile Soap. This stuff is amazing:

- It's versatile. As the name suggests, it has many uses. You can clean yourself,  your house and your clothes. 

- It's good for you - and the environment. Castile soap is made from vegetable oil, rather than animal fat. It's simple to make (doesn't produce a lot of waste during manufacturing) and it's organic. Plus it doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulfate and is super-gentle on your skin.

- It's inexpensive. Don't get sticker shock. Although a 16 oz bottle costs around $10, it will last forever. This soap is meant to be diluted. For hand soap, buy a foaming pump bottle and dilute with a 1:4 ratio of soap to water.

Where to buy: Whole Foods,, some Wal-Marts

Almond (my fave), baby mild (unscented), citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rose, tea tree

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