What do you mean by “natural”?
We use essential oils—never artificial fragrances. We use plants/clays as colorants— never dyes/artificial colors. There aren’t many soap makers doing this! Lots of companies try to make their “greenwash” their products to make them seem clean when they actually contain some scary ingredients. Even small soap makers often use artificial fragrances and colors that appear natural but really aren’t. When I decided to make soap, it was clear to me that I wanted to keep my ingredients as clean as possible. I’m always doing research to make sure my ingredients are as clean, low-impact on our planet, and safe for our bodies.
Do your soaps contain any artificial scents or phthalates?
We won’t lie—artificial fragrances smell nice… but they actually stink in terms of human health. Artificial scents are synthetic, man-made, and generally petroleum-derived. Most contain phthalates, a group of chemicals also known as plasticizers that can cause a range of human heatlh problems including reproductive issues.
“Phthalates’ effects on humans have not been studied extensively, but they are believed to be an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) that can alter hormonal balance and potentially cause reproductive, developmental and other health issues.”—The Guardian, May 2019
To complicate matters, a lot of scents that other soapmakers use sound natural actually aren’t. Here are some examples of soap fragrances other makers use that sound natural but are actually artificial: vanilla, berry (any type), apple, fresh laundry, cotton, amber, champagne, bourbon. In short, if there isn’t an essential oil for it or a essential oil blend that smells similar to it, then it isn’t really a natural scent.
Reading research on fragrances made it clear that that Ethan and I want to avoid artificial fragrances as much as possible in our personal lives and definitely in any product we sell. Instead, we use essential oils in safe amounts or leave our bars unscented. If you’re looking to reduce the chemical exposure in your life, using natural soap is a great place to start.
Do your soaps smell strong?
I use essential oils in most of my soaps to provide a pleasant aromatherapy experience during use. I describe these scents as “light” because they are never overwhelming the way the artificial fragrances in many soaps can be. Natural scents also do not linger on the skin after use. They can fade over time, so be sure to use them within a year of purchase for maximum scent.
Why do you use lye? Is it safe for skin?
Lye is an ingredient in all soap, but by the time you use the soap, it really isn’t lye anymore. During the soap-making process, lye molecules bond with oil molecules to create something completely new and totally safe—soap! Some soapmakers list “lye” or “sodium hydroxide” on their ingredients. Others list “saponified” oils. All of this is to say that lye + oils = soap.
Other products like conventional liquid body wash, dish soap, and laundry “soaps” are not really “soap” at all… they’re technically synthetic detergent and can’t even call their product soap. Instead of lye and oil, they contain a bunch of ingredients most of us can’t identify or pronounce plus (in most cases) lots of petroleum-derived, artificial scents.
Are your soaps okay for people who are sensitive to chemicals and fragrances?
Our soaps are either scented with essential oils or not scented at all.
While essential oils used in the correct amount are safe for most adults, they aren’t for everyone. A growing population of people are sensitive to essential oils and artificial fragrances. That’s why we always try to carry some fragrance- and essential oil-free options in our shop.* We list all of our ingredients on our shop and on our packaging. If you have questions about the contents of one of our soaps, do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Please check with your doctor and test a small patch of skin to double check that a soap is okay for your allergies and sensitivities.
What if my soap has imperfections?
My soap is handmade. I melt oils, mix them with lye, pour them into a mold, and cut my soap by hand. Some small things vary from bar to bar as well as batch to batch. Sometimes there are air bubbles in the batter. Sometimes the temperature of the soap changes the colors. Sometimes you might see “soda ash”, which looks like powder across the top of the bar where it had contact with the air. All of these factors make handmade bars unique and do not make them any less safe or functional.
While handmade soap is never 100% consistent from bar to bar, I try to represent my products as accurately as I can through photos and text.
What should I do if my order arrives damaged, goes missing, etc.?
Please email email@example.com or call (563)920-8353 to resolve issues with damaged or missing goods. We will make things right ASAP!