ingredients and details

We choose ingredients for their quality, usefulness and contribution of benefits to the soap.

Botanicals – plant materials that doesn’t fall readily into other categories are referred to as botanicals in our soaps. These include oatmeal, henna powder, carrots, and cornmeal.

Clays – are used to add color, optimal texture for shaving, and skin care benefit. They also can give a boost to our already luscious lather.

Colorants – The use of color is one of the most enticing elements of our soaps. From subtle herbal flecks to elaborate multi-color swirls, there is something to please every aesthetic sense. We use ultramarines, oxides and other mineral pigments to create rich color. Herbal and vegetable color are subtle and change over time – for example bright green speckles of peppermint leaves will fade to brown. For vibrant color, we use food-grade colorants, which sometimes fade with exposure to light.

Essential Oils – We use essential oils for both their beautiful aromas and their aromatherapeutic properties. Years of research and hands-on-experience with natural essences inform our use of them in our soaps. It is worth noting that the term Aromatherapy is widely misused. If it is important to you, as it is to us, do your research.

Fragrance Oils -There are many aromas that are not available from natural sources. There are some natural fragrances that are prohibitively expensive. Some naturals are ecologically unsound choices, making a synthetic version a better choice. We use fragrance oils that have been especially formulated for use in cold-process soapmaking. Don’t assume that if you are sensitive to fragrance that you will be sensitive to those we use. A Collective member, for example, can’t tolerate essential oils but has never had a sensitivity to her favorite oatmeal, milk and honey fragrance oil used in our Oatmeal soap.

Herbs – We have the delightful opportunity to produce enough herbs from our small garden to supply most of the herbal material in our soaps. These herbs include lavender, lemon verbena, scented geranium, peppermint, comfrey, rosemary, lemon balm, rose petals, and fennel. We use only our own compost for fertilizer and use a spray we make from diluted handmade soap and essential oils for pest control.

Soap Formula – We make our soap using a method commonly known as “Cold Process.” Oils and fats are mixed with a lye and water solution to saponify the oils, to turn them into soap. The finished product contains no lye. To ensure mildness, the formula does not completely saponify the oils, leaving a little oil as a skin conditioner. We use many vegetable oils including olive, coconut, rice bran, jojoba, and shea butter. We add other ingredients like silk, clay, milk and beeswax depending on the purpose of the soap. Each soap description lists the ingredients.

Using Your Soap – Store your extra soap in a ventilated, dry place. Your lingerie drawer is perfect, and the soap will act like a sachet. When you use your soap, be sure to keep it out of water between uses – it will dissolve if left in a puddle. To prolong the life of the soap, keep it out of sunlight which will cause the oils to break down and spoil the soap. I always wondered why the soap in my sunny kitchen window smelled horrible – this is why. To get the longest life from your soap, cut the bar in half – use one half and store the other. The longer a soap cures and dries, the harder it will become as the remaining water evaporates. The second half will last longer than the first. Just be sure to use your soap within six months for optimum freshness.

Common Sense – Our soaps are wonderful to see, smell and use. We make no medical claims regarding them or their ingredients. Essential oils are commonly believed to have medicinal properties. Again, if this is important to you, do your research. If a soap causes irritation, discontinue use. Do not eat the soap or get it in your eyes.