Our soaps are handmade in small batches using the cold-process method; this means combining oils and fats with sodium hydroxide (lye) to produce glycerin and soap.
Olive Oil: Found in all of our soaps, olive oil is derived from the fruit of the olive tree and contains high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, including vitamin E, beta-carotene and oleuropein. Used for thousands of years and one of the most common soaping oils, olive oil produces a mild and hypoallergenic soap that helps the skin's surface retain moisture. Soap made with 100% olive oil is called Castile soap and, though initially soft upon unmolding, over time becomes a hard, long-lasting bar (or cupcake!) with a moisturizing lather.
Coconut Oil: Found in our line of fresh baked soap bars, coconut oil is derived from the meat or flesh of the coconut. It is popular in soap making as it produces a hard soap with a rich, bubbly lather. Soap made from coconut oil is an extremely effective cleanser, but can be drying on the skin; for this reason, it is usually combined with other softer oils and butters to produce a hard soap with a rich lather that won't dry out skin.
Shea Butter: Found in our line of fresh baked soap bars, shea butter is a fat derived from the nut of the African shea tree. Shea butter is often found in skin care products such as lotions and salves. Rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, shea butter is extremely moisturizing and has even been suggested to promote skin healing.
Sodium Hydroxide: Commonly known as lye, sodium hydroxide is a strong base required in soap production; it is a saponifying agent that turns oil into soap. It is first dissolved in water and then combined with oils to transform the oil's fatty acids into a sodium salt (soap) and glycerin. This is how all cold-process soaps are made. Using precise recipes ensures that no sodium hydroxide is present in a finished cold-process soap.
Glycerin: Glycerin (or glycerol) is one of the products of the chemical reaction between fatty acids and sodium hydroxide. It is a humectant that works effectively at attracting and retaining moisture in the skin. Because of this property, it is commonly extracted during commercial processes and used in other beauty products and applications as an added moisturizing agent. Unlike many other consumer soap products available, our soap contains all of the naturally-derived glycerin produced during the cold-process.
Some ingredients you WON'T find in our soaps include sodium laureth sulfate (SLS); sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES); propylene glycol; and parabens.
(Some of our soaps have embeds (like berries, citrus wedges and cookies) that are made with a vegetable-derived transparent glycerin soap base, also called melt-and-pour soap. This soap is produced separately from our cold-process recipe and does not contain any harsh or damaging chemicals either.)