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Soap Ingredients

Some of our soaps are made with pure essential oils, while others contain high quality cosmetic safe fragrance oils (ingredients are listed on each soap). 

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as natural remedies for ailments of mind and body. Many are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and/or antiseptic. 

At first look, essential oils appear so simple, but they are not. They contain hundreds to thousands of different chemical constituents, many occurring in minute quantities, but all working together to produce therapeutic effects. Essential oils are distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. Essential oils are oxygenated and assist in delivering nutrients to the cells in our body. The oils are highly concentrated, containing profound healing properties.

Care must be taken when using essential oils, because while most are beneficial, there are some that can be dangerous or harmful to your skin.  Just because something is "all natural" does NOT mean it's beneficial (poision ivy is "all natural!").  While doing some research lately, I came across:

Bitter Almond oil - contains prussic acid, known as cyanide, and is a well known poison.  The main chemical components of bitter almond oil are benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic (prussic acid).  Precautions:  Bitter almond oil should never be used in therapy.

Keep in mind that even some "natural" components have been processed and compromised; extracted with solvents, grown with pesticides, over-processed at high temperatures, homogenized, hydrogenated and several-steps removed from the "natural" materials they're derived from. These processes aren't always unnecessary, but they should be acknowledge as such and not sanitized with the "natural" label.

Some of the essential oils we use are:

ANISE - Scent: black licorice smell.  Has antiseptic properties.  Also used as an aphrodisiac for its uplifting and comforting effect.

BERGAMOT - Scent:  citrusy.  Antiseptic, healing (especially eczema, psoriasis, acne). In aromatherapy:  anti-depressant, appetite regulator.

CINNAMON - Scent: spicy, clove-like. Beneficial properties: antiviral, refreshing, vitalizing, euphoric, energizing, warming.

CLOVE BUD - Similar to cinnamon but with a deeper, sweeter smell.
Aromatherapy benefits reportedly include: antibactertial, antifungal, mental stimulation and memory enhancement.

EUCALYPTUS - Scent: camphor-like, somewhat sweet, and pine-like.    Used to fortify the respiratory system.  Eucalyptus has antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

"FOUR THIEVES" (a blend of essential oils of clove bud, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary) - History says that while the Bubonic plague was decimating much of Europe in the 1400s, there was a band of four thieves who were captured and charged with robbing the dead and dying victims whom no one else would go near because of their infectiousness.  At their trial, the magistrate offered them leniency if they would reveal how they resisted contracting the infection as they performed their gruesome acts.  Being perfumers and spice traders by trade, they explained their concoction of herbs and spices which they had rubbed on their hands, ears and temples to ward off germs.

LAVENDER - Scent: soft, sweet, floral.  Beneficial properties: antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, balancing, soothing, gently clarifying, calming, refreshing.

LEMON - Scent: crisp, tart, and fresh.  Beneficial properties: antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, energizing, uplifting, refreshing, cheering, cooling, clears the head.

LEMON EUCALYPTUS - Scent:  Purifying and invigorating, similar to citronella.

LITSEA CUBEBA - Oil is derived from a small tropical and fragrant tree.   Commonly used in skin toners as it is an effective tool in the fight against acne and excessive perspiration.  Tends to be a scent fixative when used with other more volatile oils such as lemon or orange.

ORANGE, SWEET - Scent: sweet, airy, citrus. Beneficial properties: antibacterial, cheering, refreshing, uplifting, balancing, vitalizing, dispels gloom, fights depression and banishes apathy.

PATCHOULI - Scent: strong, earthy, rich, sweet, balsamic, and spicy. Beneficial properties: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antitoxic, antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal, aphrodisiac, romantic, soothing, exotic, sensual.

PEPPERMINT - Scent: a strong, cool, minty scent. Beneficial properties: antibacterial, vitalizing, refreshing, cooling, used for headache, mental fatigue, anger and stress.

ROSEMARY - Scent:  fresh, piercing scent that is mildly pine-like but sweeter.  Has an overall stimulating and invigorating effect that works on both mental and physical levels.

Other ingredients we use in our soaps include:

ALMOND OIL, SWEET:  Sweet almond is one of the most popularly used carrier oils in aromatherapy and massage and soapmaking. This oil has a fine texture and is easily absorbed, helping to leave the skin soft and smooth without leaving a greasy feel. Not only does this oil help protect the skin's surface, but it also acts as a conditioner to help promote a clear, clean, young looking complexion. It has a rich concentration of oleic and linoleic essential fatty acids and is known to help repair the skin's lipid matrix barrier.

AVOCADO BUTTER:  has excellent moisturizing properties, easily penetrated into the skin.  Avocado Butter also contains some natural sunscreen properties along with Vitamins A, B, G and E making it an all around great butter.

AVOCADO OIL: Rich in vitamins A, D & E, lecithin, potassium, and vitamin E.  Avocado oil is said to help with the regenerating of skin cells and is easily absorbed into the skin to add superb emolliency.  Excellent for mature, cracked skin.

BABASSU OIL:  A superior emollient beneficial for both dry and oily complexions, gently moisturizing the skin without contributing to an oily sheen. It's especially suitable for eczema, itchy, dry and inflamed skin.

CALENDULA FLOWERS:  Calendula is useful against a variety of skin disorders, ranging from skin ulcerations to eczema, also burns (minor, including sunburn). Calendula also stimulates the production of collagen, and is used in many cosmetic creams to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and hydrate skin.  Calendula is also useful to alleviate the symptoms of insect bites, diaper rash, and acne.

CANOLA OIL:  Considered to be a good moisturizer, this medium light oil contains essential fatty acids, vitamins, specifically vitamin E and minerals.

CASTOR OIL:  Castor Oil contains an unusual chemical composition of a triglyceride of fatty acids with a high percentage of ricinoleic acid present - this is unique to castor oil. Applied to the skin it acts as a natural emollient, penetrating the surface layer of the skin. Soap made with castor oil is very moisturizing and has a dense lather.

COCOA POWDER: Natural colorant.

COCOA BUTTER: Attracts and holds moisture to skin, softens skin.  A rich moisturizer.

COCONUT MILK:   Abundant with natural antiseptic fatty acids, gently removes impurities without drying sensitive skin.

COCONUT OIL: Moisturizing, gives soap great lather.  Coconut oil will produce a bar that will lather in the hardest water and even in seawater.

COFFEE: Exfolient, soothing aroma. Great for getting rid of odors.

EMU OIL:  Multiple skin conditions can be improved with the use of Emu oil, including eczema and psoriasis, because it reduces irritation and inflammation of the skin.  Emu oil is a natural emollient and helps combat the effects of the aging process. Research has shown that Emu oil can thicken the skin, which reduces the appearance of aging. 

GOAT'S MILK:  Goat’s milk is very high in vitamins, minerals and proteins as well as high in lactic acid which helps exfoliate dead skin cells and soften your skin.  Goat's milk has more fat than cow's milk, making it an excellent choice for handmade soap.

GRAPESEED OIL: Grapeseed oil is rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid quite important for the skin and the cell membranes. It is purported to have regenerative, restructuring and superior moisturizing attributes.

GREEN TEA: astringent, anti-oxidant.

HEMP SEED OIL:  It contains more naturally occurring essential fatty acids than any other plant derived oil.  Hemp penetrates the skin to remoisturize, revive and repair cells damaged by the elements; sun, wind and ultraviolet light.  Hemp seed oil is derived from the hemp plant, which is a non-narcotic variety that is amazingly versatile, nutritional and environmentally sound.

HONEY: A natural humectant, grabbing and holding onto moisture while its antioxidants protect.  Moisturizing, bacteria inhibitor, Vitamins B, C, D & E.

LAVENDER: Promotes cell regeneration, antiseptic, insect repellent;   Aromatherapy: calming, stress reliever.

MACADAMIA NUT OIL:  It is a priceless delight for the skin and has proven itself to be one of the best regenerative oils available.  It closely resembles sebum (the oil naturally produced by ones skin to help protect it). Macadamia oil is a fabulous, protective oil with a high absorption rate and has been successfully used as a healing oil for scars, sunburns, minor wounds and other irritations.

MANGO BUTTER: Effectively treats dry skin, helps heal skin rashes, clears blemishes and wrinkles, relieves itching skin, moisturizes and smoothes tough or rough skin, treats eczema and dermatitis, fights off fine lines and wrinkles.

MILK: Mositurizing, Vitamins A, D, E & K.

NEEM OIL: Neem seed oil may be a very effective organic antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, dermatological and dental agent. It is also widely hailed as a natural insect repellent. This oil has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine to aid in the healing of topical skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and acne. It is rich in fatty acids and glycerides and together with its healing properties, provides excellent natural moisturizing.

OATMEAL: Exfolient, healing.   Has skin softening benefits.

OLIVE OIL:  Retains moisture to the skin by forming a breathable layer, and does not block the skin’s natural functions. Olive oil is a good oil for skin care, especially mature, inflamed, or dry skin, as it provides disinfectant, antiwrinkle, and wound healing properties.  Prevents loss of natural moisture, softens skin and attracts external moisture to the skin.

PALM OIL:  The largest natural source of tocotrienol, an antioxidant, part of the Vitamin E family.  Also contains about 10% linoleic acid, a member of the group of essential fatty acids.

RICE BRAN OIL:  Rich in vitamin E, it is able to easily penetrate the skin. Rice bran oil is an excellent source of the essential fatty acids and antioxidant nutrients that promote overall good health and stimulates the body and spirit.  Rice bran oil is a perfect moisturizing base for under cosmetics.

SAFFLOWER OIL:  A nutritive, emollient oil, easily absorbed into the skin and used for its moisturizing qualities.  An excellent choice for the replenishment of moisture in skin creams, soaps and lotions.

SEA SALT: exfoliates, removes dead skin cells, draws out impurities.

SHEA BUTTER:  Shea butter's fatty triglycerides are absorbed naturally into the skin, providing superior moisturization and protection, while allowing the pores to breathe.  Shea is considered a humectant, which means it will actually grab moisture from the air, keeping your skin softer for longer. 

SODIUM HYDROXIDE (lye) is used for saponification.

SUNFLOWER OIL:  This oil contains useful amounts of essential fatty acids and a high amount of vitamin E.

TEA TREE OIL:  Tea tree oil contains chemicals known as terpenoids which are believed to provide the oil its medicinal properties. Tea tree oil kills fungus and bacteria, including those resistant to some antibiotics. Tea tree oil is used topically as an antiseptic and anti-infective for bacterial infections, acne, and fungal infections such as athlete's foot.  It is also used in connection with insect bites, sunburn, and other minor skin irritations.

Note: allergies may occur with the use of any essential oil, herb or spice. It is advisable to test a small area of the skin prior to using the product in the shower of bath.