Below are descriptions of ingredients I frequently use in my soaps. I use different combinations and varying amounts depending on the effect I am trying to create as each ingredient promotes different qualities in the soap and for the skin. For example, I often add castor oil for extreme lather or sweet almond oil for its moisturizing properties. This list is by no means exhaustive but is merely a summary of what we have learned and experienced.
Please review the ingredients in any skin care product prior to using for any potential allergens or sensitivities since most of our products contain herbs, nut oils or essential oils.
Disclaimer: The statements presented on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered on this web site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet Almond Oil is a light oil with great moisturizing properties. It is renowned for its rich concentration of oleic and linoleic essential fatty acids. It absorbs quickly and will create a rich creamy lather and conditioning effect.
Aloe Vera Liquid and Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera is increasingly regarded as a healing and soothing agent for dry, damaged skin as well as for burns, skin irritations, and wrinkles.
Apricot Kernel Oil: Similar to the makeup of Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil is lightweight and high in linoleic and oleic acids. It is a good moisturizer and is easily absorbed into the skin.
Avocado Oil: Avocado oil has a high content of skin nourishing vitamins (A, D, and E) and essential fatty acids. It is absorbed readily, leaves little greasy residue and is said to have regenerating properties. When used in soap it creates a creamy lather and results in a product that conditions the skin. Avocado oil is a great moisturizer.
Castor Oil: Castor seed oil increases the lather of a soap bar and often creates thick, large bubbles. It acts like a humectant meaning it draws moisture from the air and onto the skin. When used in combination with other vegetable oils, it produces a nice hard bar of soap.
Cocoa Butter: Coco butter is frequently used as a base oil to make a harder soap bar with moisturizing properties. It is rich in vitamin E and is believed to regenerate skin cells and improve skin elasticity. Unrefined cocoa butter has a natural chocolate scent however this scent is all but eliminated in the refined version.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has been known to help treat various skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. As a result, coconut oil is one of the most common ingredients used in both the soap and cosmetic industries. Coconut oil is also reported to help prevent premature aging of the skin and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties. Coconut oil makes soaps lather beautifully but too much of it can inadvertently strip skin of moisture, so we always keep it at a certain percentage and combine it with complementary oils to increase moisture.
Grapeseed Oil: A lightweight oil that absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving a heavy, greasy feeling. Grapeseed oil is high in antioxidants and is believed to improve blood circulation and skin regeneration.
Hempseed Oil: Hempseed oil contains one of the highest percentages of essential fatty acids of any plant – these are crucial for restoring health and immune function in the body.
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil, actually a type of liquid wax, is wonderfully moisturizing for both the hair and skin. Compared to other more delicate soap making oils, Jojoba is very stable with a long shelf life. It is suitable for all skin types and believed to be beneficial for acne prone or oily skin.
Kokum Butter: A highly-prized hard, dense, emollient vegetable butter derived from the fruit of the Garcinia tree. Kokum butter possesses many characteristics similar to cocoa butter. It has high compositions of beneficial materials believed to help regenerate skin cells, support skin elasticity and skin flexibility. It is non-comedogenic so it does not clog pores.
Mango Butter: Mango butter has natural emollient properties and is a great moisturizer. It reportedly lends protection against the UV rays of the sun and is said to prevent drying of the skin and formation of wrinkles!
Neem Oil: This oil is often used to treat a variety of skin disorders ranging from dandruff to psoriasis. It is considered to be is anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. This oil has a distinct (and slightly unpleasant) scent so I often use it in combination with specific essential oils.
Olive Oil: This is one of the most popular oils for soap making. Olive oil prevents the loss of your skin’s natural moisture, softens skin and attracts external moisture to your skin. It has been used for centuries for a multitude of purposes.
Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil: The palm oils make a great vegetarian substitute for lard. They both have high levels of tocotrienols and carotenes and are a natural source of vitamin E and A. The use of palm oil has increased substantially in recent years, which has led to concerns of deforestation and ecological irresponsibility. In keeping with our philosophy and desire to protect our natural resources we buy only sustainable organic palm products.
Shea Butter: Shea butter forms a breathable, water-resistant film on the skin and is a popular natural option for moisturizing. I try to incorporate this in almost every soap and body butter product that we make. Need an extra reason to love it? Currently we purchase our shea butter directly from a non-profit organization in Ghana that teaches women entrepreneurial skills.
Sunflower Oil: It contains Vitamin E which is a natural preservative.