Are your products 100% natural?
Mostly! I use a mix of pure essential oils and high quality fragrance oils in my soaps, scrubs and body creams. I use both essential oils and flavor oils in my lip balms. That being said, fragrance is usually added at 1-4%, depending on the product. For example, a soap fragranced with a 4% fragrance oil load is 96% natural. A lavender, or orange-clove lip balm, scented with essential oils is 100% natural.
Fragrance oils are synthetic (man-made) and created specifically for safe use in bath and body products. The process of saponification (the chemical change that creates soap) can be quite rigorous, while plant essential oils can be fragile. Using a blend of both fragrance oils and essential oils result in scents that smell divine, and are very long lasting. I only use the highest quality, phthalate-free fragrance oils. I have tested and used these fragrances for years and stick to the ones that give me the best results.
You can read about creating 'all-natural' body lotions around the internet, but in my opinion- this is bad advice. Personally, I'd never offer a water-based product, like a lotion or body cream, without using a reliable, broad-spectrum preservative system. It takes only a tiny percentage (1%) of a globally approved, paraben & formaldehyde-free preservative to keep your lotion or cream fresh and clean. Preservatives in this application, are our friends, Chickadee.
If you're looking to avoid using preservatives altogether, look for an all-oil formulation, such as a body butter. Because they contain no water, they don't need the drop of preservative a lotion would.
Do you use natural colorants?
Yes, I use natural clay's in several of my soaps, but I include them for benefits other than their color. They add minerals that are great for the skin, and a silkiness to the lather that makes it great for shaving. I've always loved color, so I use more vibrant, mica colorants for design.
Mica is considered synthetic, but it's a skin-safe colorant that is used in the formulation of cosmetics and mineral make-up. If you wear any make-up at all, you're already using them. They are innocuous in make-up and even more so in a wash away product. But they are so very pretty. I'm a Libra; we dig pretty :)
Are your products vegan?
Yes, all of my products are vegan. My ingredients come from plants, and I substitute Candililla Wax for beeswax. Many of my ingredients are organic as well. I'd never ask you to buy something that I wouldn't be serving up to my own family. And, obviously, (I hope it's obvious) I'd never test on animals, only fully consenting, adult human beings.
Are you a vegan?
I'm not, but my daughter and her family are. Although I'm not myself a vegan (at this point, anyway) I feel it's a truly noble cause, and I have the utmost respect for those who practice. My daughter still wanted to use my products, so I only had to adjust my products containing beeswax in order to make it vegan. The decision to reformulate was an easy one.
Why does soap take a month to make and what is a 'cure'?
For cold-process soap-making, the time is mostly in the cure.
To 'cure' soap, simply means setting it on a rack to dry for a period of time. After the oils are combined with lye water, the soap batter is poured into log molds. It can be cut into bars about 24 hours later, but it still contains a quite a bit of water. This curing or 'rest' time achieves a couple of things. It dehydrates the soap, creating a harder, longer lasting soap bar. It also makes it milder and more lather abundant.
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