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 3% fragrance oil load is 97% 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) is rigorous, and essential oils are often volatile and fragile.
Using a blend of both fragrance oils and essential oils result in scents that smell unique, 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.
For my creams and scrubs, I use a reliable, broad-spectrum preservative system that's globally approved. It takes only a tiny percentage (1%) of this paraben & formaldehyde-free preservative to keep your lotion or cream fresh and clean. Preservatives are a good thing!
If you're looking to avoid using preservatives altogether, a liquid oil or whipped shea butter is a safe choice. Bacteria cannot grow where there is no water, so no preservative is required.
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 harmless in make-up and even more so in a wash away product.
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 from me that my own family doesn't use.
And, of course- I'd never test on animals. All my testers are fully consenting adults.
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. 'Curing' soap simply refers to the drying out period.
Soap is made by mixing sodium hydroxide with water or some other liquid, for instance, coffee or aloe vera juice. That solution is then mixed with oils and butters to create soap. After the soap is cut, it's put to rest for a month. This "curing" time achieves a couple of things. It dehydrates the soap, creating a harder, longer lasting bar, and also makes it milder and more lather abundant.
An older soap is a more mild, and lather rich soap!