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Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the timeline on your order processing & shipping?

Orders generally ship within 1-3 business days. You'll receive an initial order confirmation, followed by tracking information, once a mailing label has been created. Orders can also be tracked by visiting the order history section within your customer account.

What if my order doesn't arrive on time, or it's damaged?

If you suspect your package is lost please allow an additional 7 days beyond the estimated delivery date. Usually your package will be located and delivered. If your package is truly lost in the mail, I will work to find it and/or replace the order.

If your shipment arrives damaged please take photos and contact me immediately at Valerie@GildedOlive.com. Clear photos are needed in order to assess damage and file a claim. I'll take care of the claim and replace any damaged items, including shipping costs.

I'm confident that you'll be 100% satisfied with your purchase, but if for some reason you're not completely happy with your order, please contact me. Due to the personal nature of bath and body products, I don't accept returns. However, I do want you to be happy with your purchase. In this case, any return shipping costs would be your responsibility.

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 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.

You can read about creating 'all-natural' body lotions around the internet, but in my opinion- this is bad advice. 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 are a great invention, they friend, not foe.

If you're looking to avoid using preservatives altogether, an all-oil formulation, like a body butter, or whipped shea butter makes a good choice. Because they contain no water, they can't grow bacteria and do not require a preservative.

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. 

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. I'd never (in a million years!) 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 with water or some other liquid, like coffee or aloe vera juice. This curing 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. An older soap is always nicer than a brand new bar!