Does your soap contain lye?
I use sodium hydroxide (lye) in all of my soap however, there is no lye in the finished product. The lye gets completely used up in the chemical reaction of soap making. Once the lye is mixed with the oils, soap is formed and that means the lye is eliminated completely. It’s a “science” process called Saponification. In the end, it’s just glycerin and soap molecules.
Do you test the pH of your soap?
Yes. I use laboratory grade strips that are as accurate as you can get for testing soap. A pH range of 8-9.5 is normal for soap. And, when you think about the saponification process this makes sense. To make soap I combine a very strong alkali (sodium hydroxide solution has a pH of 14) with the very weak fatty acids of our oils giving us a final product that is slightly alkaline. To get a final product that was neutral (pH7) would call for an acid that was every bit as strong as the sodium hydroxide, but then, of course, we wouldn’t have soap. As a quick point of reference:
pH 0 - hydrochloric acid
pH 2 - lemon juice
pH 7 - water
pH 9 - baking soda
ph 10 - milk of magnesia
ph 14 - lye!
Do you use any animal products?
No. All my soaps are vegetarian. You will find the ingredients listed on the label attached to the box of each product.
How long does a bar of your soap last?
Each 170 gr bar of my soap last approximately (4) weeks with daily use, but it will also depend on how often it is used, how many people are using it and how it is stored. It is best for your handmade soap to dry out between uses. Using a slotted soap dish will allow the water to drain away from your bar of soap.
I have extremely sensitive skin and/or a skin condition; can I still use your products?
Most people with sensitive skin or skin conditions notice an improvement in their conditions after using handmade soap like mine. This is because my soap is free of harsh chemicals, detergents and additives so it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural moisture content. The combination of oils gently moisturizes the skin without feeling greasy, leaving behind only clean, soft skin. Please see the Pure and Simple soaps for the products which are unscented and contain no added colorants.
***Note some unscented soap may still have some scent. This is because the oils used to make the soap do contain some natural scent. Unscented by definition means I have not added any essential or fragrance oils to the soap.
How long does it take your soap to be ready for use?
From cradle to sale it takes approximately 6 weeks for the soap to cure and be ready for use. I allow my soaps to cure for up to 8 weeks (that’s 2-4 weeks longer than many soap makers allow) to ensure that enough water has evaporated from the bars to ensure a longer lasting bar. When placing a large order (Over 8 soaps) please contact me in advance and allow 6-8 weeks for your soap to be ready to ship.
Why is handmade soap so much more expensive than store bought?
Soap as we know it today is made up of chemicals, detergents additives and animal based fats which are much cheaper than prime pressed olive oil or cocoa butter. But did you also know that these big companies remove the glycerin that is produced naturally and sell it as a by-product which further reduces the quality of their soap product. Sadly the glycerin has a higher value to them than the soap product they are producing. So it's removed and sold off to other cosmetic companies or to be used in other products that that company makes.
Handmade soap is about quality, not quantity. Good quality is more expensive due to the superiority of the ingredients used and the time and care taken to make each bar as perfect as possible.
You use a lot of palm oil in your soap. I heard that Palm Oil is bad for the environment?
Palm is one of the dominant soap oils, makes a beautiful, long lasting bar of soap. A very good skin care oil. Palm Oil is very high in fatty acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and magnesium. Due to my concerns that the production of Palm Oil by some manufacturers is causing damage to the environment and those that live among it, I am committed to purchase Palm Oil from a supplier who only carries palm oil from a Certified Sustainable source, which must meet strict standards to ensure it is being produced in a way that is healthy to the environment.
Why are your ingredients listed in Latin?
All my soap labeling is in accordance with the Cosmetic Regulations implemented by Health Canada. Ingredients must be listed using the International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) system. It is a system for naming cosmetic ingredients that is multilingual, multinational and based on the Latin language.
Do you bevel or shape your soap?
To bevel or not to bevel is a topic I experimented with and changed my mind 500 times. I started out beveling my soaps and in the end I decided not to for a couple of reasons:
1-A lot of soap is lost in the beveling process. The size of the bar can shrink by as much as an ounce and I want my customers to get as much bang for their buck as possible.
2-The more I beveled, polished and practically examined under a microscope, I came to the realization that I was missing the rustic look of handmade soap. I don’t want my soap to look “manufactured.” No two bars are exactly the same and I like that. I think my consumers appreciate that too.
What I do in the finishing process is polish and buff, I take off any crumbs and try to soften the edges as much as possible. I do not shape or trim the edges. If you do want to have your order beveled, no problem! Please just put in a special request when ordering.
My soap has some white stuff on it, what is that?
The “white stuff” is called Soda Ash. It is sodium carbonate formed by the free sodium from the sodium hydroxide (lye) and carbon dioxide in the air. It's just a cosmetic issue - it's not dangerous, caustic, or otherwise unsafe to use soap with a little ash on it. It also gives soap a more rustic look, check out The Nova Scotian beer soap, it almost looks like the foam! In my finishing process, I try to remove as much of it as possible, but sometimes a little bit of Soda Ash remains on the end product.
Where do you ship?
I ship in Canada. If you are outside of Canada, please contact me directly. If you are local (the Ottawa area), please feel free to schedule an appointment for pick up to save on shipping!
What is your return policy?
Due to the nature of the products; please be aware that all sales are final and are not subject to return. Please be sure of your purchase prior to completing your order. If your package arrives damaged or if you receive an incorrect item your claim must be received within 5 days from the date you receive your order.
Gifts may be exchanged within 5 days of the day the package was received (as long as the items are unused and in the original box). If you are returning a package please use an insured and pre-paid method (I recommend Canada Post or FEDEX). Include your packing slip and/or invoice along with your reason for return.
Shipping and handling fees are not refundable on returns. NO CASH REFUNDS