Here are answers to your frequently asked questions:
1. Um, what is soap?
True soap is fat made into a salt with sodium hydroxide (lye). When soapmaking first developed, lye was extracted from ashes then mixed with animal fats. We now have vegan options and we use vegetable oil for milk + mischief soaps.
Commercial body wash that you purchase from stores sadly is not soap. It's actually detergent or synthesized compounds designed to clean, as opposed to a fatty acid salt. If you check the label of your regular supermarket soap or body wash, you'll see they contain ingredients you wouldn't want on your skin: surfactants, parabens, petroleum products, fillers, alcohols, waxes, detergents and preservatives. No wonder your skin feels so dry after a shower and you end up having to use lotions and moisturizers!
2. Lye sounds scary.
Lye is sodium hydroxide, NaOH. It has been used in soapmaking for thousands of years. Additionally it is used to cure foods like olives and fish and for cleaning. It is a basic compound used for making many foods and household items.
Not all soapmakers mention lye in their ingredient list, and some simply write saponified olive oil, for example. Rest assured, lye was used in the process of making your soap, otherwise it simply isn't soap.
Lye plays an important role in soapmaking as it turns the oils into soap, and then completely disappears. The resulting soap is gentle on the skin because the lye has completely reacted with the oils. The excess oils and butters leftover help moisturize and protect the skin.
3. What about sodium lactate?
Sodium lactate is the salt of lactic acid. Lactic acid is a naturally occurring acid in the metabolism of living things. It is added to soap in small amounts to help make the soap harder and make it last longer.
4. What other ingredients do you use?
All of our soaps are made of 100% vegetable oils. We do not use animal fat and have also stopped using palm oil. For our milk soaps, we only use coconut milk and not dairy milk.
The current bars in the shop contain at least 40% olive oil, and you will definitely notice the difference on your skin.
We like to use vibrant colours and fragrance blends that give more personality to the soap. In order to achieve this, we use a small amount of body safe cosmetic micas and skin tested fragrance oils.
We also have Pure Soap options that are scented with essential oils only and coloured with clays, naturally occurring oxides, or pureed fruit.
5. What's the soap weight?
Each bar is approximately 120 grams.
6. How does pre-order work?
Pre-order bars will be fully cured and ready on the date indicated, but you can purchase them beforehand to ensure you don't miss out. Note that we will only ship the entire order when all your pre-ordered items are ready.
7. Do you accept custom orders?
We would love custom orders so we can design your soap exactly how you want it, but our ability to accept them is dependent on timing and how busy life gets. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat about what you'd like and when you want it!
If you're thinking corporate gifts or wedding favours, please be sure to reach out at least three months before your event, as our soaps do need a curing time of four to six weeks.
8. Do you ship to other countries?
Our shop currently offers shipping only to Australia, but let us know which country you want to order from and we'll look into it!
9. How do you package your soap bar?
We wrap with beautiful origami paper and tie with a twine. We even handwrite the ingredients for you.
10. Why does my soap look a bit different from the photo?
Every bar is handmade and hand-sliced, so no two are alike.
11. What about returns or exchanges?
For hygienic reasons, unfortunately we can't accept returns or exchanges. However, if ever you're not 100% satisfied after receiving your soap, let us know and we'd be happy to help!
12. Are you sure I won't get any allergies?
As with all bath and body products, if you have sensitive skin, we'd recommend doing a patch test. If you encounter any irritation, discontinue use right away.
Note as well that our soaps are formulated for the body. Some use them as facial bars, but keep in mind that what works for other people's skin may not work for you.
13. Do you have tips for taking care of my soap?
If you don't plan to use your soap just yet, please store it in a dark and cool area. This makes the scent last longer and also keeps the oils fresh.
Between uses, always let the soap bar dry completely. Even better if you have a soap dish for draining! Letting your bar sit in a puddle of water will make it go soft and your soap won't last as long.
14. Will you be selling any other products?
A good friend of ours requested we make body butter when she was pregnant, and she was so pleased with the results (zero stretch marks!) that she's recommended it to friends.
You'll occasionally find Butter Bliss in the shop, but we only make a new batch upon request.