Soap Base Formulation – Why So Many Soaps Fail

  Ever use a soap that didn’t lather or that left your skin feeling tight and dry, despite the label being full of ingredients meant to pamper your skin? The internet is full of specialized reasons and advice, but the cause of most underperforming soap is, like a lot of things, simple and fundamental. And it’s also as old as soap itself. The problem isn’t lack of exotic ingredients, but a weak foundation – poor formulation of the soap base itself.   It Comes Down to This Here’s Read more […]

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The Truth About Lye and Soap

We had a customer ask us the other day, “Why would anyone want to use something as caustic as lye on their skin?” We also had a guy on the phone comment, “Lye doesn’t seem very organic, man.” And by “organic,” he meant groovy. On the organic point, he was right. Lye isn’t organic, but it is one of the allowable non-organic ingredients included in USDA organic standards since their inception. On the groovy point, we disagree. The truth about lye in soap-making is simple: there is no true soap, Read more […]

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What's All This About Coconut Oil?

These days, when it comes to coconut oil, all this is quite a lot. It might not be Starbucks, but coconut oil  is everywhere enough that it’s developed its own backlash. Missing the Point The problem with backlashes is – for the sake of a snappy headline and a hip take on cultural trends – they miss the point of trends. They miss seeing that the popularity of coconut oil coincides with a general cultural reassessment of traditional food and diet beliefs. As high as coconut oil is in saturated Read more […]

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Two Surprises in the World of Organic

For some, organic farming and organic products are new ideas. For others, organic products and production have been part of their lives for years. For these folks (us included) organic production has long been seen as responsible production – proven, scientific, and part of a sustainable future. But even we were a bit surprised by two aspects of the organic world we didn’t know enough about. The Unseen Organic Certification is an expensive proposition. This isn’t the most visible aspect of Read more […]

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Essential Oils: Who Can You Trust?

Industry on the Rise Essential oils sales are soaring and the trend doesn’t look to be slowing down. The market is estimated to reach $11.67 billion by the year 2022, according to Grand View Research Inc. The uses of essential oils range from aromatherapy to topical use and the benefits of these products are no mystery to consumers. The soap industry is no stranger to the use of essential oils. They are often used in the soap making process to provide quality, natural scents to their products. Read more […]

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Why Is Your Soap Only 85% Organic?

If it weren’t for the chemistry of soap and the nature of organic regulations, we could put the USDA logo on our soap. Lye makes up 12-15%, by weight, of the original ingredients for bar soap. It doesn’t exist in the final soap product, but organic regulations require that ingredients be traced back to the beginning, to the product’s origins, and then be accounted for in organic percentages. Quality and Transparency As it is, we make every one of our soap bars with a minimum of 85% organic Read more […]

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Private Label Insight – Don't Give Your Secret Away

We run across the evidence pretty frequently, customers using product photos and descriptions verbatim from our website. If they ever ask, we advise against it. Strongly. Not that we don’t understand the reasoning behind using what we have. It makes perfect sense to use our pictures, our descriptions, and our viewpoints. Content development is time consuming, labor intensive, and it’s second nature to very few. On the other hand, Botanie content – photos and words – is all right there. There’s Read more […]

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Making It Clear – Cold-Process vs. Glycerin vs. Melt-and-Pour Soap

What’s the difference between Cold-Process and Hot-Process soap? Hot Process soap uses heat from an external source to accelerate saponification, the process by which fats and an alkali combine to create soap. While Cold-Process often uses heat early on to warm the base oils, once the oils and sodium hydroxide are mixed, heat from the process itself is relied on to finish saponification. What’s the difference between Cold/Hot-Process Soap and Glycerin soap? There are two answers. Technically, Read more […]

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Answers to Questions About pH

If you’ve ever found yourself in a conversation nodding in agreement, even though you had only a vague of knowledge of the subject, you’re in good company. If the subject of that conversation was pH – or pH factor, for those who remember when it was commonly called that – you might want to keep reading. Next time it comes up, you won’t have to pretend to understand. But First The first thing to know is there’s an argument over what pH actually stands for. You’ll find references to both “power Read more […]

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What, Exactly, Should I Charge for My Soap?

If you’re just starting out, or you’re reevaluating your soap business, there are certain questions you can’t avoid. Depending on which of these two you are, the most basic of questions can be asked a couple of ways: “What should I charge?” or “Am I charging the right price?” It Depends We’d love to have a rock-solid answer that would be perfect in all situations. But we don’t. We do have a great working price, based on product costs and shipping with consideration given to packaging and marketing, Read more […]

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