Palm Oil – Just Saying No Isn't Enough Anymore

Originally Posted: July 21, 2016, Updated: April 1, 2019 There’s a problem with America and palm oil: The disaster in Indonesia has been out of sight for so long, we’re years behind as a country and a culture. We’re still at the point where just saying no to palm oil is perceived as a principled position. It’s not.   The Dangers of Being Righteous From Afar More than one of our customers has been criticized, recently, for using palm oil in their soaps. They use it, of course, because we Read more […]

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Better Soap is Better for All of Us

  We talk a lot with our customers, about a lot of things — how much soap to order, how to scent unscented Castile, what you can say on your label to take advantage of our organic status. One thing we don’t talk about enough, though, is the larger picture of organic soap.   Better Choices Soap that’s made to be compatible with our skin — compared to soap that’s detergent-based, mass-manufactured and made-to-sell — is always a better personal choice. It’s also a more Read more […]

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NSF/ANSI 305: The Personal Care Certification that Makes All the Difference

NSF/ANSI 305 – The “Other” Organic From the beginning, there was a disconnect between personal care products and National Organic Program (NOP) standards. Mandated in 1990 by the USDA and first taking effect in October of 2002, NOP standards were developed to regulate the production, handling, and labeling of organic products. The disconnect was a result of the NOP’s focus on food and agriculture, leaving certain products — cosmetic foundations, lipsticks, moisturizers and lotions — Read more […]

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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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What Makes a Good Bar Soap? What About Glycerin?

Soapmakers differ on what makes the best soap bar. And they should. There comes a point in soapmaking when science becomes art, and art can be as different as the number of artists. Once they become art, some forms leave the science behind. The art of soapmaking never does. Before a soap can be great – much less best – it has to be fundamentally sound. The chemistry of the base has to be right. It has to be good before it can be great.   Good Isn’t Easy Soapmaking is also a balancing 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 You Didn't Know About Washing Your Hands

There’s a good reason reminders about hand washing start showing up in the month before school resumes. “Washing hands,” according to the Center for Disease Control, “prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others.” The website KidsHealth puts it this way: “Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more serious infections, such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, the flu, hepatitis A, and many types of diarrhea.” Once Read more […]

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Shampoo Bars: An Even Closer Look

  Shampoo bars have been creating a buzz lately. Unlike other recent trends, though, this one’s not a fad. Shampoo bars offer a real, practical alternative to shampoo bottled in plastic. This “naked” approach to packaging is a commitment to reducing the amount of plastic in landfills. As much as we talk about recycling and more responsible lifestyle choices, as a country America is recycling significantly less plastic than we were four years ago. Shampoo bars make it simple. If the shampoo Read more […]

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Raise the (Shampoo) Bar: Eliminating Single-Use Plastic

You might not have noticed, but there’s a small revolution happening in the beauty and skincare industries:  it started with shampoo bars, but the ripples will soon be everywhere.   Naked Products At the center of the revolution is the need for the beauty and skincare industries to be more accountable for the waste they create — plastic bottles in particular. By one estimate, using a “naked” product like a shampoo bar, one that doesn’t come with a container, could prevent up to 552 million 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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