Frequently Asked Questions
Do you make lye soap?
All of our soaps are made with lye. The definition of a true soap is lye mixed with fats of some kind. However, our lye soap is different from early lye soaps made by our ancestors. They would have made their own lye by letting wood ashes soak in rainwater, leaching the potash from the ashes and forming potassium hydroxide, a form of lye. We now have a different form of lye - sodium hydroxide - which is derived from table salt. Our ancestors would have used mainly animal fats for their fat source, even saving kitchen "drippings" from cooking. We use a combination of vegetable oils - olive, rice bran, coconut, palm and castor - each chosen for the properties they give to the finished soap and for their skin care properties. Our ancestors only made soap a couple of times a year and wanted to make sure the soap didn't become rancid so they applied the lye with a heavy hand. We have the ability to determine exactly how much lye is needed to turn each oil into soap and then we "discount" the lye by 5-8%, meaning we use 5-8% less lye than we need to in order to ensure a mild soap that's a little heavier in oils than lye so that it's extra gentle on your skin.
Are your products all-natural?
The term "natural" means many different things to different people. The FDA even refuses to define it. Our products are made with as few synthetic ingredients as possible. There are two reasons for using synthetic ingredients in soaps and body care products. One is that the product contains water or aloe vera juice, both great mediums for bacteria, mold and yeast growth. Products, like lotions and body sprays, need to be preserved in order to prevent the growth of these microbes. We use the safest preservatives available and never use parabens in our body care products.
The other reason for using synthetic ingredients is that some of our customers want a scent that can't be derived from nature. While many plants have essential oils that we can use to scent our products (think peppermint, lavender, orange, lemon, etc.), many other plants don't have essential oils. The only fruits that have essential oils are the citrus fruits so if you'd like an apple-scented soap or a pomegranate-scented lotion, we have to use fragrance oils to get those scents. Fragrance oils are synthetic and we will always tell you before you order which products are scented with fragrance oils. Look for the "fo" listed with these products.
Can I really use this soap and shampoo bar to wash my hair?
Yes. You can use this bar head-to-toe and it will replace your soap, shampoo and, for most people, your conditioner as well. Some people who have long, thick, curly and/or color-treated hair may still need to use a conditioner occasionally.
Do you make a baby soap?
We don't make a soap labeled specifically for babies but our lavender and unscented soaps are great for babies. The soaps contain no artificial ingredients and lavender is very soothing. They are also very gentle and moisturizing and won't dry out tender baby skin. They double as shampoo, as well, which is very convenient. Have you ever tried to hold a wet, squirming baby and open a bottle at the same time?
What's special about your Pet Shampoo Bar?
Our Pet Shampoo Bar is made with citronella, lavender and lemongrass essential oils. These are all essential oils that insects don't like. We also add oatmeal, which is emollient and helps with dry, itchy skin. Many dogs who use our Pet Shampoo Bar find they scratch a lot less!
Can I order by phone?
Yes, you can place an order by phone by calling 240-356-0222. You may pay by credit card or send a check.
How long will it take my order to arrive?
In most cases, your order will be shipped within two days after you place it. If there will be a longer delay, we will let you know. Most orders will be shipped USPS Priority Mail, which will take 1 - 3 business days to arrive. If your order is very small, we will ship it USPS First Class to save you money and will refund any shipping charges not used.
I'm local. Can I pick my order up? Do you deliver?
You may order on our website and choose to pick up your order. If we are going to be in your area on our travels, we will be happy to deliver it.
Do you ship to countries outside the United States?
Yes, we do. Our shopping cart will only figure shipping charges for orders with the U.S. so you will need to pay additional shipping charges for international orders. Once those additional shipping charges are paid, we will be happy to ship your international order.
Do you have a store?
While we do not currently have a storefront, we can make arrangements to see you by appointment so that you can "sniff" our scents, try on mineral makeup, sample our sugar scrubs, etc. You can also find our products at the stores listed on our Stores page. Call ahead to see what their current stock is if you're looking for something in particular.
Can I buy your products wholesale?
Yes. Please contact us and we will let you know about our wholesale program.