What separates one soap company from another?

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Pbonnibel86

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I'm doing a lot of research on making soaps, ingredients, and the properties of those ingredients. I learned today that soap doesn't get absorbed through the skin so what's the point in using expensive ingredients that won't do anything and then how do you separate yourself from another company when it's all about scent and design? I wanted to be different than seeing the 10,000 lavender bar. I came up with an idea to use valerian, blue tansy, butterfly pea flowers because I read valerian can act as a sedative and the others have a calming effect, but if it doesn't get absorbed through the skin then what can it really do? I need some help here. I really want to do this because I love creating and it's exciting, but I also want people to like the soaps.
 

shunt2011

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I too think using expensive ingredients and EO in soap is a waste of money. Better in leave on product. However, if selling, your going to find your customers are going to want lavender, lilac and familiar scents. Making A good quality soap will get you customers and keep them. I do use some Shea in mine but it’s purely label appeal. Just got to find your niche in an over popular area.
 

Pbonnibel86

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Thank you! I want to create a line of "witchy" soaps. I am very much into the occult, astrology, spiritualism. I want to make aesthetically pleasing bars that have amazing scent mixtures. I have a million ideas. Lol! I get what you're saying, that I need a line of quality soaps that have scents that people are used to, and then I can introduce my unique scents.
 

Rsapienza

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I'm doing a lot of research on making soaps, ingredients, and the properties of those ingredients. I learned today that soap doesn't get absorbed through the skin so what's the point in using expensive ingredients that won't do anything and then how do you separate yourself from another company when it's all about scent and design? I wanted to be different than seeing the 10,000 lavender bar. I came up with an idea to use valerian, blue tansy, butterfly pea flowers because I read valerian can act as a sedative and the others have a calming effect, but if it doesn't get absorbed through the skin then what can it really do? I need some help here. I really want to do this because I love creating and it's exciting, but I also want people to like the soaps.
Much is label appeal. Customers like a story. You could make your soaps with only rain water, or better yet, moon water! Nurture Soaps has some fragrances that may interest you. Good luck!
 

Catscankim

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LOL I went on a valerian kick one time long ago, and bought some tincture drops as well as whole valerian root. The herbs really appealed to the cats. I had no idea that the box that they were attempting to shred apart was the valerian. It was like catnip to them. They went nuts over it!! I also bought seeds, planning to plant them. They did NOT make it to my garden LOL.

I had read that it was stinky, but was not prepared for this amount of stinky. I wouldn't use it in soap LOL. I don't even know if you can balance it out with something else. Like how do you make poop smell good LOL.
 

privatekane

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Thank you! I want to create a line of "witchy" soaps. I am very much into the occult, astrology, spiritualism. I want to make aesthetically pleasing bars that have amazing scent mixtures. I have a million ideas. Lol! I get what you're saying, that I need a line of quality soaps that have scents that people are used to, and then I can introduce my unique scents.
I bet you are going to have a lot of fun with names. Good idea to have a niche interest.
 

Pbonnibel86

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LOL I went on a valerian kick one time long ago, and bought some tincture drops as well as whole valerian root. The herbs really appealed to the cats. I had no idea that the box that they were attempting to shred apart was the valerian. It was like catnip to them. They went nuts over it!! I also bought seeds, planning to plant them. They did NOT make it to my garden LOL.

I had read that it was stinky, but was not prepared for this amount of stinky. I wouldn't use it in soap LOL. I don't even know if you can balance it out with something else. Like how do you make poop smell good LOL.
Haha! I thought it smelled like stinky socks! Yeah, even with the cap closed, the smell eeks out! It’s nasty.
 

coastmutt

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You could try making a bath mixture, lotion bar, or maybe a cream! That way the EOs you have in mind can really take effect when used by your customers. Best of luck!
 

TheGecko

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I wanted to be different than seeing the 10,000 lavender bar.
As does everyone who makes anything. I made a good bar of soap...as do most of the soap makers. What sets my Lavender Soap apart from the other 10,000 bars...nothing really...it's a lavender colored bar of soap that smells like lavender. But my friends like it...so they tell others...and others like it so they tell others and so on an so forth. And that's pretty much how it starts...with friends and family, with local markets (farmer's markets, flea markets, craft fairs), with some advertising.

I doubt very much that my soap will become a 'national brand'...and I'm okay with that.
 

Pbonnibel86

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As does everyone who makes anything. I made a good bar of soap...as do most of the soap makers. What sets my Lavender Soap apart from the other 10,000 bars...nothing really...it's a lavender colored bar of soap that smells like lavender. But my friends like it...so they tell others...and others like it so they tell others and so on an so forth. And that's pretty much how it starts...with friends and family, with local markets (farmer's markets, flea markets, craft fairs), with some advertising.

I doubt very much that my soap will become a 'national brand'...and I'm okay with that.
Yes and when I said that I was being a bit snooty, but I’ve since learned that people like lavender and it’s a good seller. I know that I need a staple set of bars that will sell. I did see one that was part goat milk, part Shea butter and lavender EO. 😊
 

TheGecko

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Yes and when I said that I was being a bit snooty, but I’ve since learned that people like lavender and it’s a good seller. I know that I need a staple set of bars that will sell. I did see one that was part goat milk, part Shea butter and lavender EO. 😊
I'm actually allergic to lavender so I hadn't planned getting within 100 feet of it. BUTT (notice it's a big butt), a lot of people like traditional fragrances and that is becoming my niche.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I want to create a line of "witchy" soaps. I am very much into the occult, astrology, spiritualism. I want to make aesthetically pleasing bars that have amazing scent mixtures.
That sounds so cool! The witchy-est bar I ever made was a Black African (type) Soap with activated charcoal. The fragrance is an EO/FO blend, "Bladderwrack" from WSP. Made in 2016, I have one bar left and the fragrance is still strong. Here's a link to the recipe:
https://www.elementsbathandbody.com/Coconut-Carbon-Powder-Exfoliating.html
I substituted lard for the palm oil. I think lard has the ability to "stick" the fragrance. When you go to the Bladderwrack link, check out the Q & A for duplicating the blend. I have everything I need to do that but need to get my act together first. 😁

To create amazing "unique" scents you are in for a long journey that hopefully will be well worth it eventually. I wish you the best of luck! :thumbup:
 

AAShillito

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I'm doing a lot of research on making soaps, ingredients, and the properties of those ingredients. I learned today that soap doesn't get absorbed through the skin so what's the point in using expensive ingredients that won't do anything and then how do you separate yourself from another company when it's all about scent and design? I wanted to be different than seeing the 10,000 lavender bar. I came up with an idea to use valerian, blue tansy, butterfly pea flowers because I read valerian can act as a sedative and the others have a calming effect, but if it doesn't get absorbed through the skin then what can it really do? I need some help here. I really want to do this because I love creating and it's exciting, but I also want people to like the soaps.
Did you ever try the butterfly pea flower idea? Because I have a huge bag from Amazon because I make this alot ( bc its delicious!)
 

Zany_in_CO

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Thank you! I want to create a line of "witchy" soaps. I am very much into the occult, astrology, spiritualism. I want to make aesthetically pleasing bars that have amazing scent mixtures.
I say, GO FOR IT!!!

Your post stimulated a surprising response in me. I would name the scents according to spells: Love Potion, Money Magnate, World Peace, Prosperity, Honey Dew, Marry Me, Begone!, Green Planet, etc. LOL

For your base bar, start with the BASIC TRINITY OF OILS and tweak from there. Make small 16 oz / 500 gram batches to start with. Make only one substitution at a time, i.e., PKO subbed for Coconut Oil, to see which comes closer to your "ideal" soap. Use the Default Settings on SoapCalc to even the playing field.

I recently made it with Olive Oil, Lard and Coconut at 0% SF and added 5% SF MCT Oil at the end. It is awesome, if I do say so my-less-than-humble self! Oodles of dense creamy lather that rinses clean as a whistle and lasts. :nodding:
 

Zany_in_CO

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Yes and when I said that I was being a bit snooty, but I’ve since learned that people like lavender and it’s a good seller.
If you research it you will learn that EOs tend to dissipate in about 6 months, IME. FOs help "stick" EOs. A blend of Lavender EO, Lavender FO and Vanilla FO create a calming blend and is said to help with insomnia or calm fussy babies and Fido. I would be attracted to a bar named "Sweet Dreams" or "Surrender". 😴
 

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I want to add a few things!

1) Most information on additives is largely anecdotal and subjective, as little actual scientific research on the benefits has been done that I can find. Don't let someone else's personal approach to the craft make your decisions for you!

It's been said by many, including once in this thread, that it's not worth it to add shea butter or expensive additives to your soaps. I disagree, personally. I have tried an artisan soap using a similar (or possible identical) recipe to Royalty Soaps (olive, coconut, palm, almond, & castor). It's good soap. I absolutely like my soap with shea butter substantially more. And the artisan soap I purchased from another shop that uses cocoa butter is a close second (and honestly, probably only an issue because I KNOW they have a high percentage of babassu and coconut in there and it leaves me feeling crackly and dried). The butters in these soaps are what, I presume, give them a lotiony-like lather quality that I adore. So for that reason it is worth it to add the butters. I know that I'm only getting a fraction of the properties shea/cocoa can provide by using them in a rinse off versus a leave on. But it's still worth it. So if you want to add an expensive powder or herb because it has spiritual impact for you and your faith... do it! Scientifically the benefits may not be observable but those who have faith may experience an effect.

(Suggestion to consider: you may be able to save some money on herbal additives if you look up oil infusion options.)

Understand that costly ingredients and additives WILL mean you have to charge more and that will alienate a percentage of your consumer base. That's a business decision you have to make / accept.

Also be sure to be careful about what you promise your soaps do. Valerian & lavender might help with relaxation but making that claim pushes you into a drug territory and that's gonna get costly. Additives are about words on labels and the conclusions people draw from those for themselves.

Caveat: take advice about safety. EOs and FOs and some additives (looking at you caffeine!) can have max safe usage rates. Natural =/= safe. Pennyroyal, for example, is an EO you can find some places. It's toxic and has been used in the past as an abortifacient! Not something I would want to find in a soap!

2) You mention that you are into occult spirituality and want to make witchy soaps. This sounds like a WONDERFUL niche market. As someone said, you can distinguish yourself by blessing the soaps and ingredients. Just... please, be respectful there. Don't appropriate or take advantage of the faith and make claims that are false. Like blessed water. If you want to claim that, please ensure it IS blessed (whether by you or someone else).
 
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