What separates one soap company from another?

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earlene

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Have you ever smelled valerian? LOL LOL. Not sure I would want to use that in my soap.

I think its a sedative because the smell will knock you out.
It's a sedative because it acts like valium.

Anyway, my precaution would be to always look into contraindications for any additive for soap.

Even though it a wash-off product and not a lot of stuff gets soaked through the skin, there are still some thngs contraindicated for certain age groups (children/infants), certain conditions (pregnancy, allergies), certain activities (being in the sunlight), and some additive ingredients can potentiate certain drugs and the customer would therefore be looking on the label to decide it it is safe for them to use.

I am NOT saying that Valerian root in soap would potentiate Valium taken orally, but they are contraindicated for simultaneous use, so even if I were to put it in soap (maybe via the HP method after the gel phase) I still would feel compelled to caution that it should not be used by persons taking sedatives, including alcohol. Another good reason not to use it, as this puts the soap into the category that makes soap a drug, per US federal standards. And it would become a labeling nightmare, not to mention the whole licensing requirement.

So, @Pbonnibel86, that's something else to think about when you think about additives in soap. Does the soap become a cosmetic or a drug by virtue of this potential additive?
 

AAShillito

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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 finally remembered that I have a pagan soap reference book- by Alicia Grosso. "Soapmaking A Magickal Guide". It's a great reference for herbs oils and infusions. As well as correspondences for Samhain, Ostara, etc .
I have not tried any of the soap recipes though just fyi.
 

ImpKit

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I finally remembered that I have a pagan soap reference book- by Alicia Grosso. "Soapmaking A Magickal Guide". It's a great reference for herbs oils and infusions. As well as correspondences for Samhain, Ostara, etc .
I have not tried any of the soap recipes though just fyi.
I'm tempted to buy this. I don't have any soapy books but this could be interesting...
 

Aromasuzie

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I think its crazy that Valerian essential oil is contradicted for use with Valium, Kitten Love? Check out Vetiver, known as the oil of tranquility. It has a very earthy scent, but as it's a base note, you don't need much. It's the same with Valerian, small amounts work best. I have used valerian but much prefer vetiver. You could mix with other "sedating oils", marjoram, chamomile, and typically lavender, but you would be better off making a sleep oil they could use, maybe in conjunction with your soap? If the person doesn't like the smell, they're not going to use it. You are better off using low dilutions when it comes to the psychological effect anyway, and it does have an effect even if it's below smell threshold. Why do you think supermarkets have bakeries, the smell of fresh bread makes you hungry and you buy more food! I love your witchy idea, I have also helped pair essential oils with crystals. You could even look at using resin powders into the soap. Dragonsblood resin would be an interesting one to try, hmm might have to try that one myself ;) I have used sandalwood powder in soap and have loved it.

I'm pleased that I don't have to worry about the FDA and other restrictions you guys seem to have when using essential oils and other herbal preparations. An essential oil may not have the same therapeutic effect or contraindication as the herb, they just lump them all in together, so frustrating. :rolleyes:
 

true blue

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I've been using mostly essential oils in my soaps since I started over 15 yrs ago - just last year did I start using FOs. The problem with some of the more 'rare' EOs (that are used by aromatherapists for one action or another) is that they can be quite expensive if you want to use them in soap - you need a lot more of it! Both valerian & veitiver are great in blends in small amounts - it's like cooking - I HATE anchovies, but I LOVE Caesar salad dressing! Same thing goes for EOs like valerian, vetiver, and even pennyroyal. Yes, it's been used as an abortificant, and I heard once that someone died because they consumed pennyroyal EO for that potential purpose. We're not eating the soap, and as this thread has made plenty clear, it's a wash off product. My customers ask what soaps would be good for xyz and I tell them - it's a wash off product! I used pennyroyal in an EO blend for soap once (with virginia cedar & juniper berry) and although I liked it, it didn't sell well - although it's in the mint family, pennyroyal's another scent people don't recognize and isn't well liked by the masses, like valerian & vetiver.

The interesting thing I've noticed, coming from a background in EOs, is that the vast amount of FO blends that are sold as woody or masculine just don't have the same depth that you can get from EO blends. I really don't know why. Time and again when I order FO blends in those categories I'm disappointed. Maybe they just seem too sweet? I wish I could put my finger on it. The closest I can describe it is that they're like a barbershop quartet and the bass didn't show up. Which may not be the best example because I'm sure they've been formulated properly for top/middle/base notes ... but not all base notes have a resounding depth to them either - they're categorized as base notes because they stick around longer. Like cedar. It's a base note but doesn't have the depth that I feel I'm - sadly - not describing well. lol

If you can achieve this 'depth' in at least some of your scents, though ... it's a scent component that people will associate with magic.

The lesson I've personally taken from my experience with FOs is that I'll just stick with ones that are scents I can't get with EOs: florals like honyesuckle and lilac (or are too expensive like rose & jasmine), fruit and food scents, things like Dragon's Blood & NagChampa, and that elusive ozone/rain/water scent. What I find challenging though, is finding these scents as stand alones. How hard can it be to find straight up rain? Without flowers or other things in the background.
 

TheGecko

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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 to disagree with your disagree for a few of reasons:

1) Depending on where you live, Shea Butter may be a very expensive ingredient and cannot bear the local market. As an example...market around here is about $5.00-$6.00 for a 4.5 oz bar. I am fortunate that I can get Shea in bulk for about $3.40 lb, but if I had to pay $9.00 lb, I would have to raise my price at least two bucks a bar and no one around here is going to pay $7.00 or $8.00...those are 'city' prices.

2) From my research and those of others, the vast majority of any 'benefit' that an oil, butter or additive may have on its own is destroyed by the caustic nature of Sodium Hydroxide along with the saponification process which turns oils into something completely different. As an example...Coconut Oil is good for your skin; it has antioxidants, it moisturizes, boosts nutrients and helps protect the skin. But combine Coconut Oil with Sodium Hydroxide and let it saponify into soap...it doesn't do any of the stuff it did before...in fact, unless you SuperFat the heck out of it, it is going to suck all the moisture out of your skin.

3) The use/nature of soap...in that it is a wash on/rinse off product. As an experiment, put on some hand lotion...then go over to the sink and rinse one hand off. Now compare your hands in 15 minutes...one benefits because you left the lotion on, the other doesn't because it wasn't on long enough.

With all of the above said, I will agree what ingredients you use and/or in what amounts that you use can produce different results, but I think a lot of it is in our heads. Am I REALLY producing a better bar of soap by adding Cocoa and Shea Butters or is it just that I 'think' I am producing a better bar?
 

Aromasuzie

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@TheGecko I personally can feel the difference between a soap that has shea butter in it and one that hasn't. I didn't feel a difference in the percentage though, so rather than using 10% Shea, I now just use 5%. It's one of my most expensive ingredients, but using at 5%, I am prepared to use it for the feel it gives. I thought the reason why we used Shea was due to the unsaponifiable constituents within it. I totally agree about other therapeutic properties being lost, why would I use something that has lovely Omega 3 oils in it when I know they will be destroyed. There are plenty of people out there wanting to buy soap rather than syndet bars, possibly the improvement in their skin is due to the absence of chemicals, but however you look at it, there's plenty of soap makers out there and consumers can choose a bar according to their budgets and ingredients.
 

Aromasuzie

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I've been using mostly essential oils in my soaps since I started over 15 yrs ago - just last year did I start using FOs. The problem with some of the more 'rare' EOs (that are used by aromatherapists for one action or another) is that they can be quite expensive if you want to use them in soap - you need a lot more of it! Both valerian & veitiver are great in blends in small amounts - it's like cooking - I HATE anchovies, but I LOVE Caesar salad dressing! Same thing goes for EOs like valerian, vetiver, and even pennyroyal. Yes, it's been used as an abortificant, and I heard once that someone died because they consumed pennyroyal EO for that potential purpose. We're not eating the soap, and as this thread has made plenty clear, it's a wash off product. My customers ask what soaps would be good for xyz and I tell them - it's a wash off product! I used pennyroyal in an EO blend for soap once (with virginia cedar & juniper berry) and although I liked it, it didn't sell well - although it's in the mint family, pennyroyal's another scent people don't recognize and isn't well liked by the masses, like valerian & vetiver.

The interesting thing I've noticed, coming from a background in EOs, is that the vast amount of FO blends that are sold as woody or masculine just don't have the same depth that you can get from EO blends. I really don't know why. Time and again when I order FO blends in those categories I'm disappointed. Maybe they just seem too sweet? I wish I could put my finger on it. The closest I can describe it is that they're like a barbershop quartet and the bass didn't show up. Which may not be the best example because I'm sure they've been formulated properly for top/middle/base notes ... but not all base notes have a resounding depth to them either - they're categorized as base notes because they stick around longer. Like cedar. It's a base note but doesn't have the depth that I feel I'm - sadly - not describing well. lol

If you can achieve this 'depth' in at least some of your scents, though ... it's a scent component that people will associate with magic.

The lesson I've personally taken from my experience with FOs is that I'll just stick with ones that are scents I can't get with EOs: florals like honyesuckle and lilac (or are too expensive like rose & jasmine), fruit and food scents, things like Dragon's Blood & NagChampa, and that elusive ozone/rain/water scent. What I find challenging though, is finding these scents as stand alones. How hard can it be to find straight up rain? Without flowers or other things in the background.
I am pleased to hear your experiences are similar to mine regarding the use of essential oils in soap. I too have used pennyroyal in soaps, though it was mixed with patchouli, niaouli, peppermint and may chang. If anyone queries the use of pennyroyal, I just explain it was used as an abortificant in the past when abortions where dangerous and explain that taken orally it will kill you, if you're prepared to guzzle down 5-15ml! I think you would have to be pretty desperate to attempt that. I have been so disappointed by the smell of fragrance oils compared to essential oil that I end up curing them in my garage to get away with the smell. I'll just stick to my foodie fragrances, chocolate, watermelon, blood orange etc. Some people like "natural" and others aren't worried, price will reflect that.
 

Sophie

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I've never totally agreed to the theory (because it has not been proven as.far as.i am aware) that soap is just a "wash off" product and leaves behind no lingering benefit. If such was the case, why are there many soaps being sold that ia.purported to help with a.number of.skin issues with people reporting that they have been helped by them? Say hypothetically that soap really has no benefits why the concern about what is put in them? why would. It then matter if the products used are GMO or not? What would it matter if scents used are artificial or expensive distilled essential oils? I'm sorry where I'm from soaps especially those for skin care are very popular and do show results..ive been a soaper since 2013 and was very active back then on the soaping forums on Facebook for a couple years up to around 2016 and ive always been told my soaps are very different in feel to that of commercially made soaps and the makes a difference in how their skin looks and feels..to end my lil diatribe 😆 I really do believe in the products I make and thats why I use the best ingredients I can afford.in my products .. it makes what I have to offer stand out from other local soap sellers in my country. So bring on the shea butta cocoa butta mango kokoum and all those good oils and natural and "artificial" colorants and scents and expensive EOs they're going on my soaps!!
 

Aromasuzie

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@Sophie I agree that there would be therapeutic effects, just some will be lost due to the saponification process. I don't have skin problems, tough olive skin, but my partner has noticed a difference using "natural" soap. I personally can also feel the difference on my skin if shea butter is used, but no difference between shea and mango. I love hemp oil, but know those omega 3's are destroyed due to heat. I would rather make up a moisturiser, balm or take the oil internally so I can benefit from that particular essential fatty acid than use it in soap. I absolutely love my essential oils, Diploma in Aromatherapy, but for some people, price is a factor and they are not prepared to pay for that in "soap". Good thing I can add them to balms and other body products where I know they are getting the full therapeutic benefit via skin and smell. I personally doubt you would get much therapeutic benefit from the essential oils in soap via the skin, but aroma, hell yes. Essential oils can have a psychological effect on people below smell threshold. Stress plays a huge part in any chronic condition and if those essential oils allow them in chill, who am I to judge.
 

ResolvableOwl

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What would it matter if scents used are artificial or expensive distilled essential oils?
advocatus diaboli: Elitism, green-label PR, esoteric humbug, justification of extortion. And don't forget about the Veblen effect and individual & collective self-deception.

why would. It then matter if the products used are GMO or not?
It's up to the customers of the world to decide if they want to support this kind of neo-colonialistic perversion or not, regardless if the GMO products are eaten, or washed off after a few seconds. GMO profiteers don't care what you do with their products, once they have your money.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I really do believe in the products I make and thats why I use the best ingredients I can afford.in my products .. it makes what I have to offer stand out from other local soap sellers in my country. So bring on the shea butta cocoa butta mango kokoum and all those good oils and natural and "artificial" colorants and scents and expensive EOs they're going on my soaps!!
Good for you! Well said. BRAVO!!!
 

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