Who here makes soaps fragrance-free, essential-oil free exclusively?

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plantiest

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Skin contact with artificial colours can cause tons of reactions, so many people seek uncoloured liquid soaps and products and ESPECIALLY toothpaste, because absorption of colour through the thin skin of the mouth is so quick.
Fragrance reactions can be extreme and you don't always know that you're reacting to the fragrance, if it's not a headache/asthma reaction. Some people have anxiety reactions and others have anger. I once knew a kid who would melt down due to cinnamon fragrances...his parents just stopped taking him shopping between September and January ;-)
@plantiest , check out Feingold.org if you don't already know about them, for a community that desperately seeks unscented/uncoloured products.
Also, for those who say "I never notice scents transferring" it's likely because you're not sensitive enough to. Once you go scent-free for a while, fragrances around you become much more obvious. So if you live scent-free, you *notice* when something's been contaminated.
I hadn't been on Feingold.org yet, but I will certainly check them out in my searches.

I have to agree with you about scent contamination. Most people's noses go dead to it rather quickly. I had a friend who started using 'unscented' detergent (which uses a masking scent). She didn't understand why I was still reacting to her detergent. Then she went on vacation for a couple of weeks with her inlaws. They used fragrance-free detergent, which she then used for two weeks. When she got home, she opened up her drawer (that had laundry in it with the masking scents), and it struck her strongly. She had to get away from it before she could smell it again.

I have amazing, canary-like radar to scent chemicals. Blessing and a curse, I guess.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Also, for those who say "I never notice scents transferring" it's likely because you're not sensitive enough to. Once you go scent-free for a while, fragrances around you become much more obvious.
And some of us are “super smellers”! In my family, the spouses all joke about how the wives (me and my sisters) have better noses than the drug-sniffing dogs in the airports. :)

I started making my own soap and lotion so that I could choose what to add. Before that, I always purchased scent-free and sensitive skin products, but sometimes even those made me break out in hives, gave me a headache or made my eyes sting. Except for a possible allergy to chamomile in a sensitive skin product, I was never able to figure out what exactly I was reacting to. Now I at least know what does not cause a reaction. I have had friends tell me that they would like to try some of what I am making, but I’m not to that point yet. I do think there is a market if you can find a way to reach it.
 

plantiest

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I understand your point, but as I stated there are many alternatives for use as colorants.
I'm sure there are many ways to add colorants, and I don't doubt that there are safe ways to add them. The question is, why add them? I understand they have visual appeal, but I don't see a lot of utilitarian function to them. When dealing with allergies and reactions, less is definitely more.
 

MGM

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I understand your point, but as I stated there are many alternatives for use as colorants.
Sure, but how're you going to know which ones work for which people? There's definitely not one colorant that's safe for everybody, and it's completely unnecessary, so why add it?

And @plantiest makes a good point about why unscented may not sell at fairs...the people who need the product can't get to it! "I built my store dedicated to wheelchair accessories right at the top of the stairs where everyone can see it! I don't know why I'm not selling anything!" ;-P

@plantiest Do check out Feingold....if you've been suffering due to artificials, you may be surprised to learn about whole categories of natural additives that people have (non-allergic) reactions to.

If you see soap less as an artistic endeavour and more as just one in a hundred ways to get through the day without crying, it's shocking how priorities change...
 

Primrose

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Nope. I have a friend who is a super sensitive smaller, I can scent soaps at 2% and they are too strong for her. She says my unscented soaps, which are cured on the same racks as scented ones, just smell like soap.
 

Pat McGlothlin

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This last year I have made only fragrance/color free goats milk soap. Daughter in law says it's the best soap she has ever used on her face; daughter says it helps with her psoriasis and my friend, who has MS, says it's the first soap that doesn't make her skin all blotchy and itchy. I want to decide what I smell like, so I use it as well.
 

plantiest

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Sure, but how're you going to know which ones work for which people? There's definitely not one colorant that's safe for everybody, and it's completely unnecessary, so why add it?

And @plantiest makes a good point about why unscented may not sell at fairs...the people who need the product can't get to it! "I built my store dedicated to wheelchair accessories right at the top of the stairs where everyone can see it! I don't know why I'm not selling anything!" ;-P

@plantiest Do check out Feingold....if you've been suffering due to artificials, you may be surprised to learn about whole categories of natural additives that people have (non-allergic) reactions to.

If you see soap less as an artistic endeavour and more as just one in a hundred ways to get through the day without crying, it's shocking how priorities change...
I couldn't agree with you more! Sorry too me so long to respond to your post. I had a major reaction to the fragrances in, of all places, the doctor's office (something added to their carpet, I believe). Took over two weeks to recover from it, I'm a little behind and trying to catch up in general.

Over the years, I've identified so many things that my body reacts to and have just instinctively adjusted along the way. Instead of trying to figure out which additives were safe, I just eat food that only has organic ingredients that I can readily identify and know to be safe. Anything that says "flavor" or "flavoring" is off limits. Unidentified "spices" are off limits. I have to know everything in the product, or I won't use it. It is easier to identify what is safe and just stick to that. The list of safe is much shorter than the list of off limits!
 

randycoxclemson

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I'm just getting back into soap making. I will be making exclusively no added fragrance or essential oil soaps. Just wondering if there are others like me?
I have made many, many fragrance- and color-free soaps because my daughter has one of the worst cases of eczema you could ever imagine. I started making "natural" soaps for that reason, but I'm beginning to believe that many essential oils and all fragrance oils cause her to flare up to the point of infection and antibiotics and prednisone, etc, etc.

So, for the time being, it's all going to be just fatty acids, lye, and possibly oatmeal or salt, but probably neither of those for the near future. And the soaps I've made like that in the past are some of my wife's favorites anyway.
 

plantiest

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I have made many, many fragrance- and color-free soaps because my daughter has one of the worst cases of eczema you could ever imagine. I started making "natural" soaps for that reason, but I'm beginning to believe that many essential oils and all fragrance oils cause her to flare up to the point of infection and antibiotics and prednisone, etc, etc.

So, for the time being, it's all going to be just fatty acids, lye, and possibly oatmeal or salt, but probably neither of those for the near future. And the soaps I've made like that in the past are some of my wife's favorites anyway.
It is horrible that she has such bad eczema! I can see essential and fragrance oils causing significant skin reactions. They cause me significant neurologic issues.

I spoke to a cashier one day at our local grocery store, that is strongly scented. The only way I could enter the store at all (because of the fragrance throughout their building) was if I wore my respirator mask. She asked about it, so I told her that the fragrances cause me significant problems. We talked for just a moment about how the fragrance oils in the air will settle on everything in the environment, including your clothing, skin, and hair. She then made an interesting connection...every time she comes to work, her forearms (that are not covered by her smock) break out in a rash. I suspect the fragrance oils were causing her contact issues. She had no clue it was even possible!

Your daughter is incredibly lucky that you have this initiative. We do anything to keep our children safe, don't we? It is the same reason why I got into soap making...I needed actual fragrance-free, safe soap. Couldn't find anyone to do it for me, so I did it myself. The fewest ingredients possibly seems to be the key when you have these types of reactions.
 

dibbles

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My sister developed eczema about 5 years ago. She was in her 50s at the time and she never had a problem before that. Her doctor advised her to use soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. with no added fragrance or color. Now, even a stay in a hotel where the sheets are washed in a detergent that isn't fragrance free will cause a flare up.
 

plantiest

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My sister developed eczema about 5 years ago. She was in her 50s at the time and she never had a problem before that. Her doctor advised her to use soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. with no added fragrance or color. Now, even a stay in a hotel where the sheets are washed in a detergent that isn't fragrance free will cause a flare up.
Yes, exactly! Once you cross that line, the reactions just keep popping up. I cannot stay in hotels because of the fragrances, so I understand completely. Fragrances are everywhere, in all sorts of places that are completely illogical. I think our systems are just getting overloaded by the simple volume, strength, and ubiquity of the fragrance chemicals. We can no longer escape it all.
 

Rahmi

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All of the soaps I've made so far were scent free. A whopping seven batches of soap :) I made them for us to use and to share, but my friend was telling me that pregnant women would like these soaps. And people with eczema. When I'm going to teach my community to make soap, I was planning to not use scents.

Prior to making soap I have been a loyal customer of a small company who exclusively made non scented soaps. For 4 years I placed my order online regularly. So I'm kind of used to the non smell, hubby is used to it, and to some extent kids also. We use soap to clean, less for aromatherapy. And I just generally think the simple the better, the lesser ingredients the safer. I'm just drawn to that concept.

That said though, if I could get simple lavender eo soaps that smells like the lavender fields I'd be very happy. And I just got an ounce of Lemongrass oil from a reputable place that I can't wait to soap with.
 

linne1gi

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I make several fragrance free soaps. Some I add colloidal oatmeal to and some I add salt to. For me personally I love the different fragrances and essential oils and I make those also. I do think that if you are going to make an unscented soap for people with sensitive skin, less is more. Don't add colorants.
 

graylady

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I never use fragrances or colorants. The one time I did add essential oils (peppermint) I couldn't stand the smell of the soap curing.
 

plantiest

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All of the soaps I've made so far were scent free. A whopping seven batches of soap :) I made them for us to use and to share, but my friend was telling me that pregnant women would like these soaps. And people with eczema. When I'm going to teach my community to make soap, I was planning to not use scents.

Prior to making soap I have been a loyal customer of a small company who exclusively made non scented soaps. For 4 years I placed my order online regularly. So I'm kind of used to the non smell, hubby is used to it, and to some extent kids also. We use soap to clean, less for aromatherapy. And I just generally think the simple the better, the lesser ingredients the safer. I'm just drawn to that concept.

That said though, if I could get simple lavender eo soaps that smells like the lavender fields I'd be very happy. And I just got an ounce of Lemongrass oil from a reputable place that I can't wait to soap with.
I could see these simple soaps being really beneficial to a wide variety of users.

I'm up to a whopping five batches at this point!

I make several fragrance free soaps. Some I add colloidal oatmeal to and some I add salt to. For me personally I love the different fragrances and essential oils and I make those also. I do think that if you are going to make an unscented soap for people with sensitive skin, less is more. Don't add colorants.
Less is definitively more. The more complex, the shorter the list of people that can use it. I like variety as well, but I'll just have to be really creative to find that variety with fewer ingredients.

I never use fragrances or colorants. The one time I did add essential oils (peppermint) I couldn't stand the smell of the soap curing.
Could you imagine multiple fragrance oils in each batch, all curing in the same space. My head swims just thinking about it!
 

Lin19687

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@plantiest "multiple fragrance oils in each batch" would be an EO Blend or FO scent. That is how they get scents, by mixing different EO's and in the FO case, Eo's and Chemical FO.

If your intent is to sell, and make money. You will find that ONLY non-scented will not get you very far. I have customers that could care less how the soap is (so long as it cleans) and is ALL about the smell of it.
 

plantiest

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@plantiest "multiple fragrance oils in each batch" would be an EO Blend or FO scent. That is how they get scents, by mixing different EO's and in the FO case, Eo's and Chemical FO.

If your intent is to sell, and make money. You will find that ONLY non-scented will not get you very far. I have customers that could care less how the soap is (so long as it cleans) and is ALL about the smell of it.
When I say multiple fragrance oils in a batch, I'm actually referring to recipes that call for five different fragrance oils. Top that off with the fact that each fragrance oil is a combination of who knows how many individual chemicals.

I honestly haven't decided if I'm going to turn it into a business. I may just do it as a soap ministry, just making and giving away fragrance-free soaps to people like me. Even if I do it as a business, I will NEVER use fragrance oils or essential oils as fragrances. If my business sucks as a result, oh well. I'll still be serving the customer base that I choose that needs these products, and I will be doing it in a way that is safe for me to produce.

I've been told a few times that by doing fragrance-free, I will be missing out on over 99% of the market. Cool! I don't want that portion of the market. I want the less than 1% of the market who struggles like I have for years. No offense to the masses, but I'm not too concerned about them. All of them have the majority of the soapers taking care of their needs. We (those of us who want and need simple) are out there and have absolutely fallen off the marketing radar.
 

artemis

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I've been told a few times that by doing fragrance-free, I will be missing out on over 99% of the market. Cool! I don't want that portion of the market. I want the less than 1% of the market who struggles like I have for years. No offense to the masses, but I'm not too concerned about them. All of them have the majority of the soapers taking care of their needs. We (those of us who want and need simple) are out there and have absolutely fallen off the marketing radar.
The concern is not that the 99% won't be served by your soaps. It's that the 1% will not be able to support you as a business. Out of 100 potential customers, you'd be relying on just the one person for sales to support your business.

No one is saying you shouldn't do it, or it isn't a worthy cause, just that it would probably not be a business that could support itself.
 

plantiest

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The concern is not that the 99% won't be served by your soaps. It's that the 1% will not be able to support you as a business. Out of 100 potential customers, you'd be relying on just the one person for sales to support your business.

No one is saying you shouldn't do it, or it isn't a worthy cause, just that it would probably not be a business that could support itself.
That's kind of the point though. Sometimes we do (and should do) things for our community that are good for them even when we don't have anything to gain, other than the satisfaction that we were able to help someone who needed it. We raise backyard chickens (at our cost) so we can give away the eggs to the food banks. It likely will be the same dynamic.

I still don't care about the 99% who want scented products. Their needs are being met. I'll still be taking care of that 1%, whether it is an actual business or just a soap ministry. If I discover that the 1% cannot support an actual business, I'm still happy spending my spare time and money making soaps to give away to the 1%.

I understand this is a concept that is difficult for most people to grasp. When it is this important, you find a way.

ETA: It is important to state that I am not business naïve. I'm experienced with running my own viable small business. These concepts are not new to me.
 

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