Soap FAQs

How is soap made?

REAL soap is made by mixing oils and melted butters to a solution made of pure lye and water (called lye water).

Basic soap is literally only those three ingredients. You must use a very specific recipe or it could result in disaster and a failed product not fit for use. It’s basic chemistry.

REAL soap, like ours, is made from scratch, not melt-and-pour formulas which always have additives to make them easier to melt and zero moisturizing qualities. I wouldn’t touch these with a ten-foot pole because I know they’ll dry my skin out.

There are all sorts of other beneficial additives you can add to soap, which would be a whole article in itself!

 

Do you teach soap-making classes?

Not currently. It’s a plan for someday!

Do you take custom orders?

Absolutely!! Please message us to inquire about custom batches for any occasion- wedding favors, Bed & Breakfast supply, breast milk soap (made with your own supplied milk) or gifts.

The smallest batch is 8 regular-sized bars (16 half-size) and starts at $60 labelled and cures for 4 weeks. We can make any size batch you need.

 

Do you make shampoo and conditioner bars?

When you know better, you DO better:

We did make shampoo bars until we learned that the pH of handcrafted soap is actually REALLY BAD for your hair and scalp (but fine for skin actually). I personally used it for two years (successfully, I believed) with my super short hair but eventually ended up with flaky itchy scalp because of this pH issue.

Yes, I could have used a apple cider vinegar rinse to rebalance the pH, but I decided to forgoe this niche because there are sole-purpose companies who* do it better* with their pH-balanced detergent-based shampoo and conditioner bars. (Real soap is not the same as detergent)

 

What are the benefits of a soap made with beer, milk or salt water? Will they make me sticky?

BEER renders some lovely benefits to soap: it feels delightfully rich and bubbly; the hops has amino acids to soothe inflamed and irritated skin; the yeast is anti-bacterial (great for acne); and the B vitamins are nourishing for skin and hair! They won’t make you sticky and after a proper cure period, they don’t have a funky beer smell.

MILK, of varying sources be it cow, sheep, goat, coconut all offer unique qualities, but generally animal milk contains lactic acid which is a gentle exfoliant for cell-turnover. It’s also soothing, softening, moisturizing and balances pH.

SALT WATER soap, sometimes called brine soap, is a whole other beast. Beyond making you feel highly invigorated and refreshed, they help tone skin, draw out impurities, helps balance acne and offer a creamy rather than bubbly lather. If you’ve never tried- you must, they’re incredible!

We don’t always have them available and have primarily stopped making himalayan salt soaps and instead make a seasonal soap using water from the Bay of Fundy we collect and filter ourselves. Honestly, salt soaps are a b*itch to make because they’re extremely crumbly so that’s the primary reason we stopped 🙁

Why do you use fragrance in your soap but call it natural soap? What do you use for colorants and are they natural?

We make nearly all of our fragranced soaps with phthalate-free fragrance because people love them and we have a few signature scents. Phthalates are the worst offenders in fragrance oil (there’s no such thing as a natural fragrance oil- they’re ALWAYS synthetic and totally separate from essential oils. Don’t be duped!)

Out soap is REAL soap that’s better for your skin than the crap in stores. We’re proud to honor the “100% natural soap” claim by making Unscented soap and essential oil soap from scratch.

We only use pure clays, charcoal and oxide powders, which are mined from the earth, no mica. Sometimes we use spices like turmeric or cocoa for color.

We rarely use botanicals because they cause scratchiness in the soap and could cause plumbing issues.

 

Where do you source your essential oils? I'm an essential oil company rep, will you buy our MLM oils?

That’s a hard no, because the amounts needed for soap will put us out of business and skyrocket the price of each bar to $20!

We source oils from two Canadian companies (New Directions, Voyageur Soap) who both carry fantastic selection and high-quality oils we’ve used for eight years. We buy in bulk- often litre-sized bottles for oils like Lavender, Peppermint or Tea Tree.

 

What are the benefits of clays and seaweed in soap?

Benefits of Multanni Mitti (also known as Fuller’s Earth):
– Absorbs oil and impurities, exfoliates skin
– Rich in trace minerals
– Evens out skin tone and pigmentation, brightening dark spots
– Treats rashes and infections
– Increases circulation, fights inflammation
– FANTASTIC for acne without drying out the skin

Benefits of Seaweed:
– Rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids
– Contains antioxidants to fight free-radical damage and aging
– Nourishes and calms skin
– Fights acne
– Rich in Vitamin C which promotes collagen production
– Brightens skin and dark spots

Benefits of Kaolin Clay and Red Clay:
– Gentle detoxing clay for oil, but suitable for dry skin
– Exfoliates
– Calms inflammation and infections

 

Other FAQs

When did you start Skin Potion Naturals and why? How did you learn to make soap?

Way back in 2012 after I just could NOT find a body wash that didn’t dry my skin out. Feeling frustrated and irritated, I became very nerdy about reading labels, I was unsatisfied with literally every soap or product on the shelf, including other handmade soaps. A “Can-Do Attitude” goes a long way 😉

I watched a few YouTube videos and did a lot of reading and started experimenting and kept improving my formula until the recipe I use today, which is pure olive oil and organic coconut oil with a superfat of 6%. It makes long-lasting, high-value bars that leave your skin feeling supple and moisturized.

Why don't you offer different scent selections for the deodorants?

We used to, but the bestseller was Extra Strength, which is the same scent blend we use today for SuperFresh.

And for good reason- it works the best at preventing odor, all day with one application for nearly everyone.

 

Which of your products are safe to use on newborns and which aren't?

We recommend only choosing three of our soaps for newborns: Unscented, Lavender or “Be Calm, Baby”. Any others will be too strong or unpleasant for little one or contains fragrances.

Healing Butter is great for diaper rashes and eczema (avoid eye area) and cracked nipples (wipe off before feeding).

Breathe Easy butter is made for all ages, but please dilute 1:1 with a carrier oil for children under 6 months.

Baby Cream is made for *everyone* and is organic so slather away! Same with Lotion Bars.

 

I reacted to the SuperFresh Deodorant with an itchy rash, what should I do?

Read our Deodorant description for more info where it links you to the full article in our Blog

 

What unscented products do you make?

Unscented soap, Lotion bar (organic), and Baby Cream has only the timiest drop of herbal lavender oil. Message us for any questions or requests.

 

Do you use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in your sunblock?

For sure! Uncoated non-nano zinc oxide powder creates the blocking effect. It does give you a mild white glow but actually keeps you cooler while deflecting suns rays. May leave a residue on dark clothes so wash well with hot soapy water.

Non-nano zinc oxide is made from particles that are large enough to not enter your bloodstream and cause toxic buildup circulating through your system. If regular chemical-based sunscreens are off limits for you due to their health hazards, then non-nano zinc is your answer!

 

Click here for more info:

Nanomaterials

We never use titanium dioxide because we find it unnecessary and we’re happy with our supplier’s quality of uncoated non-nano zinc.

Why is there a star after SPF32 on your sunblock?

Our formula contains 20% non-nano zinc oxide, which is estimated at 30SPF.

In addition, we also use of primarily organic unrefined shea butter and organic virgin coconut oil, which each have their own SPF of about 4, bringing the total SPF up, but there are regulations which prevent this from being a concrete number, so we’ll stay within the safe zone. Once you use it, you’ll see it’s very reliably an excellent long-lasting product that protects, moisturizes, conditions your skin, making it healthier with each use!

Please use responsibly and remember that SPF 100 is a marketing scam.

Shea and coconut are moisturizing while anti-oxidizing when exposed to UVA/UVB. They prevent sun damage (oxidation) while supporting skin. You can also boost your natural anti-oxidation by consuming plenty of anti-oxidants in your diet and you can read more at www.sunislife.com

Your soap doesn't lather well sometimes. Why?

Because of our unique moisturizing recipe, some of our soaps may not lather the best in hard water. Rest assured- THEY STILL CLEAN!

Lather and bubbles are just an aesthetic quality of soap and cleansers we’ve all become programmed to believe are what makes the soap WORK. Ever find yourself adding more laundry detergent because what you put didn’t seem to bubble in the washer? No need- the proper amount, bubbles or not will still clean. The chemistry behind soap ensures this 🙂