News

Happy February! February 01, 2019 01:09

Well, the first month of 2019 went by like a flash. January is a great time to look back and review how we did last year and plan for the coming year.

With great appreciation to all of our customers, at Skipping Stone Soap we had a very busy year last year. We have shipped our handmade soaps and shampoo bars to 23 countries. We welcomed several new retail partners in Toronto and Muskoka. We've switched from regular bubble mailer to non-plastic padded mailer for the majority of the online sales packaging. We continued to improve our products with a better formula, higher quality ingredients and updated packaging.

For this year, starting today, all our products have new prices due to the increased cost of ingredients, shipping, operation and production. We are confident that our soaps are still far superior to similarly priced products on the market and we take every effort to reduce the cost while maintaining the quality of service and products our customers expect from us. 

Also this year, we are planning to eliminate the use of palm oil entirely. The palm oil industry is still growing by destroying the rainforest in Southeast Asia and affecting the habitats of endangered species such as orangutans. Our motto is to make soap products that won't affect the environment negatively so for that reason we will not buy any more palm oil and palm oil derived ingredients.

Some new products are on their way and we are excited to introduce them soon and hoping to do so more often throughout the year. As our name suggests, we are going to be more playful and experimental, and have some fun making new products!

I know it's not really any more "happy new year" season so let me wish you a Happy February! Cheers.

Masa


SSS Factory Outlet June 23, 2018 18:13

I love to find crooked cucumbers, bananas with lots of black dots, day-old croissants, or end-piece Baumkuchen cake piled in a plastic bag. I like a bargain of course but the attraction for me is that they are not available all the time and I can only get those by chance.

Now I have this online soap shop and from time to time I produce not-so-perfect soap. They go into a "soap give away" box. Those soaps are used at home and given away to family and friends. As we produce lots of soaps these days (and some more mistakes made) 1 box has now expanded to 4 boxes. It's impossible to use them all. 

Probably almost all of these imperfect soap bars are only there because of some cosmetic issues. For example, when I was making Starry Night shampoo bar, the mixture started to become too thick in the mixing pot and air bubbles couldn't escape after poured in the molds. Or soap mixture got even thicker in the mixing pot so I have decided to stick my hand in, scoop up and rolled in my hands to form balls. Now you get the chance to get those odd pieces at our "factory Outlet".

All products are tested and confirmed safe to use. Actually, the quality of soaps and shampoo bars are the same as our regular products. We also added some discontinued soap bars at a greatly discounted price.

If you don't mind imperfect products and if you like to discover that odd stuff in the sale bin like me, go check out our new outlet page.

>> check out SSS Factory Outlet


So hot the soap arrived sweating?? June 20, 2018 19:35

sunset-orange-soap

Often in the summertime, when you receive your soaps during humid conditions, you may notice some of the soaps and wrappers may have some wet spots. It looks like almost "sweat" coming out of the soaps. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the products. Actually, it's a good thing and here's why.

Quality handcrafted soap bars often "sweat" in humid weather due to the high content of natural glycerin. Glycerin is a byproduct of saponification, the chemical reaction between oils and lye that produces soap. Glycerin is a humectant which attracts moisture from its surroundings. When handmade soap sits out in humid conditions, the glycerin in the soap will attract the moisture in the air and keep it on the soap. That's the "sweat" you see.

Handmade soaps are rich in natural glycerin and act like a moisturizer every time you wash with them. It leaves a thin layer of natural glycerin on your skin and naturally retains the moisture in the skin. In commercial soaps, on the other hand, the glycerin is removed and used to produce other products like moisturizers, lotions and cosmetics. That's why commercial soaps are drying to the skin. If you tend to have a dry skin condition, it would be best to stay away from commercial soap/body wash and choose a soap made with natural ingredients.

All of our soaps and shampoo bars are made with other natural humectants – or moisturizing ingredients – such as sea salt, unpasteurized honey, and castor seed oil. That's why they quite often sweat, especially in the summertime when humid.

In our studio, soaps are kept as dry as possible during the four-week curing stage and make sure they are not "sweating" when we ship them out to you. However, during the transportation in the humid weather, or after you receive the products, they may develop some natural sweating. And that's completely normal and a sign of quality natural soaps. To prevent the soaps from sweating further, please keep them in a cool dry place away from direct sunshine.


Introducing shampoo bar set April 26, 2018 15:32

One of our best sellers is all-natural handcrafted shampoo bars. We receive many great reviews and our customers love them. All three kinds of our shampoo bars are made only with premium plant-based oils and butters such as argan oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. To make each kind unique, some include macadamia nut oil or sweet almond oil, licorice root extract or activated charcoal, or some raw honey from our friend Bee Local 416.

They produce very creamy lather to gently cleanse scalp and hair, and leave no chemical residue like regular shampoos and conditioners. Also, shampoo bars are solid and there's no water, bacterias can't grow and preservative is not necessary. There is no need for a conditioner, though you can easily make your own with apple cider vinegar if you ever feel your hair needs a conditioning. ACV conditioner works especially well with natural soap shampoo bars. If you are interested, here is a good article on apple cider vinegar hair rinse from Coconuts & Kettlebells.)

No wonder our shampoo bars are so popular because there are so many great things about using all natural products instead of chemically loaded liquid detergent on your hair. So now we are introducing 2 shampoo bar set as a trial package for people who are looking for a change. If you've been using conventional liquid shampoos for years, there could be a transitional stage when your hair goes through some unusual behavior. Trying shampoo bars for at least a month is a great start and 2 bars should easily last for that period.

Of course, you can order multiple sets if you'd like more as well as a repeat purchase.

> Go to the shampoo bar starter set page

 


New! Soap Sampler Box December 11, 2017 11:58

Holidays are fast approaching and one last thing on our mind is getting ready for our guests' bathroom use. Either for yourself or someone you are visiting, a box of guest sized handmade soap is a very useful and thoughtful item that leaves a great impression.

We are bringing back our popular guest sized soap bars as a Sampler Box. 16 of our various bars are placed in a reusable craft paper box for convenient storage. It's a great way to try most of our soap offerings as well as a gift for someone you care for and don't know what kind of scents she/he likes. Also, the Sampler Box is a must have for an Airbnb host. One soap is about the same size as those hotel soap and it should last for several showers or more. What's better than a locally made all-natural soap for your guest?

At home, we place several of these in a medium bowl with river rocks at the bottom and use as hand soap so that we can alternate each time to keep them dry. It looks pretty as well as it works.

The quantities are limited. Get yours today!

> Check out The Soap Sampler Box


Featured soap : PURE Charcoal Soap November 17, 2017 16:12

I get asked quite often which soap bars are our most popular. The answer is definitely the Shooting Star Body + Face Soap and Starry Night Shampoo Bar both of which are made with activated Charcoal. Both of these have the dark charcoal grey look with white confetti mixed with the soap and they look quite lovely, so no wonder they are our most popular items.

And sometimes we get requests for these made with different scent or unscented. With a blend of citrus, flower, and wood notes, it's one of our most unique scents we offer. And scents are quite a subjective thing, some people love it and some people don't. Technically we can make any of our products scent-free or switch to some different scents.

Since we offer PURE unscented collection in a limited variety, we thought charcoal soap would be a great addition. We wanted to make it as simple and pure as possible, so we added activated charcoal powder to our popular PURE original recipe, and also a generous amount of French grey sea salt to enhance the detoxifying quality of charcoal, but not as much to make the soap harsh on the skin as the typical "salt soap".

Get yours today from here.

> Check out PURE Charcoal soap



Featured soap : Sakura Soap February 06, 2017 23:11

Despite the cold weather, afternoon sun feels brighter and warmer on my face every day and I could feel that spring is definitely around the corner.

As a Japanese person myself, my brain automatically visualizes the pale pink Sakura (cherry blossoms) as soon as I hear the word "spring". If you have been to Japan in springtime, you may know that Japanese people truly love cherry blossoms. Cherry trees are pretty much everywhere in Japan and those gentle pastel shades of pink fill parks, city streets, residential gardens, historic sights like temples and shrines, or even mountains far away. I think pink is a colour that makes people happy and I just love that warm uplifting feeling in springtime in Japan.

I wanted to make a soap that looks and smells like Sakura, ready for this spring.

A small amount of French pink clay is used to create the perfect pale pink and swirled into soft white. I added diamond shaped pink soap confetti as flower petals.


For the scent, since there is no cherry blossom essential oil available, I tested some blends with essential oils and a few fragrance oils I have. For the final product, I used lemon, pink grapefruit, rosewood essential oils and a very very small amount of rose fragrance oil to create a fresh, bright and earthy yet definitely floral note, perfect for this soap.

For the soap recipe, I have been testing a formula slightly different from my original line and Sakura soap is the first product with the new recipe. Started from my original recipe, a blend of olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, ricebran oil, and castor oil that has a perfect balance of lather, cleanse, and skin care properties, I reformulated and added a small amount of organic cocoa butter that gives creamy stable lather and a bit of protection on the skin from the dry cold weather. It also makes the soap slightly harder and longer-lasting. I am very happy with the result. Now you give it a try and let me know what you think.

 I will be making a few more batches of Sakura soap but its quantity is limited and only available for the spring season.

Get it from here: Sakura: Lightly Perfumed Soap


BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND SALE 15% OFF! November 25, 2016 00:16

Black Friday

We are offering 15% off for orders $20 or more before tax from Friday Nov. 25 to Monday Nov. 28! Now is the time to stock up your favourite soaps and shampoo bars!

Enter coupon code "BLACK15" at checkout.

We also introduced 5 kinds of gorgeous gift boxes recently. We made the packaging simple yet giftable, with a rigid craft paper box lined with our branded insert. It holds 4 bars of soaps or 2 bars and a silicone soap tray perfectly. (By the way these silicone soap trays are fabulous. We tested quite many soap dishes and these are our absolute favourite. It extends the life of handmade soap significantly by lifting it with multiple soft sticks so that the soap dries quickly. Available in black or clear white.)

The sale ends on Monday the 28th. Enter coupon code "BLACK15" at checkout.

 

 

Skipping Stone Soaps available at Scout June 06, 2016 12:17

You can now find our soaps at Scout on Roncesvalles Ave. at (Howard Park Blvd). Scout is one of my go-to shops for unique cards and small gifts. (Love my neighbourhood dotted with so many great independent stores.)

Weather is finally nice and Roncy is a perfect spot to stroll on a sunny day (or any day) in Toronto. Life is great when you enjoy it slow. Stop and smell the soaps.


Skipping Stone soaps now available at Crywolf April 03, 2016 12:28

Crywolf

Ossington Strip in Toronto has been a popular destination for a while now and it is great to see the section between Queen and Dundas full of cafés, eateries, bars and various shops while maintaining the rough-on-the-edge, laid back atmosphere. While you are in the area don’t miss our newest stockist, Crywolf, a small cutesy design/gift shop. It is right next to the popular ice cream shop where there is a long lineup all the time during warm months. You’ll find a grey wolf costumed mascot standing by the door.

The owners Rose and Steph are the artists/designers who create all their clothing, art prints, and accessories. The shop is filled with cute, quirky, unique and affordable gift ideas that will make you and the recipients smile. And don’t forget to check out a selection of our soaps, too! 

Crywolf  |  91 Ossington Ave. Toronto  |  647.729.7078


We welcome 3 more shops to our stockists February 08, 2016 00:23

Over this past few months we have added 3 more shops to our stockist list! It's been a great start as we are planning to increase the number of select retail locations throughout Toronto this year.

Willem & Jöols ( Roncesvalles Village, Toronto )

Our neighbour in Roncesvalles Village, Willem & Jöols is a lovely flower/giftshop just around the corner from us and I love their stylish shop. Their window displays are fabulously seasonal and flower arrangements are absolutely gorgeous. The owner/flower designer Joanne has a keen sense of style, beauty and trend, and she's got a great personality and fun to talk to. I am happy to have Willem & Jöols as our stockist family. You'll find most of our soaps and shampoo bars here. 125 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto

http://willemandjools.com

 

Nagomi -Beauty Room- ( Bloor West Village, Toronto )

Nagomi is a small salon offering facial, makeup, acupuncture, etc. and beauty/health related events and workshops focusing on Japanese/Oriental beauty philosophy. In fact, I've joined one of their workshops and got some inspirations for my soap recipes! The space is very welcoming and relaxing. They have a unique selection of products for sale that are locally made by creative people like me. ;-) You can find several kinds of Skipping Stone Soap products as well. 2372A Bloor Street West, Toronto

http://www.nagomi.ca

 

Changing of the Garnet (Orillia, Ontario)

A hair and aesthetic salon in the Little Arts District of downtown Orillia, Changing of the Garnet, offers quality services in a fun, casual atmosphere. They are expanding and it will soon include a local artisan/designer boutique focusing on eco-friendly natural products. We are thrilled to have our products sold outside of Toronto and a great selection of Skipping Stone Soap products will be available soon! 19 Peter Street South, Orillia

https://www.facebook.com/Changing-of-The-Garnet-Hair-and-Esthetics-Studio-200329693357784/?_rdr=p


West Elm is our first retail outlet! September 17, 2015 00:27

I am very excited to announce that a small selection of Skipping Stone soap bars is now available at west elm in Toronto! west elm is launching a pop-in shop initiative "west elm LOCAL" and Skipping Stone Soap was chosen to be one of their local artisan vendors to offer unique, high-quality one-of-a-kind products.

To start off, 3 of our top sellers, "Shooting Star Detox Body + Face Soap", "Sunset Orange Replenishing Body + Face Soap", and "PURE Oatmeal & Honey Body + Face Soap" are available for purchase at Toronto location. 

west elm even did a photoshoot for my products for their Instagram post! How nice! (I know I have to update some of the product photos on this site. It will happen sometime soon.)

Hopefully we can expand to all the products we carry in the near future, but meanwhile you can visit this website to purchase my creations. If you have a chance to stop at west elm in Liberty Village, please check out the soaps! 


Is handmade soap better than store bought soap? June 19, 2015 01:30

All-natural handmade soaps vs commercial soaps

Skin is our largest organ. And skin absorbs what we put on it, just as you'd expect from your moisturizer, lip balms, or some medical patches. Now for years you might have used commercially available body soaps, shampoos, conditioners and cosmetics and developed a dry skin condition. It's so widely common to have this condition that you've come to think that it's normal to have dry skin all year. And you buy some moisturizers from the same companies and apply on your skin many times throughout the day. But is it really normal?

We often talk about food. All natural organic food from farmers' markets are better than fast food or pre-packaged processed food with all the GMO ingredients heavily sprayed with pesticide, right? It's a common sense. But when it comes to skin care products, people often have doubts or shy away from natural products. Why? When we started our all-natural handcrafted soap company, some people asked if handmade soaps would work as well as their favourite Irish Springs or Dove soaps.  They've never used handmade soaps before.

Centuries ago, soaps used to be made at home using animal fat, water and wood ash. This traditional method produced a rustic-looking all-natural soaps but it was a time consuming method. The process has evolved over time and now huge chemical corporations make those soap or body gel many people use. At those factories they use vegetable oils and/or animal fat mixed with lye and add numerous petrochemicals like foam enhancers, preservatives, colorants, and synthetic fragrance materials to produce detergent bars look like soap. They remove natural glycerin from soap so that soap becomes hard and drying, and they sell the extracted glycerin in profitable moisturizers to make more money. They have succeeded in reducing the price by mass production using petrochemicals and palm oil (cheapest plant based oil available, and the largest cause of rainforest deforestation) but as a result the consumers developed more dry skin conditions like eczema, earlier sign of aging, etc.

We think body care products are just like food products. Good wholesome foods today can be obtained at quality restaurants, bakeries, or organic markets. Can we bring back handmade all-natural soaps that doesn't irritate our skin? That's what we do at Skipping Stone Soap.

Body care products are used on our body externally but whatever contents will be absorbed through skin layer if the molecules are small enough. And we have this knowledge that the petroleum based chemicals i.e. preservatives, colorants, fragrances, foam enhancers are causing skin irritations, hormone disruptions, and some are even documented to be carcinogenic. Our soaps are free of those chemicals and gentle on skin of all types including sensitive skins.

It takes over a month to produce a bar of soap and we are proud of ourselves bringing the safe, artisan products to the market. And all are made with high quality, often organic, plant-based ingredients. The only exemptions are mineral-rich clays (earth-based) and unpasteurized honey (considered an animal product). It produces a rich foamy lather and leaves your skin clean, soft and nourished. It is gentle on the environment as natural soaps are completely biodegradable within 4 weeks after use.

We truly believe handmade soaps made with quality ingredients are far better than the store bought ones and we have been using our soaps for over a decade. Our families and friends love them. And our customers love them. Curious to try some? Check out our shop, try for yourself, and let us know what you think.

 

> Check out our all products


Greetings from the shop owner April 07, 2015 20:41

Hello. My name is Masa Chiba and I am the soapmaker/owner of Skipping Stone Soap.

I grew up beside a small clean river in a small country side town on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. When we (as our generation. I am in my 40s) were kids, we used to play around water in nature (rivers, ponds, lakes and the sea) without any concerns of toxic chemicals. Water was clean and filled with small fish and creatures. A fond memory of my childhood was always so close to the nature – a simpler, purer and safer environment.

Nowadays, our living environment is filled with toxins even in the country side and kids aren't safe playing around our waterways. After seeing the changes and impacts to our environment throughout my life, I am more convinced that our body care products should be 100% natural without any synthetic chemicals so they don't end up in our bodies and water systems.

A close friend of mine introduced me to soap making using natural ingredients over 10 years ago. The quality of the soap was so good that I couldn't believe it was handmade! I have been making natural soaps ever since. They are so great on skin my family and friends love them. My passion is to create something good, gentle for the environment and something I can share with you. Your skin will love it, too.

The name of my soap shop, skipping stone, is what everyone loves doing. By the lake, a rocky shore or by a slow flowing river, you look for a flat round shaped stone. Throw it so that it jumps on the water surface and you count how many times it skips. We used to play all the time. It reminds me of my happy childhood and our close connection with clean natural water. We were all born from water. And water nourishes all lives on the planet. Our responsibility is to be mindful of the effect our daily lives make to our environment and to make better choices. At Skipping Stone Soap, my commitment is to bring safe clean natural products to my customers. I want to bring back those beautiful times to our kids and their kids' generations. One soap at a time. That's why I named my company "Skipping Stone Soap".

Welcome and happy shopping!

Masa