Frequently Asked Questions
Is handmade soap better than mass produced soap?
A lot of the soap bars that you buy at the store are detergents, and not really soaps at all. They are made from chemicals and are much harsher than soap. Handmade soap contains Glycerin, which is a natural by-product of the soap making process. Commercial manufacturers remove the glycerin for use in their more profitable lotions and creams (their soaps become drying so people have to spend more money to buy their products moisturize), while handcrafted soap retains glycerin in each and every bar. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin and is especially good for sensitive, delicate skin, like babies’ and toddlers’. And it is great for all skin types.
How do you make soap?
We make our soap in small batches using the cold process method. Which means that heat is not required to make the soap. We mix distilled water and plant-based oils along with something to turn them into soap, sodium hydroxide, which is also known as lye. We then add essential oils and any natural additives (ground oatmeal, green tea powder, charcoal powder, clay, etc.), unrefined sea salt to harden the soap, and rosemary leaf extract as an antioxidant. The mixture is blended together and poured into molds. After a day or two, the soap is unmolded, cut into bars and cured for a minimum of four weeks before it’s ready to be used.
What makes your soap different from the other cold process soaps?
We never use refined palm oil, which offers no benefits to our skin, and because its production is harmful to the environment. Each of our soaps is formulated with the finest plant-based oils: skin-loving olive oil (organic oil is used for our “PURE” collection), nourishing unrefined organic shea butter, organic coconut oil for rich lather, skin-restoring rice bran oil, and moisturizing castor seed oil. All of our soaps are lightly scented with botanical essential oils or are unscented. Our soaps are free from synthetic chemicals and handcrafted in small batches with care and love.
Are they 100% organic?
No. We use both organically grown and conventionally grown ingredients. It is possible to use more organic ingredients but that would make our soaps twice the price, and that is not something we would want. Currently, about 75% of ingredients in our “PURE” collection and more than 30% in our “Essential” collection is organic. We are constantly seeking for better ingredients and suppliers, and looking to incorporate more organic ingredients whenever we find it economically reasonable.
Is your soap Vegan?
We use raw unpasteurized honey in some of our products and they are not technically considered Vegan but plant-based. Everything else is Vegan.
What does "Palm-free" mean?
The majority of commercial soaps available (including handmade soaps) contain palm oil and/or palm kernel oil as their main ingredients which produce hard soaps. Until recently, one of the key ingredients of most commercial soaps was beef tallow. It produces quality product and some manufacturers still use tallow to make soap, but consumer trends have shifted towards vegetable based products and palm oil, which has similar characteristics to tallow, and it is inexpensively available therefore replacing tallow. About 90 percent of the world’s palm oil is being produced in Malaysia and Indonesia and worldwide demand for palm oil has increased sharply over the last several years. According to the United Nations Environment Program report, oil palm plantations are currently the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia, and endangering tigers, orangutans, elephants and many other rare species. Great quality soaps can be made without palm or palm kernel oils. At Skipping Stone Soap, all soaps are palm-free except 3 kinds of soaps that we purposefully use “unrefined red palm oil” which is produced in Ecuador at small old farms, sustainably and organically grown. While refined “white” palm oil has no benefit to our skin, unrefined “red” palm oil has a beautiful red colour and is full of skin-loving nutrition such as vitamins A, E, K, Coenzyme Q10, squalene, and antioxidants.
Are they moisturizing? Do I need to moisturize after?
A soap is a cleaning product and it is not meant to provide the level of moisturization a moisturizer could. If your normal regime involves moisturizing, we would suggest continuing your ritual as usual after showering with our soap. For those who don’t moisturize, our soap won’t leave your skin dry and tight and it’s gentle enough to be used on the face.
I have a very sensitive skin. Are they gentle enough to use?
We don’t know for sure but most likely yes. You should be able to use our soaps because they are mild and gentle. Most store bought soaps are detergent based, using lots of synthetic ingredients, and that's what usually causes skin irritations. We don't use any artificial colorants, hardeners, lather enhancers or preservatives. If you have allergies to fragrance, we suggest you try our “PURE” unscented collection. If that goes well and prefer scented soaps, then try our “The Essential” collection scented with 100% natural essential oils. We recommend our soaps that are free from dry herbs and oatmeal.
I am pregnant. Are these soaps safe to use?
Our unscented “PURE” collection is safe to use but “The Essential” collection may not be safe due to the essential oil contents. Please consult your physician before using any product containing essential oils during pregnancy.
I can barely smell your soap. Why is that?
Essential oils generally smell more gentle than synthetic fragrance oils. And often products are loaded with fragrance so that it attracts people when shopping at the store full of competitor’s products. We have known that there are many people who are scent-sensitive and prefer products with just enough scent to enjoy a few minutes in the shower. All scent material goes down the drain after all. All our soaps contain only about half the amount of essential oils compared to regular soaps. Gentle, yet you’ll know it’s there when you use it.
There is a white stuff on top of the soap. What is it? Is it safe?
You may see some white stuff on top of our soaps. This is called 'soda ash' and is a harmless substance that forms when air reaches a batch of soap in its first 24 hours of life. It will rinse off the first time you use the soap and totally safe to use.
What's the difference between body soaps and shampoo bars?
Body soaps and shampoo bars are basically the same – soap. Shampoo bars are specially formulated to work on hair and scalp. We use premium oils known to be good for hair such as avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil and argan oil. Since our shampoo bars are soap, they are also great as a mild, gentle face and body soap for all skin types.
How do you use a shampoo bar?
Just like using a liquid shampoo, get your hair wet first and massage the wet shampoo bar against your hair in a circular motion to create a rich lather. Work the lather into your scalp and gently massage with fingers and rinse thoroughly. As mentioned above, our shampoo bars can be used on face and body as well. You can spread the lather to your face and body, then wash and rinse well. Voila! Your shower time is simplified. Especially convenient when travelling or camping. You need to take only one shampoo bar with you.
Your soap stings my eyes like crazy. Why?
It’s not just our soap. All natural soaps sting eyes. It’s due to the pH level of soap is slightly alkaline. When washing your face or shampooing, keep your eyes closed! The good thing about using natural soap is that when it happens to get in eyes, you or your kids will likely tear and tears will wash out the soap. That’s our body’s natural defence mechanism. When your kids use a tear-free body gel or shampoos which are usually synthetic detergent with toxic numbing agent, your kids’ eyes won’t react when it gets in their eyes (senses are numbed) and the dangerous chemicals stay in your children’s eyes or body.
Which one is the gentlest soap?
We want you to try all of our soaps and find one for yourself, but if you have a very sensitive skin, we recommend soaps that are unscented and contains no scrubs, like our PURE body + face soap and PURE shampoo bar.
Which ones are good for removing the make-up?
Any of our soaps that doesn’t contain hard exfoliant. One of the great benefits of using handmade soaps is that it contains natural glycerin that works on water-based and oil-based make-up. At the same time, glycerin acts as a moisturizer and very gentle on face so it is perfect for removing a make-up. Just be careful and be gentle when you use it around eyes.
Do you use synthetic fragrances?
Only for "~ breeze ~ lightly perfumed" collection and they are available for a limited time only. The fragrances we use are nature inspired scents and they are phthalate free. We only use very small amount (less than half of typical handmade soaps) to give very light scent. All the other products are either unscented or lightly scented with natural essential oils.
Is there an expiry date?
An unused bar of soap will last indefinitely, however its colour and scent may fade. It will lose moisture and become much harder, but will still deliver a rich creamy lather. To benefit your skin, we use a little excess amount of oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and rice bran oil to be remained in soap and they may go rancid after a year. It should last for at least 12 months if stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight however for maximum benefits for your skin and a full strength of the scent, suggested use is within 6 months from purchase date. We don't use any preservatives in our soaps, so please keep out of humidity and extremes of heat and cold.