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, charcoal powder, clay, etc.), unrefined sea salt to help harden the soap, and rosemary leaf extract as an antioxidant. The mixture is blended together by hand 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 sold.
What makes your soap different from the other cold process soaps?
Just like food, ingredients make huge difference in our soap. When you see the ingredient list of our soaps, premium nourishing oils and butters such as olive oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, or shea butter come close to top on the list. Many soapmakers just add a small amount of those oils into a plain soap base and call the product "shea butter soap" for example. We use a lot more volume of those premium ingredients and turn them into soap base. It adds the next level up of gentleness and luxury feeling to the soaps. Even top designer brand soap makers don't do this. We never use refined palm oil which offers no benefits to the 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 left unscented. Our soaps are free from synthetic chemicals and handcrafted in small batches with care and love to ensure quality.
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 to do. 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?
Almost all soap are Vegan. We use raw unpasteurized honey in some of our products and they are not technically considered Vegan but plant-based.
What does "Palm-free" mean?
The majority of commercial soaps available (including some handmade soaps) contain palm oil and/or palm kernel oil as their main ingredients which produce hard soaps. Before palm oil, 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. The worldwide demand for palm oil has increased sharply over the last decade. According to the United Nations Environment Program report, oil palm plantations are currently the leading cause of rainforest destruction. Great quality soaps can be made without palm or palm kernel oils. At Skipping Stone Soap, all soaps are completely palm-free. 
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 lightly scented with 100% natural essential oils. We recommend the soaps that are free from dry herbs and oatmeal.
I am pregnant. These soap bars contain essential oils and castor oil. Are these soaps safe to use?
Our unscented “Pure” collection is considered 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.

All of our products contain castor oil and some studies suggest to avoid castor oil during pregnancy. We believe that soap making process likely reduces the chances of caster oil having any significant impact on pregnancy, especially since it’s externally applied (washing with soap), and not ingested, but this is not our field of expertise. The amount of castor oil we use in our soap bars is less than 7 % of total weight, and the most of which are saponified (turned into soap) so very minimal amount remains as oil. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe and stop using our soaps until confirmed safe to do by a physician or perhaps wait until after the baby is born. 
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 less 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 powder-like material 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?
Skipping Stone's body soaps and shampoo bars are both cold-process soap. Our body soap produces great lather, cleanse gently, and leaves the skin supple and soft. Our shampoo bars are specially formulated with premium oils known to be good for hair such as avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil and argan oil. Unlike many shampoo bars on the market, our bars are made only with natural ingredients yet gives great results. Shampoo bars can also be used as facial/body bars.
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. Rinse immediately and very 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. Especially convenient when travelling or camping. You need to take only one shampoo bar with you.
Do I need to use a conditioner after?
When you switch from regular liquid shampoo to our solid shampoo bar, for the first week or so you may find using the shampoo bar leaves hair dry, greasy or frizzy. Everyone's hair is different and some people are totally fine but a few may experience undesirable condition. If that's the case you may want to try using an "apple cider vinegar conditioner" which you can make in your kitchen. In a spray bottle put 1/2 cup water and 1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice if you don't like the smell of vinegar). After shampooing and finishing taking shower, towel dry your hair and spray the cider conditioner and massage into the hair using fingers from roots to the ends. Leave it and let it dry. This should make your hair manageable and the vinegar smell will go away as it dries. (Alternatively, you can pour the conditioner over your hair in the shower, massage, then rinse as you would normally do, if you prefer. You may want to add more water in the bottle depending on the length of the hair. Make sure to rinse off the soapy suds from your hair, body and the shower walls first. If not, the acidity of the rinse will react to the soap and the shower becomes very slippery!) After a week or so you should not need to use the conditioner. 
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.
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, such as 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?
No, we don't use synthetic fragrances. All of our 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, and rice bran oil to be remained in soap and they may go rancid after a year or two. We use rosemary extract as a natural antioxidant and it should stay fresh for at least 12 months if stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight. Please keep out of humidity and extremes of heat and cold.