Is handmade soap better than mass produced soap products?
Many store-bought soap bars and shower gels often contain synthetic additives, preservatives, and detergents, lacking the gentle qualities of authentic soap. These mass-produced products may feature artificial fragrances and colors, potentially resulting in less moisturized and dry skin. In contrast, handmade soaps utilize natural ingredients and retain natural Glycerin, a by-product of the soap-making process. Unlike commercial counterparts that remove glycerin for more profitable products, handcrafted soaps maintain this moisturizing element. Glycerin, a humectant, attracts moisture to the skin—ideal for sensitive, delicate skin, including babies and toddlers—and is suitable for all skin types. High-quality handmade soaps are typically crafted with carefully-sourced natural oils, essential oils, and additives such as clays and botanicals.
How do you make soap?
We craft our soap in small batches using the cold process method, eliminating the need for heat during production. Our process involves combining distilled water and plant-based oils with sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, to create the soap base. Essential oils and natural additives, such as ground oatmeal, charcoal powder, and clay, are added, along with unrefined sea salt for soap hardening and rosemary leaf extract as an antioxidant. The mixture is meticulously blended by hand and poured into molds. After a day or two, the soap is unmolded, cut into bars, and undergoes a minimum several-week curing process before it is ready for sale.
What makes your soap different from the other cold process soaps?
Just as with food, ingredients play a crucial role in our soap. Examining our soap's ingredient list reveals premium nourishing oils and butters like olive oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, and shea butter at the top. Unlike other soapmakers who might add a small amount of these oils to a basic soap base, we use a significant volume, creating a soap base that elevates gentleness and luxury. This exceeds the attention even of top designer brands. We avoid refined palm oil, which lacks skin benefits and known to harm the rainforest environment. Each soap is carefully formulated with the finest plant-based oils, including skin-loving organic olive oil (exclusively for our unscented “Pure” collection), nourishing unrefined organic shea butter, organic coconut oil for a rich lather, skin-restoring rice bran oil, and moisturizing castor seed oil. Our soaps are lightly scented with botanical essential oils or left unscented, free from synthetic chemicals, and crafted in small batches with care and love to ensure quality.
Are they 100% organic?
No. We incorporate both organically and conventionally grown ingredients into our products. While it's feasible to use more organic components, doing so would double the cost of our soaps, a choice we are not inclined to make. Presently, approximately 85% of the ingredients in our unscented collection and 35% in our scented collection are organic. We continuously search for superior ingredients and suppliers, aiming to include more organic elements whenever it proves economically viable.
Is your soap Vegan?
Almost all of our soaps are vegan. However, please note that some of our products contain raw unpasteurized honey, making them not technically considered vegan but plant-based.
What does "Palm-free" mean?
The majority of commercially available soaps, including some handmade varieties, use palm oil and/or palm kernel oil as their primary ingredients to create firm soap bars. Before palm oil, beef tallow was a key component in most commercial soaps, producing a high-quality product. While some manufacturers still use tallow, consumer preferences have shifted towards vegetable-based products, and palm oil, with similar characteristics to tallow, has become a cost-effective alternative. The global demand for palm oil has surged in the last decade, contributing significantly to rainforest destruction, as highlighted by the United Nations Environment Program. However, high-quality soaps can be crafted without using palm or palm kernel oils. At Skipping Stone Soap, all our soaps are entirely palm-free.
Are they moisturizing? Do I need to moisturize after?
A soap serves as a cleansing product and isn't designed to offer the same level of moisturization as a dedicated moisturizer. If your regular routine includes moisturizing, we recommend maintaining that practice after using our soap. For those who don't typically moisturize, rest assured that our soap won’t leave your skin feeling dry and tight. It's gentle enough even for facial use.
I have very sensitive skin. Are your soaps gentle enough to use?
Most likely, yes. Our soaps are formulated to be mild and gentle, making them suitable for sensitive skin. Unlike many store-bought soaps that are detergent-based and contain synthetic ingredients, ours are free from artificial colorants, hardeners, lather enhancers, and preservatives. If you have fragrance allergies, we recommend trying our “Pure” unscented collection. If that works well and you prefer scented soaps, consider our “The Essential” collection, lightly scented with 100% natural essential oils. We suggest opting for soaps without dry herbs and oatmeal if you have specific sensitivities.
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 “The Essential” collection may not be safe due to its essential oil content. We recommend consulting your physician before using any product containing essential oils during pregnancy.
All of our products contain castor oil, and some studies suggest avoiding castor oil during pregnancy. While the soap-making process likely reduces the chances of castor oil having a significant impact, especially when externally applied (washing with soap) and not ingested, this is not our field of expertise. The amount of castor oil in our soap bars is less than 7% of the total weight, most of which is saponified (turned into soap), leaving only a minimal amount as oil. When in doubt, it's better to be safe and pause using our soaps until confirmed safe by a physician or perhaps wait until after the baby is born.
I can barely smell your soap. Why is that?
Essential oils typically have a more subtle fragrance compared to synthetic fragrance oils. In many products, strong fragrances are used to attract customers in stores full of competitors' products. We understand that many people are sensitive to scents and prefer products with just enough fragrance to enjoy a few minutes in the shower, considering that all scent material eventually washes down the drain. Our soaps contain a smaller amount of essential oils compared to regular soaps—nice and gentle, yet you'll still notice their presence when you use them.
There is a white stuff on top of the soap. What is it? Is it safe?
You may notice some white powder-like material on top of our soaps. This is called 'soda ash'—a harmless substance that forms when carbon dioxide in the air interacts with a soap mixture during its initial 24 hours of the curing process. It will rinse off the first time you use the soap and is completely 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 soaps. Our body soap produces abundant lather, cleanses gently, and leaves the skin supple and soft. The shampoo bars are specially formulated with premium oils known to be beneficial for hair, including avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil, and argan oil. Unlike many shampoo bars on the market, ours are made exclusively with natural ingredients, yet they deliver excellent results. Additionally, shampoo bars can also double as facial or body bars.
Learn more about our shampoo bars here.
How do you use a shampoo bar?
Similar to using liquid shampoo, start by wetting your hair, then 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 your fingers. Rinse thoroughly and immediately. As mentioned above, our shampoo bars can also be used on the face and body. You can spread the lather over your face and body, then wash and rinse thoroughly. This is particularly convenient when traveling or camping, as you only need to bring one shampoo bar with you.
Your soap really stings my eyes. Why is that?
It's not just our soap. All-natural soaps tend to sting the eyes. This is because the pH level of soap is slightly alkaline. When washing your face or shampooing, it's best to keep your eyes closed! The positive aspect of using natural soap is that, if it accidentally gets into your eyes or your kids' eyes, tearing up is a natural defense mechanism that helps wash out the soap. On the contrary, tear-free body gels or shampoos for kids often contain synthetic detergents with toxic numbing agents. While these products may not elicit a reaction in your kids' eyes (since their senses are numbed), the dangerous chemicals can remain in their eyes.
Which soap is the gentlest?
We encourage you to try all of our soaps and discover the perfect match for yourself. (Wink wink. Just kidding.) However, if you have very sensitive skin, we recommend opting for unscented soaps without any scrubs. Our PURE body + face soap, PURE Sake Kasu body + face soap and PURE shampoo bar are excellent choices in this regard.
Which ones are good for removing the make-up?
One of the great benefits of using handmade soaps is that they contain natural glycerin, which works effectively on both water-based and oil-based makeup. Simultaneously, glycerin acts as a moisturizer and is very gentle on the face, making it perfect for makeup removal. For optimal results, begin by washing your hands thoroughly. Then, create a rich, foamy lather by rubbing the wet bar soap briskly between your hands. You can also use a clean soft washcloth to create a foam. Use the foam to gently yet thoroughly cleanse the face. Just be cautious and gentle when using it around the eyes. Rinse thoroughly and repeat as necessary.
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 over time. It will lose moisture and become much harder, but it will still deliver a rich, creamy lather. To benefit your skin, we use a slightly higher amount of oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and rice bran oil, which may remain in the soap and could go rancid after a year or two. We include rosemary extract as a natural antioxidant, and the soap should stay fresh for at least 12 months if stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Please keep it out of humidity and extremes of heat and cold.