Apples & Spice
An apple season favorite, this scrumptious natural soap is made with real organic applesauce, unfiltered apple juice, and ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spices.
- A seasonal Soap
- Apples help soothe dry skin
- Dark brown sugar, rich in molasses, moisturizes and nourishes skin
- A fabulous essential oil blend reminiscent of spiced cider
I began making soap in 2001 with ingredients that I believed in, for the people that I loved. After all these years, that goal has never changed.
Made with Organic Apple Juice, Apples, and Spices
Certified Organic By OEFFA
A USDA Accredited Organic Certifying Agent
How to Use
What Should I Use With My Soap to Clean My Body?
The purpose of soap is to combine with oil and dirt on the body, which allows water to wash it away, but you need to use something to get that soap onto your skin. The method you use to cleanse your skin is really a personal preference. We thought we would share just a few examples.
Bar Bathers rub the bar directly on their skin to create lather and wash. This is definitely the best way to use exfoliating soaps and some believe they get the best moisturizing using this direct bar method.
Hand Latherers create lather in their clean hands and uses the lather to wash. This gentle, mild cleansing method may be good for those with sensitive skin.
Washcloth Washers use a washcloth to lather up. Washcloths are made out of lots of different textile textures, from soft cotton to agave fibers, can provide very gentle to intense exfoliation. Be sure washcloths are laundered and dried often.
Puff Polishers use a mesh puff that works up a foamy, bubbly lather, even with hard water, to wash and gently exfoliate the skin. Poofs make natural soap last longer but can harbor bacteria, so rinse thoroughly after use and replace every few weeks or clean per manufacturer's instructions.
Loofah Latherers love their loofahs that exfoliate and help increase circulation. Whole loofahs can be breeding grounds for bacteria, so be sure they dry out properly after use and replace them every two months.
Soap Sackers place their soap into a nylon soap bag. The fibers can have a smooth texture for gentle cleansing, like cotton muslin, or a rougher texture for exfoliation, like sisal or ramie. Soap sacks can be used for whole bars of soap or scraps that would normally be thrown away.
There is a large variety of bathing accessories available. If using any accessory, never share them with others and replace or clean them often.
Aren't all handmade soaps the same? . . .
The answer is NO!
Saying a soap is "handmade" says nothing about quality of the ingredients or the knowledge and skill of the soapmaker!
Chagrin Valley is not just another soap and skin care company. We are committed to healthy skin, healthy people and a healthy planet.
We are a USDA Certified Organic Company specializing in luxurious, organic, handmade soaps rich in natural glycerin for healthier skin.
It's all about the ingredients! Inspired by our love of nature, we use organic herbs, seeds, flowers, vegetables, fragrant spices, fruits, pure essential oils and purifying clays for their exceptional skin care benefits and to provide natural color, aromatherapy, texture, or gentle exfoliation. Nothing artificial, nothing synthetic, no GMO’s, just natural wholesome ingredients.
Chagrin Valley's Natural Soap & Shampoo Bars Are...
- all natural
- made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients
- handcrafted in small batches using the old-fashioned Cold Process Method
- made with sustainable and fair trade ingredients
- certified cruelty-free
- free of detergents
- free of synthetic fragrances
- free of synthetic colors
- free of artificial preservatives
- free of artificial foam boosters
- free of alcohol and petroleum products
- free of synthetic additives
- free of GMOs
- mild and nourishing
- rich in natural glycerin
- magnificent long-lasting lather
- cured for 8 to 10 weeks
Our soap making process uses only natural and organic ingredients. Why add artificial ingredients to a handmade product?
The Short Answer
NO! Adding antibacterial chemicals to soap does not keep your family safe from germs.
I understand why folks (especially those with children) are choosing products labeled “Antibacterial,” hoping to keep their family safe in the war against germs.
"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Simply washing your hands with old-fashioned natural soap and water rids your skin of most fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Soap does not kill germs, it surrounds them and carries them away.
The Long Answer
Please read our blog: Antibacterials: More Harm Than Good!
Some people tell me that they would love to switch to a natural soap to get rid of the chemicals and the plastic bottles.
So what is stopping them? They often believe that bars of soap are less hygienic than liquid soap.
My answer, of course, is that liquid soaps are NOT more hygienic than solid soap bars!
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word hygienic means, "Conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially by being clean; sanitary."
It may seem like an odd question to ask whether something specifically created to help make you clean is hygienic, but actually, it is a very good question.
Human skin has a natural microbiome that contains thousands of different bacteria, fungi, and viruses that do not cause negative health consequences for those with an intact immune system because they are part of our bodies. As a matter of fact, this microbiome helps keeps our skin healthy.
It makes sense that the microbes of your natural microbiome plus the oils and dead skin cells on your hands will get passed on to everything you touch. Numerous studies have shown that we transfer this bacteria to our cell phones, keyboards, remote controls, doorknobs, faucets, liquid soap dispensers, light switches, showerheads, washcloths, towels and yes even our soap bars.
The bacteria on your soap bar are less of a problem than the bacteria you pick up from other places on your hands.
The germs on the bar of soap that you use in your home have no negative health effects because they are coming from you. Your body has adapted to live with its natural microbial environment.
Even if you are sharing a soap bar with a family member that lives in your home, your bodies have most likely adapted because you share many of the same microorganisms.
Numerous studies have shown that although bacteria levels on a used bar of soap are slightly higher than on unused soaps, there are no detectable levels of bacteria left on the skin's surface after using a bar of soap.
Bacteria do not like to live in the actual soap bar, they are attracted to water that sits on top of the soap after use. So if you are still concerned, doing a couple of simple things will help your bar soap harbor fewer germs.
- Allow Your Soap to Dry: Store soap out of the water and allow it to dry between uses to get rid of the moist environment that germs enjoy. If you take lots of showers consider using a couple of soap bars and alternating them to allow enough drying time between each use.
- Rinse Your Soap: If your soap is not dry, rinse it under running water before lathering up to get rid of the wet outer surface.
So it seems that when considering "soap" the choice is between a bar and a liquid in a bottle. So my question is . . . how hygienic is liquid soap? And how often do you clean the top of your liquid soap dispenser?
For a more detailed discussion (especially about liquid soap) please read our blog, "Are Bar Soaps Hygienic?"
The Short Answer
Yes And No!
Although handmade soaps usually get better with age, we recommend using our soaps within 12 months of purchase. Our scented soaps should be used within 3 months after removing them from the box.
Although the soaps will not be "spoiled" after that time, you may notice some changes as natural soap ages.
- some natural colors may fade over time
- the scents from pure natural essential oil scents will fade over time
The changes in color and scent happen even more quickly in our sample size bars.
These bars have a much greater surface area to volume ratio which allows essential oils to evaporate from the surface more quickly. However, the scent may still be there when you lather up.
I have found some ancient bars hiding in my closet that years old. The scents were gone, but the lather was incredible!
The Long Answer
For a more detailed discussion please read our blog, "The Shelf Life, Color & Scent of an All Natural Soap."
How You Can Help Prolong Shelf-Life
- Natural soaps need to breathe. Exposure to air promotes hardening of your soap and contributes to longer-lasting quality. Soap should be left unwrapped in their boxes or wrapped with breathable materials. Tight wrappers cause humid conditions by preventing evaporation of moisture.
- Our soaps are packaged in breathable, recyclable, sustainable packaging! Keep your natural handmade soaps in a dry, cool place away from sunlight, excessive heat and humidity.
- Our scented soaps, like Lavender Rosemary, can be placed in a muslin bag or wrapped in a piece of cloth and put in your linen closet or dresser drawer to give a delightful fragrance to your linens and clothes while waiting to be used.
My soap bar doesn't smell the same as the last one
We sometimes receive emails that go like this:
- I just reordered [some soap]. It is my favorite bar but it does not smell the same. Did you change the recipe?
- This name of this bar is "lavender . . . " but I smell more of the other essential oils than lavender. Why do you call it lavender?
The good news is that when you purchase soap from an organic skin care company, it is scented with only pure essential oils.
The bad news is that when you purchase soap from an organic skin care company, it is scented with only pure essential oil.
The scent of an essential in any totally natural product can and will change over time and from batch to batch.
Essential Oils are a Natural Ingredient
Essential oils come from nature. The quality and scent of essential oils are affected by yearly weather conditions and varies from crop to crop and region to region.
This makes it very difficult to produce finished products in which the scents are always exactly the same.
Most commercial soaps (and skin care products), even the more "natural" ones that contain some essential oils, are made with at least some synthetic fragrances oils. Using fragrance oils ensures a more consistent scent.
Essential oils are temperamental to work under any circumstance. But while a natural essential oil scent blend may change a bit in a cream or oil, these blends are especially unpredictable when natural making cold processed soap.
After all my years of soapmaking in never ceases to amaze me just how much the actual soapmaking process changes the scent of an essential oil blend.
For more detailed information please read our blog, "Natural Soap and Essential Oils."
Although we get asked this question often, it is a very difficult one to answer, because the bottom line is . . . how old is the bar?
Handmade soap and shampoo bars made using the cold process method are formulated with a fairly high percentage of water or a water-based liquid and at the end of the soap reaction, they still contain water. The curing process allows excess water to evaporate.
Our freshly cut full-size bars are soft and weigh approximately 6.4 to over 7.4 ounces.
These bars will lose approximately 12% of their weight as most of the water evaporates during the first 6 to 8 weeks of curing time. This means that an average fresh bar, at 6.8 ounces will weigh approximately 6.0 ounces after about 8 weeks.
At Chagrin Valley Soap, our soap and shampoo bars are cured for about 10 to 12 weeks before selling and moisture will continue to evaporate over time as the bar ages. So, as our soap and shampoo bars sit waiting for a new home they will continue to shrink in size.
While some soap companies use the fresh-cut weight on their packaging, we use the average weight of our bars after at least a 10 week curing time. While some soapmakers allow their soaps to cure for only 4-weeks, we know that our longer, slower curing time ensures a milder, harder, longer-lasting bar, with a very rich lather.
Some soap companies shrink wrap their soap bars to help prevent continuous shrinkage due to evaporation. We have a few big problems with that idea. First of all, we know that we definitely do not need any more plastic added to our planet and so we choose to be as plastic-free as possible. Secondly, although we know there will continue to be a small weight (and scent) loss over time, we prefer that over sacrificing the quality of our soap.
Since each of our soap/shampoo recipes is different and the percent of liquid used varies, the amount of water that evaporates over time and the bar size will also vary.
The average weight of Chagrin Valley full-size natural soap and shampoo bars is about 5.6 to 5.8 ounces after 10 weeks of curing. The average full-bar dimensions in inches are approximately 3.75 x 3 x 1.
Our Natural Soap and Shampoo Trial Size Sample Bars weigh approximately 1.5 to 2 ounces.
Summary of the variation in weight
- Our soaps are a handmade product
- As our curing bars sit and wait for a new home, they will continue to lose water weight and shrink a bit
- Since all of our recipes are different, the amount and type of liquid used to make each recipe differ and the more liquid used in the recipe, the more they will shrink as they cure
- In Winter the dry heat will often cause bars to shrink a bit more
- No plastic wrapping
- The good news is that the older bars will last longer and lather even better
Most handmade soap companies sell bars that are about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces. Our customers have told us that they like the larger size bars.
When you compare the prices of other soaps, please compare SIZE and ingredients as well!
How long a bar will last depends on:
- how many people are using it
- how often you bathe or shower
- how you use the bar
For one person showering every day, a well-drained bar should last for about one month.
Natural soaps are normally softer than commercial soaps because they retain their natural glycerin (which is removed in commercial soap production) and contain no artificial hardening chemicals, synthetic waxes or free alkali.
We also superfat our soaps (add extra oils or butters) and use "softer" oils so that Chagrin Valley natural soaps are more emollient and soothe, soften and leave skin feeling moisturized.
Different oils impart different qualities to soap. Some add lathering qualities, some moisturizing, some hardness, and so on. Compared to other natural bars, we use a larger percentage of extra moisturizing and conditioning oils in our soaps and shampoo bars. These oils produce a bar that may not be as hard as bars with less conditioning oils.
How you use the bar will also affect its lifespan. For example, do you use a washcloth, an exfoliating accessory or only the bar? Although exfoliating loofahs and sponges are great they will use up the soap much faster than a washcloth or the "only the bar" purists.
Our Natural Soap Will Last A Long Time With Proper Care
- Don't let your soap sit in water
- Store soap on a well-drained soap dish
- Allow soap plenty of fresh air to dry between uses
- Never place soap where shower water can continuously hit it
- If your bar ever gets waterlogged and becomes gooey, simply set it on a draining soap dish or stand it on its edge for a few days and let it dry out thoroughly
How long a bar will last depends on how many people are using it, how often you bathe or shower and how you use the bar. For one person showering every day, a well-drained bar should last for about one month.
Cute Story: A customer called to say she loved our soaps but could not buy them anymore because they did not last as long as other soaps. A week later she called to place an order and apologize. Her husband, who would NEVER use her natural soaps before, fell in love with her new Scarborough Fair soap . . . and he showered twice a day!
To maximize the life of your soap, keep it in a well-drained soap dish so it can dry between uses.
We sell a handcrafted solid white oak soap dish. The deep ridges are perfect for keeping your all natural handcrafted soap dry between uses. White Oak is the wood used in shipbuilding.
A tip passed on by one of our customers whose kids always leave the soap in a water puddle: cut the large bars in halves. Then alternate the halves, allowing a longer drying time between uses.
The answer is, YES!
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve is a USDA Certified Organic company.
The most important consideration in any business is its customers. Today's world of misleading claims, false advertising, and simple deception, often leaves consumers trying to discover the truth about personal products and their ingredients.
- We want our customers to know that we are committed to transparency in everything we do.
- We want our customers to know that when we say "organic," we mean it.
- We believe that in becoming a USDA Certified Organic company, our customers do not have to wonder if we really use certified organic ingredients or if our organic products are truly organic.
- So we choose to be a certified organic company and abide by the strict standards required for organic certification.
We use three different organic/natural symbols on our website.
Each symbol has a unique definition!
The "certified organic" labeling has been developed by the USDA and refers to organic claims and labeling on food and personal care products in the United States. The USDA has very strict guidelines for the percentage of organic ingredients necessary to receive organic certification. Other countries have their own certification procedures, requirements, and standards. Labeling criteria and allowable ingredients differ from those in the US.
The USDA Organic Logo Label can be used on products that meet the standards of the first two tiers of the organic labeling system in which 95 - 100% of the ingredients are certified organic.
Most of our non-soap products fall into this category and display the USDA logo!
The Certified Organic by OEFFA label is used in our company for two reasons . . .
Soaps and Shampoos: These products contain at least 8% of the sodium hydroxide due to the process of soapmaking. Our "organic" soap is about 87% to 92% organic, but the USDA standard states that a product must be made of 95-100% organic ingredients in order to bear the USDA Certified Organic seal shown above. We are also not allowed to use the words "organic soap" on the label.
Wildharvested Ingredients: When using any agricultural ingredient (any ingredient that has a biological origin) that is not certified organic the same labeling rules we use for soap apply.
The USDA rules for proper labeling state that the products may display the certifying agent's logo but not the USDA organic logo. Our USDA certifying agency is OEFFA (The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association). Their logo is displayed on our "organic" soaps and shampoos.
Why do some soap companies use the word "organic" on their labels--even though it is against the rules? Click Here to Read More about Rules for Organic Labeling of Soap!
An Unofficial Label
Although not official labels, we use the label on the left on our website and the label on the right on our packaging. We use them for products, like the Dead Sea Black Clay, Bamboo Charcoal, Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt and Loofah Pumice Foot Soaps and our Mud & Clay and Rosemary Mint Charcoal Shampoo Bars because although they are made with organic ingredients, they do not fit the criteria for either label category described above.
Organic certification is based on organic farming and agriculture standards. As a result, the list of allowable non-agricultural ingredients (like clay, salt, mud etc) is based on raw materials used in agriculture or food production. Unfortunately, ingredients like Rhassoul Clay, Pumice, Dead Sea Mud and Bamboo Charcoal are not used in farming or food production and thus do not appear on the list.
Although it may seem long, this is really a very brief description. For more detailed information please read, "What Do All Of The Organic Labels Mean?"
Chagrin Valley Soaps Are Made Using Natural Ingredients and Are Biodegradable!
What Does Biodegradable Mean?
By definition, biodegradable means capable of being broken down by the action of living things, like natural bacteria, into simple substances that are not harmful to the environment.
If You Are A Camper Or Backpacker, Please Read On...
There are many soap makers out there with good intentions who are claiming that their biodegradable soap or shampoo is safe to use in rivers and streams.
Even biodegradable soap can eventually pollute lakes and streams if it is not used sparingly.
The bacteria that break down soap are present mostly in soil. That means that when you wash, please be sure that your soapy rinse water ends up in the soil away from fresh water sources like lakes, rivers, and streams.