Castile & Cocoa
A mild Castile type soap with nourishing organic Cocoa Butter and lathering Babassu Oil to create a buttery rich, mild, moisturizing natural soap.
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A gentle Castile type soap enriched with nourishing organic Cocoa Butter and lathering Babassu Oil to create a buttery rich, mild, moisturizing natural soap.
The lather is bubbly, super-rich, and creamy.
- Babassu is one of nature’s richest emollients and is especially good for eczema, itchy, dry, and inflamed skin
- Organic Cocoa Butter softens and moisturizes dry skin
- Excellent for dry, damaged, or maturing skin
- Has the delicious natural aroma of unrefined cocoa butter
- A gentle, unscented natural soap great for sensitive skin
- A great olive oil natural complexion and body soap
I began making natural 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 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Babassu Oil
Certified Organic By OEFFA
A USDA Accredited Organic Certifying Agent
How to Use
How Should I Use Natural Soap to Clean My Face?
We believe in simple, effective cleansing for your complexion and that is accomplished with natural soap and water. The purpose of soap is to combine with oil and dirt on the body, which allows water to wash it away. The method you use to cleanse your skin, especially your face, is really personal preference. We thought we would share just a few examples.
Hand Lathering is usually the suggested method for cleansing delicate facial skin.
- Use lukewarm water to create a creamy lather in your clean hands.
- Gently massage the lather over your face using circular motions with your fingers.
- Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Washcloth Washers: A washcloth can help remove dead cells and invigorate your skin. A gentle massage with a soft washcloth can help keep facial skin smooth and clean.
- Rub the bar on a soft, clean, wet cloth to create a creamy lather.
- Apply to your face by a gentle massage using circular motions.
- Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
If you are using a washcloth:
- Exfoliating or scrubbing too hard may cause the skin to become red and irritated.
- Use a clean washcloth, especially if you are prone to acne. Washcloths can re-deposit dirt and grime right back onto your skin.
- Washcloths can have soft or rough fibers. You want to use soft, NOT rough fibers on your face.
Never share washcloths or other accessories and replace or clean them often.
A Few Other Pointers:
- Use warm, not hot, water to wash your face.
- Use cool water as a final rinse to close your pores.
- Avoid products made with synthetic ingredients that can irritate facial skin.
- Avoid products that contain alcohol which can cause skin to become tight and dry.
- Apply a moisturizer immediately after washing your face while skin is still damp.
Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that for good hand hygiene all you need is plain soap and water.
Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.
Five simple and effective steps can help reduce the spread of illness so you, your family, your friends and the general public can stay healthy.
Handwashing is a win for everyone . . . except for the germs!
CDC recommends cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective handwashing was developed based on data from a number of studies.
Wash often and follow these five steps every time you wash your hands!
1. Wet your hands with clean, warm running water and apply soap.
- When dealing with cold and flu viruses, as you wash your hands the soap molecule burrows its way into the fatty envelope of a virus and literally pulls the virus apart.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.
- Soap and friction help lift dirt, grease, and microbes—including disease-causing germs—from the skin so they can be rinsed down the drain.
- Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Lathering and scrubbing hands creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin.
- The entire hand should be scrubbed. Microbes are present on all of the wrinkly surfaces of the hand, especially under the nails.
- How long are 20 seconds? About the amount of time it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- The ideal length of time for handwashing can depend on other factors for example, if hands are very dirty or if you are caring for someone is ill.
- Evidence suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- If you are using a public restroom use a paper towel to turn off the faucet after hands have been rinsed.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
To date, studies have shown that there is no added health benefit for consumers (this does not include professionals in the healthcare setting) using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients compared with using plain soap.
Information is taken from the CDC.gov website
Read our blog "Simple Soap Can Help Decrease the Spread Of Viruses"
This list is a scaled-down version of a blog I wrote that shares the same name. For more detail please read our blog, “12 Reasons to Use Natural Soap"
1. Handmade Natural Soap is Actually Soap
Most of the soap you purchase today is a commercially manufactured chemical cocktail of ingredients. It is not natural and is not even really “soap.”
2. Natural Soap is Made With Natural Ingredients
The very best reason to use natural soap is the ingredients. A product is only as good as the ingredients used to make it.
3. Natural Soap Is NOT Made With...
- synthetic ingredients
- artificial fragrances or perfumes
- artificial colors
- synthetic preservatives
Our soap bars contain only the ingredients that they need—no extra preservatives that liquid body washes or commercial bar "soaps" require to increase their shelf life to years, and no foam boosters to make them lather.
4. Natural Soaps Are Moisturizing
Sadly many people have the misguided perception that all bar soaps will dry your skin. The problem is that most commercial bar “soaps” are detergents and not real soap.
There are three main reasons why natural soaps are moisturizing.
- Natural Soaps are made with Plant Oils and Butters
- Natural Soaps are Superfatted
- Natural Soaps retain their natural Glycerin
5. Scented Natural Soap Provides Real Aromatherapy
Scented natural soaps are made with pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, and offer aromatherapeutic benefits.
6. Natural Soap Helps Maintain Healthy Skin
The body’s largest organ, our skin, is incredibly porous and absorbent. How we treat our skin can have a major impact on our overall health as well as the look and feel of our skin.
7. Natural Soap Provides Rich Lather Without Synthetic Foam Boosters
People absolutely love bubbly lather. The foam, bubbles, and lather we know and love from commercial liquid and bar soaps are produced by surfactants--synthetic foam boosters, lathering agents, and detergents.
8. Natural Soap is Economical
Some consumers are put off by the cost of handmade soap. You probably look at a bar of natural soap and wonder why it costs more. I mean, soap is soap, right? But there are some things to think about!
9. Natural Soap Has a Smaller Environmental Impact
The synthetic chemicals in liquid and many bar soaps wash down our drains into our septic fields or water treatment facilities. Also, if you use a liquid body wash, how many plastic bottles and pumps do you dispose of in a single year?
10. Natural Soaps are Unique
For me, soapmaking is a synergy of science and art that took years to perfect. It is a labor of love. I take the time to create wholesome soap recipes that do not sacrifice beauty or scent while incorporating amazing natural and organic ingredients.
11. A Natural Soap Company Has Social Consciousness
While I am sure there are some large commercial soap companies with a social conscience, natural soapmakers tend to have the utmost respect for the earth and all its creatures.
Environmental stewardship is not a buzzword for us. It is not a talking point, not a political stance nor is it about optics!
12. You Are Supporting A Small Business
When you buy a handmade bar of natural soap, you are supporting a small business that truly cares about and believes in the products they make. Your purchase really does make a difference.
Before I conclude I would like to add one final reason to the question of "Why You Should Switch To Natural Soap Bars."
The simplest answer is, Why Not?
From its composition to its benefits for the skin and health, to its impact on the environment, natural soap is very different from commercial liquid “soap,” bar “soap,” or syndet bars.
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!
How long a natural soap 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.
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 an excellent question that has actually been studied.
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. When using a bar of natural soap properly, creating a lather with a 30-second scrub and very warm water, the top layer, dirt, and germs are washed down the drain.
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?"
Aren't all handmade natural 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 skincare 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 natural soaps and shampoo bars rich in natural glycerin for healthier skin and hair.
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 skincare 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
Yes And No!
Although handmade natural 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 small natural soap 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.
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?"