Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been treasured for centuries for its ability to nourish the skin. It helps your skin regulate its natural moisturizing systems while allowing the skin to breathe. Castile soaps are as mild as they come and are great soaps to bathe babies and those with extremely delicate skin.
- Great choice for folks with allergies and sensitivities to a myriad of ingredients
- Organic extra-virgin olive oil contains high levels of natural squalane and penetrates deeply to hold in moisture
- Olive oil, a natural humectant, helps keep skin soft
- Large bubbles are replaced with a slippery, lotion-like lather
Also, try these other soaps for sensitive skin:
- Castile & Cocoa (no coconut oil)
- Castile & Shea (no coconut oil)
- Coconut Shea
- Milk & Honey Baby Soap
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 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
Certified Organic By OEFFA
A USDA Accredited Organic Certifying Agent
Please Note: While a True Castile soap is made with 100% Olive Oil, in the US the word Castile is often used to mean any soap made with olive oil or even just vegetable oil. Most soap companies do not make a True Castile Soap because the feel and lather are quite different compared to soaps made with the addition of coconut or other lathering oils and customers often judge a soap by its lather. The lather of real Castile is very creamy and slippery with very few bubbles this soap will not be as bubbly and frothy like other soaps.
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.
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"
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.
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.
If you are asking the question:
Is there lye in a bar of Chagrin Valley soap or shampoo?
The answer is "No."
If you are asking the question:
Do you use lye (sodium hydroxide) to make Chagrin Valley soap?
The answer is -- of course.
No lye -- No soap!
All REAL soap is made with lye (sodium hydroxide mixed with liquid).
Any skin or hair cleansing product made without sodium hydroxide is not soap, it is detergent.
The chemical reaction of making soap, called saponification, is complete, the lye and oil molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and glycerin.
If the soap is made properly, the lye is used up in the saponification process to turn oil into soap.
There is no lye present in the finished bars of soap or shampoo. While all real soap must be made with lye, no lye remains in our finished product after saponification (described below).
But, It Doesn't Say "Lye" on My Soap Ingredients
If it is real soap or contains read soap, it is made with lye!
Commercial "soap" bars and handmade soap bars are also made with lye even though the words "sodium hydroxide" or "lye" do not appear on the labels. Does your bar of "soap" contain ingredients such as...
- saponified oils: oils and butters are mixed with sodium hydroxide and a liquid (usually water).
- sodium cocoate: the generic name for the mixture of coconut oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium palmate: the generic name for the mixture of palm oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium palm kernelate: the generic name for the mixture of palm kernel oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium tallowate: the generic name for the mixture of beef fat (tallow) with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium olivate: the generic name for the mixture of olive oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
These words are not usually used to deceive consumers. But soap makers know that consumers are afraid of the word "lye."
At Chagrin Valley we believe that today's consumers are pretty savvy and the best practice is to educate.
BLOG: "How We Make Soap"
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.
I just wanted to tell you how your soaps have literally saved my skin! About a year ago I started developing an extremely debilitating rash all over my face and body. After 4 months of back and forth with doctors, biopsies, 2 rounds of oral steroids, tubs of topical steroids, and finally a patch test, it was determined that I'm highly allergic to formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing agents, which was in my shampoo, hand soap, face wash, and my baby's shampoo! I was getting contact dermatitis from using personal care products with these harmful chemicals.
I am so glad I found your site, because after using your soaps I have had no allergic reactions whatsoever! I use your castile soap on my face and your olive and babassu shampoo bar for my hair. I used to have dry skin and eczema and now that is completely gone! I used to get mild acne breakouts and blackheads too, and those have completely gone as well! I had no idea commercial products were actually making my skin WORSE. I also cut your castile soap into tiny tiny cubes and put them in my purse so I don't have to use the soap in public restrooms. This is a lifesaver because liquid hand soap often contains formaldehyde and cocamidropropyl betaine (another ingredient I'm highly allergic to), which was triggering contact dermatitis on my hands and transferring to my face! I just crush a soap cube or two between my fingers and lather up and rinse as usual. Thank you for making soaps with SIMPLE ingredients! Diane, California
I would like to also say that I love your Castille Soap! I have always been a product junkie. Always trying out products that would give the best result. This soap is the best. I have been using body lotion since i was 10. Now, I dont need it anymore. I found that the more I use the soap, the better my skin feels. If I do feel I need extra moisture, I use your Three Butter Lotion bar I can not use lotion anymore because I feel it on top of my skin especially when I sweat. It never really gets fully absorbed by my skin. I have never been so proud of the products I am using now. To know exactly why these products are working for me. Thank you so much for making products that makes sense. I thank my lucky stars for finding your company. Penelope, California
My baby has sensitive skin but my Mother insisted I use the top name-brand baby shampoo (she LOVED the smell). I noticed my baby's skin would get red and bumpy with patches of eczema. I decided to try the Chagrin Valley castile soap and not only is baby's skin irritation free, but the smell is also wonderfully light and fresh smelling. I've also used the cocoa shea shower butter bar for dry skin patches on my baby, as well as on her head when she started developing cradle cap. Her skin is 100% moisturized and cradle cap-free! If I skip a day using the shea butter bar, the cradle cap and dry skin start to return. I, personally, also love the shampoo bars and shea butter bar for myself as well. I can't thank you enough for making such quality, natural products that I trust for myself and my baby! Marnie, South Africa
I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful products. My daughter (nine months) has had horrible eczema since birth on her face. . .One use (I'm not kidding) of your baby soap this past week and it was gone and hasn't returned!!! I was simply in awe. I tried Arbonne International baby soap, Aubrey Organics, and Jason Organics... nothing worked. I didn't even have to use lotion after her bath with this soap. Jennifer, Oklahoma
Chagrin Valley Soaps are the ONLY soap products I will use, period! Here is my story...A few months ago I had sores all over my body and scalp. The doctors could find no reason for the sores and NOTHING they prescribed was helping. One of the nurses in the dermatologist office gave me a note paper with Chagrin Valley information on it. Needless to say, I went home and immediately started to investigate and indeed order my first order! After some trial and error in finding the right soaps for me, by golly, I think I got it ! Turns out, I cannot use the shampoo bars for some reason. Makes my scalp itchy. BUT, I can use the soap bars!
Here are my "go to" soaps: CASTILE --I use this as my shampoo. LOVE IT! My scalp is so soothed and hair is so clean with super shine and lots of bounce! SHEA ROSE COMPLEXION SOAP--Leaves my face super clean, yet super soft. All of my clogged pores and acne are GONE!! I have had several people comment on how nice my complexion is. WOW! COCONUT CREAM AND SHEA--I use this as a body soap and my skin is soft, clean and feels like it can breathe. Love the lather! NO MORE SORES, ANYWHERE on my body. !!! THANK YOU IDA and family!!Because of your quality products, I have my life back. My skin has completely recovered and looks radiant. Cynthia, Texas
Dear Ida, I have been buying your soap now for about a month...maybe 2 months now and so far you have never let me down. Your soaps are amazing! I've lost count as to how many of your soaps I have purchased. One particular soap, however, brings tears of joy to my eyes. My 8 year old son has eczema. If we are lucky...he may have a mild out break, but since we moved here to Virginia Beach, VA his skin break outs have been major. Last year it was so bad he looked up at me and said "Mommy, I hate my skin." That tore my heart out of my chest. He has even had kids not want to play with him or be his friend, because of his sores. He has been on oral and topical steroids. Being the health fanatic that I am...I don't have to tell you how much I hate the steroids. I have had to even rush him to the emergency room, because the sores have caused him so much pain. Not long ago, I started using your Castile Baby soap on him. I use it as both a shampoo and as a body bar. In just one day, his skin started to clear up. I use it now on him faithfully and because it has helped clear his skin he refuses to use anything else. I've had to buy a couple of bars to place on hold (just in case you run out and are in curing mode). It's such a blessing to have come across your soaps and I plan to be a customer for many years. I can see myself now, buying your Castile Baby soap and shipping it too him once he's in college.
Also, it is so awesome to buy all natural soaps that are really all natural. I have shopped around, and it's hard to find natural soaps that don't contain cosmetic coloring or artificial fragrance. To me...soap is not natural if it contains those ingredients and I refuse to spend my hard earned money on a products that do! Thank you for your awesome all natural products, your speedy service and your wonderful customer service. Kelli, Virginia
Hi, My name is Faith and I received my first order from you about two weeks ago. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am. My husband, whose only words when my samples arrived were, "I think you're out of your mind to spend over five dollars on a bar of soap. It's a waste", has completely changed his tune. As a matter of fact, it was our daughter who changed it for him. You see, we have an 11 year old daughter who is our world. She has been suffering with Psoriasis on her head and back for six years now. We have tried everything to no avail. She really didn't care much until this past year when she started noticing boys. We spend approximately 60 dollars a month on prescription steroid creams and shampoos and I REFUSED to put this on my child's skin any longer. I tried EVERY so called "natural" product out there. NADA, ZILCH, NOTHING!!!!
Then, one of the kind ladies on a beauty board I belong to suggested your products. She said you were amazing and truly ALL NATURAL. So, I did it. I will never be able to express in words how much you are appreciated and admired for what you do. At first, our daughter was whiny and saying she wasn't putting "that weird smelling" soap on her head or body. I vetoed her wishes and the amazing journey began. It has been two weeks with her using only the Castile on her body and the Nettle Shampoo with the Extra Honey and Beer as a conditioner. The Psoriasis on her back is COMPLETELY healed. She has white spots where the Psoriasis was but no more open itchy dry skin. Her head is so much better and getting better daily. My husband actually came to me and apologized for being so skeptical. You see, it was he who my daughter went to when she realized it was working. She couldn't believe it and made him LOOK at her back to make sure she wasn't imagining things. To see her happy and not constantly worrying about sleepovers with her friends and showering in the girls locker is MY dream come true. When people say that they would take any horrible illness to spare their children, it is simply a no brainer. I would do anything in the world to take the psoriasis away. I have tried EVERYTHING as well. At least, I thought I had. You are an angel in disguise. That is how both I and my husband feel. You have given our daughter confidence. That is something that we have not been able to do. So, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Oh, and let's not forget, my husband has used up the samples faster than I thought possible. I absolutely LOVE everything I ordered. The Java lip balm and the Whipped Shea butter are to die for. These cold New Jersey winter nights are bitter and my lips thank you. So does the skin on my legs that you used to be able to draw a map on, the skin was so dry. OK, I have taken up enough of your time. Now get back to working the magic that only you can do. You'll be hearing from my girlfriends too. They want to know how my hair has changed to shiny CLEAN hair literally overnight. Take Care and have a wonderful holiday season. Faith, New Jersey