Chamomile & Calendula
A rich, moisturizing natural soap made with skin-soothing organic herbs that may help bring relief from skin irritation and itching caused by eczema, psoriasis.
Herbalists consider Calendula one of the most effective herbal remedies for irritated skin conditions.
Chamomile can ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and helps reduce skin inflammation.
Chickweed helps soothe the itch of healing skin, stings, and bites.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that may help ease the symptoms of rosacea. Rich in antioxidants, turmeric is a common ingredient in Ayurvedic skincare products to naturally promote glowing, smooth skin.
- The natural golden yellow color is the result of the calendula infused oils and turmeric
- Turmeric is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to relieve inflammation
- Enriched with unrefined virgin shea butter and hydrating honey
- Honey moisturizes and soothes skin
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.
The Organic Sunflower Oil is infused with Organic Chamomile, Calendula & Chickweed
Made with Organic Sunflower Oil, Honey, and Turmeric
Certified Organic By OEFFA
A USDA Accredited Organic Certifying Agent
How to Use
What Should I Use With My Natural 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"
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.
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.
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 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?"
We often receive emails from concerned customers that have read about the devastating effects that palm plantations can have on tropical forests.
At Chagrin Valley Soap we treasure our planet and its inhabitants. We know that although we play a very small part, we must always make choices that are ecologically and socially responsible.
As the global demand for palm oil continues to increase we want to be part of the global initiative that changes how that palm oil is grown.
Our Palm Oil is grown and manufactured according to standards for sustainable practices set forth by Palm Done Right.
Certified sustainable by RSPO (The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and Palm Done Right
Our USDA organic palm oil variety carries RSPO Certification, otherwise known as Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, guaranteeing the sustainability and traceability of the palm oil production throughout the supply chain.
It has RSPO-IP (Identity Preserved) certification which is one of four certification levels offered by the RSPO and carries the highest and strongest level of sustainable guarantee with traceability of each lot of palm oil back to the field of origin. With Identify Preserved sustainable palm oil, the entire batch of palm oil is from a single identifiable certified source and kept separate from all non-certified batches.
Palm Done Right presents the first fully integrated, 100 percent organic supply chain in the palm oil industry. Palm Done Right requires a fair labor certification, organic certification, Non-GMO Project Verification, and has the highest level of certification — Identity Preserved — offered by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
As the global demand for palm oil continues to increase, we believe that if both manufacturers and consumers demand Certified Sustainable palm oil, producers will grow Certified Sustainable palm oil. That is the only way to really protect our rainforests.
If there is no demand for sustainable palm oil, growers will continue their cheaper unsustainable practices, because no one is paying them for a sustainable product. (If you build it, they will come!)
Please read our blog, "Will A Palm Oil Boycott Really Help?"
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.
If you are asking the question:
Is there lye in a bar of Chagrin Valley natural soap or shampoo?
The answer is "No."
If you are asking the question:
Do you use lye (sodium hydroxide) to make Chagrin Valley natural 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"
Chagrin Valley Natural Soaps Are Made Using Natural & Organic 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 natural 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 freshwater sources like lakes, rivers, and streams.
LOVE the chamomile and calendula soap! So incredibly moisturizing! My rough elbows, knees and ankles have never been so smooth and soft. Thank you! Thelma, New York