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This creamy bar, loaded with skin nourishing cucumber and yogurt, is like having a facial for your whole body. Made with organic whole milk yogurt, often called "food for your skin," which contains lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid, that helps the remove dead skin cells and hydrate, soothe, soften, and rejuvenate the complexion.
We use lots of whole pureed organic cucumbers, a natural source of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin C, all of which are believed to be helpful in treating irritated skin. Cucumber, said to be used by Cleopatra, soften, soothe and tone the skin, is great for facial care and is often used in moisturizing and anti-age creams. The moisturizing lather is enhanced by the nutritious yogurt.
- Organic cucumbers have a soothing, tightening, anti-itching and refreshing effect on the skin
- Cucumbers are often used in moisturizing and anti-age creams
- Virgin shea butter and yogurt are excellent for dry, damaged, and maturing skin
- Citrus essential oils stimulate the microcirculation, balance skin oil production and have anti-bacterial and astringent properties
- Great complexion 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 Certified Shea Butter, Cucumbers and Yogurt
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.
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?
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 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?"
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."
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.
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"
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.
Dear Ida, I first learned about your wonderful company a few years ago and have been raving about your products ever since. I've tried several of your creations and have loved them all, but your Cucumber Lime Yogurt soap has a special place in my heart. All my life, I've battled with ridiculously oily skin and large pores, therefore deciding the best course of action was to pile on the makeup. Not long ago, I was caught bare-faced (gasp!) in my front yard. One of my neighbors stopped by to chat and commented that I had "beautiful skin." Me?! I almost turned around to see who she was talking to! A few weeks later, a different friend told me the same thing. More time passed and the compliments kept coming, sometimes from total strangers. It's gotten to the point now that most days I don't wear any makeup on my skin - just a little eye makeup and some lipstick and I'm out the door. I NEVER thought I'd feel comfortable enough to do that. Whenever someone asks me what I use on my face, I refer them to your website. Your products are nothing short of magic ~ keep up the great work! Rosie, Louisiana
I have been using your cucumber-lime-yogurt soap since the day I got it. Though I purchased it for my excessively dry hands (Winter in Michigan is brutal on the hands), I found it excellent as a body soap. It is so soft and silky; this is especially good as my water is pretty hard and that combined with the harsh winter here makes for very, very dry and itchy skin. Your soap has eliminated the need for body lotion; my skin has never felt better. Lauren, Michigan