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The moisturizing organic figs and plums in this natural soap are excellent natural humectants and help tighten skin. Organic virgin grapeseed oil is rich in Omega 6, a moisturizing fatty acid
- The seeds and natural fig enzymes provide natural exfoliation
- Plums, full of natural sugar and vitamins, hydrate dull complexions and soothe stressed or sensitive skin
- Organic cocoa butter and molasses-rich dark brown sugar moisturize and nourish skin
- A bit of sweet orange essential oil helps balance skin oil production and tighten pores
- Excellent choice for soothing and moisturizing dry skin
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 Organic Grapeseed Oil, Figs and Plums
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?"
We often receive questions as to whether our soaps, shampoos, and other natural products are safe to use during pregnancy.
We recommend that expectant and nursing mothers check with their midwife or physician before changing a skin care routine with our products, or any other line of products.
Read the label on a bar of commercial soap. Read the label on your jar of moisturizer. Now read the ingredients in a Chagrin Valley product.
We use quality natural and USDA Certified Organic ingredients. No synthetic additives, colorants, fragrances, preservatives or chemical derivatives are used.
There is nothing in our all natural basic soap or other products that could cause a problem in pregnancy.
Topically applying the herbs present in many of our soaps, is also not a problem. Your skin will absorb much less herb from the soap than if you would sprinkle them on your food.
The issue that seems to be of most concern is the use of essential oils during pregnancy. There is an awful lot of confusion and inaccurate information concerning the use of essential oils in pregnancy.
The question of safety and safety testing has a lot to do with the actual “dose” of herb/essential oils. Most of the clinical research on essential oil safety is based on information for internal (actually ingesting) large doses of herbs, essential oils, or herbal "medicines." Obviously there have been no tests done on pregnant women.
The concentration of essential oils that are absorbed through inhalation, as in aromatherapy, and massage is much lower than if you were actually ingesting the oil.
Also aromatherapy and massage therapy use much higher concentrations of essential oils than you find in soap or even in eating the herb. With aromatherapy you are inhaling the high concentrations which get absorbed via the lungs and in the massage therapy the essential oils remain on your skin and are absorbed.
Our scented soaps are gently scented with essential oils, but the choice is between you and your health care professional. The most critical time is the first trimester.
Soap does not remain on your skin very long and the percentage of essential oils used in our products is low. Remember we sell many soaps that have no added scent.
Just about every one of our products, like lip balms, whipped butters and deodorants has a "no added scent" version.
When there is a growing baby to consider, if you are at all uncertain as to the safety of an essential-oil containing product, or any ingredient, please consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional!
When it comes to safety during pregnancy it is understandable that many massage therapists and aromatherapists decide to err on the side of caution in recommending the avoidance of certain essential oils.
Some Herbalists and Aromatherapist believe that essential oils that are normally safe to use, are safe during pregnancy, while others will recommend avoiding all essential oils during pregnancy.
Some essential oils that are normally quite safe have hormone-like effects and some even stimulate uterine muscles, both of which would be contraindicated during pregnancy.
Please do not ask us if one of our products is safe to use during pregnancy--we will simply refer you to this page.
We do not provide a list of essential oils considered safe during pregnancy because the information available is very contradictory. One aromatherapy source will list an essential oil as problematic and another states it is fine and the information is changing constantly. Please do your own research and consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional for the most up-to-date information.
Sensitive Skin Can Strike During Pregnancy
Even if you have never had sensitive skin in the past, you may notice that a product you have been using for several years now irritates your skin.
The stretching belly is often the most sensitive spot. Other potential problem areas include the hips, thighs and bottom where the skin may become dry and flaky.
Although the exact cause is not known, raging hormones do make you more sensitive to a wide range of things and also your skin is thinning and stretching as you, and your baby, grow.
These changes can behave in unpredictable ways. For example, if you have eczema you may suffer from major flare-ups or complete remission during pregnancy.
Keep your body well moisturized and avoid products that contain synthetic additives, colorants, fragrance or preservatives. Any of these can exacerbate sensitive skin problems.
Before trying a new product, you can always do a patch test to test for sensitivity.
And again, we recommend that expectant and nursing mothers check with their midwife or physician before changing a skin care routine with our products, or any other line of products.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
The Leaping Bunny Program was developed in 1996, by The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), to identify and support companies that are doing their part to help eliminate the unnecessary use and mistreatment of animals to test cosmetic products and ingredients. The CCIC is made up of eight animal protection groups including the Humane Society of the U.S., as well as groups from Canada and Europe.
At Chagrin Valley we obviously do not test our finished products on animals (other than human volunteers), but what about the raw materials, the ingredients we use? Many products display labels claiming that their finished product is ‘not tested on animals’ but this does not guarantee that the product ingredients are actually free from animal testing.
The CCIC Standard is a pledge that a company makes to remove animal testing from all stages of product development. Our pledge to buy ingredients that are cruelty-free is integrated into the purchase order contract for all of our suppliers.
Personal care products displaying the “real” Leaping Bunny logo are certified ‘cruelty-free' using the internationally recognized Humane Cosmetics Standards. These rigorous standards require that no animal testing is performed or authorized for finished products or ingredients in any stage of product development by the company, its laboratories or its suppliers after a fixed cut-off date. All Leaping Bunny companies are subject to independent audits and pledge commitments are renewed on an annual basis.
At Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve . . .
- we do NOT test our products on animals
- we do NOT use ingredients tested on animals
- we do NOT sell into markets that require animal testing
The Leaping Bunny Program provides
the best assurance to consumers
that they are making compassionate shopping choices
by purchasing Cruelty-Free skin care!
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.
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.
Sam - just thought I would tell you about my experience bathing with the Sweet Summer Fig and the Goat Milk Honey & Oatmeal (I alternate them). For 15 years + I have had a terrible itch on my left shoulder blade (rather large spot). It is so bad that I have actually scratched the dye off of some of my dresses. I tried herbs, ointments and lotions on it and nothing helped. I scratched so much that my skin had actually turned a dark brown patch on my back. For about 6 weeks I have been using the above soaps and have noticed that my itching has decreased considerably. This week I hardly every scratch my back and last night I noticed that the big brown patch on my back was the normal color of the rest of my back. I was soooo excited to see these results. I am telling everyone I meet, friends and family about these wonderful products and giving samples away. Hope you have a great day. Alicia, Utah
I am really enjoying your Complexion bars. My skin is combination (oily T-zone, dry everywhere else), mature, and has some tiny red blotches. While the Shea Rose Clay smells wonderful, it was a little too drying for my skin when used in combination with the facial oils, but I might chalk that up to user error and try again. I’m currently using the Rhassoul Yogurt Complexion bar, and really enjoy the spa-like scent. It is not too drying, and my complexion is bright and clean. My favorite has been the Fig & Plum Complexion bar, which has a light citrus scent that I adore, feels hydrating, and really brightens my complexion. I use these in combination with facial oil and Squalane, which had a bit of a learning curve for me, but now that I have a routine down, my face feels soft and hydrated.Sarah, North Carolina
My skin just loves this soap! I bought a lot last summer but still had to wait all winter for it to come back and I want to beg you to keep it all year long. I use it all over but what I love it for most is my face. I like a lot of your soaps for my face but this one is special because it just gives my skin a clean glow. I have large pores and my skin just looks so silky smooth kind of like I am wearing some kind of shear makeup to even up the skin. I started a bunch of friends on the fig soap and told them all to write and tell you that this one is a keeper. Sally, Texas