Our autumn seasonal favorite . . . a natural soap with the delicious aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie will have you daydreaming about harvest hayrides and campfires.
- Made with REAL nourishing pumpkin, not pumpkin fragrance
- Pumpkin, rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, soothes sore rough skin
- Natural pumpkin enzymes help exfoliate dead skin leaving skin soft and bright
- Pumpkin adds natural orange color, a sweet aroma, and creamy texture
- Virgin Pumpkin Seed Oil, highly nourishing and emollient, is rich in natural vitamin E
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 Organic Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seed Oil & Spices
Certified Organic By OEFFA
A USDA Accredited Organic Certifying Agent
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, 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.
Aren't all handmade natural soaps the same? . . .
The answer is NO!
Saying a soap is "handmade" says nothing about quality of the ingredients or the knowledge and skill of the soapmaker!
Chagrin Valley is not just another soap and skincare company. We are committed to healthy skin, healthy people and a healthy planet.
We are a USDA Certified Organic Company specializing in luxurious, organic, handmade natural soaps and shampoo bars rich in natural glycerin for healthier skin and hair.
It's all about the ingredients! Inspired by our love of nature, we use organic herbs, seeds, flowers, vegetables, fragrant spices, fruits, pure essential oils and purifying clays for their exceptional skincare benefits and to provide natural color, aromatherapy, texture, or gentle exfoliation. Nothing artificial, nothing synthetic, no GMO’s, just natural wholesome ingredients.
Chagrin Valley's Natural Soap & Shampoo Bars Are...
- all natural
- made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients
- handcrafted in small batches using the old-fashioned Cold Process Method
- made with sustainable and fair trade ingredients
- certified cruelty-free
- free of detergents
- free of synthetic fragrances
- free of synthetic colors
- free of artificial preservatives
- free of artificial foam boosters
- free of alcohol and petroleum products
- free of synthetic additives
- free of GMOs
- mild and nourishing
- rich in natural glycerin
- magnificent long-lasting lather
- cured for 8 to 10 weeks
Our soap making process uses only natural and organic ingredients. Why add artificial ingredients to a handmade product?
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
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"
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?"
What Are Pure Essential Oils?
Have you ever enjoyed the scent of a fragrant flower or herb? The fragrance comes from potent, aromatic compounds called essential oils.
These natural compounds are found in the flowers, stems, seeds, bark, roots, fruits, and other parts of plants. It often requires several pounds of a plant to produce a single bottle of essential oil.
Essential oils not only give plants their unique scents but also help lure plant pollinators and protect plants from insects and other predators.
The chemical composition of essential oils may provide valuable psychological and physical aromatherapeutic benefits for some people.
It is important to note that to be a true essential oil, the oil must be isolated from the plant material by physical means only.
Essential oils are NEVER extracted using solvents.
Although synthetic fragrances or "nature identical" oils are available at a much lower cost, only natural plant essential oils will provide the botanical benefits.
Be careful that the essential oil-containing products you purchase for topical use are mixed with the correct medium.
Essential oils are soluble (dissolve) in alcohol and carrier oils. However, they are insoluble (do not dissolve) in water or water-based liquids like hydrosols, milk, aloe, or even witch hazel (which contains a small amount of alcohol).
When mixed with a water-based ingredient the molecules of the essential oil will float in tiny droplets on the surface (think of oil droplets on the surface of water). Those droplets can behave like undiluted essential oils on your skin and cause irritation.
What Are Essential Oils? (Much more detail)
Go to our Blog Pages and click "Essential Oils" in the category section on the left to read a lot more information on essential oils.
If you are pregnant or under a doctor's care for any medical condition, please consult your healthcare provider before using essential oils.
Pregnancy & Children: We do not provide information on the safety of essential oils during Pregnancy or for use in Children because the available information is very ambiguous and often contradictory. If you’re interested in using essential oils during pregnancy or with young children please do your own research and consult your doctor, midwife, or health care professional before use.
My natural 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 natural soap from an organic skincare company, it is scented with only pure essential oils.
The bad news is that when you purchase natural soap from an organic skincare 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 skincare 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 making cold processed natural 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."
All of Chagrin Valley's natural soap, shampoo bars, and personal care products are 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!
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?"
I wait for this soap every year and then stock up! The lather is really nice and the scent is just delicious. I really love spicey scent soaps but most are made with fragrance oils that itch my skin. Can't believe you guys use real pumpkin. Jamie, Oklahoma
Dear Ida, I just wanted to let you know how much I love everything you make! Your shampoo bars are my hair's best friends now. Pumpkin Spice is the most wonderful soap I've ever used! It looks so delicious and I love the scent! My skin is happy with it, too. Yesterday I used Hemp Mango Mint lotion bar for my legs after shaving them. It's been 24 hours and I still feel the moisture on my legs! Amazing! I will never go back to commercial lotions. It's also the best hand cream I've ever tried. Oh and I'm totally hooked on the Mocha Java lip balm!
Your website is also so lovely that I come back there all the time! And with every visit I find something new I must try... :) So thank you for making such wonderful products! I really appreciate your work. Satu, Finland