A natural soap to fill your shower with the floral, fruity scents of summer. Enriched with sunflower oil, one of the most moisturizing plant oils, avocado oil and unrefined shea and cocoa butters which penetrate deep to moisturize, nourish, and hydrate summer sun-kissed skin.
- The delicate citrus and floral essential oil blend is uplifting, yet soothing and relaxing and refreshes your body and soothes your spirit
- The lovely swirls come from alkanet root and annatto seed oils which are natural emollients
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 Avocado Oil, Virgin Shea, and Cocoa Butters
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 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?
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?"
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!
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.
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 tree is grown.
Our Palm Oil is grown and manufactured according to standards for sustainable practices set forth by Rainforest Alliance.
Chagrin Valley’s Palm Oil
Over 30 years ago large tracts of rainforest in South America were cleared via “slash and burn” with a promise to indigenous people that they would have fresh farm and grazing lands.
The top soil in the rainforest is very thin and with the trees gone there were no roots to serve as temporary water storage and no protection from the tree canopies to prevent soil runoff. As a result, all of the soil nutrients were washed away creating areas of barren land. (Picture to the right from Wikipedia)
The palm oil that we purchase comes from plantations that have been grown on these once barren lands in a region of the Amazon that was cleared 30-40 years ago. The palm plantation has reintroduced a new forest crop which has brought back many species of birds and other plants and animals and preserves forests surrounding the plantation. While not as diverse as native Rainforest, it is a huge improvement over barren grasslands.
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, growers will continue the cheaper unsustainable practices, because no one is paying them for a sustainable product. (If you build it, they will come!)
So instead of eliminating palm oil, at Chagrin Valley we use certified organic, certified sustainable palm oil. Our palm oil is either Rainforest Alliance certified sustainable or Friend of the Earth certified sustainable.
Please read our blog, "Will A Palm Oil Boycott Really Help?"
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!
What Are 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.
Essential oils not only give plants their unique scents, they also help lure plant pollinators and protect plants from insects and other predators.
The chemical composition of essential oils can provide valuable psychological and physical aromatherapeutic benefits.
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 to will provide the botanical benefits.
If you are pregnant or under a doctor's care for any medical condition, please consult your healthcare provider before using essential oils.
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.
Although we get asked this question often, it is a very difficult one to answer.
Handmade soap and shampoo bars made using the cold process method are formulated with a fairly high percentage of water or a water-based liquid and at the end of the soap reaction, they still contain water. The curing process allows excess water to evaporate.
Our freshly cut full-size bars are soft and weigh approximately 6.4 to over 7.2 ounces. These bars will lose approximately 12% of their weight as most of the water evaporates during the 8 to 10-week curing time. Which means that an average fresh bar, at 6.8 ounces will weigh approximately 6.0 ounces after 8 to 10 weeks. However, moisture will continue to evaporate over time as the bar ages.
Since each of our soap/shampoo recipes is different and the percent of liquid used varies, the amount of water that evaporates over time and the bar size will also vary.
While some soap companies use the fresh-cut weight on their packaging, we use the average weight of our bars after the 8 to 10-week curing time. Also, some soapmakers use only a 4-week cure, but we know that our longer, slower curing time ensures a milder, harder, longer lasting bar, with a very rich lather.
Also, many soap companies shrink wrap their soap bars to help prevent continuous shrinkage due to evaporation. We have a few big problems with that idea. First of all, we know that we definitely do not need any more plastic added to our planet and so we choose to be as plastic-free as possible. Secondly, although there will continue to be a small weight (and scent) loss over time, we prefer that over sacrificing the quality of our soap.
The average weight of Chagrin Valley full-size natural soap and shampoo bars is about 5.8 ounces after curing. The average full-bar dimensions in inches are approximately 3.75 x 3 x 1.
Our Natural Soap and Shampoo Trial Size Sample Bars weigh approximately 1.5 to 2 ounces.
Summary of the variation in weight
- Our soaps are a handmade product
- As our curing bars sit and wait for a new home, they will continue to lose water weight and shrink a bit
- Since all of our recipes are different, the amount and type of liquid used to make each recipe differ and the more liquid used in the recipe, the more they will shrink as they cure
- In Winter the dry heat will often cause bars to shrink a bit more
- No plastic wrapping
- The good news is that the older bars will last longer and lather even better
Most handmade soap companies sell bars that are about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces. Our customers have told us that they like the larger size bars.
When you compare Prices of other soaps, please compare SIZE and ingredients as well!