Soap: Bay Rum Men's Soap

Natural Soap: Bay Rum Men's Soap

The warm, spicy, irresistible and distinctively masculine scent features the exotic aroma of real West Indian Bay essential oil with a touch of orange and spice. Enriched with skin loving botanicals, moisturizing coconut milk, and nourishing shea butter to produce a creamy, fragrant lather loved by both men and women.

Title:
Regular price $11.95
oeffa
vegan
cruelty-free
certified-sustainable-palm-oil
non-gmo
made-in-the-usa
Product Overview

Good For: All Skin Types

Distinctly warm, sweet and spicy this classic masculine scent features the Caribbean aroma of West Indian Bay essential oil with a touch of zesty orange, allspice and clove. Infused with soothing chicory root and elderberries to help calm irritated skin and enriched with skin nourishing coconut milk and unrefined shea butter. 

Coconut milk softens skin and adds a rich creaminess to the soap. Its skin calming and hydrating effects soothe skin and can also ease itching associated with dry or irritated skin.

Virgin shea butter is an amazing moisturizer that nourishes skin, helps soothe very dry skin, and helps ease symptoms of irritated skin conditions.

Soothing chicory root is an anti-inflammatory herb which makes it wonderful for calming irritated skin and Elder berries can help balance excess skin oils, ease breakouts for those with acne-prone skin, and keep skin healthy and clear.

The rich, creamy, lather has a fresh, clean and spicy scent loved by both men and women.

How To Use

What Should I Use With My Natural Soap to Clean My Body?

organic-natural-soap-latherThe 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 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 a creamy lather. Massaging the velvety lather into your skin before rinsing allows you to experience the best moisturizing properties of the soap. This is definitely the best way to use exfoliating soaps.

Hand Latherers create lather in their clean hands and use the lather to massage and wash the skin. This gentle, mild cleansing method may be good for those with sensitive skin. 

Organic Cotton WashclothWashcloth Washers use a washcloth to lather up. Washcloths are made out of lots of different textile textures, from soft cotton to agave fibers, and 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. If you would like something less abrasive, check out our Bath & Body Accessories. 

Soap Sackers place their soap into a nylon soap bag. The fibers have a smooth texture for gentle cleansing. 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. 

Effective, Feel Good Ingredients

The goal is simple: to Harness the Power & Simplicity of Nature® to cleanse, soothe, heal, and protect your skin and hair!

Our unique formulas rely on moisturizing oils and butters, healing botanicals, and pure essential oils. We choose every ingredient with one end-result in mind….the BEST possible natural skin care for YOU!

Featured Ingredients

Bay, West Indian Essential Oil
West Indian Bay Essential Oil
Organic Chicory Root
Organic Chicory Root
Organic Elder Berries
Organic Elder Berries
All Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Oil*
,
Organic Canola Oil
,
Organic Palm Oil (Sustainable)
,
Organic Sunflower Oil
,
Distilled Water
,
Sodium Hydroxide^
,
Organic Castor Bean Oil
,
Organic Virgin Shea Butter*
,
Organic Hemp Seed Oil
,
Organic Coconut Milk
,
West Indian Bay Essential Oil
,
Organic Arrowroot Powder
,
Organic Elder Berries
,
Organic Chicory Root
,
Organic Orange Essential Oil
,
Organic Clove Bud Essential Oil
,
Allspice Essential Oil
,
Organic Rosemary Oil Extract (ROE)

*Ingredient is Fair Trade Certified

^Used in the saponification process to turn oil into soap and glycerin. None remains in the finished product. 

Made with Organic Coconut Milk, Shea Butter, and Chicory Root
Certified Organic By OEFFA  
A USDA Accredited Organic Certifying Agent

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Wash Your Hands To Help Stay Healthy
Hand-Hygiene-Helps-Prevent-Illness

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.

Hand washing 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 hand washing 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"


View Answer Page
12 Reasons to Use Handmade Natural Soap

After all these years in business, the most often asked question we hear remains, “Why is natural soap better?”

I have been using only natural soap on my face and body for over 20 years. It is the first product I learned to make.

Natural Organic Bamboo Charcoal Soap for Oily Skin

My skin has become so accustomed to the benefits of these lovely bars, that everything else makes my skin itch.

Our soap bars travel with me everywhere I go. I even keep one-time-use scraps in my purse to use in public restrooms!

While I believe that many of the "reasons" listed below may apply to some natural handmade soap companies, I will focus on the one company with which I have intimate knowledge and experience--CHAGRIN VALLEY.

1. Handmade 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.” They are nothing more than detergents in disguise.

Here is what the FDA has to say:

“Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products. Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don't form gummy deposits. Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as "soap" but are not true soap according to the regulatory definition of the word.” Source

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. 

OUR skin-nourishing ingredients are USDA Certified Organic, sustainably produced, cruelty-free, and ethically traded.

Harnessing the Power of Nature we make each soap bar unique by adding a variety of organic butters, purifying natural clays, organic herbs, seeds, grains, spices, flowers, vegetables, fruits, chocolate, and pure botanical essential oils to provide natural color, aromatherapy, texture, and gentle exfoliation.

3. Natural Soap Is NOT Made With...

  • synthetic ingredients
  • artificial fragrances or perfumes
  • artificial colors
  • detergents
  • 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

Organic Jojoba & Coconut Oils

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.

So why are natural soaps so moisturizing? Of course, it's the ingredients! Natural soap made of pure ingredients derived directly from nature is a rare find these days. Here are a few other reasons. 

Superfatting

Superfatting is the process of adding extra fats (oils or butters) when formulating a soap recipe so there is more fat in the mixture than the lye can react with during the chemical reaction. This process creates a more hydrating bar with superior moisturizing and emollient qualities.

Our soap bars are formulated with lots of extra plant oils and butters. We superfat our bars at a higher rate than most soapmakers.

Natural Glycerin

Glycerin is not added to a natural handmade soap recipe – it is created during the natural soap making process called saponification. Once saponification is complete, the ingredients have combined and chemically changed into soap, glycerin, and a bit of water.

Glycerin, a precious and gentle emollient, is a humectant that draws moisture from the air to the skin creating a moisturizing protective layer.

Commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from their soaps because excess glycerin decreases the shelf-life of soap and they can sell the glycerin or use it in products that command a higher price like the lotion.

Think about it! Commercial soap companies remove the moisturizing ingredient (the glycerin) which in turn creates a soap that dries your skin and then they use the glycerin they removed to sell you a skin-moisturizing lotion. Quite an ingenious profit-making strategy!

Thus skin-nourishing ingredients, plus superfatting and natural saponification create a soap bar full of moisturizing, natural oils, and natural glycerin.

 

5. Scented Natural Soap Provides Real Aromatherapy

Natural Organic Aromatherapy Lavender Soap

Our scented natural soaps are made with pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, and offer aromatherapeutic benefits.

Fragrance oils, whether artificially created or derived from natural components, may duplicate the smell of a flower or herb, but they do not offer the therapeutic advantages of essential oils. 

Furthermore, the generic term, “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label can indicate the presence of up to 3,000 separate ingredients and the FDA does not require companies to disclose what is in a “fragrance,” because it is considered a “trade secret.”

BLOG: Why We Use Only Real Plant Essential Oils

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.

Everyone wants healthy skin and our skin is not a fan of synthetic chemicals. I cannot count how many times customers have told us that our natural soap has not only helped improve their skin but has improved their lives by relieving itchiness and dryness, and easing irritated skin conditions such as eczema and acne.

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.

A properly formulated and cured bar of natural soap needs no synthetic additives to create a lather or to clean because natural soap is a natural surfactant. So it not only makes great bubbles and lather, but it also helps clean oily dirt from your skin--naturally!

BLOG: "How Does Natural Soap Create Lather?"

 

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? Both bars clean your skin, right?

While I may agree that both bars clean the skin, the similarity goes no further. Simply put, commercial soaps contain synthetic ingredients that are very cheap to produce in a lab.

If you use a liquid body wash the main ingredient is water. You pay for water. A properly cured soap bar has very little water remaining, meaning you are getting exactly what you pay for.

I believe that old saying, "You get what you pay for," rings true when comparing a handmade bar of a natural soap to a commercial brand!

BLOG: "The True Cost of Commercial Soap"

 

9. Natural Soap Has a Smaller Environmental Impact

It may seem odd that a product we use to keep our bodies clean is doing quite the opposite for our environment.

If you are not using a natural soap, as you take a bath or shower you coat your skin with synthetic compounds like fragrances, dyes, preservatives, and detergents. These synthetic ingredients wash down our drains into our septic fields or water treatment facilities. Now imagine the millions of people who use these soaps each day.

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

Natural Organic Soap Chocolate Honey

I make handmade natural soap. I did not invent anything new.

But what I know is that our natural soap is made in small batches by people who have a passion as well as a mission for making natural products.

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!

At Chagrin Valley it is our practice to use raw materials that are sourced in an environmentally and ethically responsible manner.

  • We use organic ingredients which supports organic farming
  • We are Leaping Bunny Certified--Cruelty-Free
  • Our palm oil and other ingredients are certified sustainable
  • We buy Fair Trade whenever possible
  • Our products are biodegradable and minimally packaged with recycled and recyclable materials
  • Our packaging is over 99% plastic-free
  • Our natural ingredients will not add synthetic chemicals to our ecosystems

 Dedication to a kinder and gentler way of living is a big part of why we do what we do.

 

12. You Are Supporting A Small Business

Chagrin Valley Soap a Small Family BusinessIf you are holding this soap in your hand, I probably don't need to convince you that shopping small business is important. Your purchase really does make a difference.

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.

Small businesses are run by people - not by boards or stockholders. They are often entrepreneurs who bring a creative freshness into an otherwise regimented world.

 

We do it all ourselves--from start to finish--from our hands to your hands--from our family to yours! Thank you!

 

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.

 

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"

 


View Answer Page
Why Choose Chagrin Valley Natural Soaps

Aren't all handmade natural soaps the same? . . .

The answer is NO!


Natural Organic Sage Mist SoapSaying 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
  • biodegradable
  • 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?

View related natural skin care blogs


"Are All Handmade Soaps The Same?"

"12 Reasons to Use Natural Soap"


View Answer Page
How Long Will A Bar of Natural Soap Last?

Short Answer

Natural Organic Soap Sweet BasilHow 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.

Longer Answer

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 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

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 Juniper 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.


View Answer Page
How Big are Chagrin Valley Natural Soap and Shampoo Bars?

Natural Organic Chocolate and Honey Soap Bar for dry skinAlthough we get asked this question often, it is a very difficult one to answer, because the bottom line is . . . how old is the bar? Is It freshly cut or has it been allowed to cure?

 

Handmade soap and shampoo bars made using the cold process method and at the end of the soap reaction (saponification), they still contain water. The curing process allows excess water to evaporate.

Our freshly cut full-size bars are soft and weigh approximately 6.0 to over 6.5 ounces.

These bars will lose approximately 12% of their weight as most of the water evaporates during the first 6 to 8 weeks of curing time. This means that an average fresh bar, at 6.5 ounces will weigh approximately 5.7 ounces after about 8 weeks.

At Chagrin Valley Soap, our soap and shampoo bars are cured for about 10 to 12 weeks before selling and moisture will continue to evaporate over time as the bar ages. So, as our soap and shampoo bars sit waiting for a new home they will continue to shrink in size.

Some soap makers use the fresh-cut weight on their packaging, but we feel that is an inaccurate description. We use the average weight of our bars after at least a 10 week curing time.

While some companies allow their soaps to cure for only 4-weeks, but we know that our longer, slower curing time ensures a milder, harder, longer-lasting bar, with a very rich lather.

Some 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. Secondly, although we know there will continue to be a small weight (and scent) loss over time, we prefer that over sacrificing the quality of our soap.

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.

The average weight of Chagrin Valley full-size natural soap and shampoo bars is about 5.2 to 5.6 ounces after 10 weeks of curing. The average full-bar dimensions in inches are approximately 3.75 x 3 x 1.

Our Mini Bars of Soap and Shampoo (Loofah Foot, Pet Bars & Camping) weigh approximately 3 to 3.6 ounces.

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

Compare our bar size! Most handmade soap companies sell full size 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 the prices of other soaps, please compare SIZE and ingredients as well!

For a great explanation of the process involved in making soap please read our blog, "How We Make Soap"

 


View Answer Page
Why Does the Smell of Natural Soap and Shampoo Bars Made with Essential Oils Change?

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 some of the "natural" ones that contain some essential oils, are made with at least some synthetic fragrances oils, nature identical oil, or natural fragrance oil. Using any synthetic fragrance 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 soap making in never ceases to amaze me just how much the actual soap making process changes the scent of an essential oil blend.

View related natural skin care blogs

Natural Soap and Essential Oils

Why We Use Only Real Plant Essential Oils?

Natural Fragrance Oil? . . . Really?

Why Are Synthetic Fragrance Oils So Popular?


View Answer Page
Don't I need to use antibacterial soap to protect my family from germs?

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.

According to Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).

"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.

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!


View Answer Page
Do Your Natural Soap And Shampoo Bars Have An Expiration Date?

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, old clean sock, 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.

View Answer Page
Is There Lye Your Natural Soap?

Is There Lye In Natural Soap?

Natural Organic Soap Bar Coconut Shea Butter LavenderIf you are asking the question:

Do you use lye (sodium hydroxide) to make Chagrin Valley natural soap?

The answer is -- yes, of course.
No lye -- No soap!
All REAL soap is made with lye (sodium hydroxide mixed with a liquid).

Any skin or hair cleansing product made without sodium hydroxide is not soap, it is a detergent.

If you are asking the question:

Is there lye in a bar of Chagrin Valley Natural Soap or Shampoo?

The answer is "No."


When 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" or "Sodium Hydroxide" on My Soap Bar Ingredients

If it is real soap or contains read soap, it is made with lye!

Some commercial "soap" bars and all handmade soap bars are 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.

View related natural skin care blogs

"Is There Lye in Natural Soap? Won't it Harm My Skin? Information about lye and the chemistry of soap making

"How We Make Soap"


View Answer Page
Biodegradable Soap? Are Chagrin Valley Natural Soaps and Shampoo Bars Biodegradable?

Yes!

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...

Biodegradable Camping SoapThere 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.

Bringing a natural biodegradable soap on your multi-day backpacking trip is a great way to keep yourself feeling refreshed. But, even biodegradable soap can eventually pollute lakes and streams if it is not used properly.

The bacteria that break down natural soap are present mostly in the soil.

That means that even with biodegradable ingredients, you want to use this soap bar away from freshwater sources like lakes, rivers, and streams. 

So, please, do not bath, wash your face, or do your dishes, even with biodegradable soap, in any river, lake, or stream.

Some suggestions

  • Use a bucket to bring your water to an area at least 200 feet away from all sources of fresh water.
  • Lather up sparingly.
  • Always dispose of the grey water into the soil (NOT the water source). It is also best not to pour the entire soap solution in one spot. So, you can:
    • Sprinkle small amounts of grey water in a wide arc (imagine slinging the water out of your pot, as opposed to pouring it).
    • Or dig a small hole (like a cathole) in which to pour the soapy water. The idea is to surround the soap with the organic soil compounds that not only helps speed up decomposition, but also helps prevent surface runoff when it rains.

 

Is Natural Soap Really Better for Camping?

Absolutely! Commercial soaps, body washes, shampoos, and dish soap contain synthetic ingredients. Many of these ingredients include artificial colors and scents, detergents, and chemical preservatives, such as parabens, phthalates, and petrochemicals. These chemicals do not break down quickly.

Traces of these chemicals will remain in nature for many, many years and can have a potential negative impact on plants and animals.

A biodegradable natural soap is made with natural, organic ingredients that break down efficiently when exposed to the bacteria found in the soil.

There’s no substitute for nature. Together we can protect it from impacts like overuse, trash, and harming endangered wildlife by following the principles of "Leave No Trace."


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