Soap: Castile & Cocoa
Soap: Castile & Cocoa
An unscented face and body soap perfect for even the most sensitive skin. A blend of simple natural ingredients, including squalene-rich olive oil, nourishing cocoa butter, and moisturizing babassu oil creates a mild, moisturizing soap that may help ease symptoms associated with irritated skin conditions.
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Good For: Dry or Mature Skin, Sensitive Skin
A gentle Castile-type soap enriched with nourishing organic Cocoa Butter and lathering Babassu Oil to create a buttery rich, mild, moisturizing natural body and complexion soap.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, has been treasured for centuries for its ability to nourish the skin. As a natural humectant, it penetrates deeply to hold in moisture and helps keep skin soft. Since the fat composition of olive oil is similar to that of human skin, it rarely causes allergic reactions and does not block the natural functions of the skin. It helps the skin regulate its natural moisturizing systems while allowing the skin to breathe.
In addition to vitamins and antioxidants, olive oil is one of the only plant-based sources of hydrating squalene, a natural emollient that boosts hydration and can help your skin appear more vibrant and healthier. Squalene is a lipid naturally produced by the sebaceous (oil) glands in our skin. Unfortunately, our skin production of squalene decreases with age.
The lather is bubbly, super-rich, and creamy.
- Babassu Oil is one of nature’s richest emollients and is especially good for eczema, itchy, dry, and inflamed skin
- Cocoa Butter softens, moisturizes and soothes dry skin dry, itchy skin
- No added scent just the delicious natural aroma of unrefined cocoa butter
- A gentle and mild natural soap ideal for babies, young children, and the most delicate and sensitive skins
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.
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!
Organic Cocoa Butter*
Organic Babassu Oil
*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 certified organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter and Babassu Oil
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Wash Your Hands To Help Stay Healthy
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.
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
- 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
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 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.
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
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.”
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!
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!
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
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
If 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.
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!
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How Long Will A Bar of Natural Soap Last?
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 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.
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Why Choose Chagrin Valley Natural Soaps
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?
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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.
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Are Chagrin Valley Ingredients & Products USDA Certified Organic?
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.
Some of my favorite products are made with ingredients that just do not exist as certified organic. Why? At this time there are no standards created for ingredients specifically used in the personal care product industry. Organic certification of personal care products is based on the organic food standards set by the National Organic Program of the USDA.
But since we are a certified organic company, we are required to submit documentation that even our "non-organic ingredients" were produced without the use of toxic pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), sewage sludge, or irradiation.
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What Do The Different Organic Symbols Mean?
We use two different organic symbols on our website.
Each symbol has a unique definition!
The "certified organic" labeling has been developed by the USDA and refers to organic claims and labeling on food and personal care products in the United States. The USDA has very strict guidelines for the percentage of organic ingredients necessary to receive organic certification. Other countries have their own certification procedures, requirements, and standards. Labeling criteria and allowable ingredients differ from those in the US.
The USDA Organic Logo Label can be used on products that meet the standards of the first two tiers of the organic labeling system in which 95 - 100% of the ingredients are certified organic.
Most of our non-soap products fall into this category and display the USDA logo!
The Certified Organic by OEFFA label is used in our company for two reasons . . .
Soaps and Shampoos: These products contain at least 8% of the sodium hydroxide due to the process of soapmaking. Our "organic" soap is about 87% to 92% organic, but the USDA standard states that a product must be made of 95-100% organic ingredients in order to bear the USDA Certified Organic seal shown above. We are also not allowed to use the words "organic soap" on the label.
Wildharvested Ingredients: When using any agricultural ingredient (any ingredient that has a biological origin) that is not certified organic the same labeling rules we use for soap apply.
The USDA rules for proper labeling state that the products may display the certifying agent's logo but not the USDA organic logo. Our USDA certifying agency is OEFFA (The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association). Their logo is displayed on our "organic" soaps and shampoos.
Why do some soap companies use the word "organic" on their labels--even though it is against the rules? Click Here to Read More about Rules for Organic Labeling of Soap!
We sometimes use an unofficial symbol for products made with "natural" ingredients that do not meet the criteria for either label above. You may see this type of symbol on products, like the Dead Sea Black Clay, Bamboo Charcoal, and Loofah Pumice Foot Soaps and our Mud & Clay and Rosemary Mint Charcoal Shampoo Bars.
Organic certification is based on organic farming and agriculture standards. As a result, the list of allowable non-agricultural ingredients (like clay, salt, mud etc) is based on raw materials used in agriculture or food production. Unfortunately, ingredients like some Clays, Pumice, Dead Sea Mud and Bamboo Charcoal are not used in farming or food production and thus do not appear on the list.
Although it may seem long, this is really a very brief description. For more detailed information please read, "What Do All Of The Organic Labels Mean?"
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