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Apricot Kernel Oil is rich in skin-loving essential fatty acids

Apricot Kernel Oil is cold-pressed from the apricot seed

We lovingly and very specifically choose each ingredient for what it does for your skin (on your face and your body) as well as how it combines and even improves the action of the other ingredients in the soap.

We’ve included Apricot Kernel Oil in our Mother’s Recipe soap, which is a basic all-over cleanser, to replenish and maintain your skin’s natural moisture barrier. NEW mother's recipe

Scientifically speaking, that barrier is what is called skin’s “acid mantle”, and essential fatty acids have been found to be effective both when consumed as part of your balanced diet and when applied topically to your skin.

You’ll know when your skin’s acid mantle is out of balance because skin feels tight, dry and irritated. Other soaps can make skin feel this way after it’s just washed and worse, over time.

That’s why we added the essential fatty acids in Apricot Kernel Oil: to help restore the moisture barrier, so your skin feels just right, no matter what. With vitamins A, C and E, Apricot Kernel Oil soothes damaged or irritated skin. What’s more, this golden oil is gentle enough for the most sensitive skin.

So skin feels just right, no matter what.

How does your skin feel after it’s just-washed?

Dry, irritated skin? Just say, “Shea”

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Pure, unrefined shea butter is known for its soothing, moisturizing properties as well as its ability to sink into skin effortlessly. It leaves no greasy residue, just the clean sheen of healthier skin.

That’s why we love it so much as an ingredient in our soap.

It is an all-natural creamy, fatty substance loaded with phytosterols (natural plant fats) made from the nuts of karite nut trees which grow in the wild Savannahs of West and East Africa.

We add shea in a special way…

We handle this gold butter (it’s literally a creamy, golden color) with care and sometimes add it slightly later in the soap-making process (called super-fatting). Organic raw shea butter is the predominant ingredient for our Stressed Skin Remedy and Skin Spa soaps. It gives each bar a rich, creamy lather that quiets the senses. Our soaps with shea butter smooth and condition skin, helping calm and comfort while gently cleansing.

Science shows skin needs essential fatty acids on the outside, too

We love shea butter because research shows that topical applications of oils high in essential fatty acids, such as shea butter, are well-absorbed into the top layers of the skin. These oils help retain moisture in the skin (this is called a moisture barrier). Magical shea butter eases, protects and reduces the discomfort of rough or irritated skin like a balm. It  promotes scar and wound healing,  smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles, and contributes to skin’s overall elasticity and suppleness.

Shea butter melts right in once it hits your skin and feels so good. You’ll want it in your soap whether or not you have dry skin…

Why do we add Vitamin E oil to our soaps?

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It’s pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to making natural soap.

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is one nutrient that has been proven in scientific studies to actually permeate both the epidermis and the dermis when applied topically, even when rinsed off, as in a soap. To take advantage of this action, we add it to our soaps in oil form.  shutterstock_174446576

Smooth your relationship with your face

As an oil, Vitamin E helps protect the skin by adding to its barrier function at the stratum corneum (the top layer of the epidermis). Once there, it smooths the way against redness, irritations and other hypersensitivities caused by your inner stress and the outer environment. Then, it sinks even deeper where it has also been shown to be photoprotective, helping guard skin against free radicals due to exposure from the sun that cause skin aging and skin cancer. What’s more, Vitamin E may decrease wrinkle formation and enhance skin’s immune system.

Keeps our soap fresh

In addition, Vitamin E oil is a natural preservative when added to a skin preparation because it helps prevents oxidation. Since we shun parabens (chemical preservatives of questionable safety) in our natural soaps, we add Vitamin E oil to keep soaps from spoiling and prolong it’s shelf-life.

Couldn’t your skin use a boost of nutrition from the outside?

What’s so essential about essential oils?

I see the allergies to the fragrances in things we put on our skin every day in my office in the form of skin reactions, such as itching, hives and other types of rashes. Almost every time, like clockwork, my first question is:

“What are you using on your skin?”

The word “fragrance” listed as an ingredient on cosmetic products most often means a synthetic, man-made chemically-created scent added to a soap, shampoo, face cream and of course, laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Sometimes these fragrances mimic a natural fragrance such as rose or orange and sometimes they create scents that cannot be extracted from an original, real source such as bubblegum.

In contrast, natural essential oils are extracted (usually steam distilled or pressed) from some part of a plant such as its bark, leaves, flowers, peels or roots.

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To avoid allergies to synthetic fragrances, I chose to use therapeutic grade essential oils in our soaps. None of our soaps have commercial fragrances.

Proven by science, added with love

While essential oils lend fragrance, they also offer skincare and aromatherapy benefits, proven by science, because they retain the characteristic fragrance or active ingredient of the original aromatic medicinal plant.

Aromatherapy is one of the complementary and alternative medicines which has been used to treat various diseases and symptoms. That’s because essential oils have been found to impart many kinds of drug-like actions such as antimicrobial, sedative, analgesic and others. Various essential oils such as jasmine, frankincense, peppermint, lavender and orange have been proven in scientific and medical studies to relieve depression and anxiety. skinspa_thumb

It’s that added therapeutic potential from the essential oils which brings each bar of soap to an even higher level. That’s where art and science unite in soap-making.

Learn about the essential oils you’ll find in different bars of Soap101:

German chamomile in Stressed Skin Remedy

Of all single species herbal remedies of local, indigenous and native peoples studied, German chamomile was found to be one of the most widely used therapeutic herbs. It has skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory, healing and antioxidant benefits. It’s comforting fragrance has been shown to soothe and clear the mind. German chamomile is steam distilled from flowers and its key constituent is bisabolol oxide A, known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Its rich blue color comes from the aromatic component chamazulene, a blue-violet derivative of azulene.  Relaxing German chamomile helps maintain skin health by alleviating acne, eczema and dermatitis.

 Orange in Mother’s Recipe

In contrast to most essential oils, orange essential oil is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit.  Composed of mostly of limonene, the component which gives citrus fruits their familiar aroma, orange essential oil is known for it’s mood-boosting effects when inhaled. Studies have shown that citrus fragrances, like orange, enhance immunity, promote relaxation and decrease depression. In addition, uplifting orange essential oil and it’s active ingredient limonene, ameliorates oily skin and helps brighten a dull complexion. This essential oil also has anti-tumoral and tissue repair properties and may improve the appearance of skin wrinkles.

Basil in Face Food

Basil is a less stimulating, but still vibrant, member of the mint family that has been used extensively in traditional Asian and Indian medicine to treat migraines and chest infections. This fragrant essential oil is an effective antibacterial agent against a broad range of microorganisms on the skin, as well as a calming muscle relaxant. Basil essential oil soothes insect bites and stings and has been used for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic qualities; it’s zestful scent alleviates mental fatigue.

Cedarwood in Skin Spa

Inhaling fragrances has been proven to affect the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates the heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and raises blood pressure. Some oils were found to raise this activity and other oils were found to reduce this activity. Cedarwood is the latter, used for its relaxing effect. Throughout time, cedarwood has been used in medicine to treat hair and skin conditions, such as alopecia areata, dandruff, acne, psoriasis and oily skin. Cedarwood essential oil is recognized for it’s calming and pacifying fragrance, it’s comforting scent eases tension and decreases anxiety.

Grapefruit in Intoxicating Skin Saver

Grapefruit essential oil, like orange essential oil, is high in limonene, giving it known antiseptic, detoxifying and diuretic-like properties. This essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind of the grapefruit and has a refreshing and stimulating scent. Studies have shown that citrus fragrances, like grapefruit, heighten immunity, encourage relaxation and curtail depression. Grapefruit essential oil effectively cleans oily skin, has been used to treat acne and may improve the appearance of cellulite.

Rose in For the Love of Soap

Rose essential oil is distilled from the flower of the Damask rose, the most fragrant type of rose. This oil, with its undeniable scent is invigorating and aphrodisiac-like, uplifting the mind and spirit. Rose essential oil is anti-inflammatory and has been used to treat wrinkles and prevent scarring.

Could essential oils be what’s essentially missing from your current soap?

Could a simpler soap solve some of your skin problems?

Everyone knows to cleanse their skin before bed, especially women, to wash off all the makeup and grime from the day. You’ve likely given a lot of thought to the products you’re using as part of your skin care regimen, right?

In the dermatologist’s office, though, one of the most important questions I ask patients with skin problems such as dryness, flaking, uneven skin tone, acne and inflamed skin is:

“What products are you using on your skin every day?”

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A True Simple Soap with no synthetic ingredients, known allergens or harsh chemicals…

That’s because the cleansing products (among all the others) most women use contain many ingredients that may actually be causing skin your problems. And, you may be using these products more than once a day.

Your skin may be victim of an onslaught you didn’t even know about

Most cleansing products today are actually not even true soap and are instead called “synthetic detergent products” by the FDA. That’s because they contain:

  • Synthetic fragrances and colors such as dyes with color #s that can cause allergic reactions
  • Harsh surfactants (cleansers) such as sodium lauryl sulfate that strip skin of its moisture barrier leaving it open to all irritants
  • Alcohol, a known drying agent, which dissolves and strips away skin’s protective oils and makes skin less able to attract and hold moisture
  • A high pH level, which dissolves the skin lipids that create its moisture barrier, leaving it open to bacteria, dryness
  • Synthetic preservatives such as parabens and petroleum products  which can be allergens

Even the FDA has outlined which products may be called a “True Soap”

The product must be made mainly from the “alkali salts of fatty acids,” that is, the material you get when you combine fats or oils with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, also called saponification. That’s the ancient method of making real soap. Those “alkali salts of fatty acids” must be the only material that results in the product’s cleansing action.

If the product contains synthetic detergents, it’s a cosmetic, not a soap. If the cleansing product claims to be a deodorant, with a specific added fragrance, or a moisturizer, it is considered a cosmetic (and probably contains a long list of synthetic ingredients that often do more harm than good, as described above).

What you think is gentle on skin, may not be gentle on skin at all

Certain products that you might think is the purest, most gentle “soap” on earth actually no longer bear the word “soap” on the label. Go ahead, check the labels on your own cleansing bar or bottle. Most likely, they are synthetic detergents. Your nose knows the difference, too. They probably have either a chemical smell or are overly perfumed. What’s more, these cleansers have a high, alkaline (drying), pH level of around 9-10, when normal skin’s pH level is around 5.

Your skin may be acting out because it hates the products you are putting on it every day. If you really want to be kinder to your skin, to help it calm down, use a true soap for gentle cleansing. One without synthetic irritants, allergens and detergents. One with a lower, more natural pH level to normal skin. One without animal fats. A true uncomplicated soap made lovingly, personally and artfully from natural oils and the best skin-loving ingredients available.

Think about it: Could your soap be the cause of any of your skin problems?