Monday, March 27, 2017
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
One of the biggest frustrations for me as a soap maker is when someone asks if I have a soap for a particular medical condition (i.e. acne, eczema, etc.). I am not frustrated with my customer, just the situation. Let me explain.
There are three different ways soap can be marketed.
1. Soap can be marketed as soap! If the soap is labeled, sold and represented solely as soap (i.e. it cleans) - it is soap! Soap, marketed as soap, has basic labeling requirements. The ingredients are not even required to be on the label. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the regulating authority.
2. Soap can also be marketed as a cosmetic! If I said anything about how my soap imparts a fragrance, makes the user more attractive, acts as a deodorant, or moisturizes the skin, then the soap just became a cosmetic. Cosmetics have very specific labeling requirements and cannot use certain ingredients. They are not required to be registered (but may be). Cosmetics are regulated by FTC and U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDCA).
3. Finally, soap can also be marketed as a drug. If any claims are made about using a soap for acne or eczema or any issue, your soap is now considered a drug. If you say it can cure, treat or prevent something, your soap is a drug. Drugs are regulated by FTC and FDCA. Drugs require premarket approval, mandatory registration, as well as very specific labeling requirements.
It gets very tricky to stay within the confines of marketing my soap as just soap! So, I do label my soap with the more strict labeling requirements for cosmetics so I can use fun words like moisturizing!
So, if I look a little uncomfortable if you ask me if I have a soap to clear up your teenagers acne, hopefully you now understand why! I know there are a lot of companies out there that are not following the rules. That is their problem, not mine. It is very difficult to be in regulation but I am doing the best I can and trying not to pay attention to what others are doing.
I highly suggest you do your own research on what ingredients can be used for certain conditions. That way when you are shopping, you can just ask the soap maker if they have any soap that contains the ingredient you want.
P.S. This is a very simplistic explanation of a very complex set of rules! If you are a soap maker, I suggest you delve deeper into the regulations than this simplistic explanation!
In becoming compliant with the cosmetic labeling regulations, I am slowly renaming many soaps. Here are some that have already been changed. I may still have some soaps with the old name as I did not repackage them.
- Raspberry Patchouli is now Believe
- Lemongrass is now Refined By Fire
- Blackberry Almond is now Fruit of the Spirit
- Black Raspberry Vanilla is now Whosoever
- Lily of the Valley is now Devotion
- Orange & Clove is now Pure
Wash your hands & say your prayers 'cuz
Jesus & germs are everywhere!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Is your soap all natural? This question has become the most asked question of me! I wish there was a simple answer. It all depends on your definition of all natural! If you can believe it, the term is completely unregulated.
In my personal opinion, any soap that uses fragrance oil (ah - most of mine!) is not natural. Fragrance oils are man-made. They are made for using in soap and are skin safe but not "natural". Therefore any soap I make containing fragrance oil cannot be considered natural in my book.
What about micas and oxides? Aren't they natural? While you can get micas and oxides directly from nature, what you get is often times impure and has contaminants in it. The skin safe, made for soaping and cosmetics, micas and oxides I use are man-made. They are 'nature like' but more pure. Given that, I do not consider any soap I make using micas or oxides to be natural.
Another ingredient that is a sticky wicket for me is the lye. You cannot make soap without lye. Don't let anyone fool you with their "lye free" claims. If they are selling a melt and pour type of soap, there was still lye added to the soap; they just didn't do it. But don't let lye scare you. If you are using a proper soap recipe, there is no lye left in the final product. It has magically disappeared through something called saponification. Anyway, lye today is man-made as well. Yes, I could go out to my fire pit and collect ashes and make soap that way but it is very uncontrolled compared to man-made, pure lye. Think back to grandma's red hands from using her likely lye-heavy soap she made! Even after all that, I still consider soaps that contain man-made lye (ummm all of them!) to be natural. The reason for me wavering on this ingredient is because there is no lye left in the soap once cured whereas the fragrance oils and micas are still there.
OK, Tracy. Do you make any "all natural" soaps according to your definition? YES! Look for soaps that are made with essential oils and botanicals as colorants such as lemon peel powder or hibiscus powder.
It is my belief that some soapers use a different definition of "all natural" than I do and therefore you could be purchasing soap with a fragrance oil and yet they are calling it "all natural"; they will use micas or oxides to color their soap and yet they call it "all natural". I am not out to police other soapers, my job is to do what I believe is correct. For me, that is only using the term "all natural" when I use an essential oil to scent my soap (or no scent at all) and natural botanicals to color my soap (or no color at all).
So, if you ask me if ALL my soaps are "all natural" the answer is no. Some are, most aren't. But, the fragrances and colorants I use are skin safe and made for soaping. I do not add detergents or hardeners like some commercial soaps have in them. Handcrafted, cold process soap retains its natural glycerin where as commercial soaps have it removed to sell as a separate product. This is why so many commercial soaps are drying to the skin.
I love fragrance oils to scent my soaps as there are so many more options than essential oils. I love essential oils too but I am much more limited in terms of scents and they are somewhat cost prohibitive. I will continue to soap with both and attempt to give everyone something they are happy with! Even my fragrance oil/mica soaps are 95% pure according to my definition!
Now, go wash your hands!
P.S. I have a section in my shop called Essential Oil/Unscented Soap where you can find these soaps. A couple of the essential oil soaps have mica in them - if you want "All Natural" soap, look for those words in the title of the soap. I have more coming very soon!
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
What is Faith? Faith is a strong belief in God based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. It is intangible; it isn't something can touch or hold.
What is Love? Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. Again, not something you can pick up and hold!
That leaves Soap. What is soap? Soap is comprised of three basic elements: Lye, Oil and Water. In ancient days, lye was made from wood ash. Wood ash that may have come from the fires from animal sacrifices to Christ. This wood ash mixed with the grease/oil from the animals being sacrificed. Christ is the water of life.
It comes full circle that Faith, Soaps & Love combines all these things to come up with a physical item that can be used to share the gospel and cleanse your body at the same time!
I have spent the last eight weeks working behind the scenes on product names & descriptions. You will see many soap names changing to better reflect our business and to comply with labeling regulations. Names like Lily of the Valley are not acceptable so I have changed it to Devotion. What a pain! Many of the name changes will happen as I restock the soap so I don't have to re-wrap and re-label every soap. Speaking of Lily of the Valley, Devotion is now listed for sale!
|Devotion Handcrafted Soap - Lily of the Valley Scented|
Another fun new item in the shop is Soap Rocks. These cute little rocks are made from all the soap scraps I had from beveling soap. They are a fun way for kids to bathe or great for in the soap dish in your rustic bathroom. They will only be around for a little while as I used up all my scraps so I can't make more for a while.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Faith, Soaps & Love sold a lot of soap in 2016 - thank you! I thought you might like to see what our best sellers of 2016 were. Below are the top 10 selling soaps of 2016 - is YOUR favorite on the list?
10. Three Wise Men - When Jesus was born, the Magi presented frankinscense and myrrh and gold to Him. These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankinscense as perfume or inense, and myrrh as an anointing oil. Three Wise Men was crafted to convey this gifting. It is a wonderful, comforting combination of frankinscense, myrrh, patchouli, and sandalwood.
|Three Wise Men|
9. Lavender - Sure, you could buy any old soap but why? You are not here to settle and neither are we! It is time to relax! Release the tensions of the day with with lavender essential oil soap.
8. Naked - Naked shampoo? You heard me right! For all you purists out there, this is a completely unscented, untinted shampoo bar that will leave your hair amazingly clear of all the silicones that standard shampoos leave on your hair. This works equally well as a soap too - it is not just for hair! The lather is amazing. This soap is a must have for those who are scent sensitive.
6. Midnight Pomegranate - The relaxed feeling of cuddling up on the couch in front of a roaring fire with a kitty (or two) on your lap and a steaming cup of tea in your hand has been captured in this handcrafted soap! With notes of pomegranate, twists of orange and a touch of cinnamon and vanilla, you will be wisked away to the couch in your imagination!
5. Beloved - When you were growing up, your mother probably wore this amazing, high end perfume (Ch*n*l). The scent still brings me back to when I was a kid and my parents were getting ready to go out on the town. Beloved is a highly complex fragrance begins with top notes of fresh floral ylang ylang, rose petals, jasmine. This is followed by lovely base notes of vetiver and sandalwood. I am just in love with this soap!
4. Orange & Clove - Do you remember way back when, when people poked whole cloves in oranges for an amazing scented household decoration? Well, that is exactly what this soap smells like! It will bring you back to your childhood. It is made with orange and clove essential oils and colored with natural botanicals so this is a 100% natural soap.
|Orange & Clove|
3. Positive Energy - We could all use more positive energy in our lives and this soap is an easy way to get some! Positive Energy is a stimulating blend of citrus (grapefruit, lemon and lime) along with hints of fresh cucumber and jasmine, and a touch of pineapple, blackberry and champagne. It is certainly an exciting and uplifting mixture of scents!
The fragrance of this soap is positively edible! It is a full bodied and smooth beer fragrance blended with creamy oatmeal, orange peel, butterscotch, farm-fresh milk, nutty almond and rich vanilla. Are you salivating yet? Of coarse, there is plenty of beer in there too! To top it all off, there is finely ground oatmeal in the top (white foam) portion of the soap to give it a good head.
And the number one selling soap for Faith, Soaps & Love in 2016 was...........
1. The Perfect Man - Imagine, if you will, a man who is confident, trustworthy, successful, romantic, sexy, sensual, daring, with a great sense of humor. Would you call that...The Perfect Man? This scent is similar to Blue de Chanel. It uses only the finest, expensive fragrance notes; it begins with fresh, daring notes of Japanese grapefruit, bergamot, and lemon; followed by middle notes of peppercorn, ginger, jasmine, aquatic marine notes, and a hint of peppermint; sitting on expensive base notes of natural patchouli, cedar, vetiver, labdanum, and frankincense. Now this is The Perfect Man! While there is only one Perfect Man (Jesus), this soap will make your man (or yourself!) smell amazing! I do not guarantee it will make him perfect, it will just help him smell perfect!
|The Perfect Man|
Hopefully you have tried at least one or two of these! Be sure to include a couple with your next order. Now......go wash your hands!