Sorry! My links aren’t working properly and I’m not that techie to be able to figure it out! Please visit www.soapynature.com to learn more about the products mentioned in this post!
I mentioned the other day that I was going to the bar…the bar of soap that is!
Before we begin I want you to do something, get up and go to your bathroom and tell me what’s in your shower. For me I have 1 bottle of body wash, 2 bottles of shampoo (both hubby and I have our own), 1 bottle of conditioner, and 1 can of shaving cream. There is barely room for all this stuff. What happens to all those bottles when they are empty? Hopefully you send them to the recycle bin but most people don’t have a recycle bin in their bathrooms so they can easily end up in the trash.
Now imagine your life without all those bottles and cans! Sounds nice doesn’t it? When was the last time you used bar soap? Did you know that there is bar soap out there that doesn’t leave that nasty dry feeling to your skin? Did you know that you can wash your hair with some bar soaps? Did you know that you can shave with them too? Hmmm…see where I’m going? Why not replace all those bottles and cans (or at least a few of them) with one bar of soap!!!
I did just that about a week ago and I have to admit I was hesitant…I don’t like bar soaps much. My new friend Jen from Soapy Nature has made me rethink the bar and so far I’m loving it! Here is an interview with Jen about her homemade soaps…I mean getaways!
When did you start making Soapy Nature Getaways?
I started making soap about a year ago. I had been buying natural soaps for a while due to my daughter having very dry skin and my newly acquired allergy to fragrances in commercial lotions and soaps. With the natural soaps that I was buying I missed the fun fragrances and pretty packaging of the body washes we had previously used. So, I began to learn how to make them myself and made bars that were more fun to look at and enjoyable to smell. These bars actually get my kids excited about choosing one to use in the shower.
What is the difference between your getaways and other bar soaps you can buy at the store? There are a lot of differences, actually. The biggest thing is that bar soap at the store isn’t really soap. It’s detergent. If you look on the package of your favorite “soap”, it probably doesn’t even say “soap”. It says “beauty bar” or something like that. Some people say, “My doctor recommended Dove or Ivory for my sensitive skin”. Even these bars are not as gentle as natural soap. Their ingredient list looks something like this: sodium cocoyl isethionate, stearic acid, sodium tallowate, sodium isethionate, coconut acid, sodium stearate, sodium dodecylbenzonesulfonate, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernalate, trisodium etidronate, BHT etc. These detergents strip your skin of natural oils and cause skin irritations. Even bars that claim to have natural ingredients or glycerin soaps aren’t the same as cold process, handmade soaps. They may have a few added natural materials, but a very small percentage and it’s still hidden in there with the detergents.
My soaps have an ingredient list that reads like this: Olive Oil; Coconut Oil; Shea Butter; Distilled Water; Sodium Hydroxide; Essential Peppermint Oil; Peppermint tea leaves; and Spirulina.
Palm Oil; Distilled Water; Avocado Butter; Shea Butter; Coconut Oil; Sodium Hydroxide; Cocoa Butter; Essential Oils of Lime, Lemon and Sweet Orange; Annatto and Alfalfa.
All of my bars, with exception of the “Getaway-of-the-Month”, contain essential oils. These oils are naturally derived from plants. They have skin nourishing properties and/or aromatherapy properties. This is much different than the commercial bars, which are scented with a synthetic fragrance. Many people who have allergic reactions to commercial “soaps” are having a reaction to the toxic fragrance chemicals and perfumes in the bar.
As I mentioned earlier, I have an allergy to fragrances, but have never had a problem with any of my bars, even though they each have a pretty strong aroma.
Another biggie that you want to avoid is “antibacterial soaps”. These bars contain chemicals such as methylisothiazolinone, Triclosan and Tricolban. Each of these chemicals have been linked to harmful effects on our bodies and the environment. Antibacterial soaps kill some bad bacteria, but they are also killing good bacteria.
Where do you get your inspiration for your getaways? I think we all need a little bit of “me” time to recharge and take a break from normal stresses. Enjoying a nice warm shower with a great smelling aroma and wonderfully feeling bar of soap can do a lot for your psyche. I attempt to incorporate the look and scent to help motivate, recharge or relax you. Like in Hammock Dreams, it’s made with Clary Sage and Lavender oils, both of which are known for their sedative properties. Then I chose a color palate that I felt was relaxing. With Spicy Sunrise, you have the opposite. It’s made in a nice bright and energizing orange color with essential oils of clove and orange to stimulate your mind. In bars like Runner’s High I’ve chosen colors that remind me of the activity. It’s designed to look like the sky with a line of clouds above a running path. When I go for a run, I spend a lot of time looking up into the sky. The fragrance is Eucalyptus, peppermint and basil essential oils. eucalyptus is known for it’s sinus and mind clearing properties. It is even beneficial to sore muscles. The peppermint is very cool and refreshing and the hint of basil just gives a little herbal(outdoorsy) bite to it.
What do you use as dye for your getaways? Most of the Getaways are made with herbs. I use Calendula for yellow and orange colors. Alkanet Root for blues and purples. Annatto seed for deeper orange. Cocoa powder for brown. Alfalfa for green. Spirulina for deeper green. Green clay in the Spa Day bar. Paprika for the beige in Barefoot Summer. Red clay for red. An ultramarine for blue and black.
How long does it take to make a batch of soaps? Each batch makes about nine bars. The single layer bars only take about thirty minutes. The layered bars, like Spring Picnic and Sunny Citrus, take about three and a half hours. The ingredients are mixed together and poured into a wooden mold. It stays in the mold for approximately 24 hours during a process called “saponification”. This is when all of the butters, oils and sodium hydroxide actually become soap. I remove the loaf from the mold after 24 hours and allow it to sit for a few days to allow some of the moisture to evaporate and then cut the bars. They are ready to use right away, with a proper ph. I normally, however, let them cure for about two weeks before selling them, in order for them to harden up a bit more and last longer.
If you have really dry skin what are some ingredients that you use that will help? My favorite is shea butter. I love shea butter. It is extremely nourishing to your skin and hair with Vitamins A, E and F. Olive oil is high in vitamin E and antioxidants. The Olive Oil Getaways are perfect for the most sensitive skin. They are very gentle and have a lighter lather. Avocado butter, avocado oil contain A, C, D, and E; proteins; beta-carotene; lecithin; fatty acids; and potassium. Cocoa Butter is also loaded with antioxidants and essential fatty acids to restore irritated and dry skin.
What is your favorite getaway? When picking my favorite scents, I love the scents with lime. That would be the Caribbean Island, Sunny Citrus and Bike Path. I even love Key West Weekend and I normally don’t enjoy patchouli very much. I keep a small bar of the Bike Path in my car for air freshener. My second favorite is Runner’s High. When it comes to the look of the bars, my favorites are Night at the Movies and Wet and Wild. The bar I use the most is Spa Day. It’s the bar I use on my face and it does great with absorbing oil.
Explain how using your getaways is better for the environment (and for ourselves) than liquid body wash? Well, just like the difference between commercial “soaps” vs. Soapy Nature Getaways, the body washes aren’t soap. If you read the label, you notice that it is loaded with chemicals, most of which will strip your skin of important oils. There are some companies who realize the benefits of natural butters and oils and they will say, “with shea butter” or “now with cocoa butter”. But, if you take a look at the ingredients label you notice it is a very small amount added to the shower gel/body wash. These washes are also loaded with synthetic fragrances. They are also high in sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These chemicals are not only dangerous and irritating to your skin, but they are also absorbed by the skin and have been linked in some studies to liver toxicity, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and breast cancer. Both SLES and SLS are chemicals that are used in things like engine cleaner. There are even handmade “soap” companies that are sneaking SLS and SLES into their soaps. It’s important to read the ingredients labels.
The environment also benefits because we have less packaging per bar. We are using things that came from the environment, there’s no chemical waste. It is bad for us when using these chemicals and then it becomes bad for the environment when they are being washed down our drains. You also decrease your plastics use a great deal, when you are able to use one bar to wash your entire body.
Approximately how many washes can you get from each getaway? That really varies depending on how much a person uses each wash and how they care for the bar. If you let the bar dry out between uses it will last longer. The Three-Butter Getaways last the longest. Most of my customers get a little more than a month’s worth of use from one bar.
Do you have any specials? Each month we have a “Getaway-of-the-Month”. We attempt to make it fun and seasonal. May’s “Getaway-of-the-Month” was a huge hit. Our Getaway for the month of June will probably be loved by everyone as well. It’s called Fruit Smoothie. The smell is absolutely delicious. These bars are always $3.99, a bit of a savings from the regular price bars. We also offer monthly subscriptions for three, six and twelve months. With these subscriptions we send out two of the monthly getaways for each month of the subscription, by the 15th of the month. The subscriptions are fun because you get something special each month. With the six and twelve month subscriptions you also save money, as it’s free shipping and only $3.54 a bar with the twelve month subscription. It makes a really great gift.
All of the Getaways make fantastic gifts for anyone on your list, even men (I even made my hubby try the getaways. He was surprised that they lathered so well). They are attractive, smell great and let’s face it everyone takes showers and who doesn’t want to be healthy? We also offer custom labeling where we will print labels with your own message or quote to give your gift a personal touch.
Well, thank you so much Jen for the lesson on soap. I never realized how many ingredients went into our everday ‘soaps’ and body washes. I cant wait for my next Getaway!
I challenge you all to just try one bar of Soapy Nature and kick the bottle habit. I guarantee you will be surprised!
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