1. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils - Buyer Beware

    Bay Berry Bliss essential oils

    I am often asked if our essential oils are therapeutic grade. This term is often used to describe essential oils with the intent to differentiate pure, high quality essential oils from others of lesser quality or that may be diluted. The problem is, there is no regulation for the term “therapeutic grade” and for that reason it is meaningless. No government agency or generally accepted organization “grades” or “certifies” essential oils as “therapeutic grade”, “medicinal grade”, or “aromatherapy grade” in the United States. Anyone can put those words on their essential oil label that may or may not even be 100% pure essential oils. This terminology has been adopted by many as a clever marketing term in an attempt to differentiate their company from the many others who sell essential oils. It’s important to keep in mind

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  2. Sodium Hydroxide

    Sodium hydroxide is also known as lye and caustic soda; it is highly caustic (able to burn or corrode organic tissue by chemical reaction) and reactive. Once the dry sodium hydroxide is mixed with a water a lye solution is created. This solution, when mixed with fats and oils cause a chemical reaction called saponification. The result of chemical reaction called saponification is soap. You can not make bars of soap without sodium hydroxide. If a bar of soap is really soap, sodium hydroxide must have been one of the ingredients that went into the process. Labeling laws do not require the listing of sodium hydroxide as a soap ingredient, so many soap makers will leave it off of their labels to not raise any questions with their customers. Soap by definition needs to have sodium hydroxide in it, whether it is listed on the label or not.

    Most soap makers (including us) will superfat their soaps, which means there is an excessive amount of oils available to ensure all of the lye has

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  3. SLSA

    Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA) is a very similar sounding product, and is often used the same way in bath products. Some people would consider SLSA natural since it is derived from coconut and palm oils. It does conform to Ecocert's natural and organic cosmetic standard and is 100% of natural origin. SLSA is a much larger molecule than SLS and therefore is classified as a safe, skin-friendly surfactant because it can not penetrate the skin. It has become the standard foaming agent for "natural" bath products. We will not mark our products with SLSA as All-Natural due to the amount of material processing needed to manufacture SLSA.

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  4. SLS

    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant and a detergent. It is a cheap ingredient that is often added to bath products to produce luscious foamy lather or bubbles that last a long time. The Lauryl in SLS comes from Lauryl alcohol which can come from petroleum products, or it can also come from coconut oil. The oil is put through an elaborate process that liberates the fatty acids, hydrogenizes the oil, then pulls out the lauryl alcohol. It is still mixed with other chemicals to produce SLS, and the derivation of the lauryl alcohol from coconut oil does not make this a natural ingredient in any way. We think most would agree it probably just sounds better to be able to say the ingredient is derived from coconut oil. SLS identified as "coconut-derived" or "from coconut oil" is a marketing gimmick to make you believe the ingredients are more natural.

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  5. Panthenol

    Panthenol, aka Pro-Vitamin B5 is super moisturizing in skin and hair care products. The human body readily absorbs panthenol through the skin and rapidly converts it to vitamin B5, a natural constituent of healthy hair and a substance present in all living cells. It works as a humectant by infusing water in the cells, retaining moisture deep within the skin's tissues

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  6. Jojoba oil

    Jojoba oil is the liquid produced from the seed of the jojoba plant, which is native to the Southwestern United States. Jojoba oil is wonderful for the skin because it has absorption properties that are very similar to human sebum. It is non-toxic, non-comedogenic and non-allergenic with a non-greasy feeling in use.

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  7. Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts. It is solid at colder temperatures, and melts at 76 degrees F. In soap, coconut oil contributes to an abundant lather, large fluffy bubbles, and high cleansing ability.

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  8. Chamomile

    Chamomile is a gentle herb known for its anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It is often ingested as a tea to calm the nervous system and digestive tract, and is mild enough to be administered to babies with colic. It could help to reduce redness and can be soothing when applied to inflamed skin. Because it has been used so widely for such a long time, chamomile is one of the few herbs that has been included in clinical trials to look into its effectiveness in skincare. Most documented studies have been completed in Germany using a chamomile cream or ointment. In one trial with humans, chamomile was found to have an effect that was 60% as active as 0.25% hydrocortisone when applied topically. In another trial, the chamomile ointment was effective in reducing dermatitis following a single application of sodium lauryl sulfate (Brown & Dattner, 1998). Chamomile hydrosol like chamomile extract, it is known to offer anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing properties.

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  9. Calendula

    Calendula is a genus of about 15-20 species of annual plants in the daisy family that are often know as marigolds. The common name marigold refers to a larger group of plants that includes calendula. Calendula is most commonly known for its topical use as an infused oil for wounds and skin trauma, and is often used to sooth sensitive or irritated skin. Calendula has been show to help heal wounds faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, which helps the healing process. Calendula extract has moisturizing properties making it ideal for dry, irritated or delicate skin.

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  10. Sustainable Organic Palm Oil

    What is Palm Oil?

    palm oil fruit

    Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the reddish pulp of the fruit of oil palms. Palm kernel oil is the oil derived from the kernel or seed of that same plant. The oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) originates from West Africa where it grows in the wild, and later was developed into an agricultural crop.

    Why is it important for soap?

    Palm oil has become very popular with the shift to vegetable based oils for soap making compared to the traditional use of tallow and lard which are derived from animal fats. Palm oil is very high in Palmitic acid, which makes a bar of soap hard and long lasting with a stable lather, and it is also high in oleic acid, which helps to create a more conditioning lather.

    What are other uses for palm oil?

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