Aloe Vera juicealoe vera imageAloe vera has been historically used to heal wounds for various skin conditions, and is commonly used for burns and sunburns today. The plant is a succulant that grows naturally in subtropical and tropical locations, and will grow well in a pot here in North America with ample light and protection from frost. The aloe leaves contain a clear gel that is often used as a topical ointment. It is a common household remedy for minor cuts and burns, as well as sunburns. 

Please note: If you require medical advice, please contact your doctor. If you have any questions about wheter aloe vera gel would help you or not, please contact your doctor.BTMSBTMS is a vegetable based conditioning emulsifier. An emulsifier is an ingredient that allows the a misture of oil and water to remain mixed. When the droplets of oil and water remain dispersed the a stable emulsion is obtained. The emulsions made with BTMS can leave hair tangle free and feeling silky smooth and provide skin with a softer, powdery feel after use in skin products such as lotions or creams.Castor oilCastor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from pressing the seeds of the tropical castor oil plant. In soap, castor oil is used to create stable, copious lather. Castor oil also acts like a humectant and draws moisture to the skin.Cetyl AlcoholCetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol used as an emulsion stabilizer which adds viscosity and body to lotions while imparting its characteristic velvety texture. It also imparts emollient properties to lotions due to its absorption and retention in the epidermis where it lubricates and softens the skin. The EWG gives cetyl alcohol a safety score of 1 indicating it is a very low hazard.Calendula ExtractCalendula is a genus of about 15-20 species of annual plants in the daisy faimly that are ofen 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.Chamomile ExtractChamomile is a gentle herb known for its anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It is often ingested as a tea to calm the nervious 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 HydrosolLike chamomile extract, it is known to offer anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing properties. A hydrosol is defined as an aqueous solution of essential oils, usually obtained by steam distillation.Coconut OilIs 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 clensing ability.Essential oilAn essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing colatile aromatic compounds that are derived directly from plant matter. In order for an oil to be a true essential oil, it must be isolated by physical means only, such as steam distillation, or expression. An oil that is extracted with solvents is not a true essential oil (such as Vanilla), and often still contains some of those solvents in the finished product (often alcohol). 

The oil is essential, in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance - the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. Today, most essential oils are distilled. Raw plant material, consisting of the flowers, leave, roots, bark, wood, seeds, or peel are placed into the distillation equipment. As it is heated, steam passes through the plant material which vaporizes its volatile compounds. These vapors flow through a coil where they condense back to liquid. Some essential oils require a great deal of plant matter that needs to be harvested under specific conditions which leads to a very high cost. For example, it takes about 10,000 lbs of roses to create one pound of rose essential oil, which could cost about $1,000 per ounce.Hydrolized Oat ProteinHydrolized oat protein can be used to improve properties of creams and lotions to impart a soft, cushiony feel on the skin, giving it a near velvet smoothness after drying. Oats in almost all forms have been used since the beginning of time in the treatment of skin ailments where they are skin softening, soothing and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Applied neat, it forms a light, shiny flexible film which dries with almost no tack. Studies have shown that hydrolyzed oats retain significantly more moisture at all humidities, gaining up to 50% more mousture at relative low humidity when moisture is needed most.Jojoba oilJojoba 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.Olive OilOlive oil is a fat obtained from the olive tree, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. Olive oil is used in soap primarily for its exceptionally mild, slippery, and creamy lather. It makes a long lasting bar that produces tiny bubbles.Palm OilPalm oil is an edible oil obtained from the pulp of the fruit, not the kernel. In soap, it is known for its ability to create a hard bar of soap, and also works to stabilize coconut oil's short lasting bubbles with smooth, creamy ones. Palm oil is often used as a substitute for traditional animal fats such as lard or tallow. 

The use of palm oil in food products around the world has attracted the concern of environmental activist groups. The high oil yield of the trees has encouraged wider cultivation, leading to the clearing of forests in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. This has resulted in a significant acerage losses of natural habitat for the orangutan (which is endangered). In 2004, an industry group called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed to work with the industry to address these concerns. We strive to buy our palm oil from suppliers that are members of the RSPO.PanthenolPanthenol, 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.SLSSodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant and a detergent. It is a cheap ingredient that is often added to bath products to produce lushious 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.SLSASodium Laurly Sulfoacetate (SLSA) is a very similar sounding product, and is often used the same way in bath products. Some people would consider SLSA a 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 molocule 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.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 liquid a lye solution is created. This solution, when mixed with fats and oils cause a chemical reaction called saponification. The result of 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 soap, so many soap makers will leave it off of their lables to not raise any questions with their customers. The need for sodium hydroxide is built in to the definition of soap; it must be in there.

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 been consumed in the chemical reaction called saponification. The inputs to the chemical reaction are oils and sodium hydroxide and the resulting products of the chemical reaction are soap and glycerin.

Sodium LactateSodium lactate is a liquid salt naturally derived from the natural fermentation of sugars found in corn and beets. It is a humectant, which draws moisture to the skin, much like glycerin. Sodium lactate is naturally produced in the skin, and also occurs naturally in all animal and human muscle tissue. When compared to glycerin, sodium lactacte has a less sticky feel, and is more effective at moisturizing your skin.

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