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What is the difference between "Handmade" and "Homemade" soap?
Well, an easy way to explain it is to imagine you were baking a cake. Melt and Pour "Hand Crafted or Handmade" soap is like making a cake using a box of pre-made mix. All you need to add is an egg and milk to get a consistent result. You also often don't know what exactly is in the mix. Cold Process "Homemade" soap making is more like making a cake from scratch. You follow a recipe and know exactly what ingredients you are adding.
What does “Cold Process” mean?
There are different methods of making soap. The one we believe creates the best quality bar of soap is called the cold process method. Passed down through generations, the cold process soap making method uses fat (we use vegetable oils) and lye which combine to create the byproduct, glycerine. After a minimum of 4 weeks of curing, no lye remains and the long-lasting bar provides ultimate moisturization in a level of luxury that only homemade products carry.
Where do you make all of your products?
With the exception of our candles (which are made off site by our fabulous local Candler, Lisa), all of our products are created in our production facility which is attached to Tara's home. During our Annual Garden Party, visitors can get a behind the scenes tour of our production room. We also offer guided group tours where visitors get an opportunity to experience our facility first-hand!.
What do you recommend for dry skin?
We usually ask " What type of soap are you using?". Most often, people use commercial soap or body wash which leaves the skin parched. Our bar soaps are made with plant oils. Glycerin in our soap bars is a natural by-product of cold process soap making. Commercial companies do not get their glycerin naturally, they add it in as a pre-made, external ingredient. Naturally-derived glycerin (like ours!) helps to lock in and seal the moisture of your skin. Unlike commercial soaps, which strip your skin of its natural oils, you will find you don't need as much (or any) lotion or moisturizer when you switch to homemade soap!
I have sensitive skin. What do you recommend?
In general, our skin has only become sensitive because of the chemicals and fabricated ingredients that are now in so many of our body care products. Using products that only contain natural ingredients is one way to make sure you won't irritate your skin. Our customers tell us our products are amazing to use on their sensitive skin. We recommend starting with products that contain natural essential oils. We have several bars formulated specifically for sensitive skin, just ask.
What is the shelf life for your products?
Some products such as bar soap and shampoo bars last longer than 2 years but you may find that the scent disappears with time. The only preservative we use is Vitamin E - a mild, natural ingredient which acts as a preservative in our lotions, face cream, body butters and lip balms. Expiry dates are based on the product being kept at room temperature or lower. If the product is stored in warm or humid temperatures, or if bacteria gets into the product from use of the product, the expiry date (life span) may be less than a year. Remember - no chemicals and no preservatives, so it's only natural our products do not have the same shelf life as commercial products.
Why do you use palm oil in your soap?
We believe in the use of sustainable palm oil in our products for many reasons, not the least of which is the quality of our soaps. Palm oil is used in soap making as a secondary lathering agent and also contributes to creating a hard bar of soap. We ONLY use sustainable palm oil from a member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) which is an organization that helps regulate and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. Sustainable palm oil trees contribute to supporting poverty reduction and protecting wildlife and the environment. The palm oil industry also offers jobs to people living in poverty in developing countries. You can learn more about sustainable palm oil here
Are any of your products tested on animals?
No, we never test our products on animals. We've always tested them on friends, family, customers and other enthusiastic volunteers who were excited about trying out new products.
Do you ever offer soap making courses?
We enjoy sharing our knowledge and love of making homemade products with our customers. During February, March and April we offer an "Introduction to Soap Making" course where you can learn the fascinating chemistry of soap making, the importance of ingredients, and additives, and the basic techniques of the cold process soap making method. Interested? Have a look here.
Do you make your essential oils?
No - we purchase our 100% pure essential oils from reputable Canadian companies. We grow many types of herbs and flowers in our gardens, but in order for us to produce enough plant material to make essential oils, we would need several acres of land per plant type! The herbs and flowers we do grow are harvested and dried so that they can be added in that form to many of our recipes.
When is the best time to see the Monarchs?
The best time to see the monarchs is during August and September; however, we have released butterflies as late as mid October! We are a certified Waystation and participate in a tagging program through Monarch Watch which runs out of the University of Kansas, USA. Only approximately 1 in 100 monarch caterpillars will survive to be a butterfly in the wild. By us protecting them in our enclosure, we significantly raise this percentage! Learn more about our Monarchs here
Where can I buy your products in stores?
You can find a complete list of our current retail partner locations here.
Can I bring back my empty containers and can I get refills?
We gladly take back our glass jars and foaming hand soap refill bottles for re-use. In fact, we reward our customers for being environmentally conscious by offering refunds on their next purchase! We offer refills of several different products. Interested? Contact Us to find out which products have refills before you recycle the containers.