F A Q :
What makes Ellie’s Handmade Soap “all-natural”?
All of the ingredients I use in my soap come from natural plant-based sources such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. I don't use artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, or detergents in any of my soaps. Many handmade soap companies add brightly colored dyes and artificial fragrances to their soaps, but I think soap is better without all that. Instead, I use natural essential oils to scent the soaps, and let the herbs, spices, coffee and nurishing extras like honey give the soaps their natural colors.
So why is "all-natural" better? Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it absorbs whatever you put on it - not such great news if you're using products loaded with dyes, preservatives and chemical fragrances! Natural products work with your skin, keeping it heathy, beautiful, and functioning at its best.
How are essential oils different from fragrance oils?
Essential oils are natural, fragrant, therapeutic botanical oils that come directly from plants, flowers, herbs, spices, and fruits. To make essential oils, large quantities of fresh flowers, leaves, and other fragrant plant material (such as citrus peels or cinnamon bark) are pressed or steam distilled to release their natural oils. Essential oils contribute clean beautiful scents to our soaps, but they also carry the healing properties and skin care benefits of the plants themselves. To learn more about natural essential oils, read Our Ingredients.
Fragrance oils are synthetically produced chemical compounds. While fragrance oils are available in an endless array of scents, they not only add zero skin care benefits to the soap, they often irritate sensitive skin and noses, and they can dry out your skin. Most fragrances contain chemical stablizers called phthalates, which are shown to have harmful effects even with relatively low levels of use.
How is handmade soap different from store-bought soap?
It’s all about the ingredients! My handmade soaps are made from moisturizing vegetable oils that nourish and protect your skin. Commercially mass-produced soaps are made from tallow (animal fat) and other low-cost oils that offer negligible skin care benefits. Handmade soaps are rich in glycerin, a natural skin-softening moisturizer that is created during the soapmaking process. Soapmaking factories remove the natural glycerine from their soaps so that it can be sold separately.
Commercial soap companies also rely on synthetic detergents, such as sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) to make their "soaps" lather and clean, but the result is a harsh detergant bar that strips your skin and leaves it tight and dry, and that's not really soap at all. My handmade soaps are gentle and 100% natural, have a rich creamy lather, and clean your skin without drying it out. Once you treat your skin to natural handmade soap, you’ll never want to use anything else!
Is your handmade soap good for sensitive skin?
Absolutely! Ellie's Handmade Soap is a wonderful choice for sensitive or easily irritated skin. They are naturally gentle and do not contain any of the chemical additives that are often responsible for skin irritation. Everyone’s skin is different, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, try one of my soaps that are especially recommended for your skin type, such as Shea Butter & Olive or Honey Blossom.
What are your most popular soaps ?
All of them! I used to make as many as 19 kinds of soap, but over the years a handful of them always stood out as customer favorites. In 2011, I discontinued over half of the soap scents and ended up with just the proven bestsellers, which are the 9 kinds offered today. The 2 very top-selling soaps are Lavender Oatmeal and Honey Blossom.
How long does a bar of soap last?
A full sized bar of my handmade soap will last anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on use. Because there is lots of natural glycerin in handmade soap, and because there's no synthetic chemicals to act as hardening agents, handmade soap is usually a little softer than store-bought soap, but with proper care it will last even longer than regular soaps. If you use it in the shower (which I highly recommend!), be sure to keep it on a ledge where it stays dry between uses.
Or, visit NS Pottery on Etsy for wonderful pottery soap dishes, handmade in Ohio, and specifically designed to keep your handmade soaps dry.