F.A.Q. What is "real" soap?
Soap, real soap, is created by adding oils to a mixture of dissolved lye, also known as sodium hydroxide. There is a chemical reaction that takes place and a salt is created.
Real soap is not a detergent. It isn't like the "beauty bars" found in the aisle of your local grocery store.
What makes good soap? Good soap is about finding the proper balance between oils, lye, and liquid. It is the understanding that each oil lends specific properties to the soap created. It is using that knowledge wisely to create a balanced recipe. A good bar of soap will be hard, last a long time, be mild, and gently cleanses without stripping the skin of natural oils.
What is special about Earth Muffin Procucts?
Soapmaking and formulation is truly both art and science. It is far deeper than just lovely color and adding fragrance. We invest time and research to come up with our favorite formulas. Earth Muffin offers you uniquely created bath and body products formulated to be a superior product. We've chosen high quality, conditioning oils and have added natural colorants and only skin-safe fragrances and essential oils from trusted suppliers.
Do you use animal fats?
All products for sale on this site are made of pure vegetable based oils. The only exception is the extraordinary Emu Soap found on the Specialty Soaps page.
So how do you pick which oils you'll use? Not all oils are created equal. There are differences between the SAME oil even! We spend a little more on our oils... Our essential oils are NOT solvent extracted. They are steam distilled. Our olive oil is NOT solvent extracted! Could we have saved a little money? Yes, but we couldn't do it in good conscience. The majority of our customers are very health conscious and we felt they wouldn't have chosen this for themselves. Nor would we choose it for our family.
Are your soaps good for my sensitive, dry skin?
If you have particularly sensitive skin, I would suggest trying Fragrance Free Avocado & Calendula. There are no additives to irritate the skin and we've added mango, avocado, and calendula petals for an extraordinarily gentle bar of soap.
Why do your labels have ingredients listed like that?
Good question! By US laws, we can list, "Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Olive Oil", however, since we do international business, we have made the decision to use proper INCI labeling. Laws of other countries, mandate that they have INCI labeling, so we have provided this extra service for our overseas wholesale customers.
Well, that makes sense... But why does the essential oil blend read: Fragrance (Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils)?
This is a great question! All of our soaps, most of our lotions, all of our bath care... Almost all of the essential oil blends for these products are dreamed up and blended by us. Sometimes a blend has been inspired by another blend, sometimes they are completely unique, created solely by us... In either case, they represent a lot of hard work, deciding just which essential oils will provide the right scent! These are proprietary blends and we do not want to have them duplicated. INCI labeling requires we either list each essential oil out, or use the word FRAGRANCE. Rest assured, if there is a fragrance oil, it is listed as such!
Why do you carry soaps, lotions, etc., that are scented with fragrance oils?
I'm glad you asked! We had a very hard time deciding on this. Our passion is with essential oils! However, we've been requested over and over again to carry fragrance oils. We have finally decided to offer a few select fragrances for our customers. Do realize our first choice is always unscented or scented with essential oil. In some cases we would not be able to offer a scent to our customer due to prohibitive costs on certain absolutes, resins, and essential oils - like rose, sandalwood, jasmine, amber, etc., and so have decided to offer these well loved scents from our most trusted suppliers.
Must you use lye?
For soap, you must use sodium or potassium hydroxide... Lye. There is absolutely no alternative to make real soap. However, properly formulated, there is absolutely NO lye left in your soap when it is cured. The chemical reaction between the lye and the oils is such that the by-product, soap, is created. We superfat all of our soaps. This means there is more oil in the recipe than needed to complete the saponification process. When the soap is fully cured, it is hard, smooth, mild, and has absolutely no lye leftover.
What about glycerin soap? Isn't it superior? Glycerin soap... Ah, the marketing genius of big companies! All real soap contains glycerin. It is the big companies that came up with the idea to strip real soap of wonderful glycerin and market it separately. We choose to give you the whole soap. It naturally contains glycerin as well as superior oils and butters.
Please feel free to contact us with any of your questions! We welcome questions about our oils, our ethics, and of course, our products! It is our goal to not only provide safe, natural products, but to also educate... And often to BE educated! We like hearing from our customers!