About Oils/Fats/Milk in Soap

Oils & Fats We Use in Our Handcrafted Soaps:


croatian_olive-oils-in-handcrafted-soapsOlive Oil: Olive oil is a great choice for grilling and marinating, for salad dressing and many other delicious uses. But it’s also wonderful for your skin! Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat obtained from pressing wholes olives, which are native to the Mediterranean region. Production of olive oil may have originated as long ago as 4,000 BC. Egyptians used it along with beeswax as a cleanser, moisturizer, and antibacterial agent since the times of the Pharaohs. Olive oil contains several mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit skin, in particular linoleic acid, a compound not made by the body, but which prevents water from evaporating. So olive oil in soap acts as a natural emollient; it moisturizes, soothes and softens skin. Read more about olive oil as an ancient beauty aid. It’s a very mild oil, but can sometimes give soap a “sticky” feel. The natural squalene in the oil may help prevent skin cell deterioration. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties, making it soothing for sunburns, skin rashes, eczema and psoriasis. While you may be quite familiar with Italian, Greek and Spanish olive oils, Croatia produces equally superior olive oil and has used it for cooking, cosmetic and medicinal purposes for millennia. The olive oil we use in our handcrafted soaps is imported from Dalmatia, and you will find it in every bar.


sunflower_oilSunflower Oil: Sunflower Oil is very similar to olive oil with a lighter/cleaner feel to it. It is a relatively lightweight oil that is best obtained through the cold pressing of sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil has many medicinal and cosmetic uses and may be helpful if you are suffering from acne, eczema, inflammation, general redness and irritation of the skin. It’s loaded with vitamins A, C, D and an extremely high amount of vitamin E, which is crucial for preventing skin cell damage from the sun’s ultraviolet light. The antioxidants found in sunflower oil can help reduce your risk of developing premature signs of aging. Sunflower oil can have a tendency to get “sticky” but using it in our soaps makes the skin feel wonderful. We would use it more, but too much can make the soap too soft. Find out more about sunflower oil, a natural skin care oil. Our sunflower oil is imported from Croatia and/or Herzegovina, and you will find it in nearly every bar of our luxury handcrafted soaps.


raw shea butterShea Butter: The stuff from which our shea butter handcrafted soaps are made is not really butter. It’s actually a yellowish vegetable fat that is extracted from the “nuts” or pits inside the fruit of a tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) that is native to the African savannah, south of the Sahara desert. Shea tree fruits are similar to other stone fruits like olive, cherry, peach and avocado. It is edible. Refined shea butter is pure white, has no aroma, and has practically none of the wonderful benefits for our skin left in it. Learn more about why we love shea butter in soap. Shea butter makes a lovely, creamy bar of soap, but too much can make the soap sticky and reduce the lather. We use only raw and unrefined shea butter in our products, and you will find it in every bar of our handcrafted soaps except Castile with Goat Milk.


palm_oilOrganic Palm Oil: Palm oil comes from the pulp of the fruit of the African oil palm, which is not the same as the coconut palm. When we use palm oil, we use organic “sustainable” palm, to help prevent deforestation in the tropical rain forest regions where it is harvested. Palm oil is in high demand not only for skin and hair care products but for bio-diesel fuels and as an edible non-hydrogenated oil. The demand has resulted in deforestation in some areas and loss of natural habitats for orangutans and Sumatran tigers. Organic palm oil, on the other hand, is renewable, sustainable and does not pollute the Earth. Our palm oil is organic and certified sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance. To be certified, products must come from forests that have met rigorous standards for protecting forestlands, communities and wildlife. The moisture content in palm oil is quite therapeutic for skin and hair. It’s lightweight, won’t clog pores and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. When used on hair, the saturated fats and lipids in it nourish the hair shaft and reduce dryness. Palm and similar oils, are necessary to make a solid, stable bar of soap that appeals to most people, and we use it in most of our handcrafted soaps.


coconut_oil2Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has a high moisture retaining capacity, so it acts as an excellent moisturizer for your skin. It’s also very effective as a sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Commercial moisturizers contain a lot of water, which may make you feel like your skin is being moisturized. But when the water dries, your skin will be dry again. Manufacturers also often add petroleum-based ingredients that prevent skin from breathing. Coconut oil helps strengthen underlying tissues and helps remove the excess dead skin cells that make your skin rough and flaky. It’s also a great natural moisturizer for your hair and lips. Coconut oil is anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-bacterial, and is said to be excellent at killing bacteria and infections. Coconut oil also adds to the hardness of a bar of soap and creates wonderful lather. We use it in nearly all of our handcrafted soaps.


raw cocoa butterCocoa Butter: Cocoa butter is the natural fat extracted from the cacao bean from South America and West Africa. It has to be grown near the equator; no other location will do. It’s used to make toiletries, skin care products, cocoa powder and chocolate. Cocoa butter has a delicious subtle chocolate aroma, and has natural antioxidants that prevent products containing it from going bad, thus increasing their shelf life for up to two years. Its emollient properties and smooth texture make it a perfect ingredient for soaps and lotions. It can be very helpful in alleviating psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. You will find cocoa butter in some of our handcrafted soaps, such as our Peppermint Chocolate Swirl Bar.


goat_milk2Goat Milk: Goat milk has been used for thousands of years as an organic cleanser and moisturizer. It contains superb emollient qualities and has vitamin A and many B vitamins, such as B12, B6, riboflavin and niacin. The alphahydroxy acids contained in goat milk, such as lactic acid, are believed to have rejuvenating effects on skin cells, and the rich butterfat content softens and moisturizes. The gentle exfoliation from the lactic acid also creates an appearance of more youthful-looking skin. Goat milk soap will not dry your skin out like many other soaps. In hair care, goat’s milk penetrates the hair shaft to restore moisture. Some of our most popular handcrafted soaps contain goat’s milk, including our Castile with Goat Milk Bar, Dalmatian Sage, Leaf & Clove Bar, Goat Milk, Oatmeal & Honey Bar, and our Rose Garden Bar.


Carrier Oils:

Carrier oils are generally cold-pressed vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of the plant (such as the nuts, seeds & kernels). They are used to dilute essential oils and absolutes and “carry” them directly to the skin. In handcrafted soaps, the fatty acids in the carrier oils add additional properties to soap to make them more conditioning or moisturizing. Most oils bought in the grocery store are not cold-pressed; they are heated and have less therapeutic benefit.

Pomegranate Seed Oil – Pomegranate Seed oil (Punica granatum) is pressed from the seeds of the pomegranate fruit. We love it in our handcrafted soaps because it helps to heal wounds, resulting in faster repair of skin cuts and scrapes. It also plays a positive role in the repair of sun-damaged skin and promotes regrowth of skin cells. It’s rich in potassium, antioxidants, high in polyphenols, with a potent source of punicic and ellagic acids. This natural oil is beneficial for many skin types or conditions, including: dry, irritated, prematurely aged, psoriasis, eczema, sun damaged, dull, cracked, or inflamed. You’ll find it in our Sweet Tart Pomegranate Pear soap bar.

Sweet Almond Oil – Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus amygdalus dulcis) is a light, luxurious oil that’s wonderful in handcrafted soaps. It’s renowned for its rich concentration of oleic and linoleic essential fatty acids which help to give it unparalleled penetrating, moisturizing and restructuring properties. Almond oil is known to soften, soothe, and condition the skin. You will find it in our Baba’s Kitchen Bar.