We believe in natural ingredients, preferably sourced in the US. There isn’t a legal definition for natural ingredients, so let me tell you what we think qualifies.
We think of plant oils, such as Olive, Sunflower, Coconut, Babassu and Jojoba as being natural. Of course, Lanolin, which is washed away from sheep’s wool, is natural. These fats/oils are what deliver most of the benefits of our products.
Next, we think of products that are distilled from a plant source as being natural. This includes fractional distillation, which means they heat the plant source to a specific temperature and then distill it. Essential Oils, Glycerin, Stearic Acid and Myristic acid are products we use, which are derived in this manner.
Lye, either Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide, is one of the key ingredients in soap making. The process by which they make lye is more complicated than we understand. The part we do understand leads us to consider natural. Almost all soap meeting the FDA definition of soap will one or both of these types of lye in it.
So, where do we use chemicals? The short answer is the least amount possible, though there are some areas where you really need them.
- Scent Oil that performs well is hard to develop without chemicals. While we have scents, such as Lavender, that are pure essential oil, we also use scent oil that has synthetic components. Scent oil is generally 1.5-2.5% of a product
- Preservatives - Preservatives are required for products that contain much water, such as lotion and shave balm. There aren’t any good natural choices for this. We use Benzoic Acid +2PF because it seemed less controversial. It doesn’t contain parabens.
- Mixing oil and water is required to make lotions, body butter and most balms. There isn’t a complete solution that is natural. We use emulsifying wax, made from Cetearyl Alcohol and either Polysorbate 60 or Ceteareth-20 for our lotion and shaving balm. Products have 3-4% of this. We also use Stearic Acid, which we consider to be a natural product.
We review all chemicals used to make sure they meet common safety standards.