I bet the store bought soap that you are using has some of the following ingredients (go on, check!);
So what does synthetic mean?
The ingredients used in synthetic fragrances are man-made (they are not naturally occurring substances). Synthetic aromatic raw materials have either been chemically created (mostly from petroleum or mineral oils), or started as natural and have had their chemical structure modified. Synthetic fragrances are really popular as they are cheap and have a consistent scent.
I have been tempted to use fragrance oils instead of essential oils in my soaps so that I could produce each bar at a lower cost and sell it at a lower cost to compete with store bought prices. I thought it would even help to expand my range (you can’t get a salted caramel essential oil or a pina colada essential oil, for example, because it doesn’t occur in our natural world. They are man-made scents).
Some people don’t mind using synthetic ingredients and that is fine but sometimes we don’t realise just how many there are in our products.
What about Palm Oil? What is wrong with that? Its natural isn’t it?
Yes it is, but Palm Oil is one of the cheapest and most widely used oils in the world. The industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. If you use or make products with Palm Oil, make sure it is sustainable.
Then there is Tallow, so… if you are a vegan or supportive of animal rights, this one may be important ingredient for you to consider and could be a deal breaker. I know that Tallow has been used for, well, ‘forever’ in making soaps and I think that making use of all parts of an animal that is already dead and not leaving any to be wasted is a positive and respectful thing, especially if you are rending the fat from the animal yourself, in a self sufficient farming situation, for example, but I understand that some people are uncomfortable with this ingredient.
The soaps that I hand make at Willow’s Wonder are regularly made with organic virgin, cold pressed Coconut oil, Deluxe Shea butter (Grade A, 100% pure certified organic and fair trade practices), Olive Oil and certified organic Castor Oil. I also use natural occurring Mica’s and other organic colours such as Activated Charcoal, clays, Cocoa powder, coffees and teas etc. Sometimes I add other ingredients such as milks and yogurt, seeds, oatmeal, and dried flowers. I do not use any of the synthetic ingredients mentioned earlier.
Finally, I encourage you to buy and use handmade because you know your money is going directly to a small business owner trying to support their family and not a millionaire CEO of a massive company waiting to get his next Porsche.
Until next time in the world of Willows Wonder.