SoapQuest aims to use high-quality ingredients free of harsh chemicals, parabens, and phthalates; as well as only using cruelty free, ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients. Our goal is to treat your skin with care, providing it with nourishment and moisture. Below you'll find a list of all the ingredients you may find and why.
Be sure to check the ingredients on each individual product page, to know exactly what ingredients are in that soap.
Coconut Oil is a staple for creating a harder, longer lasting bar of soap, as well as that bubbly lather we all like. But that's not all. Coconut oil is also good for your skin. It is full of nutrients and minerals that provide moisture to your skin, while also removing dirt and dead skin cells. Coconut oil also has an acid profile that has antimicrobial properties that can help reduce and prevent acne.
And let's not forget about our aging skin; coconut oil has antioxidants that can firm and help prevent wrinkles. Although too much coconut oil may be drying for some skin types, SoapQuest uses a higher "superfat" to account for this. For our customers with extreme skin sensitivities or skin ailments, we offer a specialty bar, Naked, that has no coconut oil.
Not just for cooking, Olive Oil is a great anti-aging weapon; able to penetrate deep into your skin to provide nourishment and moisture without clogging pores. Olive contains polyphenols and oleic acid, which is great at improving skin tone and texture and replenishing oils we tend to lose as we get older.
Olive oil is great for everyone, from your newborn baby to the elderly. It is hypoallergenic and can often provide relief to those with conditions like eczema and Psoriasis without it flaring up. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is loaded with vitamins A and E, which can create healthier skin by helping your body to produce essential proteins and boost cell growth.
Palm oil is one of those controversial ingredients. At SoapQuest, we only use RSPO Certified Sustainable palm oil. Our supplier has created the "Greener Life Club" which ensures they only offer responsibly produced products which focus on the following four aspects:
• Carbon footprint
• Animal friendly
• Fair trade
Palm oil adds hardness to a bar to keep it lasting longer, as well as a stable, creamy lather. While, coconut oil also adds hardness to bars, it can be to drying if used in large amounts. This is where palm comes it. It's adds the hardness, without any drying. It contains Vitamins A and E, which we know are great for your skin. Palm oil is one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants; 15 times the amount of carrots in fact. This amount can help to boost the immunes system, as well as post pone those pesky wrinkles and protect cell membranes. Palm oil may prevent acne breakouts, improve elasticity of the skin, and protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
I can't say enough about Shea Butter. It's one of those luxury ingredients I want to put into everything. It has been used for centuries to moisturize and replenish the skin. We love getting our shea butter from Baraka Shea Butter. It's pure, unrefined, and every purchase provides income to the hardworking rural women in Ghana.
It has been suggested that Shea Butter protects the skin against sun damage, and thanks to its vitamins A and E, it can also protect again other environmental damage. She butter has an SPF of six and helps the skin to retain moisture. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and those good ole antioxidants to help aid the skin with any ailments.
Shea butter is famous for being one of the best natural moisturizers you can find. Not only does it have Vitamins A and E, which can help the skin heal from things like burns and scars, it also contains Vitamin F, which can help the skin against conditions like eczema. The properties and vitamins in shea are easy to absorb and are similar to your own natural oils.
The fatty acids in Shea Butter are anti-aging, stimulating collagen growth and enhancing skin elasticity. Shea butter is great for both young and old. It is suitable for the sensitive skin of babies, people with skin conditions like eczema, and can even calm your acne.
This is another "luxury" ingredient that I absolute love using. Here in Colorado, products derived from hemp are plentiful and we are able to find high-quality oil here. Hempseed oil is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds. But don't be confused, Hemp oil is not made from the cannabis flower and therefore does not have THC or CBD in it. This is safe for everyone in the family - babies, pregnant/breastfeeding women, kids, dads, moms, seniors, you name it.
Hemp oil has some really good stuff. I'm talking about those Essential Fatty Acids; omegas 3 and 6. Hemp oil gets down to the cellular level to nourish your skin. Those omegas? They have anti-inflammatory properties; helping to soothe and calm irritated skin, reduce acne breakouts, as well as redness and inflammation.
Dry skin, oily skin, combination, and normal?Hempseed oil has you covered. Hemp oil has properties similar to your natural oils, so it won't strip the skin. It's gentle, while still being able to cleanse, without that tight feeling. It has some more of that anti-aging properties we love, capable of slowing down oxidation caused by free radicals.
Hemp oil does not contain Triclosan, which can be found it many anti-bacterial and anti-fungal soaps. Triclosan causes inflammation and dry skin, while also increasing the risk of colitis and colon cancer. Thanks, I'll pass. Hemp oil has its own antibacterial properties without the worry of harmful chemicals.
Hemp oil is another ingredient that naturally has it's own SPF. Like Shea butter, this has a rating of 6, so if you've got a nasty sunburn, try using soap made with hempseed oil to help heal your skin faster without aggravation.
Sunburns of course isn't the only reason to use soap made with this amazing oil. Research has shown hemp oil to improve eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea thanks to those essential fatty acids we mentioned above.
Remeber being forced to choke down that spoonful of castor oil as a kid? Yep, this is that same one.
Castor oil is really in its own category. The main purpose is to give your soap a creamy lather. Castor is thick and sticky, so if you use too much and can make your bar of soap mushy. But in just the right amounts, it's the perfect companion to your other oils and butters.
Because it has a unique quality to it, it does have the ability to be absorbed quickly and easily into the skin, creating an easy source of moisture with only a small amount. This also stimulates collagen and elastin production.
And just like the other ingredients we like to use, Castor oil also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and is also high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9. It's traditionally been used to treat acne and other skin conditions.
Kaolin Clay and Other Clays
Clays have several purposes. The most obvious is using them to naturally color soap. This is the case for our Simply Lavender bar, which uses purple Brazilian clay, and for our salt bar, Lily By The Bay, which uses rose clay. White Kaolin clay also imparts a natural white. These clays, and others like them, are a great way for us to color our soaps naturally for those who don't like the idea of micas.
But Kaolin clay is used as a main staple in all recipes for other reasons. Clay itself has been used by many soapers as a way to "anchor" or retain the scents they use for much longer. I myself have felt a difference in how long the fragrance lasts when using kaolin clay and have made it a main ingredient in my recipes ever since.
Don't be fooled though, clay wears many hats and one of the other reasons we love it in our soap, is it works as a gentle and mild cleanser and exfoliate; getting rid of dead and dull skin, absorbing impurities and extra oil from your pores, and making your skin feel silky and smooth. It also can tighten and tone the skin, while retaining moisture.
Sodium lactate to you the consumer really isn't that special. It's a liquid salt derived from the fermentation of sugars found in corn and beets. Its only really purpose is to harden the soap in the mold faster, so we can unmold it quicker. It really is for those people like me who are rather impatient. It also does help the bar to last longer in the shower.
Tussah Silk is produced by the Tussah Silkworm. This is the one non-plant-based ingredient I use.
These silkworms eat oak leaves and other leaves rich in tannin, which give the silk a pale golden to brown color. This really only has one purpose. Tussah silk adds a soft, silky, luxurious feel to soaps. It adds this "slippery" feel to the soaps and gives it a shinier appearance. This is one of those luxury ingredients that is less about the skin benefits and more about the feel of the soap as it glides across the skin. We deserve to be a little bougie sometimes.
Many suppliers unfortunately obtain their silk by harvesting the cocoons of these moths on farms; growing them on frames, and then boiling them alive to prevent the moths from cutting the silk threads as they chew their way out. SoapQuest is cruelty-free though, so we obtain our Tussah Silk from a cruelty-free supplier.
Cruelty free tussah silk is obtained in the wild, after the silk moth has emerged. They are not grown in frames on farms or boiled alive. The adult moth has already exited the cocoon by the time they have been harvested. The silk is also not bleached, like the commercially harvested silk is and it does not have any added antibiotics, which are required to keep the moths on the farms healthy enough to grow in crowded frames.
While wild harvested silk is coarser than its commercial counterpart, it still contains the peptides and proteins that make the soap silky and shiny.
This oil is only found in our Naked and Refresh bars. I personally use Refresh daily on my face.
Tamanu Oil has been used across Polynesian communities for its skin healing and infection healing benefits for hundreds of years. It was even considered sacred at one time because of these properties. Prior to the 20th century, Tamanu oil was used to treat neuropathy conditions like shingles and was second to none. Tamanu oil has shown to have great benefits treating eczema, psoriasis, reducing the appearance of scars and pigmentation issues, as well as skin allergies.
Tamanu Oil is also very good at wound healing due to its cicatrisant and anticoagulant properties.
This oil has some of the best confirmed benefits I've come across. It's great for acne due to it's antibacterial properities, and helps to regenerate the skin by stimulating growth of healthy cells, which can reduce scars.
Psoriasis, Eczema, and rosacea are some of those inflammatory conditions that Tamanu Oil really does seem to work on. The amount of information speaking to it is hard to ignore. Tamanu oil can provide relief for inflammation. Studies have actually confirned that callophyllolide which was isolated from Tamanu Oil, could relieve histamine induced inflammation.
And just like reducing acne scars, it can also be used on any scars and even stretch marks because it does a great job at encouraging the growth of new cells.
Other studies have shown that it may counteract damage caused by over exposure to the sun, including hyper pigmentation, loses in elasticity, and collagen. Results have also shown that Tamanu Oil may have the ability to combat the growth of cancer cells.
Although the research is small, it is promising.
Mango Seed Butter
Mango Seed Butter has very similar properties to Shea Butter but is usually more expensive. It is currently only used in two bars: Naked and Sweet Orchard.
Mango Seed Butter moisturizes as well as Shea Butter but isn't greasy like Shea can be. Mango Seed Butter helps with the hardness of the bars, while also adding luxurious conditioning and moisturizing too. Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Kokum Butter are often substituted for one another due to how close in properties they are.
Here's another little powerhouse selected specifically for our Naked bar.
Oatmeal has a natural oil that can coat, moisturize, and protect the skin, while gently cleansing and correcting the pH of itchy or inflamed skin, acting as a pH buffer. Its natural properties lend to an ability to clean and retain moisture, while improving your skins natural barriers, which is especially helpful to those who have rosacea. Additionally, it has amazing antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Colloidal oats help to suppress the urge to scratch dry and irritated skin caused by conditions such as: acne; eczema; psoriasis; sunburn; sores; chicken pox; poison ivy, oak or sumac; shingles; rosacea; and prickly heat.
Cocoa Butter is similar to Shea and Mango butter. It also imparts a delicious chocolatey scent when you use the undeodorized kind, which we do. You'll find Cocoa Butter in Naked, Refresh, and our Cashmere Sweater bars.
Cocoa Butter penetrates deep into your skin for intense hydration. It is loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids, which is great for those with skin inflammations like psoriasis, eczema, rashes, and other conditions.
Research has also shown it to help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
And let's not forget those antioxidants are also great at neutralizing those free radicals, which help to reduce the signs of aging.
Sweet Almond Oil
We only use this in our Sweet Orchard and Refresh bar, but not because it isn't a great, skin loving oil, but simply because we don't want those with nut allergies to be left out.
This is another great moisturizer that works for all skin types. It contains many key nutrients and vitamins that help to nourish and revitalize the skin. Sweet Almond Oil has also shown to reduce itchy skin caused by eczema and dermatitis.
Aloe Vera Juice
If you were like me when you were a kid, chances are your mom rubbed freshly cut aloe on your cuts. And somehow it made it better. This wasn't all in your head though. Aloe very is a natural antiseptic that has a cooling soothing property to it, which is great for soothing irritated skin.
Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It contains a hormone called Gibberellins, which is a sort of growth hormone for our skin cells, which in turn help it to heal quicker, while minimizing scars. The extra skin cell growth also keeps our skin looking refreshed and younger.
Aloe is also a great natural moisturizer without the oily feel, as it contains natural electrolytes, similar to those found in coconut water.
You may find Aloe Vera Juice used in place of distilled water in a few of bars like Naked.
While you'll currently only find this in our Berries and Cream bar, we love the creaminess this gives and would like to create more bars using it.
Coconut Milk isn't like Coconut oil. Coconut Oil retains more nutrients that are lost during the oil pressing process.
Coconut milk cleanses skin from the inside so it helps to avoid excessive dryness. Coconut milk is gentle so it's great for sensitive skin too.
It's packed full of micronutrients to nourish your skin; vitamins to slow the aging process and is loaded with antioxidants.
Did we mention it also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties?
You'll find activated charcoal in a few bars such as Black velvet and Dragon's breath.
It is used not just as colorant when you want a smooth black, but it also is an amazing detoxifier.
It is known to be great for oily skin due to its ability to absorb toxins and remove deep down dirt, treating acne prone skin, while also providing anti-inflammatory properties. It washes away easily, leaving your skin feeling smooth.
Activated charcoal may also help with evening skin tone and reducing dark spots, which is why you find it in face masks often.
Like, clays, Turmeric powder can serve several different purposes. The first being a natural colorant. But we've used it in our Refresh bar for another reason.
Turmeric has a unique ability to lighten the skin, and reduce both dark spots and blemishes, evening skin tone, even for those with sensitive skin. It's becoming more and more known for treating age spots and other pigmentation issues. It may even help with stretch marks and other scars.
It's an anti-inflammatory ingredient (we really like those here), that can help with acne and promote healing.
And we have those amazing antioxidants here to combat those free radicals, so we stay looking younger for longer.
(Did I mention I love using our Refresh bar on my face?)
Just like Fragrance oils, we carefully select essential oils to go with the perfect soap. The essential oils SoapQuest uses are 100% natural, for those who are still unsure of using fragrance oils or find that fragrances irritate their skin. They are obtained by distillation or cold pressing plants to extract their scent or "essence". Refresh and Simply Lavender are two bars we currently offer that only use essential oils. Essential Oils can also offer additional benefits.
Lavender Essential Oil may alleviate headaches; improve sleep quality; increase relaxation; reduce anxiety; and support brain function.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is a fast-acting antibacterial and anti-fungal with antiviral properties, allowing it to fight skin infections. It is considered to be a natural hand sanitizer.
Olive Oil Infusion (Chamomile, Comfrey, Calendula)
We already know the benefits of olive oil, so let's talk about the specific infusions that you find in our Naked bar.
Chamomile is great for sensitive skin because it soothes and calms inflammation. It can help with minor cuts, burns, sunburns. It's also antibacterial and is great for acne. It can give a natural glow and even brighten scars and hyperpigmentation. Chamomile is also reported to aid in healing eczema and psoriasis.
Comfrey works to regenerate new cell growth, heal wounds, and soothe skin due to something called Allantoin. It can also help to heal rashes, sunburns, and other skin irritations. "Studies in Europe show it’s effective in treating eczema, dermatitis, and viral skin infections."
Research conducted by the University of Liverpool also suggested that there are anti-aging properties found within comfrey. Allantoin also acts as a softener or keratinolytic, which moisturizes the skin and softens keratin.
Calendula is known to have natural anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial and healing benefits; so, it's great for rashes, scratches, eczema, psoriasis, chapped skin, insect bites, and damaged skin. It is gentle and great for soothing irritated, itchy, dry sensitive skin.
Studies have shown calendula can help speed up wound healing and improve symptoms such as redness, swelling, and bruising. Another study has shown calendula to be useful for treating and preventing acne. "Although there’s no research to support it, some people use calendula oil to treat eczema. However, one study found it can help relieve pain from dermatitis in people receiving radiation for breast cancer." In another study, calendula was found to be effective in treating diaper rash. Due to its wound healing properties, it may also be an effective choice in treating psoriasis and contact dermatitis. In another study, calendula was found to improve skin hydration and firmness.
Micas and Titanium Dioxide
We all love a little color in our life, right? One of the best parts of soapmaking is creating colorful bright designs. While there are more "natural" options, you are limited to what you can achieve. Enter Micas.
At SoapQuest we use two suppliers, who only provide high quality, ethically sourced, cosmetic grade micas, that are safe for use in soap and other bath products, following strict FDA guidelines.
They do not test products on animals, nor do they purchase for any other suppliers or manufacturers that participate in animal testing or cruelty.
They also certify that all products are 100% vegan.
"Most mica used in cosmetics and soap, begin with naturally mined mica that is ground to a fine powder. This mica powder is grey-white in color until it is then coated with pigments (iron oxides, ultramarines or dyes).
Therefore, colored micas are comprised of pigments on a mica substrate (underlying substance). Those pigments, however, are not natural. They are lab-created to avoid the unhealthy levels of lead, arsenic and mercury that mined pigments contain." - Madmicas
We all love to smell good, right? Selecting the perfect fragrance to go with the perfect color combo is one of the most exiting aspects of soapmaking; at least for me.
So what is a fragrance oil exactly? Well, that question is a bit harder to answer. Fragrance oils fall under the "trade Secret" status of the FDA. Over 3500 various chemicals, essential oils, and other components can be found in any one fragrance. The FDA doesn't regulate this unfortunately.
There is, however, The International Fragrance Association, which takes data, evaluates it, and publishes it for usage. These guidelines make recommendations for which materials are safe to use in fragranced oils and how much fragrance oil is safe for the skin. SoapQuest never uses more than the recommended amount of fragrance in any given batch. We also ensure that our fragrance oil suppliers follow the guidelines for use of approved materials in the creation of their fragrances. We only use reputable companies and try to source those who offer phthalate free and Paraben Free fragrances. And as always, we purchase from those who are cruelty free.
If you're concerned about a particular fragrance in one of our bars, each bar description has the name of the fragrance oil used, which links to the website that it was purchased from. From there, you should be able to find common allergen statements that list any known allergens found within that particular formula. If the website does not have that information, the supplier is required to provide it upon request.
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
The one ingredient everyone is scared of and yet it is the most essential ingredient to making soap. Read this out loud with me: YOU CANNOT MAKE TRUE SOAP WITHOUT LYE. Say it again for the people in the back! YOU CANNOT MAKE TRUE SOAP WITHOUT LYE.
Handmade soap is made from combining water, sodium hydroxide (also known as lye), and various oils/fats, such as the ones above. When combined, a chemical reaction occurs called saponification. The fats and oils react with the sodium hydroxide to create soap and glycerin. When soap is made properly, there is no sodium hydroxide remaining in the finished product. This chemical reaction completely changes the molecular structure of lye and creates a whole new structure, which we know as soap. We also add extra oils, called our "Superfat" which ensures that absolutely no lye remains in the finished bar of soap.
Any soapmaking that states they do not use lye in their soap are misleading you or uneducated in the ingredients they are using. I find this happens far too much with those who "make" melt and pour soap. While they personally are not required to handle lye; they use a soap base and just remelt it to create various designs. The soap base itself, however, was made by someone else who did handle that lye, using the same method we use to make our soap. So, while no, those soapmakers "don't use lye in their soaps", the Lye was still used; just earlier in the process before they began handling the soapbase.