We don't put anything into our soap that shouldn't go into our Lake.
We make clean soap, free of parabens, sulphates, triclosan, and phthalates. We do not use any synthetics dyes, fragrances, or fragrance oils. Our soaps are scented only by essential oils and natural ingredients, like oatmeal, aloe, and cucumber. We only use natural colorants like clay, tea, and spirulina. We do not use fragrance oils. We make our soap without palm oil.
We make cold process and hot process soap from scratch. We do not use pre-made blocks of soap starter, called "melt and pour." We start with a combination of oils, butters, and liquids. We add the alkali sodium hydroxide, better known as lye, to react to and saponify the oils to make soap. We add essential oils, and we let our soap batter rest in hand-made wood soap molds. The soap rests and cures, then we hand-cut and hand stamp each bar.
We don't use parabens.
What's the big deal with parabens? According to some research, the body mistakes parabens for estrogen when they enter the blood stream, potentially resulting in decreasing muscle mass, increasing fat deposits, and causing early onset of puberty and potentially causing reproductive disorders. What? Just say no to parabens.
Why do commercial soapers use them in the first place? They prevent growth of mold, bacteria, and yeast in cosmetic products. Buy your soap fresh and local, and you do not need this preservative.
The FDA does not currently regulate the use of parabens in soap in the United States. Parabens are banned in Europe.
We don't use palm oil.
The vast majority of hand-made soapers use palm oil. We do not. Our concern with palm oil is how it is harvested. The United Nations has linked palm oil plantations to rainforest loss and species extinction. Our view is that if you can make clean, fresh soap without palm oil, why wouldn't you?
Many of our soaps are vegan.
We don't use lard, other animal fats, or animal milk in our soap. Most other soap companies do. They use lard or goat's milk to make a hard, lathery bar. When we tested our soap recipes, we did not think that animal products made a better bar a soap. Our testers agreed. So we ditched the animal products completely. We do occasionally use local honey in some of our soaps.
We don't use sulphates.
These are the chemicals that make commercial soaps soapy and foamy. But they irritate a lot of us. The lather in our soap comes from the blend of oils and butter we use.
We don't use synthetic fragrances.
You will not see scents like "linen" and "rain" from the Kelleys Island Soap Co. That's because the only way to get those scents is by adding synthetic fragrance oils. We only use natural fragrances and essential oils. In our own experiences, synthetic fragrances make us itchy and give us headaches.
We don't use synthetic dyes.
These may or may not be listed as ingredients on your favorite commercial soap. According to some research, some synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant, and linked to ADHD in children. When used, they make soaps colorful and pretty, but we don't think it's worth it.
We don't use Triclosan.
Triclosan is an ingredient in antibacterial soap products. Problem is, some recent studies suggest this stuff promotes the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Worse, they say it makes dioxin, which is (A) a carcinogen, and (B) an ingredient in Agent Orange. They've been called "known endocrine disruptor." Sounds bad. Plus, you do not need Triclosan in soap to kill bacteria and viruses. Studies show that cleaning your hands for 30 seconds old-fashioned soap is just as effective as using antibacterial products.
We don't use Phthalates.
Commercial soap companies add phthalates to soap to change its texture. Some studies have linked them to reproductive difficulties. One study even tied phthalates to increased obesity.
So can I still get clean with your soap?
You sure can. Simplify your life. We do not need all of that stuff with us in our showers. We don't need it on our bodies. We don't need it in our sewers and in the lake. Use soap that is fresh and natural.