As per Health Canada regulations, my labeling follows the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) format. This can sometimes make interpreting labels difficult as it primarily uses latin or chemical names. This guide was created to help you understand what I use in my soap and other bath products.
Please let me know if there are any ingredients you have questions about and I would be happy to answer them. This list will be updated as necessary.
Activated charcoal: Primarily used as a colourant in soap.
Aqua (water): I use only distilled water to prevent contaminants from being introduced into my soap and other products.
Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) fruit: Shea butter is widely used in skincare as it has both vitamin A and E, it’s quickly absorbed into the skin, and is highly moisturizing.
CI#: CI (Colour Index) numbers are required by Health Canada to denote dyes and pigments used in cosmetics. All colours used are approved by Health Canada and within recommended limits. If you have a question about a specific colourant, please feel free to contact me.
Citric acid: Reacts with baking soda to create fizz in bath bombs and salts. Reduces pH.
Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil: Coconut oil has always been a popular soapmaking oil, but is also a mainstay in other bath and beauty products. In soap, it contributes to lather and cleansing.
Glycerin: Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the saponification reaction. It’s a humectant which means it helps draw moisture to skin.
Kaolin clay: A mild clay suitable for most skin types.
Lard: Lard is a traditional soapmaking oil used for centuries. It helps create a hard, white bar of soap. As lard is closer to our own skin than other oils, it is gentle and moisturizing. In soapmaking, the alternative is usually palm oil and I am very against the destruction of the rain forests. Lard is usually a waste product of the meat industry and using it in soap keeps it out of the landfills.
Magnesium sulfate: Epsom salt. A standard salt included in bath salts. Good for relaxation and dissolves easily.
Mica: A mineral to which pigments are applied. Provides shimmer.
Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil: Olive oil is a popular oil as it is mild and not too heavy. It is the only oil used in traditional Castile soap.
Parfum: Fragrance. I only use fragrances that approved for use on skin and within safe limits.
Polysorbate 80: An emulsifier which disperses oil in water. This prevents an “oil slick” from forming in the tub when using bath products containing oils.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil: Sweet almond oil is a lightweight oil that is known for its skin-loving properties and high amounts of vitamin A.
Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil: Castor oil helps draw moisture to skin. In soap, it provides stability to the bubbles provided by the other oils.
Sea salt: Salt produced from the evaporation of seawater. In soap, it helps harden the bar. In bath salts, they dissolve easily and help with relaxation.
Sodium almondate: Soap made from sweet almond oil.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda): Used to create a reaction with citric acid in bath bombs and salts. Softens water.
Sodium castorate: Soap made from castor oil.
Sodium cocoa butterate: Soap made from cocoa butter.
Sodium cocoate: Soap made from coconut oil.
Sodium hydroxide (lye): Lye is a necessary ingredient in making soap by reacting with the oils in a process called saponification. It is a caustic substance, but at the end of the soapmaking process there is no lye left in the soap. This is why lye is not included on the label (as per Health Canada regulations).
Sodium lardate: Soap made from lard.
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate: A gentle surfactant used to create foam and bubbles. Not to be confused with SLS.
Sodium olivate: Soap made from olive oil.
Sodium shea butterate: Soap made from shea butter.
Sucrose (sugar): Boosts bubbles in soap and provides exfoliation in scrubs.
Tapioca starch: Helps disperse fragrance in bath salts and provides a silky feel to the water.
Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter: Cocoa butter creates a protective barrier on skin which helps seal in moisture.