AWSB handcrafts soap using the slow cold process method, which means no external heat is used so the goodness of the natural ingredients are preserved for you as much as possible. Each bar begins with a high percentage of nutrient rich organic extra virgin olive oil to which we add organic coconut oil for fluffy lather, sustainable organic palm oil to increase longevity, organic high oleic sunflower oil for its superior skin care properties, and organic castor oil for a dense creamy lather that conditions and moisturizes. Next we add responsibly wildcrafted and organic botanicals, fragrant organic spices, purifying earth clays, and tropical butters for their exceptional skin care benefits. Finally, we scent our wildly aromatic olive oil soaps with only pure essential oils extracted from plants... fresh clean scents, the way mother nature intended.
Why use that fake evil corporate "soap" stuff when our real soap feels so good?
How To Tell Fake Soap from Real Soap
Fake soap is defined as all those mostly synthetic, so called "soaps" that are full of harsh detergents and petro chemicals...the ones that fill the shelves of many stores today. This includes the pretty clear (or sometimes opaque) "glycerin" soaps (many of them are made with cheap, harsh synthetic soap bases), most of the commercial shower gels and liquid soaps on the market, the highly touted "hypoallergenic" soaps recommended by main stream dermatologists (the word is meaningless), virtually all of those rock hard triple milled ooh-la-la overpriced French soaps, and even many of the supposedly "natural" soaps found at your local health food store! Check out the ingredients (if they bother to give you any) and you'll see just how many cheap oils & fats (like soy, canola, animal fat or tallow) and synthetic petro-chemicals their so called "soaps" really contain. Don't buy into it!
You can't add a pinch of herbs and a natural sounding name and make fake synthetic soap real. Read labels carefully, ask questions, inform yourself. Even if you've been using these harsh commercial soaps for years, after you read this page and try our natural soaps, you'll know just how much better and safer your bathing experience can be!
Armed with a little bit of knowledge, real handcrafted natural soap is fairly easy to spot. It should say "soap" on the label. By law, fake soaps aren't supposed to use that term so they call it a "beauty bar" or a "moisturizing bar" or some other nonsense. Look for soaps with cold pressed organic extra virgin olive oil as a main ingredient which is rich in antioxidants and revitalizing skin nutrients. Most commercial soaps contain very little or none because it's expensive, and those who do often use pomace olive, a cheaper inferior grade of oil extracted with harmful chemical solvents. Is your skin worth the very best? We think so!
You can use the microwave test to distinguish real soap from glycerine soap a.k.a. melt and pour soap or craft soap. A melt and pour soap will begin to liquefy after 10-15 seconds in the microwave. (They don't last very long in your tub or shower either.) Cold process soap won't melt that easily. Most of the melt and pour soap bases don't have as much skin care value as cold process soaps and many of them (especially the cheap ones) contain harsh and sometimes even harmful ingredients. I've got to give credit where credit is due though, there are some decent melt and pour soap bases out there now, and some of these beautiful soaps are miniature works of art, so it depends on what you're looking for. If you want superior skin care, choose cold process soap.
Avoid fragrance oils, perfume oils, potpourri oils, and nature identical oils which are all different words for synthetic fragrance oils. Many of them contain unknown or toxic ingredients, they pollute our environment, and they're one of the biggest causes of skin irritation and skin sensitivities today. Just because a product has a botanical sounding name does NOT mean it came from a plant either. Cranberry, watermelon, peach, pear, apple, strawberry, fig, pomegranate, and many others (the list is long) are synthetic scents made in a laboratory. Likewise, many soaps supposedly containing vanilla, jasmine, rose, lemon verbena, and sandalwood are also made with synthetic scents because the real essential oils, absolutes, or concretes are very expensive or even endangered.
The bottom line? If an oil doesn't have a latin botanical name, then it's not a true essential oil and it has no true aromatherapeutic benefits. Ask the soapmaker. Go to the health food store and smell the real essential oils. After a while, your nose will know the difference. Look for soaps made with real essential oils which are extracted from plants that are safe and therapeutic when used properly. They're more expensive, but well worth it in terms of your health and the health of our planet. If the label just says "fragrance", "perfume", or "parfum" it's probably a fake synthetic scent.
Other synthetic additives to avoid are FD&C colors, dyes, antibacterial triclosan & triclocarban, EDTA, TEA, DEA, sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfates, to name a few. They're not kind to your skin, your health or our environment.
The real test will be when you use a well made natural soap. (Notice I said well made, because all handmade soaps are certainly not equal!) If it dries your skin out or makes it feel tight or itchy, it may not be real. On the other hand, there's nothing like well made, glycerin rich, handcrafted natural olive oil soap to leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and nourished. So if you're looking for skin loving soap, take the time to seek out natural handmade soap from AWSB. It may cost more, but you get what you pay for, and your skin will thank you for it, I promise.
Find Out Why Antibacterial Soaps Are A Bad Idea!
Triclosan is the antibacterial agent commonly found in antibacterial soaps, lotions, acne products, cosmetics and other personal care products. It is classified as a pesticide by the EPA and as a drug by the FDA. The EPA considers it a possible risk to human health and to the environment.
"Chemically triclosan is almost the same as some of the most toxic chemicals on earth: dioxins, PCB's, and Agent Orange. Its manufacturing process may produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects in the parts per trillion (one drop in 300 Olympic-sized swimming pools!). If you use any products containing triclosan, my advice to you is to stop using them immediately and throw them away." - from Dr. Christine H. Farlow, author of Dying to Look Good.
A different perspective on triclosan and why it should be banned can be found here. But no matter which camp you're in, we can all agree that triclosan does not belong in the personal care products that we use everyday. Washing with plain soap and water has been proven to be just as effective.
Care & Feeding of Natural Handmade Soap
Since our handmade soap is in its pure and natural state, it doesn't contain any synthetic preservatives or artificial hardeners. It doesn't need to. With just a little care and feeding, you can prolong the life of your AWSB soap and it will serve you very well.
- Don't let your soap drown in water.
- Feed your soap plenty of fresh air between uses.
- Store your soap on a well drained soap dish.
- Use a natural wash cloth or loofah to extend its life.
- Use your fresh new soap within 6 months of purchase.
- Store unused soap in a dark cool place like a lingerie drawer or linen closet.
Learn More About Our Natural & Organic Ingredients
This is not a comprehensive list, but it features some of our more prominent ingredients.
Activated Charcoal - is highly adsorptive so it removes impurities from the skin's surface and the antibacterial properties can also help alleviate infections
Aloe Vera Juice Concentrate, Certified Organic - Aloe barbadensis - native Texas succulent, often called "The Miracle Plant", soothing, emollient, antibacterial, heals skin irritations, burns, and wounds, promotes new skin growth, moisturizes, protects, and counters the effects of aging; restores skin damaged by the sun's UVB rays
Beeswax, Certified Organic - Cera alba - unbleached and pure, cosmetic grade, used to give a waxy feel to cosmetics, also possesses healing qualities, only our balms contain beeswax, our soaps do not
Black Willow Bark Extract - Salix nigra - analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, potent antimicrobial, contains salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid) which is the ingredient that aspirin was originally synthesized from, increases cell renewal by increasing turnover of the stratus corneum layer smoothing the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, non-irritating and very gentle, has exhibited activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes, two of the skin flora implicated in the formation of acne
Blue Agave, Certified Organic - Agave tequiliana - a succulent native to Mexico. best known for its role as the base ingredient of tequila; capable of drawing moisture close to the skin providing powerful hydration while protecting against environmental stress and aging
Bluebonnet, Wildcrafted- Lupinus texensis - native Texas wildflower, the state flower of Texas, cleansing, useful for skin irritations, dandruff, and blemishes; we harvest our bluebonnets legally and in a sustainable manner
Calcium Bentonite Clay - adsorbs and absorbs dirt, oil, and toxins from the surface of the skin, cleanses, tightens, and tones, lends a slippery feel to soaps and increases lather, great for purifying the skin, helpful in treating acne, eczema, itching, hives
Castor Oil, Certified Organic - Ricinus communis - soothing, lubricating, rich in fatty acids, acts as a humectant to draw moisture to the skin and hair, gives a rich creamy lather to soaps
Cedarwood - see Juniper
Chaparral - Larrea tridentata - native Texas shrub, antimicrobial, antiseptic, deodorizing, disinfectant, used for itchy scalp, dandruff, skin irritations, rashes, wounds, and body odor
Chickweed, Wildcrafted & Certified Organic - Stellaria media - naturalized Texas herb, high in vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals, emollient, demulcent, analgesic, soothing, healing, useful for skin irritations, itching, inflammations, rashes, sores, and painful small joints; we harvest some of the chickweed we use ourselves and we purchase an organic infused oil to supplement
Cinnamon, Certified Organic - Cinnamomum zeylanicum - Has a stimulating, uplifting, warming, effect and is antiseptic and astringent.
Clay (Kaolin, Moroccan Red, French Green, Rose) - cleanses and tones, absorbs dirt, oil, and toxins from the skin, increases lather, and lends natural colors to our soaps
Cocoa Butter - Theobroma cacao - the fat of the cocoa bean, smells like chocolate, super emollient, for chapped skin and lips, dry skin, mature skin, stretch marks, skin irritations, and wrinkles
Coconut Oil, Certified Organic - Cocus nucifera - emollient and healing, used in soaps to produce a big fluffy lather
Cucumber - Cucumis sativus - cooling, soothing, and healing, useful for irritated skin, freckles, windburn, sunburn, wrinkles, and skin eruptions
Earth Pigments (ultramarines & iron oxides) - We use only naturally derived cosmetic grade earth pigments which have been used safely for many years. These pigments are made from naturally occuring compounds like iron, sulfur, china clay (kaolin), and sodium carbonate. We never use harmful synthetic FD&C dyes or CI colors. Almost all artificial FD&C and CI colors approved for use by the FDA are made from coal tar oil, or are synthetically produced from petroleum products. Despite these derivatives having been shown to cause cancer when injected into the skin of mice, they are still widely used today.
Essential Oils - fragrant natural botanical extracts that possess many healing properties on both the physical and emotional levels, used in the ancient art and science of aromatherapy
Honey, Raw Filtered - provides emollience, healing, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, as well as vital nutrients for the skin
Horsemint, Wildcrafted - Monarda punctata - native Texas wildflower, contains an aromatic antiseptic called thymol, strongly antibacterial, useful for wounds, acne, infections, as an insect repellant, and a fragrant hair tonic; Monarda citriodora - native Texas wildflower, contains citronellol, a lemony aromatic substance used in perfumes and insect repellants, we use both types of horsemint which are responsibly wildcrafted by ourselves, friends, and family
Juniper, Wildcrafted (also known as Cedar) - Juniperus virginiana/Juniperus mexicana - native Texas trees, known by native Americans as "The Medicine Tree", antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, astringent, deodorizing, detoxifying, healing, useful for oily skin, acne, wounds, burns, cellulite, dandruff, psoriasis, sore muscles and joint pain, and as an insect repellant, the essential oil is calming, soothing and strengthening; all of our cedarwood products come from Texas and are responsibly wildcrafted from fallen trees
Juniper Berry - Juniperus communis - astringent, deodorizing, antiseptic, detoxifies and clears congested skin making it excellent to help clear acne & cellulite
Jojoba Oil, Certified Organic - Simmondsia chinensis - our organic golden jojoba oil is unrefined thereby retaining all of its healing properties, a natural mimic of the oil secreted by human skin used to protect against premature aging and wrinkling and to lubricate skin and hair, a pure liquid ester that will never go rancid, non-comedogenic (will not clog pores), a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, a soothing and conditioning agent,and useful for the treatment of acne, also great for sensitive skin
Mesquite, Wildcrafted - Prosopis spp. - native Texas tree, cleansing, antimicrobial, astringent, soothing; responsibly wildcrafted in Mexico by native peoples
Neem Oil, Certified Organic - Azadirachta indica - tree native to India, used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine, commonly referred to as the "village pharmacy", antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, analgesic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, insect repellant, kills parasites, helpful for treating acne, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, herpes, cold sores, ringworm, fungus, itching, diaper rash, skin cancer, wounds, and sunburn
Oat Flour, Certified Organic - Avena sativa - native Texas grass, soothing, moisturizing, demulcent, softening, calming, good for rashes, itching, bites, and all skin irritations, oatmeal also serves as a gentle exfoliant and mild cleanser
Olive Oil, Certified Organic, Extra Virgin - Olea europaea - used extensively in skincare for centuries, high in monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant and a superior moisturizer, used to nourish and protect the skin and to combat the effects of aging, draws moisture to the skin while allowing normal skin functions to take place, one of the very best oils for natural skin care; we use only cold pressed and/or organic olive oils (never the cheaper solvent extracted pomace oil): recent research has shown that olive oil possesses oleocanthal - a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-aging compound and pain killer
Palm Oil, Certified Organic, Sustainable - adds longevity and hardness to the soap; ours is RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified which means it doesn't deplete the rainforest
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt - posesses the ability to re-mineralize the body with minerals and trace elements essential to soften skin as well as ease aches and pains
Prickly Pear Cactus, Certified Organic & Wildcrafted - Opuntia spp. - a native Texas cactus, gelatinous pads are used as a healing poultice for acne, wounds, ulcers, bruises, bites, burns, arthritis, swelling, and pain; astringent, hydrophilic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, possesses similar properties to aloe vera, fruits are high in anti-aging antioxidants, bio-flavonoids, and vitamin C; we purchase certified organic and also use responsibly wildcrafted prickly pear that we gather from our own rural property
Red Sandalwood, Wildcrafted - Pterocarpus santalinus - we use it for the gorgeous deep purplish rose color it lends to our soap and as an exfoliant, but it is also said to have analgesic properties
Sea Salt - sodium chloride - contains 84 elements and minerals found naturally in the human body which are essential to good health, used as a treatment for psoriasis, eczema, acne, and general good health, relieves muscle tension, soothes and softens the skin; we use natural solar dried salt harvested from pristine waters
Shea Butter, Certified Organic - Butyrospermum parkii - Extracted from the kernels of a wild African tree, shea butter is an excellent emollient with great healing properties. High in triglycerides and fatty acids, its soft buttery texture melts easily into the skin. Traditionally used by indigenous people for burns, wounds, sunburn, muscle aches and as a moisturizing beauty aid for hair and skin.
Sodium Hydroxide - Commonly known as lye, this is what transforms our premium organic vegetable oils into pure natural soap. All bar soap is made with it. If you make the soap properly though, there is no active lye left in the final bar. Please don't compare our lye soap with grandma's old fashioned lye soap. Our exact scientific formulations and improved ingredients insure a milder product that's much gentler to your skin than the soaps of yesteryear.
Sunflower, Certified Organic, High Oleic - Helianthus annuus - native Texas wildflower, the herb was traditionally used to heal wounds, burns, bruises, and in the bath for arthritic pain; leaves a protective moisturizing barrier on the skin and is high in antioxidant vitamin E and essential fatty acids
Vitamin E - tocopherols - a natural anti-oxidant that helps to slow the aging process by scavenging free radicals; heals, moisturizes, and protects; prevents scarring, and reduces UV exposure; we use only natural vitamin E, never the synthetic form
Yarrow, Certified Organic - Achillea millefolium - naturalized Texas wildflower, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, healing, styptic, used for acne, wounds, dandruff, irritated skin, rashes, burns, scarring, cellulite; responsibly wildcrafted
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis virginiana - native Texas tree, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, astringent, soothing, healing, helps prevent wrinkles, controls oil, tightens pores, and relieves itching
Yucca Root, Wildcrafted - Yucca spp. - anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, laxative, alterative, pain killer. Contains natural saponins, the precursor to cortisone. A soap made from the crushed roots is said to be an effective treatment for dandruff and skin irritations. The root is also poulticed and applied to inflammations, wounds, bleeding cuts, sprains etc.
information presented here is for educational purposes only and is
not meant to diagnose or treat any physical or emotional condition.
While allergic reactions to our pure and natural ingredients are
uncommon, we recommend you test our products first on a small patch of
skin for 24 hours. In the unlikely event that redness or irritation
develops, discontinue use.