Frequently Asked Questions...

What is your shipping and return policy?
Please SELECT THIS LINK to view our Order Policy.

What is "saponification"?
This is the process of adding lye and water to oils to make soap. Soap in this form is technically a salt. The caustic properties of the lye are eliminated and evaporate during the process and over the curing period.

What is glycerin?
Glycerin is a natural humectant. It attracts moisture. The glycerin in the soap attracts moisture from the air to your skin.

Do you use tallow (animal fat) in your handmade soap?
No. We do not use tallow (animal fat) or other animal products in our soaps. The common animal products used in soap making are tallow, lanolin, milk and beeswax. Tallow can be found in most of the commercial soaps produced today and is usually listed as sodium tallowate.

Does Shea Butter contain naturally occurring latex?
Most people are familiar with latex from the tissue beneath the bark of the rubber tree responsible for the multitude of rubber products. Shea butter contains natural latex. Although it is not exactly the same as the sap-like latex extract from the Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis), it is very similar in chemical composition. Although the quantities of latex in shea butter are small, this natural latex is responsible for the sealing property that shea butter has that may aid in protecting your skin and also contributes to its ability to protect the skin from sun damage.

It should be noted, however, that anyone with a known latex allergy should do a patch test before using. To date, there have been no Shea Butter latex allergic reactions reported to the FDA.

Can I use handmade soap to wash my hair?
Yes, our hemp oils shampoo bars were created for this purpose. They are made with premium quality hemp oil, Shea Butter, and aloe oil. Wet your hair and rub the bar of soap across your hair a few times to lather. There's no residue left on your hair, it rinses out and leaves your hair squeaky clean with out feeling dried out.

Do you use dyes to color your soap?
No, we do not use dyes in the making of our soaps. We use flowers, herbs, and spices for their individual qualities and to provide texture and color.

Can I bathe my baby with your soaps?
Yes. Our Shea Baby Line is especially mild but does not have the chemicals which are added that produce a no more tears effect. So, be careful not to expose to the eyes of your baby.

How long does your soap last?
In general, soap has a very long shelf life (years). Depending on your bathing habits, you can expect your bar to last two to three weeks. Please remember to place your soap in a dish that drains to extend the longevity.

How do I store my soap?
We recommend that once you use one of our uniquely shaped soaps, you place it on its side in a dish that drains. This way it will be easier to pick it back up when you are ready to use it again and the soap will dry faster and last longer.

Is your soap edible?
Yes. We pride ourselves on the fact that the quality of oils used is better than what finds it way to most dining room tables. Our question is why you would want to eat soap unless you have a potty mouth.  :)

What do you recommend for skin with eczema?
The Ebony Tar Soap is outstanding for extreme cases of eczema. The recipe is at least 75 years old and is the same recipe that my grandmother made for us when we had skin issues. It sooths itchy and patchy rashes and pulls out the impurities in the skin. Our Fresh Soap is great for light cases of eczema and is made with tea tree and lime oils. It also has a healthy dose of oatmeal and is antiseptic, but is very gentle at the same time.

Is your soap friendly to the environment?
Yes. We add no phosphates. Our own output of waste is minimal and typically makes its way to our sample bins in stores or at local farmers markets.

Do you mass-produce your soap?
No. Our handmade soap is made in small batches of 200 - 250 bars or 80 lbs. We prefer to make small batches as this assures our customers they are getting the freshest soap possible.

What is the difference between handmade soaps and mass-produced soaps?
Handmade soaps are traditionally called cold process. Cold pressed soaps are made at low temperatures by saponification and retain the natural glycerin that is produced. Commercial soap making uses a continuous process and generally uses petroleum based synthetic ingredients and fragrances. This old-fashioned method of soap making creates and retains glycerin, which helps to moisturize your skin. You will not have that dry, itchy feeling you get from using commercial soaps. We do not use any animal or petroleum byproducts. Glycerin is a valuable byproduct of the soap making process. It is usually extracted from commercial soap and sold or used for other purposes.

Why do your soaps cost more than mass produced soaps?
We make our soap from the finest food grade oils available. Olive oil from Spain and Italy, Shea Butter and coconut oil from Africa, domestic aloe oils, Kosher Vegetable glycerin, and hemp oil from Canada. We will not cut corners in the quality of oils that we procure because we are making product for both your families and ours. In addition, petroleum compounds and byproducts tend to cost less and are more advantageous in mass-produced products and for cost containment and/or reductions.

Do you test your product on animals?
No. We are cruelty free, as our friends and family very willingly test our soaps.

Do your products container harmful chemicals?
No! The Savannah Essentials line will NEVER contain any of the following which should always be avoided:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) And Soduim Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - typically in soaps and shampoos. Toxic to the liver and kidneys and are known to trigger eczema and skin problems.

The Paraben Family (Paraben, Polyparaben, Butylparben, Propylparaben, & Methylparaben) - typically in deodorants, perfumes, shampoos,shower gels, and body creams. Parabens are a preservative used to extend a products shelf-life. The problem is that they are toxic when injested. Parabens can interrupt the working endocrine glands include: hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal gland, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal, ovary, and testis.

Aluminum Oxide - typically found in deoderants is linked to brain disorders, Alzheimer's, and risks for breast cancer.

Triclocarban or Triclosan - typically found in antibacterial products. They can disrupt hormones and may encourage the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.

Proppylene Glycol - typically found in deodorant, toothpaste, babywipes, shampoos and conditioners. Propylene glycol is an antifreeze solvent, commonly found in brake and hydraulic fluid, paint, floor wax, pet food and tobacco. It has been shown to cause dermatitis, kidney and liver damage, and to inhibit skin cell growth.

Mineral Oil and Petroleum - typically found in lotions, soaps, perfumes, and creams. Exposure/use of mineral oil has be linked to increased rheumatoid arthritis risks.

Cocoamide DEA, TEA, & MEA - typically found in shampoos, soaps, and shower gels. They are known to be human carcinogens and which can cause cancer.

Lanolin - typically found in lotions and creams. Lanolin has been linked to the development of contact dermatitis

Lauramide DEA, Diethlolamine, Triethlolamine - typically found in shampoos, soaps, ans shower gels as a lathering and weting agent. they readily absorbed through the skin and have been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers.

Placenta Extracts - typically found in lotions, creams, and cosmetics. There is no thorough sterilization during the process of refining human or animal placenta and viruses like HIV or hepatitis B could grow in it.

What are your soap's ingredients?
We make three different types of soap containing all or just some of the ingredients listed below:

Aloe Vera Oil
Aloe Vera Oil benefits dry and cracked skin, burns, blisters, frostbite, insect bites and allergic reactions. Aloe Vera allows for the highest concentrations of the natural healing agent delivered directly to your skin and scalp.

Burnt Kiln Pine Tar Is a golden brown pine tar produced according to the old kiln method from stumps of the pine tree Pinus Silvestris, also known as "peasant made" tar. This type of tar is characterized by high resin content (rosin acids and retene), low content of pitch and high purity, i.e. free from soot and other impurities. This is the type we use and is most beneficial for problematic skin conditions such as eczema, Itching, and psoriasis.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil (originated from Africa and South America) dramatically enhances a soap's ability to provide lathering qualities.

Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is one of the world's richest sources of polyunsaturated fats, including both of the essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) and GLA (gamma Linolenic acid), which make it an excellent natural emollient and moisturizer. It imparts gloss and manageability to hair, bringing relief from dry scalp or hair damage by blow-dryer heat, chemical perms, coloring or sunlight.

Olive Oil
We like to use a pure Pomace Olive oil (originated from Spain and Italy), and this is our primary soap making oil as olive oil and it helps determine the soaps hardness and longevity

Shea Butter
Shea Butter (Sourced from West Africa) is the best and most effective moisturizer that we have available to us. Shea Butter has a wide range of healing properties stemming from its physical make up of vitamins A, E, and cinnamic acid. Shea Butter has anti-inflammatory capabilities and has been utilized for these benefits for centuries. Please see our detailed page on Shea Butter. We use it as a super fatting agent and as a core ingredient in all of our soaps. You can expect to find from 20 – 70% Shea Butter in all of our soap and shower gels.

Traditional Vegetable (Soy) Oil
Soybean oil contains 61% polyunsaturated fat and 24% monounsaturated fat. Saturated fats in the diet can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Soybean oil is one of the few non-fish oils containing linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. It also contributes nicely to the firmness of our soaps.

Essential Oils
We use only first quality pure essential oils to add a unique and lasting aroma to our soaps. We avoid the essential oil blends that contain impurities.

Essential oils we use are:

  • Basil
  • Cedar Virginia
  • Citronella
  • Cinnamon Leaf
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium Egypt
  • Ginger
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper Berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Myrrh
  • Orange sweet
  • Living Osmanthus
  • Palma Rosa
  • Patchouli
  • Pink Grapefruit
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Tea Tree
  • Ylang Ylang

Botanical Fragrance Oils Our fragrance oils are created from botanical based ingredients including roots, bark, flowers, berries and leaves. They are distilled using a method that is similar to extracting essential oils, and may contain pure essential oils and absolutes in the blend. Botanical fragrance oils we use are:

  • Gardenia
  • Lilac
  • Vanilla

Organic Botanicals & Spices

We use fresh Maryland grown organic botanicals whenever possible, and rely on a few domestic suppliers for the botanical ingredients that are not available here or are out of season. The botanic ingredients we use are:

  • Basil
  • Calendula
  • Cinnamon
  • Cornmeal
  • Flax Seed
  • Ginger
  • Jasmine
  • Kelp
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigold
  • Rosehip
  • Oats
  • Orris Root
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Rose
  • Turmeric

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