I have really sensitive skin – what products can I use?
In terms of “irritants”, many things both natural and synthetic can be – we all have our individual fingerprint of what our bodies can and can’t tolerate. Lavender essential oil, for example, is a known irritant to those with extreme sensitivities, however this doesn’t automatically black list it and make unsafe/non-organic or toxic. To be clear, none of our products are independently tested or classed as hypoallergenic nor being sold as “allergy free”. To do this we would not be able to produce a synthetic free product, which has always been my aim. However, we have our ‘Unperfumed’ range so we would recommend trying these first.
What’s the difference between natural and synthetic fragrances?
‘Fragrance’ has become a euphemism for the nearly 4,000 or so different chemical ingredients that are used in many ‘scented’ products. Most ‘fragrances’ are not natural, they’re synthetic, petroleum-based and with a chemical structure that tries to mimic scents found in nature. Unfortunately, these substances are also toxic to our bodies. Here at Little Soap, we therefore use only essential oils to fragrance our products. Essential oils are very different to synthetic oils. They are extracted from plants with a labour-intensive distillation process and bring the aromatherapy benefits of the plant with them.
Your products use essential oils – could I be allergic?
Over the last few years we have seen a rise of customers with allergies to various essential oils or, more specifically, the naturally occurring allergens in essential oils – Limonene and Linalool being some key offenders.
Whilst allergens occur naturally in the plant essential oils, they are still ‘actives’ and as their name suggests, can cause irritations or allergies in some circumstances. There are also some skin conditions that cannot tolerate any kind of essential oil, either temporarily or permanently, which makes life very difficult if you want the smells!
For such intolerances we have created an unperfumed range – an Organic ‘Everyday’ bar soap (Unperfumed Sensitive Bar) an Organic Unperfumed Liquid Hand Soap, and two Natural Bar Soaps – packed with Olive Oil or Avocado Oil.
What is the difference between “Natural” and Organic?
In the UK there are no government regulations for skincare as there are for food; together with different ‘standards’ between certification boards it is easy to become confused…we aim to be as clear and transparent as possible by listing all our ingredients clearly on our products – we have to use the Latin name but also put the ‘common’/English name for clarity. We personally choose to follow the Soil Association guidelines and adhere to them.
‘Natural’ has become such a misused and misleading word in the beauty industry – for cosmetics and toiletries to be considered a “natural beauty product” it may contain as little as 1% naturally grown ingredients, and may or may not contain organically grown ingredients. Any non-organic products we use are of a high quality, non-toxic and biodegradable. We do not use any synthetics in our products.
Organic: developing naturally: occurring or developing gradually and naturally, without being forced or contrived.
This is one definition of organic. The % of organic materials in each product we clearly state on each label. We believe this is a far better indicator than simply stating it is natural which doesn’t really mean very much. We have invested in chemists and extensive research on every single product. We are very transparent on our site and list every single ingredient here and on our packaging as well. We are very proud that all of our ingredients are organic, safe and considered “natural” under the conditions mentioned above and we stand by everything we have said regarding the safety of our products.
Are your soaps PH balanced?
Everyone’s skin pH is different, with many factors (including gender, age, diet, health) playing a part in each person’s level, so ‘balanced’ is different for everyone. Soaps made with natural ingredients tend to have a higher pH but even water can increase our pH….and we believe that a natural (full of oils and natural glycerin) soap is more gentle and less drying than a ‘synthetic detergent’ cleansing bar which is ‘pH balanced’.
Do you test your products on animals?
Simply, no. However, our Office Dog is Head of the Little Beast range and does get to use it relatively often as he is a fan of rolling…!
Why our bar soap boxes are larger than the soap?
The simple answer is…. just so the soap can genuinely breathe! All our 110g soap bars are a totally natural product and we leave the natural glycerine in, this means the soap can sweat in both very cold and hot temperatures. Unfortunately as we have no control over the warehouse, supermarket depots and haulage, we have to make allowances for this. Due to our natural ink dyed packaging, if the soaps are to sweat due to temperature the boxes can become damp and the ink can bleed onto the product making it unusable, so the slightly bigger packaging solves this. We are not trying to make you think the bar is bigger than it is and we press the soap at 10% more than the weight labelled as we know it has a small % shrinkage weight as it cures…. so what we can promise is it will definitely be the weight on the label (if not a bit more!).
My online order came wrapped in bubble wrap/plastic air packs – why don’t you use biodegradable packaging?
The only time we use plastic wrapping or bubble is if we are up-cycling packaging we’ve received from incoming orders and we can not bear to throw it away, so we add it to the packaging room to prevent it going to landfill. We never specifically order plastic wrapping or unrecyclable products. We use paper wrap, shredded zig zag paper and corrugated cardboard – which is all biodegradable and recyclable.