Soap selection

Frequently Asked Questions

From allergies to certification and everything in between, find answers to your Little Soap Company or Eco Warrior questions here.

Do you test your products on animals?

Little Soap Company is proud to be Cruelty Free.

All our products are certified as not tested on animals under the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny Programme (CRILBP), the international gold standard for products that are free from animal testing. We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria. Our supplier monitoring system is also open to independent audit.

More information on Cruelty Free International is available here.

Are all your products Vegan?

Yes. All carry the Vegan Society trademark which is the authentic international vegan standard. Products must pass the criteria to be eligible for registration. A dedicated and experienced team check each individual product application against the criteria, and query any potential inclusion of animal ingredients, including those not present in the final product. Working with manufacturers, audits for products at high-risk of cross contamination with animal ingredients are carried out to give vegan consumers further reassurance. We renew the registration of each product annually to ensure information is accurate and up to date.

You can check our registration here by typing Little Soap Company in as the brand name.

Do you make all products in the UK?

Yes. We are passionate about keeping Britain manufacturing.

Why are our bar soap boxes larger than the soap?

The simple answer is so the soap can breathe!

The natural glycerine we leave in all our bars means the soap can sweat in extreme temperatures. This sweat could make the natural dyes we use in our packaging run. The slightly bigger packaging solves this potential issue.

What’s the best way to use and store soap?

Let’s start with washing. Take your brand new bar and pop it on a soap dish by the sink (or in the shower), run some warm water over your hands. Move your hands over to the dish and pick up the soap and rub your hands around it to create a good lather and place the soap back on the dish. Rub your hands for two minutes, ensuring you get between your fingers and on the backs of your hands as well as your palms. After two minutes, simply rinse the lather under warm water and dry your hands.

Your bar will last way longer if you minimise its time under running water from taps and, especially, power showers. Simply store it on a soap dish, if you have one, or use the side of your bath or basin if not.

Do your soaps work with hard/soft water?

We’ve formulated our recipes so they can be sold nationally, and so all our soaps are good for anywhere – hard or soft.

I have really sensitive skin. Which of your products can I use?

While none of our products are sold as allergy-free, any of our unperfumed bars are probably the best place to start for those with really sensitive skin.
The range includes:

  • Organic Unperfumed Soap for Sensitive Skin with Oatmeal
  • Olive Oil Soap
  • Avocado Oil Soap

I have a nut allergy. Are any types of nuts used in your soaps?

We do use nut oils in some of our products. They are always clearly labelled in the ingredients. Although the protein that causes most of the reactions is largely removed through the manufacturing process, there may still be a risk of a reaction for some people who use such products.

Our factories also use walnut shell, apricot shell, hazelnut oil, almond oil, macadamia nut oil, shea butter and kukui nut oil. This means there is a possibility for trace elements to make their way into our products.

I have a coconut allergy. Are there any soaps that don’t include coconut derivatives?

A lot of our bars do include coconut in their formulations due to its hydrating qualities. However, we do have a few bars which are free from coconut derived ingredients:

  • Naturals Citrus & Lavender
  • Natural Sweet Orange
  • Naturals Lemon Zest
  • Naturals Peppermint & Eucalyptus
  • Eco Warrior Charcoal Bar
  • Eco Warrior Exfoliating Bar

I am sensitive to corn derivatives. What soaps can I use?

The only ingredient in our soaps which may contain anything derived from corn is the citric acid. This citric acid is fermented from carbohydrates of multiple sources. By far the most predominant carbohydrate is from sugar beet and molasses, but we cannot rule out the possibility one of these sources may well be corn. However, the process of manufacturing citric acid is so refined and efficient that there should be no trace of the source carbohydrate in the finished citric acid.

If you want to avoid any potential risk, our Olive Oil Bar and Eco Warrior Sensitive Facial Bar do not contain any citric acid in their recipes.

Do your soaps contain Lye / NaOH / Caustic Soda / Sodium Hydroxide?

All REAL soap is made with lye (also known as NaOH/sodium hydroxide/caustic soda) mixed with fat or oils (such as coconut, palm, olive, etc). Any soap product made without lye is not ‘soap’, it is detergent (big difference – proper soap nourishes the skin, detergent strips it and gives you that tight feeling afterwards!).

Once the chemical reaction of making soap, called saponification, is complete, the lye and oil molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and this magical thing called glycerin appears.

Providing all the ingredients have been measured correctly (we have tight QC, don’t worry and legally all our recipes have to be safety assessed and stability tested) all of the lye is used up in the saponification process to turn oil into soap meaning there is no lye present in the finished bars of soap.

All our soap bars are made with lye even though the words “sodium hydroxide” or “lye” do not appear on the labels.

Once saponified, the ingredients are listed as such so we can see which oils have been used in the process:

  • sodium cocoate: the generic name for the mixture of coconut oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  • sodium palmate: the generic name for the mixture of palm oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  • sodium palm kernelate: the generic name for the mixture of palm kernel oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
  • sodium olivate: the generic name for the mixture of olive oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).

Are your soaps pH balanced?

Your body’s pH balance is the level of acids and bases in your blood at which your body functions best. Many factors (including gender, age, diet and health) play a part in each person’s pH level.

In other words, pH balance differs from person to person. Soaps made with natural ingredients tend to have a slightly higher pH. But, we believe a natural soap (full of oils and natural glycerine) is more gentle than a synthetic detergent cleansing bar, which may be promoted as being “pH balanced”. We are sceptical about claims of being pH balanced. If you are worried about your skin, please consider consulting a dermatologist and show them our bars and ingredients – we often recommend for even the most sensitive skin as the bars naturally moisturise.

What should I do if I get soap in my eyes or have a reaction to one of your products?

If you accidentally get soap in eyes, simply rinse gently with lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes.

If accidentally swallowed – check with the National Poisons Information Service here. All our products are registered with them.

In very rare cases, if skin irritation has occurred; rinse skin with water for 15-20 minutes. If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist and take the product packaging with you which detail the ingredients.

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. Their chemical structure tries to mimic scents found in nature.

Where we can we choose to use pure plant-based essential oils or a blend of them. This is not to say that synthetic fragrances are bad as a lot of them contain essential oils, bringing you the same aromatherapy benefits.

What is the difference between organic and natural?

We are as transparent on our site as we are on our packaging. We are very proud of all our ingredients being of the highest quality, non-toxic and biodegradable. Our soap doesn’t impact marine life and it’s just as safe to use it to wash in a jungle. Every bar is proper soap (not detergent). No nasties.

Quite simply, we stand by everything we say on the ingredients and safety of our products.

In the UK, there are many different ‘standards’ between certification boards, it is easy to become confused. We aim to be as clear as possible by stating the percentage of all ingredients on all our products. We’re obliged to use the Latin name in the ingredient list but we also include the ‘common’/English name for clarity. For our Organic Range we choose not to be a member of the Soil Association, as we would be limited in the producers we choose to use, but in terms of percentages, we ascribe to Soil Association and COSMOS guidelines.

Natural

‘Natural’ has become a misused and misleading word in the beauty industry. To be considered a ‘natural beauty product’ cosmetics and toiletries may contain as little as one percent naturally-grown ingredients and may or may not contain organically-grown ingredients. We clearly state the percentage used in our Naturals and Eco Warrior Range. We are so proud that they are the highest they can be.

Organic

Our Organic Range and Organic Little Beast Pet Range products adhere to the Soil Association’s definition:

‘An organic beauty product has ingredients that have been grown using organic farming methods. Organic farming does not allow the use of synthetic fertilisers, genetically modified (GM) ingredients and herbicides’

This kind of clarity sits at the heart of everything we do. It allows you to make informed decisions about how natural, how organic and how good for you and our planet our products are.

You carry the RSPO logo on your packaging. Why do you use you use Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil?

When Emma created Little Soap Company (LSC) in 2008, she was aware of the controversy over the use of palm oil in a wide range of consumer products. Because of this, and her genuine passion about and commitment to the environment, she heavily researched the topic. From day one, LSC has carefully sourced all its oils from sustainable organic plantations and, in the case of palm oil, from accredited RSPO-certified sustainable plantations.

Yes, this adds to the cost of the production of our soap.

Emma believes palm is the most sustainable option available because replacing palm in the supply chain would need around eight times the amount of farming land.’ It simply shifts the issue to another crop.

On this basis, we believe truly sustainable palm oil should be supported while working to expose the dreadful practices that have and are taking place in certain parts of the world.

Using sustainable palm also means our soap is as wholesome and as rich and lathery as we believe is possible, without the unnecessary use of sodium lauryl sulphate.

For more information, please see our palm oil policy here.

My online order came wrapped in bubble wrap/plastic air packs. Why don’t you use biodegradable packaging?

We are so proud to have a plastic free supply chain. We use cardboard for our outer cases (no shrink wrap in sight).

When we send out online orders we only use boxes, paper wrap, shredded or zigzag paper and corrugated cardboard, all of which are biodegradable and recyclable.

However, If you receive an order that uncharacteristically contains plastics it is because we upcycle any plastic packaging we receive in the offices from incoming orders because we don’t like to put it into landfill. We simply reuse it and we hope you’ll also reuse it in the same way.

Are your glossy Organic Range soap cartons recyclable?

Yes. All our cartons are 100% recyclable and the glossy varnish is made from a recyclable resin made from non-toxic, non-mutagenic, non-carcinogenic and non-reproductive toxic raw materials. They are free of solvents and do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) making them environmentally friendly. It is cured with UV light, making it 100% recyclable, along with the card it is printed on.

What kind of plastic does Little Soap Company use?

First it’s important to say that bar soap is the heartbeat of our business. All bar soaps – Eco Warrior, Organic, Naturals and Little Beast Pet Shampoo Bar – are packaged in recycled, recyclable packaging. They have 100 percent plastic-free supply chains. We are proud that bar soap generates around 90 percent of our sales. It is the focus of what we do.

We agree with customers who are worried about the plastic pollution crisis. This is why we have deleted many of our liquid product lines that are packaged in plastic. Our customers’ views on plastic also spurred us on to create our Eco Warrior range and put what is traditionally in liquid form into bars. The range includes a shampoo bar, shave bar, exfoliating bar, facial bar and body bar.

For the few liquid soap lines we have in our Organic and Little Beast ranges, we use polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. The most commonly used type of plastic for bottles is also highly recyclable and breaks down faster than other plastics (PET products biodegrade in around 50 years or so).

We look forward to the day when all our packaging is made from recycled materials. Unfortunately, the pure essential oils we use (i.e. non-synthetic fragrances) erode recycled materials too quickly.

Does the Eco Warrior Shampoo Bar require a transition period? And how long does it last?

We designed our Eco Warrior Shampoo Bar to be as straight forward as possible! Making it possible for you to make the switch straight from liquid without the faff of a transition period that other shampoo bars need. So there’s no need for rinsing with vinegar and other such things!

Unfortunately, we cannot say exactly how many washes our shampoo bar is supposed to last, as it is totally dependent on how much hair you have and how many times a week you wash it! Despite this, we can reassure you that it will definitely outlive any 500ml bottle of shampoo alternative!

What is your Eco Warrior Reusable Soap Dish made from?

This soap dish is made with renewable raw materials such as sugarcane and corn, creating a bio-plastic that is 100% recyclable. It also has a low carbon footprint during its manufacture, helping reduce greenhouse gases.

Your products only use essential oils – the packaging mentions “naturally occurring allergens” in the essential oils, what are these?

Allergens are ingredients that can cause allergies. Most essential oils contain naturally occurring allergens such as limonene, linalool, citral or geraniol. Legally, these need to be declared in the ingredients.

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