Use & Care
My interest in soap-making began at the end of 1999, when I received a popular
"soap-making" kit for Christmas.
Until then, I hadn't given a lot of thought to what I was really washing my hands and body with every single
day... I'd pick up whatever "beauty bar" or "cleansing bar" was on the store shelves and just accept it as as matter of course
when later, my skin felt dry, taut and itchy and I had to slather on the
lotion. Then slather the lotion on again a couple of hours
later... Wash. Rinse. Repeat...
Using the kit was fun, but the resulting 'soap' still left a
lot to be desired.
Thoroughly fascinated now by the idea of great handmade soap, I began researching how
and what good soap was made of (and what the store-bought
"cleansing bars" really contained); how the different
fats and oils work together, and which qualities individual oils
and other ingredients could bring to the mix.
By the end of 2000, after countless hours of research, sampling different soaps bought
from soap-makers at local craft fairs and on-line, and many, many experimental batches
of soap I'd made myself - learning from each one - I finally felt
I'd developed a product that not only made my skin very
happy, but was good enough to send to friends and family for
It was at their insistence
that I signed up at a few local craft bazaars as a vendor of
hand-made soaps. When my customers began contacting me to ask for
more, Sagegold Soaps was born.
Since that time, each batch of my cold process soaps has been carefully formulated from scratch; measured, mixed and cut by hand; colored and scented with
high-quality, skin-safe pigments and fragrances, and “cured” for several weeks to make
a solid, long-lasting, effective and gentle product.
Because Sagegold Soaps are a true soap and retain all of their natural glycerin (a humectant) and small amounts of
skin-friendly emollient oils, your skin will be left feeling simply clean and
comfortable - not over-stripped and dried out as you may have experienced
with commercial cleansing bars, which often contain harsh detergents and synthetic
sudsing agents, and have had the glycerin extracted.
Once you've tried our soaps, your skin won't ever want to go back to commercial cleansing bars!
Sagegold Soaps hand-crafted soaps are a product you will enjoy using every day, as well as a gift you can be proud to give to friends and family.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is your soap made with lye?
A: Yes… ALL soap is made with Sodium Hydroxide (Lye). It is necessary, in order to create saponification - the chemical reaction that makes soap… otherwise you would just be washing with a nice-smelling puddle of oil and water
:) However, NO lye remains in properly made, finished soap.
(Commercial soap products/cleansing bars are also made with lye … If you check the labels,
you will probably find that within the first few ingredients listed are
“Sodium Tallowate” or "Sodium Palmate" and “Sodium Cocoate”. In plain English, those
three ingredients are soap made from lye, water and animal tallow (fat), and soap made
from lye, water and fatty acids of palm or coconut oil, respectively.
Q: Do you use animal fats to make your soap?
A: No… Because I recognize that some of my customers are sensitive to such
issues, I choose to use only pure, food-safe vegetable oils and fats to make my soaps. I
do, however, use Tussah Noil silk (a cruelty-free silk) in each soap, and in some soaps, goat’s milk.
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Q: Can I use your soaps on my face?
A: For most people, Yes. Sagegold Soaps can be used on your face, or any other part of your body
that needs washing :) In fact, I have several customers who tell me that my soaps are
the only product they’ve found which they can use on their faces.
If you have extremely sensitive skin, or aren’t sure if you might have an allergy to an ingredient
in the soap, I recommend that you do a “patch test” before using it all
over… Wet a corner of the soap, then rub it on to a small inconspicuous area
of skin such as the inside of your upper arm or inner thigh, and leave on for a
few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. (Remember soap is not intended to be a
leave-on product) If irritation develops or persists, you are sensitive to some
ingredient in the soap and should not use it.
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Q: What’s the difference between your soaps and harsh lye soap my great-grandmother used to make?
A: In the old days, whether using home-made lye (potassium hydroxide), or store-bought lye in a can, recipes
and measurements were imprecise at best... A common recipe for household soap called
for 6 pounds of cleaning fat, a third of a can of lye and a quart of
water... Recipes like this led to a very lye-heavy soap - excellent for
laundry and household cleaning, but extremely harsh on skin.
Thanks to science and technology, we now know that each and every oil and fat has a specific
saponification value (meaning that it takes a certain amount of sodium hydroxide
to turn a certain amount of a given oil into soap), and the sodium hydroxide
available to us is standardized to be exactly the same strength each and every
Each ingredient in my soaps has been chosen carefully for what it will add (lather, conditioning, richness,
etc.) and is measured precisely to give a 7% - 9% super-fat (a tiny bit more oils
than the lye will saponify), leaving me with a consistently gentle, cleansing,
nice-feeling product – every single time.
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Q: You say you “Super-Fat” your soap… Does that mean it will leave my skin
feeling oily or greasy?
A: Absolutely not. A small amount of super-fatting is necessary to
ensure that all of the sodium hydroxide has been used up, and that the soap will
effectively clean dirt, germs and excess oils from your skin without
over-stripping it, leaving a rich, emollient, moisturizing feeling to the soap.
In fact, if you have problems with oily skin, you may find that using super-fatted handmade soap
reduces or eliminates those problems. Your skin has a natural oil barrier that helps protect it from harmful factors in the environment…
Regular soaps and detergents strip that barrier away, causing your skin to over-react
and produce excess oils to replace that natural barrier, leading to pimples,
breakouts and blackheads. Super-fatted handmade soap will effectively clean, but
not over-strip your skin.
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Q: Are your soaps and lotions "all natural"?
A: Whenever possible, I use natural, vegetable-based ingredients. Any manufactured
ingredients I use are chosen for safety, consistency and cleanliness...
Sodium hydroxide is made by the
electrolysis of a sodium chloride (salt) solution (of course, no sodium hydroxide
remains in finished soap).
I use color pigments - iron oxides,
ultramarines and micas - which are manufactured to be nature-identical, but without
the harmful and toxic metals such as mercury and lead that the truly natural,
mined counterparts contain.
In my lotions, I also use synthetic preservatives -
Phenonip (Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben), and Disodium EDTA
- simply because there is no natural preservative system that has been proven
safe and effective at preventing harmful bacterial and fungal growth which
could lead to serious health problems.
Although most of the fragrances I use are man-made fragrance oils, I do offer a variety
of unscented products, and products that are fragranced with natural essential
oils. A list of ingredients contained in each product I make can be seen by
clicking on that product's name or photo.
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Use and Care of your
Storage: For long-term storage, keep hand made soaps in a dry
place, away from sunlight.
Note: Some shrinkage may occur in storage. This is desirable, as it will make for a harder, longer-lasting bar. Unused scented soap may be kept on closet shelves, in dresser drawers or
in linen closets to help freshen your clothes and linens.
Use: True soaps will "melt" quickly if left in standing water. For longer lasting bars, please keep soaps in a well-drained soap dish when not in use.
Cautions: Soaps or other skin care products containing fragrance oils or pigments (coloring) should never be used on infants under 1 year of age, due to the sensitivity of their young skin.
For the care of your infant, please try our unscented, uncolored "Oatmeal,
Milk & Honey" or "Plain Jane" soaps, and our unscented Lotions.
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