This soap is made with vegetable shortening, olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax. The resulting chemical reaction between oils (acids) and lye (a base) is called saponification. The product of this reaction is soap (a salt) and glycerin (a humectant that draws moisture to your skin).... no lye! There is also water, because it was needed initially to dissolve the lye, but it is not needed in the soap because it makes it soft. So dry the soap for a couple of weeks and it will last longer(use it as a sachet in a closet or clothes drawer while it's drying to make your clothes smell great). Soap makers use a combination of different oils to make soaps because each of the soap salts has different qualities. Some make a hard soap, some a moisturizing one, and some that lathers well like this one. This soap also has a little excess oil to act as a moisture barrier which in combination with the glycerin acts as a moisturizer. Natural Essential Oils, as opposed to synthetic oils; are added towards the end of the saponification process before the soap is poured into molds. At this time, herbs and starches are also added. We only use natural essential oils*, no fragrance oils or synthetics (except vanillin which is derived from a natural essential oil, eugenol). After the soap has cooled and been removed from the molds, it is hand cut and stamped with my bamboo impression, or my wife's distinctive design, derived from a Chinese art motif for "cloud", to symoblize Stone Cloud Gardens (where she grows "all natural" herbs and vegetables). The soaps weigh between 3.5 and 4 oz.

*Aromatherapy information is fun and interesting but it is not medical advice. My sources for this information are as follows...

Aromatherapy - A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville & Mindy Green

Natural Perfumes by Mindy Green

Aromatherapy - Healing for the Body & Soul by Kathi Keville

Aromatherapy - The Complete Guide to Plant and Flower Essences for Health and Beauty - by Danielle Ryman

A Modern Herbal by Maude Grieve

Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses by Deni Bown

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