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Are All Of Your Products Vegan?
Yes! All of our products are 100% vegan. No animal products here!
Are your products “all-natural”?
This is a tricky question because there is no official governing body for the use of the word “natural” when it comes to cosmetics.
If the definition of “natural” included only ingredients that were found out and about in nature, it would be impossible for handcrafted soap to qualify. For example, Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide, the alkalis necessary for turning water and oils into soap, are manufactured in a lab under controlled conditions by the electrolysis of a sodium chloride (salt) solution and a potassium chloride solution, respectively. Further, "mineral pigment" colorants like micas, ultramarines, and oxides are created in labs to create safer materials without naturally-occurring impurities (such as lead and mercury).
Thus, for ease of understanding for our customers, we like to follow the definition of the word "natural" as set by the Natural Products Association (the "NPA") Natural Standard, which includes "naturally-derived" ingredients and certain synthetic "non-natural" ingredients under specific circumstances. The essence of the NPA standard is that products labeled "natural" should be made up of at least 95% natural ingredients and should avoid any ingredient with a suspected human health risk. This makes our products as natural as they can be.
What is in your bar soap?
Our bar soaps are made with a deluxe blend of vegan oils and butters. Sodium Hydroxide is used to turn water and our oils and butters into soap, a process called “saponification.” Glycerin, a humectant which attracts and retains moisture on the skin, is by-product of the soapmaking process. With hand-crafted soaps, glycerin remains in the soap, resulting in a mild, pure bar. Additionally, we "superfat" our soaps, meaning that each bar contains more oils and butters than mathematically needed to complete saponification, resulting bars with excess luxurious oils and butters that did not turn into soap, to improve moisturization, mildness, and lather.
Do you use palm oil in your bar soap?
Palm oil is a very popular ingredient in hand-crafted bar soap. Unfortunately, unsustainable palm oil cultivation is contributing to deforestation and climate change. In 2011, we reformulated our soaps to be palm oil-free. Another up-side to palm-free soaps? More shea butter for a rich, creamy, conditioning lather!
Speaking of shea butter, can I use your bar soap if I have a latex allergy?
Our Signature Formula bar soaps contain 15% shea butter. Shea butter contains natural latex, which is similar in composition to sap-like latex extract from the Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Those with a severe latex allergy may have a reaction to shea butter.
If you need a soap that does not contain shea butter, try our Pure Castile bar or bars made with our Classic Formula or Sunflower Formula.
What is your bar soap scented and colored with?
We use pure essential oils in our natural bar soaps. When we add color and texture to our soaps, we use botanicals, clays, herbs, spices, ultramarines, micas, and oxides. Note that in our Seasonal Bar Soap Collection, we use phthalate-free fragrance oils, at a skin-safe rate, for adding scent. The NPA Natural Standard specifically allows for the use of ultramarines, micas, and oxides, and allows for the use of non-solvent-extracted fragrances, so long as they don't exceed 5% of the formula and are phthalate-free and non-irritating. We always disclose ingredients for each soap in its individual listing. For more information on essential oils and fragrance oils, see our blog post on the subject.
How should I store my soap?
Natural soap needs to breathe. Prior to use, store your soap in a cool, dark place with open ventilation. DO NOT store in a sealed container or zip lock bag. During use, keep your soap out of freestanding water by storing it on a slotted dish that will drain water away.
How long does a bar of soap last?
Typically, a bar of soap will last more than a month with daily use. Our soaps do not contain any preservatives, so we recommend that you use your soap bar within one year of purchase. Scents and colors may also start to fade after six months; however, this does not affect the quality of the soap.
Our lotions are made from nutrient-rich oils and butters, aloe vera juice, vegetable-based emulsifiers and thickeners, and a paraben-free, non-formaldehyde-releasing preservative system of phenoxyethanol and tetrasodium EDTA.
Preservatives are not bad chemicals; they were designed to keep us safe. These preservatives are absolutely necessary to protect the lotion -- and YOU -- from the dangerous bacteria and harmful microorganisims that can grow in such a water-based product. To date, there are no "natural" preservatives that are as effective as the made-in-the-lab variety, which is why we're still using the phenoxyethanol / tetrasodium EDTA combination at this time in approved amounts for leave-on and wash-off cosmetic products. Until we can find, formulate with, and pass challenge testing with a more "natural" preservative approved for use in cosmetics, we are most comfortable ensuring your safety from mold and bacteria by using this preservative system. We are pleased to have found such an effective system that is paraben-free and non-formaldehyde-releasing.
Please note that we do not add anything to our lotions to make them heat stable. If they get too hot, they will have varying results. Sometimes they will thin and come back together just fine with or without stirring, while sometimes they may not. This is the nature of heat impact on natural products.
What is your lotion scented and colored with?
Our scented lotions contain pure essential oils. We do not add colorants to our lotions.
Do I need to create an account to buy from your store?
You may checkout as a guest. Additionally, you may also use your Amazon.com account to login to Little Owl Soap without needing another password. Amazon does not share your password with us.
What are your business hours?
We do not keep standard business hours because we do not have a retail location. We fulfill orders Monday through Friday. We are available via email every day.
What kind of payment methods can I use?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. We also accept credit card payments via PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay via credit card.
Shipping, Pick-Up, & Returns
Can I pick up my order?
Little Owl Soap is a home-based business in Metuchen, New Jersey, and we do not have a retail location. However, as a courtesy to our fellow Metuchen residents and all the lovely people we have gotten to know during Metuchen Market Days, we offer the option of picking up at our home. To do this, chose “Pick-Up” upon check-out, and when we receive your order, we will contact you to schedule a pick-up time.
Do you ship internationally?
At present, we only ship internationally to Canada, Australia, and Great Britain.
When will my order be shipped?
We fulfill orders Monday through Friday. Orders are generally dispatched within 2 business days of receipt of payment.
How is my order shipped?
Orders are shipped via USPS with tracking and delivery confirmation. If you prefer delivery by USPS with required signature or insurance, an additional cost will be applied, so please contact us before checking out.
What is your return policy?
Due to the personal nature of our products, we do not accept returns.
Wholesale and Custom Orders
Do you sell your products wholesale to other stores?
Most of our products are available for wholesale. Please contact us with your business information, tax ID number, and resale tax certificate number, and we will provide you with wholesale information.
Do you take custom orders?
Certain products may be customizable. Contact us to discuss options.