Our Ingredients

In the spirit of education and transparency, we are happy to share what ingredients go into making our handmade soap and other super awesome bath products. Every one of our ingredients is chosen carefully, thoughtfully, and intentionally.

As always, if you have questions, we are here 100% for you. Send us an email anytime at freshasoap <at> gmail <dot> com.

Take a peek at some of our ingredients:


Yep. THAT lard. Lard is rendered pork fat. We know that this isn’t an ingredient that our vegan friends are going to like and we fully respect that. The thing is, we also really don’t like the idea of any animal by-product being wasted. Not only is lard a sustainable product, it replaces palm oil in our handmade soaps. As it’s a hot button issue, I encourage you to read up on the environmental issues surrounding the palm oil industry. Please know it was a conscious choice on our part to use lard vs. palm oil. We source our lard from a company that has been in business for more than 100 years. It is also manufactured under USDA supervision. We trust it.

What does lard do in soap? It makes an incredibly lush bar of soap. The lather is creamy and, because it helps make a harder bar of soap, it can often last longer than many other types of soap.

Coconut Oil.

Coconut is talked about everywhere lately, isn’t it? There’s a reason coconut oil is so popular: it’s amazing! Made from coconuts (no surprises there), we choose to use organic, unrefined coconut oil.

Coconut oil is another lather-making machine. The fatty acids that make up coconut oil create the right balance of benefits for gentle, yet effective skin cleansing without the use of harsh chemicals.

Olive Oil.

Considered a “soft oil” because it always remains a liquid oil, olive oil is plentiful and has been used in soap for literally thousands of years. Olive oil is like the granddaddy of ingredients in soap making. If it was good enough to clean Egyptian royalty, it’s good enough for us! It’s another great, gentle cleanser all by itself, but in soap, creates a buttery, moisturizing lather perfect for a gentle clean.

Sodium Hydroxide.

This is caustic soda or lye. Without lye, the process of soap making (called “saponification”) would be impossible. Simply put, no lye = no soap. All true soap is made with a lye mixture (lye plus a liquid, such as distilled water) combined with fats/butters/oils and, when made properly, no lye remains in the final product. Take a peek at any soap label. Do you see the words “sodium tallowate”, “sodium cocoate”, or something similar? That is another way of saying “saponified oil” of tallow or cocoa butter in the examples above. What is a saponified oil? It’s an oil that has had a lye solution applied to it to make soap! I know. Confusing, right? That’s why we label using the “what goes into the pot” method instead of “what comes out of the pot”. We want to make it as easy to understand our labels as possible.

Castor Seed Oil.

A mega natural humectant. Humectants attract and preserve moisture. Castor seed oil is a super ingredient for lots of soapy lather in soap and creates more moisturizing lip balms, salves, lotions, and bath butters.

Goat Milk Powder.

This is our hands-down favorite ingredient. Often considered a luxury ingredient, we use it in nearly all of our soaps. It’s that awesome. Not only does it help make a perfect gentle cleanser for sensitive skin, it has all sorts of great science behind it. We will only use Meyenberg milks. They’re the gold standard and commit to healthy, happy animals and family dairy farms throughout California.

Sodium Lactate + Sodium Chloride.

Simply put, sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid most often made through the natural fermentation of a sugar source like corn or beets. We use it in most of our handmade soaps because it helps produce a harder, longer lasting bar of soap.

Sodium chloride is simple table salt. It can be a great addition to bath soaks, scrubs, and soap bars. It helps condition water and can make a hard, bubbly bar of soap. We love using salt in bath products!

Essential Oils + Fragrances.

This is where scent comes into play in our ingredients list. We use both essential oils and fragrance oils to scent our products. Though both add a lovely fragrance to our products, it’s important to understand that each type comes from a different place and by different method.

Essential oils are naturally-derived oils extracted from herbs, plants, and flowers and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to say that many essential oils have benefits of their own. A few of our favorites are found in our Essential Oil soaps: lavender, lemongrass, cedar, sage, eucalyptus, and peppermint. One of the biggest drawbacks to using essential oils as fragrance is the limited availability of options. We like options and hope you do, too.

Fragrance oils are synthetic, blended aroma compounds commonly found in perfumery, cosmetics, and food. Not only do they give us the opportunity to use fragrances not found in nature (like strawberry, for example), fragrance oils make it more cost effective to offer many floral fragrances, like rose and jasmine. Fun fact: Did you know that it takes more than 300,000 roses to produce 1 kilogram of rose oil? It makes sense why natural rose oils cost a pretty penny.