"Natural", "synthetic" and some deliberate confusions "Deep cleansing" or "mild soap"? "Soap made without lye" or "soap which does not contain lye"?

"Natural", "synthetic" and some deliberate confusions

Today, more and more consumers are turning to "purer" and "natural" products, so companies (soap and cosmetics makers included) tend to exaggerate the use of the word "natural" for a product, thus insinuating that the product is "pure" and "safe". There is a certain consumer attraction to the word "natural" and marketing departments make sure they take advantage of it...

In "Flowerland" we do not want to take advantage of misinformed or misleaded consumers. Thus, we should clearly state that not all that is natural is safe nor is it recommended. A classic example is the essential oils: they are produced either by distillation or by cold-pressing various flowers, plants or herbs, and are therefore "natural". They are not always safe, though! In most cases, they contain allergens or even toxic substances whose contact with the skin should be avoided, which is precisely why acceptable concentration of such substances in cosmetics, soaps and other products are defined.

We therefore think it's better to inform you honestly about the ingredients of our soap, so that you may be able to judge what suits you best depending on your skin and preferences.

Our soaps fall into three main categories:

The first category contains soaps which have absolutely no fragrance or colors. The ingredients used for these soaps are only the oils and butters (plus herbal extracts and infusions, depending on the recipe). So you can be sure that these soaps are "as pure as it gets". They are perfect if you have sensitive skin or if you suffer from various skin problems and they are also suitable for children or infants.

The second category contains soaps with high quality synthetic fragrances which contain no allergens (none of the 26 allergens included in the E.U. cosmetics directive – directive 76/778/EEC, 7th amendment, annex III). So, if you have sensitive skin but cannot resist the temptation of fragrances, you should find many interesting options in this category!

The third category contains soaps with "conventional", high quality fragrances specially designed for use in "cold-process" soap making.

The choice is yours. Experiment for yourself!

"Deep cleansing" or "mild soap"?

A soap's primary purpose is to cleanse. The addition of extra oils or the use of oils with moisturizing properties may lessen its cleansing ability. We simply can't have it all! So, it is up to the soap maker to find a recipe that strikes a balance between mildness and protection on the one hand and cleansing efficiency on the other. We believe that by using high quality oils with excellent cosmetic / protective properties our soaps have a reasonable degree of cleansing while they are very mild and gentle, allowing frequent washing without drying the skin.

"Soap made without lye" or "soap which does not contain lye"?

To begin with, let's define what "lye" is. Lye, also known as caustic soda or Sodium Hydroxide, is a corrosive alkaline substance used (among other uses) for the production of solid soaps. In older times, "lye" referred to Potassium Hydroxide which is a substance with very similar properties (and is used in the production of liquid soaps).

So, it's time to clear things up: non-industrial soap CAN'T be made without using lye as a raw material. Once the saponification procedure is complete, however, and if the soap maker has done their job properly, no traces of lye are left in the soap: it has been entirely transformed into soap!
Therefore, the expression "soap which does not contain lye" is accurate and correct (for a properly produced soap), whereas the expression "soap made without lye" is inaccurate and misleading. Certain producers (with dubious motives) use the above expressions interchangeably in a way that misleads the consumer into believing that their soap is "made without lye" and is thus of superior quality to "soaps made with lye". So, be aware: now that you know, do not let the marketing gimmicks fool you!