Everyone is concerned with product ingredients. Trying to stay away from genetically modified organisms (GMO) is very important. At Ashlyn Nicole Soaps we do our best to stay true to ourselves and follow that belief. Our favorite ingredients are:
* Olive Oil - Extra Virgin olive oil is our preference (EVOO). EVOO comes from the first pressing of olives. It helps draw moisture into the skin, conditioning your skin for that soft and silky feeling. It makes a hard bar of soap. Some great oils we like are Newman's Own Organic, Bragg Organic, and Swanson Organic olive oils.
* Coconut Oil - Coconut oil will make a very hard soap that will have lots of bubbly lather. It moisturizes the skin but can also be very drying if the amount used in the soap recipe is too high. We prefer using an organic coconut oil such as Kirkland's Organic coconut oil, Swanson's Extra Virgin coconut oil, or Tropical Traditions Pure coconut oil.
* Palm Oil - Palm oil can be controversial to some people as it is derived from palm tree fruit. Historically there has been so much destruction of natural forests and animal habitats in the processing of palm oil. For this reason we only use sustainable palm oil. That is palm oil from plantations that produce palm oil without causing deforestation, destruction to animal habitats, or harm to people. Palm oil will help make a nice hard bar of soap with lots of bubbly lather. Because it is slow to absorb into the skin, it can also be considered a conditioning agent. It can range from a light cream (refined) to a deeper orange (unrefined) tint depending on the type of palm oil .We use refined palm oil from trusted suppliers.
* Castor Oil - Castor oil...what can we say? In this case, a bean is not a bean. Castor oil comes from the seed of a fast growing perennial shrub. It produces a soft bar so normally a small quanity is used in soap making. It is easily absorbed into the skin creating a great skin softener and conditioner.
* Shea Butter - Shea butter is extremely nourishing and moisturizing to the skin. It's full of fatty acids and natural vitamins that the skin loves. It's loaded with vitamin A which can help with skin conditions and vitamin E which is an antioxident. Amazing how moisturizing it is for the skin.
* Argan Oil - Argan oil is actually from the center nut of the argan tree fruit (think of a peach with it's outer skin covering the fleshy fruit over a hard center nut). It's loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids which make for a very moisturizing oil. It's said that it can help with skin issues such as dry skin or acne as well as adding moisture to hair resulting in soft and shiny hair.
* Rice Bran Oil - Full of fatty acids and vitamins, rice bran oil is extracted from rice husks and is a great oil for moisturizing dry and/or mature skin. It is extremely gentle for sensitive skin types such as dryer skin or mature skin.
* Tussah Silk Fiber - From the silkworm cocoons, tussah silk is a protein that will enhance your soap's lather, give it a slightly more shiny look, and make your soap more luxurious feeling (soft and sexy does it). After silkworms emerge, the fibers are collected from the abandoned cocoons. We only buy from suppliers that guarantee a cruelty free product. A small amount goes a long way in making the soap special.
* Goats Milk - Full of vitamin A, alpha-hydroxy acids, & minerals goats milk is very moisturizing to the skin. It can help soothe dry and/or aging skin, helps irritated skin, it can help soothe skin conditions such as eczema & psoriasis.
* Coconut Milk - Full of vitamin E which helps moisturize skin, very cleansing without drying the skin, It's cleansing properties help reduce acne & skin blemishes while high in fatty acids that add moisture to the skin.
While there are other oils and butters available for soapmaking, we have found a combination that we like. Perhaps in the future we'll change our favorite soap recipe and ingredients, but for now we're very happy.