18th Street Soaps are handmade in small batches with quality ingredients. We start with quality products like olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and essential oils. All of our soaps are paraben, phthalate and sodium laurel sulfate free. We don’t use palm oils, petroleum products or synthetic dyes. And of course, none of our ingredients are tested on animals. See Our Ingredients for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why doesn’t 18th Street Soap contain palm oil?
In short, we like orangutans! Palm oil (palm kernel oil) is an inexpensive fruit oil that is commonly used in the production of soap, food and cosmetics. Its use, however, comes at significant human and environmental cost. Although there are organizations that promote sustainable and fair-trade palm oil production, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of their efforts. Commercial palm oil plantations continue to expand into some of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on our planet, including rain forests, grasslands and peat swamps. These areas are home to thousands of plant and animal species, including endangered orangutans, clouded leopards, and sun bears. The exploitation of human labor (including children) is also an issue. Corporate palm oil production can devastate areas leaving local people nowhere to work, but in the dreadful conditions created by corporate run palm oil plantations.
Palm Oil, What’s the Fuss?
Do you provide a list of ingredients?
Yes, our ingredients are listed on the back of each label. Ingredients for each bar are also located in the description section in our online store. A list of ingredients along with their properties and benefits can be found on our Soap Ingredients page.
What kind of essential oils to you use?
All of our essential oils are steam distilled or cold pressed. They are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. We obtain a certificate of analyses (COA) for every essential oil that we use.
Is 18th Street Soap made with lye?
Yes. All soap is made with lye. Rest assured, after “cooking” and “curing”, no lye remains in the finished product. Soaps labeled “beauty bar” or “cleanser” are often not soap at all, they’re usually detergents. Real soap must be made with lye (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide).
Did you know lye is used in the preparation of some foods? Pretzels, mandarin oranges, Japanese ramen noodles, hominy, and certain breads and cookies are made with lye.
Are 18th Street Soaps hypoallergenic?
Our main ingredients, olive oil and coconut oil, are both hypoallergenic (very low allergy risk). While essential oils are a natural product derived from plants, they can cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation in susceptible people. If you have known allergies or sensitivities, please check the label. All of our ingredients are simple and clearly listed on the back of each soap.
If you have highly sensitive skin, you might try our Fragrance Free Oatmeal Bar or our Cocoa Butter Bar. Neither contain fragrances (including essential oils) or colorants, the two types of ingredients most likely to irritate sensitive skin.
Did you know that coconut is NOT a nut (specifically a tree nut). Coconut is a fruit, and poses very little risk to those allergic or sensitive to nuts. Allergies to coconut oil are very rare.
How long do your soaps last?
As long as our soap isn’t resting in a puddle of water, it should last as long as, and usually longer than most bar soap. We don’t use artificial hardeners or preservatives, so it’s important to let your soap dry between uses.Handmade all natural wooden soap dishes are available from our online store.
Does 18th Street Soap lather?
Yes! 18th Street Soap produces a thick rich later, and it does so without using artificial lathering agents like sodium lauryl sulfate. Our original and ever popular Pink Himalayan Salt Soap has a very unique light, fluffy lather that is like no other soap.
Note: The information and referenced materials contained on this site are intended for general information purposes only. It is not intended to serve as medical advice.
Pregnant or nursing women should consult their health care provider before using essential oils.
Essential oils can be toxic for pets! Do not use essential oils or products made with essential oils on cats. Consult a veterinarian before using products containing essential oils on any animal.