Our Ingredients

The Soapy Zebra Recipes

We tested many, many soap making oils and butters before deciding on our final recipe. Whilst the recipe itself is top secret (of course!), we are happy to let you know what ingredients we use, and why. We wanted to reduce single use plastics but still want bathing to be fun. Find out why we do not use palm oil.

We make our bath salt soaks with Apricot Kernel oil and Buttermilk, for a wonderful skin-loving soak.

We source our ingredients from reputable suppliers and choose those with the best 'green' credentials. We love those that package in recycled materials where possible. Whilst it's not 100% perfect (yet!), we will endeavour to always make the best choices for our products and customers. We reuse and recycle materials we get sent - your order might arrive with some!

We check that our suppliers have cruelty-free statements because we 100% always, now and forever, will only test on willing humans. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Our Soap Oils & Butters

We use gorgeous oils and butters. Find out more about them with the drop-downs below. 

Apricot oil is pressed from the kernels. It is a lightweight oil that is high in linoleic and oleic acids. It produces small bubbles in Cold Process soap, offering a medium lather and mild cleansing. 

This thick liquid oil is extracted from the castor bean plant. It has a fatty acid profile that is unique, and soaps made with a small percentage will have unrivalled lather. It boosts lather by making a soap more easily dissolved in water.

One of the most common soap making oils, Coconut makes a soap that has abundant lather and large fluffy bubbles in cold process. It is also the main cleansing oil and adds hardness to the soap. The coconut smell doesn’t make it into the final soap. We also use coconut water, which has some natural sugars that boost bubbles even further!

This butter is extracted from the fruit kernels of the mango tree. It adds some hardness to cold process soap, and it brings luxurious conditioning properties as well. We found this butter a game-changer in our recipe!

Olive oil is considered a staple ingredient in soap making because it's great for delicate and sensitive skin. It’s a thick oil that creates a low, creamy lather. It creates almost no bubbles and low cleansing, which is why it is usually teamed up with coconut oil. An interesting fact (to us soap making geeks, at least) is that when made at 100% olive oil it is a soap that starts super soft but cures to a very hard bar...however, it takes around a year to get there!

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It provides a mild lotion-like lather in cold process soap. It also helps create a medium hard, long lasting bar.

Our Soap Additives

Some additives are in every batch as they're critical to the recipe. Whilst others are featured in select soaps.

Also known as activated Charcoal, is a natural ingredient derived from coconuts. We use it to colour soaps grey or black. Soap with activated charcoal will also absorb toxins and remove skin impurities and oils on and below the skin. This is why it's especially good for acne. We don't offer soaps specifically for the face yet. Be careful around your eyes!

Bananas are rich in magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. They are also high in natural sugars which adds bubbles to Cold Process soap. In body products they are excellent for smoothing and moisturising dry skin...

Citric Acid is found naturally in citrus fruits, especially lemons and limes. It is a chelator, a chemical that has the ability to attract, bind, and 'trap' metal ions like a 'claw'. Chelators in soap bind to the metal ions and minerals found in tap water, so that they can't bind to the soap molecules and form new chemicals like soap scum. Soap scum can cause a loss of bubbles and lather, as well as leaving a 'ring' around the bath tub.

This is one of the most common cosmetic clays and it's also the mildest. Kaolin clay in soap provides skin slip and dries to a smooth, matte finish. We use it as a soap additive for fixing our scent as it helps make the fragrance stay longer.

We use skin safe cosmetic micas in most of our soaps becuase they come in a variety of beautiful colours and make bathing fun. Mica Powder is a naturally produced, non-toxic mineral that gives off a shimmery and metallic-like appearance. Ours are not checmically dyed.

We use ground oats in our soaps for a gentle exfoliating finish. They are generally mild for even sensitive skin. We use larger oats for decorative tops.

We use fragrance oils (parfum) in our soap. We choose those that will be long lasting, so that our soaps stay nicely scented to the end of the bar. We try and choose those scents with low or zero allergens (there are 26 substances that are declared as cosmetic allergens). You'll see any declarable allergens listed on each web listing page and on the ingredients label.

These beautiful blue poppy seeds are added to give exfoliation. They are a bit more scrubby than oats. 

We use natural pumice stone as another gentle exfoliater, as they leave skin feeling soft and velvety. They also add texture or detail in a design (check out our Sage & Sea Spray, as that soap has it in the base to look like black sand). The ground pumice gives a stronger exfoliation compared to that of seeds or botanicals.

Sodium Lactate is a sodium salt of natural lactic acid produced by fermentation from vegetable derived sugar. Our overall soap recipe is a more 'soft' recipe (because we do not use palm oil, see below) and adding Sodium Lactate helps it harden in the mould and release from it easier.

We currently use coarse sea salt to add a decorative top to some soaps.

Spa Bars - When salt is added at around 50-70% of the overall recipe it becomes a 'spa soap bar'. What are they? They are wonderfully hard bars that have a lotion-like lather and last a long time. The salt has purifying and astringent properties. We hope to offer these soon.

Our Bath Soak Oils Additives

We offer a simple but effective bath soak recipe. Wonderful baths for both relaxing and invigorating.

We love Apricot Kernel Oil, it's part of our soap recipe as well as our salt soaks. In cosmetics it's said to calm and soften irritated skin. When added to our salt soaks it can make the salts stick a little bit more than salts made without added oils, but just give your salts a stir to crumble them again. It's worth the effort, your skin will enjoy the extra value apricot oil brings to the bath water!

Bicarbonate of Soda and Citric Acid are added to our bath salts to give a little fizz and help disperse the colours and fragrance. They are commonly found in bath bombs etc.

Buttermilk is the leftover liquid after churning butter. It is high in both fat and lactic acid, both of which soften and hydrate skin. It's a wonderful addition to our bath soaks.

Mineral-rich Sea Salt is the main ingredient in our soaks. Salts are said to stimulate circulation and help soothe achy muscles.

We love matching colours and scents, therefore giving you a complete sensory bathing experience. We have a selection of scents, but will be looking to add more. Please check for allergens (there are 26 substances that are declared as cosmetic allergens). You'll see any declarable allergens listed on each web listing page and on the ingredients label.

We use skin safe water soluble cosmetic micas in our bath salts. They give a lovely vibrant colour to the bath water - add as little or as much as you like, but a little does go a long way.

Mother and baby orangutan

Why we choose palm oil-free

Simple. It matters to us.

Palm oil makes a very nice bar of soap and it is a common soap making oil. However, deforestation for palm production singularly and directly affects the plight of the Orangutans. They are the largest tree-living mammal and critically endangered. Find out more by visiting the Orangutan Foundation or the WWF.

This hits us right in the heart and we do not want to contribute any part to it - knowingly or unknowingly. And whilst it is true that crops of other oils also have detrimental impacts on the environment, it is specifically palm oil production that threatens this large and beautiful mammal. 

So, we simply choose to make our soaps palm oil-free because we have a great recipe without it! We add Mango and Shea butters to give our bars the hardness that palm oil normally brings to the recipe.

If you do choose palm oil in your lifestyle, you might want to check that it is from sustainable palm.

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