Frequently asked questions

Soaps

Is your soap handmade?


Our soap is made by hand in small batches… the old-fashioned way! The Releafery mixes a combination of vegan plant butters and natural oils with a lye solution to create a beautifully balanced bar of soap. The oils are ‘saponified’ by the lye, and soap is created. Saponification is a chemical reaction between a base (lye) and an acid (oils) to form soap (salt). Soap is considered a salt because it’s composed of a mixture of sodium salts of various naturally occurring fatty acids. Got all that??




Why is handmade soap better than store-bought soap?


Handmade soap is the best option for your skin for several reasons. The saponification process produces soap and glycerin, but some larger soap companies extract the glycerin from the soap to be used in other products. This does the soap a disservice because it’s the glycerin that is the moisturizing agent, as it pulls moisture from the air and replenishes your skin. Another reason to choose handmade soap is because it is made in small batches, giving the soapmaker the opportunity to ensure each bar is of the highest quality. Also, handcrafted soap can utilize the most natural of ingredients to be personalized to your skin type.




Does all soap have lye?


The short answer is yes. If soap isn’t made with lye, it’s not soap. You might notice that lye is not an ingredient on some store bought soaps. That’s because they are actually detergents, not soap. Soapmakers use different terms to identify lye. It can be referred to as lye, sodium hydroxide, or by stating ‘saponified’ before other ingredients. Absolutely no lye exists in the final product.




How can I make my handmade bar soap last longer?


Handmade soap will last longer if it is kept dry between uses. It’s helpful to keep the soap away from streams of water and humidity, and always use a draining soap dish. Soap is unique in that it actually improves with age. The longer a bar sits, the more it hardens and will therefore last longer. It's worth noting that since our bars are made with essential oils, the scents may lessen over time.





Other

Are all of your products vegan?


The Releafery is a vegan-friendly store, which means that you will find a huge variety of products that are vegan. However, we do carry a few non-vegan items at this time.




What is 'Zero Waste'?


Zero waste basically means that nothing ends up in the landfill. We make every effort to be waste free with each product we carry. You will rarely see plastic in our products unless it is a refillable item, and even then the amount of plastic is very small. We make every attempt not to use plastic unless it can be reused many times. We use biodegradable and compostable materials whenever possible. We also use glass and aluminum to hold many products. Glass and tin are very easily recyclable (or can be reused by you!). We also love to reuse materials (boxes, packaging) when shipping orders. Even our soap labels are made from seeded plantable paper! Our hope is that our efforts will bring awareness to the environmental impact that plastic and other wasteful materials bring to our world. There are many easy and sustainable solutions!





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