Soaps and Products by Ingredient

All our soaps start with vegetable oils good enough to eat.

The excellence of our soaps comes from the integrity of our basic ingredients. We use only food grade oils that nourish your skin. By blending four base oils—olive, rice bran, palm kernel and soy—we craft a bar of soap that's moisturizing, long-lasting and luxuriously lathering.

This type of soap making is alternately called “cold process soap,” “lye soap,” or, since we use olive and all vegetable oils, “Castile soap.”

To convert the oils into soap, we add lye, sodium hydroxide. Don’t fear; there is no lye left in finished bars. The fatty acids and the lye neutralize each other and form a salt called soap. Basic chemistry.

During the process, glycerin is formed from triglycerides. The glycerin is a natural by-product of “cold process” soap making. It composes about 8% of each bar. Glycerin feels silky smooth on your skin. It’s a humectant, gathering moisture from the air.

You can pronouce the ingredients in all our products.

You can trust all of our products to contain only plant-based ingredients (other than distilled water). We use no synthetic preservatives, no petroleum products, no triclosan, no phthalates, no formaldehyde… The list of what we don’t include is frightening.


Essential Oils

Textures & Natural Colorants

almond oil

We add to our basic soap recipe one or more of the following luxurious oils to provide your skin with maximum moisturizing. This step is called “superfatting.”

essential oils

The fragrances in Herbaria soaps are essential oils derived only by steam distillation, expression, or extraction from actual plants. We are careful to select oils from sustainable plants, avoiding those from endangered species such as sandalwood or rosewood. In addition to creating the vibrant scents of our soaps, natural essential oils may also contribute therapeutic value for your skin health. See the descriptions of each bar for more details.


We add oatmeal to many bars because it is unsurpassed for exfoliating and soothing your skin. Cornmeal provides the scrub for our Gardener's Hand Soap. We use no oxides, ultramarines, synthetic colorants or dyes, choosing instead clays and plants' blossoms, leaves or roots to complement our scents and to make our soaps pretty as well.