At Sweet Surrender we like to make things as convenient and enjoyable as possible for you to ensure you have a great experience every time you visit and shop with us.
For your convenience, we've answered a few of our most frequently asked questions.
If you have a question about any of our handcrafted bath and body care that hasn't already been addressed, please don't hesitate to ask on our Contact page and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between handcrafted soap and store-bought?
What you typically purchase in stores isn’t really considered soap. They are detergent bars made with surfactants that remove oil and dirt from your skin. Any glycerin that may be produced is removed to be used in other more expensive products.
At Sweet Surrender, nothing but the highest quality oils and butters are used to create natural soap bars that gently cleanse your face and body without removing the natural oils your skin needs to be healthy.
Glycerin is a naturally occurring by-product of handmade soap and an excellent humectant that helps to moisturize your skin by forming a protective barrier that draws moisture from the air to your skin and keeps it from evaporating. Instead of extracting it, it is left in each natural bar of handcrafted soap to do the job it was intended to do, moisturize your skin.
Why is handcrafted soap more expensive than what I get from the grocery store?
Simply put, surfactants are cheaper than natural oils. Because detergent bars are made in massive quantities, surfactants and sometimes fillers are used to keep manufacturing costs down.
At Sweet Surrender, my products are made in small batches. This allows me time and attention to detail, but more importantly, it allows me to invest in high quality oils and butters so I can create premium, natural soap bars that are gentle and nourishing for your skin. The health and beauty of your skin is paramount; therefore, I don’t cut corners to save money.
Will handcrafted soap break my skin out?
Because my handcrafted bars are formulated for your face and body, I use a combination of oils and butters that will gently cleanse your skin without stripping your skin of the oils you naturally produce or leaving any type of residue that will clog your pores, both which can lead to breakouts.
Additionally, all my soaps are handcrafted with Colloidal Oatmeal to soothe and moisturize dry, irritated skin, and Kaolin Clay which lightly detoxifies and removes toxins and other impurities from your skin that can lead to breakouts.
Will it irritate my skin?
I personally formulate all my recipes with sensitive skin in mind. I take care to avoid using ingredients I believe to be potential irritants.
I avoid using oils from the most common allergens such as sesame, peanut, and other nut oils and use only skin-safe fragrances and naturally occurring colorants to avoid skin irritations.
How long will the soap last?
Your soap bar should last approximately three (3) weeks provided you take care to keep it dry between uses by using a slotted soap dish that will allow water to drain off your soap and remain dry between uses.
Allowing your soap to sit in water will cause the soap to become soft and will dissolve more quickly with each use.
Another factor that impacts the longevity of your soap is the frequency in which you enjoy your bar and whether you share it with someone special or keep it all to yourself. The more frequently it’s enjoyed, the shorter the life of the bar.
What’s the difference between fragrance oil and essential oil?
Essential oils are oils that are extracted directly from plant matter that not only smell delightful but also have health benefits.
Because they come directly from plant matter, they’re very potent and must be used with a carrier oil to avoid direct contact with the skin to avoid irritation, but not all essential oils are skin-safe so precautions must be taken.
Fragrance oils are skin-safe oils that have been made with natural and chemical compounds to mimic the scent of essential oils and other fragrances. Some fragrance oils have the same earthy scent as essential oils and some have more perfume-like notes.
Unlike some essential oils, fragrance oils cannot be ingested and some are not skin-safe, therefore, they don’t have all the same physical health benefits essential oils are believed to have, but they are amazing when it comes to aromatherapy.
Why does it just say fragrance on the label?
In some cases, a fragrance oil blend may be proprietary, so the term “fragrance” provides protection against someone trying to copy it.
In other instances, essential oils must be listed individually; however, when it comes to fragrance oils there are so many natural and chemical compounds used to make them, it would be virtually impossible to list them all.
Is your soap vegan?
No. While I don’t use animal fats in my handcrafted soaps, I do use cruelty-free silk amino acids and goat milk for their amazing, natural ability to nourish and moisturize dry, sensitive skin.
Will your soap heal my skin?
While my handcrafted soap bars have many benefits for your skin, it cannot heal any skin condition you may have. It will, however, help to alleviate symptoms such as dryness, itchiness, and irritation associated with certain skin conditions.
Why is lye in your soap; Will it burn my skin?
You cannot make soap without lye. The sodium hydroxide (lye) is what turns oils and butters into soap. Without lye, you just have a container of oils and butter. Saponification is the chemical process that takes place that turns oils, butters, and lye into soap.
When soap is made properly, there is no lye that remains in the finished bar of soap that can irritate or burn your skin.
Will your soap heal my acne?
Handcrafted soap has many wonderful benefits; however, healing skin ailments is not one of them.
Typically, acne is the result of your natural sebum (oil), dirt, and debris clogging your pores and follicles. Keeping your skin clean and moisturized using light moisturizers that won’t clog your pores and follicles is key to keeping breakouts at bay.
There are some instances where acne is more severe and requires medical treatments from a dermatologist, but a good start is keeping your skin clean and moisturized, and using a gentle, natural cleansing bar such as handcrafted soap is a great start.
What is the white stuff on the top of my soap?
Sometimes, when freshly poured soap is exposed to the air, the air reacts (oxidizes) with the lye and forms what is called “soda ash”.
Soda ash is not harmful, nor does it impact the performance of the soap. It typically gets removed during the initial use.
Some soap makers consider it aesthetically unpleasant. Although I try to prevent soda ash from occurring, if it forms on my soaps I don’t too much mind. It adds a unique “frosted” element to my soap designs.
I just bought my soap, but when I opened it I couldn’t smell it.
While curing, the outer layer of the soap hardens. It can make it seem your soap has lost its scent, or make it difficult to smell the fragrance when you initially unwrap your soap.
The scent hasn’t really evaporated from the bar, it’s simply “trapped” under the first layer of soap. During the initial use when the outer layer is used, the fragrance is then released for you to enjoy for the life of the bar.
Other bath bombs have oils and butter in them; why don’t yours?
I formulated an oil-free, bubbling bath bomb recipe that will soften and hydrate your skin without the use of oils and butters to avoid having them stick to your tub/shower and creating a dangerously, slippery situation.
Oils and butter are amazing moisturizers for your skin, but we all know, oil and water don’t mix.
With my oil-free bath bombs, I created a way for you to hydrate and soften your skin with a relaxing bath, and instead of sending all those amazing oils and butters down the drain and leaving a dangerously greasy mess to clean, you can use them after your bath to seal in moisture and enjoy soft supple skin that’s silky smooth.
What’s the difference between natural and organic?
Products and ingredients that are labeled “Natural” are not regulated and can be plant-based ingredients that could possibly contain harsh and harmful contaminants, toxic components, pesticides used for fruits and vegetables, and/or growth hormones when it comes to the raising of animals.
Additionally, there are many natural ingredients and botanicals such as beeswax, shea butter, aloe, chamomile, and a variety of essential oils that are natural and have a wealth of health benefits that weren’t grown and/or harvested with toxins or harmful chemicals.
When ingredients are “organic”, they are heavily regulated by the FDA and USDA and are usually “Certified Organic”. This means you are getting products that are plant-based and don’t contain any toxins, pesticides, and/or growth hormones.
Are your products natural, organic, or both?
My products are considered natural. I use a combination of Non-GMO, plant-based, colorants, and skin-safe fragrances and essential oils in my formulations, as well as Certified Organic, Non-GMO oils, and butters to produce the most nourishing, healthy bath and body care for your skin.
Does handcrafted soap go bad?
Handcrafted soap is like fine wine, it gets better with age.
The longer a bar of soap cures, the milder and gentler it becomes. There’s no expiration date per se. Over time, a soap may develop orange spots which are the visible signs of oxidation, but the soap itself is still fine and usable.
Over time the longer a soap remains unused, the scent and color may fade, but it will still be an effective soap; however, I recommend using your soap within six (6) months to a year of purchasing.
Do you use animal fats in your soaps?
No. There are plenty of plant-based, fruit, and vegetable oils readily available that make an outstanding bar of soap. Although there are many handcrafted soaps that use animal fats, I prefer not to.
How do you test your products?
By using them! If Sweet Surrender's products aren’t good enough for me and my family and our sensitive skin, then they’re definitely not good enough for you and yours.
Will the colors in your soap and/or bath bombs stain my skin or my tub/shower?
No. Even though some of my soaps and bath bombs are brightly colored, I use minimal amounts of natural mineral pigments as colorants, not dyes.
My bath bombs may lightly color your bath water, but they won’t stain your skin or leave a color ring around your tub.
Is your soap safe to use on my face?
Absolutely! I formulate all my soaps to be gentle and soothing for the most sensitive and delicate skin types.
Is your soap safe to use all over my body?
Definitely! I formulate my products to be gentle for your face and the most sensitive areas of your body.
Are your products safe for kids?
Yes. Kids, especially babies have the most sensitive and delicate skin. I formulated my products to be mild and gentle for the youngest to the eldest member of every household and everyone in between.
Will the oils from your body butter stain my clothes and sheets?
No. As you will find, a little of the body butter goes a long way. Not much is needed to moisturize and hydrate even the driest skin.
It’s formulated to melt on contact with your body heat and is easily and quickly absorbed without leaving a greasy residue.
Can I use your body butter on my face?
Absolutely! Our body butter is formulated to be an amazing hydrating moisturizer and is very versatile. You can use it in the morning for long-lasting moisture as well as at night for an intense nighttime moisturizing treatment.
What is a body polish?
A body polish is a gentle, creamy exfoliant that gently sloughs away dry, dead skin cells. It helps to improve circulation and the texture of your skin. You can read more about it here where I explain in more detail what body polishes are and how to use them.
How do I use a body polish?
While in the shower, scoop out a generous amount of the body polish and with your hands gently massage onto your arms, legs, and torso in a circular motion paying close attention to particularly rough patches of skin such as elbows, knees, and heels. Rinse with warm water to reveal soft, smooth beautifully healthy skin.
Can I use a body polish on my face?
No. Although my body polish is formulated to be gentle and mild for sensitive skin, it’s not recommended for use on your face as the sugar grains used in the body polish are too large and abrasive.
Using large abrasive grains on your face can scratch and seriously damage the delicate layers of your skin.
Can I use your soap to wash my hair?
There are some that use handcrafted soap on their hair without issue, but it’s important to keep in mind, soap is alkaline, and hair is acidic.
The pH of your hair is 4.5 and 5.5, while the pH of soap is usually between 7.5 and 10. The use of handcrafted soap may be too harsh on the hair strands and would definitely need a rinse with a lower pH to close and soften the hair shaft to prevent damage.
Additionally, my soaps are formulated to gently cleanse your face and body which has very different needs than the strands of your hair.
Can you use handcrafted soap on your hair? Technically, yes.
Is handcrafted soap the best option for cleansing your hair? That’s for you to decide.
Is your soap antibacterial?
When it comes to antibacterial soaps, you tend to think of certain liquid and bar soaps you find at most grocery stores.
Those products contain a chemical called triclosan or triclocarban, or both, which are chemicals that kill not just bad germs and bacteria, but it also kills the good bacteria your body needs to protect itself. Prolonged use of these chemicals will compromise your immune system rendering antibiotics ineffective should you ever need them.
Do my products contain these ingredients? No. It’s not necessary for me to use these chemicals because when used properly, soap and water won’t kill bacteria, but they work to effectively remove germs and bacteria from your skin without compromising the health and strength of your immune system.
What is a body butter?
A body butter is a rich and creamy moisturizer for your skin that’s made without water. Because it’s formulated without water, it’s an intense moisturizer that softens your skin and seals in existing moisture.
Because water is either evaporated out of the skin or absorbed more quickly into the skin than oil, a body butter provides the hydration your skin needs for a much longer period of time resulting in softer, silky-smooth skin with a naturally healthy glow.
Is your soap hypoallergenic?
I take care to avoid the more common allergens such as almond, peanut, and sesame oils in my formulations; however, I strongly suggest reading the ingredients listed in my products before making your purchase. There’s nothing more disheartening than purchasing a product only to find you’re allergic to one of the ingredients the hard way.
Are your products gluten-free?
My soaps are not gluten-free and contain colloidal oatmeal for its natural ability to soothe, calm, and help nourish and moisturize sensitive skin.
Although I love colloidal oatmeal and what it does for sensitive skin, I do take custom orders with a minimum purchase amount. If interested feel free to contact me.
Are your products truly handcrafted?
Yes. I formulate my own unique soap recipes and make everything by hand using high-quality raw ingredients. Because I like to be in control of what goes into my products, I prefer not to use premade bases; however, occasionally I use melt-and-pour soap for embeds.