For years, we’ve made our soap with neem extract and aloe vera gel rather than the water needed for the saponification process. It’s an extra step but a leaf extract contains compounds not always found in neem oil, so it makes our soap more effective, particularly on skin that’s prone to itching, redness or non-cystic acne.
Recently, it’s become nearly impossible to import essential oils into Mexico, where our partners make our artisan soap by hand. That just proves the old adage: necessity is the mother of invention, except they took it a step beyond the original plan.
Hydrosols – sometimes called essential waters – are produced when herbs are steam-distilled — contain much higher levels of plant compounds than water-based extracts or even cold-pressed aloe gel. They’re slightly astringent and lightly fragrant, so that even soaps made with strong-scented plants like oregano and Vicks plant (a succulent that smells just like Vick’s Vapo-Rub) incorporate the traditional benefits of those herbs without an overwhelming smell.
And not only are they more effective, they last longer! We’re not sure how the science works but apparently the hydrosols bind more closely with the other ingredients and the bar doesn’t get soft as quickly. They’re just as sudsy – maybe even sudsier because even Vicki’s normally oblivious husband noticed the difference when we got samples earlier this year.
We’re fully stocked with our top-selling Neem & Aloe bars with the new hydrosols, and have six other varieties available in smaller quantities, including an amazing Neem, Aloe & Citronella bar that is incredibly effective without the normally overpowering scent.
As always, they’re all-natural soaps made on our partner’s carbon-negative farm which is now owned by Mayan farmers rather than the friend from Tampa who originally started the company. We’re completely sustainable with all added ingredients grown on a farm created specifically for sustainable economic development.