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what we use
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We use all-vegetable and all-botanical ingredients in our products.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Here are the details:

Olive Oil - This classic soap making ingredient makes a very emollient, gentle to hair and skin soap.  This oil was used to make traditional castile soap.  Olive oil makes a soap that cleans well and is gentle, but remains very soft and doesn't lather very well. 

Coconut Oil - The best all-around soap making oil.  Coconut oil makes a soap that lathers tremendously and cleans wonderfully.  A soap made with all coconut oil can unfortunately be drying to the skin and hair Coconut oil actually cleans a bit too well.  For that reason, we use it in combination with other ingredients.

Palm Oil - We use palm oil as a natural hardener for our soaps.  By itself, palm oil doesn't lather or clean particularly well, but it does help yield a harder bar and helps balance the coconut and olive oils in our formulas.

Castor Oil - Used in our soaps as a moisturizing base oil, it is one of nature's great humectant oils.  Castor oil draws moisture out of the air and helps the skin and hair retain their moisture balance.  

Sweet Almond Oil - A wonderful emollient oil that softens and conditions the skin.  Sweet almond oil makes a very mild, luxurious lather.  While sweet almond oil makes a wonderful soap all by itself, it is prohibitively expensive.

Shea Butter - A mimic of the body's sebum oil that Fernwood uses as a moisturizer as well as skin and hair protectant.  Shea butter is a natural fruit wax that possesses a number of qualities that are of enormous benefit to skin and hair.

Virgin Coconut Oil - A very light weight press of coconut oil that penetrates into the skin beautifully and helps provide a lovely protective matte on the skin..

Evening Primrose and Rose Hip Oils - Used as conditioners in our Liquid Shampoo Soaps.  They posses a family of linolenic acids and linoleic acids which are extremely beneficial to damaged skin and hair.

Essential Oils - These are natural herb, flower, and plant distillates and extracts.  They are NOT formulated perfumes.  Perfumes can contain hundreds of different components.  Our blended fragrances contain only pure essential oils.  Most perfumes also contain a high percentage of synthetic fragrances, fixatives, preservatives and dyes.  Fernwood believes our fragrancing method greatly reduces the chance for allergic reaction.

Distilled Water - Fernwood uses only distilled water in its soap making.  The finest of spring waters usually contains a number of minerals which give good spring water a wonderful taste.  Unfortunately, these same minerals can cause unwanted chemical reactions in soap making that could easily effect the quality and consistency of our soaps.  

Rosemary Extract - We use rosemary extract as a natural preservative in our products.  It is a powerful antioxidant that in itself is good for skin and hair as well as acting to prolong the life of our products.


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