About our Soaps

What is the difference between handmade soaps and commercial soaps?

Raincoast Soaps makes handmade olive oil-based soap. In a nutshell, handmade, cold process castile soaps retain glycerin and do not need chemical preservatives.

Why don’t larger companies make cold processed castile (olive oil) soap?

The shelf life of cold processed soap is shorter. The price of natural castile soap is higher due to the glycerin content, essential oils and higher priced natural and/or organic ingredients. As well, we don’t add cheaper priced petroleum products, nor fragances in our soap.

Is there vegetable glycerin in this soap?

Yes! Our cold processed soap has a very high glycerin content that is created by the saponification process. Because we only use vegetable oils, it is a vegetable based glycerin.

Do your soaps contain lye?

Lye is a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water. For real soap to have cleaning and lathering qualities, it has to have some sort of alkali.

When oils and lye are combined in proper proportions, a chemical reaction called saponification occurs. The end result is soap plus glycerin. (Glycerin is often removed from factory produced soaps which is why commercial soap is often drying to the skin). When properly prepared and cured for several weeks, no lye remains in the final product.

Commercial soaps (also known as detergents) use petroleum products or vegetable oils, whereas  our soaps are made only with 100% vegetable oils.
Many soap companies do not list all their ingredients on their label. Sadly, soap is in a special category where ingredient listing is not mandatory. Sometimes, these companies only list the oils used in their soaps, however, it is impossible to make a solid bar of soap made of  that will lather and not melt in room temperature.

At Raincoast Soaps  we have nothing to hide and we’ll always list all ingredients in our products.

My soap is “sweating,” why?

A quality bar of handmade soap will often “sweat” in humid weather due to the high content of natural humectants. A humectant is a substance that readily absorbs moisture from its surroundings.

Glycerin is a humectant that is a natural byproduct of saponification,  the chemical reaction that produces soap. In commercial soaps, the glycerin is removed and used to produce commercial lotions. Handmade soaps, rich in natural glycerin, are the most moisturizing soaps you can find! When you wash with natural soap there is a thin layer of natural glycerin left behind, which will draw moisture to your skin. The general health of the skin relates directly to its moisture content. All natural handmade soaps can help the skin maintain a moisture balance while nourishing the skin.

When natural soap sits out in humid conditions, the glycerin in the soap will draw the moisture out of the air and onto the soap. So the sweating is actually moisture from the air that the glycerin attracts, not moisture coming from inside the soap. The more humid the environment and the more humectants in the soap, the more likely you’ll experience this phenomenon.

There is nothing wrong with your soap and it is not melting, it’s just the glycerin and other natural humectants doing their job.


What’s the minimum amount of soap bars I need to buy in order to place my order?

There is no minimum amount, however you should keep in mind shipping costs. Sometimes is more cost-effective to order multiples.


Are your soaps biodegradable?

Absolutely! All ingredients used are 100% natural and biodegradable.

Do you test on animals?

We will never ever test on animals. All products are tested on family and friends.

Do you use palm oil?

Nope. Palm oil is probably one of the world’s most controversial ingredients due to all the resources that go into its harvesting,  processing, and the environmental depletion of the countries that produce it. There are tons of available and more sustainable options out there so why not used those instead? Be assured that Raincoast Soaps will never use Palm oil in our products.