Posted on

Award Winners!

Wow – what an incredible summer its been so far.

Holiday weather at home, and a flurry of soap awards! (no… the other kind of soap :))

2014 was the first year we were brave enough to enter the prestigious Free From Skincare and Green Parent Awards.

We sent 4 soaps out for judging, and an amazing 4 came back with badges.

We couldn’t be happier.

As a very small brand up against all the big well-known names in natural skincare we were delighted just to have our soaps shortlisted. The fact that 3 of our soaps were awarded medals, well, we’re just over the moon.

We’ve included some extracts from the judges comments below, which we hope you’ll find interesting.

For us, some of the most noteworthy were the comments about the suitability of our products for sensitive skin and their excellent value for money. (more on this below the images)

Which soaps won which awards?

Coco Castile Silver

Our Coco Castile soap won a Silver Free From Skincare Award

Here’s what some of the judges had to say about this extra gentle soap:

“A lovely buttery scent, very natural, more oily than soapy, left a nice level of moisture on my hands. It is mild and creamy … Lovely packaging and very clear labelling”

“Extremely gentle on my sensitive, dry skin, but cleansed effectively even after I had been gardening or cooking”

Our Shea Luxury soap won a Silver Green Parent Natural Beauty AwardShea Luxury Silver

When we did a quick straw poll among some of our regular extra sensitive-skinned customers, this bar was a key front-runner of the ones they recommended we enter.

It seems they were right! Thanks so much for your input here, Stacey in particular.

A number of men told us that this is their go-to soap for shaving their heads!

Our Oatmeal Soother soap won a Bronze Free From Skincare Award

Oatmeal Soother BronzeHere’s what some of the judges had to say about this exfoliating, yet sensitive-skin-friendly scrub:

“Mild milky fragrance, very clean smelling and neutral. It didn’t have much lather, but was very creamy, cleansing and exfoliating” 

“Gentle to skin and soothing” 

“Excellent value for money – a luxury soap for a great price” 

“I found this by far the most all-round lovely and eczema friendly soap I’ve used”

Our Rose Geranium soap received a Free From Skincare Award Commendation

Rose Geranium CommendedAs the award organisers describe it, commendations go to “really good, well-made products that sit well in the natural or ‘free from’ skincare market.”

Thanks very much indeed!




Industry recognition for our sensitive skin soaps

A key goal for us when we started making soap was to make a generous part of our range suitable for sensitive skin (as well as all other skin types). Many companies merely remove the scent from their generic formula and then deem it a ‘sensitive soap’.

We were keen to go further than that, and:

– take sensitive skin as a starting point for a soap (not a tacked on after thought)
– create a variety of different formulas to take into account various ingredient sensitivities and allergies
– offer a range of different textures to choose from
– make the pleasure of washing with a scented soap something that those with sensitive skin could also enjoy

We definitely haven’t achieved all our goals in this area just yet, but to have our sensitive soaps officially recognised by such a prestigious allergy and sensitivity-focused organisation as the Free From Skincare awards, we can, I think, feel hopeful that we’re on the right track.

The added recognition from the renowned Green Parent magazine also makes us feel very happy that we’re making a good start at addressing the washing needs of the family as a whole – sensitive skin and children’s skin often being pretty similar.

Feedback and comments, as ever, very welcome.

Excellent value for money

Something else we have also been very focused on right from the start are our prices. ‘Posh soap’ (as handmade soap is often referred to as), needn’t really be posh at all.

We see no reason why healthy, enjoyable soap shouldn’t be part of as many peoples’ everyday experience as possible, and so work very hard to keep our prices at a level that allows this.

That’s why it was so great to see the “excellent value for money” comment in the judges’ feedback. We aren’t a large or even medium-sized organisation with a giant marketing budget, and so, as is extremely rare nowadays, most of what you are paying for when you buy one of our bars is actually the very high quality & ethical ingredients that goes into them.

Its interesting to note that the Free From Hard Soaps Gold medal went to a palm oil based bar that retails for around 3-4 times more than our Silver and Gold award winners.

And so to next year

I wonder if we should enter some more awards? I imagine this sort of rigorous external testing is something that you find useful when trying to decide which soaps to buy?

If there are any soaps in particular you would like us to send out into the world, or indeed specific awards you’d like us to enter, please do let us know.

Posted on

Shortlisted for Awards

FFSA Shortlist lo-resSo, we might have some news…

In a flurry of excitement back in February, we decided to send our soaps out into the world… to be judged…

I know, I know, what a thing to subject our soapy offspring to. But we did it anyway. Mean hey? Well perhaps not.

Being an allergy sufferer, I’ve been a long-time follower of the Free From Food Awards.

They’ve put me on to such deliciousness as a vegan, palm oil free ‘cheese’ that actually tastes nice! (the Blue Cheese being a personal favourite); and a whole host of other treats.

A few years ago though, all my Christmases came at once when they launched the Free From Skin Care Awards.

Like their tasty counterpart, these are of course concerned with products that exclude the common food allergens; but they also take into account the use of artificial additives and, extra wonderfully, also ethical issues.

There was nothing for it – we had to enter.

Then came the hard part, which soaps should we send to be judged?

Being all natural, vegetarian (mostly vegan) and palm oil free, our entire range was eligible to enter.  Given the allergy focus though, we thought it best to stick with our soaps that are particularly good for sensitive skin.

For variety, we chose a pretty soap in our signature scent, the Rose Geranium; our mildest soap, initially actually created for a woman with a severe sun allergy, the Coco Castile; and, of course, the sensitive-skin friendly & scrubby favourite, the Oatmeal Soother.

Months passed…

Nails were bitten…

FFSA Commended 14 Lo-resFear abounded.

It seems though, we had nothing to worry about.

Totally taken aback and flattered beyond belief (particularly as we’re such fans of the awards!) we recently discovered that ALL of the soaps we’d entered had gained some sort of recognition!

Giddiness took over.

It turns out that our Rose Geranium has been officially ‘commended’ in the Hard Soaps category, and BOTH our Coco Castile and Oatmeal Soother have been shortlisted to win!

We literally couldn’t be happier 🙂

Rigorous testing is going on right now of all the shortlisted products, and the winners will finally be announced at the Love Natural, Love Organic show at London Olympia on 4 July.

It would be truly amazing to win, but we’re extremely happy to have got this far.

More About the Free From Skin Care Awards

“The FreeFrom Skin Care Awards are designed to celebrate and encourage skincare and cosmetics manufacturers who create products that exclude many of the allergens, chemicals, fragrances and artificial additives associated with skin and health concerns, ethical and environmental concerns, and which may appeal to those looking for purer or more natural cosmetics and products for their skin, including those with problem skin conditions.

Entries are initially assessed by panels of independent skincare and natural health experts who choose products to commend, and products to shortlist for an award of excellence. These shortlisted products then undergo a rigorous month of testing by experienced Beauty Bible testers before the best in each category are selected as gold, silver and bronze winners in the final judging stage.”

Another Award

And for those of you that have read this far, we can reveal that we know for certain that we’ve actually won another very prestigious award!

I know, we’re totally bowled over.

We’ve been sworn to secrecy so can’t yet reveal the details just yet, but Watch. This. Space.