Handmade soap and skin care products are affordable luxuries that most people never experience. Unlike the store bought varieties that most of us grew up with, handmade soap and lotions retain all of the beneficial characteristics of the ingredients that go into them. Your skin will feel the goodness immediately.
We are dedicated to producing the finest skin care products using the very best ingredients available, and free of animal products, harsh chemicals, and artificial preservatives. We use organic, natural and free trade ingredients where possible, and label our products accordingly.
We make our products at our ten acre home Stillmeadow in Eads TN, where we have chickens, dogs, birds, and a herd of semi-tame deer. (Yes, we took this picture at Stillmeadow.) Our gardens and greenhouses grow many of the ingredients we use.
All of our products are formulated, balanced, and tested in our own lab and on our own skin, never on animals. We never sell any body product or soap before it is fully cured, tested, and approved by Cosgrove or Lewis themselves.
We chemically test each batch prior to sale to make sure soap contains no residual sodium hydroxide, and that the pH is perfect. We use the latest testing protocols and professional software and equipment.
You can be sure that every product we make is of the highest quality, scientifically formulated and tested, handmade, closely monitored through every phase, and contains the finest essential oils and ingredients regardless of the cost or the length of time required to produce our products.
The oils, butters, and waxes we use are all natural and expensive, and our great variety of in-stock ingredients give us a unique ability to formulate products for very specific purposes, skin conditions and aromatherapies.
About Lye: There are some common misconceptions about sodium hydroxide (lye.) All handmade hard bar soap is made with lye, even goat’s milk soap. You can’t make soap without lye. However, at Cosgrove & Lewis we pay very careful attention to the formula and process, and the soap is properly monitored, cured and scientifically tested. We use less lye than other soap makers, and at the end of the soap making process all of the lye has been converted into nourishing, hydrating, healing soap, and there is NO LYE LEFT.
The C&L Process – Most handmade soap is either cold processed or hot processed. We have developed a unique process and one-of-a-kind equipment that produces the amazing qualities of our soaps, using less sodium hydroxide (lye) than other soap makers, and making C&L soaps different from all other handmade soaps.
Oils containing triglycerides are mixed with sodium hydroxide in a reactor vessel and then pressurized to 15 atmospheres. The resulting chemical reaction produces a fatty acid salt and glycerol (the soap itself). Our process uses heat and pressure to tightly control the saponification reaction, leaving some of the base oils intact to provide the health benefits. To this we add natural ingredients like essential oils (see below), exfoliants, herbs, butters and extracts to make the best soaps possible.
Our Quality Control Lab
|What it's made with:
||What it's made without:
We always strive to come up with new, unique, pleasing scents. Want to hear about it as soon as we've got something new for you? Like us on Facebook or join the mailing list!
Coconut Oil – Antioxidant rich coconut oil is a great moisturizer for hair and skin, helping to increase skin elasticity and reduce skin aging. The natural acids in the oil are antimicrobial, helping to prevent and reduce acne.
Cocoa Butter – Yep, the same cocoa butter used to make chocolate! It is high in vitamin E, and is great for chapped hands and feet and other skin irritations.
Olive Oil – Most of our soap contains a high percentage of expensive olive oil because it is naturally hypoallergenic, nourishing and moisturizing. High in antioxidants, including vitamin A and E, our rich Jordanian olive oil helps to renew and repair free radical damage to the skin, and can reduce damage caused by the sun and an unhealthy diet.
Glycerin – Glycerin is one of the most important components of our soap, and one which is virtually absent in store bought soaps. It is a natural byproduct of the soapmaking process that commercial processors remove and sell separately because it is more valuable than the soap itself. Our soaps retain all of their natural skin-hydrating glycerin, making your skin feel cleaner and more supple.
Sustainable Palm Oil – Our certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) gives our products a silky feel and conditions the skin. It adds hardness and a stable lather to make our soaps and whipped butters last longer. Ours comes from small, locally owned plantations in Indonesia.
Castor Oil – Castor oil gives our soaps crazy lather and great moisturizing properties. As an emollient, humectant and softener, castor oil (together with Glycerin) traps moisture in the skin, reducing wrinkling and dry skin.
Shea Butter – Our African Black Soap contains 45% shea butter from Ghana. This stuff is great. It is rich in vitamins A and E, phenolic acids, triterpenes, phytosterols, fatty esters, and other unpronounceable things that are REALLY good for your skin. It helps protect skin from the sun, promotes cellular regeneration, and fights skin allergies.
Plantain Charcoal – We hand-process natural plantain skins for our African Black Soap (ABS) in a traditional process used in West Africa for thousands of years. It is rich in antioxidants and a very mild form of lye called caustic potash. The lye is completely transformed in the reaction into salts and natural glycerin, giving our ABS a smooth semi soft consistency, true to the original African process.
Honey – Our ABS contains organic local honey which helps fade scars, treats acne, moisturizes, and cleans pores.
Activated Charcoal – Our black and grey soaps contain activated charcoal which absorbs toxins and deodorizes. One teaspoon of our negatively charged activated charcoal has a surface area of 10,000 square feet, absorbing a lot of toxins.
Aloe Vera Juice – Some of our soaps contain aloe vera, which acts as a moisturizer, reduces signs of aging and stretch marks and sooths damages skin. It contains more than 75 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and more.
Dead Sea Salt – Normal table salt is 97% sodium chloride. Sea salt is 85%. Dead Sea salt is an entirely different thing, containing only about 15% sodium chloride. What’s the rest of it? Magic minerals from Israel and Jordan that have been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Helps acne, psoriasis, and reduces inflammation.
Oatmeal – Our colloidal oatmeal soap is mild and gentle, excellent as a facial bar. It helps fight skin irritation and redness, eczema, poison ivy, and contact dermatitis.
Natural Pigments – Our products contain only natural mineral and plant pigments as colors. We derive our colors from naturally occurring minerals and plants. We use no commercial dye and no food coloring.
Exfoliants - Some of our exfoliating spa bars contain fine-grain pumice, walnut shells, luffa, or some other natural exfoliant. Our pumice is a finely milled form of highly porous volcanic lava. GREAT for a gentle pedi-scrub, our pumice bars are scratchy, so don’t use them on your face or other highly sensitive skin. Spa bars may contain milled walnut shells or even a whole piece of natural luffa.
Essential Oils – We use only the best, most expensive oils and fragrances that add amazing aromatic and therapeutic qualities to our products. C&L products are known for their exotic scents and skin-tingling therapy bars. Each Essential Oil has its own special therapeutic effect in our body care products.
Fragrance Oils - Sometimes we use synthetic fragrance oils when we want a scent that doesn't exist in nature, or for which a natural essential oil isn't available. (almond, watermelon, green apple, pear...) If we use a fragrance oil, we label our products as such.