FAQs

*LakeShore Soaps is home to our signature Chunky Soap Collection as well as Cheryl's Petals Soaps*

--What's the difference between the Chunky Collection and Cheryl's Petals Collection?
Our signature Chunky Collection of LakeShore Soaps is what was previously known as our Chunky Soap Shoppe glycerin soaps, in existence since 2014. Nothing has changed with this soap collection except for its name. However, in 2019, along with this name change, we also began development of a new cold-process artisan soap line called Cheryl's Petals. These soaps are designed to provide the ultimate in skin-nourishing, scented natural cleansing. The methods for soap-making are different between these two lines (Chunky and Cheryl's Petals), but all of these soaps fall under the LakeShore Soaps name, created by us in the same location along the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL. More details below--

--What are your Chunky Soaps made of?
While each of our LakeShore Soaps' in our signature Chunky Collection are unique, they're all made from saponified vegetable oils (Coconut, Sustainable Palm, Safflower and/or Grade A Extra Virgin Olive) as well as vegetable based glycerin, purified water, sorbitol (moisturizer), sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), and oat protein for conditioning (wheat protein in our shaving soaps). Some also contain titanium dioxide, a natural whitening pigment. For additional skin-loving benefits, many of our soaps contain oatmeal, aloe vera, honey, goat's milk, cocoa butter, or shea butter. Utilizing the soap-casting method (also known as melt & pour), we purchase the highest quality soap bases we can find with these ingredients to ensure our soaps provide the lathering, cleansing and moisturizing action we command. We then mix in various botanicals, pure natural clays, oxides/ultramarines, and essential oils and/or fragrance to create our one of a kind, signature soap designs. Exact ingredients are listed on each individual product's description page. None of our soaps contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), phthalates, artificial dyes or parabens, and all are soy-free and cruelty-free.

--What are Cheryl's Petals Soaps made of?
While we're still developing our new Cheryl's Petals line, we're excited to be bringing it to you! These vegan artisan soaps are handmade via the cold process method of soap-making and our recipes include only the highest quality oils (coconut, olive, sustainable palm, castor) and butters (shea, cocoa, mango, to name a few), along with a whole host of botanicals and natural additives to provide you with the ultimate in skin-nourishing, hard soap for your cleansing pleasure. Merging the science and art of soap making at its best, this method allows for complete control over ingredients and offers design options not possible with other methods. Similar to our Chunky soap collection, these soaps are soy-free, cruelty-free, and contain no SLS, phthalates, artificial dyes or parabens. Ingredients are listed on every item page.

--I see 'Sodium Hydroxide' listed in each of your ingredient lists. What is that for?
Sodium Hydroxide, or lye, is the chemical that turns oils and butters into soap. The process is called saponification. All real soaps must have lye in it, though sometimes it's not listed as an ingredient and instead just phrased as 'saponified oils'. Many commercial, store-bought soaps are saponified with animal fats. Our soaps are saponified with vegetable oils only. And rest assured, lye is no longer present once the saponification process takes place. 

--Are your soaps natural?
Yes they are! And for our soaps containing fragrance oils, they are 'all natural plus fragrance'. 

--Are your soaps vegan?
All of our Cheryl's Petals soaps are vegan, and most of our Chunky collection as well, with the exception of Honey and Goat's Milk soaps. You'll find it clearly listed within each product description. 

--Is your palm oil from sustainable sources?
Yes, the palm oil we use in our soaps is sustainably farmed and sourced by suppliers in the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

--Are your soaps cruelty-free? 
Yes, all of our soaps are produced with ingredients that are cruelty-free, whereby no animals were experimented on or harmed.

--Are your soaps soy-free? 
Yes, all of our soaps are now soy-free! 

--Are your soaps gluten-free? 
None of our soaps, with the exception of our Shaving Pucks collection, contain any obvious gluten. However, since we cannot independently verify that any cross contamination did not take place with any of our sourced ingredients-- we hesitate to label our soaps gluten free.

--What does it mean that your products contain NO "SLS, phthalates, artificial dyes or parabens"?
Each of the above classes of chemicals have been designated as potentially dangerous, even carcinogenic, although many in the cosmetic industry and other companies persist in using them. LakeShore Soaps avoids ingredients that contain these artificial compounds. Period.

--What's the difference between the soaps that have essential oils vs. fragrance oils? 
Essential oils are highly concentrated compounds extracted from living plants (either from the blossom, fruit, leaf, stem, bark, wood or resin). We only use 100% Pure Essential Oils in our soaps. Many are cited for their physical and mental health benefits and are frequently used in aromatherapy. On the other hand, fragrance oils are synthetic compounds often used in perfumes and cosmetics because they are significantly more economical to use than essential oils. Plus, there are hundreds of available scents that cannot be attained by using natural oils alone. All LakeShore Soaps' will list either essential oils or fragrance in their item-specific ingredient listings. We also make soaps that have no added scents or fragrances. If you have a known sensitivity to fragrance, you're best off sticking with our essential oils soaps or our non-scented soaps.

-- What are the benefits of using essential oils?
Here are examples of the commonly believed physical and mental health uses for some essential oils (although LakeShore Soaps cannot independently verify this):

Lavender is said to be calming and able to reduce the levels of stress hormones. It can also help with insomnia.
Lemongrass is good to reduce pain, fight depression and also helps with inflammation and detoxing of bacteria.
Grapefruit is a natural anti-septic and can also serve to alleviate fatigue.
Eucalyptus can ease sore muscles and help clear sinuses.
Bergamot is said to improve mood and help fight depression.
Lime kills bacteria and fights infections.
Mandarin purifies blood and soothes inflammation.
Nutmeg is said to relieve pain and counter premature aging.
Orange is a mood lifter and tones up general immune system health.
Peppermint is used for pain relief and also induces firmness in muscles. Good for brain and memory health too.
Rosemary is good for anxiety, headaches and respiratory problems.
Spearmint has been used to protect wounds from becoming septic and clears spasms. Good for restoring overall health.
Tangerine soothes inflammation and promotes growth and regeneration of cells.
Cinnamon Bark works as an antiseptic, good for wound healing, and helps promote healthy immune function.

*Note: you may know that some essential oils such as bergamot and grapefruit are photosensitizers and precaution must be taken to avoid sunlight within 12 hours of product use. However, this warning is meant for products that are considered 'leave-on' such as lotions and lip balms. It does not apply to soaps, which are wash-off products.

--What's the difference between your Chunky bar soaps and your Chunky square soaps?
The only differences between these two soaps are the size and shape (and price). Our over-sized bar soaps are rectangular in shape and weigh at least 6 oz., while our square soaps are just that- and weigh in at 5.5 oz. Of course, each soap design is unique and will contain different ingredients, but any of them can be used in the bath/shower from head to toe, or as a hand soap by the sink. They are all luxurious and they're all delicious! All told, when factoring in our special shaving soaps, our signature Chunky collection consists of over 40 different items to choose from!

--Why doesn't my soap look exactly as pictured on the website?
All of our soaps are made in small batches to preserve freshness and are hand cut. There may be variations in color or shape from batch to batch or bar to bar, because soap crafting is an art as much as it is a science and design/color consistency is not always easy to achieve. We like to think it's part of what makes each of our soaps unique ;-) What will not vary from batch to batch is the soaping action or the cleansing/moisturizing properties of the soap.

--Are your soaps good for dry skin/sensitive skin?
While we cannot make any medical claims that our products will resolve your skin problems, we offer many testimonials to the fact that others seem to think our soaps work great on their skin, taking away dryness and minimizing the need for lotions. Because our soaps are natural and richly moisturizing, we think they're awesome for dry/sensitive skin. 

That said, if you have very delicate skin you should probably stay away from our super exfoliating soaps (indicated with an *) which might be too abrasive as they slough away dead skin cells. 

And if you know your skin is particularly sensitive to fragrance, then do avoid soaps that contain fragrance oils and go instead with our essential oils soaps or non-scented soaps.

On the other hand, if you're prone to oily skin, you could try our soaps containing activated charcoal and/or natural clays, as these help draw out impurities and skin toxins which may lead to acne.

--Are these soaps okay for children to use?
Absolutely! Unlike most store-bought soaps and body washes, there are no harsh chemicals or artificial dyes in LakeShore Soaps. They're natural and possess skin-loving, nourishing ingredients, and kids love washing with them because of all the great scents and colors. Parents also love how easy it is to encourage their children to wash their hands! However, probably best to avoid our strong exfoliating soaps on children's delicate skin.

Also, because our soaps are large and over-sized, they may be difficult for small children to handle. In that case, it's perfectly okay to simply cut the bar in half using a large non-serrated knife (and then, you'll have two soaps ;-))

--How soon will my order ship?
We strive to ship all orders within 24 hours, but during high peak times (holidays) it may be more like 48 hours. We ship via USPS First Class or Priority Mail, and cost will vary depending on size of order. Some large quantity orders (such as for Shower favors) may take a bit longer than this, but we'll communicate the time frame with you and get your approval first. We ONLY ship our soaps within the United States (including AK and HI).

--What is your return policy?
Due to the nature of our products, LakeShore Soaps cannot be returned as they will not be able to be re-sold. The only exception to this is if the product arrived damaged, in which case it may be exchanged. Please contact us at lakeshoresoaps@gmail.com if you have a problem with your order.

--How are your soaps wrapped?
All LakeShore Soaps' Chunky soaps come individually shrink-wrapped to protect from glycerin-sweating, and are labeled and tied with a bow for easy gift-giving or to unveil for your own use. Our Cheryl's Petals Soaps come labeled without shrink wrap, as these soaps do best and last longest when allowed to breathe. 

Note: do not allow any of our soaps to sit in water. They should remain as dry as possible in-between uses, in order to prolong their longevity.

--Do you offer gift cards?
Unfortunately, we do not offer gift cards at this time. We do, however, sell adorable gift-boxes housing 3 luxurious Chunky bath bar soaps of your choosing. If you prefer, we'll even send it straight to your recipient along with a note "written" by you (payment receipts will not be included).

--Party/Shower Favors??
Yes, LakeShore Soaps' make awesome party and shower favors, and we're happy to customize labels to suit customer needs. In fact, we're not sure what a more appropriate shower favor would be than our luscious and decadent soaps! 10% off discounts are offered for orders of 12 or more soaps from our Signature Chunky Collection only. Use code "favors" during checkout and be sure to tell us what you'd like your customized labels to say- but please keep it brief! Something like "From Nicole's Shower to Yours" would be perfect! Expect longer processing time with custom orders. Only one promotional discount code can be redeemed at a time. Contact us at lakeshoresoaps@gmail.com if you have any questions. 

--Do you run promotions or offer discounts?
The short answer is yes! We actually have 2 ongoing promos:
1) Purchase any 4 or more soaps and receive a Free cedar soap deck while supplies last (no promo code needed).
2) Spend at least $49 and choose either a Free Signature Chunky Soap (up to $7.85 value) OR Free Shipping- it's your choice. Must use discount code "FREESOAP" or "FREESHIP" during checkout to activate this promotion.

*We also post promos and special discounts via social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) that you won't want to miss... so be sure to follow us!