--Why do some of your labels say "chunkysoaps.com" and others say "lakeshoresoaps.com"?
Simply because our business started out as Chunky Soaps before we switched to our new name LakeShore Soaps. We left our photos as is, and because we still had zillions of labels already printed with our old name, we opted to continue using them. Thankfully, both names will get you to the same place (i.e., www.chunkysoaps.com and lakeshoresoaps.com)!

--What are your Chunky Soaps made of?
While each of our soaps in our 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. We 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's in your Aleppo-style soaps?
Saponified oils of olive and laurel berry. Nothing else. It is deliciously scented by the oils themselves. These soaps have been around for more than a thousand years, developed by artisan soap makers in Aleppo, Syria. Because we're based in Chicago, IL and not Aleppo, it didn't seem right to call our soaps Aleppo Soaps, so instead we say "Aleppo-style Soaps". They cure for over a year and are long lasting and highly moisturizing. People with all skin types will benefit from its naturally antiseptic, cleansing properties. 

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

--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 rectangular bar soaps and your 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. 

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.

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. Give our new Aleppo-style soap a try- it's great for any skin type or skin condition as it contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and other soothing properties. Even great for babies skin!

--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, our soaps and lip balms may not 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 Chunky soaps come individually shrink-wrapped to protect from glycerin sweating, and are labeled and tied with a raffia bow for easy gift-giving or to unveil for your own use. Our Aleppo-style soaps are wrapped in recyclable glassine bags and tied with a natural fiber cord.

--Do you offer gift cards?
Unfortunately, we do not offer gift cards at the present 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). Please see the gift box options for our lip balms as well.

--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. 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! 
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 occasional 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!