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Answers to our most frequently asked questions.

1. Where did the name Sun Island originate?

2. How is Sun Island soap manufactured?

3. What ingredients are used in Sun Island soaps?

4. I’m hypersensitive and have fragrance allergies. Do you sell unfragranced soap or soaps for people with sensitive skin?

5. Do your soaps come in different shapes and sizes?

6. How long can I expect a bar of your soap to last?

7. Where can I buy Sun Island Body Care products?

8. Do you take custom orders?

9. Do you offer soapmaking lessons?

10. Do you sell soap that has been mad without Lye?

11. What’s the difference between hand-crafted soap and soap I buy at the store?

12. I've heard some ingredients found in soap can be harmful to me. Who regulates what ingredients can be used, and should I be concerned about any of the ingredients in your soap?

1. Where did the name Sun Island originate?

After doing some research, reading some books, and talking with soap-making suppliers we decided to do it ourselves. The first few batches were a mess, but after a few tries we got the hang of it. Soon we had more soap than we knew what to do with and started giving it to friends and family who also fell in ove with the fragrances and began to tell their friends.

We decided we liked making soap so much that the hobby was turned into a business. We chose the name Sun Island Fragrances to keep the exotic tropical inspiration that got us started.

2. How is Sun Island soap manufactured?

We produce our soap using the cold-process, hot-process and melt & pour methods.

Cold-Process: This method uses lye, water, and vegetable oils which are mixed together with fragrance (essential oils, or fragrance oils) and color. When the ingredients are combined, a chemical reaction takes place called saponification. The reaction generates a lot of heat consuming the ingredients and producing soap. The soap mixture is then poured into a mold where it cools and hardens for 24 hours then sliced into bars. The bars stand for 4 to 6 weeks to allow them to cure and harden before being packaged and sold.

Hot-Process: In hot process soapmaking, additional heat is applied to the soap mixture. The chemical reaction is the same, but occurs faster than in cold process soapmaking. Because of the additional heat, the finished soap bar tends to feel smoother to the touch. The hardness of the bar again depends on the selection of oils, amount of water used in the process and length of time allowed for water to evaporate out of the finished bar. As with cold process soap, the hot process soap is opaque and ranges from white-white to creamy-tan depending on the oils used, although clear soaps can be produced (see "Transparent Soap" below).

This method is also used to rebatch soap as well as making the base for liquid soaps. It takes longer to process the soap, but the advantage being the soap is immediately ready to use after a week of curing.

Melt & Pour: This method uses pre-processed blocks of soap which have already been saponified. The blocks of soap are cut into cubes, melted in a microwave, then fragranced and colored and poured into molds. The primary reason we use melt & pour is to make more decorative soaps, as its easier to work with melt & pour in small batches and easily reheated as needed. Melt & Pour soap cools and hardens quickly, and is pretty much ready to use right away as the soap base has already been pre-cured.

3. What ingredients are used in Sun Island soaps?

Sun Island Body Care uses all natural ingredients sourced from sustainable and fair trade growers where possible. We use organically grown ingredients, when available, which are clearly identified as "organic" on the ingredient labels.

We use vegetable oils only. In keeping with the tropical inspiration we utilize palm and coconut oils along with olive, castor, and other typical food grade oils. We do not utilize any animal fats our animal byproducts in the production of our soaps with the exception of Goat’s milk and beeswax. Other additives may include Goat’s milk, Shea Butter, and Cocoa Butter for increased moisturization.

Some soaps may contain additives for exfoliation of dead skin such as luffa, oatmeal, poppy seeds or ground calendula petals to name a few.

The fragrances we use are custom blends of exotic floral aroma therapy grade essential oils. Although many of our fragrances are inspired from exotic tropical botanicals, we also use fragrances that are favorites from all over the globe. Some soaps also utilize custom blended phthalate free fragrance oils as well.

All Sun Island Body Care products are free of parabens, phthalates, SLS, petrochemicals and chemical foaming agents. We use only natural oxide colourants. We strive to ensure our products are not only human friendly but environmentally friendly as well.

4. I’m hypersensitive and have fragrance allergies. Do you sell un-fragranced soap or soaps for people with sensitive skin?

es. We sell 100% pure olive oil soap, also known as Castille soap along with some various unscented soaps. Check out our Chamomile Soap or Calendula soaps. Both of these are very basic soaps with zero fragrance made with organic flower infused oils.

We have had customer’s indicate that even though they have super-sensitive skin, they have found that after using our soaps, they have noticed a significant improvement in their skin in both moisture content and less irritability.

If you have a history of sensitive skin but still want to try our soap, start with one of our mildest soaps. If you find your skin accepting the soap, finish up with that bar, then try a fragranced bar next. At any point if you find the soap irritating, discontinue use and let us know. We offer a full money-back guarantee on the unused portion.

5. Do your soap bars come in different shapes and sizes?

Yes. Our soaps are sold in round or square bars in weights ranging from 2 ounces to 5 ounces. You may also find us selling special occasion bars which may molded into various shapes and designs.

6. How long can I expect a bar of soap to last?

There are many factors to consider with regards to how long a soap bar may last. The size of the bar and whether the soap is being used by a single person once a day or many people multiple times a day. In our experience, a four ounce bar of soap used by a single individual for one shower per day will last about a month.

Tip to increase the life of a soap bar: Be sure to keep your soap dry, and not sitting in water, or where it may be sprayed with water. Soap will melt should it remain wet or sitting in water.

7. Where can I buy Sun Island Body Care products?

Sun Island Fragrances products are sold directly by Sun Island Fragrances at craft shows, fairs and farmer's markets around the GTA and Central Ontario region. Our products may also be purchased via our online web store. You may also discover some of our products being sold at some craft, health food and souvenir shops across Ontario. 

8. Do you take custom orders?

Yes. If you are looking for a unique fragrance for a soap or candle, we would be happy to help you find it. Custom soaps are sold in a minimum batch of 10 bars. It takes cold-process soap 4-6 weeks to cure so keep this in mind when you place your order. Please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

9. Do you give soap making lessons?

Yes. If you are interested in learning how to make soap we would be happy to help you get started. The lesson will include a batch of soap you can take home with you. Please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

10. Do you sell soap that has been made without Lye?

No. All soap is made using Lye (Sodium Hydroxide & water, or Potassium Hydroxide and water). There have been some sellers who claim their soap is not made with Lye. This is untrue. Concern is sometimes voiced regarding the use of Lye in soap, and rightly so. Lye is a caustic substance. Sodium and Potassium Hydroxide are alkalines. When mixed with water the solution is called Lye. When Lye is mixed with fatty acids (oils) a salt is created through a chemical process called saponification which consumes the Lye. The resulting salt is soap with very little or zero Lye remaining. If someone says their soap contains no Lye, this is true, however to claim soap is made without Lye is untrue.

11. What’s the difference between hand-crafted soap and soap I buy at the store?

There are many differences depending on the brands you buy. Some brands are better than others, but it really is answered by comparing how the soap feels on your skin after using it. For most people, commercial soaps leave the skin feeling dry. Others my feel itchy, or find a powder is left behind. Hand-crafted soaps leave your skin feeling moisturized, or like you have used a skin cream or moisturizer.

One of the byproducts of the saponification process is glycerin. Glycerin has many uses outside of soap and therefore many manufacturers will extract it from the soap and sell it or use it to produce moisturizers and creams. Sun Island Fragrances leaves the glycerin in the soap. This makes the bar softer, and is much better for your skin.

Some commercial soap manufacturers will use man-made ingredients, or chemicals in place of, or in addition to natural ingredients. Chemical based soaps are called detergents.

For more information about the merits of hand-crafted soap versus commercial soap, check out this PDF document titled "Why Handcrafted Soap?" produced by the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this document.

12. I've heard some ingredients found in soap can be harmful to me. Who regulates what ingredients can be used, and should I be concerned about any of the ingredients Sun Island Body Care products?

There are many harmful ingredients that have been historically used in commercial soapmaking. Typically this is driven by the creation of synthetic ingredients that mimick the properties of natural ingredients for a lower cost. In Canada, soaps fall under the category of cosmetics for Health Canada regulatory purposes. In the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the industry.

Health Canada Information for Consumers: Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

FDA Cosmetic Guidance and Regulatory Compliance

With regard to ingredients that you should be concerned about, both Health Canada, and the FDA maintain lists of controlled and banned substances for the Cosmetic Industry. This list is used by manufacturers as the list of disallowed items.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation, a popular Canadian environmental activist, journalist, and philanthropist, US researchers report that “one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.” This sounds alarming! What is a person to do to protect themselves from such claims? You can start by looking at the ingredients on your favorite products and checking for the ingredients that are on this document produced by the David Suzuki Foundation.

 

Sun Island Natural Body Care products follows our mission of manufacturing all natural products using ingredients that are organic and sourced from suppliers that support sustainable agricultural practices. We do not use any ingredients that are petro-chemical or animal by-product based in any of our products. The only exceptions are Goat’s milk and beeswax which are both considered animal by-products by Health Canada.