FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do you use food grade ingredients in your products if you don’t plan on eating them?
Through its elaborate system of pores, your skin—the largest organ of the human body— absorbs everything it touches. Simply put: If you would not eat it, you should not be putting it on your skin.
How are your soaps made?
Our soaps are crafted from scratch using organic & unrefined food-grade vegetable oils and a food-grade alkali known as sodium hydroxide. The alkali— a salty derivative of wood ash —mixes with the vegetable oil to form sodium palmitate and after the saponification process, our glycerin enriched soap!
How is your soap made differently than the stuff I can buy at the supermarket?
Known as cold process soap making, our old-fashioned method differs from the more modern processes in that excess oil is used to absorb the alkali. This makes for a super-fatted soap that your skin prefers over the harsher industrial versions. Commercial soap (referred to as “beauty bars,” “deodorant bars,” “facial bars,” or “antibacterial bars”) is in fact detergent, not soap! Some antibacterial cleansers even contain chemicals that kill bacteria essential to skin health. Overtime, the rise of antibacterial cleansers contributes to antibiotic resistant bacteria. In addition, many popular liquid cleansers put alcohol and other harsh ingredients into their products. The alcohol keeps their formulas from solidifying, but at the cost of robbing the skin of much needed oils.
What about the fancy “hand crafted” soaps I see in gift shops?
Quite a few soap crafters rely on mass manufactured products to craft their goods. Manufacturers chemically extract the natural glycerin, add a few things and produce products they call “natural glycerin soap” or “melt & pour bases.” These are either grated or left as slabs for crafters to re-melt. Crafters then add fragrances & colorants to this liquid product, pour it into cute molds, add decorative swirls and call it handmade soap. Some “goat milk” soaps are made this way as well. Although very artistic and pleasing to the eye, this is not true, authentic soap. It has been tampered with too much along the way to the shelf.
We do not use pre-manufactured bases, synthetic fragrances, perfumes, extracts or cheap fillers in any of our Gaia Essentials products.
What is the difference between pure essential oils and other forms of fragrance?
Pure botanical essential oils are “active.” Not only do they produce a natural aroma and taste but they also possess medicinal value. Aromatherapy has a proven positive effect on health and the botanical’s use in holistic remedies has existed as long as we have. Synthetic & chemically made “fragrance oils” provides only a surface scent without any health benefits. Extracts are “natural” however alcohol laden in process.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of volatile liquid plant materials (known as essential oils) to affect a person’s mood or health. The word was coined in the 1920’s by French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé who, after a lucky accident in his perfume laboratory, devoted his life to researching the healing properties of essential oils. In the accident, the story goes that Gattefossé had lit his arm on fire and thrust it into the nearest cold liquid, which happened to be a vat of lavender oil. Much to his amazement, the burn healed quickly without leaving a scar.
Why do you add preservatives to some of your products?
Anytime you add water to a product it is going to attract life (primarily bacteria) that will interfere with the product’s quality and safety. In order to ensure our products’ shelf life and your good health we must add in some preservatives.
What sets Gaia Essentials apart from other Skincare Producers?
The care we put in and the quality of the finished product. As stated before, we strive to use sustainably harvested organic food grade ingredients and this is harder than it sounds. As with everything, there are quality and manufacturing differences. The list of all the ingredients used is too long to place here however I’ll give you a few.
Olive Oil comes organic or not and then in 4 grades. 1st press olive oil is extra virgin, 2nd is basic kitchen olive oil, 3rd is refined, and 4th is pomice. Now with the last 2 choices (which are used by most soap makers) chemicals are used to extract the oil from the fruit and pits leaving traces in the oils and making them unpalatable. In fact you would get sick if you ate it. We use only Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Shea Oil comes organic or not with several other choices. Hand pressed and unrefined (my choice) all the way down to chemically refined bleached and deodorized for melt and pour non-crystalize ability.
Palm Oil, which is decimating some counties in their pursuit to grow it, is under a lot of scrutiny. Making sure that it is sustainably harvested as well as being organic and unrefined is rare.
We have the bar set against the ceiling with the selection of the superior ingredients used in all Gaia Essential products. We can guarantee you these are the highest quality ingredients in Skincare at such an affordable price point.
How do you ship our orders?
We only ship priority 2 day mail, 1 day locally. This is to prevent the product from sitting in a hot dusty warehouse throughout the shipping process. The USPS flat rate boxes provide fast delivery, tracking and are the most affordable. Of course, free shipping is available for continental USA retail orders over $150.00.