Q: Are your soaps biodegradable?
A: South of France Soap is completely biodegradable. All surfactants used in South of France soaps are biodegradable. This means all surfactants (sudsing/cleaning agents) are broken down into simpler compounds by natural biological action helping to eliminate sudsing/foaming problems in lakes and streams.
Q: I saw that your ingredients listed "essential oils and fragrances." What does that mean? What are the ingredients? Are they all natural?
A: As has historically been the case with South of France products, our products today are infused with blends of Natural and Essential Oils and Fragrance, which result in our complex scents that evoke sensory images of life in the South of France. While natural essential oils are used in formulating the fragrance notes, trace amounts of synthetic ingredients are also used. These synthetic ingredients are not petroleum-based and do not contain phthalates and are designed to comply with the Natural Products Association standards of 2009. Synthetic ingredients also replicate certain natural notes that could otherwise only be obtained through the use of endangered natural materials. We cannot divulge the specific recipe of each scent because we work with master perfumers for whom each composition is their own unique creation.
Q: What does "French Milled" mean?
A: French Milled, or triple-milled, soap is milled, or refined, three times, which concentrates the natural vegetable oils. This process results in a longer-lasting bar that dissolves far more slowly than other soaps. Triple French Milled bars are characteristically heavier and denser bars that that produce richer, thicker foam than regular bar soaps. Sometimes “French Milled” is referred to as “hard milled”. This is the traditional soap-making method that has been practiced in Southern France for centuries.
Q: Are South of France® soaps hypo-allergenic?
A: South of France soaps are free from the following harsh chemical ingredients that are commonly used in the body care industry: Sodium Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Laurel Sulfate Tetrasodium EDTA Parabens Phthalates Animal By-Products Animal Testing Synthetic Colorants South of France cannot make the claim that our products are hypo-allergenic because we do use essential oils and blends of fragrance to impart scent to our products; the ingredients used for fragrance can trigger specific allergic reactions. Typically, an individual who is sensitive to fragrance can work with his or her dermatologist or allergen specialist to isolate and identify which fragrance(s) trigger their specific reaction and thereby avoid using products with that particular fragrance. Because South of France products do not contain harsh chemical ingredients, often individuals who have (1) sensitive skin or (2) an allergy to one of the afore-listed harsh chemical ingredients, find that South of France products provide relief from their allergies/sensitivities while synthetic products fail to do so.
Q: Is South of France® packaging recyclable?
A: Yes, our bottles are manufactured with a minimum of 30% post consumer waste and is recyclable. Our cartons are fully recyclable and FSC certified. For more information see About our Products.
Q: What is Shea butter?
A: Shea butter is derived from the nut of the Karite Tree, which is native to the dry savannah belt of West Africa. Shea butter is a natural moisturizer, possessing a high concentration of Vitamin E. It nourishes, rejuvenates, hydrates and conditions the skin as it promotes cellular growth. Although the Shea Nut is essentially a tree nut, it does not belong to the list of commonly allergenic tree nuts; there are no reports of allergic reactions to Shea nuts or products containing Shea butter. Additionally Shea butter has been proven useful in relieving dry skin and dermatitis.
Q: What is the shelf-life for South of France® soaps?
A: South of France soaps have a shelf life of at least five years, if not longer; however, the fragrances contained in our products will begin to fade after approximately two years. This is due to the fact that South of France products do not use harsh chemical preservatives, a decision that was made with your safety in mind. So, while your bar of Lavender soap (for example) may begin to lose its fragrance after two years, the bar itself will remain perfectly good & useable for up to five years.
Q: What are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Tallowate and are they found in South of France soaps?
A: Sodium Laureth Sulfate and its close relative, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLSs) and Sodium Tallowate, or Tallow are NOT found in South of France soaps. Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are inexpensive synthetic foaming agents and degreasers, widely used in commercial soap production. In industrial application, SLSs are mainly used as engine degreasers, floor cleaners and car wash soaps. SLSs are commonly used in clinical trials to intentionally irritate the skin, so that researchers can measure the rate at which skin heals. SLSs are linked to eye irritation, rashes on the skin and scalp, and other allergic reactions. South of France soaps do not contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. South of France soaps produce rich, dense foam naturally, and are gentle to the skin. Sodium Tallowate, or Tallow, is animal fat, and is found in many commercial soap products. It is inexpensive, plentiful and has been known to clog pores. South of France takes pride in the fact that our products never contain any animal by-products and are cruelty-free (never tested on animals).
Q: Are any of your ingredients tested on animals?
A: No, we are cruelty-free and have been certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program that no animal testing is used in any phase of product development by South of France Natural Body Care, its laboratories, or suppliers. For more information see About our Products.
Q: Are your products vegan/soy/gluten free?
A: Yes! We are gluten free (and certified by the Celiac Sprue Association), soy-free and all our soaps are vegan.
Q: What is Vegetable Glycerin and why do I want it in my soap?
A: Vegetable Glycerin is a by-product of the soap-making process. It’s a natural humectant, which means it attracts moisture from the environment to its surface. Glycerin’s most common function in beauty products is to prevent soaps, creams and makeup from over-drying. South of France soaps are made with only the most pure vegetable based ingredients, like palm and coconut oil. Because Vegetable Glycerin is a valuable commodity to the health and beauty industry as an additive in lotions and cosmetics, many soap manufacturers sell the glycerin that results from their soap-making process to other companies. South of France retains this important ingredient and adds it back into the soap. The resulting bars are excellent for dry skin, as the Vegetable Glycerin content helps hold moisture in the outer layers of the skin.
Q: Where is the soap made?
A: Utilizing the centuries-old Marseille method of soap-making, our products are manufactured and packaged in the United States.