I began The Shea Soap Lab in 2011 with the idea of combining my years of lab experience as a chemist with my Grandma Shea’s soap-making process. It took me many months of experimenting and many batches of soap to choose the combinations of oils and butters that I felt best produced soaps that were both cleansing and felt luxurious to use.
Every time I make a batch of soap, I still experience the same sense of awe I felt as a child when I first saw simple ingredients become transformed into soap. I hope you enjoy using your soap from The Shea Soap Lab as much as I enjoyed making it.
-Joan Shea O'Neal
At The Shea Soap Lab, we make all our cold-process soaps in small batches using only vegetable oils and specialty butters; we never use animal fats or prepared soap bases. During saponification, the chemical process that creates soap, the fatty acids found in the oils and butters are converted by lye (sodium hydroxide) to soap and glycerin. Most commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from their soaps. All the handcrafted soaps made at The Shea Soap Lab have their full glycerin content.
Although our soap can technically be called lye soap since lye is used in the soap-making process, there is no lye in the final soap; careful measurements are made to insure that our soap is correctly formulated for your personal use. We also cure every bar of soap for at least a month to insure hardness and mildness.
We only use the finest ingredients at The Shea Soap Lab. Our scented soaps contain either essential oils or fragrances specifically made for soap use. The colorant used for the different artistic effects come from pigments specifically sold for cold-process soap use. The end result is a bar of soap that is a pleasure to use and truly unique.