Common Name: Salt (table, Himalayan, Sea, Dead)
INCI: Sodium Chloride

Major Properties: Salt is fantastic for the skin! It helps to soften the skin and keep your skin happy and healthy. In soaps, it helps to harden the soap up to get it out of the mould easier, and to keep the bar nice and hard.

Seriously Important Info: Be careful about the amount you add into your soaps. Too much salt can cause your soap to become brittle, and also the particle size can play a part in this too. I’m talking crumbly here. Also, the end results can be vastly different if you add salt during the water phase or at trace. If you are planning to use salt in your cosmetic makings, don’t use iodine salts.

Why I picked it: I love salt and sugar in my skin care. I find salt helps to shed the dead skin faster. I do feel there is no real difference between regular salt, and Himalayan, and sea salt. So save your coins and just go for de-ionised salt!

Other uses: scrubs, soaps, toners

Substitutions: another salt, and in some cases sugar could work


Bladderwrack Seaweed Powder

Common Name: Bladderwrack Seaweed Powder
INCI: Musa Acuminata

Major Properties: Seaweed has been known for countless ages as an ingredient that is fantastic for dry skin. Many anti-aging products also contain seaweed for that simple reason.

Seriously Important Info: It smells like fish. But the smell does go away!

Why I picked it: Because I live in Ireland, and seaweed soap is just bloody awesome and neat and when you make it it really smells like fish! Then the fish smell goes away. But seaweed soap is really neat!

Other uses: masks

Substitutions: other than another seaweed, I can’t think of any swaps. 



Common Name: Cosmetic Clays; Kaolin, Green, Pink
INCI: Kaolin, Illite 

Major Properties: Provides slip, a gentle exfoliator, makes the bubbles more silky. Clay does provide gentle day to day exfoliation when used in bar soap or cleansers. It helps to make the bubbles more dense, providing more cushion for your razor.

Seriously Important Info: Clays are commonly used to colour soaps, enhance slip, and to help create denser bubbles.

Why I picked it: Who cares about the colours! Bubbles? Did I loose you somewhere? Bubbles! Kaolin Clay is one of the easiest clays to get your hands on, and one of the cheapest. It’s an amazing ingredient! Pink and green clays are a fair bit more pricy. 

Other uses: body and face masks, cosmetics, cleansers, soap

Substitutions: These three can be used interchangeably, just be cautious of the price. 



Castor Oil

Common Name: Castor Oil 
INCI: Ricinus Communis
Soap INCI: Sodium Castorate

Major Properties:  BUBBLES! It helps to stabilize the lather when saponified. It also acts like a humectant by drawing moisture to the skin. Quite high in Vitamin E, and its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio makes it beneficial to skin and hair.

Seriously Important Info: It’s a very viscous oil, rarely used neat on the skin unless you are trying to regrow your eyebrows or as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair. It’s frequently used in lip products to impart some serious shine and hold power.

Why I picked it: Bubbles. Need I say more?

Other uses: lip products, oil cleansers, masks

Substitutions: Honestly, I wouldn’t want to substitute this oil for anything. It’s that unique!



Rice Bran Oil

Common Name: Rice Bran Oil 
INCI: Oryza Sativ
Soap INCI: Sodium Ricebranate

Major Properties: Highly moisturising in soap. It imparts a nice shine to soaps once they are aged/cured properly. They also have the soap feeling very lush once they are set up. Rice bran oil is wonderfully deep moisturising, and a great combination of fatty acids and Vitamin E. 

Seriously Important Info: In soap, I’d not use more than 20% even at 15% it is pushing it. I find soaps with high amounts of rice bran oil takes a good long while to unmould, cure, age before you can use them. And even then it is chancy. 

Why I picked it: I love the way rice bran oil looks in a final bar of soap. It makes the bar look glossy and lush and just very expensive looking! To me, the way a bar looks is just as important as how it works. Rice bran oil in lotions is brilliant imparting a glorious dry touch finish. 

Other uses: lip products, face products, scrubs, masks, butters, various body products


Soap: olive oil, almond oil (sweet), canola oil

Lotions: apricot kernel oil, grapeseed, argan, camellia


Palm Oil

Common Name: Palm Oil 
INCI: Elaeis Guineensis
Soap INCI: Sodium palmate

Major Properties:  Hardness, stabilizing bubbles. Palm Oil helps to to make the soap easier to unmould. As well, palm oil helps to make the soap reach a thicker trace.

Seriously Important Info: The palm oil Cheeky Bath Treats buys is responsibly and ethically sourced certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). 

Why I picked it: Bubbles! Ok. And hardness. I picked palm oil as an ingredient to provide me with a nice hard bar. Too many people complain about animal fats based soap (even though it is truly the best thing on the planet!), an my ingredient of choice (cocoa butter) is much too expensive as a key hardening ingredient. That pretty much left palm oil.

Other uses: soap. Only soap. I only use it in soaps! 


Soap: lard, tallow, cocoa butter, olive oil (last resort!)



Coconut Oil

Common Name: Coconut Oil 
INCI: Cocos Nucifera Oil
Soap INCI: Sodium Cocoate

Major Properties:

Hardness, bubbles.

Seriously Important Info: Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a dream on the skin! It has that faint nutty scent that lasts forever and a day in lotions and in lip products. In soaping, save you coins, the scent does not survive, you’re better to use the refined stuff as you get all the same properties for a fraction of the price. 

Why I picked it: Dude. Really? Bubbles. Big, fluffy, unreal, glorious bubbles!

Other Uses: lotion, lip products, body scrubs, soap


Soap: palm kernal flakes can work, but its very difficult to swap out coconut oil in soap.

Lotions: apricot kernel oil, argan oil