I began making soap in 2017, because I wanted to know what I was putting on my skin. I was tired of navigating confusing labels with chemical ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. I wanted to avoid palm oil, which is so problematic for the environment. (Find out why you should ditch palm oil, even “sustainable” palm oil has problems.) My vegetable garden slowly morphed and expanded into a giant herb garden. I was growing and foraging more of the skin-loving botanicals that you’ll find in all my skincare products.
Mayapple Soaps feature garden grown herbs, foraged plants, and organic ingredients. They are made in small batches in a solar-powered kitchen in Brookland, a historic neighborhood in Washington, DC.
Many ingredients come directly from my herb garden. Others ingredients come from a small farm in Northeast DC, Three Part Harmony Farm. Goat milk soaps are made with local milk from 56 Hooves in Loudoun County, Virginia. Wild foraged plants are collected with care, taking only what I need and never plants that are rare or endangered.
Mayapple Soaps are scented with high-quality essential oils, which are pure plant extracts. The essential oils I use are steam distilled from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, and roots. They are nourishing, balancing, and cleansing for the skin. Whether you are dealing with chapped skin, wrinkles, breakouts, redness, or eczema, essential oils may help. Aromatherapy also eases muscle pain, relieves stress, and calms nerves.
Where to find Mayapple Soaps
Mayapple Soaps is at the Brookland Farmers Market once or twice a month March through December. Shop local farmers and producers, and enjoy open studios Saturdays 9AM-1PM by the Brookland metro stop at 716 Monroe St NE. Follow Mayapple Soaps on Instagram to learn about other markets I’m at throughout the year.
How is natural soap better for your skin?
Natural soap is made through a process called saponification, and formulated with excess oils and butters to nourish your skin. Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the process. It attracts moisture from the air to create a protective barrier that prevents your skin from drying out.
Conventional mass-produced “soap” has more in common with detergent than actual soap. It is a combination of synthetic detergents—which strip the skin, foaming agents, and chemical fragrance. Some may be harmful to your health and the environment. FDA does not require manufacturers to disclose what’s in fragrance either! This problem is called the fragrance loophole.
It’s more important than ever to wash your hands to stop the spread of Coronavirus. But frequent hand-washing with conventional soap is harsh on your skin. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are too. A natural soap is a completely different experience!
Why the name Mayapple Soaps?
The name was inspired by a hike I took in my neighborhood. I spotted the native spring ephemerals unfurling their umbrella-shaped leaves all over Fort Bunker Hill Park. I was curious and learned that mayapples grow by spreading underground. What I was seeing was one giant interconnected community! The “apple” it produces, you’re not likely to see unless you peek under the leaves. Small and poisonous until it’s fully ripe, it is a symbol of patience to me. It’s good to slow down, and enjoy the things that take time to make. The name Mayapple Soaps is a reminder to nurture wild beauty in ourselves, our community, and the natural world.
In collective health,