Painted Turtle soaps are handmade from local ingredients, and processed with care.
Painted Turtle Artisan Soap products are made from fresh, minimally processed ingredients, grown and purchased less than 80 km away. Small-scale production ensures that each batch contains the very best seasonal ingredients available.
Traditional Tallow Soap
The primary ingredient in every soap is fat and/or oil, and these influence everything: how it is made, how it cleans, and how it cares for the skin. Tallow soap might be new for some people, but it is actually a traditional type of soap that was used by ancient peoples such as the Babylonians, Phoenicians, and Celts. In Canada, tallow soap remained popular into the 20th century, when farming families made their own soap from from common household ingredients. Painted Turtle Artisan Soap still uses simple, traditional ingredients that have stood the test of time: tallow, water, lye, and sometimes herbs.
Tallow is cooked animal fat. Simple as that. It is beneficial for healthy bodies, both as an ingredient in food products as well as an ingredient in skin-care products. As a skin-care product, tallow is most commonly used in soaps, salves, and balms, proving nourishment from the outside in. Tallow naturally contains vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that are absorbed by our skin, replenishing the surface, and improving skin tone, appearance, and texture.
Grass-fed Sheep and Beef Tallow
Painted Turtle soaps are made with local grass-fed beef and sheep tallow. As much as possible, I try to use fat from pasture raised animals because maintaining a pasture system is ecologically wiser than maintaining a feed-lot system. In addition to the livestock who graze upon them, pastures also provide ecological habitats for numerous creatures such as songbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, native bees, and turtles.
Water (or another liquid) is a necessary ingredient in soap. I use distilled water purchased from a local store. The water is from and distilled in Ontario. I purchase distilled water instead of well water or rainwater because in my tests and experiments, I have observed that distilled water produces better soap. Distilled water comes in plastic jugs that get reused around the farm before recycling. Purchasing factory distilled water is not an ideal option, and I look forward to using a more sustainable alternative.
Lye (Sodium hydroxide) is a necessary ingredient in soap. Lye is the crystallized form of ash-water that was originally used to make soap bars. I use lye that is made in an Ontario laboratory, purchased from a local store. I use factory made lye crystals because it is reliably standardized, a necessary consideration for safety and quality control. Lye crystals come in plastic jugs that I typically use them around the farm before recycling. Factory made lye is not an ideal option, but one I must use until I have a better alternative.
Plants and Herbs
Plants and herbs are additions to basic tallow soap, included for their additional skin-care properties. Plants and herbs used in Painted Turtle soap are harvested from my own organic gardens.
Mints (Mentha var.) Spearmint, Peppermint, Chocolate-mint
Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica)
Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)
Lavender (Lavandula Lamiaceae)
Painted Turtle felted soaps are coated in wool, a natural material. The base layer of wool felt that is wrapped around the soap itself is natural, organic wool from our family sheep farm. At this time, the colorful wool that creates the details is industrially processed and colored with acid dyes. I am please to say that I am currently working on more sustainable alternative to industrially colored wool, and hope to begin including it summer of 2021.
WARNING: Do not let babies or dogs play with felted soap/remaining felt. A felted wool soap ball is VERY LIKELY to cause choking or internal blockages.
Painted Turtle Artisan Soap packaging is made from paper (tree-pulp) and rice paste (rice and water). The label is laser-printed in my home-office. The paper (made in the USA) was purchased at a large art supply store, and the rice (grown in the USA) was purchased at a large grocery store, both located less than 80 km from where Painted Turtle Artisan Soap is made. I am happy to help support American rice growers, and I look forward to discovering locally made, sustainable alternatives to industrial paper manufacturing.