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Skipping Stone Soap News by Masayuki Chiba - 2M ago

Holidays are fast approaching and one last thing on our mind is getting ready for our guests' bathroom use. Either for yourself or someone you are visiting, a box of guest sized handmade soap is a very useful and thoughtful item that leaves a great impression.

We are bringing back our popular guest sized soap bars as a Sampler Box. 16 of our various bars are placed in a reusable craft paper box for convenient storage. It's a great way to try most of our soap offerings as well as a gift for someone you care for and don't know what kind of scents she/he likes. Also, the Sampler Box is a must have for an Airbnb host. One soap is about the same size as those hotel soap and it should last for several showers or more. What's better than a locally made all-natural soap for your guest?

At home, we place several of these in a medium bowl with river rocks at the bottom and use as hand soap so that we can alternate each time to keep them dry. It looks pretty as well as it works.

The quantities are limited. Get yours today!

> Check out The Soap Sampler Box

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I get asked quite often which soap bars are our most popular. The answer is definitely the Shooting Star Body + Face Soap and Starry Night Shampoo Bar both of which are made with activated Charcoal. Both of these have the dark charcoal grey look with white confetti mixed with the soap and they look quite lovely, so no wonder they are our most popular items.

And sometimes we get requests for these made with different scent or unscented. With a blend of citrus, flower, and wood notes, it's one of our most unique scents we offer. And scents are quite a subjective thing, some people love it and some people don't. Technically we can make any of our products scent-free or switch to some different scents.

Since we offer PURE unscented collection in a limited variety, we thought charcoal soap would be a great addition. We wanted to make it as simple and pure as possible, so we added activated charcoal powder to our popular PURE original recipe, and also a generous amount of French grey sea salt to enhance the detoxifying quality of charcoal, but not as much to make the soap harsh on the skin as the typical "salt soap".

These are in a curing stage and will be ready soon.

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I am very excited to announce that a small selection of Skipping Stone soap bars is now available at west elm in Toronto! west elm is launching a pop-in shop initiative "west elm LOCAL" and Skipping Stone Soap was chosen to be one of their local artisan vendors to offer unique, high-quality one-of-a-kind products.

To start off, 3 of our top sellers, "Shooting Star Detox Body + Face Soap", "Sunset Orange Replenishing Body + Face Soap", and "PURE Oatmeal & Honey Body + Face Soap" are available for purchase at Toronto location. 

west elm even did a photoshoot for my products for their Instagram post! How nice! (I know I have to update some of the product photos on this site. It will happen sometime soon.)

Hopefully we can expand to all the products we carry in the near future, but meanwhile you can visit this website to purchase my creations. If you have a chance to stop at west elm in Liberty Village, please check out the soaps! 

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Despite the cold weather, afternoon sun feels brighter and warmer on my face every day and I could feel that spring is definitely around the corner.

As a Japanese person myself, my brain automatically visualizes the pale pink Sakura (cherry blossoms) as soon as I hear the word "spring". If you have been to Japan in springtime, you may know that Japanese people truly love cherry blossoms. Cherry trees are pretty much everywhere in Japan and those gentle pastel shades of pink fill parks, city streets, residential gardens, historic sights like temples and shrines, or even mountains far away. I think pink is a colour that makes people happy and I just love that warm uplifting feeling in springtime in Japan.

I wanted to make a soap that looks and smells like Sakura, ready for this spring.

A small amount of French pink clay is used to create the perfect pale pink and swirled into soft white. I added diamond shaped pink soap confetti as flower petals.


For the scent, since there is no cherry blossom essential oil available, I tested some blends with essential oils and a few fragrance oils I have. For the final product, I used lemon, pink grapefruit, rosewood essential oils and a very very small amount of rose fragrance oil to create a fresh, bright and earthy yet definitely floral note, perfect for this soap.

For the soap recipe, I have been testing a formula slightly different from my original line and Sakura soap is the first product with the new recipe. Started from my original recipe, a blend of olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, ricebran oil, and castor oil that has a perfect balance of lather, cleanse, and skin care properties, I reformulated and added a small amount of organic cocoa butter that gives creamy stable lather and a bit of protection on the skin from the dry cold weather. It also makes the soap slightly harder and longer-lasting. I am very happy with the result. Now you give it a try and let me know what you think.

 I will be making a few more batches of Sakura soap but its quantity is limited and only available for the spring season.

Get it from here: Sakura: Lightly Perfumed Soap

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We are offering 15% off for orders $20 or more before tax from Friday Nov. 25 to Monday Nov. 28! Now is the time to stock up your favourite soaps and shampoo bars!

Enter coupon code "BLACK15" at checkout.

We also introduced 5 kinds of gorgeous gift boxes recently. We made the packaging simple yet giftable, with a rigid craft paper box lined with our branded insert. It holds 4 bars of soaps or 2 bars and a silicone soap tray perfectly. (By the way these silicone soap trays are fabulous. We tested quite many soap dishes and these are our absolute favourite. It extends the life of handmade soap significantly by lifting it with multiple soft sticks so that the soap dries quickly. Available in black or clear white.)

The sale ends on Monday the 28th. Enter coupon code "BLACK15" at checkout.

 

 
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You can now find our soaps at Scout on Roncesvalles Ave. at (Howard Park Blvd). Scout is one of my go-to shops for unique cards and small gifts. (Love my neighbourhood dotted with so many great independent stores.)

Weather is finally nice and Roncy is a perfect spot to stroll on a sunny day (or any day) in Toronto. Life is great when you enjoy it slow. Stop and smell the soaps.

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Ossington Strip in Toronto has been a popular destination for a while now and it is great to see the section between Queen and Dundas full of cafés, eateries, bars and various shops while maintaining the rough-on-the-edge, laid back atmosphere. While you are in the area don’t miss our newest stockist, Crywolf, a small cutesy design/gift shop. It is right next to the popular ice cream shop where there is a long lineup all the time during warm months. You’ll find a grey wolf costumed mascot standing by the door.

The owners Rose and Steph are the artists/designers who create all their clothing, art prints, and accessories. The shop is filled with cute, quirky, unique and affordable gift ideas that will make you and the recipients smile. And don’t forget to check out a selection of our soaps, too! 

Crywolf  |  91 Ossington Ave. Toronto  |  647.729.7078

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Over this past few months we have added 3 more shops to our stockist list! It's been a great start as we are planning to increase the number of select retail locations throughout Toronto this year.

Willem & Jöols ( Roncesvalles Village, Toronto )

Our neighbour in Roncesvalles Village, Willem & Jöols is a lovely flower/giftshop just around the corner from us and I love their stylish shop. Their window displays are fabulously seasonal and flower arrangements are absolutely gorgeous. The owner/flower designer Joanne has a keen sense of style, beauty and trend, and she's got a great personality and fun to talk to. I am happy to have Willem & Jöols as our stockist family. You'll find most of our soaps and shampoo bars here. 125 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto

http://willemandjools.com

 

Nagomi -Beauty Room- ( Bloor West Village, Toronto )

Nagomi is a small salon offering facial, makeup, acupuncture, etc. and beauty/health related events and workshops focusing on Japanese/Oriental beauty philosophy. In fact, I've joined one of their workshops and got some inspirations for my soap recipes! The space is very welcoming and relaxing. They have a unique selection of products for sale that are locally made by creative people like me. ;-) You can find several kinds of Skipping Stone Soap products as well. 2372A Bloor Street West, Toronto

http://www.nagomi.ca

 

Changing of the Garnet (Orillia, Ontario)

A hair and aesthetic salon in the Little Arts District of downtown Orillia, Changing of the Garnet, offers quality services in a fun, casual atmosphere. They are expanding and it will soon include a local artisan/designer boutique focusing on eco-friendly natural products. We are thrilled to have our products sold outside of Toronto and a great selection of Skipping Stone Soap products will be available soon! 19 Peter Street South, Orillia

https://www.facebook.com/Changing-of-The-Garnet-Hair-and-Esthetics-Studio-200329693357784/?_rdr=p

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All-natural handmade soaps vs commercial soaps

Skin is our largest organ. And skin absorbs what we put on it, just as you'd expect from your moisturizer, lip balms, or some medical patches. Now for years you might have used commercially available body soaps, shampoos, conditioners and cosmetics and developed a dry skin condition. It's so widely common to have this condition that you've come to think that it's normal to have dry skin all year. And you buy some moisturizers from the same companies and apply on your skin many times throughout the day. But is it really normal?

We often talk about food. All natural organic food from farmers' markets are better than fast food or pre-packaged processed food with all the GMO ingredients heavily sprayed with pesticide, right? It's a common sense. But when it comes to skin care products, people often have doubts or shy away from natural products. Why? When we started our all-natural handcrafted soap company, some people asked if handmade soaps would work as well as their favourite Irish Springs or Dove soaps.  They've never used handmade soaps before.

Centuries ago, soaps used to be made at home using animal fat, water and wood ash. This traditional method produced a rustic-looking all-natural soaps but it was a time consuming method. The process has evolved over time and now huge chemical corporations make those soap or body gel many people use. At those factories they use vegetable oils and/or animal fat mixed with lye and add numerous petrochemicals like foam enhancers, preservatives, colorants, and synthetic fragrance materials to produce detergent bars look like soap. They remove natural glycerin from soap so that soap becomes hard and drying, and they sell the extracted glycerin in profitable moisturizers to make more money. They have succeeded in reducing the price by mass production using petrochemicals and palm oil (cheapest plant based oil available, and the largest cause of rainforest deforestation) but as a result the consumers developed more dry skin conditions like eczema, earlier sign of aging, etc.

We think body care products are just like food products. Good wholesome foods today can be obtained at quality restaurants, bakeries, or organic markets. Can we bring back handmade all-natural soaps that doesn't irritate our skin? That's what we do at Skipping Stone Soap.

Body care products are used on our body externally but whatever contents will be absorbed through skin layer if the molecules are small enough. And we have this knowledge that the petroleum based chemicals i.e. preservatives, colorants, fragrances, foam enhancers are causing skin irritations, hormone disruptions, and some are even documented to be carcinogenic. Our soaps are free of those chemicals and gentle on skin of all types including sensitive skins.

It takes over a month to produce a bar of soap and we are proud of ourselves bringing the safe, artisan products to the market. And all are made with high quality, often organic, plant-based ingredients. The only exemptions are mineral-rich clays (earth-based) and unpasteurized honey (considered an animal product). It produces a rich foamy lather and leaves your skin clean, soft and nourished. It is gentle on the environment as natural soaps are completely biodegradable within 4 weeks after use.

We truly believe handmade soaps made with quality ingredients are far better than the store bought ones and we have been using our soaps for over a decade. Our families and friends love them. And our customers love them. Curious to try some? Check out our shop, try for yourself, and let us know what you think.

 

> Check out our all products

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Hello. My name is Masa Chiba and I am the soapmaker/owner of Skipping Stone Soap.

I grew up beside a small clean river in a small country side town on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. When we (as our generation. I am in my 40s) were kids, we used to play around water in nature (rivers, ponds, lakes and the sea) without any concerns of toxic chemicals. Water was clean and filled with small fish and creatures. A fond memory of my childhood was always so close to the nature – a simpler, purer and safer environment.

Nowadays, our living environment is filled with toxins even in the country side and kids aren't safe playing around our waterways. After seeing the changes and impacts to our environment throughout my life, I am more convinced that our body care products should be 100% natural without any synthetic chemicals so they don't end up in our bodies and water systems.

A close friend of mine introduced me to soap making using natural ingredients over 10 years ago. The quality of the soap was so good that I couldn't believe it was handmade! I have been making natural soaps ever since. They are so great on skin my family and friends love them. My passion is to create something good, gentle for the environment and something I can share with you. Your skin will love it, too.

The name of my soap shop, skipping stone, is what everyone loves doing. By the lake, a rocky shore or by a slow flowing river, you look for a flat round shaped stone. Throw it so that it jumps on the water surface and you count how many times it skips. We used to play all the time. It reminds me of my happy childhood and our close connection with clean natural water. We were all born from water. And water nourishes all lives on the planet. Our responsibility is to be mindful of the effect our daily lives make to our environment and to make better choices. At Skipping Stone Soap, my commitment is to bring safe clean natural products to my customers. I want to bring back those beautiful times to our kids and their kids' generations. One soap at a time. That's why I named my company "Skipping Stone Soap".

Welcome and happy shopping!

Masa

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