A Deep Dive Into Healing Moon Soapery™ Ingredients

Mar 03, 2022Caitlin Hoover

You want to be sure that what you are putting on your body and into the environment is good for your health and the planet. We get it!

Healing Moon Farm & Soapery strives to use only the best, natural ingredients we can. We only use ingredients that meet approved Ecocert standards (though we are not Ecocert certified - yet!).

That’s why Healing Moon Soapery™ has put together this quick blog to walk through some of our natural ingredients. We aren’t going to talk about our more obvious ingredients like honey, hemp oil, coconut, and mango butter. Instead, let’s talk about less intuitive names you may see on our soap, shampoo and conditioner bar labels (depending on the product).


Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol with a sweet taste that is found in many edible fruits, berries, and vegetables. Used in cosmetics, it enhances texture, boosts lather, and acts as a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin.

Sorbitan Oleate

Sorbitan Oleate is a surfactant (cleanser) and emulsifier (stabilizer) made from oleic acid (from olive oil) and sorbitol (a natural sugar alcohol, see above). It is biodegradable, non-toxic and a non-irritant.


We use pure vegetable glycerin in our products (no animal fats!). Pure vegetable glycerin is a natural humectant, drawing moisture to the skin. It moisturizes, cleanses, provides softening and lubricating benefits. It’s easily soluble in water, gentle on skin and environmentally safe.

Sodium Hydroxide (a.k.a. caustic soda or lye)

In order for a soap to be a true soap, it has to be made using lye (please note, we do not use lye in our shampoo and conditioner bars). Bar soap is made through a process called saponification. This is created by combining a lye and water solution with natural oils (some people use animal fats in place of oils but we don’t). This reaction breaks the oils down into fatty acid chains, neutralizing the lye in the process. Without lye in soap making, there would be no bar soap, only a liquid pool of oil and ingredients.

Cetyl Alcohol

This is a non-drying, fatty alcohol. It’s often derived from coconut, palm trees (we only source RSPO compliant palm), or vegetable oil. Cetyl alcohol is often used in cosmetics and other products to moisturize skin and improve product texture. It’s recognized as safe for cosmetics by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) and safe in foods by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Cetearyl Alcohol

When cetyl alcohol is combined with stearyl alcohol (another non-drying fatty alcohol) it makes cetearyl alcohol. Cetearyl alcohol is another moisturizer we use in some of our products. It acts as an emollient which softens skin.

Behentrimonium Methosulfate [a.k.a. BTMS 50 or BTMS 25 (we use 50)]

This is a sulfate-free, plant-based conditioner derived from the oil of the Colza plant (also known as Rapeseed). It makes hair soft, silky and conditioned. We use this in our shampoo and conditioner bars to reduce frizz, make hair easier to comb through, and condition hair follicles. The full BTMS-50 ingredient includes a mixture of behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, and butylene glycol (vegetable-based).

Butylene Glycol (vegetable-based)

Butylene glycol is considered an extremely safe and gentle conditioning agent. We use vegetable derived butylene glycol as a natural conditioner and humectant to moisturize and improve hair texture.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (a.k.a. SCI)

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a gentle surfactant based fatty acid derived from coconut oil. It acts as a foaming and cleansing agent. We use this in our shampoo bars as the primary cleanser. It is sulfate-free and biodegradable!

Propylene Glycol (a.k.a bio propylene glycol)

This one can be scary sounding at first. Especially because propylene glycol traditionally came from petroleum - yikes! Nowadays, there are many readily available plant-based versions of propylene glycol (often called Bio Propylene Glycol). We use bio propylene glycol made entirely from vegetable glycerin. It is recognized as safe for use in foods, cosmetics and medicines. It is water soluble and environment safe. We use it in some of our soap formulations because it acts as a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin.

There you have it! These are some of the ingredients we use in some of our products. Always be sure to check the ingredients list to see exactly what was used. Thanks for supporting our small farm and soapery dream!

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