Soap

All Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez soaps are natural. I do not use any synthetic ingredients and you will not find additives such as sodium laureth sulfate or petroleum based chemicals here. In addition, all beneficial by-products of the soap making process, such as glycerine, remain in the soap.

The ingredients I use are naturally occurring or are extracted from nature. All of the oils and butters I use are from plant sources, the colours are botanical extracts, mineral colour or mica and the soaps are perfumed with essential oils.

Cold process soap cannot be made without going through the transformative process of saponification resulting from mixing oils with lye. I use sodium hydroxide as the lye to aid this process of saponification but you will not find lye in the end product. All of my soaps are 'super-fatted', meaning there is a certain amount of oil left in the soap after saponfication and this accounts for the rich, smooth feel of Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez soaps.

All Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez soaps are made with a base of the following oils:

  • Olive oil - excellent emollient and conditioning properties. Olive oil produces a hard but gentle soap. The best oil for soap!

  • Coconut oil - will produce a lovely lather, even in hard-water areas and is a super cleaning oil.

I then use a combination of one or more of the following oils and butters to create the distinctive qualities of each Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez soap:

  • Apricot kernel oil - rich in vitamins and minerals, this oil has wonderful soothing and nourishing qualities.

  • Avocado oil - a skin softening oil, packed with vitamins (A, D and E), this makes for a mild, skin-loving soap.

  • Castor oil - a great conditioning oil, leaving your skin feeling soft and silky.

  • Cocoa butter - a skin-protecting oil, making a luxurious and creamy soap.

  • Hemp seed oil - high in essential fatty acids, this is considered a fine moisturising and 'healing' oil.

  • Macadamia nut oil - a luxurious and skin-loving oil which is easily absorbed, ideal for dry or older skin.

  • Meadowfoam seed oil - a brilliant moisturising oil.

  • Rice bran oil - great for dry skin, this oil is packed with vitamin E, an excellent all-rounder for every soap.

  • Rose hip oil - a gentle oil valued for its restorative qualities. A pure luxury!

  • Shea oil - has the same qualities as shea butter, smooth and nourishing.

All of my soaps are vegan and I do not use ingredients where there is a question mark over its sustainability, such as palm oil or rosewood essential oil.

Looking After Your Soap

Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez soap is all natural and handmade. Each bar is hand cut off the block. You will find that there are minor variations in colour, scent and size between each bar of soap - after all, variety is the spice of life! The soap is also high in glycerine, so if you leave it out in moist air, you may find droplets of water forming on the surface of the soap (glycerine will attract water, that's why we like it on our skin). When you are using your soap, it is best not to leave it sitting in a pool of water. Use a wire soap holder or one with a hole in it to drain excess water - just like our parents did when we were kids! Essential oils are generally not as tenacious as synthetic fragrances, so if you want to make the most of the natural scents, I recommend using the soap within 6 months. Also, I do not use oils that have a use-by date less than 1 year from the date I make the soap. So, discard your rule of delayed gratification and use your soap with abandon.

Perfume

Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez offers traditional alcohol based eau de parfums as well as a range of solid perfume balms.

The eau de parfums are made using fine quality essential oils, absolutes and resins. I also use tinctures I have made myself.

The solid perfumes are made using botanic oils, butters and waxes and are scented with essential oils and absolutes.  They have, by nature, a low melting point, so bear this in mind in warmer weather.  Upon melting in heat and recooling, the butters may separate from the oil - this is harmless but effects the texture of the product.  I recommend keeping solid perfumes in as cool an environment as possible to prolong your enjoyment of the product.

Everybody's skin is different and sometimes skin can be sensitive to particular substances, including essential oils, especially if skin has been sensitized from prior exposure. As our perfumes contain a higher concentration of essential oils, it is recommended that you try the perfumes out on a small part of your skin first to ensure you are not sensitive to one of the ingredients.

Skincare

Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez offers a range of skincare products including face mists, a face soap and serum.

Pink Moon is an unscented soap made from a blend of extra gentle oils including rosehip, evening primrose, camellia and wheatgerm oils, and also has colloidal oatmeal and French pink clay. This makes a very gentle soap and an excellent cleanser suitable for use on your face.

For gently toning the skin, we have Rose and Cucumber or Rose and Watermelon Face Mists. Made from blends of natural hydrosols (when rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals by steam, for example, the resulting water, or hydrosol, is gently scented with rose oil), the face mists also have hydrolised oats, an excellent, soothing tonic for the skin.

Rosehip and Pomegranate Face Serum is a rich blend of organic rosehip, pomegranate, camellia and meadowfoam seed oils with olive sqalene and vitamin E. Suitable for normal to dry skin, three or four drops is sufficient to moisturise your face and neck.