Soap making has long been traditional for many years but in recent times the interest for "homegrown" soap has grown.
The modern consumer today demands a product of higher quality and one that is ethical and cruelty-free. Handmade with natural
At Mary Jean® we want to present you with an extensive range of natural organic soaps made in small batches. With natural botanical oils and fats. No artificial colours or fragrances, and needless fillers.
You can guess how passionate we are about soap. Giving you something that is so beneficial for you and your family, our reward.
Quality of workmanship and choice of ingredients is what defines Mary Jean. Handmade, small batched on the historic Speyside inspires. Read on because we are positive you'll find something beautiful about our soaps.
Why Handmade Soap is made Better
Back to traditional roots with our cold-pressed bar of soap we have been making soap close to 15 years
ensuring the best possible skin care for you and your family
Bring the beauty of the Scottish Highlands into your life today
Everything your skin craves for handmade with patience, small batched in the Highlands of Scotland
you can touch nature at its best
Modern-day soap making began as early as 1789 at the turn of the industrial age. This was when good quality soap
became commonplace and affordable for the masses.
The decades rolled past, manufacturing improved for commercial concerns. Soap manufacturers large batch their soap
in 100s of kilograms. Methods which contribute to higher energy and water usage.
The key benefit of soap for our skincare health & beauty is Glycerin. There is a huge market for vegetable Glycerin.
An emollient, Glycerin is popular in creams and lotions. In liquid hand wash, as a humectant.
Profitability of soap making is easy. Many large manufacturers will remove a good part of the Glycerin from
their soap. Glycerin is worth more than what the soap is, believe it or not.
Crikey! Good for business but complete rubbish for you the consumer.
Soap is self-preservation, up to a point. Based on the % of saponification1 you can increase or decrease the
shelf life of the soap. Large manufacturers like to horde their stock in large warehouses, don't they? Shelf life
is important to them.
By over saponifying their soap, a manufacturer can increase the life of their soap. This is possible because
there is less oil and fat remaining unsaponified, to "go bad" as the soap ages.
With less Glycerin, the soap is not as capable of moisturising and hydrating your skin. By increasing their
saponification they are making the soap more abrasive and drying. High saponification means high alkalinity
resulting in damage to your skin.
Top that off with cheap fillers and artificial fragrance. And high energy and water usage typical of a mass
production environment. You are thinking to yourself "There must be a better way to making soap", surely?
About Handmade Soap Being Made Better
At Mary Jean, our batches are much smaller. This means more sustainable and our manufacturing uses less energy and
water. Immediately, quality improves.
The saponification2 percentage is an important factor for the benefits you enjoy.
We saponify to 95% meaning 5% unsaponified oil and fat provide addition moisturisation. You experience "skin-plumping"
resulting in smoother skin.
Some smaller soap manufacturers may saponify their soap to 85%, as low as 75% we have found. With so much oil
and fat not reacting with the lye the shelf life of their soap is much lower. It is a recommendation you ask about
Our soap is good for 24 months after curing. For your worry-free enjoyment, we put an 18 month BBE (best before
end) on our wrapping.
With the Glycerin left in our soap ―the whole 25%― you'll feel as if you moisturised with cream and not
cleansed using soap bar.
Formulated for facing specific problems and complaints, each soap serves a purpose. We decided a cosmetic base was
not in your best interests, nor ours.
You'll find each soap is different. For your skin type and condition one soap is more beneficial than another.
There you have it. We have a good variety of soap for you to pick through, try out and enjoy. And we are
positive you'll be back for more in good time.
Not all soap is equal and superior soap stands apart from the others
What makes soap from Mary Jean® better..
Several things matter more.
First, we refuse to use salt in our soap as a hardening agent. It is cheap and inferior and bad
for the soil;3 better options exist. Wax can be used to increase the hardness of a soap bar but is more expensive.
There is no need for a questionable additive, such as
in our opinion.
We use a wider choice of carrier oils ensuring sustainability in our supply chain. Two points define Mary
Jean® separating us from many other soap manufacturers:
use quality oils often only seen in far more expensive cosmetic products
Apricot kernel oil is exquisite for your health and beauty. Found in many high-end creams and serums, we use a lot of
organic Apricot kernel oil in our soaps.
our soaps are designed to not only cleanse and moisturise but to heal and repair skin damage
Improving the health of your skin resulting from a superior product is important to Mary Jean.
some of our soaps are astringent and antibacterial in their behaviour meaning they can fight and reduce infection
You are purchasing a quality product, one that is healthier for your skin and planet
Your daily washing ritual must improve on the health and care of your skin, body and
mind through wellbeing practices and careful product choice
Caring for your Soap
It is well thought that a bar of handmade soap is not as long-lasting as shop-bought bars of soap are. If you can care
for your handmade soap you will find the longevity is evenly matched.
Follow these steps below for the best care of your soap, give it the best life possible for your enjoyment.
after each use, leave it to air dry on a wooden dish away from water
if you use in a shower, use the soap inside a soap saver bag, lasts much longer
leave a bathroom window open a little, to disperse steam and heat
use your new soap within 6 months from purchase, before it loses fragrance
store unused soap in a dry, dark place, a linen cupboard or bedside drawer
Excessive heat and light, moisture is all bad for natural handmade soap.
You have made a purchase of a bar of soap that is usually more expensive than a shop-bought alternative. That is great
but do make a little more effort to care for the soap and you'll find it'll care for you in return.
1 Oil remains in its original form providing a protective and plumping layer on the skin. The purpose of
superfatting soap is to give it a higher quality of moisturising capability, making it milder for the skin.
2 Carrier oils and seed butter are all considered Triglycerides or Triacylglycerides. The same for plant-based
botanical oils such as Avocado oil and Coconut oil as much as for animal derivatives such as Lard, they all have the same
basic chemical composition: Triacylglyceride.
These Triglycerides are made up of one molecule of Glycerol
(Glycerin, in other words) attached to 3 unit of fatty acids (Saturated, Mono-unsaturated and Poly-unsaturated) and together,
are the building blocks of all oils, fats and seed butter.
Oil consists of various Triglycerides with the basic difference in the fatty acid chain.
Once the Triglyceride undergoes hydrolysis, the Triglyceride breaks into a Glycerin and 3 fatty acid molecules. This is
very similar to the saponification reaction. When making soap, the chemical reaction with the lye is breaking down the
Triglyceride (the oil, seed butter) into a Glycerin and 3 fatty acid salts, because we use NaOH for saponification.
3 Any salt will destroy leafy root grown plants by osmosis. Where there is more salt found in the soil the
chemical structure of the soil is altered. Roots of a plant can't soak up water in the soil, causing
roots to dry out and die.
Salt is a contact herbicide: it doesn't travel through the plant's vascular system and therefore only kills the tissue it
touches. If saltwater originates in the soil and kills the roots, killing the plant ultimately.
Salt (Sodium Chloride) also kills most soil organisms, such as bacteria, fungus, insects, earthworms and slugs. Soil naturally rich in
minerals and organism beneficial for all life will die.
Salt is one cause of soil erosion and soil infertility.