What's in an Ingredients List?

At Valor Organics we choose to produce a product that works and will not be harmful to the Earth or its waterways.  

This is our effort, as a business, to sit more lightly on the Earth.

We make our products from raw ingredients, by traditional methods.  We do not use pre-made Soap Bases or refined, bleached or deodorised oils.

Our Artisan made soaps are cured for a minimum of 6 weeks before being sold and we are committed to using Organic and Fair Trade ingredients wherever possible.

The primary ingredient in our soaps is Organic Australian Olive Oil.  We have several suppliers - from NSW and South Australia.  One supplier is Certified Organic, One is Biodynamic(uncertified) and One is Organic (uncertified). For this reason, we cannot get full  Organic Certification on our products - we are working towards that. Our Macadamia, Avocado and Hemp oils are Certified Organic Australian oils. Our Cocoa and Shea butter are Organic Fairtrade.  Where we can, we source organic Essential Oils, however, this is not always possible.  Essential Oils make up approximately 1 - 3% of our ingredients.

We NEVER use Palm oil or Palm products (it is hidden in many ingredients within the cosmetic industry).  Not do we use synthetic fragrances, colour, preservatives, thickeners or foaming agents.

If you are interested...here is some more fascinating analysis of INGREDIENTS typically found with the "Cosmetic" industry...even in Shaving soap!

Know What You Are Buying

Let's look at the ingredients list for a 'top-selling’ brand ‘Art of Shaving’ Shaving soap (as at March 2014):

Potassium Palmitate, Sodium Palmitate, Potassium Stearate, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Palm Kernel Acid, Fragrance, Lecithin, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Titanium Dioxide (CI77981), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Iron Oxides (CI77491)

Palm Oil (Elaeis guineensis)

7 out of the top 9 ingredients are Palm Oil or derived from the Palm Oil tree. These are Potassium Palmitate, Sodium Palmitate, Potassium Stearate, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Palm Kernel Acid

Why? Palm oil makes very hard soap and it is cheap in terms of dollars although, it has an astronomical cost to the Earth and the forests, fauna and flora that lived in those forests that have been razed, burnt and planted with Monoculture Palm Plantations.] See Whats the Fuss about Palm Oil

We are opposed to the use of Palm Oil whether it is sustainable or not, as what is so-called ‘sustainable’ is really difficult to prove.  Secondly, even if there is "Round Table approved Palm oil" available, while there is a demand for Palm Oil native forests will be wiped out to make way for new (not certified sustainable) Palm oil plantations.

Palm Oil is not a necessity – just a cheap alternative for multi national companies and soapmakers who don’t care enough not to use it!  

Titanium Dioxide (CI77981), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Iron Oxides (CI77491)

Coal tar-derived colours used extensively in soaps generally identified by a five-digit Colour Index (C.I.) number. Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum, Coal tar is recognised as a human carcinogen and the main concern with individual coal tar colours (whether produced from coal tar or synthetically) is their potential to cause cancer. As well, these colours may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminium substrate. Aluminium compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. Some colours are not approved as food additives, yet they are used in products that are used on the skin – our largest organ!

Tetrasodium Etidronate / EDTA

This chemical works as a chelator making hard water soft and makes soap work better. Some people may be sensitive to this chemical aggravating skin conditions such as Eczema.


The term "fragrance" or "parfum" on a cosmetic ingredients list usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals. Some 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances.

Fragrance is an obvious ingredient in perfumes, colognes, and deodorants, but it's used in nearly every type of personal care product. Even products marketed as "fragrance-free" or "unscented" may, in fact, contain fragrance along with a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odour.

Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. U.K. researchers have reported that "perfume" is the second most common cause of allergy in patients at dermatology clinics.

Some fragrance ingredients are not perfuming agents themselves but enhance the performance of perfuming agents. For example, diethyl phthalate (pronounced tha-late), or DEP, is widely used in cosmetic fragrances to make the scent linger. Phthalates are choice ingredients in cosmetics because they are cheap and versatile.

However, the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has listed DEP as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function. Phthalates have been linked to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm count in men, and reproductive defects in the developing male fetus (when the mother is exposed during pregnancy). Phthalate metabolites are also associated with obesity and insulin resistance in men.

Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients.

Many so-called soaps and washes are actually detergents. That is they contain SLES or Sodium Laureth sulphate – this makes bubble and foam. Depending on manufacturing processes, sodium Laureth sulphate may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. Ethylene oxide can also harm the nervous system. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant and toxic to aquatic organisms


An interesting one to see added to your soap, as Glycerin is a natural byproduct of saponification in naturally made soap. This means that the natural glycerin has been removed from your product (to be used and sold in face creams, cosmetics etc) and synthetic Glycerin put back in!

Isomethyl Ionone

The IFRA standard restricts the use of mixed isomers of methyl ionone (including Alpha-Isomthyl Ionone) in fragrances because of potential sensitization.

Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal

Maybe a synthetic or natural component of essential oils, however, if the manufacturer was actually using the Natural essential oil they would list it by its full name along with the hexyl cinnamal listed for allergen purposes.