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Controversial Additives—Or Why We Love Glitter and Beads

Who doesn’t love glitter?  All the best things in life are sparkly, right?

Actually…environmental activists are not always down with glitter, particularly in cosmetics and wash-off products like soap.

But…glitter can be a bad thing.  Not all glitters are skin safe.  Some of those that are can be used externally only—which means they aren’t safe for bath bombs.  Some skin-safe glitters are made with plastics. Some of these are technically biodegradable, though not within the lifetime of an average human.  It can be a mine-field

What about microbeads? In 2012, it was discovered that the Great Lakes were positively teeming with plastic microbeads.  At the time, these “moisture” beads could be found in liquid shower soap, shampoos and conditioners, lotions, face creams, and more.  We Michiganders (Michiganians?) take our lakes pretty seriously. But it wasn’t until 2015 that a national ban on microbeads went into effect. 

Scared Soapless loves glitter, and we love microbeads.  But we also love skin, the Great Lakes, and the rest of the earth.  What’s a socially conscious small business to do?

Happily, we found some great suppliers that carry a wide array of skin-safe glitters for soaps—and even safer glitters to make your bath water beautiful.  Biodegradable eco-glitter is safe for skin, wildlife, fish, and water.  We feel good about using them—and you’ll love all our glittery spooky products. 

And that’s not all.  We also found beautiful colored jojoba beads.  They’re entirely plant-based and filled with dreamy jojoba oil.  Because scary-looking soaps should still leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and awesome. 

You may still hear people say that glitter is environmentally unsound or that microbeads are killing our lakes.  But you should know that we’re way ahead of that noise, and our soaps are still glittery and cool.

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Are You a Fiend for Caffeine?

           Caffeine is one of the most popular drugs in the world today.  Really.  People consume it in coffee, soda, in pill form, through patches, and in a wide variety of teas, gourmet waters, and supplements.  Increasingly, caffeine is used in skin care products like this awesome GIANT ReAnimating Brain Loaf!  You’ll see caffeine in lotions, cellulite creams, under-eye treatments, and more.

Why?  Lots of reasons.  People enjoy the stimulant effect of caffeine, and find it to be a nice pick-me-up in late mornings or after lunch. 

In skin care, caffeine is known to permeate the epidermis (your outer layer of skin—take care of it—you only get one!) and do all sorts of neat things.  There are studies that show that in addition to keeping you alert and peppy, caffeine can:

–Encourage circulation

–Inhibit buildup of excess fat on skin, like cellulite

–Reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark spots under eyes

–Increase microcirculation in the skin

–Act as an antioxidant

–Protect cells against UV radiation

Our caffeine bars are now also available in petite guest soap sizes.  They’re great for face, cellulite, hands, or wherever you like.  And yes, of course they make awesome gifts.  We use a combination of liquid and powdered caffeine for maximum impact. 

For skin, use as you normally would any other soap.  Our owner uses them with a gentle scrubbing face brush three times a week.

For pep, use in bath or shower.  Lather as you normally would, then leave lather on skin for 5 minutes or more.  Rinse.  You’ll feel the pep before you know it.

However, you use them, please keep in mind that caffeinated soaps are for ADULTS ONLY.  Even if you normally let your kids have caffeine sodas, chocolate, or coffee drinks, we recommend that you KEEP these caffeinated soaps OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.  Seriously.  We warned you. 

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Why Would *I* Use Dog Shampoo?!?

It seems like a reasonable question, doesn’t it?

When we think of products for dogs, we think mainly of dog food.  Dog food has different standards than human food.  That’s why no matter how awesome and expensive your loyal friend’s food is, you’re still unlikely to help yourself to a bowl of it.

Photo Courtesy of Anna Kirschenheiter

But soaps and shampoos are different.  When ScaredSoapless makes it, doggie soap/shampoo bars are the same quality soap we use for ourselves.  They’re safe for dogs because our Cleanliness is Next to Cerberus doggie shampoo bars are free of detergents, artificial colors and fragrances.  We also use additives like aloe, olive oil, and (upon request) oatmeal, lavender or tea tree oil.  Why?  Because we love dogs. And we know you do too.

Courtesy of Tonia Erlenbeck

Our soap bars are safe and delightfully awesome for humans and dogs.  We don’t recommend usage on cats.  Speak to your veterinarian about that.  Cats eat anything left on their fur, so cat shampoos play by a different set of rules.

If you or your pup have got skin that’s itchy and dry, you may find that fragrance-free aloe & olive soaps are perfect. 

Your dog is at least as awesome as you are.  Shouldn’t their soap be too? Don’t have a dog? We won’t tell if you pick up a bar or two for yourself.

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Why CBD oil is a No for us.

“Why Not?” –our fans, re: CBD Oil.

            We love hearing from users, and those who may one day become users, of our Scared Soapless and BLAM! Products.  Many of you have had awesome suggestions and requests.  Your comments fill us with smiles, and even your insults are pretty amusing.  You’re a good lot!

One of the things we’re asked most often is why we don’t make soaps with CBD or THC oil.  We agree that CBD is a hot product with many makers of soaps and other HBAs.  Now that recreational cannabis is legal in our great state of Michigan, plenty of people expected us to get in on that action.  We get it.  CBD is helping a lot of people.  And cannabis?  Well, that’s none of our business.

We have NO plans now or in the future to introduce cannabis or CBD products into our line.  We do have hemp oil soap—the properties of which are beneficial to one’s epidural layer but provide no other effects.  Why is that?  A few reasons:

–Our main focus is soap.  Soap is a wash-off product.  Therefore, soap is a highly inefficient way to use CBD and other topical oils.  This is especially true given how expensive they are.

–CBD is a medicinal product.  We are not doctors.

–THC is a recreational drug for many adults, and a medical product for others.  So again, we are not doctors.

–Many of our favorite customers are children.  A lot of our products like Brainy Kids soap duos or Guest Dinosaurs are fan faves among young people.  We stand by the idea that children should not be encouraged to use recreational drugs.  Even our caffeinated soaps are ADULTS ONLY.

Since we’re on the subject of all things cannabis, we’ll mention that our discount code BUDBAG for $5 off our Best Buds hemp oil soap will work in perpetuity.  We decided that while we aren’t going to advertise it any longer—this code will work forever for loyal fans of Scared Soapless.  Just another way we love to thank our long term supporters and loyal customers.  Thanks!

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To Beeswax, or Not to Beeswax…That is the Question.

Our very first products, before we were even a real company, were lip balms.  We’ve always loved experimenting with different butters, oils, flavors, and waxes.  We were determined to make lip balms with the best slip, moisture, taste, and longevity.  For us, that meant using beeswax.

We love beeswax because it’s:


–Easy to get responsibly sourced

–Naturally antibacterial


–Allows skin to breathe

–Does not clog pores


–Feels awesome

–Can be organic and free of added chemicals

–Harvesting does not hurt the bees

At the same time, we love and respect our vegan buyers.  While we’re partial to animal products (and insist on humane, sustainable, cruelty-free sourcing), we understand that others have chosen a different path.  For them, we offer lip balms and other products that use candelilla, carnauba, or plant-based cera bellina waxes instead of beeswax.

We’re serious about research and experimentation here at Blam! And Scared Soapless.  So we wanted to know all we could about vegan waxes before introducing them to our line—which we did—with our Lime in the Coconut and Coconut Pineapple lip balms.  In our tests, we found that the cocoa butter didn’t get along with the vegan waxes in our Cherry Cordial lip balms, so those are always made with beeswax.

Blam! is considering phasing out vegan waxes.  We want to know your opinions.  Vegan waxes have become an issue for us, because we aren’t sure they’re really best for nature on balance.

Vegan waxes are, as we know, made from plant-based sources.  Caranuba wax is made from palm plants.  Palm is already a tricky issue since much of it is not sustainably sourced.  It’s strongly suggested that palm oil harvesting has been catastrophic to our rainforests, and that lip balm might not be a smart trade for breathable air.

Candelilla wax is made from a shrub that only grows in very hot climate.  In addition to needing a LOT of them to make even a few grams of wax, the conditions under which they are harvested involve underpaid workers and shady business practices.

Cera bellina waxes should be made from plant-based sources, but are also available as highly refined beeswax.  It can be difficult to know what you’re getting.

Soy wax is also a thing.  We hated using it.  We hated how it feels on skin.

We want to be good to the Earth.

We want our customers to be happy.

We want to respect people, animals, and the planet.

We need your help and opinions on this issue.

Right now our thinking is to phase out vegan waxes in our regular line.  We would still offer them wholesale, and for events like custom wedding, shower, birthday, bat mizvah, or other holiday favors or gifts.

If we did this, all the lip balms in the Blam! line would revert to beeswax versions once we sell through our current inventory.  We don’t think you’ll notice any difference in quality or feel, but you might feel a little better about your carbon footprint.  We definitely want to know what you think!

New flavors are coming this Spring/Summer!!!

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Bar Soap vs Liquid Soap: The Battle Rages!!

One thing that we hear often at Scared Soapless, is “I only use liquid soap now.”

Actual photo of the Scared Soapless graphic designer as a kid.

I was a kid when liquid soap became popular.  Before then, our whole family shared one bar of soap that sat on the bathroom sink in a soggy little dish waiting to be used.  There was another bar in the kitchen for use before cooking and yet another bar in the shower.  My whole family—five entire people plus the occasional visiting relative—used these same bars of soap.

We all survived.  We didn’t get horrible skin ailments.

We didn’t make each other sick, and we didn’t turn into walking Petri dishes.

Anyone over the age of say, 30, already knows that bar soap isn’t a teeming cesspool of germs.  Here’s something we might not know—germs generally grow in water, not on something like soap.

In fact…

When tested by Dial soap company (who makes liquid AND bar soaps), it was determined that bar soap does NOT transfer bacteria to the skin.  Even if it did, simply rinsing soap under the faucet after use and storing somewhere other than a dish of water makes dangerous bacteria a non-issue.  Meanwhile, liquid soap dispensers tend to be chock full of bacteria and germs.  This makes sense, since they sit around wet, and are repeatedly touched (and rarely cleaned).

Know what else?

One of the germiest places in your entire bathroom may just be your shower scrubby.  Loofahs or plastic poufs trap dirt and dead skin cells that can get pretty disgusting if you don’t switch them out often.  If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new shower scrubby (or it’s been more than 3 months), you might consider switching to bar soaps if staying germ-free is important to you.

What about skincare? 

Did you know that the same chemical that makes most liquid soaps so bubbly is not so great for your skin?  Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) is awesome at producing bubbles, which people like.  But it’s also a skin irritant that many users find drying.  It may be why you need hand lotion after washing your hair or using liquid soaps.  Scared Soapless soaps do not contain SLS and still make nice, creamy lather using ingredients like castor oil to provide the bubbles we love.

Okay, but how about my carbon footprint?

Good question.  Even if you’re a pretty good recycler, bar soaps use less packaging than liquid soaps.  You can mitigate this by using refillable liquid soap dispensers and by rinsing and recycling diligently.  But switching back to bar soaps gives you less waste, takes up less space.  Best of all—getting your bar soaps from Scared Soapless lets you choose the exact color, scent, additives, and terrifying shape you want!  Try getting THAT from Dial soap!

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Welcome to Scared Soapless

We have been totally lax about getting this blog up and running.  That’s not because we don’t love blogging.  It’s just that we love making soaps even more.

We’ve been working on perfecting our Cleanliness is Next to Cerberus doggie shampoo bars.  They’re awesome because they have no artificial colors or fragrance, and contain cool ingredients like lavender, oatmeal, and aloe.

Our BLAM! Beard Oil has been getting great reviews from our fleet of testers.  We’re gonna offer it in a few different fragrances, and also unscented.  Haunted Cabin and Bamford’s Choice are our faves, but if you’ve got suggestions–we’re listening.

BLAM! Triple Whipped Body Butters have also been getting rave reviews.  We’re told they are a foot’s best friend.  We say with winter approaching, now is the perfect time to pick yourself up a nice big fluffy jar!  Our Body Butter is 50% shea butter and contains no creepy chemical ingredients.

Speaking of awesome BLAM! things, Cherry Cordial Lip Balm is coming soon!  We’re just waiting for our graphics guy to finish the labels–which is tricky since our printer just decided that it hates the color red. Not good news for a company that loves horror as much as we do.  Cherry Cordial Lip Balms are made with beeswax (so they aren’t vegan–sorry kids), shea, and other fine ingredients.  Lips love them!  They’ll be the same price as our regular lip balms and will be listed for sale just as soon as we have labels (Email us if you want to order early).