Welcome to The Maldon Soap Company
Hi. My name’s Sue and I’m the owner and creator of The Maldon Soap Company.
A bit of background
I have very sensitive skin and have always had trouble finding products that suited my skin and didn’t make my face turn red and swell up like a rather unappetising strawberry.
I’ve always tried to use products that were as natural as possible and through extensive trial and much error I’ve found that the word ‘natural’ can be used as a marketing tool and often products that we think are natural and good for us actually aren’t very good at all. Also I’ve discovered that the price of something doesn’t always ensure the quality and effectiveness of a skincare product. It usually has more to do with branding and perceived value, ie. if something is really expensive it must be good for you. This I have found is simply not true.
So, after trying for years to find soaps and skincare products for myself that were as natural, additive free, cruelty free and suitable for sensitive skin as possible I decided to go back to basics and make my own! As an aromatherapist with a background in the beauty industry that’s not quite as crazy as it may seem!
The early days of Maldon Soap
After the initial excitement of making my first soaps, which were a bit ‘rustic’ looking but worked a treat, I decided that I only ever wanted to use the best quality ingredients and that I wanted to use local ingredients as much as possible. When local ingredients were not available I wanted them to be sourced organically and ethically. I have never used palm oil of any kind. The butters I use are always organic, fairly traded and ethically sourced.
After doing lots of research and learning loads I discovered that it’s actually pretty straightforward to make soaps and skincare products without using any nasty artificial ingredients such as parabens, SLS, palm oil, mineral based additives or artificial fillers and stabilisers. I’ve never used those ingredients so don’t know any other way.
SLS and parabens and palm oil are incredibly cheap to buy and easy to use. Artificial stabilisers and fillers bulk out skincare and make it easy to make products in vast, huge bulk. Palm oil makes it really easy to make soap – that’s why nearly every soap you buy in a supermarket is made with palm oil.
Once I’d had my products, formulas and ingredients safety assessed I began to sell them in a local craft centre and they’re still selling well there 5 years later!
So what now?
I concentrate on making the purest soaps and beauty products from the best and most simple ingredients possible, ensuring that they are the most beneficial products for your skin. The skin is the largest organ of your body and it deserves to be kept free from unnecessary additives. Nature works, so we should let it! I make all my products and soaps in small batches to ensure you get fresh, top quality products and for this reason products may be out of stock on the website, but keep checking because it is updated every day.
The majority of the products I make are vegan and if there’s a non vegan product there’s always a vegan alternative to use. I only use three non vegan ingredients. They are all local ingredients and are beeswax, honey and goats milk, all from local farms.
The list of local ingredients I use is ever growing but so far consists of:
- Local honey from in and around Maldon
- Local beeswax from the in and around Maldon
- Maldon sea salt
- Raw, unpasturised goats milk from a farm in Abberton near Mersea
- Cold pressed Rapeseed oil from Colchester
- Gluten free Oats from Cambridge
- Calendula and Lavender from my own and local gardens
- Local lavender essential oil from Hitchin.
What about colour and fragrance?
When it comes to colouring my products I use natural colours from clays which usually have a function beyond colour. I also use herbs, spices and vegetable colours. I use tiny amounts of cosmetic grade colours in some of my artisan soaps. The amount of colour I use is very subtle, so as not to detract from the quality and functionality of the product.
I like to focus on the ingredients in each product and what it does for your skin rather than how brightly coloured it is. Vivid, garish colours and glitter are never natural so you won’t see any psychedelic coloured sparkly products in my range. What goes on your skin ends up in your bloodstream 20 minutes later – and in the sea a bit later – so, to me, it makes sense to not sit in a bath full of brightly coloured, glitter filled water. Even if it’s not toxic colour and glitter I can’t work out why you’d want to subject your skin to it!
My products won’t stain either you, your towels, your bath or your grouting. They are suitable for sensitive skin. I use pure essential oils to fragrance most of the products although some, which are for very sensitive skin, are unfragranced. I also use a couple of cosmetic grade fragrance oils like raspberry and green apple as these cannot be obtained naturally.
Where do I make Maldon Soap?
I initially made the products at home. In 2014 I moved to my own little shop (the soap shack) located within a local garden centre. It doubled as a my workshop but it wasn’t very practical. It would reach 40 degrees in summer and 1 degree in winter so there were many times when I was unable to work there. Also, due to my expanding range I quickly outgrew it. At one point whilst there I had 9 outlets across Essex as well as the website which was hard to maintain whilst working in the shop 4 days a week and making the stock too.
I knew something had to change so in July 2017 I moved from the soap shack to a couple of miles from home into a gorgeous brand new studio which is massive, bright, airy, cool and built for purpose. Although it is not a retail space so I don’t get customers in every day the amount of space I now have enables me to hold shopping evenings and do workshops which is really great! I’ve also held pamper evenings and afternoon teas there. There’s always something going on. To see what’s going on have a look at the events page here.
All the products are handmade from scratch, hand potted, labelled and wrapped by me. For more information on the handmade tree free paper and biodegradable cellophane that I use to wrap the soaps and the glass bottles and pots I use see the various blogs I’ve done about them.
Thank you for visiting the website. I hope you like what you see.
Lots of love