Q: What ingredients are used in Pure Prairie Soap?

A:  We produce both tallow-based and plant-based soaps. We find inspiration from the seasons and from the natural resources provided to us.

Below is a list of ingredients used in our soaps:


  • Beeswax retains the sweet fragrance of the honey and also contributes to the hardness of the soap bar.  Beeswax has a higher melting point than other fats and oils used in soapmaking. 
  • Botanicals/nutrients are ingredients added to the soap that enrich it.  A variety of ingredients such as herbs, spices, milk, eggs, oatmeal, or cocoa contribute to the texture and feel of the soap on the skin. 
  • Castor Oil acts as a humectant by attracting and retaining moisture to the skin.  When saponified with other oils and fats, it makes a wonderfully emollient bar of soap. 
  • Coconut oil complements any blend of fats and oils in soapmaking with its abundant lather and moisturizing properties.  Coconut oil is literally an essential ingredient in any good soapmaking recipe.  
  • Colorant is any substance, either natural or synthetic, which is used to color the soap.  Natural colorants include many items from the kitchen pantry and herbal additions from the garden.  Synthetic colorants are raw materials which are processed and purified to meet specific standards mandated by the FDA.  These cosmetic-grade colorants are deemed entirely safe for use in soaps.
  • Essential oil is the highly concentrated volatile oil obtained from a plant which carries the scent and the beneficial properties of the particular plant.

  • Fragrance oil is a synthetic oil that reproduces the fragrance of a pure essential oil, but without the beneficial properties of essential oil.

  • Honey is a humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture) so it helps retain moisture on the skin in much the same way as glycerin. Although the active properties in honey do not survive the soapmaking process, the residual benefits of honey in soapmaking are richness of lather, moisturizing quality, and color of the final soap bar.

  • Jojoba oil promotes a stable lather and is a good skin conditioner. It is an excellent emollient for the skin because it has a chemical composition very close to the skin's own sebum. It is suitable for all skin types, beneficial for acne conditions, and good for sensitive and oily skin.  

  • Olive oil prevents loss of the skin's natural moisture by attracting external moisture to the skin.  It helps keep the skin soft, supple, and younger looking.
  • Palm oil comes from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm tree.  In many respects, palm oil contributes many of the same qualities as tallow which is why it is sometimes referred to as “vegetable tallow.”  Palm oil is generally used to replace tallow when considering animal rights issues.  It produces a hard bar that cleans well and is mild on the skin.  
  • Shea butter, also known as African karite butter, is expressed from the pits of the fruit of the African butter tree which grows in Central Africa.  This butter has been used for foot and body care.  It is high in unsaponifiables making it a superior superfatting ingredient for soapmaking.  Unsaponifiables are those components within the fat or oil which do not react with the sodium hydroxide to form soap, thus remaining in their original state within the soap, able to moisturize and nourish the skin. 
  • Sodium hydroxide is absolutely essential to the making of all soap, whether commercial or handcrafted.  Alone, it is an extremely caustic alkali substance, but when combined with a variety of fats and oils the end-product is a combination of soap and glycerin. This process is called saponification. The finished soap product contains no remnants of the sodium hydroxide
  • Sweet almond oil is often used for superfatting soaps. It is a great moisturizer, makes a stable lather, and helps condition the skin. 
  • Tallow/lard is the rendered fat from cattle and hogs.  Soap made with tallow or lard is of excellent quality, fine to use on your skin.  Tallow/lard soap results in a hard bar with stable lather.  The tallow or lard used in Pure Prairie Soap is from home-raised beef and pork and is rendered right here in our kitchen.