My mother has always had good skin. Alabaster and without a wrinkle, even in her 70’s she still has a lovely, creamy complexion to envy. Since she came to this country from Cuba in 1961 without a penny to her name, she wasn’t exactly blessed with a life of luxury where she could visit spas or salons to pamper her, so she learned how to take care of her skin herself using natural ingredients and old-world ways. I learned at a young age that one of her secrets, other than staying out of the sun, was gentle exfoliation. She would take sugar or salt and mix it with some stuff from her fridge – an avocado, some honey, an egg – but most importantly, her tried and true bases – olive oil or coconut oil. Then she would wash her face and scrub away, leaving behind baby soft skin that to this day, is endlessly complemented on. To her, she felt as if every day was a spa day since she enjoyed her home-made, daily nourishing skin treatments.
Years later as a grown woman I found myself living on Long Island with my family. The East End always felt like home to me, with its beautiful waters and miles of sandy beaches and grassy dunes. Even during the colder months, the East End has a haunting, lilting beauty that soothes my soul. But of course, during the summer months it comes to life, beckoning me with the sun and surf. Its hard to stay out of the sun when you love the beach! So, I always treated myself to my mother’s other secret – natural ingredients for naturally healthy skin – and I wanted to share that with everyone I could find.
My friends were my first guinea pigs and to my delight they loved my scrubs and always asked for more! It didn’t take long for them to beg me to make more products, so I went from sugar scrubs to bath salts, body butters and lip balms, and now I have an array of products, including my handmade artisan 100% Castile soaps. My friends began sharing my products with their own friends, and so my little business was born.
With the support of my family and friends, I created the East End Soap Company to make products that were natural and safer to use than commercial products on the market today. So many products we buy to put on our skin and hair are filled with tons of chemicals – most of which we have no idea what they are or what they can do to us! Some are carcinogenic, some are toxic, some contain bad stuff like formaldehyde. Who wants that on their skin??
After a LOT of study, preparation and testing, as well as searching for ethical suppliers for my ingredients, I have come up with a line of bath and beauty products that can benefit your skin with gentle loving care. My scrubs, soaps, oils and sprays are filled with natural (and in some cases organic) ingredients designed to moisturize and soften, not dry your skin like commercial products do. There are times I do have to add a preservative (I don’t want any mold or icky stuff in my products of course – yuck!), but the ones I choose to use are paraben and formaldehyde free.
My specialty and focus is on 100% Castile Soap, which means it is 100% pure olive oil based (for more information on this centuries-old soap, click here). There are variations on Castile where manufacturers will add coconut oil or castor oil or a combination thereof to up the bubbles and lessen costs, however this is not pure Castile. Pure Castile is the gentlest, mildest soap available and one that can be used by almost anyone – seniors, adults, children and babies – even your doggies (please do not wash your cats – they don’t like it and their skin is super sensitive – refer to your veterinarian if you have any questions). You’ll notice with Castile you don’t get the big fluffy bubbles you get with detergent based, commercial soaps, or even with the coconut oil and castor oil mixed soaps. Castile has a low, creamy lather that cleanses mildly and gently without drying. However with my Castile Soap base I am able to make some variations, always keeping it Castile, of course – sometimes I’ll make Beer Soaps, Milk Soaps, soaps with different beauty clays and other natural additives and more.
My products are made in small batches with a lot of care to detail. I take great pride in my work, and want everyone to have a wonderful experience with my products from the packaging to the actual use. I use the highest quality sustainable and ethical ingredients, including essential oils, luxurious butters, and natural colorants.
I am also a proud member of The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild www.soapguild.org which is the leading trade organization in the country. As a part of this guild I am continuously learning, training, studying and helping others in the trade.
I hope you enjoy using the products as much as I enjoy making them for you. Remember even if you can’t afford or don’t have time for a day out at a luxury spa, with East End Soap Company every day can be a spa day at home. Little affordable luxuries you can pamper yourself with every day – pure and simple.