In recent years the development and creation of craft products has gone main stream.

From beer to soap the market dominance of corporate giants is being challenged, and communities are being transformed in the process. Linked with this rather dramatic societal shift is a growing awareness about the pitfalls of chemically laden products.

A case in point, soap. The list of ingredients in most soaps reads like a chemistry exam. As skin absorption is a primary route for exposure to toxic substances, chemicals in soap is a source of concern. A number of chemicals common to aerosol shaving creams, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, dry the skin and remove essential oils that in turn can actually cause permanent and long-term damage to the skin. 

So, are there alternatives? Yes! Stores such as Savon Bath Treats in Kingman, Arizona are reviving an age old craft and providing customers with healthy options. As an example, consider the history and purported benefits of pine tar in soap, one of dozens of traditional ingredients that are being rediscovered. So, what, exactly is pine tar? Simply put pine tar is the sticky residue that results from the burning of pine wood.

For centuries, in Europe as well as the United States, pine tar was used in a variety products including soap. In Scandinavia, in addition to use in soaps, it was used to preserve and protect wood including skis. It was such a popular commodity, for soaps and as a sealant for ships ropes and rigging’s, that in post Revolutionary War period, pine tar exports from America were only exceeded by tobacco. Doctors well into the mid 20th century advocated the use of soaps with pine tar to alleviate an array of skin conditions including bug bites, psoriasis, rashes, minor skin irritations, and eczema. These soaps were also recommended for use as an antibacterial and anti-fungal product. It was even used as a shampoo to alleviate the itching of a dry scalp and dandruff. Oils added to pine tar soaps enhance its benefits and aroma, and alleviate some of its harshness.

For men making the leap from store bought to natural soaps, shaving cream from places such as Savon Bath Treats can be a rather pleasant surprise. For healthy skin or facial hair, for sensitive, oily, or dry skin, the use of properly formulated natural ingredient shaving products will make it difficult or impossible to return to canned offerings.

As with any product, the wide array of options available in natural soaps and shaving creams can make a decision difficult. Another advantage to supporting the small craft shop owner, personalized service. Stop by Savon Bath Treats on Beale Street in Kingman and discover ways to start your day with a bit of old fashioned invigoration.

Written by Jm Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America