Our Vision, Our Life
Founded in 2009, Moon River Soap Company is owned and operated by formulator and soap makers Elizabeth and Carlos Aprea. Our mission is to help those with sensitive or troubled skin and those who chose to avoid synthetic chemicals while respecting our earth.
Elizabeth is the formulator for the soap, oils, and balms. Learning about the constituents of essential oils, botanical oils and butters is an ongoing process and there is always more to learn. Each oil has many characteristics including safety level, photo toxicity, etc. The healing properties of botanical oils, essential oils, concretes, and absolutes continue to inspire us and we are excited to be working on many new products.
Moon River soap maker Carlos currently pours about 800-1400 bars of soap a week. From lining the molds to measuring the oils, mixing, cutting, trimming, storing, organizing, boxing the soap, and finally stocking the shelf. Most of this process is done before we open the store at 10 am.
In April 2019 Moon River Soap Company reached our 10 year anniversary. This is a big milestone for us as we opened in an economic down turn (2009) and we financed our small business on our own. Well over a decade ago we were simply making a skin loving bar of soap. At that time we were not exactly aware of all the requirements necessary to succeed in this particular type of small business.To be honest the first 3 years were both scary and encouraging at the same time. It took 3 years to finalize formulations, increase the size of our soap mold and finally turn our first profit. Once we were confident of the exact physical size of bar we needed to find the right box, design a label, trademark, etc. Bath and body products require math, chemistry, business, computer, marketing, writing skills, photography, branding, legal work, accounting, property management, packaging and retail skills. Trying to keep up with technology is ongoing as well. Making soap is also very physical as the soap pours are 50 lb. each. Space is always a tricky issue as every time we add a new product, we need more space for the new ingredients and containers, etc. We strive to be extremely organized and utilize every square inch of space so that we can continue to grow. In 2018 we expanded to an extra work space a few blocks away allowing us room to make bath bombs and additional products. We continue to improve products by working on the best consistency, etc. Time (10 years) gives us the knowledge and experience of finding the best possible sources for our ingredients and there is no short cut to what we all know as tried and true experience. Climate conditions can also affect our products as essential oils change every year due to seasonal rain, temperature or natural disasters of any particular crop.
Moon River recycles all of our cushioning supplies for packaging, we rarely have to purchase these supplies for the orders we ship out. We continue to recycle and reuse cardboard boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, etc.
At Moon River, we are thankful to have the very best customers, our Moon Friends tend to be earth friendly and kind customers.Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
Moon River Soap Ingredients
Sustainable, Natural and/or Organic
Each botanical oil contains a unique combination of chemical constituents offering different health and skin benefits.
OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:
- Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
- Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
- Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
- Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
- Boost immunity
- Exhibit antioxidant properties
- Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
- Impact the hardness or softness of the butter
STEARIC ACID is known to:
- Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
- Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
- Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
- Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
- Have exceptional cleansing properties
- Soften skin
- Provides the butter with a solid consistency
PALMITIC ACID is known to:
- Have emollient properties
- Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
- Be the most common saturated fatty acid
LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:
- Moisturize hair and promote its growth
- Facilitate wound healing
- Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
- Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
- Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
- Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
- Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
- Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
- Slow the look of premature aging.
PALMITOLEIC ACID is known to:
- Delay the appearance of premature aging
- Moisturize and tighten the skin
- Promote the growth of shiny hair
- Enhance the brightness of the complexion
- Boost the growth of healthy-looking nails
- Enhance skin elasticity to prevent symptoms of premature aging, such as wrinkles
VITAMIN E is known to:
- Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
- Repair scarred and blemished skin
- Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
- Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
- Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production
- Moon River formulates our products with Gluten Free Non-GMO Vitamin E Natural (Mixed Tocopherals). This powerful antioxidant is used to protect the cells in the body from the effects of other toxins, free radicals, and pollution. Vitamin E is able to regulate vitamin A which benefits the skin to combat the effects of aging by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Synthetic forms of vitamin e are less biologically effective.
VITAMIN K is known to:
- Boost the body's ability to clot blood, thereby facilitating the healing of wounds and bruises
- Reduce swelling and bruising
- Helping prevent acne and reduce the appearance of scars caused by acne
- Slow the look of aging by preventing wrinkles
- Regenerate hair strands and promote regrowth
ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID (OMEGA-3) is known to:
- Lessen inflammation
- Control blood clotting on the skin
- Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness to improve flexibility
PHYTOSTEROLS (STIGMASTEROL) is known to:
- Have skin lightening properties
- Effectively soften dry, brittle hair
- Ease frizzy hair
- Have anti-inflammatory properties
- Exhibit anti-aging effects
- Improve blood circulation
Olive Oil (Olea europaea) - Our main ingredient contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which provide superior hydration to the skin. Olive oil is high in antioxidant vitamin E and phytonutrient compounds which have been found to be significantly anti-inflammatory. Olive oil allows the skin to breathe and makes for a mild soap suitable for young children and those with sensitive skin. Olive oil alone produces a softer bar of soap, so we add complimentary botanical oils to nourish the skin while adding lather and hardness to the bar.
Glycerin- When sodium hydroxide molecules bind with oil molecules during the saponification process soap is created. All cold processed soaps naturally produce about 10% glycerin. Natural glycerin soap is opaque not transparent. Glycerin is humectant ( attracts and retains moisture).
Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)- Coconut oil when combined with olive and palm oil will produce a nice creamy, fluffy lather in cold processed soap - perfect compliment to skin conditioning olive oil. Coconut should be a compliment to the olive oil and not the main ingredient because it can be drying to the skin if too much is added to the recipe. We add just enough to produce a nice lather.
Sustainable Organic Palm Oil (Elaesis Guineesis)- Palm oil adds firmness to the soap and will produce a hard longer lasting bar . Palm oil contains vital nutrients that are essential to healthy skin. A natural source of antioxidants rich in palmitic acid, vitamin E, K, and and magnesium. Palm oil is naturally antibacterial and will fight acne bacteria. Harvested in South America on a sustainable farm, the farm is in a region of the Amazon that was cleared 30-40 years ago and the reestablishment of this forest crop has brought back many species of birds and other plants and animals. While not as diverse as a natural Rain Forest it is a vast improvement over grasslands. This supplier is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
Cocoa Butter- Used topically, its richness in vitamins and anti-oxidants makes it ideal for use as a moisturizer that promotes skin health and relieves the itching, chapping, peeling, or burning discomfort associated with conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Deeply penetrating to the skin, cocoa butter offers intense hydration and is believed to have photo-protective properties that serve to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. It creates a protective barrier to harsh winter conditions and can be used to protect against frost bite.
Pumpkin Seed Oil - The pumpkin is a vitamin powerhouse when eaten or applied to the skin. Rich in vitamin A, C, and E. Vitamin A helps skin cells recover from sun damaged skin. Vitamin C is a critical component of collagen and increases the likelihood of healthy collagen production. Pumpkin is also rich in beta-carotene, a known antioxidant and free radical fighter. Applied to the skin, pumpkin’s alpha-hydroxy-acids help increase cell turnover, resulting in brighter, smoother skin over time. Pumpkin seed oil contains zinc and vitamin C, both of which can help strengthen skin cells, diminish scarring, and improve skin tone.
Rosemary Extract (Rosemary Oleoresin Extract)- A natural antioxidant that will slow the rancidity of fixed oils to extend the shelf life of our soap. We never use synthetic preservatives.
Carrot Seed Oil- Rich in beta- carotene, vitamin B,C,D and E carrot seed oil is one of the most rejuvenating oils for the skin. Improves complexion, elasticity in the skin and firmness.
Green Tea Extract- Potent antioxidant Green Tea has the ability to repair aged and sun damaged skin. The active constituents in Green Tea are the Catechi Poly phenols.
Essential Oil (certified 100% pure)
Aromatherapy from skin absorption works because the skin is the largest organ of the body. Molecules of the essential oils pass through the skin's epidermis and are carried away by the capillary blood circulating in the dermis. Essential oils work as rubbish collectors attaching themselves to toxins, free radicals, cell debris, fungi, bacteria, viruses, or other debris and eliminating them by metabolizing and passing them through the body's waste. The human body takes the most vital properties of essential oils and uses them to bring itself into balance and is left in a healthier state.
Lavender: skin care- burns, inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, dry skin, sunburn, sores, sensitive baby skin, acne, aging skin. A natural antibiotic, antidepressant, sedative, and detoxifier. It promotes healing and stimulates the immune system so wounds regenerate more quickly. Truly indispensable.
Tea Tree: skin care- acne, athletes foot, dandruff, insect bites, oily skin, cold sores, infected wounds, psoriasis. Deodorizing, strong antiseptic, antiviral, anti fungal properties make Tea Tree is extremely useful in a wide range of conditions and all sorts of infections.
Rosemary: skin care- dermatitis, eczema,acne, dermatitis, promotes hair growth, regulates seborrhea. Both physical and mental stimulant, excellent for the treatment of all muscular conditions. Sprains, arthritis, depression, fatigue, memory loss, head aches, asthma, coughs, flu. Invaluable for the gardener, sportsman.
Eucalyptus: skin care- infections, insect bites, wounds. Antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant properties have proved effectiveness in respiratory ailments, asthma, coughs, colds, and infections. Eucalyptus is a natural insect repellant.
Citrus Oils: Bergamot, Lime, Orange, Lemon, and Grapefruit all contain different properties but share an uplifting fresh scent, antiseptic, astringent, toning, uplifting. The tonic action helps to detoxify the body through the lymphatic system.
Patchouli: skin care-weeping eczema, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, sores, cracked chapped skin. Anti-inflammatory, antiviral, aphrodisiac. Helps regenerate skin cells, reduces scar tissue.
Peppermint: skin care- acne, dermatitis, ringworm, scabies. Fresh, tingly awakening, antiseptic, stimulating. Antispasmodic aids in asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, inflammation, nausea, head aches, fevers, arthritis, and much more. It has a mild cooling effect on the skin.
Fair Trade Unrefined Organic Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii) - Natures own Shea Butter high in vitamins and nutrients is a natural fat derived from the seed of the Shea- Karite tree grown only in Africa. Shea butter offers a natural SPF 6 and a protective layer over the skin to provide deep intensive healing moisture for a variety of conditions: helps restore elasticity, softens dry cracked skin, stretch mark prevention, dry scalp, itching, eczema and rosacea relief. Intensive face, hand and body moisturizer.
Avocado Oil- Rich in vitamin A,D, and E this thick rich oil is excellent for those with eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, mature and damaged skin. Avocado Oil has the ability to absorb deep into the skin and can help other oils to absorb into the skin as well. Avocado soothes scaly skin and scalp, relieves dryness, and softens skin.
Oatmeal- For centuries oatmeal has been used to soothe, moisturize, and soften dry itchy or irritated skin. Oatmeal has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and will gently exfoliate and cleanse the most sensitive skin.
Goat Milk- Perfectly balanced goat milk has a natural ph level similar to the ph of human skin. Super nourishing goat milk contains over 50 nutrients to soothe and moisturize extra sensitive skin. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, goats milk also contains natural alpha-hydroxyacids to gently exfoliate and reveal radiant healthy skin.
Honey- Natural humectant, antioxidant and anti-microbial there is no wonder honey is in so many skin care and beauty products. Honeys ability to absorb and retain moisture will support the skins ability to rejuvenate and refresh depleted skin leaving it feeling silky and soft.
Beeswax- (Cera alba)- Natures owns beeswax is what we use in our lip balms and some of our body balms.
Bentonite clay- one of the most powerful and effective healing clays on earth. This clay has the ability to absorb toxins and impurities within the skin helping to prevent dermal irritation and razor bumps. This very unusual clay is made from weathered and aged volcanic ash mined hundreds or thousands of feet below the earths surface. Bentonite helps to clear acne and can soak up poisons which makes this soap also perfect for cuts, wounds and bug bites.
Although we make no claim that we can cure any specific skin condition, our customers have told us time and again how their sensitive, dry, itchy, eczema or acne prone skin has never looked clearer and felt healthier. Scientific studies have shown that many skin irritations are caused by harmful synthetic chemicals found in common commercial bath and beauty products. Most often store bought detergent soaps are made with hormone injected animal fat (sodium tallowate) that can clog the pores. These unhealthy ingredients are absorbed directly into the skin often causing inflammation and irritation that age the skin.
Moon River Soap Company was founded by myself -Elizabeth Aprea. It is a second act in my life after working out of our home for 20 years as an artisan ( I painted porcelain and glass). I used to work the art fairs on weekends allowing me to stay at home week days while raising both of our daughters. After the kids went off to college my husband Carlos and myself decided to make a few changes......
Along with many of you out there, we became more aware of the toxins in our food and skin care. We had always ate somewhat healthy with organic foods, but the skincare was an area we had never given too much thought to. Our daughter attending college currently would come home and point out all the toxins in our cleaning supplies, soaps, and skin care products. It wasn't long before we began to switch out products one by one to the more natural or organic versions. I absolutely LOVE to spend hours researching the properties of essential oils and organic botanicals. I was able to make my own eye creme with carrot seed essential oil and noticed my skin looked much better than the fancy department store brands I had been using. Eventually we made our first batch of cold processed organic soap together- sweet orange and lavender olive oil soap. I formulated the recipe myself and accidently added too much olive oil- this is a mistake we keep in our proprietary recipe to this day. The very first batch came out super gentle because of the extra olive oil. It was around this time when we decided to try our new soap on our grandson who was suffering from dry chapped irritated skin. He had been using a national baby wash. After using our gentle soap on him, his chapped skin immediately healed and was no longer irritated. We realized if this is what was happening to our grandsons skin, it was very likely causing many other kids chapped skin as well. I began to sell my products out of the house as friends would call for the eye cremes and soap. Moon River Soap Company was founded by myself -Elizabeth Aprea. It is a second act in my life after working out of our home for 20 years as an artisan ( I painted porcelain and glass). I used to work the art fairs on weekends allowing me to stay at home week days while raising both of our daughters. After the kids went off to college my husband Carlos and myself decided to make a few changes......
Along with many of you out there, we became more aware of the toxins in our food and skin care. We had always ate somewhat healthy with organic foods, but the skincare was an area we had never given too much thought to. Our daughter attending college at this time would come home and point out all the toxins in our cleaning supplies, soaps, and skin care products. It wasn't long before we began to switch out products one by one to the more natural or organic versions. I absolutely LOVE to spend hours researching the properties of essential oils and organic botanicals. I was able to make my own eye creme with carrot seed essential oil and noticed my skin looked much better than the fancy department store brands I had been using. Eventually we made our first batch of cold processed organic soap together- sweet orange and lavender olive oil soap. I formulated the recipe myself and accidently added too much olive oil- this is a mistake we keep in our proprietary recipe to this day. The very first batch came out super gentle because of the extra olive oil. It was around this time when we decided to try our new soap on our grandson who was suffering from dry chapped irritated skin. He had been using a national baby wash. After using our gentle soap on him, his chapped skin immediately healed and was no longer irritated. We realized if this is what was happening to our grandsons skin, it was very likely causing many other kids chapped skin as well. I began to sell my products out of the house as friends would call for the eye cremes and soap.
Moon River soap, salts, balms, oils and scrubs are formulated and made downtown Rochester, Michigan. Every batch is hand poured and made daily. We are proud to use Non-GMO, organic and natural botanicals. Although Moon River can make no medicinal claims, many of our customers tell us they have improved their troubled skin, eczema, acne, psoriasis or dermatitis.
Moon River Soap Company 339 East Street, Rochester Michigan