What does S.M.O.C. stand for?

  • Sustainable Maximum Organic Content.  Our certified organic soaps are vegan, sustainable, and always made with the maximum organic content possible.

What makes S.M.O.C. soap unique?

 S.M.O.C. Skincare Competitors
Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth some claim to be organic but are not certified
Essential Oils Fragrances (which contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (highest grade) Usually none, but lower grades of olive oil if they do
No Palm Oil Primarily palm oil
Premium oils and butters like shea butter and cocoa butter Few or no premium ingredients


  • Certified Organic.  All of our ingredients are certified organic, which means free of toxic herbicides and pesticides, which protects: farm workers, the earth, our water supply, and you.
  • Free of Chemical Additives.  No perfumes or fragrances, no dyes or colorants, no detergents or sulfates, no endocrine-disrupting parabens or phthalates, no EDTA.
  • Sustainable.  Palm oil plantations are destroying the rainforest and the endangered animals that live there, and accelerating global warming. We never use palm oil (not even 'sustainable' palm oil because there's no such thing). 95% of competitor soaps are made with palm oil. Our packaging is made from recycled paper and is free of plastic. We are members of 1% for the Planet, a group of companies that commit to donate at least 1% of our revenues to environmental nonprofits. We consent to auditing to confirm the donations.
  • Food-Grade Ingredients.  Our soaps have incredible moisturizing qualities because we use only the highest quality, premium ingredients. We make our soaps from only the most skin nourishing oils & butters: extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and castor oilall organic.  We scent our soaps with organic essential oils, never fragrances. 95% of competitor soaps are made with fragrances.

There is no other company making soap like this. We know because we searched high and low, and when we couldn't find one, we created it. 

How long do your soaps last?

  • It varies by person, of course, but most people report that our soaps last at least 4 weeks. Our soap is cured (air dried) for several weeks before packaging, which results in a harder, longer-lasting bar.  A Starbucks latte is $5 and lasts about 5 minutes.  After a shower with our soap, your skin will feel clean, luxurious and moisturized, and you'll still have about a month's worth of showers left!

Why do most soap companies use mainly Palm Oil to make their soap?

  • Palm oil is very cheap, which is why 95% of soaps are made with it. Look at the label of any soap and you'll most likely see "palm oil" or the scientific name: "sodium palmate" or "sodium palm kernelate."

What's so bad about Palm Oil?

  • Palm oil (sodium palmate or sodium palm kernelate) is cheap because millions of acres of pristine tropical rainforest have been cut down and burned over the last 40 years to create massive palm oil plantations churning out huge quantities of super cheap palm oil. This is a major contributor to global warming. Also, endangered orangutans and many other animals have been killed by plantation owners and driven near extinction as a result of the habitat loss.This is Hope, an endangered orangutan undergoing surgery in Indonesia. She was attacked by palm oil operators trying to drive her off the land. They shot her with a BB gun 74 times including in both eyes, leaving her blinded and near death. She survived but sadly her infant did not. You can read her story at CBS News. (photo from Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme)

What about 'sustainable' Palm Oil?

  • We don't use any palm oil in our soaps because palm oil plantations clear and burn rainforests, accelerating global warming. We also don't use 'sustainable' palm oil because currently, there is no such thing as 'sustainable' palm oil. [2, 3, 5] Those using sustainable palm oil are trying to do the right thing and that is commendable, but unfortunately, 'sustainable' palm oil is not actually sustainable.

    Greenpeace says plainly: “‘Certified sustainable’ palm oil is a con.” [5] The sustainability certification for palm oil has been described as a "meaningless certification." [2] A study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature found that there was "limited evidence of the conservation effectiveness" (page 43) of sustainable palm oil. [4] The study also notes that the certifying body, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: “appears to have few benefits for orangutan populations in Sumatra”(page 61). [4]  We hope things change, but until then, we won't use any palm oil.  Sources at bottom of the home page.     


Why don’t other soap makers use Extra Virgin olive oil?

  • Palm oil is cheap, about $15 per gallon. Regular olive oil is twice the price, at about $30 per gallon. Extra virgin olive oil is nearly 3x the price of palm oil at $41 per gallon. Organic extra virgin olive oil is pricier still.  We are one of the only soap companies in the world using organic extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is packed with anti-oxidants which makes it anti-inflammatory and very hydrating. When you experience the amazing skin-nourishing benefits of organic extra virgin olive oil you won't go back.

What's the difference between Fragrances and Essential Oils?

  • Fragrances (sometimes called "parfum" or 'natural' fragrances) are man-made chemical concoctions engineered in a lab to replicate the smell of things found in nature. Fragrances contain phthalates, a category of endocrine-disrupting chemicals also found in plastics and solvents. Phthalates are definitively linked to: endocrine and reproductive system damage and cancer.  Because they are made from inexpensive chemicals, fragrances are cheap, which is why nearly all cosmetics and soap companies use fragrances to scent their products.  At S.M.O.C. Skincare, we never use fragrances, 'natural' fragrances or parfum.
  • Essential Oils are the oils extracted from pressed plant matter. Pressing a plant or fruit to extract oil from it doesn't yield a lot of oil which is why essential oils are much more expensive than fragrances, usually 2x to 10x the price depending on the oil.  At S.M.O.C. Skincare, we use only the highest quality organic essential oils.

Why is organic important for soap?

  • With a surface area of 20 square feet, your skin is, by far, your body’s largest organ, and what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, your bloodstream, and your internal organs. Most soaps are made from plant oils and if those plants are conventionally grown, they are sprayed with gallons of toxic pesticides and herbicides that remain on the plant and in the plant’s tissue before it’s turned into oil. That means those same chemicals end up in your soap, on your skin, and in your body.  Organically-grown plants are not sprayed with those toxic chemicals.
  • At S.M.O.C. we only use plant ingredients that are organically grown, which means no toxic chemicals on the plants, in your soap, or in your body.  

Why is S.M.O.C. soap more expensive than typical soaps?

  1. First, most other mass market soap brands are not actually soap. They're detergents with some added soap.  Mass market "soap" brands are made from detergents because it's much cheaper to manufacture detergent than it is to make real soap.  Look at a box of Dove and you'll see that the first ingredient is "Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate." That's a detergent.  What's the difference between soap and detergent? Soap is made from plant oils or animal oils. Detergent is made in a lab from a concoction of man-made chemicals. Detergents are good for cleaning clothes & cars but not your skin because they're too harsh and can strip skin of its natural oils leaving it dry, itchy, and irritated.  To counteract the drying effect of detergent, companies add even more chemicals to their soaps including EDTA, propylene glycol, skin penetration enhancers, etc.
  2. Second, it comes down to ingredients. Palm oil is the cheapest oil that can be used to make soap and is found in about 95% of soap.  We don't use any palm oil because of its harmful effect on the environment.  We use premium, food-grade, organic ingredients like organic extra virgin olive oil, the highest possible grade of olive oil.  Most other soap makers don't use any olive oil because of the cost, and if they use olive oil they use pomace olive oil, the lowest and cheapest grade of olive oil.  We are making soap completely differently from nearly all other soap makers. Virtually no other soapmaker makes soap with organic shea butter or organic cocoa butter because those are ultra-premium, high-priced ingredients that significantly increase the cost per bar. 
  3.  We scent our soaps with essential oils, never fragrances.  Essential oils come from pressed plants. Fragrances are cheap chemical concoctions made in a lab. Fragrances contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates linked to cancer but they are widely used in soaps. Why? Because fragrances are cheap!  For example, a 16 oz bottle of grapefruit fragrance is about $20. A 16 oz bottle of organic grapefruit essential oil is over $200.  We are one of the only companies on earth making soap with premium organic essential oils.

Lastly, regarding cost, keep in mind that a Starbucks latte costs $5 and lasts five minutes but our soaps will provide you with a luxurious shower experience every day for 3 to 5 weeks.

Why is bar soap better than body wash?

  1. Chemicals: Body wash is detergent, not real soap. As explained above, detergents are chemical concoctions that are great for cleaning your car or your floors, but not for cleaning your skin because they can strip the skin of oils. Our soap is made from organic pressed plant oils.
  2. Carbon Footprint: Body wash is 90% water and 10% detergent. Shipping water in a plastic bottle puts unnecessary greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. 
  3. Plastic: All plastic is made from oil extracted from the earth by oil companies.  It takes 400 years for a plastic bottle of body wash to degrade. 91% of plastic is not recycled. The ocean is so polluted with plastic that there are several country-sized islands of floating plastic, one of which is called the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch". And the patch is getting bigger fast because 8 millions tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year. (photo from The Ocean Cleanup) Video about the Garbage Patch. Every year, countless whales, dolphins, turtles, birds and other creatures die by consuming plastic. In 2019, one dead beached whale was examined and it's stomach contained a shocking 88 pounds of plastic"It was full of plastic — nothing but nonstop plastic," said marine biologist Darrell Blatchley who autopsied the whale. This is madness. We must protect Mother Nature and it starts by reducing our plastic usage. Using bar soap instead of body wash is one way to significantly reduce plastic usage. This sperm whale washed up on a beach in Scotland and was found to have over 200 pounds of plastic, netting, and other trash in its stomach. (photo by Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme) Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/02/world/europe/harris-beached-whale.html

Does S.M.O.C. soap kill coronavirus?

  • Yes, all soap kills coronavirus, including our soap. In fact, soap is more effective at killing coronavirus than hand sanitizer because viruses including coronavirus have a membrane made of fat, and soap molecules dissolve the virus’ fatty membrane, tearing the virus apart and killing it. The soap and water then wash the dead virus particles physically of your hands/body. According to Dr. Daniel Pastula, a UC Health neuro-infectious disease expert, “It doesn’t need to be antibacterial soap. All soaps work the same.” And compared to hand sanitizer, “[Soap] is just better,” Dr. Pastula said. “If I have the option, I use soap and water. I use hand sanitizer as a backup.
  • Also keep in mind that soaps labeled as "antibacterial" may contain harmful chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive problems. For example, triclosan was the active ingredient in best-selling antibacterial soaps (like Dial) for decades until it was banned by the FDA in 2016.  Plain ordinary soap is all you need to safely and effectively kill all germs, viruses, and bacteria.
  • Sources:
    • Triclosan, found in antibacterial soap and other products, causes cancer in mice, Washington Post, Nov 24, 2014. 
    • Antibacterial Soaps Have Phased Out Controversial Ingredients, But Concerns Remain About New Ones, Forbes, Sept 4, 2016, 
    • The Chemicals to Avoid in Your Shampoo and Body Wash, Healthline website, October 7, 2020. 
    • Antibacterial Soap? You can skip it, use plain soap and water, FDA website 
    • The coronavirus is no match for plain, old soap — here’s the science behind it, MarketWatch, April 8, 2020.
    • UC Health Today website, Why soap and water work better than hand sanitizer to remove the coronavirus, UC Health, March 30, 2020. 

Where is S.M.O.C Skincare soap made?

  • In Portland, Oregon, USA.  Maximum Organic, LLC is based in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Are all your soaps certified organic?

  • Yes, all of our soaps are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.  Formed in 1974, Oregon Tilth is a non-profit Accredited Certifying Agent (ACA) for the USDA's National Organic Program.  Not all organic certifiers are the same, and most are for-profit corporations. Oregon Tilth is a non-profit with nearly 50 years experience and they're one of the strictest and most trusted organic certifiers in the world.

 How can I get in touch?

I read to the end, do I get a prize?

  • Unfortunately not, but you have earned our respect. Thank you!