Find answers to all your questions about AD Candle and Body and Urban Cactus' natural handmade bath and body products. Want to know how soap is made? How to make your soap last longer? What skin loving ingredients we use? Find it all here!
Soap is a combination of liquid (purified water, beer, wine, milk), lye (sodium hydroxide) and oils/butters. When the lye solution (your liquid plus lye) is mixed with oils/butters a chemical reaction, called saponification, occurs. The result is 3 parts soap and 1 part glycerin. Glycerin is a natural byproduct of this process, is a humectant that attracts and retains moisture on your skin like a natural skin lotion. Commercial soaps are manufactured in large factories where glycerin is often removed from the soap and sold to manufacturers of high end cosmetics. Properly crafted handmade soap contains NO LYE in the final product. You cannot make soap without lye.
Generally, the commercial soaps carried at most big-box retailers are loaded with chemical additives such as preservatives, sulfates and lather boosters that dry out your skin. These unnecessary additives can lead to rashes and other skin irritations. The commercial soap bars that line most grocery stores’ shelves are actually synthetic detergents NOT real soap. While that's wonderful for your dishes, it's not very good for your skin.
Superfatting means that a certain percentage of oils/butters have been left unconverted by the lye. This is done by discounting the amount of lye in our recipe. It leaves extra moisturizing oils in the soap for your skin to use along with the naturally occurring glycerin and ensures a safe, milder bar of soap. All AD Candle and Body and Urban Cactus soap bars contain a minimum superfat of 8%. That means 8% of all the oils and butters in our recipes remain unconverted just waiting to nourish your skin.
You can rest easy knowing that AD Candle and Body uses on the finest quality ingredients in our handmade soap. While recipes may vary by product, all our soaps are crafted from pure oils and butters such as Olive Oil Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Castor Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Oil, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. To increase the moisturizing ability of our soaps we sometimes add goats milk, coconut milk, wine, and beer. The beautiful swirls and layers you see are created using natural plant- and mineral-derived colorants. To achieve our amazing scents, we use both natural essential oils and phthalate- and paraben-free, skin-safe fragrance oils. The ingredients for all our products are listed on the product page as well as the product label.
When we say our products are “natural” we mean that we do not include any artificial ingredients and our products are minimally processed. We do not use any artificial colors, chemical hardeners or detergents. We do not use any ingredients that contain phthalates, sulfates, parabens or formaldehyde.
No, except for our Dirty Dawg Dog Shampoo Bar - even then, we tried it on ourselves first! AD Candle and Body and Urban Cactus products are tested on our family, friends, thousands of customers and an enthusiastic test-panel of volunteers who are always excited about trying our new products.
We do not use animal products that result in the abuse or death of that animal for the primary use in making our product.

Palm oil issues: In keeping with our social and ethical responsibility goals, our palm oil is purchased via a company whose supplier is a member of the roundtable on sustainable palm oil (RSPO), an organization that supports sustainable palm oil production.

Coconut Issues: The exploitation of abused monkeys in harvesting coconuts from Southeast Asia is as alarming as the deforestation consequences surrounding palm oil. To help combat this issue, we source our coconut oil from an environmentally friendly coconut plantation in Mexico.

Yes, we do. While the majority of our handcrafted artisan soap bars and bath and body products are vegetarian friendly – meaning they are made using only vegetable oils and butters such as Cocoa, Mango and Shea – we do occasionally use goat’s milk, buttermilk, tallow, yogurt, and honey. Please read our ingredient listing on the product page carefully. This will tell you if the item you are looking at is vegan or not. If you have a question on a specific product, just contact us!
Yes! Our Plain Jane soap bar is exactly what you are looking for! If you purchase both unscented and scented soaps in an order, the shipping box will have a scent to it, but since each soap is wrapped separately, your unscented soap will not absorb scent from other soaps while being shipped.
Most likely you will be able to use our soaps because they are incredibly mild and gentle. Most commercial soaps are detergent based, using lots of synthetic ingredients, and that's what usually causes skin reactions. We are not aware of anyone who is unable to use our soaps. If you have allergies to fragrance, then we suggest you either select scents derived from 100% natural Essential Oils or an unscented soap.
Yes! But everyone's skin type is different, so please test it out before using it regularly. There has been feedback that A
Our soap bars are approximately 3-1/2 inches long, 3 inches high, and 1 inch wide. We sell these bars at a minimum weight of five ounces. These bars are hand cut from our soap loaves that are approximately 5 pounds each.
Our handcrafted soaps will remain fresh for years. Like a fine wine, handmade soap improves with age to become a milder and longer lasting bar. Over time, your soap may lose its fragrance intensity, so we recommend using within six months.
Most of our customers say a bar of our soap lasts them between 3-4 weeks. This is based on normal use. If you're lathering up a dozen different times because you're enjoying the scent and experience, obviously, a bar isn't going to last that long!
Let your soap dry out between uses by putting your soap on a draining soap dish. This allows air to circulate around the bar. A proper soap dish will either raise the bar up for air to circulate from beneath or contain air holes for drainage of water below the soap. If you store your soap in the little alcove built into most shower stalls and tub surrounds, the shower spray will continually soak your soap. You will literally see your soap's glycerin, and your money, go down the drain. You can also use a sisal bag or netted sponge to further extend the soap's lather. Our handmade natural soaps will last longer if you take care of them!
Occasionally, you may see some white stuff on top of our soaps. This is called 'soda ash' and is a harmless substance that forms when air reaches a batch of soap in its first 24 hours of life. It will rinse off the first time you use the soap.
A Bath Fizzie is a tightly packed ball of skin-loving goodness that you drop into your bath water, transforming your ordinary bath into the ultimate home spa experience! When it hits the water, the Bath Fizzie will fizz and spin, releasing an effervescent combination of muscle soothing salts, moisturizing oils and fragrances into your bath.
A salt bar is a regular soap bar that is approximately 50% salt. One of the main benefits is an ultra-smooth bar that lasts much longer than typical soaps. Added benefits are the happy skin that results from the salt within the bars. Salt bars by nature do lather slightly less than a regular bar and are best used either directly on the skin or with a loofah or scrubby. Think bathing in the ocean.
We cannot make any claims about our product curing anything without undergoing FDA testing and that product being classified as a drug (thus raising the price tremendously). However, what we can do is help educate you on common uses of many natural ingredients and provide you with feedback from our other customers. In the end, we want you to make informed decisions for whatever purchases you make.
We use preservatives in any product that is water-based, or has the potential for bacterial growth (our lotions, body butters, and body scrubs). We clearly understand the issues around preservatives and use the healthiest options we can find while maintaining product integrity and safety. Aside from product lifespan, preservatives can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria (such as staph) from growing in your products. The bottom line is we want you to have products that last and are SAFE for your entire family. AD Candle and Body and Urban Cactus uses Optiphen as its preservative of choice. This preservative is formaldehyde and paraben free.
The New Mexico True Certified mark delivers the promise that all AD Candle and Body products are authentically “New Mexico True”—made, grown and born & raised right in New Mexico with pride, love and the finest quality ingredients. It ensures that AD Candle and Body has undergone and a rigorous application process and passed a strict vetting process to be awarded the honor of carrying this designation.
Please contact us immediately to let us know what happened, and we'll arrange for you to return the damaged item(s) to us. We will replace the item(s) free of charge including shipping.
Please contact us for return authorization before you pack the item for shipment. If we've made a mistake in what we shipped to you, the cost of shipping the incorrect items back to us is our cost. Shipping costs are non-refundable, as are customized product. Examples of customized products are custom cut products (soap favors as an example), custom scented lotions and butters in fragrances you selected. We do not accept the return of products because a customer doesn't care for the scent of the product they ordered, and this includes our unscented soaps that have the natural odor of the vegetable oils from which they are made.
We want you to be 100% satisfied with our bath and body products. If for any reason, you are not satisfied, let us know. We'll do our best to make it right for you. Please keep in mind the nature of natural, personal care products, and understand that we cannot accept for exchange items that you have opened, handled, cut or used. We do not accept the return of products because a customer doesn't care for the scent of the product they ordered, and this includes our unscented soaps that have the natural odor of the vegetable oils from which they are made. Shipping costs are always non-refundable.
Sure do. Please visit our wholesale page for more information and apply to set up an account. If you have a specific question not answered there, please let us know at
Yes, we provide guest favors for Weddings just about every weekend of the year. Any of our soap varieties are available for you to select from. We have miniature guest bar options, soap cupcake options and novelty soaps. Our favor packaging allows us to provide labels with the names of the bride and groom and your wedding date. We can wrap soap in fabrics that are the same colors of your wedding party, and you can select a soap or create a fragrance blend that has meaning for you both. You can get a mixture of manly, floral and any other soaps that will please your guests. We consider all wedding favor orders to be custom orders, requiring a 50% down, 50% upon delivery (or shipment) payment arrangement, thus we don't process them as internet orders. To learn more, call us or email us at
Yes, we do, please read the section above on Wedding Favors.
Yes, we do. Feel free to contact us with your special request and we would be happy to work with you on your own special blend. Custom orders are subject to a minimum product order and require a 50% deposit at the time of order.
Order are processed within 1-2 business days and shipped priority 2-day mail to most locations. Orders should be received within 5-7 days of placing your order excluding special orders, custom guest favors. These items generally require 72 hours for production and a minimum of 4 weeks to cure prior to shipment/delivery.
AD Candle and Body does not operate out of a physical storefront. Rather, our business is conducted entirely online, which allows us the opportunity to reach a wider customer base and offer expanded hours beyond those of a traditional brick-and-mortar store. However, if you live in or near the Santa Fe-Albuquerque region, you can often find us at regional fairs, festivals, and farmer's markets. Be sure to check out our Blog for information about local events.
When you order our items, we use the same recipe that you purchased last time. However, all our items are handmade. This means that there may be slight variations from batch to batch. We strive to make each batch identical but occasionally these products can be fickle and have a mind of their own. Please rest assured however that even if they look slightly different, you are still receiving the quality product that you fell in love with in the first place.
Since we have not submitted our products to an actual lab for testing (due to the prohibitive costs associated), we are required by the FDA to inform you that, “the safety of this product has not been determined”. 21 cfr 740.10. However, you may rest assured that we have personally used at least one item from each batch on each and every member of our family (yes, even the dogs). So far, we don’t glow in the dark and haven’t grown a second head. We haven’t peeled our skin off nor do we want to (it’s never been happier). We can honestly say that we’ve never been cleaner, smelled better, or had happier, softer skin in our lives.