Monastery of St. John soaps are all handcrafted in small batches by the monks using 100% vegetable oils. Our all natural soaps are made from botanically derived colorings and scents, using essential oils. Whenever possible, we use local plants, the essential oils being extracted at our monastery using the ancient methods of steam distillation. Our still is a Portuguese handcrafted, hammered copper device -- technology unchanged since the time of medieval alchemists. We also offer some other traditional soaps, such as rose, that employ fragrance oils and hypo-allergenic food colorings.
Handmade soap is soap in its true and most pure form. Commercial soaps are manufactured in large factories (often overseas) staffed with anonymous employees. Synthetic ingredients are often used instead of natural ingredients. Most store-bought soap has all the natural glycerin removed because of its high value as a product on its own. Our homemade soap still contains all the natural glycerin, which is gently cleansing as well as deeply moisturizing.