Albany Essentials products are all-natural and handmade in small batches in Toronto. I make affordable products that are good for you and good for the planet, because everyone deserves good soap.
Soap should be simple, but often it’s anything but. Especially for people with dry or sensitive skin. For people who are concerned about palm oil or phthalates or all the unpronounceables that can be in a simple bar. For people who are concerned with what goes down the drain. For people who are concerned with packaging. For people who want something good but are worried about cost.
I’ve made it easy. To have happy skin, you don’t need an elaborate care regime and all kinds of lotions and potions—just start with good soap. To have a happy conscience, know that this is palm oil free, biodegradable, with low or no packaging, and made locally.
Get detailed descriptions of all my products by clicking the links in the top bar.
Each bar weighs approximately 85g (though hand-cutting introduces a bit of variation).
There is an ordering window each March and September. If you’d like to be emailed when the ordering window opens, you can sign up here (and I promise not to share your information or to email more than is strictly necessary):
Place an order by filling out this form. Most orders are picked up in Toronto, although I’m happy to mail them if you’ll foot the bill.
To extend your soap’s life while you’re using it, store it out of direct water flow. Keep unused bars anywhere you’d like to smell lovely, though a humid bathroom isn’t the best choice. Soaps will lose their scent after approximately 6-8 months — if you’d like them to last longer, store like scents together in a plastic bag. That said, soap gets harder and will last longer the longer it dries out, so scentless varieties can be left to harden for a year or more.
(Mix and match soaps and lip balms as you please.)
3 for $10
6 for $20
10 for $30
15 for $40
20 for $50
What do you mean by natural soap?
I know “natural” doesn’t mean much these days. But it’s the best term I can come up with for cold-process soap making, which is a slow, low-energy process that makes gently alkaline (and therefore cleansing) product out of oils you’d recognize (coconut, olive, castor) when combined with lye (sodium hydroxide) and water. The soapmaking process neutralizes the lye, and then everything can safely go on your skin and down the drain. Most “soaps” in stores are actually detergents, which are made in an energy-intensive process, can be made with petrochemicals, and can strip the skin of its oils, causing irritation. Your skin shouldn’t have that tight feeling after you’ve showered!
Why use bar soap?
Studies have shown that bar soap has a lower life cycle impact that liquid soap, with higher transport and packaging costs and people using 7x as much soap. (That said, bar soap users tend to use more water per wash, so using lower-temperature water and keeping the taps off as you lather can make a big difference.)
Why make soaps with tallow?
Other than for Little House roleplay? In my soap, beef tallow takes the place of palm oil, a product that has to be imported and has led to widespread rainforest destruction and exploitation of workers. Tallow is a locally produced waste product that significantly reduces the life cycle impact of soap. I buy tallow from local butchers who buy from local farmers that ensure animals are hormone and antibiotic free and have a good life and a humane death. (Currently, my fat comes from Butchers of Distinction in Toronto.) A couple of my soaps do use 1% stearic acid, which is derived from vegetable oils, including palm. But better than the 30-40% straight palm oil in most soap formulations.
How are soaps scented?
All my soaps are scented with essential oils, rather than synthetic fragrance oils. Essential oils have natural therapeutic qualities and provide scent without using phthalates, hormone disrupters, or syntheticcs sensitizers. If you’d like an unscented soap, the Honey Oat and Gentle Coconut are great options.
How are your soaps coloured?
I colour most soaps with clay, which can also enhance creaminess and provide the necessary slip for shaving soaps. Some are coloured with small amounts of cosmetic-grade oxides, which are naturally occurring minerals that are mined and processed. If you’d like a soap with no added clay or colour, choose Honey Oat, Sage and Lemongrass, Lemon Poppyseed, or Cinnamon-Vanilla.
Are these good for sensitive skin or eczema?
Lots of people with sensitive skin use my soap (some exclusively!) and find relief. Start by trying the Gentle Coconut or Honey Oat. If you have trouble with dry, cracking hands, send me a note: I have remedies for that too.
Do you have vegan options?
Sure do. The scent options for vegan soap can be more limited, but let me know your preferences and I see what I can do. (And unlike most vegan soaps, there’s still no palm oil.)
My soaps look different than the pictures . . .
I aim for consistency but mould availability and the handmade process means variation happens. But your soap should still make you clean and happy. (If it doesn’t, please let me know!)
How are the soaps packaged?
Since I can’t stand garbage, I package minimally, with no outer wrapping. Generally, like varieties are tied together with twine and labelled with a shipping tag. If you’d like pre-made variety bundles, just let me know. And if you’re a no-waste warrior and would like no soap packaging whatsoever and lip balm in a reusable glass jar, just say the word.
Do the soaps expire?
Soaps should last around two years: after that, have a look to see if you see any discolouration or anything suspicious. If not, it’s likely still okay! (I’ve also cut off a discoloured part and carried on using the soap with no problem.)
Do you take large/custom orders?
Let’s talk and see if everyone at your wedding/bridal shower/airbnb can be squeaky clean! Just drop me a line.