Shampoo/Skin Wash 01

Natural, gentle and cleansing. Suitable for hair, hand and body. Handmade using Wild Harvested Soapwort, certified organic Orange and Rose Geranium essential oils.

All about Shampoo/Skin Wash 01

The word ‘natural’ gets bandied about a great deal but in the case of our Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 its use is wholly appropriate. This is artisan production at its finest. The core ingredient of our Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 is wild-harvested soapwort roots, which we wash in plain water, dry and then boil. The resulting decoction is filtered carefully to remove (not to blind you with science or anything) the lumpy bits, before we add various other herbs, oils &c.. Sounds lovely? Well it is! Our Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 is a very pleasant, mild, liquid soap that leaves hair clean, shining and manageable and skin soft and silky smooth. It is not, incidentally, sudsy.

How to use Shampoo/Skin Wash 01

By law we have to supply instructions on how to use this product, suggest precautions, blah, blah, presumably for customers who have never encountered shampoo, shower gel, liquid soap etc.. So, welcome to planet Earth.

For use as a shampoo (i) brush your hair so it is free of knots, (ii) wet your hair thoroughly, (iii) put a small amount of the Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 in the palm of your hand and apply to hair, (iv) massage the shampoo into your scalp, and (v) rinse thoroughly. Repeat as necessary.

For use as a skin wash (i) wet the area you wish to wash (ii) put a small amount of the Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 in the palm of your hand and apply, and (iii) rinse thoroughly.

Of special note

Our soapwort roots are wild harvested and come from Albania. The oils we add are certified organic. Incidentally, the scientific name Saponaria is derived from the Latin meaning ‘soap’. The epithet officinalis indicates its medicinal functions.

As an aside, why do manufacturers charge more for shampoo than shower gel and more for shower gel than, say, liquid hand soap? It is one of the Great Mysteries, especially when you consider that all ‘wash off’ products (which is the rather unromantic term used by the industry to describe – ummm – wash off products) utilise pretty much the same formula and ingredients.

Our not-very-secret formula

Official Name Plain English Name %
Saponaria Officinalis Soapwort (decoction) 39.69%
Aqua Distilled water 48.51%
Amaranthus Caudatus Amaranth Seed Oil – a natural plant based surfactant 6.6%
Glycerin Glycerine Oil 3%
Dehydroacetic Acid & Benzyl Alcohol & Aqua Geogard 221 – a natural preservative 1%
Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba
Guar Gum – plant derived thickener
Pelargonium graveolens* Rose Geranium Essential Oil 0.15%
Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil* Orange Essential Oil 0.15%
Citric acid Citric acid 0.1%


About the ingredients


The use of Saponaria Officinalis (soapwort) as a natural surfactant (soap) has a long history. It has also been used to treat itchy skin and other skin conditions, such as poison ivy, acne, psoriasis, eczema and even boils. It has natural antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.


Amaranth (Seed) Oil is a mild, natural plant derived surfactant, which comes from, surprise, surprise, the Amaranth plant. This ancient grain was first cultivated by the Aztecs over 8,000 years ago and used not just as a food and medicine, but also as part of their religious ceremonies. Amaranth oil contains Squalene, one of the most common lipids produced by our own skin, and a natural moisturiser. It is also an active anti-cancer substance. It is believed to slow down the effects of skin ageing and wrinkle formation, and is non-irritating.

Glycerin Oil

Glycerin Oil is a humectant, meaning that it helps retain, or reduce the loss of, moisture. What’s special about glycerin, though, compared to some other humectants, is that it is an endogenous humectant, meaning we have it naturally in our skin. Also, it is mild and so more suitable for those with allergies.

Guar Gum

To make a shampoo/skinwash effective it needs to include a gelling agent. Our Guar Gum is a natural gel made by grinding the endosperm portion of Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, a leguminous plant grown mainly in India and Pakistan.

Geogard 221

Geogard 221 is a preservative, which is made from dehydroacetic acid (DHA) and benzyl alcohol (a ‘good’ alcohol). It meets the ECOCERT and COSMOS standards, is NaTrue certified and Soil Association approved, in addition to not being tested on animals.

Orange Peel Essential Oil

Orange Peel Essential Oil has a light, zesty perfume. It is obtained by cold-pressing orange peel (as the name suggests!). What else is there to say? It helps to condition your hair, gives it shine and provides the lovely smell.

Rose Geranium Essential Oil

Rose Geranium Essential Oil is a delightfully aromatic oil that is prized for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Citric Acid

As you probably remember from your chemistry lessons at school, citric acid is extracted from fruit (typically lemons) and we are using it to maintain the right amount of alkalinity. Incidentally, at much higher amounts (20 to 40%) citric acid has Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) properties and helps to maintain and rejuvenate damaged skin. Another good reason to include it.

How we make our Shampoo/Skin Wash 01

We have two large vessels in our workshop, one of which can heat liquids to boiling point. We put a basket of the soapwort into this vessel and after it has simmered for the appropriate period and cooled down we slowly transfer it to the other vessel, where we add the other ingredients. If we transfer the liquid soapwort decoction too quickly it suds up like bubble bath and we have to abandon our workshop until the suds have disappeared. Then we have to start all over again.

Safety Information

Wild & Precious Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 is extremely safe to use but although soapwort flowers are edible, soapwort root is not. For this reason, we would not recommend drinking Shampoo/Skin Wash 01 (don’t worry, though, if you swallow a little bit by accident… the root is very, very well diluted). We would not advise putting it into your eyes, but if a little bit splashes in, again it should not cause any problems (if it does, then bathe the afflicted area in cold water). Nowadays, manufacturers have become so frightened of litigation that their products come with dire warnings and super cautious advice. We won’t be left out of this! If you swallow this product contact a poison centre or doctor, immediately. Ditto if you splash it in your eye. If you spill some by accident we advise swearing, as it is too valuable to waste. As they tend to wriggle, open their eyes when they shouldn’t and swallow things without meaning to, our official line is that you should not use this product on children under age three.