Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mary Armstrong and her Creative Bubbles

Splish splash, I was takin' a bath
Long about a Saturday night...

Now I have that song stuck in my head...

Country Chicken Girl reporting here, continuing her little ditties on vendors that are participating in the Scottsbluff Farmers' Market.

Mary Armstrong and her hubby, Mike

Meet Mary Armstrong of Creative Bubbles. Mary's specialty is the most wonderful homemade luxury shea butter soaps. I can not tell you how much I LOVE her soap! I was talking with a friend of mine, Kelly, and she said she has tried Mary's soap and that she loves it! What impresses her the most is the quality of the soap and that it lasts so long. I tend to agree whole heartily with Kelly. You really need to try some of Mary's soap for yourself. You can test it at her booth at the Farmers' Market. She has nice warm water for you to wash your hands in and believe me, you will notice a difference the first time you wash with it. I tried it at her booth, and fell in love with the soap immediately.

Here are a few soap facts from Mary:

Did you know?

1. Have you ever noticed that most of the bars that you buy in the store do not have the word "soap" anywhere on the label? That's because they aren't actually soap, they are solidified detergents. If you read the ingredients, these bars are made up of primarily chemicals. Read the label on a bar of real soap and you'll see natural oils and other good organic additives.

2. Because natural soap is make with natural, organic oils, the shelf life is limited to 12 to 18 months. This soap is meant to be used to condition your skin and calm your soul, please don't leave it on the shelf, if not used the oils over time may become rancid causing the soap to discolor and develop an unpleasant odor.

3. Most commercial Shea Butter products contain highly refined Shea Butter. Most of the Creative Bubbles soap products contain natural unrefined Shea Butter. Natural Shae Butter is a yellow color and has a characteristic aroma that is organic and somewhat medicinal. Refinement remove this color and odor. Unfortunately, it also removes most all of the vitamins and minerals that give Shea Butter its natural healing properties. You may be able to detect the natural Shea Butter color and scent in some bars, but remember that's what sets this soap apart from the others in a good way.

So guess what? I went and got our soap and checked out the ingredient list. First I looked at the "man soap" in our house. I've bought Lever 2000 for Dan the Man and the boys for as long as I can remember. Not one mention of soap but it is referred to as "refreshing bars." Humm... refreshing bars of WHAT? So I read the ingredients list and it's full of a whole bunch of stuff that would really test my phonic skills, which I have none, by the way! Tons of Sodium thing-a ma-gigs, Acid what-cha-ma-call-its and the only thing that I could pronounce with out studying was sunflower seed oil clear towards the bottom of the list.

Then I grabbed the "girly soap." Bath & Body shower gel. The ingredients list was in such small type it hurt my eyes trying to read it. Once again stuff I couldn't pronounce, words I did recognize were sodium, acid, castor oil, alcohol, acetate and yellow, red and blue!

And now for Mary's ingredients for her Almond Soap: Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Unrefined Shea Butter, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Colorant. Okay, so don't let the sodium hydroxide scare you. Mary explains that this ingredient is more commonly known as lye and the truth is that you cannot make soap without it. Mary also explains in this handy handout that she has that when the molecules of lye bind with the oil molecules and create soap and in a well-developed soap recipe (like Mary's) no lye remains in the finished product. Mary's soap had 7 ingredients, all of which I can easily pronounce! The others that I looked at had at least 20 ingredients!

I love the shell in the soap, so cute!

I haven't tried the Almond Soap yet, but I have tried the Deep Blue Sea and the Mocha Cream. I love the Mocha Cream... we are using it at the kitchen sink as a hand soap. It has coffee grounds in it which is a great exfoliant and gets all the dirt and grim off our hands from working outside. And if you know me, you know I LOVE coffee, so therefore I would love it no matter what, probably! Mary gave me a little sample bar of the Deep Blue Sea at the first Farmers' Market and it doesn't seem to be getting any smaller although I keep using it! It is so silky smooth that you feel like you are washing your hands with lotion. I've also bought Coffee and Cream but have yet to try it.

I want to, need to try this one! It smells so fresh and light!

Mary has so many different kinds that I want to try them all, well almost. There are maybe two out of twenty different kinds that just aren't my cup of tea, but the vast majority appeal to me. The bars are $5/each. I think that is quite a bargain, especially when I compare that $5 to the $9.50 I pay for the Bath & Body stuff I get. I'll have to see which lasts longer but I'm already guessing that Mary's soap will.

Look, even baby soap!

So don't take my word for it, get yourself down to Mary's booth at the Farmers' Market and test out some of her soap yourself. Mary also sells at various craft festivals or you can contact her by phone at (308)635-8514 or email Actually, is that the right email Mary, since Embarq is now CenturyLink or whatever they have changed their name to now?? Let us know down in the comment section!! Thanks! :)

Mike talking with a potential customer. What a guy to help Mary at her booth! He even wears an apron. Looks nice with his tattoo!!
Just giving you a hard time Mike! ;)

1 comment:

  1. For those who don't know, a common ingredient in many shampoos, toothpastes, dishwashing liquids, laundry detergetns and body washes is a known skin irritant for some people (like me!): sodium dodecyl sulfate (AKA sodium lauryl sulfate), which is usually derived from coconut or palm kernel oil. It's a great surfactant (oil-binder), but also pretty harsh. Check the label on baby shampoo--it will never have that stuff in it. I often suffered from rashes and itchy skin, and it wasn't until I read the MSDS label on some sodium dodecyl sulfate that I was going to use in the laboratory that I learned of its irritant properties and quit using a SDS/SLS shampoo. For some reason, ammodium dodecyl sulfate (ammonium lauryl sulfate) seems to be easier on my skin.

    I like Mary's soap a lot, but I can't use it when I'm handling my contact lenses. (It would be like the time I accidentally tried to clean my glasses with a Puffs Plus Lotion tissue.)