Oakwood Soaperie - The home of handmade, luxurious natural soaps, skincare and more.

 My Botanical plot


How to find us - Check out Events page for regular updates and current events, we get out and about a bit, Also come and find us at our regular stall on the 1st and 3rd  Saturday of each month at Gibside Estate's Farmers and Craft Market near Rowlands Gill - Tyne and Wear.near Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, NE16 6BG.

Telephone (Gibside Visitor reception): 01207 541820      Email: [email protected]      OS Grid Ref: 88:NZ172583


"Oakwood Soaperie" - a small, real soap making company based in the beautiful grounds of Gibside Estate (National Trust). It was founded in October 2010 by me, Ceri Aitman. I sell online via Folksy and Etsy as well as at local craft and farmers markets around the North East of England...check out our EVENTS page for more details or follow our blog for the latest goings on at the Soaperie.

 I specialise in luxurious, natural 'cold process' soaps, gorgeously pampering natural bath products and sumptuous skincare that feeds your skin as well as cleans it. All my products are handmade in my lovely workshop in small batches using only the finest pure plant oils & butters, pure Northumbrian honey & beeswax (provided by my Dad, a bee keeper in rural Northumberland for over 25 years), natural clays, botanicals, essential oils and natural colourants.

Every product I offer is hand made, by me with love. I specialise in luxurious and traditional 'cold process' method soaps and bathing products, made to my own tried and tested recipies in my rural workshop on the National Trust Gibside Estate in the North East of England. I'm delighted to be able to use organically grown botanicals from the 18th Century walled garden at Gibside in a lot of my products too. 

My natural, plant based handmade soaps are made using the 'cold process' method using Sodium Hydroxide or 'Lye' in their manufacture. After the 4- 6 weeks they take to cure there is however, no sodium hydroxide left as it has all reacted out leaving an exceptionally mild and gentle, nourishing soap. My soaps are cured for a minimum of 4 - 6 weeks to ensure they are incredibly mild and in tip top condition when they are re-homed. They are then hand trimmed and carefully wrapped by hand in waxed paper and handmade paper and labelled clearly with all ingredients, batch numbers, weights and made on / use by dates in accordance with current labelling guidelines.

Being hand-made, my soaps may vary in texture, colour and appearance between batches, no two will be exactly the same, this I believe is part of the appeal. I take care to picture and describe every item as accurately as possible and pack it with love so it reaches you in perfect condition. 

I use re-cycled and, or compostable packaging wherever I can and am constantly on the look out for greener alternatives. I ALWAYS re-cycle or re-use the packaging from my deliveries so your order may arrive boxed in a re-used container. This is a good thing, it has not ended up in landfill. 

I never test on animals...my only guinea pigs are human ones.  All my products are suitable for Vegetarian and most of them are also Vegan, the only guinea pigs they are tried and tested on are human ones. 

My products contain NO preservatives, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES), parabens, artificial preservatives or Palm oil which makes them suitable for even sensitive skins. 

'Oakwood Soaperie' was born in October 2010 from a long term passion for handmade, natural soaps and cosmetics, essential oils and natural cosmetic ingredients. 

To get the very best from your natural soap, store away from bright light, heat and excessive moisture and always allow it to dry out between uses. This will prolong the life and appearance of your soap ensuring you get the very best from it every time. If you keep your soap on a soap dish, drain it regularly so the soap does not 'sit' in the water. It will absorb any water it is in contact with if for a prolonged period causing in to disintegrate. My soaps do not contain any harsh chemical additives or preservatives to maintain their appearance or texture so will change over time and exposure to bright light. The best thing is to use them up fresh. If you wish to store them, pop them into a drawer inside a paper bag - never plastic as they need to breathe.

All my products are EU certified and I hold full and specific public and product liability insurance for soaps and cosmetics. All my products have been fully safety assessed by a registered cosmetic chemist and are Trading Standards approved so our customers can buy with confidence in the knowledge that they are buying a high quality, safe and natural product that conforms to the latest EU regulations. I also make a small range of eco-soy wax candles,, reed diffusers and home fragrancing sprays which due to regulation changes in June 2015, are all CLP labelled in accordance to current EU regulations and hold the requires candle and diffuser safety warning lables.

'Oakwood Soaperie' is a member of the 'European Directory of Soap and Cosmetic Makers' and also a member of the 'Guild of Craft Soap & Toiletry Makers' www.gcstm.co.uk.   

Take care of your skin, it will love you for it!

Our handmade, natural soaps are made with pure Olive oil, Sunflower Oil and Coconut oil along with lashings of skin loving Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and enriching skin specific treatment oils such as Rosehip, Hemp, jojoba, Ricebran and Avocado oil among others. These are all rich in natural vitamins that are retained in the final bar and are delivered exactly where they are needed...straight to your skin.

We include natural clays and botanicals such as flower petals and buds, dried herbs and seeds, for texture and colour as well as fragrance and appearance. Their superior cleansing and conditioning properties are gentle yet very thorough and will not strip the skin's natural moisture. We also use Organic Goat's milk in some of our recipes as it is so beneficial to dry or troubled skin. Some ingredients e.g. vegetable glycerine and raw honey actually help improve the skin's ability to retain precious moisture and improve the surface texture and appearance 


Our busy little bees...

We use our own fresh Northumbrian Honey and beeswax in a lot of our soaps and balms. This comes straight from my dad's hives situated in the dramatic and wild Northumberland landscape. It is extracted and filtered then is ready either to eat or for inclusion in our natural and pure products.

Our honey is not pasteurised so therefore It is naturally very anti-viral and anti-biotic. Pure un-pasteurised honey has been used to heal broken or inflamed skin and has been renound for its ability to heal wounds since Ancient Egyptian times. It is incredibly gentle on sensitive skin and acts as a natural humectant, drawing moisture from the surrounding atmosphere, straight in to your skin where it delivers moisture to the deep layers and locks it in. 

We make everything from scratch in small quality controlled batches to ensure the finest results possible. This allows us to tailor each individual batch or product to a specific skin type giving us flexibility and the possibility to tailor a recipe to a customer’s individual requirements.