Soap Stars: Come Clean with Florida-Made Lotions, Potions and Other Notions

By: Ginger Harris


Thinking about cleaning up your act in 2014? Handmade soaps are a great way to bring fresh, natural, even organic ingredients to your bathing ritual. With so many wonderful brands right here in the Sunshine State, there’s plenty of options to fit your skincare needs.

Be the Belle of the Bath

The creation of Yvette Crooke-Avera, Belle Ame’ Bath & Body is a Pensacola-based brand of handmade soaps, body whips, salts, scrubs and bubble baths. A hybrid of her daughters’ names, Crooke-Avera realized her brand’s potential when she discovered her middle daughter had eczema and that her soaps helped the condition. Using shea butter, mango butter, jojoba, olive oil, sweet almond, palm, coconut, grape seed and cocoa oils, she’s created delicious products like Life’s a Beach Aloe & Shea Body Whip with sea spray, salt, jasmine and mandarin, as well as Orange & Clove Soap. Find the full line online at

Go Green

Fort Lauderdale-based Jacq’s Organics relies on aloe juice and shea butter to make her line of moisturizers, soaps and body washes. The brains behind the line, Barbara Jacques, came up with the idea when she was pregnant with her daughter. With so many ingredients like parabens, sulfates, silicones and phthalates in her bathing options, Jacques decide to take matters into her own hands and created a line free of those fillers and rich with healing herbs instead. Lather up with her Lavender Love Soap Bar, moisturize with the Sweet Orange Shea Cream and tone up with the Carrot con Leche Face Serum. Or, check out the rest of the menu at

Enjoy a Slice of Paradise

Cape Coral is home to Paradise Handmade Soap Company, the brand of natural soaps, soy candles, natural lotions, moisturizing sticks and lip balms from husband and wife team Karrie and Bill Troutt. Selling at six local farmer’s markets and online, shoppers can find an array of soaps like Florida Sunshine with sweet orange essential oil and colored with carrots and paprika. There’s even a Doggie Shampoo Bar with lemon eucalyptus, catnip, peppermint, tea tree lavender and lemongrass with neem oil to get Barkley squeaky clean. Find the rest of the options online at


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