July 25th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 30
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The new soap shop that’s both fugly and fab
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
The soap itself may be “fugly”, but founder of the Fugly Soap Factory Cori MacGregor promises your skin will be anything but fugly after you use it.

That’s because MacGregor’s line of “fugly” soaps, bath bombs and shower fizzies are all handmade with organic, natural ingredients that are free of preservatives, colorants and artificial scents.

MacGregor was inspired to start an all-natural soap company because her husband and daughter are both extremely allergic to many synthetic ingredients, often getting rashes or cracks on their skin from using hygiene products with preservatives or colorants.

“My husband and my daughter are both extremely allergic to everything that we ever tried to buy. It would always have something in it that they were sensitive or allergic to like a colourant or preservatives or some sort of chemical that would make them crack, bleed, break out,” says MacGregor. “My husband works at the coal mine and he would have to really scrub to get all the coal off and his skin would just be raw. My daughter, even when she was born, you couldn’t put a baby wipe on her.”

To create a natural, organic alternative for her family to use, MacGregor started dabbling in soap making, eventually taking a course to help her learn about the process. She even consulted with her son Cole, who has a degree in chemistry from the University of Calgary and helped her pair ingredients and ration proportions.

Following much trial and error, she finally developed her own unique formula for making soap and, after several years of making small batches of soaps for her family and friends, MacGregor took her passion and business to a bigger scale when she launched The Fugly Soap Factory at the beginning of June.
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All Fugly products are made with local, organic and natural ingredients. The beeswax is bought from MacGregor’s neighbour that has an apiary, and she cleans and filters it twice herself. Key soap ingredients are organic virgin coconut oil, pure essential oils and goat’s milk that is sourced fresh from a farmer in the region.

“I don’t use any kind of manmade fragrance. I only use pure essential oils in and all natural stuff from my garden,” says MacGregor. “You could almost eat everything, it's so natural.”

Many of the herbs and spices used to create unique scents and colours are grown right in her own backyard.

All her soap and bath bomb scents are original and she’s done a lot of research to find out which scents give which health benefits.

For example, the Rosemary Mint soap has rosemary, peppermint, spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils, helping you get going in the mornings or clearing sinuses if you have a cold.

Or there’s the signature Sinistra Scent, which MacGregor made especially for the Sinistra Salon, has ylang-ylang, benzoin, sweet almond oil, vanilla, and japser which is a mineral that, in holistic healing, has been used to align the chakras.

And if you’re still not sure what “fugly” means, maybe her menopausal soap will give you a better hint. Intended to battle the effects of menopausal symptoms, F-Off Menopause! is infused with four aromatherapeutic oils that are said to diminish hot flashes and mood swings.

MacGregor also created custom scents. With 3.5 acres in her backyard to grow all types of herbs and flowers, the possibilities are endless.
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Fugly has a “soap of the month” changing regularly, with July’s choice being the “Sweet, Spicy, Sexy” with notes of black pepper and cedarwood that give it a tinge of sensuality.

“There's something for everybody,” she says. “Our soap isn’t pretty, it’s fugly, but it’s 100 percent natural. All those pretty soaps that are out there like cupcakes and pieces of pie, it’s all artificial flavouring and artificial colours. There’s so much crap in there that your skin doesn’t need. My soap isn’t pretty, but it works and there’s no crap in it.”

Playing around with ingredients, scents, textures and colours allows MacGregor to get creative with making soap, almost like an art form. And, like any art form, soap making is a slow and gradual process.

It takes MacGregor six weeks to make a bar of soap. First, she double filters the beeswax, which takes about 48 hours to do, then mixes together all the hot ingredients in a big melting pot. This includes ingredients like palm oil, virgin coconut oil and canola oil. Then, she adds in the cold ingredients - the goat’s milk, well-filtered water, the essential oils, and flowers and herbs.

Once it’s all well mixed – and there’s a lot of mixing involved – she pours the soap into molds, lets them set for 48 hours, and then cure for six weeks. If the soaps aren’t cured for enough time, they won’t be solid enough and will quickly turn to mush.

MacGregor launched Fugly products at the beginning of June at Sinistra Salon in Blairmore and, as of July 16, Fugly products are also available at Copy Magic in Blairmore. Both retailers carry a completely different stock of products.

Visit www.fuglysoapfactory.com for a complete list of products, where you can also make online purchases.
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July 25th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 30
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