A bit about Love from Santa Barbara

Welcome! I’m Donna Greene… artist, mad scientist, cook, and chief mixer-upper at Love from Santa Barbara. This site is dedicated to this lovely place we call home and to offer things made with love… from Santa Barbara.

Love from SB soap

Let me start off by saying that most soap the average person uses is purchased at the grocery store. That soap is made with detergents and chemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils. As a result, your skin feels dry, and you need to apply lotion or some kind of moisturizer to replace the oils.

Handmade soap doesn’t do that. It’s made with oils and butters that are gentle on your skin. The glycerin that is naturally formed in the process of making the soap is still in there. Not removed. You don’t strip the natural oils from your skin to leave it “squeaky” clean. And you don’t have to immediately rub lotion on your hands.

I don’t operate a soap factory. I’m not interested in churning out look-a-like bars of soap. What interests me is making soap as an extension of my creative processes. I make it in small batches and create my recipes as I go. To me, it’s like a special combination of cooking, chemistry, and art. And I try to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

One thing I enjoy is coming up with combinations of soap ingredients, color additives and scents that bring to mind specific places in Santa Barbara.

I use the “cold process” method. That’s basically making soap from scratch. I use a soap calculator to create recipes, as every oil and butter has a different saponification rate and won’t go be turned into soap unless you have the percentages just right. With cold process, the soap has to cure for 4-6 weeks for the water to be evaporated and the bar hardened enough to use in a lasting manner.

I generally use botanical additives to color my soap. Anything from turmeric to cocoa to cinnamon, to different clays or powders made from crushed flowers. I also use things like poppy seeds, flower petals, Himalayan Pink Salt and saffron as decoration. People say my soap looks edible. I don’t recommend eating them, but they certainly give that impression.

Love from SB skin care products

I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on skin care products, as I sure most women have. They are generally quite expensive and if you check the ingredients on the labels, you’ll find they are made with a lot of chemicals.

I never dreamed I would be making my own skin care products some day, but that day arrived, and my skin feels amazing. All due to the luxurious oils and butters I use in my products. So much good can be found in nature and I’ve learned so much about what these wonderful plant-based elements have to offer. And I’m hearing from others who are using my soaps and skin care how amazing their skin feels now.

For most of these products, a little goes a long way. Only use as much as will give you a nice, light sheen on your skin, otherwise it will feel greasy. Plus the products last a lot longer when you only use as much as you need.

Everything is made in small batches. I like to keep things fresh, so I only make up what I think I will be selling in the near future. I can also make up special orders, so feel free to get in touch.

If you have any questions about particular products, I’m happy to answer any questions. Drop me an email at donna@lovefromsantabarbara.com.

Santa Barbara Greeting Cards

Greeting cards, boxed sets, notecards and postcards are also available on this site as well as at Santa Barbara Greeting Cards. All the photos are taken in the Santa Barbara area except for a couple taken in Murano, Italy. These are truly beautiful cards… perfect for sending at Christmas time, birthdays, or any occasion. They are blank inside except for the Christmas cards.