Chicago, IL – Local Soap Maker Sam Davis has devoted his craft to improving the self care and carbon footprint of the customers he serves at his Northwest Side Chicago Soap Studio and Shop, Distinct Bath and Body.
One of Sam’s earliest memories is of his mother soothing his allergy and eczema-irritated skin with clean and simple ingredients like pure cocoa butter. “The scent of cocoa butter still reminds me of her and brings me such comfort.” However, Sam has learned that not all ingredients and scents are created equal and each person responds differently, both physically and emotionally, to the products he makes.
“I started out with a dozen recipes and because of what I’ve learned over the years about personal tolerances and preferences, I’ve expanded to over 70 varieties of soap alone (he also carries body butters, bath bomb and other self care products).”
Sam has taken on one of his greatest challenges in creating, “Spectrum”, a soap he created specifically for individuals on the Autism Spectrum, with sensory issues or incredibly sensitive skin. “All of my products are created with all-natural products to avoid irritants but this is something different, and it’s also deeply personal.”
Sam was first intimately exposed to Autism ten years ago when one of his sister’s children was diagnosed, closely followed by his nephew’s son. Soon after he noticed that Autism had touched the lives of many extended family, friends and neighbors, some of whom had children diagnosed or even themselves, receiving the diagnosis as an adult. “I noticed how much sensory and physical discomfort affected this population, i.e. if I have a minor skin rash, yes, it’s annoying but that is it. However, to someone with sensory issues, it can be excruciating and that immense discomfort effects their mood and behavior.” Sam continues, “The same holds true with scent, if a scent aggravates someone on the Spectrum, it may turn their entire day upside down.” This made Sam realize he could make a contribution, in his very own way to this community, and that is how “Spectrum” was born.
Sam worked with his sister, now deeply involved with the Autistic community on the formulation of the soap. They did a lot of surveying and research on scents, beneficial ingredients, allergens, irritants and even consulted a Naturopath in order to keep the soap, “Clean and uncomplicated, yet effective.”
The soap’s scent, derived from therapeutic grade essential oils, has a mild lavender mint scent said to promote calm, comfort and ease cognitive stress. The formulation further contains oils like coconut and olive plus magnesium known to help regulate mood and sleep, and can be absorbed transdermally. Finally, pure indigo powder is added and the soap’s soft blue hue is a nod to the color that has come to be synonymous with Autism awareness.
“I know the term ‘labor of love’ is cliche, but creating soap is my labor and this soap has been a true extension of the love I have for my craft and for people I love who are on the Spectrum.”
“Spectrum” is now available for sale online at www.distinctbath.com or at Distinct Bath and Body located in the Six Corners Shopping District at 40406 N. Milwaukee Avenue, and our phone number is 773-930-4420.