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Home  |  About Us

About Us

If you ever have the good fortune to stay in a private estate on Maui, some of which run upwards of $70,000 per week, chances are you’ll see our products featured in the loo.

Maui Tropical Soaps was founded on Maui in 1996 in a kitchen. The company then graduated to a garage and next a small industrial space. For many years the company only served Maui customers but eventually branched out to supply boutiques on the neighbor islands.

Richard & Marina Stillman took over control of MTS in July 2005 with the vision to turn a good mom & pop into great brand with an international clientele. So far so good. Our little company has now made over 2 million bars of soap - every one of them completely by hand from start to finish, and we now have customers on every continent except Antarctica.

Our products are featured at exclusive resorts, boutiques, and private rentals, as well as all Duty Free Shops throughout Hawaii, and we have a steadily growing presence on the US mainland and Canada. More recently we have begun to develop several markets outside of North America, including Italy, Japan, and South Korea. This website is for those of you who do not yet have a store in your neighborhood.

We believe its important to be a good neighbor and to give back, so we actively support several causes, including:

• The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
• Disaster relief
• Those who serve and protect us

Made from scratch
Maui Tropical Soaps is one of only a few companies in the entire world that make its own glycerin soap base, and we are the only company in the world with a safe & green transparent glycerin soap formula.

We make the finest soaps in the world - REALLY.


Our commitment
Maui Tropical Soaps is committed to making the safest, most effective products possible. We will NEVER use ingredients that are dangerous or harmful in any way.

Natural v Synthetic
We all want safe ‘green’ products, but we also know that the majority of really green products don’t work very well. They are, as a friend of mine refers to them, “basically dirt in a bottle” and they perform as the name suggests. Most of Maui Tropical Soaps products use natural, organic, and wild-crafted ingredients; however, we also apply a great deal of science to our creations. In order to assure that our products are of the highest quality, we work closely with 3 chemists and a microbiologist who specialize in formulating very high-end natural bath & body products.

We generally avoid synthetics; however, in some cases it is simply not possible to be 100% natural. When we are forced to use a synthetic ingredient due to a lack of natural alternatives, we only use those that are absolutely safe and effective.

When we use a synthetics, the raw materials are plant-based. We believe it's important to source from organic origins as opposed to inorganic origins such as those used in ALL competing products. and then modified. The majority of our synthetics start out as corn before they are carefully transformed into our exceptionally safe & green ingredients.

What's not in our products?
We believe what's NOT in your products is at least as important as what is in them. The following is a partial list of what is NOT in ANY of our products. Bath & Body industry take note!

  • SLES, SLS, etc
  • Sulfates
  • Dioxin (a byproduct of SLES manufacture)
  • Alcohol
  • Propylene Glycol

Our big scary ingredients
The following is a list of the ingredients that we use in our glycerin soap.

  • Sorbitol
    • a corn based sweetener
    • very commonly found in foods and medicines
  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
    • an extremely safe& gentle surfactant
    • out performs its chemical cousins by a wide margin
    • almost zero toxicity to humans, animals
    • and marine life
    • biodegrades very quickly
    • will NOT harm the water table
    • There are NO safer alternatives
  • Propandiol
    • a corn based, non-toxic alternative to propylene glycol
    • most commonly used in foods and medicines
  • Sodium Myristate
    • a saturated fatty acid commonly sourced from nutmeg, coconut or palm oil
    • a common ingredient in some food additives
    • considered to be non-toxic
  • Sodium Stearate
    • sourced from palm oil
    • a component of saponified soaps
    • a common ingredient in some food additives
    • generally considered safe
  • Glycerin
    • 99.9% pure (0.1% water)
    • USP grade
    • 100% vegetable sourced
    • common additive in foods and medicines
    • moisturizer
    • humectant
    • lubricant
  • Sodium Laureth-5 Carboxylate
    • an extremely safe& gentle surfactant
    • out performs its chemical cousins by a wide margin
    • almost zero toxicity to humans, animals
    • and marine life
    • biodegrades very quickly
    • will NOT harm the water table
    • There are NO safer alternatives
  • Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)
    • also known as lye or caustic soda
    • a strong alkali that reacts with the oils (acid) to form soap
    • no sodium hydroxide remains in our finished product. It completely reacts out in the formation of soap
    • all true soaps use a caustic agent
  • Polysorbate 20
    • common additive in foods and medicines
    • World Health Organization suggests that up to 25 mg per day internally consumed is safe
    • we use it as a surfactant and an emulsifier

Beware FDA approval
Many synthetics are very dangerous even though they are approved by the FDA. For example, sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant commonly found in many personal care products - soaps, shampoos, even toothpaste! It is also commonly used to clean greasy car engines and factory floors (same stuff—different bottle).

SLES is quite harsh on people and the environment and it often contains low levels of the known carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane - the same stuff that poisoned many Vietnam veterans. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, it is not required by federal law, and, to the best of our knowledge, it is not removed.

There are many other examples of FDA approved ingredients that are widely used and extremely controversial, such as, germaben II (a carcinogen known to cause breast cancer), methyl and propyl parabens (believed to cause hormonal problems), phthalates (a plastic softener), and the list goes on….

Buyer beware!
To make matters worse, many manufacturers lie about their ingredients, and I don’t mean little white lies. Many will publish a fairy tale ingredients list of "organic" fairy dust, when, in reality, their products are nothing more than the nasty things referred to above. The FDA can hardly monitor our food supply, so they certainly can’t monitor the cosmetic industry. Unscrupulous manufacturers know and exploit this circumstance to the fullest. I am not passing on urban legend or folk lore. I know this information to be true from firsthand experience of people I’ve met and worked with… people that shamelessly exploit others for their own gain despite the possible consequences. There may very well be national brands, sitting on store shelves in your neighborhood, that aren’t what they pretend to be.

Buyer be smart!
So what can you as a consumer do? For starters, do some homework and only buy from companies you trust. Maui Tropical Soaps has been in business since 1996 and has earned a reputation for quality and service that has made it a highly sought after brand.

Maui Tropical Soaps products are exactly what we say they are, no more and no less, and we welcome independent testing.

So, the next time you want to indulge yourself with some fine bath& body products, do so with the peace of mind that yours don’t just smell good... they don’t just look and feel good… they are good!

With our warmest aloha!
Richard Stillman, Owner


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