"Most of my recipes are formulated in such a way that they are pretty well-behaved," David Melis says of his natural soaps. Melis suffered from eczema, a condition that causes skin to itch and flake. He says he has found no over-the-counter remedy that works as well as his own.
"Ever since I've been using natural made soaps, I have never had a problem with eczema like I used to," said Melis.
He calls his products Edgewater Soaps, edgewatersoaps.com, after his popular north side neighborhood. Melis started making soap in his kitchen about seven years ago. He admits the first batch didn't turn out so well.
"It immediately clumped up into this huge blob," said Melis. "It was a waste and I had to throw it out, but it smelled like soap and I was hooked."
Now, Melis makes a whole line of products, including liquid soap, body oil, bath balms and even pet shampoo. He uses primarily natural ingredients including essential oils and many items you'd find in your kitchen -- like cornmeal, which works as an exfoliant.
"They're made with all vegetable oils and butters, no animal products or byproducts, no chemical detergents or preservatives, just pure natural soap," said Melis.
Melis says he's always looking for creative ways to expand his product line. He's tweaking new recipes now to expand his offerings for pets.