Marie Gale

I’ve written a lot of different things over the years: poetry, short stories, promotional materials, product catalogs, website content, grant requests, press releases, legislative proposals, various articles, a white paper about sexual abuse by psychiatrists (that was interesting!), a stewardship plan for our family ranch, and many other things. It seems like no matter what type of job or activity I’m involved in, sooner or later I end up writing for or about it.

Navigating the Rules & Regs: A Practical Guide for Soap and Cosmetic Handcrafters (2022)

I wrote this book because there are so MANY laws, rules, regulations, standards, and guidelines that could apply to the activities of soap and cosmetic handcrafters. It’s more than just labeling; they cover fragrance and ingredient safety, marketing, truth-in-advertising, children’s products, intellectual property, basic business, taxes, and more.

Not all of it will apply to every soap and cosmetic handcrafter, but at least some of it does. Knowing what rules and regs cover what you ARE doing is wise (and required). Being aware of what rules and regs apply to something you are considering doing is a really good idea and can protect you from surprise (or heartbreak) down the road.

For more detailed information about the book or to purchase, see Navigating the Rules & Regs.

Soap and Cosmetic Labeling: How to Follow The Rules and Regs (2007, 2015 3rd edition)


I wrote this book to clarify and explain the basic labeling regulations and make them easy to understand (and follow). The 2nd edition, published in early 2008, added more pages, pictures and diagrams, including a complete chapter on the labeling of soap.

After the original publication, it was reprinted and slightly updated in 2010. Then, in 2015, it was significantly revised and updated. New chapters, more diagrams and additional background details were added. It’s what I call “the purple edition” because the cover print was changed from blue to purple.

For more detailed information about the book, or to purchase, see Soap & Cosmetic Labeling.

300 Years of Natural Soap and Cosmetics Recipes (2011)

This book was a labor of love. Since I started making soap I’ve been collecting old books of recipes and information. This book is a compilation of recipes for all sorts of soap, cosmetics, and fragrance blends spanning 300 years.

It was pretty easy to find natural formulas from the 19th century (1800’s),¬†although they did use some pretty dangerous (although natural!) compounds in their cosmetics. By the middle of the 20th century, nearly all of the recipes contained some sort of synthetics. “Better life through science” seems to definitely have been the theme. Then there was a shift back to natural products, starting in the 1980’s, continuing and growing to the present.

I used a number of the recipes in this book as jumping off points to work out my own formulations.

For more detailed information about the book, or to purchase, see 300 Years of Natural Recipes.

Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap and Cosmetics Handcrafters (2012)

Good Manufacturing Practices book

Released at the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild annual conference in Portland (2013), this book was written as an act of survival… to document everything that was needed to get good manufacturing practices into place for myself and others.

Figuring out how to apply the GMP guidelines designed for large-scale manufacturing to a small, handcrafted operation was, well, interesting. And not easy. Luckily, I am a very organizationally-minded person (there are those that would call it anal-rententive, but I wouldn’t go that far), so designing a workable system wasn’t too hard. I believe it will work for other handcrafters who want to take the next step in professionalism and get their good manufacturing practices established.

For more information, or to purchase, see Good Manufacturing Practices.