Uasau Soap and the Indigenous Cultural Impact on All-Natural Handmade Soaps & Body Butters

Small Business Canada

In the far North of Canada lies Iqaluit, a small Arctic town, lies the story of the handmade healing potions used in the form of soaps and body butter impacting the lives of thousands of people today. Yes, the Uasau Soaps brand is an upcoming brand for skin health, wellness, and natural ingredients from the Indigenous Inuit cultural heritage. 

The story continues with Bernice Clarke and her husband Justin creating all-natural, handmade soaps and body butter using all-natural, traditional ingredients out of their house in Iqaluit, a small Arctic town in the extreme north of Canada. Their business, Uasau Soap, draws upon Indigenous cultural traditions and healing practices and has gained a following among locals and tourists alike.

Influence from Indigenous Culture

Bernice Clarke’s love of making all-natural soaps and body butter stems from her Inuit background. Natural active components are frequently employed for their curative powers in Inuit medicine. Given the lack of good choices for natural skincare in Iqaluit, Clarke decided to start manufacturing her own. She started playing around with different ingredients and ended up creating a whole range of products that fused ancient Inuit treatments with cutting-edge skincare science.

The Magic of Whale Oil Potion

The Indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic have relied on the emollient effects of whale oil for millennia. Omega-3 fatty acids, of which there are a lot in the oil, are proven to be beneficial to the skin. Bowhead oil soap produced by Uasau is the company’s flagship product because of its purported medicinal benefits. Inuit people have traditionally used bowhead blubber to treat eczema, and Clarke found that soaps and body butter infused with it were just as beneficial.

A Craft Business With A Purpose

Uasau Soap started as a little enterprise in Clarke’s kitchen and has now expanded into a successful company with a strong clientele. The Clarkes market their products on Facebook, at craft shows, and in a few storefronts. Their hallmark products are made using a soap base purchased from the same wholesaler as the widely recognized LUSH brand. These products are made with meticulous care, and raw ingredients such as tundra moss, dried flowers or bay seaweed are collected from the landscape of Iqaluit. 

Reclaiming Indigenous Traditions

A developing trend in recent years has been the establishment of female-run companies in Nunavut, and Uasau Soap is only one example. Clarke is passionate about reclaiming Indigenous traditions that were taken from her people. As a result, she often uses traditional Inuit cure-alls in her products to highlight the therapeutic powers of these natural components. 

In her own words, she muses, “It’s based on my culture. It’s part of what we used for hundreds of years, and it was taken from us. We’re reclaiming it.”

If you’re someone who’s passionate about all-natural or Indigenous-inspired skin care products and wish to learn more about them, then log on to

Indigenous skin care products are currently a rage not only because of their zero-toxins and all-natural ingredients but also because of their healing and feel-good qualities. For more information and content on such amazing brands or products, subscribe to Indigenous SME Business Magazine, and for the latest updates, check our Twitter page @IndigenousSme.

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