A couple years ago, in an effort to tackle my uneven skin and constant hair shedding, I started to research a little more into what evils may be living in my daily bath products. I learned a little more than I wanted to know (i.e. made me want to throw away my whole toiletry collection and start over), but little by little, I’ve been attempting to replace each of my products with a more natural, (insertpoisonhere)-free product. I’ve wasted some money and been frustrated many times in the process, and I’m definitely not done, but I want to start sharing some of the products I’ve found that I enjoy and have been easy switches to make.
This past Christmas, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who have also been “naturalizing” their lives, surprised me with 2 liquid soaps and 2 bar soaps from Dr. Bronner’s. I had never heard of this brand, but it’s been around for decades and has been a wonderful addition to my routine. Their classic liquid castille soap is famous for it’s 18-in-1 uses, which include but are not limited to: face wash, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, and household cleanser. That seemed odd to me at first, but I eventually came to the realization that we don’t have to have a different product for every different part of our body and home! That’s a marketing pitch that we’ve come to believe as gospel when it’s not. A simple cleanser is all that’s needed.
Here are the ingredients in the castille soap from the Dr. Bronner’s website: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil*, Citric Acid, Tocopherol * CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS ** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin
In comparison, here are the ingredients in a regular body wash that I had been using before: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Gelatin, Acacia Senegal Gum, Mica, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Yellow No. 6
Not all of the ingredients in the second list are bad, but I would much rather have a cleanser without sulfates, synthetic fragrances or synthetic dyes.
And the best part? I’ve been using the 8 oz. bottle fairly regularly since I received it at Christmas, and it’s not empty yet. Dr. Bronner’s sells this size for under $7, and you can get them in smaller or larger sizes as well (I’m looking to get the 2 oz size for travel — only $2.99!).
I have tried the liquid soap in peppermint, which is very tingly and refreshing. I also have the almond which I haven’t opened yet. I want to get the tea tree to really clean up my facial skin. I’m currently using the bar soap in rose, but my favorite was the citrus. I like bright, refreshing smells! These soaps last forever, because you only have to use a small amount because they’re so concentrated, unlike drugstore soaps.
Dr. Bronner’s also sells shampoos, conditioning rinses (much better than thick regular conditioners, but that’s another post), shaving gels, lotions, lip balms, and baby products, among others. Vitacost offers free shipping if you order over $25 of this brand. Click here to get $10 off your order of $30 at Vitacost too! Go look them up!