I’ve never really been a bar-soap kind of girl. Its reputation as old-fashioned and drying has always preceded itself in my mind, and the lure of moisturising, lathery, sweet-smelling body washes used to be irresistible. Yes, used to be — until I started researching all of the nasty chemicals found in our favourite pretty, bead-infused, exfoliating potions. I hate things like sodium laureth sulfate. Although I let my husband run out the contents of the latest and greatest, I had already moved on to a bar soap recommended by Kim Barnouin — Dr Bronner’s, available at Tesco, health food stores and online — which comes in a variety of scents as well, enticing my inner beauty addict.
I’ve always loved the “almond” aroma in bath and body products from H2O, for example, with a slight resemblance to the real nut extract and an exaggerated, spa-like sensation. So I tried Dr Bronner’s almond bar first…and was a bit disappointed in its lack of my favourite strong scent. However, I used it all over both face and body, and I never experienced any irritation or unusual dryness, which I usually get (especially during the winter) on my legs and feet. Thumbs sideways; on to the next scent: lavender.
Lavender is known for its calming properties, so perhaps I was already bit divided again — I like something to wake me up in the morning, rarely needing a shower to calm me down before bedtime. But the scent reminded me of a lavender-infused pillow my mom bought for me during a bus trip through Europe many years ago, so I couldn’t resist! Scents have a way of taking you back like nothing else. I was hooked.
However, and I may have to attribute this in part again to the dry winter weather and even perhaps a touch of pregnancy strangeness, this soap makes my legs (knees especially, for some reason) seriously dry, itchy and tight-feeling. Yes, I’ve been known to scratch during my son’s gymnastics class. Real cute.
So I hate to have another so-so green (healthy!) beauty review right out of the gate, but I’m even veering toward a thumbs-sideways/slightly down just because the soap seems typically drying and what I’m really looking for is a nice, soft, cushy body wash reminiscent of my former conventional loves. While the soap does the trick and even gives my face its clean and lovely pregnancy glow, I have reservations. Maybe the next step is to try the liquid kind.