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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

EDITORS CHOICE: 10 Green Soaps

A few weeks ago a reader asked me if I could recommend any green soaps (or shower gels for that matter). I thought about it and came up with three soaps I could review for him. And then I thought about all the other editors (including a few soon-to-be editors) and how many they could review. I got in touch with them and the result is this 10 green soaps review.

UPDATE: Check out the Treehugger post about the Nova Scotia (those who like it, like it a lot he he he) Guide to Less Toxic Products

If you have suggestions for more group reviews for us to do get in touch by email: cityhippy [at] gmail [dot] com.

Enjoy.



Tea Tree and Calendula Soap (£2.50 for 110g from Simply Soaps)

SCORES:
Smell: 8/10
Look: 9/10
Latherbility: 9/10
Value: 8/10
Feelgood: 10/10
Total: 44/50

THEY SAY:
Its ‘skin food’ is totally free from artificial colours, preservatives, synthetics and petrochemicals. Only the finest prepared essential oils, organic ingredients and exotic oils are used. It cleanses deeply and has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Vegan.

I SAY:
This is a no nonsense, no messing soap. Just by smelling it you instantly feel cleaner, healthier and more refreshed. For someone who’s not a morning person (like me) it’s ideal for that fresh but gentle wake up call, at the same time its pretty colour and soft bubbles adds that little bit of luxury. Skin food indeed and vegan skin food at that – even better!

By Vicki @ Make Hay



Purity 'Clean' Tanzanian Soap (£2.38 - or £2.14 for subscribers - per 125g bar from New Consumer Shop)

SCORES:
Smell: 10/10 (well, fragrance-free - and it was!)
Look: 9/10
Latherbility: 9/10
Value: 6/10
Feelgood: 10/10
Total: 44/10

THEY SAY:
A very pure, soft and emollient, non fragranced soap - containing the oil of the thousand year old African Baobab Tree. Baobab oil is known for it's anti-wrinkle and skin enhancing properties- it has been used for centuries by women including Cleopatra to keep their skin young and smooth looking. Aloe Vera gel ads to the skin healing and cell repairing and non skin drying actions - good for spots and acne. Excellent for everyone from babies to the elderly especially people with very sensitive skin.

I SAY:
Well, though I say it myself, my skin is very young and smooth looking - in fact, it's not just me, the bouncer at our local bar must think so too as he always IDs me - even though I'm 28! I may not be able to attribute this entirely to the Clean Purity soap - I only started using it a week ago - but I feel sure it is helping considerably and will keep me fresh and pure for many years to come. To use it is to slip your hands into silk gloves and gently caress your face... what more do you want of a morning?!

My husband comments that it is creamy and lathers very well - this latter aspect is very important to him as we have been through many organic and eco-friendly products in the past (at my insistence!) and he often feels let down by the lather - to him, if it doesn't lather, he isn't Clean! This one does the job.

By Katie @ Ethical Wedding



Flying Fox (100g for £3.25 from Lush)

SCORES:
Smell: 9/10
Look: 9/10
Latherbility: 8/10
Value: 6/10
Feelgood: 10/10
Total: 42/10

THEY SAY:
Lascivious, licentious, vivacious and insatiable, this is the Sex-Appeal Honey Shower with masses of Jasmine. Contains the finest aphrodisiac essential oils, plus the best three oils for controlling PMS. Use generously all over your body and even wash your hair with it if you dare! To make you smell sexy whether you are going out for the night or just having a night in with a friend.

I SAY:
Flying Fox is a soap to get out of bed for in the morning. I seriously lay in bed almost sensing the smell of it. Showering with it is like being in love. It starts with the coy glances towards it on the shelf, progresses onto a dangerous liaison under a waterfall [ahem] followed finally with a guilty longing for more. Wicked! In a karmic kind of way.

By Al @ City Hippy



'Rose' (80g for £3.00 or 140g for £5.25 from Celtic Herbs)

SCORES:
Smell: 9/10
Look: 8/10
Latherbility: 9/10
Value: 7/10
Feelgood: 9/10
Total: 42/50

THEY SAY:
The fragrance of rose and the colour of its velvety petals. Utterly feminine, a treat for body and soul. The traditional way of soapmaking enables us to use our own blend of coconut, olive and sweet almond oils to produce a longlasting soap bar with a rich lather, which feels wonderful to the skin. We add specially formulated herbal fragrances high in pure essential oils, and organic herbs.

I SAY:
Hippy flower power heaven. Its concentrated scent fills the room (good to mask bad smells, if you know what I mean) and stays on your hands for ages. I wish I could sit cross-legged in the middle of their organic herb fields in Pembrokshire and just zen out!

By Ella @ OrganicJac



Aloe Vera Gentle Exfoliating Soap Bar (£1.45 by Australian Organics, available from John Lewis/Holland & Barrett)

SCORES:
Smell: 8/10
Look: 7/10
Latherbility: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Feelgood: 9/10
Total: 41/50

THEY SAY:
Pure, natural and luxurious hair and body care products to cleanse, nourish and protect your skin and hair. Made in Australia with the finest quality botanical ingredients, certified organic plant extracts, vitamins and antioxidants.

I SAY:
This is a soap with a squeaky clean image, and it certainly leaves you feeling that way too. It's gently exfoliating, so you can use it everyday. It smells fresh but not overpowering with essential oils of geranium, sweet orange and cedarwood. Whilst it lathers and leaves you feeling thoroughly refreshed, the aloe keeps your skin soft too. A great Aussie soap, does what it says on the tin!

By Linda @ City Hippy

P.S. This soap is not in the pic above...sorry...



Sindyanna (£1.60 per 120g bar @ EthicalWares)

SCORES:
Smell: 9/10
Look: 5/10
Latherbility: 8/10
Value: 10/10
Feelgood: 8/10
Total: 40/50

THEY SAY:
Sindyanna olive-oil soap is made in the West Bank city of Nablus according to traditional techniques. After five years of successfully exporting olive-oil soap that is uniform in shape and colour, we now offer it in four different types, enhancing the oil with natural honey, lemon, Dead Sea mud, and milk. Sold in a gift package, this bouquet of soap makes a wonderful and original gift.

I SAY:
Very olivey obviously. I reckon they could do with this stuff in the Middle East as you can feel the tension melt away. Puts me in mind of that great beach holiday I once had that became the benchmark for all future holidays. Sigh.

By Al @ City Hippy



Lavender 'scrubby' soap (£3.45 for around 125g @ Isle of Skye Soap Company)

SCORES:
Smell: 9/10
Look: 8/10
Latherbility: 8/10
Value: 6/10
Feelgood: 9/10
Total: 40/50

THEY SAY:
An exciting 'scrubby' aromatherapy soap made with pure essential oils (lavendula angustifolium) and the heads of lavender. The colour of the soap is produced only by the lavender heads. a good exfoliating soap. Very relaxing. A good soap to unwind with.

I SAY:
Very fragrant, long-lasting soap produced on the Isle of Skye (fabulous shop in Portree). I first used this soap when we moved into a new flat and our bathroom and bedroom were filled with a wonderful all natural fragrance. If lavender doesn't float your bath-boat, my boyfriend recommends their seaweed and cedarwood soap from the same range. Will be stocking up again in a couple of weeks!

By Katherine @ ChatiryWorld



Activist Shower Gel (£5 for a 200ml bar @ Body Shop)

SCORES:
Smell: 9/10
Look: 5/10
Latherbility: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Feelgood: 8/10
Total: 37/50

THEY SAY:
A fragrance with a dynamic blend of citrus fruits and rich warm spices that will leave you feeling invigorated, fresh and noticeable.

I SAY:
If Anita used this soap she might have decided not to sell to L'Oreal. If you could bottle 'get up off your ass and solve a problem' it would probably smell like this. Cute, sexy and full of positive vibe this is the kind of soap you want when you are feeling low and need to be reminded just how damn powerful you really are. And damn! You are sooooo powerful!

By Al @ City Hippy



Ginger soap (£4.45 per 100g @ Lush)

SCORES:
Smell: 9/10
Look: 7/10
Latherbility: 7/10
Value: 5/10
Feelgood: 9/10
Total: 37/50

THEY SAY:
It's not ginger, it's pink! Our creamy, marshmallow coloured soap is scented with lashings of Ginger fragrance to scent your hands and body with a subtle spicy glow. It's not cheap (that isn't a printing error, it's the price) because it has so many essential oils in it that the cost mounted up a bit. We could have compromised and made it with less fragrance but that would have spoiled it, so we didn't.

I SAY:
Not one I would have picked myself but we got a sample and I love it! Warm and spicy and keeps your hands (and the bathroom) nicely fragranced, especially good when you've been chopping garlic and onions. Bit pricier than other Lush soaps but oh-so worth it.

By Katherine @ ChatiryWorld



Blissed Oot bubble bath (from £2.15 for a 50ml bottle @ Shetland Soap Company)

SCORES:
Smell: 7/10
Look: 8/10
Latherbility: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Feelgood: 8/10
Total: 37/50

THEY SAY:
Warming and sensuous, this is a cunning blend of spicy and woody wonders – Sandalwood, Musk and Patchouli. They combine superbly to produce a stunning and highly sensual fragrance. Remember Patchouli essential oil is thought to be a great tissue regenerator and may to help many irritable skin conditions.

I SAY:
I went for the name, being from Orkney I used say 'oot' rather than 'out' as a child. Exotic but not-too exotic fragrance than really does help you bliss oot in the bath. The mix of oils seems to work really well and wraps you up in island goodness. Possibly the most northerly producer of soaps and smellies in the UK, the company employ disabled people to help them get into work.

By Katherine @ ChatiryWorld


Have we missed any out? What green soaps do you enjoy? Feel free to add them as a comment in the same style as above. Enjoy.

Namaste

Al

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6 Comments:

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Kitchen Witch said...

We've just bought a really really gorgeous soap from Faith in Nature, the people who make Clear Spring washing-up liquid etc. Their soap is just as eco-friendly, and it smells divine. Plus, at about £1.50 a bar, it's not even bad on the pocket.

Al, has the Body Shop completed its takeover deal with L'Oreal yet? If so, I've read about concerns over L'Oreal's animal testing policy, and about their use of non-eco ingredients... Not sure what your take on their soap in that light might be...?

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hi KW

Thanks for the comment. That soap looks really good. Thanks for adding it to the list.

I think the Bodyshop has now been approved by the competition commission which wanted to make sure it was not creating an unfair monopoly.

I certainl would not use a L'Oreal soap but find myself torn over what to do re Bodyshop. What is your advice? Murky waters for sure as far as I am concerned...

Namaste

Al

 
At 6:22 PM, Anonymous KW said...

Hi Al,

As you say, murky indeed! ;) It is a tricky one. I personally am ditching the Body Shop - I just can't get away from the feeling that Ms. Roddick has sold out wholesale, so to speak. Happily, I'm finding lots of new things to play with at Faith in Nature!

:)

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hi KW

See this is where I just do not get it. She has so much money she is already giving tons of it away...she is hardly extravagant...her activism credentials are up there with the best of them...

So if she sold out, what did she gain...another couple of hundred million?

I think personally she had no choice and given the chance again would never have gone public in the first place as that was the beginning of the end.

I think she probably wanted to sell to Lush but the board went the other way, and left her no choice but to make the best of a crappy situation.

She has done so much good I think we condemn her too quickly...

Thoughts?

Namaste

Al

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous KW said...

Good point, Al. I'm sure I don't know enough about it really, but I just can't help the way I feel: for me, the Body Shop's products have got increasingly expensive without actually improving, and while they do use Fair Trade ingredients, they're not an all-over eco-friendly shop, I don't think. I like Lush too - wish the Body Shop had gone to them; would have been more in-keeping with the original aims, I think.

But you're quite right - she has done really good work in the past. Just wish it'd been anyone other than L'Oreal... :(

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Yeah I know, was gutted to hear it was L'Oreal.

Sadly the realities of business often get in the way of ethics for most people but more and more business folk are exploring and embracing sustainable business models. And rightly so as people are fast realising that we live on one planet together.

I suspect Roddick herself would admit that she is envious of some recent ethical startups as the issues today are less murky and a greener path can be travelled.

And of course the path is better travelled due to those ethical pioneers (like Roddick herself) treading a very untravelled path back in the day.

Personally I agree with you about Bodyshop ... I have greener alternatives to support that produce comparable or better products.

Namaste

Al

 

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