I was in a health-food store the other day to get toothpaste when I stumbled upon a soap display so enchanting that I couldn’t walk past it without touching: high-quality paper packaging in delightful colours boasting “pure-castile bar soap,” scents such as lavender, eucalyptus, almond, tea tree, rose … It was enough to make me want to whip my clothes off right in the aisle.
But, I gathered my wits and remained clad. When’s the last time I got truly excited about soap and didn’t find myself disappointed? I’m still smarting from the loss of a favourite amber bar, whose company drastically altered its formula (ditching the eight original ingredients and replacing them with 24 largely unpronounceable new ones, it is said). The revised incarnation made my heart sink, so I reverted to buying cakes of low-end grocery soap, however slithery, industrial and swift to dissolve. The days of decent soap were clearly a thing of the past. In any case, bar soaps seemed to be going out of style, with more showing up in liquid dispensers. Some places were even starting to shun soap (and water) altogether, in favour of “hand sanitizer” (which I can't even believe is legal).
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap is $4.49 a bar. Not cheap, but I had to have one.
From the first time I washed my hands with it, I was converted. The soap’s texture is so silky you practically want to lick it, the fairy-tale suds are as thick and foamy as shaving cream, the scents are natural and (importantly) subtle and it’s not drying. Not only that, but a little research revealed that the soaps are made by a fifth-generation family business using certified organic, fair-trade ingredients with zero chemical additives. Now that’s what I call soap: You’d be safe washing my mouth out with it!
Visit drbronner.com for store locations.
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