Growing Up In A Soap Family (And I Don’t Mean Eastenders)

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I grew up in a strictly soap-only family. Just the one bar of soap between the four of us. This greige soap was used for months until it dwindled into a few dirty-looking, hard pieces of soap on the edge of the sink. There was no distinction between hand soap and body soap - it was one soap fits all for us Rowes. The soap even came away on holiday with us in one of those natty plastic soap holders - remember those?!

When I was growing up in the 80s, shower gel was the new kid on the soap block. My mum, always very suspicious of ‘new things’, viewed it as new-fangled, over indulgent and completely unnecessary. Mum was an ethical consumer before the term had ever been spoken or heard. She would always question what had been done to something to ‘improve’ it. Mum never liked perfume or perfumed products and everything in our house had to be fragrance free. (We didn’t own a microwave and she wouldn’t let us have our feet measured with those electric machines in case of radiation!).

As teenagers this caused a great deal of consternation and eye-rolling from my brother and I. While my friends were busy spraying themselves liberally with the perfumes of the 80s; Eternity, Anais Anais, Samara (I can almost smell them now), I had to wait until I was out of the house before application, otherwise mum would have a coughing fit.

Why couldn’t we just be a normal family?!

After leaving home and indulging in as many fully scented, brightly coloured shower gels (and other beauty products) as I could get my hands on, I finally reached the conclusion that shower gels just didn’t wash as well. They always left a residue and the smell was often overpowering (the apple didn’t fall far from the tree afterall).

Fast forward a few years (or 20) to family life, and I find myself back in the soap corner, although hubby does still favours the lather-tastic shower gels (he only considers himself clean with at least 3 inches of foam over his entire body). The children insist on having their own soap and get very cross if they see me using it, at which point I regale them with the hardships of growing up in a family where it was one soap fits all!

I had always been under the assumption that soap is better for the environment but was rather disappointed to discover that, as well a host of other chemicals, almost all soap contains Palm Oil (as does Shampoo, Ice Cream, Lipstick, Margarine to name a few). The growing of palm plantations is the leading cause of the destruction of rainforest across the world and is driving wildlife species to the brink of extinction. Since this discovery I have hunted high and low for Palm-free soap in the supermarkets and high street stores - it is pretty much impossible to find.

My search led to the discovery of our newest supplier at The Wise House, Nathalie Bond Organics. Natalie wanted to stop using beauty products packed with synthetic chemicals and so developed a natural range of soaps with 100% natural and certified organic ingredients.

Nathalie Bond Organics Soap Nathalie Bond Organic Soap

These soaps look the business; simple, elegant packaging unveil to reveal a soap visibly full of natural ingredients; like Peppermint & Eucalyptus or Rose Geranium and Patchouli. Clay is added to give the soaps a silky, luxurious texture and they are really gentle on your skin (I almost felt like taking a bite out of one the smell is so divine).

Nathalie Bond Organic Soap  Nathalie Bond Organics Soap 

It’s the first soap I have felt confident using on my face too and my husband even uses it on his hair. Yes, you heard right, my HUSBAND is using soap! He was so attracted by the look of the new soap sitting in the shower tray that he actually bypassed the bright blue Radox bottle! Miracles will never cease...

It looks like we are now carrying on the family tradition of being a Soap family. A Palm Oil free soap family at that. I urge you to give these beautiful soaps (and lip salves) a try for you and your family.


You can see the full collection of soaps and lip salves here. Leave a comment below the blog post on the website as to why you would like to try one of our new soaps. Our favourite comment will receive a soap for free.

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  1. Pauline Brown (Polly)

    My daughter ordered me a jar of your beautiful skin balm: rose geranium and patchouli. I love it!!

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  2. Sarah Weinberg

    I have just returned from the dark side of shower gels & liquid soaps. Thank you for showing me the error of my washing ways. I love these soaps.

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  3. Hollie Gregersen

    Thank you for sending my lovely competition prize of a Nathalie Bond Organics wash block. I chose to receive the peppermint & eucalyptus one and it's gorgeous! It's lathers lovely and smells amazing. It really has that fresh zing to it and you can feel it clear your sinuses so brilliant for a morning wake up wash! It's got no nasties in it which was reassuring and doesn't contain palm oil either so no need to worry about the ethics behind its creation as no monkeys will have been harmed in its creation. The soap, as you can see arrived beautifully packaged and would make an adorable gift for someone. In fact the classy brown box and labelling the soap comes in is also ideal for the men in your life too. This soap does not discriminate ? I can't wait to try another scent ???

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  4. Tara

    It's not until I read this, did I realise that I actually miss having a bar of soap in the bathroom. I now have liquid hand soap and shower gel. I would love to try one of your fantastic sounding bars of soap, which will hopefully get me back Into having a good quality soap, which has been tried and testedx

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  5. Hollie Gregersen

    I would love to win one! I'm already a bar soap user but have become increasingly aware of what I'm putting on and in my body since becoming pregnant. Due in less than four weeks (!) this would be a lovely treat but hopefully help me make a decision on what I'm going to buy in the future too x

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  6. Amy Chan

    Lovely soaps! Received mine yesterday and have already used it. Very clean and fresh feeling. Would love to try the other flavours too! Amy Chan

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  7. Clare Hart

    I would love to try one of your soaps to be the envy of all my friends. It will be pride of place in my lovely downstairs loo and I will tell everyone your story. Also, did you know... 2.6 million bars of soap (albeit little ones) are discarded daily by the hotel industry alone. I can only assume they must be rubbish soaps and not these lovely palm-free soaps. Buy one of those soap cases immediately and when in a hotel, take the soap home people.

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  8. Gemma Munson

    Totally agree! We are a soap only family. I recently went away with 2 other families who couldn't believe I still buy soap!

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