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.
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).
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.