No hope in this soap (Day 26)…


In another product switcheroo, I changed today from my usual Kiehl’s body wash to a natural one from Alba, a brand my friend Meghan recommended (at least when it came to shaving cream). The papaya-mango flavoured one smelled yummy, so I gave it a whirl.

I guess I should have known that by “cream body wash” they literally meant cream. Trying to work up a lather, I felt like this stuff would sooner turn into a cake topping before it turned into any sort of functioning soap.

There’s no way I’ll go back to all those brand-name body washes with a list of ingredients I can’t pronounce — it’s all-natural from now on — but there’s nothing cleaner-feeling than a good foamy lather.

Also, I realize bar soaps are probably the greenest way to go here, but they all leave that sticky residue — some call this “squeaky clean” but, really, I don’t feel the need to squeak. So any recommendations are welcome!

25 Responses to No hope in this soap (Day 26)…

  1. unitedcats says:

    But I love the tingly feelings I get using soap with such ingredients as tricyanized gluten or deweaponized plutonium. You’re made of sterner stuff than I. 😉 —Doug

  2. Ms Cin says:

    There’s something satisfying about making these product switches, isn’t there? Your money finally gets to talk…

    I had similar concerns with lack of foam, but discovered that using the cream with a good loofah or washmitt left me feeling clean and energized, so I highly recommend the 2- 4 dollar investment.

    Knowing that Alba and Avalon Organics products don’t contain harsh chemicals or test on animals? Priceless.

  3. SarahH says:

    If it’s sold in your area, I highly recommend Burt’s Bees citrus ginger body wash. It smells lovely, works up a great lather, and actually makes a decent shampoo as well, as I’ve discovered a couple times when I’ve run out of my actual shampoo.

  4. Sarah Pretty says:

    This is my beef with natural stuff no lather. I have found one soap that lathers well that I like, but it is a bar soap. It is the olive oil soapworks one. DO NOT NOT NOT be seduced by the calendula one which smells lovely, but is really irritating ouch.

  5. I haven’t tried the body wash yet- but thanks for givign that a whirl- I’ll know to avoid it. Love the Alba Toner and Face Moisturizer though.

  6. Lori V. says:

    If you want to try a good soap, I really like Kiss My Face Olive & Verbena.

    I think the “sticky residue” you feel is actually just plain clean, or maybe it is from hard water; I just use a good lotion afterward, but I don’t feel sticky at all . I liken chemicals in body washes to fabric softener for your body; your body feels silky smooth because of the layer of “fabric softener buildup.” Does that make any sense?

  7. Julie Collins says:

    Hey Vanessa!

    I really like your blog…my husband and I are doing something similar, only slower. 🙂 Anyway, I really like Alba’s Shower GELS…lots of lather and the honey mango smells hmmm, hmmm, good. They make big bottles too, so they’ll last a while. Not the most enviro friendly (plastic bottles), but a step in the right direction. The Whole Foods brand is good too.

    Keep up the good work! Your writing is quite clever and nonpreachy, very enjoyable to read.

  8. river2sea72 says:

    I recommend all-vegetable glycerin bar soap. I usually just buy whatever is cheapest at the food co-op. San Francisco Soap Company is good, and The Body Shop also also has a good selection (pricier, though). My personal favorite is Clearly Natural.

  9. Lori V. says:

    I just got my husband some Alba Gel (Citrus somethingorother) to replace his (now gone) chemical Bath & Body Works gel. Just smelling the “petro-puff” with the remnants of that stuff on it makes me gag for fresh air now.

  10. pat farquharson says:

    I’m with the guy who likes plutonium!
    I mean, what is wrong with soap? Wasn’t it used for a kazillion years? Surely those litle bubles can be friendly?

  11. Blacklight says:

    There’s also this brand and it’s so natural you could eat it if you really wanted too. Made with real fruits and lemons. there’s also this stuff

  12. GreenYogini says:

    I second the motion on Kiss My Face, but I prefer the 100% olive oil soap. I struggled with the idea of it being “saponified” – what, exactly, does that mean??? – especially since it could be classified as a trans-fat (if I were eating it, that is). But it feels clean, smells clean, and is wrapped in just a bit of paper, so it’s my current fav.

  13. anjim says:

    I have discovered some awesome body wash. It is honeydew spearmint shea butter body wash by Deep Steep. No chemical preservatives, no sodium lauryl sulfate and cruelty free and just plain yummy smelling! I also love the body scrubs they make.

  14. Earth Guy says:

    I highly recommend Lake of the Woods Sunrise Soap Co. Their soaps are all natural, all botanical, cruelty free, phosphate-free and made with a high percentage (over 55%) of olive oil and VERY little palm kernal oil (which is NOT environmentally friendly). Try to avoid soaps with palm or palm kernal oil. Lake of the Woods Sunrise Soap Co. is bringing out a new line of “Palm Oil Free” soaps this fall.

  15. Clare says:

    Use REAL soap! Most of what we buy as “soap” these days is actually detergent, not saponified oils. I’m quite confident actual soap is better for the environment than all those chemicals. I buy mine from, which is a very friendly family-run business. Their soaps smell great, too!

  16. Susan Bowers says:

    Again, sorry about the late.
    Regarding soaps and shampoos, you must know about Vancouver’s Lush line. All natural, hand made and fun! Check them out at http://www.lush,com
    They list all the ingredients and the ones that aren’t natural are highlighted for the super conscientious. And they really are lush!

  17. Lisa says:

    I just starting reading your blog from day 1 and I’m into March and I think this is the second time you’ve referenced a product not producing foam or lather. Perhaps you’ve discovered this already but there is an ingredient that is added to most personal care products, which is there simply to create foam or lather, and you won’t normally find it in organic/green products – it’s called SLS (aka sodium laureate, among other names). I was discouraged too when I bought an eco dishsoap and a shampoo and found that they would not lather. After some digging, I found out why – SLS – this ingredient actually dries out skin and can prove a problem to those of us with sensitive skin. So keep on with your initiatives and remember that foam or lather do not make us clean!

  18. jeff says:

    Am Jeff and would like to make an order of Bodywash and Soap from your store and would like to know the types and sizes you carry in
    stock as well as the prices and the types of credit cards that you accept.
    More over i would like it to be shipped to West Africa
    Ghana.Hope to hear from

    you ASAP.

  19. Rain says: of York, PA (my area) – try their “happy henna” shampoo bar as a soap – it lathers better than even the body washes with sulfates! It works just fine for me as a soap. You could try some of their other soaps, too, but the henna definitely has the best lather and is more moisturizing. The henna smells very good too. If you don’t use a loofah, try it, just make sure you rub the soap into al sides of the loofah and lather away!

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