A soapbox worth preaching on (Day 95)…

June 3, 2007

soapboxThis Radius soap holder is 100% recyclable, made “on high efficiency electric injection molding machines” (I have no idea what that means, but they apparently use 75% less energy) and holds a bar of Kiss My Face pure olive oil soap perfectly.

See, I’d finally made it through my craptastic Alba body “wash”, and was looking for a different brand. Then I remembered one Thistle reader (I think it was GreenYogini) saying she loved this bar soap and used it not only for her body, but her face and hair and teeth (OK, maybe not teeth).

But I was hesitant: ever since I was a teenager I’ve been a body wash devotee because I love how it foams up and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. However, now that I no longer have a petroleum pouf and am using natural products, there’s not much lather to be had anyway.

In the end, despite my dislike towards that “squeaky clean” feeling, I decided to give bar soaps another try — after all, they do get a bit foamy, and come in less packaging (sometimes none, in fact). Plus, even if I purchased a bottle of body wash and refilled it, I’d still be refilling it from another, bigger plastic jug that would eventually have to be replaced. And finally, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it requires more energy to manufacture the wash as opposed to the bar.

So as you can guess from all this sudsy rhetoric, I’ve now switched to bar soap, and am adjusting rather well. The only thing I didn’t consider was that I’d need something to carry it in when I go travelling, hence the Radius holder above (except mine’s pink), found at a local health food store for under $5, which, even with the cost of soap, still amounts to less than most body washes. I think this officially qualifies as a win-win-win — and possibly another win — situation.

Crappy shampoo-poo (Day 70)…

May 9, 2007

shampooI ran out of my beloved Kiehl’s protein concentrate shampoo yesterday and was so saddened, I felt like I should be holding some sort of memorial service for all the hard work it put into my frizzy, knotted tresses over the past six months. Alas, I just shed a silent tear and threw the empty bottle into the recycling bin … then realized afterwards that I probably should have taken it to my local hippie store to refill with natural suds from the bulk bin.

But I also don’t want to buy a full 11 ounces of something only to realize it sucks (see: Alba body wash episode from March). So I got a trial-size bottle of Avalon Organics lemon clarifying shampoo and figured if it worked I’d go back and get the big bottle.

It smelled delish, and I recently had great success with the same brand’s deodorant, so my hopes were high. But then I read on this party-pooper health website that Avalon’s shampoos score a pathetic yellow — or “moderate concern” — on the toxin scale, due to what they deem potentially harmful impurities (whatever) and some ingredient classified as a “penetration enhancer” (eeew).

Still, penetration be damned — if this was good shampoo and it was mostly natural, I was sticking with it. So I tried it out this morning. Unfortunately, once again, I’ve found that a lack of chemicals seems to necessitate a lack of lather. It may or may not be doing the job, but either way, it just doesn’t feel right when I can’t make my hair go in that foamy up-twist like the pretty girls do in the commercials.

Does anyone have any favourite natural shampoos? Ones that don’t have any penetration enhancers? Feel free to comment below. Of course, from now on I’ll only buy natural, organic shampoo, but I don’t think I’ll be staying faithful to the Avalon brand.

No hope in this soap (Day 26)…

March 26, 2007


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!