I have hair and skin that dries out significantly, then explodes into an oily mess if I use body products that contain sulfates. Artificial fragrances tend to make me itchy as well, so I try to stick to products that include as little nonsense as possible. Bar soaps usually contain fewer ingredients, and often times fewer ingredients equals less irritation.
People are attracted to liquid body washes because they tend to have more lather (which they associate with “clean”—not necessarily the case) and the scent tends to last longer because the perfumes used have more staying power, but are also more irritating to the skin.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) as well as other sulfates are what are responsible for the lather in your body wash, shampoo, and even toothpaste. Unfortunately for those who are sensitive, they can also be harsh and drying to the skin.
Bar soap is nice in that it doesn’t generally contain SLS or any other sulfates to produce lather. The problem with most bar soaps, however, is the “tightness” feeling you get from the strength of the soap.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the soap from Joanne’s Cocoon has none of those issues.
I received a generous supply of 14 bars of soap to try out, two of each scent. So for this, I gave some to my mom to try, who does not have explosively sensitive skin, but who is somewhat picky in her scent preferences.
One thing in particular that I noticed about all of the soaps is that they last, without softening into a squishy mass that splats and goes down the drain if you accidentally step on it (oddly specific, yes, but this is a thing that I have experienced).
All of the soaps are organic, made with goat’s milk, natural essential oils and tinctures. Most of them actually contain bits of plant matter in them as well, which I think is extremely cool. I used each with a bath puff and they lathered well without having to go back for more, and they didn’t have that drying, tight feeling that most bar soaps have.
Each bar has it's own personality and purpose.
Espresso Enfold— an exfoliating bar with coffee, vanilla, and cacao: This one smells like creamy coffee and the most like food. I’m not a big fan of dessert-type scents as a personal preference, but would be good for someone who likes that sort of thing.
Orange Cloak—Orange, French red clay, calendula: Fresh orange scent with a slight hint of cloves. Calendula leaves are pressed into the soap. These ingredients work together to encourage skin elasticity and hydration, making for an excellent anti-aging soap.
Mint Wrap—Spearmint, rosemary, peppermint: In the words of my mom, “this smells like chewing gum”. Astringent, minty and kind of tingly, but not for everyone. Dried mint leaves are pressed into the soap.
Swathe of Herbs –Patchouli, juniper berry, and tobacco tincture: This one probably sounds the weirdest, but is a great combination. I suppose this could be considered the most “rustic” of all of the scents, but all temper each other. Definitely one of my favorites, this bar is excellent for soothing combination to oily skin.
Citrus Case—Lemon, lime, and tangerine: This is mom’s favorite. Light and refreshing, it’s supposed to be the skin-clearing bar. I haven’t used it long enough to determine how well it clears the skin, but it smells great.
Lavendula Cover—Lavender, Benzoin, and bergamot: Mom doesn’t like the scent of lavender as a personal preference, too English-teacher-old-ladyish for her. I like it the best, though, and the bergamot gives it a floral-but-not-too-sweet balance. This soap is designed to treat dry skin and excema.
Honey, I’m Home—Honey and Oatmeal: This one doesn’t have much of a scent, but was noticeably more moisturizing than the others. Actual oats are pressed into the soap. This would probably be good for someone with skin irritation or dry skin issues.
The scents of each of the bars are great, but don’t have staying power for very long after the shower. Such is the nature of natural scents, however. You get to enjoy them in the bath and then they’re done. If you want something that will stay in your pores for any length of time, you’re going to have to buy a liquid detergent, and your skin doesn't want you to do that.
Each bar of Joanne's Cocoon soap costs $4.75, and is available on either their website or on Etsy. Joanne's also sells 3 two-pack sets of bars that go well together for $9.99:
~ Enrich / Even Tone Set (Lavendula Cover & Honey, I'm Home)
~ Exfoliate / Anti-Aging Set (Espresso Enfold & Orange Cloak)
~ Refresh / Rejuvenate (Mint Wrap & Swathe of Herbs)
Joanne’s Cocoon has generously offered to give away one (1) two-pack of your choice to three lucky readers in the US. Keep reading to see how you can enter to win!
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