What’s trending in the tub?
When it comes to washing up, a tickle of soap and a quick rinse just won’t do it. The secret to real cleanliness depends on how much time we spend washing—public health officials recommend 20 to 30 seconds for hands—and how hard we scrub-a-dub-dub the dirt away.
If you’re going to put in the time, don’t deprive yourself of mind body benefits and the pleasure of lathering up with a beautifully scented bar with therapeutic properties. Here are some “flavors” you may enjoy.
With therapeutic properties associated with their aromatherapeutic mind-body properties, look for various oils that can soothe and de-stress (lavender), refresh and rejuvenate (rosemary and peppermint).
John Masters Organics Birch & Cedarwood Cleansing & Shaving Bar This soothing bar also lathers up into a soft foam that is great for shaving, men and women. Essential oils of birch and cedar not only add a bracing scent, they are antiseptic—useful if you nick yourself. johnmasters.com
South of France Lavender Fields Bar Soap This all vegetable bar, with coconut oil and organic shea butter, is triple-milled in Marseille, a soap-making hub since the Middle Ages. Infused with essential oil of Mediterranean lavender, it will transport you directly to Provence. southoffrancebodycare.com
Shea Yeleen Jasmine Sandalwood Rose Shea Butter Soap Softly scented with essential oils of heady jasmine and earthy sandalwood, this deeply moisturizing bar is loaded with organic coconut, olive oil and shea butter. sheayeleen.com
We eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha, and we supplement with probiotics to keep our gut bacteria healthy. Of course, it was only a matter of time before probiotics were infused into skincare!
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Kampuku Beauty Bar Why, you may ask, do we want raw, naturally fermented probiotics in our skincare? According to Dr. Iichiroh Ohhira, a microbiologist who formulated this line in Japan, they help balance the skin’s pH, deter the growth of harmful bacteria and stimulate the skin’s immune system. essentialformulas.com
Coffee is a diuretic, which means that it can tighten the skin. That’s why it’s a popular ingredient in cellulite-busting creams. The granular texture makes coffee effective for smoothing rough spots on the body. And—if you’re a coffee-drinker—the aroma is heavenly.
Brenda’s Body Face & Body Scrub Bars These exfoliating scrub bars—in Jojoba, Coffee (for body only) and Rice—are like lovely little sculptures (pictured right) with a coconut oil base, that fit neatly in the palm of your hand. As much a pleasure to look at as they are to use! brendasbody.com
Bathing in milk dates back to the Roman Empire, when Nero’s wife Poppea, bathed in milk because she claimed that it softened her skin. It probably did, as milk is a natural source of lactic acid, an exfoliating agent, and milk is also soothing for dry, itchy skin.
Chivas Goat Milk Ojai Valley Retreat Pure Goat Milk Soap Calming Lavender Oatmeal A great gift, if you can bear to part with this beautiful little bar, loaded with Fair Trade shea butter, natural essential oils and goat milk from a farm in California run by a mother-daughter team. chivasskincare.com
Canus Fresh Goat’s Milk Soap Fragrance Free Gentle enough for sensitive skin that reacts to fragrances—even natural ones—this moisturizing bar will not strip your skin of its natural oils. And we love the little goat on the package! canusgoatsmilk.com
Neem comes from a tree that is indigenous to India, and it is widely used in Ayurveda. Neem oil is a potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and is also an excellent moisturizer, especially for dry hands and feet.
A Wild Soap Bar Pine Tree Neem Oil If you have eczema, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, this little bar may offer the healing that you need. Made with organic neem oil and creosote-free pine tar, to soothe compromised skin. awildsoapbar.com
Poppy Soap Neem Tea Tree This soap can be used on face and body, and features blemish-busting neem and tea tree to clear up problem skin. Based in San Luis Obispo, CA, all Poppy Soaps are made by hand and the company donates 5 percent of profits to U.S. women’s shelters each year. poppysoap.com