Dr Bronner's Magic Soap Review

23 October 2010

Dr Bronner Magic Soap Dr Bronner's is celebrating its 60th anniversary. That's five generations, and 150 years, of soapmaking. According to its website. Nope, I hadn't heard of them either but they are clearly more famous in the US.

The company has made its name selling liquid soap that's both eco and ethically friendly. Sounds like it could make a nice little gift, and the promise of 18 uses in 1 product appeals to parents who want to get the most out of everything!

So we got some in for review, and had our PlayPennies mum of two boys and a girl, Sophie, try them out. First impressions were good. Sophie told us that "a big padded bag of Dr Bronner's stocking fillers arrived and I was rather excited - I'm a bit of a stocking fillers fan and love reading the labels of all 'filler' bits and pieces."

Dr Bronner's product rangeThe envelope Sophie received contained three stick lip balms, two organic body or Tattoo balms in tins and four mini bottles of 18-in-1 Dr Bronner's 'Magic Soap' - two in almond, one rose and one orange citrus. Everything is organic, Fair Trade and doesn't contain any synthetic ingredients. The soap is completely biodegradable.

The 'magic soap' doesn't contain any synthetic foaming agents, thickeners, preservatives, fragrances, dyes or whiteners. Also, the bottles and labels are all made from recycled material.

Apparently it's America's No1 selling natural soap and has a big celebrity following: Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Eminem and Bobbi Brown.

Bobbi who? I'm not really up with celebrities! Sophie explained that "Bobbi is the ULTRA famous make-up artist"!  She's been on Oprah and said, "It's probably the finest soap in the universe. I'm obsessed with it. I cannot get enough of it!"

This was a huge plus for Sophie. "I totally love Bobbi Brown, I think she is a make up genius" But even so it didn't unduly sway her when forming an opinion of the soap. "However, I just don't get what all the fuss is about with the soap!  Maybe it's all the history behind it and it's 'clear conscience' that it's supposed to leave you with that's doing it for the celebs, but hello....it's liquid soap!"

Dr Bronner's 18-in1 soapThere are apparently 18 uses for it - I know, I know...the clue is in the name! - Here's what they are and what Sophie thought of them:

1 - Shave (did this - it was ok)
2 - Shampoo (did this - it was rubbish! I haven't washed my hair with soap since I was a student - hey I'd run out of shampoo and cash...you do what you can in such circumstances!  And the results were pretty much the same - it left my hair greasy and I had to rewash it first thing in the morning as it was so gross)
3 - Dental (did this - I used the almond one and it was an interesting experience! 1 or 2 drops on a toothbrush and brush away. I used the almond one to try this, the others appealed even less, with hindsight this probably wasn't the best choice as it was like cleaning my teeth with liquid marzipan.  I don't like marzipan! I'm sure this would work better with the Peppermint soap but even so, I don't think it will be replacing my toothpaste of choice any time soon!)
4 - Soap bath (did this...it was ok; it's soap!)
5 - Deodorant (with the peppermint one - having already subbed peppermint for the almond version, I decided not to splash liquid marzipan on my armpits)
6 - Mint toothpaste (I thought we'd already covered that with point 3...but seemingly, no6 is for false teeth)
7 - Breath freshener and mouthwash (this must be for the peppermint one again - rose mouthwash anyone....?)
8 - Peppermint Oil Soap for Dispensers, Uniforms, Baby, Beach (whatever that means!)
9 - Body rub
10 - Foot bath
11 - Douche (really?! I didn't try this one!)
12 - Hot towel massage
13 - Pets!
14 - Silk, wool, washing clothes and dishes - I was beginning to roll my eyes at this point and waiting for the 'solves world peace and cooks the dinner' applications too!
15 - Body tingles head to toe - keeps cool! (that didn't happen for me!)
16 - 3 dashes in water rinses most sprays off fruit and vegetables (I thought we were getting close to the cooking the dinner one)
17 - 1/4oz in qt. H20 is a pest spray (hang on!!!  I just cleaned my teeth with this stuff!!!)
18 - Dash - no rash diaper-soap

Sophie's final verdict? "I wouldn't buy it and, for me, would be one of those stocking fillers that just fills up your bathroom shelves or drawers until you either run out of soap by accident or get fed up with it gathering dust after five years and chuck it out!"

Dr Bronner's lip balmsOn to the lip balms then. Maybe she would find something she liked here? "The balms however are a different story!  They are L O V E L Y - but then I don't think you can go far wrong with those!"

The lip balms we were sent were: naked, lemon and lime and orange and ginger.  "They all do what they're supposed to do, aren't too greasy and the orange and ginger one is by far the nicest in terms of smell." says Sophie.

The organic body or tattoo balms in the tins retail for £3.99 and are supposed to soothe dry chapped skin - sounds like lip balm in a tin to me! But it's also promises to brighten new and old tattoos...according to those in the know, vaseline does that too! We were sent two of these: Peppermint (maybe Sophie was supposed to clean her teeth with this one!) and orange lavender.

"Both were nice," says Sophie. "I'm not sure I'd buy them - and we discovered that they wash well after one went through a 30 degree cotton cycle!"

And Finally ...

Dr Bronner's tattoo balmDr Bronner's gives away between 30 - 70% of their profits to International charities - since March 2009, in the UK, 20p from the sale of every soap goes to War Child International.

The Magic 18-in-1 Soap costs from £1.65 for the travel 2oz bottle, and £4.95 for 8oz.  The lip balms are priced at £2.95, and the organic body and tattoo balms at £3.99.

What do you think?

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