Review: Dr Bronner's

6 April 2010

Dr Bronner's Group Shot High-1

Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap is the USA’s No. 1 selling natural soap brand and a leader in organic and fair trade skincare. Famous fans reportedly include Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock and Eminem, and make-up artist Bobbi Brown championed the brand on The Oprah Show, saying: “It’s probably the finest soap in the universe. I’m obsessed with it. I cannot get enough of it!”

Now Dr Bronner's is lathering its way into British homes and hearts. So what's so special about it? The magic of Dr. Bronner’s is its affordability and versatility, with 18 uses from 1 bottle of liquid soap at £4.99 per 236ml bottle. Best used with a cloth, towel, loofah or sponge you can use it to clean your body, your mouth & teeth, your fruit & vegetables, your bathroom and kitchen, your clothes and even your pets!

It's available in 8 main varieties, the original being the famous tingly peppermint - 16oz_peppermint“nature's own unsurpassed fragrant Deodorant!” - followed by Lavender, Eucalyptus, Citrus, Almond, Rose, unscented Baby Mild and Tea Tree which can even be used to treat minor cuts.

The soaps are most popular for at-home washing, but are also the soap of choice for many campers and hikers. They contain no synthetic foaming agents, thickeners, preservatives, fragrances, dyes or whiteners and use 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) cylinder bottles and paper labels. Completely biodegradable, the soaps are made with certified Fair Trade and organic ingredients sourced from India, Ghana, Palestine, Israel, and Sri Lanka.

Dr Bronner’s tell us that they take their organic credentials very seriously unlike many “natural” body care companies who masquerade their synthetically derived ingredients by using floral water as the main natural ingredient, while the functional ingredients are petrochemical derived and thus non-sustainable.

The 100% Pure Castile Soap recipe used in Dr. Bronner’s soap is a simple, ecological, vegetable based formulation, named after the Castile region of Spain where olive oil soaps where invented long ago. The high foaming lather of the soap is from its high coconut oil content, which makes a more luxurious and rich lather compared to any detergent formulation commonly found even in “natural stores.”

Dr Bronner's Liquid Soap - LavenderDr. Bronner’s superfat their soaps with organic hemp and jojoba oils for a milder, smoother lather and use natural plant-derived vitamin E and citric acid to protect freshness. Apart from flavouring organic essential oils such peppermint, the base soap ingredients are Water, Saponified Organic Coconut, Organic Palm and Organic Olive Oils, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Vitamin E.

So what did our reviewer think? The first item we passed their way was Dr Bronner's Organic Baby Balm. Here's what they had to say:

"Loved the packaging.  The sliding lid is fantastic for taking around in the nappy bag.  The product dosen't feel greasy and absorbs very quickly.  Perfect for our baby's dry skin.  Even I have used this as a moisturiser on my elbows and they feel great now!"

Our reviewer loved this item and although they thought it was a little on the expensive side at £3.95, they  felt the price was justified because of the organic nature of the item.

The second item we reviewed was liquid soap from Dr Bronner's. Our reviewer felt balmthe travel size of the packaging made it perfect for an overnight bag. But how did it work?

"I couldn't bear to use it as a toothpaste replacer - too soapy.  I used it as a shower gel using a sponge.  Bottle was not flexible enough to squirt it out like a shower gel, so I would have liked to see a product that was more suited to a shower gel application. At £5 for 236ml I felt this was expensive for an item that I do not really use except for in the shower.  I did try some in the bath for bathing my daughter and it seemed OK."

Finally, the pure castile soap. Our reviewer, a Dad, reckoned this feels really good for cleaning the face. He even tried it out for shaving:

"Had a shave with the pure castile soap and a shave brush and found my face was very clean although I had to moisturise afterwards as my skin had dried out.  The foam was softer than a traditional shave foam but thought it was a good alternative.  My face felt a lot cleaner aswell."

At £3.50 for a 140g bar our reviewer felt this was reasonably priced, albeit more expensive than their usual brand.

Dr Bronner's Rose Soap"I would normally buy a brand which is about a third of the price but the Dr Bronner bar does not break down like my usual brand. I would be happy to pay for a better product like Dr Bronner's that is natural and organic, and I feel safe that this is a safer product to be bathing my child in."

With each of the soaps, our Daddy reviewer would have preferred a scent but did acknowledge that they seemed like very good quality soaps, despite the lack of scent.

Dr. Bronner’s is available UK nationwide including Liberty, select Waitrose stores and leading health shops including Fresh & Wild, Planet Organic and Whole Foods. To find your nearest stockist call 0845 072 5825 or visit

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