I'm thinking that from now on when people ask me what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I might just direct them to this review of some of Dr. Bronner's body care products. Consider this an early Christmas list!
In fact, when this box of Dr. Bronner's products arrived at my apartment it kinda was more exciting than Christmas, because at my house Christmas is often very practical: socks, fleece pajamas, a cheque, etc...
Right, enough talk of Christmas in June. On to the review!
First off, I have to say that I've been a long time fan of Dr. Bronner's products. I've used their peppermint soap for ages, both for cleaning, deodorizing and, occasionally, as shampoo. I also use their Organic, Fair Trade Coconut Oil for everything from hair care to cooking and you can see it in my recipe for Coconut Oil Deodorant (which, incidentally, is right up there with my Gluten Free Apple Pie as the most popular post on the blog).
Disclaimer: I did receive a box of Dr. Bronner's products free to review. However, it was sent in response to an email I sent them first, letting them know how much I like them :) Other than the box of products I received no compensation for writing a review.
Before I talk about the products up for review, I have to quickly mention that one of the things I like as much or more about Dr. Bronner's products is the way their company operates. I think it's a great model for an ethical operation. Why? Well, a couple of reasons.
1) Their products are fair trade, organic and not tested on animals
2) They have a long history of activism for GMO free products, fair trade operations and peace between various religious and cultural groups
3) Their executives' total compensation is capped at 5 times that of their lowest paid employee (so no big corporate CEOs making a bazillion times more than the average worker bee)
4) They dedicate profits to projects like building water wells and orphanages
So yeah, I think that's pretty cool because I like all those things!
My Observations in General:
Dr. Bronner's skin care products are very reasonably priced for organic and fair trade products. I've noticed that many of their products are also concentrated (i.e. liquid soap and conditioner), so you really only need a very small amount, meaning you get even more bang for your buck than you might originally realize.
Because they don't contain any nasty chemicals, the scent tends to wear off more quickly than your typical chemical laden lotion or soap. This doesn't mean that the product stops working - my hands feel soft for a very long time after using the lotion, but the scent fades fairly quickly.
While I'm a little sad that my hair doesn't smell like peppermint all day, the upside is that you probably won't offend anyone else's nose by wearing strongly scented, chemically scented perfumey stuff.
You may not find all, much, or any of these at your local store or health care section. But you can get them all on the Dr. Bronner's website.
The Products up for Review:
Shikakai Lavender Hand and Body Soap:
Love this stuff. It's smells wonderful and it leaves my hands feeling soft afterwards. I suspect this is because of the coconut, hemp and olive oil in it.
Orange Lavender Body Lotion:
It's not at all oily and absorbs quickly, which you might think means that it doesn't do anything, but in fact, I find myself wanting to run my hands over each other continuously for a long time after application because they feel so buttery, but not in a greasy way.
As I mentioned above, the scent seems to fade after about 20 minutes or so, but it does keep the skin soft much longer.
Citrus Conditioning Hair Rinse:
This stuff is pretty cool, although you might find it unusual at first. It's concentrated, so you only need to add a capful to about 1 cup of warm water, and work it into your hair (I do this by bringing a giant bowl into the shower, adding some water and dunking my hair/head into it!). My hair does retain the scent for some time afterwards, and it does seem to prevent some of the flyaway hairs.
Peppermint Hair Cream:
I don't know that I've used this enough to give it a fair review. I can tell you that it's not oily, as many hair creams are, although it contains coconut oil. I do use coconut oil straight up on my hair as a deep conditioner and it definitely does help to manage flyaways, and smooth the hair shaft, so I presume that with regular use this product would do the same and probably without the oily residue of straight coconut oil.
Body Balm, Naked and Peppermint:
My new must-have purse item. The Naked is unscented and the Peppermint is, well, peppermint! Because it's a balm and primarily beeswax and various oils it's thick, and I find the best way to apply it is by running the back of my fingernail over the balm and scooping some up, otherwise you'll be rubbing and rubbing forever. I use it all the time when I'm out for coffee or dinner and rub it into my hands and cuticles to soften them. It does a wonderful job. Plus I think peppermint should be mandatory aromatherapy, everyone should sniff it...
Incidentally, for those still thinking of Christmas, these would make wonderful stocking stuffers, as would the next item up for review, the lip balm (Mom are you reading this?!)
Lip Balm, Orange Ginger and Lemon Lime:
The Lemon Lime Lip Balm is also a new staple purse item. When I'm done that, I suspect the Orange Ginger will take it's place. First off there's no nasty chemical plastic gross flavour when I lick my lips and that's important. I get sick when I think about the poundage of lip gloss I've eaten over the years...
Secondly, the flavour is very mild, and only lasts a short time (and it's a good flavour I think, I kind of want to keep licking my lips). The balm is just that, not a gloss, so it's not sticky, it absorbs fairly quickly but leaves lips soft, like the lotion.
To be honest, I haven't gotten around to this one yet because I mostly wax, and hubby has an electric shaver. I will try it soon, though.
Oh yeah, and I got an organic cotton Dr. Bronner's t-shirt, too! It's an X-Large so it's super comfy.
As I said, you might not find all this in the stores, but you can definitely get it on their website (or get it shipped to someone else for Christmas ;)
Have you ever used Dr. Bronner's products? If so, what was your experience?