I’ve been using Dr. Bonner’s Magic Soaps for almost 15 years now. That’s significant considering how many new products and brands come out each year. I began using this before there was a Whole Foods in every neighborhood, years and years before I read Not Just a Pretty Face (later post). I know people that are not fans of Dr. Bonner’s off-the-beaten-path labels and philosophy, but what’s kept me as a loyal customer all these 15 years has been the high quality of their products. What makes me love them even more now is the comforting knowledge that there are no ingredients in their products that could potentially be harmful to me. All soaps are not only certified by Oregon Tilth (to the same rigorous USDA National Organic Program standards that certify organic foods), but are also now certified Fair Trade.
Dr. Bonner’s soaps have always kept my skin incredibly soft. I turned this product on to my fiance as well as skeptical friends who are now hooked on the soap. This soap something I regularly purchase for my mom (since she wouldn’t dare spend the price for this). The almond scent is my favorite – it’s clean and gently fragrant (doesn’t have the “hippie scent”), but the lavender is also great. What I love about buying the soap in liquid form is that you can save more money by diluting a few drops of the soap with water in a separate container. We also use this product to hand wash clothes. I have recently been using the soap to shampoo my hair as well (it annoyed me that I had the most difficult time trying to locate a decently affordable shampoo without any bad chemicals from some of the top “natural” companies).
Another fantastic product is Dr. Bonner’s shaving soap gel. My fiance was hesitant at first about trying this product (he had been using the typical foaming shaving products his entire facially haired life), but now that he’s been using this for a year, he won’t use anything else. He still doesn’t like the smell, but it’s incredibly lubricating/moisturizing and this is something a couple could happily share (not too masculine, not too feminine). It also goes a long way (he said this lasts twice as long as the former shaving creams he’s used).
Dr. Bonner’s lemon lime organic lip balm is also good and a fair price at $2.99 considering it’s made with organic jojoba, avocado, and hemp oils. Their lavender coconut organic lotion is a very light lotion, and again I love it because it’s hard to find a light lotion that uses 100% organic ingredients and essential oils. However, I am unfortunately not sold yet on the scent. I am hoping they can make this lotion with other scents like almond, rose, and baby mild. The one product I’m really not fond of is their Shikakai conditioning hair rinse. I like the concept but I can’t get over the brown gloppiness, and when your scalp is dry, this can actually sting it (due to the organic lemon juice).
I feel incredibly good about supporting a company that is good to the environment (they use 100% post-consumer recycled cylinder bottles and paper labels) and are good to their workers. The highest paid employee makes no more than five times the lowest paid employee, the company gives 40 to 70% of profits to social and political causes, and despite 30 buyout offers, their company is still a family affair. Got to respect that.
So this product has been good to me and my loved ones, but it might not be right for you. With most things “organic,” cost is definitely a factor to consider. We certainly can’t afford most “organic” food and products, but this soap is one of those things we’re willing to spend a bit more money on since it’s something we use everyday versus other products that are cheaper/contain chemicals that also work for us, but we don’t use as frequently. Do what works for you.