My husband and I have really been thinking of switching back to bar soap. Body wash gets so expensive, and it seems like we're out of it before we've even had a chance to use it.....ok, so I'm exaggerating, but it feels that way sometimes. We were recently sent a package of goodies from Virginia Soaps & Scents. Virginia Soaps & Scents is a company started by a fellow homeschooling family, who got into this business, due to a school project they were involved with.
It's nice to have a package that immediately smells wonderful as soon as you've opened it up. I had it setting above my desk for a couple of weeks, and the odors coming from the box were really strong, yet really wonderful. Inside the box were 3 regular bars of soap (Fresh Orange, Coconut Lemongrass, and Otmeal, Milk & Honey). Then there was a Ginger Lime Shampoo Bar, as well as a Laundry Soap Kit. All of the soaps are, of course, handmade and handcut, so no two are exactly alike. They are also imprinted on the back with a VS for the signature brand. All of their soaps are based of their handcrafted olive oil soap
I actually used the Fresh Orange soap on my face to help wake me up, and it immediately feels very soft in your hands while lathering up. The other two soaps I used on my hands, and my hands did feel softer after using them. I have a hard time with dry skin in the winter, so I'm looking forward to having these around. The soaps also lathered up quite well with a loofah in the shower, just as good or better than any body wash, due to the coconut oil that is used in all of their soaps. These bar soaps are supposed to have a long-lasting life, so as to be very economical in price/use.
As for the Shampoo Bar, I actually asked my husband to use that, since he has such problems with his skin. I thought it might help with his scalp. He said his hair felt squeaky clean and that it helped his hair to be softer, as well as more manageable. Not that he has a lot of hair, but for a guy who wakes up with complete bedhead, it was pretty good. He liked the feeling of the Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey soap on his skin, as well. He said it felt like normal afterward, as if his skin was dry, but he felt fresh and clean. I know that he smelled good too.:) In fact, the whole bathroom smelled good. I have the soaps setting in a dish in the bathroom, and they have actually made for a great room deodorizer. The whole time the shower was running, the whole room just smelled so fresh and clean and refreshing. I plan to try the Shampoo Bar myself, but I wasn't sure how it would do with my color treated hair. From the looks of Virginia's brochure, though, the maker of these soaps says she has used it on her color treated hair, and she doesn't have to use conditioner anymore. Now, I could definitely go for that. Less expense, and less hassle in the shower.:)
We also received the Laundry Soap Kit, which makes 2 gallons of laundry soap. It contains lard, cleaning soap, borax, and washing soda. The kit is only $4.95, and it should amount to only 7 cents a load, when all is said and done, covering 64-72 loads of laundry. This soap can also be used for those with HE washers, only they won't have to use near as much soap. So, they actually get an even better bargain. The laundry soap itself smells so good. All that's needed is a bigger bucket to mix it up in, and you are set to boil the ingredients together, stirring in extra water to make up the bulk of your laundry detergent. It's honestly a pretty simple process.
Virginia Soaps & Scents doesn't just make bar soaps and laundry soap, though. They also have Gourmet Soaps, Christmas Soaps, shaving products, lip balms, body lotions, body butters, pet shampoo, linen spray, etc. Their products are, in my opinion, very affordable and better for you, seeing as they have no chemicals but consist of all natural oils.
You can read more reviews of Virginia Soaps & Scents at the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.
(Disclosure: This product was provided to me, free of charge, by Virginia Soaps & Scents, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)