I have 4c natural hair, and I did not like the stripped and stringy feeling that the Babassu Marshmallow and Neem & Tea Tree shampoo bars gave to my hair. I combed through when the soap was in and after rinsing, and it felt as if my hair was weak and was going to break. I did use the ACV rinse afterward, which recovered a good feeling, but I would rather not feel that I was stripping my hair and then recovering it with the ACV rinse. I would heavily recommend the Terressentials shampoo for 4c natural hair.
I came across Chagrin Valley on my quest to find products to help my Rosacea. My skin is super sensitive to everything. I started using their coconut milk shampoo bar as an all in one for hair, face, and body. It's been great for my hair and body but to harsh on my face. For some reason if I was my face with it my skin started to sting really bad then would severally dry out. Even with use of their wonderful moisturizers. I use their Seabuckthorne and Tamanu oil face oil , coconut delight body balm, Tamanu oil salve. They are all great to help calm my skin when irritated. I also use the Olive and Babassu Oil soap which is nice on my hair and skin especially for winter. But sadly that too made my face burn and sting. So I ordered the Seabuckthorn and Tea Tree complexion bar and I've used it once. Usually my skin will burn pretty much immediately when I start to wash it. This one didn't but only time will tell. I have a few other samples I ordered from them and will give each a week of use to see what I can and can't use on my face. The coconut milk shampoo bar is great on my hair now that hot weather is setting in. I didn't have much of a transition period for my hair since I had already been using all natural products before switching to shampoo bars. I will say that they are great in soft water which we have. If you have hard water an ACV rinse is usually needed to cut that waxy feeling out of your hair. If I travel I won't use them on my hair because I can't use ACV that often due to irritation to my face. I hope the Seabuckthorn and Tea tree bar is a winner for me as I HATE trying to find something, anything to not irritate my face. One With Nature dead sea salt soap is all about I can use currently with no problems and is a great soap as well.
Last year, I was recommended to try CV through a beauty community on LiveJournal. I had been looking for a shampoo for excess sebum/seborrheic dermatitis and they have a shampoo bar so I figured why not.
I ended up purchasing 3 products - Apples & Spice soap, Tea Tree & Neem shampoo bar, and Whipped Vanilla Bean body butter.
I live in Canada and the shipping is ridiculously expensive ($15) so I got the products sent to a US relative's for $6.
I tried all three products when I received them and have to say, I would never purchase from CV again.
The shampoo bar smelled alright (very medicinal) but left my hair feeling incredibly greasy. I already have an oily scalp but this just worsened it. It did nothing for my hair or my excess sebum.
The soap was alright. It lathered well but smelled nothing like apples. I was disappointed with this product because all I could smell was spice.
The body butter was horrible. It smelled okay (I adore vanilla and this product had barely any scent). The container was half full of product (considering it was $8 for a tiny jar, that was disappointing that there was barely any product in the jar) and the product was yellow, not white as I had seen with tons of pictures I had looked at. It also wasn't fluffy at all. The main reason I will never purchase from CV again is because I had a severe allergic reaction to the body butter. The next day, my legs looked like I had been bitten by fleas and I just shrugged it off until it kept spreading to my arms and my face. My face had gotten the worst of it. For someone who has been blessed with very good skin, I had no idea what was going on. People kept asking me what was wrong with my face because they knew I had great skin. I couldn't cover it up since I don't wear foundation. I had visited the doctor's and they thought it was chicken pox until finally someone figured out it was an allergic reaction. I decided to try the body butter on my legs again and low and behold, the next day, they were broken out, even worse than before.
I contacted CV about this (my review was removed from Facebook by them) and received a pretty swift response.
Unfortunately, the response is another reason I would never buy from the company again.
I received a generic apology and was told I could try buying another body butter and seeing what happens. For $8 for the product and then $6 for shipping, I will pass on that.
I was told it was most likely the shea because virgin shea can cause reactions in people. I use shea in a lot of products and none have ever given me problems before.
I know people like this company but for me, it just isn't worth the hassles. I would have loved to receive a refund or even store credit, but none was offered. I had to toss the body butter because it was unusable for me and I haven't even touched the other two products since.
I am disappointed with how the company just doesn't seem to allow people to say anything negative about them. The reviews on their website are all but positive and I am sure I am not the only person who has had problems with their products.
Also, my face is still recovering from the body butter. I had very smooth skin before but now, I have random bumps all over it.
I've been testing several Chagrin Valley products for a few weeks now and I guess it's time to write a review. My skin seems to react better to natural soaps than commercial, detergent-based soaps. They always seems to clear up my mild acne, but after prolonged use, my skin becomes very dry and sore. I believe that most soaps are too alkaline for daily use. I was using Sibu Sea Buckthorn Face & Body bar which is LOVELY, but dries my skin horribly. I noticed that CV also had a Seabuckthorn bar, so I ordered that one along with a few other samples to test. I also ordered a small size of the Seabuckthorn Tamanu Facial Oil and asked to receive a small sample of the Whipped Squalane Face & Eye Mousse to test out, but received a note instead that stated they couldn't make samples, that Face & Eye Mousse was one of their bestsellers and that I should just try it. Ummmm.....Okay. How difficult is it to put a tiny sample into a tiny pot or even a baggie? Feels like a blow-off to me.
So, on my first order, I received the Carrot & Honey Complexion Soap, the Seabuckthorn & Tea Tree Soap, the Neem & Tea Tree Body & Hair Shampoo Bar and the small oil. I live 2 1/2 HOURS away from where they make the products and it took 6 days to receive. It took them 4 days to process and send my order and 2 days for USPS to deliver. I could have driven there and paid a bit more for gas.
I used the Neem & Tea Tree bar for the first couple of weeks. I used it on my hair, face & body. For hair, it just wasn't good. It gave me HORRID dandruff or perhaps it was just that I couldn't get all the soap out. It seemed like I had to rinse for AGES to get all of it out. I tried it by itself, with conditioner and with a vinegar rinse. Unfortunately, I got the same blah results each time. I also started using the Seabuckthorn Tamanu Facial Oil, which I absolutely HATED. First, it stunk horribly and was bright orange (which I already suspected), but my skin became SO irritated with this. It took a few days to calm down after only a couple days of use. My skin felt congested and sore. So strange. =(
The next week, I tried the Carrot & Honey Complexion Bar. I don't think I made it through the entire week with this one. It just didn't feel like it cleaned well enough, yet it made my skin dry and peely. This is around the time I received my second Chagrin Valley order. I had heard good things about their cream deodorant and I also really wanted to try the Face & Eye Mousse.
Next was the Seabuckthorn & Tea Tree Soap. I like this one the most. It's less drying than the Sibu bar I was using, but it was still drying and made my skin look red and a bit irritated. I think it may have been from the tea tree oil. I read somewhere on a natural product forum that people also used the regular soaps as shampoo, so I tried this one as a shampoo as well. It made my hair greasy and limp. The day I washed my hair, I visited my mom and she asked if my hair was greasy or wet. *Face-palm* I also started sampling the Face & Eye Mousse at this time. It says on the website that it's a light, silky cream that penetrates quickly and absorbs deeply. Well, I found it to be extremely heavy and it NEVER seems to absorb. It just sits on top of my skin like vaseline would. It doesn't irritate my skin, which is a big plus, but it doesn't seem to help with dryness at all. When I use it, my skin feels absolutely parched (from the soap), but greasy on the surface. Not a winning combo. =( On the other hand, the Coconut Silk Cream Summer Rain deodorant I ordered was nice. It smells lovely and works most of the day. I HATE applying it with my fingers, but I can live with it.
Since this category is about Chagrin Valley in general and not just certain products, I wanted to mention that I think their sampling policy is seriously lacking. They charge almost $3.00 for a small soap sample and then almost $6.00 for shipping. They don't include samples with your order (that's part of the fun when ordering online!) and they don't seem to go "the extra mile" to make customers happy. On the "Specials" section of their website, they sometimes offer "scrap sacks" which are one pound bags of soap slivers, soap chunks, cracked bars and odd size end pieces. To me, this seems like the perfect opportunity to include little samples with orders so that customers could try and maybe find a new favorite soap! I'm just saying, it would be nice. Small things like that encourage repeat purchases.
EDIT 2/15/14: Been using the cream deodorant for several days now and my armpits are SO ITCHY and a bit rashy. I guess I must be sensitive to the high amount of baking soda.=( I notice that they do offer a version without it, so I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever purchase from them again. Considering the products I've tried so far, it's not likely.
I started looking into Chagrin Valley because I wanted a natural color-safe shampoo. I ordered samples of the Butter Bar Conditioner, Auburn Henna, and Herb Garden shampoo bars and I rotate between them. I then follow with either Aveda Madder Root Conditioner or the conditioner that comes with my hair color. I only wash once a week and it stays feeling really clean for about 5 days. The way my hair feels after rinsing is pretty awful... waxy and uncombable, but after conditioning it feels amazing and then my hair dries is great curls instead of weird frizz lol. Chagrin Valley does also recommend ACV rinses, which is like conditioner. I am really happy with these shampoo bars but I can't imagine using them without conditioner.
What I really love about Chagrin Valley are the complexion bars!! I have fig & plum and carrot & honey and I'm OBSESSED. I tried to choose sugary ones because sugar scrubs and the like have always worked wonders on my skin. The first time I used them I was seriously on the verge of tears, I felt so beautiful! I used them to take off my makeup and I actually liked the way I looked so much more just bare and clean! These really make you glow! I have sensitive skin that leans toward dry and peels in my t-zone, but these are super gentle and calming. I also have a problem with brow and lash loss, and after using these they are thick and full again! Seriously, the first time I used this I caught the hubby STARING at me over and over and then he'd tell me I was beautiful. You cannot beat that.
I also love that there is no plastic waste! I only ordered sample sizes and I've had them for months, even with using a complexion bar 2-3x a day.
Have been a CV fan for 7 years now. I have seborrheic dermatitis and my scalp and face therefore are always red, irritated, flaky, and can hurt. I had tried everything on the market including prescription soaps and shampoos. Nothing really worked. I could list what I love but it's not going to mean it will work for you. I suggest go to chagrinvalley.com and if you're not sure what to try first, there is a spot there called Idas Corner. It gives info and suggestions about what to try first for various skin/scalp types. The samples they offer are awesome! They don't look like they would last very long, but they actually do. You will have plenty of time with a sample bar to determine if that soap/shampoo bar is right for you. The selections they have is enormous!
I use their mosturizers as well. they offer more than soaps and shampoo bars, but a total natural organic skin line. I encourage you to check out chagrinvalley.com and read the website. They provide a ton of information in addition to selling their products. Customer service is bar none! Fantastic people! I am so glad Ida took her hobby to a business. There are tons of "natural" soaps out there but nothing comes close to this company's products!
I am in love with chagrin valley soaps. I couldn't decide which ones to pick, so I ordered a bunch of samples of complexion soaps and shampoos. i felt a bit like goldilocks this past month, trying to find which soap was just right. i developed a weird little system where i slice off a corner of a face soap and use it for a week. if i like it for my face, great. if not, and there's any left over, I throw it in my little soap sack and use it in the shower. Given the fact that the little corner piece can last for weeks on my bathroom sink, i think the full size bar could last for six months easily. My favorite by far is the seabuckthorn and tea tree soap, but all of them have helped clear up my face over the course of their trial week. I love that I can get sample sizes, so I can figure out what works for me without going broke( not that their soaps are super expensive,either). Their shampoo bars are lovely as well. I'm especially fond of the babassu marshmallow bar. Also their customer service is outstanding, their shipping is fast, and their packaging is simple and ecological. I can't find a reason not to like it.
I really really really really love these soaps and shampoo bars! Did I mention I really love these? Their only problem is that the shipping costs for outside the US are really really steep, is that how much they really have to pay USPS? I still buy these soaps even though shipping is so expensive, but making the shipping so prohibitively high means that I don't and can't buy from them as often as I could wish, which means that they get less business from me than they would have if their shipping rates had been more reasonable.
Having said that, I still love love love these soaps and will always buy them. I got lots of shampoo bars but then I realized it would take me MONTHS to try them all out, because I only wash hair twice a week. Here are the ones I've tried so far:
Neem and Tea Tree Oil: I got this for my son and it worked wonders, when he was using this soap he didn't have any acne, and he usually has some pimples all the time. Now I am trying out some other soaps on him to see if they are equally effective.
Goat Milk: I LOVE the rich, creamy lather of this one!
Seabuckthorn and Tea Tree Oil: I'm currently trying this one out on my son, he seems to have less pimples than he normally does, but his face doesn't seem to be quite as clear as it was on the Neem soap.
Adzuki Complexion soap: I quite liked this one, but I wouldn't use it as an exfoliant. It makes a very nice complexion soap, but didn't stand out for me.
Chocolate Almond: My kids love chocolate, so this soap is for them. It was a great hit with them, so I plan on getting the full size and also trying out the other chocolate soap that they have.
Bananas and Cream: This was a nice complexion soap, but like the Adzuki Bean soap, it didn't stand out. But I love ALL their soaps.
Coconut Shea and Honey Butter soaps: These both lather up very nicely.
Babassu Marshmallow shampoo: I really really liked this one, it gave me soft, shiny, voluminous hair.
Herb Garden shampoo: I only tried this one once so far but I wasn't too impressed, it didn't give me any shine at all. But I'm due for another hair wash in a couple of days and I will try this shampoo again.
Café Moreno: My son uses this since he has dark hair. It did seem to make his hair look nice, but it's hard to tell because his hair is very short.
I used to get bored washing hair and now I actually look forward every week to hair washing day, so I can try out a new shampoo bar!
For those of you who just threw your soaps into the garbage as soon as you got them, for whatever reason, do take into account that these are all natural soaps without any sorts of chemicals, but with essential oils, which may smell strong. If you prefer soft chemical smells, I wouldn't recommend these soaps. It is like an orange, the real orange smells much more tangy than a soft, artificial, orange air freshener.
If you found that you got a rash or reaction with one of their soaps, that also does not mean that there is something wrong with ALL the soaps. You might be sensitive to one specific ingredient in just one soap. Take into account that each soap has different ingredients. You wouldn't stop eating ALL fruits just because you got an allergic reaction to, say, strawberries, would you?
Castile soap is especially harsh on the skin. I live in Spain and here a LOT of people swear by their all natural, homemade Castile soap (Castile soap originated in Spain, after all). It is easy to get all natural, homemade Castile soap here, but nonetheless I prefer to go to the bother and expense of ordering Ida's soaps all the way from the US. Why? Because even though Castile soap is all natural, I find that it doesn't lather up very much and is quite drying.
Anyways, I am trying to wean my kids off of chemicals, and I find these soaps to be the BEST way to do it. I have tried many things, the all natural Castile soaps available here, of course, as well as all natural olive oil liquid soaps, also available in shops here. I've also tried some soaps from the health food stores. But nothing compares to Ida's soaps.
I've been eying these soaps for a while; if you're like me, PLACE YOUR ORDER BY THE 27TH (of Nov) to take advantage of their cyber weekend sale 10% off
promo code: CYBERCVS
details are on their site -> News
I'll give a proper review after I've tested them out, but hope this is helpful for those who have been waiting for that little "push" to try these out!
Die hard CV customer here. This company produces, without a doubt, the finest soap you can buy. It doesn't have fancy sparkles or scents (and I do go to other companies if I want those things) but the attention to quality in the ingredients and resulting product is simply second to none. It's really obvious that Ida and her family have a passion for soapmaking, and they've elevated it to an art.
CV's complexion bars and Honey Butter are the only soaps I use to clean my face, which is sensitive and prone to being overly dry after washing. My husband uses only Honey Butter because of his eczema, which the Honey Butter doesn't irritate.
I have found CV shampoo bars to be excellent for my fine, oily, fragile hair. Whether they do all the amazing things claimed I can't say, but they clean my hair thoroughly and gently, leaving it shiny and soft. I actually find that the complexion bars are excellent shampoos that don't weigh down my hair -- the Carrot complexion bar is one of my favorites. I did not have any adjustment period when I started using the shampoo bars, I just made sure to lather my hair well and never was greasy. I feel that vinegar rinses are overhyped and not good for everyone; I have soft water, so soap rinses clean from my hair very well, and when I used a vinegar rinse my hair was left flat and lank. If you think you're hair's not getting clean enough, ditch the vinegar before you give up on the shampoo bars.
The soaps are bigger than practically any other handmade soaps I've seen, and they last a long time. I use a third or a half of a bar at a time to reduce loss from incidental wetting, and keep them out of the water as much as possible. They last for weeks and weeks, so even though the price per bar may seem steep, it's a good value.
Many of the bars have strong hippie-herbal scents. Attention to the ingredient list can help avoid this if you prefer lighter-scented products. Many of the bars have no added scent at all, and others have citrus-orange or lavender floral scents. Peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree or neem are very strong and take over a scent blend almost completely. Olive Babassu, Carrot Complexion, Honey Butter, Nettle and Grapeseed Shea are some very lightly scented or unscented bars, and Chamomile Citrus has a fresh citrus scent without herbals.