I am kind of obsessed with Chagrin Valley soaps. I've been using them now for about six months, and I don't think I'll be able to go back to commercial soaps now (though I usually keep some Ivory around for hand-washing unmentionables in the shower). I initially wanted to try the shampoo bars because I moved from Georgia to Missouri and my scalp had broken out in itchy patches. Nice way to start a new job - constantly scratching my head! I tried the Extra Honey Beer and the Butter Bar Conditioner bars first, which did calm my scalp but which I had to give up because they were just too moisturizing for my fine, limp hair (probably would be great for people with thick or dry hair). I emailed CV and asked what I was doing wrong and they recommended some lighter shampoos such as the Sunflower and Soapnuts and Chamomile Citrus. Both of these work really well for me - after washing with them, my hair is very shiny and doesn't get limp by the end of the day (yeah, I know I probably shouldn't wash my hair every day but it just looks abominable if I don't). Chamomile Citrus also smells lovely in the morning, like fresh oranges. I've tried Mud and Clay but ended up using it on my face because I just couldn't get up much lather on my hair (husband loved it though). Herb Garden makes my hair really really shiny but is just a teensy bit too moisturizing, so I only use it when my hair feels a bit dry. Ayurvedic Herb does nothing for my hair, and actually makes it kind of stringy and fly away. I quite like using it on my face though. Nettle is another good one for me, and seems to give me more volume, although it doesn't give me the shine of the Sunflower and Soapnuts or the Chamomile Citrus. I usually lather up with the shampoo bar on my hair - it doesn't take much, since I don't have much hair, rinse, then follow with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse - about 1 tablespoon of ACV in an 8 ounce glass of water. I think put a tiny dollop of conditioner on my ends - I've tried skipping this step, but for whatever reason, my ends seem to stick out in all directions if I do. I do sometimes skip the ACV - my hair seems to like it best when I only do it about four times a week.
As for the soaps, my absolute favorite is the Loofah Adzuki Bean - it's a gorgeous body soap and exfoliator and I also use it on my face instead of a scrub. (If you're going to do this, be very gentle with it, it does have ground loofah in it, after all). It's creamy, soothing, and gives just the right amount of exfoliation, and the smell, well, it's intoxicating. Herbal Mist is another lovely creamy soap with a smell quite similar to the Loofah Adzuki, but with a slight hint of mint. Rhassoul Clay and Yoghurt is amazing - perfect for people like me with oily skin. Smells awesome and really makes my face look and feel good. I have a wee bit of trouble getting it to lather in my hard water, but I don't mind putting a bit of extra muscle into it. Seabuckthorn and Tea Tree is really nice too - very moisturizing and soothing, especially when I had a reaction to an Origins scrub a while back. Lavender Coconut Cream and Shea is a really creamy and moisturizing soap, but I found the scent a bit one note - am kind of a sucker for those complex scents Ida puts together. In general, my skin seems to love soaps with lots of sunflower oil in them, and doesn't seem to like anything with too much mint.
I have the Seabuckthorn Salve too - I often put it on my face before bed, and my skin feels really soft and kinda plumped in the morning. I actually really like the smell of Seabuckthorn, but it is quite unusual. It will also temporarily stain your pillowcase and night clothes, but it should come out in the wash.
Alright, sorry to write a novel, but I really do love these soaps. I'm currently deciding which soaps to get next - I'm mulling over the Marshmallow and Lemongrass, the Sweet Basil, the Aloe, the Neem, the Scarborough Fair, and the Dead Sea Spa soaps. For my hair, I'd really like to try the Rosemary Lavender and the Summer Sunshine bars.
I love the feeling I get when I use CV products - they're just so natural and creamy and lovely. Can't say enough good about them except that if you don't like products that smell herbal and earthy, these probably aren't for you. They also have real essential oils in them, so if you're sensitive to any of them, avoid the soaps that contain them. Chagrin Valley is awesome about telling you exactly what's in their products, so you'll never be surprised. Trying samples is a good idea.
It takes some time to find the bars that are right for you, but once you do, you will love them. Each bar is SO different, so it's good to get a lot of samples to find the ones you like. Experiment with the shampoo bars using acidic rinses and/or different conditioners. It's worth the trial and error until you find the right one(s), because these cleansers are so gentle and they smell amazing, and they're just fun to try!
The body bars don't leave a filmy feeling on the skin the way a lot of other bar soaps do.
HG! I have sensitive, combo, acne-prone skin. I tried the neem & tea tree oil soap. I love it! This is great! I can use it for body & face (so my shower time is a little shorter). I'm trying to go more natural w/ my skincare regime but I still want a soap that will cut through the exercise sweat & leave me moisturized but clean feeling. The neem & tea tree oil does that. Neem & tea tree oil are anti-bacterial. So I feel like I'm using a soap w/ traditional cleaning properties. The anti-bacterial properties are great for acne. The oils provide the right amount of moisturization so my skin does not feel itchy, dry, & tight or coated. There's no rebound oiliness.
Plus this is cheaper than other products I've tried for my problem skin & it works. The amount is generous. However I do think the shipping cost is too high. Shipping is $6 & the soap is around $8 for around .5 lbs
The soap smells medicinal. I admit the smell is bad but you eventually get used to it while showing. But the smell does not linger. The smell disappears as soon as you rinse & does not reemerge if you sweat or exercise later in the day. The smell will wake you up in the morning & help clear your sinuses.
The pros override the cons so I recommend this.
I used to use and try all of Lush shampoo Bars till I found these Shampoo bars from ida at Chagrin Valley, I have to say my hair finally adjusted them after a month and I am one happy customer! The Bars i love so Far are Herb Garden which seems to be moisturizing for my hair lathers nice and creamy and also rinses well. I also like ayurvedic, and i have also tried Cafe moreno which is ok, i have just received my latest order which is Nettle ,Tea Tree and neem , Butter Bar which i am sooo excited about . and I got another Herb Garden since I really Love it . i also love her eye and face mousse great for under eye bags circles and fine lines. i have also been using her Seabuckthorn soap which i also love, Gotta say I Love her shipping it is always fast and I will continue to give her my business because she is awesome.
I have been searching for superior quality, inexpensive, natural, chemical free body soap/ shampoo and facial cleansers. Chagrin Valley has been a godsend. I recently tried Aloe, Aloe body soap which is amazing. I don't even need moisturizer. I am currently using Extra Honey Beer shampoo bar for my hair which I love. My hair is so shiny and looks healthier than ever. Sometimes, I use a 50/50 water/vinegar rinse after I shampoo my hair. For my face I am using the Rhasoul/Yogurt complexion bar and it really cleans my face well and does not dry out my face. I have combination/acne prone skin. I bought a bunch of other samples but yet to try them. I can't wait! I encourage everyone to try these amazing products!
I bought some samples and a few full size items. I have mixed feelings about the items I purchased. What is really off putting to me is the same heavily HERBAL smell in absolutely every product. Everything smells the same. Kind of an antiseptic/herbal/medicinal smell. It's not completely unpleasant, but not what I want to smell like all the time, and the smell lingers. And I wish that every single product did not smell like that, but they all do.
I did try their deodorant, and I am pretty happy with it so far. It seems to work pretty well. I do feel a little sweaty by the end of the day, but the product seems to control odor well. I also got one of the salves - not sure how that is working since I need to give it more time.
I have to say I don't really care for any of the soaps and shampoo samples I tried, mainly because of the medicinal smell that they all seem to carry. The soaps do lather well and seem to moisturize my skin, but my skin almost feels "coated" after using them. I am still unsure of how I feel about shampoo bars. They do give my hair lots more wave and body, but I definitely get that "wax coated" feeling on my hair too, which I don't like.
I really wanted to "love" these products - but unless they end up wowing me on what they do for my hair and skin, I won't be repurchasing since that herbal smell is really too much. I also bought samples of the facial and body scrubs (which carry the same smell as everything else - especially the body scrub where it's unpleasantly strong) - and to look at the jar it appears you are getting a pretty good sized sample, but I quickly realized that they are double walled jars so you are actually only getting product about half to a third of the size of the jar and much less than what you'd expect based on how the jar looks.
Edit - after trying some of the products for longer, I can say the shea rose clay soap does NOT have the strong herbal smell that most of the other products I tried do. It doesn't really smell like roses either. It doesn't have a strong scent at all. I like clay soaps, and this one is no exception. I'd repurchase it.
The honey butter lip balm is very moisturizing. Not terribly long lasting though.
And after trying the deodorant for a while - I can say that it does work. I exercise and have a job where I'm up running around and it lasts through all of that. It does have kind of a weird metallic-y smell to it, but I am *super* scent picky, so that may be just me. I don't love applying deodorant with my fingers though. And the little tin it comes in can be hard to pry open sometimes.
Sadly, the calendula ointment didnt do much for me at all. Sort of a greasy ointment and I used it on some rashes/skin cracks etc and it didn't seem to help much.
Sorry for the long review- hope it helps.
It's been about a year and a half since I last wrote this review. I've stopped using Chagrin Valley because I recently moved to a hard water location and washing my hair with the bar took longer. I would get funky build up and sticky residue. Rinses work but... I could never get use to using the vinegar, store-bought, or citric acid rinses. The smell, process, or price of the rinses REALLY bothered me. I would love Chagrin Valley if I lived in an area with moderated to soft water locations.
As a whole, I love Chagrin Valley! I've tried several homemade soap companies and I always find myself going back to Chagrin Valley. The customer service is awesome. The package is splendid. The smell overall is FANTASTIC! Your mailbox will smell like flowers! Every single bar is different. It has it's own characteristics so it difficult to judge this company by review ONE bar. Down further, I have critique every bar I've ever used by Chagrin Valley. Bear with me. :)
For reference, I have extremely oily and acne prone facial skin. My body on the other hand is extreme dry and sensitive. My asian hair is SUPER OILY and dense and course 1c (according to the Long Hair Community).
My favorite are: Grapeseed Shea, Carrot Honey, Honey Beer, Honey Egg Beer Shampoo, and Cucumber Lime.
***Carrot and Honey Complexion:
One of my other favorites. Extremely gently. Great for my oily skin. Smell is earthy sweet goodness. Feels amazing on my skin. It cleanses and moisturizes well. I've noticed my face's redness has gone down. This soap gets me excited to wash my face! :P
***Chamomile & Calendula:
Honestly, I didn't find this soap special at all. I found the smell unbearable. It smelled like nasty moldy grass.
***Dead Sea Spa:
The lather is very thick and rich. The scent? Different! It's earthy yet has a lemony tang to it. I'm not too crazy about this bar. :(
***Cucumber Lime Soap:
I'm addicted to this scent. Scent reminds me of sweet limeade. Lathers well. Extremely soothing in the shower. Lol, I take extra long showers when I use this soap! Pleasant on the face after sunburn. I also use this soap as a 'leave on' for bug bites.
***Goat Milk Oatmeal Honey:
Not so pleased. Iíve never been a fan of oatmeal in my soaps. Has a natural earthy oats smell. Wayy too harsh and gritty. Made my skin too tight and flaky.
Very very moisturizing. Awesome moisture! Great for bitter winters. Too much moisture for other months. I wasnít too fond of the smell. Makes shaving worth while! Forget the lotion, with this magic tool, we can save money over the years without lotion!
***Mango Multi Body Butter Serenity Grove:
Smells sooo soothing and good. Great in the shower to seal in moisture! Melts way too fast! I wished it didn't clog my tub.
My favorite multi-purpose soap! Even though, I love sampling the other soaps ,I always find myself lingering back to this! It's perfect for my sensitive oily acne face, hive prone body skin and oily coarse hair! Wonderful in everyway! I use this every night and morning to wash my face.
My second favorite to the Grapeseed Shea. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the gigantic lather, smell and cleansing effects. Moisture is perfect. My second favorite to the Grapeseed Shea. I use this as my shower body soap!
***Honey Beer and Egg Shampoo:
Most VOLUMINOUS and shiny hair shampoo I've ever used. This is a god send! I always use this before a date night to get SMEXY HAIR! I adore the after effects this shampoo had my hair. My hair became lustrous and shiny but I can only use this Honey Beer and Egg Shampoo once a week. I found that if I used this too often I begin to experience horrible tangles and breakage to my ends.
***Olive and Shea:
I found the scent to be bland. The effects are the same as the Honey Butter! :)
***Olive Babassu Shampoo:
Another multi-purpose soap. Super moisturizing. Best unscented soap yet! There are times I find myself not in the mood for any scents. I also use Olive Babassu on super sensitive face skin days. Wonderful to keep in my gym bag in the hot Texas heat. I'm always afraid of the some sort of scent leaking out into my car and my clothes. With Olive Babassu I don't have to worry. :)
Smell is unlike anything I've ever used. I didn't like it so much on my body but it did wonders for my dandruff hair. :)
***Citrus Soapnuts and Sunflower Shampoo:
Citrus like shampoo. Perfect clarifying shampoo. I use this 1-2 twice a week for build-up removal from heavy styling products. This is the first clarifier that didn't strip my hair completely.
-Because the bars are made of natural oils and lipids, the bars will melt extremely quick in the shower.
-Expensive in comparison to other soaps
-Soap's PH is very alkaline. (despite the website mentioning soap bar to be a neutral, this is because they tested the mixture before add lye)
-Can take a while to get used to. You may need a special formulated rinse
Would I buy from Chagrin Valley again? Depending on the bar... I absolutely would! :)
I understand why so many people rave about Chagrin Valley products -- they do not disappoint. I used to be completely oblivious to what was in my "sensitive skin" soaps and shampoos. I just trusted the popular brands -- I mean really, if everyone is using it, how could it really be bad, right? Then, a few years ago, I was diagnosed with a little-known, female pain condition called vulvodynia. At first, I was horrified to know that the condition had no real "cure" (and the name contained the word vulva, ugh), but the frustration quickly mobilized me into investigatory-mode in order to find not only a cure, but also a cause. One of the first things I started doing was reading labels on everything I used including soaps & shampoos. What I found was shocking. I've become cynical about our nation's investment in regulating all of the toxins found in commonly used, commonly assumed "safe" products. Who's to say exactly what my body is responding to with pain -- as an American consumer, I was drowning in chemicals! It didn't take long to discover that even so-called "organic", "all-natural", and "handmade" products are often no more wholesome than their commercial counterparts. I'm sure that CV has heard this before but I'll say it anyway -- it was refreshing to have found their site! The Chagrin Valley website is AWESOME because they not only give us the ingredient list for every product, they explain how and why they use those ingredients. I love that I'm not only buying a new soap, I am also learning a great deal of information about different oils and herbs, and how these will affect my body. It's been gratifying to know that I finally found a company that treats their customers so respectfully. I'm thankful to them for being so open, honest, and enthusiastic about sharing their products. I also appreciate their dedication to great service -- I ordered twice on a Friday and got my soaps on the following Wednesday without paying more for shipping than the products!
So far, my favorite soaps: the Aloe, Aloe, Aloe soap, and the Seabuckthorn & Tea Tree Oil soap. The first makes my skin freakishly soft. I say that because I didn't think it possible to go from damp, tight skin post-cleansing to velvety smooth once dry! This is a fantastic shaving soap. The Seakbuckthorn soap has been my facial wash. I've been using it for a little over a week and already my cystic acne-prone skin is looking fantastic. Something I've noted -- just like the shampoos, the soaps take a little longer to wash off your skin than commercial soap. With the Seabuckthorn soap, I've actually not tried so hard to scrub it all off before I go to bed. I think that "residue" is what is making my skin so much healthier -- it keeps nourishing while I sleep.
My sample for the whipped eye and face mousse just came in yesterday so I don't have much to say yet other than it feels really good here in West Texas. I plan to use it under my mineral make-up. I'm also trying the whipped butters -- they smell good enough to eat! They also held up well in the mail even though we were in the double-digits when I received my package. Of the three, the cocoa butter was the only one with noticeable shrinkage and it was minimal.
The shampoo has been a different experience. These don't rinse out as cleanly as a detergent shampoo making the "quick" hair wash something of the past (although it's cool to be forced to love my hair a little longer). So, for the last week I've had waxy, sort of oily-looking hair, even with the vinegar. (CV provides in-depth information about vinegar rinses and why you might need them -- as luck would have it, I live in one of the areas with really hard water.) But, my persistence has paid off -- today I finally achieved awesome hair status! For the first time in YEARS I'm going on 2 days without having to wash my hair because of oil and dandruff. It seems that I have a "normal" scalp after all! I've been using the Neem & Tea Tree Oil Body & Hair Shampoo, and the Ayurvedic bar. I know that a lot of people don't like the smell of tea tree oil but this bar, while very fragrant, doesn't make your hair smell antiseptic like a lot of other tea tree oil products. In fact, like the vinegar rinse, once my hair is dry I don't smell much of anything at all. The only product that hasn't worked for me yet is the Butter Bar Conditioning soap. I used it on Day 3 (hoping to combat the waxy texture) but it made my hair look and feel much worse. I will probably use it only on the ends of my hair as suggested.
I'm not pain-free yet but it feels good to know that I've eliminated more substances that might be helping to make me miserable. Vulvodynia is chronic vulvar pain without an identifiable cause.. In my case, it feels like I'm burning "down there"; sex is impossible. I've discovered that many women have this issue but go undiagnosed for a variety of reasons, including a lack of understanding by their treating physicians. If you, or anyone you know needs more information about vulvodynia you may contact me, or join the National Vulvodynia Association (NVA.org). It's been a blessing to connect with more people who choose not to "suffer" and who are actively trying to find solutions.
I found CV on the web a few months ago. I was looking for bar shampoo (no plastic packaging & natural ingredients!) & I'm now in love with their products!
I love love love that you can buy samples - BEST thing ever!!
My favorites are the Chamomile & Citrus and the Lavender Spice.
I didn't like the smell of the Honey Beer & Egg & the Ayurvedic Herb was just ok.
The Butter Bar Conditioner shampoo didn't have much of a smell but it didn't do much for my hair - which is very fine & limp.
Both the sample size & regular size bars are large.
The prices are good and the shipping quick.
They also have several different herbal salves for various skin problems.
I just bought their St. John's Wort with Comfrey & Calendula for injection site reactions (itching & redness) from a medication I'm on.
The itching is much better and the redness is less.
Thank you Chagrin Valley!!
Chagrin Valley are the only soaps and the only shampoos I will let touch my face or my long, curly hair. The ingredients are wonderful, scents are divine but not synthetic or irritating, customer service is a dream, I cannot speak highly enough of this company and their products.
A quick breakdown of my favorites:
Neem and Tea Tree Oil: great for my acne prone skin. Cleared it right up and I use it ever now and then. The scent is something to get used to, but now I don't even mind it. The neem oil makes is smell very strongly, but the great results are worth the scent.
Grapeseed Shea (now Grapeseed Tomato Complextion): lovely and moisturizing, but with some clay in it. Leaves my face feeling supple and smooth. A good "base line soap" for the face.
Rhassoul Clay and Yogurt Complextion: Food for the face! Such a creamy, dreamy lather on this one. It feels so luxurious and like I've just had a nice clay facial mask on, but infinitely easier to use. I lather up in the shower, let it sit on my face for a few minutes, then rinse off. Really adore this one.
Shea Rose Clay: lovely pink soap that smells of roses and other flowers. Wonderfully moisturizing, but still fine for my normally oily skin. I use this a lot in the winter. More moisturizing than the Grapeseed Tomato Complextion.
Olive Babassu Shampoo: Wonderful rich and moisturizing shampoo for my fragile, long, curly hair. I follow up with a vinegar rinse and my hair is left bouncy and shiny. I use this maybe once a week, the rest of the time I CO wash.
Nettle Shampoo: Not as moisturizing as the olive babassu, but still really nice. I like this in the summer. Smells a little grassy, but I really like the scent. Like crushed plants.
I've adored most all of the body soaps I've tried, but my favorites are the Honey Butter (always have a bar or two of this aging), Peppermint Twist, Goatmilk Honey Oatmeal, Lavender Oatmeal Spice, and Sea Salt and Seaweed.
Overall I really highly recommend this company and their products. The bars are massive and full of wonderful, high quality ingredients. The also sell generous sample bars for testing out what formulas work for you. This isn't a place that just has one base recipe and tinkers with scents; the formulations of every bar is different.
Do yourself a favor and check out this company!