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.
I first began trying shampoo bars, soaps, and body butters from Chagrin Valley a couple of years ago during a particularly dry autumn. I ultimately ended up not being fond of shampoo bars in general (although I used up all of theirs as regular body soaps and liked them) but LOVE their other products for washing and other skincare purposes. Formerly had very dry, sometimes itchy skin on my arms and legs which no "sensitive" type body wash or soap my derm recommended helped at all. Putting on lotions and creams afterward was little or no use. I tried quite a large assortment of products and strategies for this problem I'd had since being a teen, with varying results and most of them not too good. I really didn't want to be on and off steroid creams or medications all the time, it was expensive and unpleasant. Consistent use of Chagrin Valley soaps greatly helped this condition for me, and applying their butters after bathing sealed in moisture and made me much more comfortable. Their Aloe, Coconut Cream, Honey Butter, and Calendula soaps are all wonderful. Their body balms and butters are supremely comforting to skin, a pretty good value, and all smell great to me. I'd recommend giving some of their stuff a try for anyone who thinks they may be too sensitive for the commercial detergents in regular soap products (which I now think was probably a large part of the issue for me), anyone who wants to go more natural with their skincare, and definitely for those living in drier climates.
I bought tons of samples and decided to go shampoo free (regular shampoo that is). My husband also did it and his favorite is the Babasu and Marshmallow. His hair doesn't get greasy by the end of the day and he doesn't get dry spots on his scalp anymore. I like their shampoo bars also because it makes my hair quite fluffy. Normally the word fluffy would not make me want to use a product, but I really liked the Coconut Milk shampoo bar. By the way, I didn't have to go through any weird hair period after switching from regular shampoo - in fact my hair was much better.
On the other hand, I had to rate the soap as only a 3 because everything I tried for the face wasn't good at all. I have acne (at 40 still) and wanted to try a natural product. I finally just went back on tretinoin and am using Cetaphil Restoraderm which was recommended by my derm. I would say their soap for the body is so-so. Much better than what I have used in the past, but I just started using Restoraderm body wash on my face and body and like it A LOT.
I think CV soaps are great. I would suggest buying several samples and let your skin decide which is best. I have dry, sensitive skin and the only soap I could use was Dove unscented and after years of use , it started to irritate my skin as well. I switched to St Ives Oatmeal & Shea which was okay but then I decided I wanted to switch over to natural products. My faves are Aloe. Aloe, Aloe and Goat Milk Honey Oatmeal. Both leave my dry skin moisturized and super soft! My least fave is the Castille bc it dried my skin out. My hubby has extremely dry skin and eczema and all of them help but the honey butter is best for him. My 2 yo cant use either of them and his skin is sensitive and he has eczema, The Neem and tea tree is good for my acne prone skin but DO NOT get it in your eyes! It will burn so bad you will want to take your eyeballs out and rinse them off! The Rhassoul is good as a weekly mask but I can't use it more than that. Overall I love the soaps and I will continue to use them.
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.