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!
Wasnt to impressed. Did not feel clean after I used these soaps. :(
I was browsing MUA top picks and was really surprised to see this near the top of the list! But I must agree, these soaps are really nice. I discovered Chargrin Valley when I was looking for alternatives to shampoo. Solid shampoo is a completely different experience, so if you try them, please read up on the concept first. I am using the only solid hair conditioner they sell (Butter bar conditioner) as a shampoo right now and I love it. It's hard to run my fingers through my hair after washing with it, so a dilute apple vinegar mix at the end does the trick (about a capful or two in a big cup, and don't rinse it out). I don't think you can make a bad choice when ordering from CV. The lotion bars are great too! I used mine as an eye cream and on my hands and legs in the winter. I love the all natural ingredients. As for soaps, I recommend Dead Sea Spa. It smells citrus-y and has been great on my face. I look forward to trying even more of their products.
Dude, I love this place! I have not used regular soap or shampoo in over 3 months! I am addicted. They have a wide variety of soap and shampoo bars to choose from and they also have body butter, lip balms, face and eye cream and more! They ship pretty fast and the customer service is great! Check em out.. You won't regret it!
I LOVE these soaps. I have naturally thin/fine curly hair that is very, very hard to detangle.
But with the Chagrin Valley soaps my hair is much managable and I no longer use any other products on my hair other than the occasional Hask Placenta treatment and a Honey and ACV hair rinse.
After you get over the inital shock of using shampoo bars your hair should do fine, but I'll warn you when you first use it your hair will have a very nasty crayon waxy feeling, but just give your hair time to adjust.
My skin type: Mostly dry, can flake at times, slightly oily on nose, very sensitive, eczema prone.
I live in a hot and humid country. My water type is hard. (Extremely important when using CV shampoos)
I've been using Chagrin Valley products for 3 years now so I believe I am in the right position to review their products. I will take you through their products one by one so bear with me. But generally, I like them, I like their packaging and I will continue to purchase and recommend their products. Their products are 100% natural, slightly scented but doesn't contain ingredients to give it a scent (does that make sense?) so if you are looking for products that gives a strong nice fragrance, CV is not for you, go for LUSH instead. I love LUSH but they aren't exaclty 100% natural.
Extra Honey beer and egg shampoo: AWESOME if you have flat hair. This gives volume. And the ingredients are great for your hair, very protein-rich. With their shampoos, if you live in a place where they use hard water, what you can do if you experience the sticky feeling after rinsing it off is that you need to rinse with apple cider vinegar after rinsing with normal water. This will solve any sticky problem.
Honey Butter soap: VERY moisturizing. Great for dry skin types. This is HG quality for me. However, I just can't get the smell. It doesn't really smell of honey. It's kinda stinky imo. But since it's so moisturizing, I can live with it. I used it on fresh shaven legs and it doesn't irritate them.
Dead Sea Spa soap: After using this for a week, you can see that it works to remove impurities from your skin. Use it on blackheads. It works wonders.
Shea Rose Clay soap: Great for mature skin. Soap smells lightly of roses which I adore. I use this on my face sometimes and it doesn't leave my skin tight.
Olive & Shea Soap: Love this. It is like the Castile and Calendula but with the added shea butter. Super moisturizing, great for eczema as long as you're not allergic to shea. But I find this doesn't last as long as the Honey Butter soap. I use this soap up quicker than the Honey Butter soap.
Castile & Calendula Baby Soap: Get this if you have ECZEMA. Don't ask, just get it! Trust me, I know. Your body will love you if you do yourself just this favour.
Chocolate Almond Soap: Was excited for this soap coz of the chocolate and the cool design but seriously nothing special. In fact, it does nothing to my skin. Quite disappointed really. And I hate, as in loathe, the smell. It's yucky. But that's just me. It gets stronger in the shower, not so much in the packaging.
Cocoa Butter Bath Melts: OMG! This has only 2 ingredients. Unrefined cocoa butter and sweet almond oil. The later is great for nails. So I used 1 for a foot soak and half for a hand soak. And OMG! Your nails and skin just cannot get any better than this. If you plan to do yourself a home spa (which I do every Sunday) then get yourself this. Relax with a face mask, cucumbers on your eye, foot and hand soak using this. Trust me, you will feel like you're draining the stress away.
All Natural Whipped Squalane Face & Eye Mousse: Been using this for about 4 months now and I feel that this product takes time to settle in. Because of this, I stopped using it on my face (I prefer my Cetaphil lotion) but I continued usage for my eyes. Ever since using this, I noticed that it made my undereye brighter, like glowy however the dark circles are still there but lightened just slightly. The amazing thing is! It seems to firm the skin up which I seriously think to be true. Since then I've been using it on my laugh lines, works well but I am patient and will give it time. Oh and if you plan to get this product thinking if will reduce dark circles, it won't. At least for me it didn't, but it will make your eye area brighter.
Three Butter Lotion Bar: Smells like chocolate, not artificially though. I use this as a travel lotion bar as it's not messy. The cap doesn't come off easily too. I get dry cuticles and dry hands in school after sanitizing multiple times after science labs so I always moisturize with this.
Butter Me Up Body Balm: It's an OK lotion. Great on days where you don't want your lotion to clash with your perfume. Quality is fine, I prefer my LUSH massage bars though. And oh, it kinda smells like wood. Haha.
Sweet Dream Salve: My review for this before was that it didn't seem to work. But now! I can see that when I apply this on my temples, I just suddenly feel so relax and within seconds, I'm asleep. This is HG for sure!
I have other soaps that I haven't tried. I will do an update review so stay tune. Sorry for my essay but I hoped I gave an overview of the company and hope this helps.
Body Balm - I can safely say I MUCH MUCH prefer this to LUSH's massage bar. LUSH clogs my skin.
Citrus Woods Green Tea Soap - HG soap. Smells good, cleans well, great for skin. Has mild scrubby bits that sensitive skin will appreciate.
Chagrin valley soaps are great for problematic skin like mine. I've had a recurrence of eczema a few yrs back and the soaps have managed to keep my eczema away, while moisturizing my skin. My favourites are the goatmilk honey soap (love the earthy scent & how it gently exfoliates ;) and the aloe soap. The aloe soap is good for its antiseptic properties, i sometimes have a bad attack of hives and the aloe soap seems to help with my condition when im not on medication.
As for using these soaps on my face, i realized that not every soap is suitable. I recommend getting samples before purchasing a full bar since they have lasted me for nearly a yr. I like the rhassoul clay soap as it cleans really well without drying my face. I bought it initially for my clogged pores, they're still there though but not as bad as before. I also like the shea rose clay soap as it cleans well and is moisturizing at the same time. I didnt have gd experiences with some other soaps ive tried, i had dry patches (grapeseed shea) or oily skin and pimples after using them.
These soaps are the best smelling soaps! They smell so natural and soothing, it made me hate my Olivia Care mandarin scented soap because it smells so fake!
Honestly, these soaps are clearing my face. I have used babassu and marshmallow shampoo bar and chamomile and calendula on my face does not react badly, in fact it is getting so much better! My face is nearly cured from acne!
I'm having a little trouble using it alone as a shampoo bar because my hair is extremely damaged from bleach and relaxers so I follow up with a Burt's Bee's conditioner and it works!
I also bought rhassoul and yoghurt (used this once), herb garden and mud and clay which I have yet to try. I love the soaps so much I ordered another batch of sample sizes to try more! I honestly look forward to using them, it is a great mood lifter!
EDIT: I found that after a while, my face became really dry from this so I stopped using it on my face but continued to use it for my body. I also stopped using it on my hair because no matter what, there is always a very light coating on my hair that dirties my hairbrush. Would still reccommend but only for body and people with oily skin on their face.