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.
Boy do I ADORE Chagrin Valley Soaps! I have an entire shoebox bulging with just these soaps. All natural, very reasonably priced, and just BEAUTIFUL. When I first switched from my other commercial soaps and products, it really took me some time to get used to the "natural" scents, but I really appreciate how they smell now. I have tried almost all their soaps, and here are my favorites:
1. Winter Survival
2. Chocolate Almond
3. Honey Butter
4. Aloe Aloe Aloe
For Face and Body:
1. Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt - Absolutely ADORE this one
2. Cornmeal & Honey
3. Grapeseed & Shea
I have been using Chagrin Valley soaps for about 5 years now & have never used anything better! It is true that once you've used them you won't want to go back to regular soap or shampoo again (although it might take a while for you – and your hair – to get used to using them).
I first heard about Ida & Chagrin Valley soaps on the www.naturallycurly.com website. I have very thick, long (bra strap length), curly hair that tends to get dry & frizzy when I use commercial hair products. I was looking for a shampoo without sulfates and other damaging chemical ingredients but couldn't find anything in stores (even in the “natural foods” type stores), so I was very interested when I learned that Ida doesn't use any artificial or chemical ingredients (not even colors or fragrances). It's also nice to be supporting a small, family-run company.
The concept of using a shampoo bar is very eco-friendly since there is no bottle to go to a landfill. They are small, travel well, and you can use the same bar for your body and your hair so there is less to pack. Each bar comes in a small paper bag and is shipped in a cardboard envelope (both of which are recycleable).
Since my hair tends to be dry, I've found that I'm able to use both the soap and shampoo bars on my hair. According to their website, the difference between the two products is that the soaps are superfatted at a higer range than the shampoo bars so they actually have more oil to moisturize dry hair. My hair loves the extra moisture, although it may be too much for fine, thin, or oily hair. Don't worry though – they have many, many other shampoo types and there is bound to be several that are just right for your own hair type. They have a ton of different varieties to choose from – each formulated a little differently. Since everyone is different, the best way to find what works best for you is to just experiment – which is not only fun, but Chagrin Valley's sample-sized bars make it very inexpensive, too!
As for which soap bars work best on my hair, I've used the Avocado Oats & Shea, Castile & Calendula, Chamomile & Calendula, Cucumber Lime Yogurt, Dead Sea Spa, Marshmallow & Lemongrass, Olive & Shea, Orange Creamsicle, Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt, and Peppermint Twist soaps – all with great results. (Be careful not to get the Peppermint Twist lather in your eyes though – or other sensitive body parts! - as it can sting a bit!)
Of the shampoo bars, I've used the Babassu & Marshmallow, Chamomile & Citrus, Mud & Clay, Olive Babassu, and Summer Sunshine and love them all.
The only ones I didn't really care for were the Honey, Beer & Egg (I didn't like the smell & it didn't seem to be as moisturizing for my hair) and the Rosemary Mint (again I didn't care for that smell). I tend to like the fresh, citrus-y scents best, but everyone is different.
Today I just received an order including three of their newest bars – the Aloe, Aloe, Aloe! Soap and the Ayurvedic Herb shampoo bar and Butter Bar Conditioner shampoo bar (they describe it as having “double the extra oils and butters of even our shampoo bars” - a “buttery lotion bar hair conditioner and
shampoo combined into one super moisturizing bar”). I can't wait to try them!
As I said in the beginning, it may take you some time to get used to using a shampoo bar since they do leave your hair feeling differently when you first rinse out the lather. You won't have that “slip” feeling you get from regular shampoos (which are actually coating your hair shafts and causing build-up). Your hair might feel a bit tacky or waxy after first using a shampoo bar – don't worry, it won't feel that way when it dries. Some people report going through a breaking-in period in order for their hair to get rid of the build-up caused by the regular shampoos they had been using. I've heard either apple cider vinegar rinses or baking soda rinses help that (you can find recipes for those on the www.chagrinvalleysoapandcraft.com website). I never had that problem, though.
I've found the best way for me to use bar shampoo is to thoroughly wet my hair, using a plastic wide-tooth comb (the kind that hangs from your shower spout – I think mine is made by Goody) to gently comb out any tangles. Then I wet the shampoo bar and bend over slightly to the side, rubbing the bar directly on my wet hair from ear level through the ends (I bend to the other side to reach it when I'm done with the first side). Lastly I rub in own the crown area & scalp. Then I use my hands gently massage my scalp and finger-comb the lather down all the way to the ends. When I'm ready to rinse, I use the wide-tooth comb again to comb through my hair while the shower spray is directed down on my head. I comb until the rinse water runs clear and ta-da – I'm done. It may sound like it takes a long time, but once you get the hang of it, it goes very quickly and the end results are definitely worth it!
I hope Ida keeps making her soaps for a long time to come! :-)
I love these soaps (the shampoo bars didn't work out for me, sadly) and it's true that once you start switching from commerical soaps to natural soaps, it'll be hard to go back. I don't need to use moisturizer anymore after taking a shower, especially on my legs which used to get so dry! My favorite is Coffee Spice, which smells amazing and deodorizes really well too. One warning though--the soap will basically fall apart in the shower really quickly if you keep it sitting out. I'd suggest a wooden soap box or something to store it in.
These soaps are fantastic, but you definitely must be prepared to experiment until you find the right ones for you. As the owners themselves admit, there's no way to know without trying what will work for your hair or skin. Take advantage of the sample sizes (I have gotten from 10-15 uses from them, so they last a while) and get a good mix before you buy the larger sizes.
I have combination skin, and I have found that Chamomile & Calendula soap works best for my skin. Since I began using it, my skin is very soft and never feels dry after showers. I also find I rarely feel I need to use moisturizer anymore, which was a really nice bonus.
My hair is fine and straight, with a tendency to become limp the day after a shampoo. After trying a number of Chagrin Valley's shampoo bars, I found that Summer Sunshine and Chamomile & Citrus worked the best for me. The soaps lather nicely, smell wonderful, and leave my hair surprisingly tangle-free (I don't use conditioner at all anymore). My hair has more body than it ever did before and holds curl much better, and I find that it stays cleaner-looking a bit longer than it did with conventional shampoos.
So, to anyone willing to experiment and risk a few bad hair days, I highly recommend these soaps. Not only do they do the job they're supposed to do, they are a considerable improvement over conventional soaps and shampoos!
I really love the soaps soooooo much! I really liked the smell of the shampoo bars and the concept was great, but it didn't work for me so I was left with two shampoo bars with nothing to do with. I decided that since the only difference between a soap and shampoo bar was the oil content (according to the site), I'd just use the shampoo bars on my body- it was a success! Right now, I'm using the nettle shampoo bar on my face and body and o m g- the two pimples on my forehead that looked as if they were going to become inflamed are now pretty much gone and flattened. My body is left clean without that terrible dry, tight feeling. The packaging for the soap is in little, brown paper baggies so it's pretty earth-friendly.
I'll be back at the site pretty soon to repurchase again. The Chagrin Valley soaps are generous in size and can last forever if you care for them properly. Give them a try if you're trying to go green and looking for an affordable way to do so.
I had been debating on trying several of these products for months. I finally ordered samples of shampoo bars, complexion soaps, bar soaps, lip butter, whipped shea butter, and the lotion bar. Overall, I am torn. The smell of the whipped shea butter and lotion bar are not good initially, but do dissipate. They are a bit greasy, but that is to be expected. The soaps all smell very earthy and natural, which I really tried to like, but just don't. The sea salt soap scratched my skin and made me itch like crazy, The shampoo bars were ok, but I just prefer liquid. The mocha lip butter is nice.
Overall, if you enjoy natural products definitely give these a try. The shipping was quick and the samples are very generous. Her site itself has a lot of good information and tons of stuff to choose from. I wanted to like the products, but most were just not a good fit for me.