I am so happy to have found this! Originally it wasthe shampoo bars that people were talking about on THE LONG HAIR COMMUNITY and other hair places. This is an amazing company run by a woman named Ida in Chcagrin Valley Iowa, website CHAGRIN VALLEY SOAP. I tired the shampoo bars, summer sunshine, nettle and got the honey butter body soap, chamomille and candula, and goatmilk, honey and oatmeal bars! LOVE THEM ALL. Fabulous scents, all natural, no fake ingredients including scents that are all natural. Might be a little earthy for some. So sad, i just can't get on the shampoo bar bandwagon. I used for two months with vinegar rinses, and tweaked this every wway i could. I think that the Lake Michigan Water is just too hard in Chicago. I even sent for a free water testing kit(its hard to believe i can find time to do that, but not all the laundry at once!) and Chicago water is at the low end of very hard! Maybe if i get a shower filter....sometimes my hair would look goo, but it is unpredictable and requires tons of rinsing. If your water isn't hard, try them. People love the shampoo bars. Well, a big huge thank you for that company for introducing me to the wonderful benefits of coldprocess 3 to four week cured homemade natural soap! Love the info on website and am already having fun figuring out which soaps at Farmers markets i would like to try. If you use cold process all natural soaps, you will never go back to the nasty chemical soap bars with sls foaming agents. Great gifts, 5 usd or so a bar. I never thought i would use anything except liquid body soaps, now i can't imagine using anything else. Skin is so soft you actually don't need lotion! I still use it but...i love the lotions and potions. One last thing, make sure to store your handmade soap on a wood draining dish or elevated plastic soap saver, they sell inserts at Merz and online cheap. This soap must dry completely and be kept away from shower steam etc. Or will melt because of high natural glycerin content. Not to be confused with glycerin soap, which is nothing like this. Your bathroom will smell wonderful, as well any closets or drawers you tuck these soaps into! I like that people are going green and that some people realize that the more natural, old fashioned way of doing things stand the test of time. In a crazy world, you need a little pampering and goodness to self! Hope this helps anyone who hasn't experienced handmade soaps!EDIT: Should have read other reveiws first, i repeated info...sorry about that!
I love Chagrin Valley soaps! They really are a skin saver, esp in winter as these are very moisturising. My favorites are Olive & Shea (HG for me), Grapeseed Shea for face and also the Goatsmilk Honey for face, Peppermint Twist is a very refreshing minty soap - perfect for summer! Herbal Mist is also a favorite. These bars are HUGE! I always cut them in half before using. Also, please note that these soaps have a natural, herbal, earthy scent - which I love! If you prefer fragrance oil scented soaps, these may not be for you.
These bars are called soap, but, of course, they have absolutely nothing in common with the stuff that is named soap that you can buy in drugstores or department stores and that strip your skin of its life.
These are really solid cleansers made of lots of vegetable and nuts butters, herbs, vitamins, natural oils, natural glycerin + sometimes honey, aloe, oatmeal, etc. Carrot & Honey Complexion soap, Rhassoul & Yogurt soap and Avocado Oats & Shea Soap are my favorites for the face. In the past, I used liquid cleansers for my face, but then found out that these bars are doing as good (if not better) job for a fraction of the price. They not only clean well and leather nicely, but leave my skin amazingly soft. At some point, I even wondered if I need moisturizer after using this type of cleansing.
The only thing I don't understand about Chagrin Valley soaps is how come they smell so delicious and yet don't contain any synthetic fragrances. Anyway these wonderful aromas let you know you're using one of the world's finest natural soaps. How she is doing it, I guess it's Ida's secret :)
For me, finding soaps that are so complex, with so many beneficial ingredients that don't contain any parables or sulfates is like finding a gem!
Now, about the price: to my calculations, it's 4 times more expensive then a regular Dove bar, but: 1 - it lasts at least 3 times longer then Dove, 2 - it is a lot gentler and more nourishing for your skin, 3 - it won’t leave even the most sensitive skin itchy or red. That comparison is only for body bars. As to facial cleansing, Chagrin Valley soaps win even price-wise, hands down.
If you've never used real soap before, try their samples. After that, you'll never go back to the chemical-toxic ones.
Absolutely incredible soaps. My skin has never felt this good after a shower. Nicely scented and so moisturizing! I don't think I'll even have to use a body lotion until winter sets in.
idas soaps are simply amazing! she ships fast and packages her items very nice too, thats a plus. i have tried scarborough fair, shea complexion and herbal mist. they smell wonderful! the first wash was also a bit sticky, but once you got a good lather, repeating uses are not sticky. my skin is very happy with me after using her soaps, and i am natural soap junkie! the scents linger just slightly so you dont go around smelling like rosemary mint or whatever all day (though some of us wouldnt mind that lol). i also got my chihuahua a shampooch bar- all natural dog shampoo. he has very sensitive skin and her pooch bars are what drew me to her soaps. his skin is soft, flake free and his fur is very shiny. she uses oils in her pooch bars to repell bugs and fleas. he doesnt have flea issues but mosquiots do bite in the morning when we walk. not anymore! try them youll like them- there are scents for everyone!
EDIT: I recently tried her solid lotion bar in "3 butter"-i love it! It takes a few seconds for the lotion to sink into the skin, but my skin stays soft even if I wash my hands. It has a heavnely cocoa scent from the cocoa butter. Will repurchase to try other soaps and lotion bars!
I have loved Ida's soaps ever since I tried them back in 2005. First, something about the company: CS is great, Ida is so nice and she ships quickly.
The soaps are very earthy-smelling, so if you've mostly used products with perfume oils you may have get used to the scent of essential oils. I do not love the smell of all her soaps, but most of them! The quality is really top-notch, I've bought CP and HP soaps from more than 20 different soapmakers and Ida's are the best. Period. She uses lots of great oils and butters which makes for creamy, super-fatted soaps which doesn't dry out my skin even when it's dry and itchy in winter. As the soaps are also unusually large, you get a lot of value for your money.
I do not use her soaps exclusively, sometimes I want to lather up with soaps containing fragrance oils for example, but I always have at least one of Ida's soaps in my shower.
However, I do not use the shampoo bars. I've found that I really have to follow them up with a vinegar rinse (which is unpleasant to me since I hate the smell of vinegar!) and it strips my hair of dye. The shampoo bars work great as body soap, though, and that's how I've used them. (Just a tip in case you bought some and don't like them for your hair.) continued >>
I was searching on the message boards for some natural handmade soap recommendations and someone who produces her own homemade soap and knows a great deal suggested I try this company. I chose two full sized bars, one is a beautiful goatmilk honey oatmeal bar and the other is a creamy chocolate almond bar and they are HUGE. I also chose several sample sized bars which are very generously sized I might add.
The bars cleanse gently without overstripping my skin, the foam is incredibly thick, creamy and decadent so they are an absolute joy to use and smell gorgeous!!!
Shipping for 2 large bars and about 8 sample bars was only $11 usd from the USA to Australia which is VERY reasonable!! These were placed in a sturdy flat rate mailer and they arrived in perfect shape.
I would definitely place another order. continued >>
I ordered a bunch of samples of these soaps and the shampoo bars a few months ago. They all smell so delicious you want to eat them, or at least taste them. My favorite soap bar is the Honey Butter. I have very sensitive skin that is both oily and dry and tends to get ruddy from just about anything. When I wash my face in the shower with the Honey Butter bar, even using really warm water, I come out with a fresh and rosy face instead of looking like a ripe tomato. I've also tried the Rose Clay, which I like a lot as well, and the Rhassoul Yoghurt (I can't remember what I thought of that one). As far as soaps go, these are excellent – very gentle on even the most sensitive of skins and with a nice and creamy lather. The price is good and shipping to Sweden was really fast. Highly recommended! EDITED TO ADD: I used the Rhassoul & Yoghurt soap last night. It's excellent, leaves my skin really clean but not stripped in any way. When I woke up this morning my face was a lot less oily and looked fresher, somehow. I just placed a new order...
This has been the greatest discovery of my life!! Before I started with Chagrin Valley bars, I had bad eczema and dry skin around my mouth and cheeks and when I smiled it cracked into my skin which then gave me horrible laugh lines. My skin was dull and flaky and terribly patchy and discoloured. When I started using the Chagrin Valley soaps the first thing I noticed was how comfortable my skin felt, no tightness or stinging or soreness at all which had always been the case after every shower! In two weeks my eczema had disappeared completely but my complexion was still a bit patchy and discoloured. After 4 or 5 weeks my skin did a full turnaround and became perfectly even, smooth, soft with a beautiful foundation like glow!! Its amazing, my mother was once asking me why I was wearing foundation around the house and I wasn't!!!
My favourite CV soaps are the chamomile & calendula, goatmilk honey oatmeal, dead sea spa, cucumber lime yogurt, honey butter, herbal mist, honey beer, chocolate almond and castile & calendula!!
They also do amazing natural shampoo bars and my favourite is the honey beer & egg.
All CV soaps are 100% natural and are scented only with pure essential oils, they lather thickly and beautifully (except the castile soaps which give a silky lotion type lather) and smell wonderful! The predominant smells are herbal which I love. And they're cheap too!! Between $5.50 and $6.00 for a full size bar which lasts 45 showers with a washcloth. So a huge bargain! To ensure your bar lasts long, always keep it away from the shower stream and allow it to dry between each shower.
The discovery of natural hand made soaps has been such a revelation to me! You CAN actually have a shower/bath and feel wonderfully fresh and soft with no stinging or itching and have wonderful radiant comfortable skin as a result!!! Chagrin Valley soaps are the BEST products I've ever used on my skin and I will always buy them for as long as they're available!!