By now, you’re all well aware of how I love natural things. Natural foods, natural cleaners…and natural soap (maybe you didn’t know about that part). I am a natural soap junkie. If I had the money for it, it would be the only soap I use. I’d like to tell you a quick story of how a visit to a historic site led to me loving natural soap.
I was about 15 and my grandparents took me to a historic site. Time and poor choices have fuzzied up the memory, so I can’t be sure where it was. It was either the Cloister in Ephrata or Hopewell Furnace, I believe. You know the kind of place. Where actors dress up and fall into a colonial character and pretend not to know what a TV is…well, they had demonstrations on spinning flax, shearing sheep (which I already knew how to do, thank you very much), and soap-making. Now, they made their soap back in the day with rendered animal fats, lye and such, and this place stayed true to form. I bought, from the gift shop, two bars of their soap. One was lavender and mint (My favorite, it disappeared in about two weeks) and the other was anise.
Sara, the charming owner of Tin Roof Soap Co., sent me her business card with a little note on back. She’d read my post on Noxzema (put the Noxzema down! Seriously!!!), and here is the note she wrote me:
Thank you for taking the time to review my soaps! I have enclosed the What’s On Tap? beer soap, as well as a Morning Muffin soap – I saw your blog post on Noxzema and I’d like you to give this face soap a try. Noxzema has known carcinogens (*insert me nearly spitting out my tea…say whaaa?!*) Let me know what you think! Best wishes, Sara.”
First off…I am very fair-skinned. I’m already at a high risk for skin cancer, so anything with a carcinogen in it is a no-no for me. (*sob* Farewell, Noxzema…)
Secondly…I love the Morning Muffin soap on my face. The oatmeal in it gently exfoliates and the buttermilk and shea butter moisturize naturally. Did you know natural honey has antibacterial properties? I didn’t. But now we know. Direct from TRSC’s Etsy page, the listing for the Morning Muffin soap is…mouthwatering…it opens like this:
“There’s nothing quite like waking up to the smell of baking muffins. After hazily stumbling into the kitchen and pouring a cup of coffee with sugar and cream, you tear open a still-hot muffin and are hit full on with the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. Unable to resist, you take a bite of the muffin – the sweetness of the honey is perfectly balanced by the nutty flavor of the oatmeal and the tartness of the buttermilk. You enjoy another muffin and slip into a goodness-induced coma…”
I don’t know about you but I almost went to go eat my soap! This is a really wonderful little soap. My face felt so refreshed, smooth, and healthy, much like Noxzema leaves it feeling, but without the cancer risk. It’s become my daily go-to for face washing.
The “What’s on Tap? Beer Soap” is made from…you guessed it…beer! Sara and her husband are homebrewers, and she makes soap from whatever beer they have on tap that month. This month (August), it’s a summer ale with coriander and crystallized ginger. I showered with this soap. I washed my hair with this soap. My skin felt wonderful, moisturized, and smooth. I even used it to wash my hair, as on the “What’s on Tap? Beer Soap” Etsy listing, it says that many people use beer as a hair rinse. This was a new experience for me, as I’d never used any type of bar soap on my hair. It was a little awkward lathering up my hair at first, but I got the hang of it. But boy oh boy…my hair was so soft, easy to comb, and it even held the gentle wave I put in it. I have naturally shiny hair, and this really brought that out. My natural highlights were even more pronounced. I’m not a huge fam of really smothering floral scents in my hair, so this soap, which smells like hops, but just barely, is perfect for me. You could almost call it unscented, the fragrance is so subtle…I love it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Merry, why would I buy natural soaps when I can get the same results with stuff at the grocery store?”
Because unnecessary chemicals suck eggs and we’ve grown too dependent on them without being aware of the long-term dangers and the havoc those chemicals can wreck on our bodies. Before all these chemicals to make big lathers, before chemicals stripped our skins and bodies of any and all bacteria, good and bad, our ancestors made stuff the old-fashioned way, with natural ingredients. Now we scub all the bacteria away. We medicate with antibiotics at the slightest sniffle. I hate to say it, but the Wench-in-law is a prime example. She gets a little allergy attack and suddenly she’s all “I had to go to the doctor, I have a sinus infection, I’ve been on antibiotics for weeks.” We wonder why we get these super-strains of bacteria, like MRSA, and it’s because we kill ALL the bacteria, including the good ones that USED to keep the bad ones in check. I’m all for modern technology and modern medicine…but why do we need these super-sterile environments? Have we become so lazy and uncaring as to think that all these chemicals that we use to clean, to preserve, to medicate, are actually safe? Not all of them are. Most of them are in fact, very dangerous.
Let me get off my soapbox (no pun intended, haha) here, because I could write a whole post on that. But what Sara has done is use natural ingredients with the same cleansing properties as these harsh chemicals, and she makes soap. It seems so simple, really. Such a little step. But it’s a huge step. If we all started using natural soaps, we would, at the very least, allow our bodies to return to doing what they do best: use good bacteria to keep the bad in line. Because we are COVERED in bacteria. ALL THE TIME. Some of those bacteria are essential to normal health.
Long story made less long, I love Tin Roof Soap Co., and I think you will too.