By Elizabeth Walsh
Several years ago, before I really even thought about adopting a plant-based diet, I began switching my beauty products to cruelty-free, natural ones. Most vegans I meet start with changing their diet, and their beauty products are one of the last things they change; however, I have always been somewhat of a hippie at heart and have loved finding natural, simple products, as well as making my own. My initial quest to simply use more natural products on my skin has led me down the path to veganism- a path that I never expected to exist! It all started with this!
I could go on and on and share all the amazing (and not so amazing) products and recipes I have found and made over the years, but right now I just want to talk about one super special product: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. This “all-for-one-and-one-for-all” product really is magical. Their pure-castille liquid soaps are certified vegan, certified organic by OTCO, non-GMO verified, fair trade, and not tested on animals. Can you say perfect? There is complete transparency with not only their ingredients, but also what their company stands for. The liquid soap bottles are absolutely covered in words exclaiming what Dr. Emmanuel Bronner, the creator and founder of Dr. Bronner’s Soaps, believed in. Some of my favorites:
“Cleanliness is Godliness!”
“Whatever unites us is greater than whatever divides us!”
“Love is like a willful bird, do you want it? It flies away! Yet, when you least expect its bliss, it turns around and it’s here to stay!”
“For we’re ALL-ONE OR NONE! ALL-ONE! ALL-ONE! ALL-ONE!”
“If I’m not me, who am I? Nobody! If I’m only for me, what am I? Nothing!”
Dr. Emmanuel Bronner was a very eccentric, passionate person, if you couldn’t tell by those quotes. He truly believed in promoting peace, and the way he did that was through creating natural cosmetics. If you want to read more about Dr. Bronner’s life, which I highly recommend that you do, you can find a full history here. This company has deep roots in activism and philanthropy. It really is a beautifully compassionate company that I feel really good about supporting. Read more about the company on their website here.
So, like I said, there are several ways that you can use this soap. Lisa Bronner, one of Dr. Bronner’s grandchildren (her website is here), put together a list of dilutions for different uses. From washing your face to washing your veggies, this stuff can do it all.
So, what do I use it for? At the moment, I use it for body wash, shampooing, and shaving. Eventually, I will use it for everything that chart lists. I am slowly warming my roommates up to the idea of phasing out all our cleaning products (most of which are already natural) to use this “one-for-all” soap. I really love it that much. I dream of the day that I can proudly say all my cleaning products are one soap!
Here’s a soap hack for the shower: use a hand soap dispenser. I bought a cheap pump dispenser at the dollar store near my apartment and filled it with Dr. Bronner’s Almond Liquid Soap (my favorite scent at the moment). For body wash, I just squirt about 5 pumps on my loofah and lather it up.
Another hack: a plastic cup. For shampoo, I squirt 5-7 pumps (the ½ tbsp the cheat sheet suggests) and fill the plastic cup up to about ½ cup. I just slowly pour it on my head and work it into a lather in my hair. So easy! I’m looking into getting a collapsible cup so I can bring this with me with I travel as well. For conditioner, I don’t use the liquid castile soap, but I DO use a Dr. Bronner product! I use their Organic Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse. My hair feels and looks amazing. Is it normal to be in love with your hair care routine? Because I really am!
One last hack: don’t use the peppermint soap for body wash. It smells refreshing and feels very refreshing… a little too refreshing for certain areas of your body, if you catch my drift. That’s why after several weirdly tingly showers, I opted for the almond scented soap.
Now that I have (hopefully) sold you on this amazing soap, you’re probably wondering where to buy it! Well, Amazon is of course always an option. You can also purchase things directly on the Dr. Bronner website. For stores, these products are carried in most health care food stores, including places like Whole Foods. They can also be found in unexpected places! For example, I just found the liquid soap in my local food co-op- the Bushwick Food Co-Op. They have a large case of it that you can use to refill your own containers at 54 cents a fluid ounce! That’s a good price, and it’s even cheaper for members of the co-op. Find out more about the Bushwick Food Co-Op here.
Long story short, if you’re looking for not only a product that is natural, but also simple, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are for you. I will continue to share with you my journey of using these soaps for every type of cleaning I do, and I’m sure I will continue to praise them. I hope you do too!