Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scrub a Dub, Dub

Reviewing homeschooling products has been a great joy over the past few months. It is always fun to go check the mailbox or email and find a new surprise. You wouldn't believe my surprise when I opened a recent box to find soap.

Virginia Soaps & Scents was developed by a homeschooling family. It started as a school project and has blossomed into a great family business. They make handcrafted soaps from all natural ingredients. In other words, they make good, old-fashioned soap. In the letter that came with the soap, they claimed it to be very good for your skin and could even help clear up acne. That made me immediately skeptical. I have suffered from acne for about 20 years now. I have tried all kinds of products, including prescriptions. About five years ago, I found a product that I loved and that helped dramatically. I was not looking for a new product. However, since they sent it to me, I figured I may as well try it. WOW!!!!!! Now really, my face has been mostly clear for the past five years. The heat and humidity does not work well with oily skin, though. Add in a dab of hormonal issues, and I do still get quite a few breakouts. Virginia Soaps & Scents sent me three of their varieties of soap. The first one I tried was Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey. Within two days, my face was so clear that I hardly needed any makeup. I also received Coconut Lemongrass and Fresh Orange. I do currently have a couple breakouts, but still not nearly as bad as what it was before. When I order, I think I will stick with the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey. The other benefit, is that I have one bar that I use for my face and whole body. I do not have to have two different products, do not have to mess with opening bottles, and actually save water by taking shorter showers. Oooh, and I can't forget that it makes the whole bathroom smell yummy all day. The soaps are available online for $4.50 each or 3 for $12.

I also received from them a Ginger Lime Shampoo Bar. That one really baffled me. How does one use a bar of shampoo? Let me first say, that I have tried for years to find products to add volume to my hair and get it to cooperate with me. I decided, that if I was going to try the all natural shampoo bar, that I would need to try it without adding other products to my hair and just keep it all natural. I was amazed. After just the first washing, my hair had much more volume and I didn't have the need for gel or hairspray. I couldn't believe my eyes. It did point out the fact that I was overdue for a haircut. Once I got a trim, my hair cooperated even more. I can diffuse it and make it curly, use a round brush to make is soft and wavy, or straighten it. All the styles look great, and keep without using any other product. Unfortunately, I ran out and had to use my regular shampoo and conditioner this morning. My hair is once again out of control. I will definitely be ordering more and soon, possibly in some different scents. The shampoo bars are $5.50 each or 2 for $10.

But wait...there's more. I also received a kit to make laundry soap. The kit consists of a grated soap bar, along with a powder mixture of washing soda and borax. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, but just have not gotten around it. The kit made it very easy. I was a little nervous about how well it would work. I have some seriously tough laundry. My husband works outside in the Florida heat. His work shirts get just a little stinky (sorry honey). We have to buy the expensive laundry soap, or it doesn't even begin to take the smell out. My little one also still has some bathroom issues that make for stinky laundry. I was very eager to try the soap out on my laundry. The first load I did was the kids clothes. I really liked the clean, fresh smell. The next load was the stinky work shirts. It did not completely take the smell out. But to be quite honest, the expensive soap does not completely take the smell out either. So in my opinion, it did not work any better or worse than my normal brand. I think once I use up my supply, I will be switching to the homemade permanently. It is a great feeling to not use all the added chemicals and preservatives from the store bought products. The kit sells for $4.95 and makes 2 gallons of soap. They say this is enough to do about 64-72 loads of laundry. There are also other options for added savings, so be sure to check out the website.


Jill fraser said...

Wow a well written review that makes me want to purchase the product and make my own detergent! I am hoping they teach you how to make the Oatmeal, Milk and Honey bar in the book! I will be cooking that up!

CookieMonster said...

Hi! I lived in Florida for quite a few years and I had the same problem with my acne. I don't live in Florida anymore, but I still have an acne problem, it's just not as bad. Like you, I've tried multiple products with little success. I was excited to try the VSS in the hopes of helping my acne. I tried the two other soaps on my face first (I guess because of the scent) and I did not notice a positive effect on my acne. Because of those failures, I never did try to Oatmeal one on my face. Now I'll have to try it.

I have an idea for your stinky work shirts. Whatever laundry soap or detergent you are using, you should try soaking the shirts overnight. I run my washer with the lid open. This keeps it from draining out the soapy water. Then I push in the button on the washer, close the lid, and let the items soak for 8 hours (or overnight).

After that I turn the dial back to restart the load (and re-agitate the contents). If I need to, I'll run the stuff through the wash one more time (without the soak). It's a little bit of work, but the stuff (Finally!) comes out clean.