Okay, so as a wonderfully blessed member of the 2009-2010 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I received FOR FREE a package of handmade soaps from Virginia Soaps and Scents - with the agreement that I would use them and review them for you all.
Before my review of their line of soaps, here's some background information for you: I know just enough about modern soaps and cleaning supplies to be leery of them, but I haven't yet been ambitious enough to learn more or do much about it. I have stocked up on all that I need to make my own laundry detergent, but haven't actually made it yet. I have stopped using "drugstore" type of soaps and hair care products (actually I stopped this some time - and money - ago). And I clean my house with vinegar (except that stubborn stuff on the bottom of the textured shower) instead of toxic mainstream chemicals.
Enter Virginia Soaps and Scents.
They sent me a small "make your own" laundry soap kit. It came with everything but the water, including instructions for mixing it into laundry soap. (yes, God, I hear you)
I also received a Shampoo Bar (who knew shampoo could come in a bar of soap?), which incidentally, is a different shape than the body bar so that you can tell the difference in the shower (seems like they've been around the block a time or two).
Finally, I received three of their body soaps, each a different scent (I gave my 9-year-old first dibs on which scent she wanted - ain't I sweet?).
Okay, so now that you know why I am telling you about this product, what the product is, and how I came to know about it, let me tell you what you have been waiting for!
I love... no, LOVE, absolutely ADORE, am completely SOLD on Virginia Soaps and Scents!
The laundry soap forced me to try something I had been putting off, and it was so easy with their kit, so I may never actually get around to making my own from scratch! The clothes are clean, have no smell to irritate my husband's allergies, and have no chemicals in them to irritate my youngest child's sensitive skin. Incidentally, I no longer pre-treat any of them - just toss 'em in! Anyone want some of that in their busy life?? SOLD!!
Plus, the shampoo bar is amazing! To be perfectly honest, I was nervous about trying it since I have frizzy, dry, not-straight-but-not-curly hair and a dry, itchy scalp. I cautiously washed, then applied a bit of leave-in conditioner, but found my hair was actually a bit oily after 2 days (generally, I should go 2-3 days without washing my hair because it is so dry). So, I tried it again - only sans conditioner this time. Wow! I couldn't believe it: my hair was brushable, soft, and not too frizzy. In complete honesty, my hair actually did better with the shampoo bar after the 3rd wash (which makes me wonder what was on my hair from all my high-dollar salon products!), and now, my hair can be blown dry and brushed to be styled without headbands or pins - very unusual!
Okay, so on to the body bar soaps. (You sure you need me to tell you about this line? Can't you see the trend here?) My skin is clean, free of itchy, dry patches, and I do not smell like perfume. My husband's allergies thank us, our skin is happy, and I can use one soap for my entire shower - even my face! You ready for the really big deal?? That's right, I haven't even told you the most amazing things about Virginia Soaps and Scents yet! I used the bar soap on my face (the oatmeal one), and I had immediate breakouts. Now, for those of you who are thinking, "okay, no deal," let me tell you something you may not know: when you change cleansing products for your face or hair, there is a sort of purging session during which the new product gets the build-up and leftovers out of your system and off your hair/skin. So, I decided to wash my face twice a day for a week (by the way, I have never washed my face twice in one day - too dry - I thought my skin would flake off!). I got breakouts, they cleared up, I got new ones, they cleared up. After about that week, my skin was younger-looking, plumper (you know, more moisture), and was showing a minimizing of the fine lines I had been developing over the past year. I won't even tell you how much money this bar of soap is saving me in facial care alone.
Seriously, I plan on visiting their website for some Christmas presents so that my entire family can experience the freedom from detergents that I have been blessed with. As if their products aren't enough of a sell, this is a homeschooling, Christian family living in my home state of Virginia. Their soap making venture began as a part of their studies of Colonial times, which is where my kids and I are currently stuck - in complete fascination, mind you. I couldn't be more sold on the products, but the company itself - the family itself - also draws me.
If you want to see what other TOS Crew Members have to say about Virginia Soaps and Scents, click here. Enjoy!