Ok, so I am pretty sure that you have all heard of Dr Bronner before right? Or at least heard of ‘Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap’, and of course seen that super crazy labelling. But I mean, do you really know who Dr Bronner was?
You might have seen a certain photograph of Bronner floating around on the internet with him looking very much like something out of Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove – he was pretty much just as eccentric and quirky; we’re talking being institutionalised and escaping a mental asylum, gathering a large following of his ‘All-One-God-Faith’, filming a documentary all about his life, and even public crucifixion, in aid of his peace plan, for good measure. But those glasses weren’t just part of his eccentric persona, Bronner was actually fully blind.
Dr Bronner was a third-generation Jewish chemist and master soapmaker whom fled to Milwuakee at the very young age of 21 during the rise of the Nazi Holocaust in Germany. He began to consult for American soap companies before making his own castile soap by hand. The Bronner family had earlier created and commercialised a castile soap in Heilbronn, Germany and it was there that Bronner had learnt his trade.
After the loss of his parents to the Holocaust and the death of his wife Paula in the 1940s, Bronner placed his children into foster care and began to devise his 30,000 word peace plan – a vision and philosophy wherein Bronner believed that we were “All-One” and united in humanity here on “Spaceship Earth”. This ‘All-One-God-Faith’ was born alongside his ‘Moral ABC’. After handing out free bottles of his soap at his sermons he realised that people weren’t listening to him but rather turning up for the freebies and so he began to print his Moral ABC on the labels to convey his ideologies further.
Dr Bronner was so eccentric and so indisputably interesting that I could actually write a 4000 word article specifically all about him, sadly (or not so sadly) I am here to write a review of his gorgeously sublime Organic Lavender Shaving Gel instead.
I have always suffered when it has come to shaving, I can never quite find the right product to use; back in my chemically enhanced days I used to use shaving foams but I often found that they just left my legs stinging, dry, and clogged my razor up like no tomorrow. I also found that I was more likely to cut my skin because I had to apply more pressure just to scrape through all of the gunk. I then moved on to shaving oils but these just seemed to have perfumes in that left my skin stinging and left some very unattractive scum clinging to my nice and white bath tub. Not a sexy experience at all. Since dropping the chemicals I have been using coconut oil to shave, I even tried using my body butter to shave, but I end up with a clogged razor that I have to smash off of the side of a bath tub a million times just to free up the debris. It also leaves hairs sticking to my skin and the dirtiest and slippiest bath tub ever. I have been craving something new to play with, something just perfect that lets the razor glide and doesn’t destroy my bathtub – and I think I have found just the perfect thing!
Dr Bronner’s Organic Lavender Shaving Gel doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients whatsoever! Hurray!
One of its main ingredients is organic shikakai; seeds from the pods of the South Asian tree known as the Acacia Concinna. Shikakai is used in India as a conditioning shampoo due to its low pH which doesn’t strip natural oils from hair. Bronner uses organic sucrose and white grape juice to extract the shikakai powder in and it is these three ingredients that gives the gel that super silky smooth glide that I have been missing so much, and as sucrose and grape juice are both humectants it means that it locks in moisture preventing that awful post shave razor burn and dry skin. Bonus!
Of course the shaving gel also contains the signature Bronner pure-castile soap blend of; water, organic coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, organic olive oil, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, citric acid, and tocopherol. These ingredients act as an emolient and aid in lifting the hairs making the shaving experience efficient whilst also being so gentle that it doesn’t dry the skin out. Don’t worry though the potassium hydroxide isn’t dangerous and it is part of the saponification – only trace amounts, if any, are left at the end of the process. Corn starch is added to thicken the mixture into more of a gel like consistency and organic lavender oil is added for that lovely relaxing scent.
When I first squeezed the shaving gel into my hand I didn’t know what to expect, a brown transparent ‘gel’ which at first glance appeared to be more of a ‘syrup’ like consistency but was in fact a little thicker. It was smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. When I massaged a generous amount into my skin it began to lather, a gorgeous lavender scent burst into the air coupled with subtle grape undertones – I felt utterly delicious! I grabbed my razor without hesitation and to my amazement the razor glided along my skin, lifting and removing all of my hairs gently yet efficiently in one stroke. I barely had to apply pressure. But what about the clogging problem? Was my razor bunged up to the brim? No, no it wasn’t and much to my delight it only took one quick swish in the water to remove any build-up or debris. When I pulled the plug my bath didn’t look like it had been hit with a bomb of gunk, this is because although castile soap is oil based it isn’t actually oil – it is soap.
What I love the most about the Dr Bronner range is that it is 100% organic, uses certified fair trade produce, and is vegan (bar the lip balms that contain beeswax). The organic sucrose, coconut oil, and olive oil in the shaving gel range are all fair trade. The company ethos is so lovable, and even I have to say that I have bought into the ‘All-One’ ethos myself, I mean how can anyone not want world peace right?
The packaging of the product is high quality, the purple colour is super vibrantly eye-catching but not so vibrant that it gives you a headache when you look at it. The screen printing is high quality, the fonts remind me of a hybrid of those typically used in the Torah and Bible, completely unsurprising considering Bronner was of Jewish and Christian descent. The logo – the planet earth with two different coloured hands shaking, is actually the smallest feature on the product itself which I think is just so rare to see these days, but very reassuring.
The lavender scent is just one of 5 in the range, you can also find; Lemongrass, Baby Unscented, Spearmint Peppermint, Tea Tree. No ‘Baby Unscented’ is not for shaving babies (at least I hope it’s not) it purely just an unscented shaving gel. The gels come in brilliant squeezy tubes which mean less mess and more value, and are only available in one size – 208ml/7oz. At a mere £7.29 a tube you will find that you are likely to get around 3 months use from it if you are a lady, if you’re a gent this will probably be more like 6 months. Super value if you ask me!
So what are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a tube, turn off the lights, get some candles out, whack on some good ol’ Al Green, and get shaving for some super sexy smooth pins!!!
Keep your eyes peeled for my next Dr Bronner review where you can jump on board my hair raising journey!
If you’d like to keep your eye on the latest and greatest of what Dr Bronner has to offer then check out the links below: