Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review - Chagrin Valley Soap

I'd never heard of Chagrin Valley Soap but blog reader 'chickadee' left a suggestion in a comment on another soap review post, mentioning this company.  I looked at their site several times before deciding to go ahead and order.  There are so many soaps from this place that I want to try!  This is an all natural company, using a lot of foodie ingredients like honey, carrots, cucumber, and using essential oils, and natural colorants.  I had a hard time trying to decide on just one bar to order, not to mention all the other things available.  I was thrilled to find they offer sample sizes.  This allowed me to pick a few different things to try.

So what did I get?

If a soap maker has an Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey soap I am most likely going to start with that one.  Whether it's just a fragrance oil scented version, or the real deal with actual milk and honey and oatmeal, it just seems to be a favorite of mine.  So of course when I saw this Goat Milk, Oatmeal, and Honey at Chagrin Valley, I knew this was the one I'd be starting with.  Even though there is no added scent, there IS still a very nice, sweet, almost floral natural scent from the honey and other ingredients.  
I ordered the sample size bar, and even being a sample, it was huge.  It was thin, yeah, but it was like a big paddle of a bar in my hand.  And even though it was big, I quite liked it.  Because it was thin, it felt like I had great control, like I was just scrubbing with my hand.  Of course, if you prefer to cut your bars (I don't), it would be so easy to do with this.  I didn't actually weigh it so I don't know how many ounces it was.

It arrived in a small paper bag with a sticker label on it.  I thought this was cute and practical.  I'm not sure how the full sized bars are packaged.

I really liked this soap!  As always, I used this in the shower with a mesh bath puff, and my water is very hard (country well water) so results may vary for you.  This soap exploded into an immediate big bubbled froth in the first moments of using it on my body.  It then settled down into a thicker, creamier lather that easily lasted until the end of my shower.  The scent was noticeable, even for being an 'un'scented soap.  It rinsed easily and left me feeling very soft and moisturized.  

There is oatmeal in this soap, quite a lot of oatmeal.  I really liked it when the bar was large, it felt like a really  nice soft-scratch rub down (if that makes any sense?!), but as the bar got smaller the oatmeal felt scratchier and did become uncomfortable.  I ended up throwing the bar away before the end because it just got too rough, and that's too bad because I loved this soap.

As I do with all soaps I buy, I tried it on my face to test for dryness or tightness.  I had to be careful because of the oatmeal, and ended up lathering it on my little face scrubbie instead.  I did notice some extreme itchiness around my nose afterwards but I'm not ready to blame the soap.  I had also tried a different lotion that morning and may have had some left on my hands when I applied my regular face cream after washing.

Even with those minor setbacks, I loved this soap.  I'm looking forward to trying some other varieties next time.  The website says their bars are 6.5-7.5oz, and sell for around $7.35, depending on ingredients.  The sample bars are $2.60 each, and it looks like you can get a sample bar in any of the soaps they have in stock, not just limited to a few choices.

There are many other products on the Chagrin Valley website . . . shampoo bars, lip balms, scrubs, butters, dog soaps, and others.  It took me a while to decide what else I wanted to try.

Since I've been all about sugar scrubs lately I just had to try one of theirs.  This is the sample size of the 'All Natural Whipped Body Sorbet Sugar Scrub & Wash.' It is preservative free and even contains some of Chagrin Valley's own soap.  When I first opened the jar and looked at this I was disappointed.  I thought 'Ugh, it's one of those really dry, crumbly ones.'  But I was wrong!  While it is a more dry consistency than my favorite scrub type, it was not crumbly and hard to use.  It was 'wet' enough to scoop some out with my fingers and easily handle it where I needed it to go.  I was also surprised that what appears to be very large grained sugar was actually very gentle.  The sugar dissolved nicely, not too fast, but also not too slow in that you're scrubbing forever or washing it all away, and it was not harsh at all.  It was also  nice that the Chagrin Valley soap in there turned this scrub to a creamy wash as it was worked with.  It wasn't a bubbly lather like using regular soap, but it was more than just oils holding the sugar in the scrub.  I really liked that.  My skin felt fabulous afterwards, without feeling oily, and it did not make my bathtub slippery at all (as scrubs are often known to do).

Although it lists lemon, bergamot, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils in the ingredients, I really couldn't tell you about the scent of this scrub.  I thought it was unscented so I didn't pay much attention, although there was a subtle, lemony scent while using it.

I would order this product again.  A full jar is 10oz and sells for $12.95, but there are 1oz sample jars available for $3.00.  I used my entire sample jar in one shower but that might have been overkill.  I was just gungho to be trying something new.  The prices may seem high but remember, these are preservative free, all natural products.

I also ordered a sample size jar of the All Natural Whipped Shea Body Butter because I'm always looking for a good body butter/lotion.  I debated between the whipped shea and the whipped cocoa butter, and don't know why I picked the shea.  It looks so light and fluffy on the site and in this picture but as soon as I opened it I knew I wouldn't like it.  This is more of a 'hard' consistency, not hard like a balm or a solid lotion stick, but hard in that those apparently fluffy peaks are stiff and you have to sort of crush and scrape your finger across to get the product.  I've had this type of product before and it's just not the kind I prefer.

Let me say though, this product works great.  Why don't I like it then?  Well not only is it the slightly hard consistency that I don't prefer, but it is also the type that leaves you greasy for a short time until it finally absorbs.  Once the greasy is gone, the skin wherever you've applied it super soft and moisturized but if you're like me and just don't prefer this TYPE, then you won't like this product.  I thought maybe I could use it up on my feet and knees in the mornings after my showers, not have to worry about the greasy feeling there, but no because it's still greasy on my hands afterwards.  I'm going to try using it just to dab on my cuticles, see how that goes.  Again, not a bad product . . . just be aware of the type of product it is.

I had ordered the unscented version but there is still a natural almost nutty aroma that comes from the unrefined shea butter.  You can also order scented versions.  A full jar is 4oz and sells for $15.00/scented or $14.85/unscented.  There are .5oz sample size jars available for $4.75/scented or $4.50 unscented.

Shipping was fast, I had my order within days of ordering.  There were no samples or anything in the package.  I don't know if they just don't send samples or if it was because I'd only bought sample sizes to begin with.  I can't say anything about customer service because I haven't contacted them for anything, just placed my order without any questions.

In the end, I think I will order from Chagrin Valley again because there are so many other soaps on their site that I want to try.  And I thank blog reader 'chickadee' for the suggestion!

Chagrin Valley Soap . . . WEBSITE
Chagrin Valley Soap . . . FACEBOOK

(Don't forget to enter my February Giveaway!  Who is your celebrity
Valentine sweety?)


  1. Thank you for reviewing Chagrin Valley :)

    I'm a fan of Goat's Milk and honey, but not of oatmeal! I wish more companies would offer oatmeal-less bars.

    Think I'll be trying their Complexion soaps...probably the Carrot, Grapeseed well as a couple of their shampoo bars.
    Might possibly splash out on the seabuckthorn/rosehips salve too.

    Too bad about the shea butter though :/ I totally get what you mean about the greasy film.

  2. Oh, I am going to have to check this shop out! Have you ever tried lotions from A Joey Named Roo (on Etsy)? They make the FLUFFIEST lotion I have ever tried!

  3. Chickadee - Now that I think about it, you're right . . . can't think of many shops that offer a goat milk and honey soap without the oatmeal. And yeah, there are so many more soaps from Chagrin that I want to try. Thanks again for suggesting them. (The other you suggested was a disaster and I ended up not even ordering. Bummer.)

    Alyssa - I had not heard of that shop but I've marked it now and will be having a better look soon. Thanks!


  4. Yikes! Care to share? Even a post about difficulties you had with them (like the Haunt post) would be illuminating...

  5. Well, I've gone back to the site and tried again . . . and had more success this time. I have a small order on the way and will post about it soon.

    (The original problems involved lack of customer service and high shipping cost.)


  6. Ah. Their product prices are rather high too aren't they? Given the small size of their bars...

    Look forward to the review!

  7. Oh wow, I hadn't even noticed how small those bars are! *grumbles*


  8. Hey, I just noticed Aunt Nancy's shop ( ) has a goat milk and honey soap without oatmeal. It's lemon scented but I think that's still ok. This is going on my list!


  9. I love the ingredients that Chagrin Valley Soap uses in their products. Right now I combine honey beer soap with organic cotton wash cloths from for a soothing face wash.

    1. Those are some nice looking wash cloths.

      Thanks for reading. =)