The Suds Report Newsletter
Happy Spring! Here in North Carolina, it has definitely
sprung. I for one will be happy to say goodbye to dry
winter skin and hello to lighter, fresher warm weather scents.
We've added two new articles this month. First, read my review
Cowgirl Skin Care,
a truly original line from Colorado. Then,
check out some fun products to help you get in touch with your
Afraid of Commitment?
I've never really been one to shop at those "warehouse club"
stores where they sell salsa by the gallon and toilet paper in
60-roll packs. Likewise, I was a little hesitant about
committing to a gallon of cream or lotion. But when I
calculated the incredible savings, and considered that I could
use it on myself and my daughters, I decided to give it a try.
To get some idea of the savings, consider this: I
bought a gallon of luxurious body cream for $40,
including shipping. A gallon is 128 ounces, so this
translates into a price of $.31 per ounce. By
comparison, drugstore-brand Cetaphil cream-also a wonderful
product-is about $.69 per ounce. Fresh Soy Formula Body
Cream sells for close to $7.00 an ounce.
I invite you to "do the math" with your favorite body cream or
For me, an added benefit of buying these larger quantities is
that I tended to apply the cream more generously, since I was
not concerned about being "almost out!"
recently tried products from two companies: The African Shea
Butter Company (AfricanSheaButterCompany.com)
and Essential Wholesale (EssentialWholesale.com).
As its name suggests, the
African Shea Butter Company specializes in shea butter
products. They offer several variations, including shea
with cocoa butter, shea with mango butter, and shea with goats
milk and honey.
Essential Wholesale has a wider
selection, including cucumber lotion, hemp lotion, rose water
crème, shower gels and bath oils. In fact, shea butter
is one of the few things they don't have. They offer
sizes ranging from 1/2 gallon to 5 gallons.
Both companies offer
reasonably priced sample packs of their products so you can
try them out before purchasing a larger quantity. After
trying all the samples, I finally decided to order a gallon of Shea and Aloe Cream from African Shea
Butter Company. The gallon cost me $30, plus $10 for
weighed about 7 lbs).
One nice thing: the cream
was labeled "made January 2002", the same month I ordered it.
To help preserve its freshness, I am storing the gallon in my
refrigerator, and refilling a smaller tub as necessary.
Most of these products come unscented, which also works well
for me. I don't add any fragrance to the cream for using
on my children, and I can custom-scent mine in smaller
quantities however I choose. In my experience, the best
place to buy fragrance oils for scenting bath and body
They have an incredible selection,
and the descriptions are so, well, descriptive, that you have
a great idea of what the oil will smell like. Their
minimum order is $25, which means you'll probably end up
buying at least 4 fragrances. A little goes a long way
with these oils, so they are really economical.
I recently tried some mineral bath powders imported from Japan
called Tabi no Yado, which means "Traveller's Inn." These powders were apparently inspired by Japan's natural hot
springs and passion for bathing. They are imported by
Fast River Systems, a
company in Vancouver.
There are two series of powders: Moisturizing
Bath Series and Milky Bath Series. A "Series Pack" sells for
When my packet arrived, there was an information sheet in
English, but the envelope of powders was completely in
Japanese. By matching the characters on the envelope to
those on the information sheet, I figured out that I had the Yuzawa: milky white color with mountain cherry fragrance.
The small envelope was enough for my regular-sized bath tub.
It turned the water a milky white; no fizz or bubbles.
The scent was a subtle floral. To be perfectly honest,
there is nothing particularly original about this bathing
experience. But, if you value authenticity, this line is
definitely worth a look.
Meets New in Apothecaries
The April issue of Lucky magazine included an article
featuring a "Pro" (Tarte Cosmetics founder Maureen Kelly)
shopping for bath and body indulgences. To me, more
interesting than what she bought was where she
went shopping: C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, an ancient pharmacy
in New York's West Village. Said Kelly: "You feel like
you're stuck in a time warp - except they've got all this new,
had a similar experience last summer when I visited Merz
Apothecary in Chicago, a charming old-fashioned setting (that
really is old) chock-full of fantastic products from handmade
soaps to exotic imported goodies... it must be how my daughters
feel in the toy store.
So, here's the really good news for those of us who don't live
in New York or Chicago (and even those of you who do): both
stores have great online stores too. Merz' online counterpart
One of the greatest features of this site is the ability to
search for products in a variety of ways, including by scent.
Although they don't have pictures of many of their offerings,
the selection is impressive.
C.O. Bigelow recently went
online as well, with
BigelowChemists.com. They carry a nice assortment of
lesser-known lines, as well as some of their own products.
person or online, these two stores are definitely worth a
Congratulations to our March giveaway winner: Vanessa
Hubbard from Charlotte, North Carolina, who won a $25 gift
makers of handmade, natural goat milk soap, bath and beauty
April, we're giving away a trio of luxurious products from
LauraMercier.com: Creme Brulee Honey Bath, Spiced Honey Creme Body
Wash and Spiced Honey Luxury Soap. These goodies retail
for close to $100, so keep your fingers crossed!
In the next few weeks, we'll have a review of some
soaps. Later, we'll have articles on
kids bath products,
dessert-scented products, the Rachel
Perry product line, profiles of
small online beauty merchants,
handmade soaps and more.
Well, that’s about it for now. As always, please e-mail us with
any comments or suggestions.