WHAT IT IS
A natural soap bar made from goat milk.
WHAT IT CLAIMS
According to the Chagrin Valley (CV) website,
We’ve taken our pure Castile soap and added 40% unrefined Shea Butter to create this buttery rich, mild, and moisturizing soap. Olive oil has been treasured for centuries for its ability to nourish the skin as it penetrates deeply to hold in moisture without clogging pores. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, Olive oil helps your skin regulate its natural moisturizing systems while allowing the skin to breathe. Natural Shea Butter is a great emollient. High in Vitamins A and E, it penetrates deep into your skin, to moisturize, nourish, and promote elasticity. It is excellent for dry, damaged, and maturing skin. We added finely ground lavender flower buds and a bit of castor bean oil to add even more moisturizing and a bit of lathering. The lather will still be silky, with fine, lotion-like creamy bubbles.
WHAT IS NOTEWORTHY
CV soaps are handcrafted from scratch by the owner, Ida, in small batches. She describes her soaps in her own words,
We use lots of real produce like carrots, cucumbers, avocados, apples and oranges. We use real chocolate, coffee, beer, tomato juice, and spices. Our floral soaps are made with floral infused oils and real flower petals! Our herbal soaps contain herbal infused oils and real herbs! Our fruit soaps contain real fruit, fruit juice, fibers, peels and zest! We do NOT use artificial preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colors, petroleum products, foam boosters, animal fats, or detergents. Our products are never tested on animals, other than our very enthusiastic human volunteers!
I was never someone who concerned myself with ingredients in the products I used. As I had mentioned earlier, my skin is very easy to please and has never given me any problems whatsoever. Then, a couple of years ago, I met this girl on the cloth pad livejournal community. As luck would have it, I found out that she was not only Singaporean, but also a good friend of my close friend. What were the odds of that happening in the virtual world? Anyway, this new friend changed my life. She introduced me to the world of natural products and mineral makeup that I never even knew existed.
I have used liquid soap all my life and love a rich, foamy lather that washes off cleanly without leaving an oily film on my skin. This made me initially hesitant to try natural soap bars, as I’ve read that they barely lather properly and don’t foam at all (a good thing too, as natural soaps aren’t supposed to contain synthetic detergents). Regardless, I made my first CV purchase after hearing said friend rave about their luxurious natural soaps. CV offers sample bars for all their soaps, so I didn’t have to worry about being stuck with a full size of something I may not like. After trying the sample bars, I was extremely pleased and made another order for the full size bars soon after.
I will state upfront that I am completely won over by this company’s customer service – the CV CS team (made up of Ida and her family, I think) are pretty darn amazing, as when I emailed them my order, they informed me that if I were to forgo a couple of bars, everything would fit nicely in a flat rate envelope and thus save me money on international shipping. I cannot tell you what a rare and special gesture this was – one that I appreciate so much in a company, and such a company would earn my trust and fierce loyalty.
When I first tried the Olive & Shea soap bar on my body, it gave a rich, creamy lather which washed off cleanly without leaving my skin feeling dry and tight. My skin felt so soft and moisturised! I went back to the CV website and read that Ida uses all her soaps on her face, so I tried it on my face the next night. I loved how smooth and supple my cheeks felt after a good wash. Since then, I have ditched all the commercial facial cleansers, and have been washing my face with CV soaps ever since. Unfortunately, I cannot bear to use CV soaps on my body (though I want to) due to the price, shipping charges and steep exchange rate, so I have since reverted to using chemically-laden liquid soap on my body and saving all my CV bars for my face.
I have tried many of the CV soaps, but I keep going back to the Olive & Shea bar for my face, as it seems my skin absolutely adores goat milk, olive oil and shea butter. The Olive & Shea soap is very gentle – mild enough for me to use it twice a day. I wash my face with it during my morning shower, and evening shower after removing my makeup. The lather is incredibly creamy and silky! Although the lavender flower buds are visible throughout the soap, I don’t feel them at all. There is hardly any scent on the soap. It smells very natural, if that makes any sense.
About 6.6 oz. The CV website explains that,
We aim for each bar to weigh a generous 7.0 to 8.0 ounces at cutting and 6.2 to 7.0 ounces (average size 6.6 oz) after curing for 7 to 9 weeks.
Sample bar – USD $2.60
Full size bar – USD $7.35 (It appears the price has gone up slightly, as I had purchased it for USD $7.25 back in 2011.)
You know how someone who works in the F&B industry is always extremely critical of the service they receive when they dine out? I feel like every time I visit the CV website, the professional side of me cringes as I spot all the big no-nos. The CV website contains a plethora of information, which can be extremely overwhelming for a newbie. Although there are a lot of links everywhere, navigation isn’t particularly easy or user-friendly. A lot of important stuff are hidden under various links and it takes quite a bit of time go through every page. However, CV is a family business and this isn’t a professionally-designed website, so I have to give them credit for the fact that they are very thorough, and I do appreciate the effort they put into making the website as informative as possible.
I also don’t think the CV soaps are cheap (especially when I have to take into account the exchange rate and how heavy the soaps are to ship internationally), but they are pretty reasonable compared to indie standards. These are very good quality soaps – creamy and luxurious. I will definitely purchase from them again and again – nothing but the very best for my face!
Disclosure: This product was not given to me by the brand for review purposes.