How is it that soap became a such a lifestyle product in recent years? Isn’t any soap or body wash good enough to clean yourself? Yes, obviously, any soap is fine and cheap soap is not necessarily bad. But, then again, soap is something we use several times a day, every day. So I definitely do care about the products I use.
What I look for in Soap
There are mainly three aspects to this. First of all, the smell is super important. I bet you know the situation: you wash your hands and many soaps, especially those at some restaurants or bars, leave your hands with the ubiquitous smell of synthetic vanilla or rose. Now every time your hand comes close to your face – which will unavoidably happen every time you drink or eat something – there it is again: that smell. It can truly spoil any food or drink. The same happens when I use any body wash that smells cheap or weird. While my surroundings might not even realise it, the scent just stays with me for the whole day.
Secondly, I do prefer natural products, preferably organic, that will leave my skin healthy and balanced. I have quite sensitive skin. Anything containing parabens has been banned from my bathroom cupboard for a long time and I am still learning about all the different ingredients in beauty products and about the effects they have on the body and the environment.
Last but not least, cleaning my hands, my face, my body, to me has become more and more of a ritual. It definitely does not only have a physical, but also a psychological effect on me. In the mornings it will help me wake up and get ready for the day, in the evenings it will calm me down. Every act of cleansing can have the effect of a mini spa-treatment if you dedicate some time to it and use products you really love.
Two Soaps I Covet
In the past, I have mainly relied on Aesop products for cleansing, but at the moment I am trying to mix things up a little and try new stuff. Especially since Aesop products don’t seem to be as natural as they claim to be. There are two brands of soap I find especially intriguing at the moment:
1. Binu Binu Soap
Even though I have yet to convince the boyfriend of the practicality of soap bars, I am super intrigued by Binu Binu Soap. I have not yet been able to get my hands on a bar of their soaps, but I am really into their philosophy and overall aesthetics:
The makers of Binu Binu Soap claim to have been inspired by the ritual of the Korean public bath and all their products are made of 100% natural botanical ingredients and essential oils. The soaps are all fragrance-free and don’t contain anything that is bad for your skin or the environment. The brand itself appears very simplistic, down to earth and the products are not too pricey. Plus, their clean cut bars of soap look absolutely stunning:
While Binu Binu Soap House is an American product, the second product I want to mention is produced in my hometown Zurich. Soeder started out as a concept store in Zurich and Basel selling a selection of beautiful, practical and sustainable products, often designed by themselves and produced in Switzerland and Europe. When they tried to find the perfect soap to use for themselves – and failed – they decided to open Soeder Seifenfabrik, where they produce their own range of soap and other skin care products.
All of their products are made of organic ingredients and come in a range of scents. Another big plus: when you run out of your Soeder soap you can bring your glass bottle to one of their stores and get a refill. Something I have been missing with many other skin care brands. And again, this is also a very pretty product that fits perfectly in every bathroom: