Review: Friendlÿ Soap


One of the fun aspects of being a blogger is being able to review products and media etc. either after being requested to do so by a company or simply by choosing to do so as part of an ongoing blog.  So it was that I sought to review a new product.  This interest in reviewing started a while back when I was involved with reviewing an online toy shop.  The shop was seeking reviews so I decided, for the sake of trying something new with the blog, I’d give it a try.  The thing I found actually quite rewarding was that I really had to think about the products that had been sent to me.  I had to think about where they had come from, the delivery times and packaging and I have to say, it was actually a surprisingly fun exercise.

It was with this in mind that I offered my reviewing services to a selection of companies and the first product I am reviewing is soap.  I know, I know, you’re wondering if it’s a gag.  You’re wondering how I could possibly get excited about soap, well, try not using it for a week and let’s have this discussion again, shall we?  Besides, this isn’t just any old bar of (multi-corporate run of the mill “may have come from the same ingredients tub as your average high street burger or could be used to bleach your patio with”) soap!  Oh no!  This is Friendlÿ Soap.  So, put the kettle on, settle in and let me tell you all about it.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin.

BEFORE I TELL YOU ABOUT FRIENDLŸ SOAP, LET ME JUST START WITH A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOAP:

  • It is widely believed by archaeologists, historians and Neanderthologists (It’s a real word, I should know because I just made it up) used rocks as primitive forms of soap. It is theorised that this is why Neanderthal’s foreheads are so thick and pronounced as, having washed with rocks, Neanderthal man would often be left unconscious for several days.  Modern thinking is that this may be the evolutionary reason why men, and especially adolescent men, are so reluctant to wash.
  • In the early 1880s it was discovered that some tree saps could be used effectively as soaps. This improved hygiene awareness but proved unsuccessful in the long run as trees were too difficult to fit into bathroom cabinets and a lack of material for big enough washbags proved too costly.
  • In 1960, UK citizens themselves became tired of lack of Government support in tackling personal hygiene issues. Local communities tackled this by organising small groups (members of which were known as scrubbers) who would patrol the streets in search of bad neighbourhood hygiene.  Effective organisation and robust awareness campaigns increased popularity in these schemes and this in turn led to the formation of the original Neighbourhood Wash schemes.
  • During the 1980s, interest in personal hygiene again waned but the UK government eventually stepped in and, with the support of comprehensive television network support, mainly from the BBC, the government began a long-term serialised awareness campaign which showed the ordinary lives of downtrodden families desperately trying to improve their circumstances and clearly in need of a good wash. This campaign would later become to be known as Soaps.

OKAY, SO THAT’S MY OBLIGATORY NONSENSE OUT OF THE WAY, LET’S GET DOWN TO THE PRODUCT.  IN FACT, NO, LET’S TELL YOU A LITTLE ABOUT FRIENDLŸ SOAP ITSELF FIRST:

Friendlÿ Soap is made by cold pressing.  This leads to there being no by product and also allows the makers to be more selective about their ingredients knowing that all of them will be fully used within the product.

Friendlÿ Soap is not only registered with the Vegan Society but they’re also registered with Cruelty Free International.  Now, I’m not an expert in these matters but my understanding is that Cruelty Free International don’t just give out endorsements on a whim.  They ensure that the products that carry their name do not cause harm to animals in any way.  This seems to sum up the ethos of the guysCruely Free International at Friendlÿ Soap as they’re clearly looking to make a great product with only natural, environmentally, animal, and indeed skin, friendly ingredients.  And, call me old fashioned, but in a world where even the “Healthy meal” options are often full of more fat and sugar than the usual option, where fast food chains use plastics and other synthetics in their foods, and where the amount of pollution and animal cruelty companies create and which often goes unnoticed or unchallenged, I welcome a little ethics for a change.

OKAY, SO A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME (BUT ONLY BECAUSE IT’S RELEVANT TO THE TESTING AND REVIEW:

Ever since I was about 15, I thought I had eczema.  I’m 48 now and in all those long years I have been to Doctors, dermatologists, specialists of all shapes and sizes to find out what can be done about it.  This year, completely by accident, it turns out I don’t have eczema at all.  I never did have.  Instead it turns out I’m one of the lucky few in the world who are intolerant to Citric Acid.  (Please, if you think you have problem with your skin, don’t get too excited but do yourself a favour and go on a very strict exclusion diet for six weeks…who knows, it may change your life).  I only discovered this by accident and now keep away from Citric Acid.  Trust me this is very, VERY difficult as it’s in almost everything we eat, drink or use as everyday products.  And I mean EVERYTHING.

However, there are the odd rare companies, like Friendlÿ Soap, that sell a range of items that are ethically responsible, are Vegan (I’m only a lowly blue-belt veggie but I do think that being animal free and cruelty free is very important!) have a list of safe, environmentally friendly ingredients and that sell a range of items that do what they say on the box.  So let’s skip to the boxes then shall we.  (Feel free to insert Scooby Doo style wibbly wobbly transition here)

Please note: For the purposes of this review, I should say that many of the products do have citric acid in (which is absolutely perfect for most people except those with super-powers.  My super-power unfortunately being intolerance to Citric Acid) so I have had to enlist the help of Mrs Blogger to try out those ones.  I have tried, and am still trying, those without Citric Acid in them but this review covers all of the soaps, shampoo and shaving bar range as Mrs Blogger has tested several of the others and agrees with the findings in this review.

PACKAGING:

Simple.  Attractive, basic, functional and recyclable.  I like the packaging.  It avoids waste and includes everything you need to know on the box.  Oh, and it’s not cluttered with loads of ingredients and things because, well, there really Friendly grass lemongrassy are very few.  (Check your own soap at home.  See how many ingredients are in it and put your hand up if you recognise more than half the ingredients.  I know….ICK!).  I like the designs and colour choices if the boxes that each of these soaps are sold in and was also very satisfied with the packaging they were couriered in.

THE RANGE:

the-range-colours.jpgThe choice of flavours (No… I know what you’re thinking, don’t eat them!) is really quite impressive and I really can’t begin to tell you how good they smell when you open them.  Having had so many soaps delivered at once almost blew my head off when I opened them.  They are delicious.  Trust me when I say that I am confident that if you’re reading this review on one of the new Windows Scratch and sniff screens that you will not be able to resist licking the screen immediately.  (Please tell me that someone looks that up on Amazon after reading that last sentence!)

The soaps smell exactly as you’d expect them to (or at least would hope them to) and when used  this still remains the case.  The Lavender and the peppermints for example really do smell like you’ve got an incense or oil burner in the room.

The range - whiteThe range also includes shampoo, shaving bars and travel packs.  I have tried the Shea and am presently trying the Cocoa Butter.  I have to say that I am genuinely impressed with them so far.  I was previously using Goat’s Milk Soap and, though I’d certainly recommend that as being a really good alternative soap product for people using traditional soaps, I do find that it leaves my skin feeling very, very dehydrated.  These friendlier products don’t leave my skin like that and, though they do still feel slightly dehydrated, I am very happy with the results thus far.  The soaps themselves are very effective and also, I’m assuming because of the pressing process, they do not crumble and fall into lots of pieces of soap on use or break up into lots of “craggy” lumps.  I know, but I’m tired and I’m sticking with the word Craggy.

YEAH, BUT IS IT ANY GOOD AS A SOAP FOOL?!

Neddy - two soaps

In a word, yes.  I have used alternative or natural soaps in the past that, although very eco or animal friendly, were very unsatisfactory as a cleaning product.  The most common complaint I had with them was they just didn’t lather up or at least when they did, the lather seemed to be the only effective aspect of the soap.  I can say quite honestly that these soaps smell amazing, clean really well, feel good on the skin and lather up so as to be usable and effective as a soap should be.  Also, I’ve been using the latest bar for some time now and it’s not only retained its shape but has a lot of use left in it.

Pricing wise, I was actually quite surprised at how competitive this product is, especially considering the ingredients and hands on manufacturing process needed to create it.  It’s quite a bit cheaper than the other products I use and, if I’m totally honest, I may very well be switching to this as my go to product from now in.

When I was thinking of how I’d score it I began to weigh up cost, lathering avility, effectiveness as a cleaner, smell etc and will all the pros I can think of, I can’t actually think of any cons.  So, quite genuinely, for the ethical approach, the product itself, the manufacturing process,  the range and the amazing smell, for which it could have teamed this score alone, I’m going to give Friendlÿ soap, 10 out of 10.

10/10

I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH PICTURE OF A FEW OF THE AROMATIC SOAPS AVAILABLE AND LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN MY NEXT BLOG.

Soap - On display

For more information about CRUELTY FREE INTERNATIONAL, click: HERE

For more information about the Vegan society, click: HERE

For further Friendlÿ Soap product information, click: HERE

For Friendlÿ Soap’s Amazon page, click: HERE

In the spirit of open and honest reviewing, I should disclose that I was sent the above product free for personal review.  However, I have no affiliation nor did I gain financially in any way and confirm that any and all statements I’ve included in this review are based on my own genuine opinions.

If you have any, questions, feedback or views, please feel free to leave them in the comments section or, alternatively, contact me via: HERE