I don’t know what kind of soap we used when I was growing up. I remember Suave strawberry shampoo and Avon crème rinse conditioner, but I don’t remember the soap. Soap was like toothpaste…it never ran out, at least not that I could see, so I don’t recall the labels.
We must have used cheap stuff because we didn’t have a lot of money. I remember a particular soap episode from 8th grade. My mom was in the hospital for chemo (she had leukemia), and my grandparents were staying with us. Grandma used Dove soap, and it was on sale, so she stocked up. Our grocery budget was $20/week (for a family of four!), and the soap used up a good portion of the budget. My parents were quite upset.
When I was first on my own as an adult, I discovered the after Christmas sales at The Body Shop. I would buy lots of little fancy soaps…sweet smelling, pretty glycerin soaps, exfoliating soaps, and itty bitty guest soaps. But I never used them. I always thought they were too nice, “expensive,” or fancy to use, so I stuck with Dove. Eventually, I threw the nice soaps away.
In the last few years, my hands have gotten incredibly dry. The skin cracks and bleeds, and my fingers throb in pain. Using the ubiquitous antibacterial liquid hand soap appears to be one of the causes. This year, instead of trying to repair the damage (using lotions and creams), I want to address the cause of the problem by switching soaps.
I’ve been looking into natural soaps, i.e., those containing olive oil, goat’s milk, shea butter, and the like. I ordered a bunch of sample soaps from MoonDance Soaps & More, and I am in love! I haven’t actually used them for hand washing yet, though. I’ve been using them in shower…I figure I’ll use them up faster that way, so I can decide which ones I like the best and order again sooner. They have some wonderful holiday soaps, and I’m planning on giving some as gifts this year.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with all the Dove in the linen closet.