* Prices may differ from that shown
Once again, Ahava have come up with a body wash that puts all the others to shame. This newest line of shower products is called the "Mineral Botanic" line and is being touted as "velvety cream washes", which combine the minerals of the Dead Sea, a creamy textured soap, and delicate scents. What luck that I live in Israel where I got a sample of one of these, with a discount coupon. Of course, the sample wetted my appetite and as soon as I could, I bought my first bottle.
These new shower products come in three different types. They have a pair of soaps for normal to dry skin (in Orange & Frangipani or Grape & Avocado scents), another pair for very dry skin (in Bamboo & Pansy or Hibiscus & Fig) and a third pair for sensitive skin (in Honeysuckle & Lavender or Lotus Flower & Chestnut). In addition, they have a micro-peeling wash for normal to dry skin (in Water Lily & Guarana). So it seems they have something for everyone. The question is how good are they? Well, here's what I thought.
My first impressions of this new soap were very positive. First of all, this is really very creamy - almost exactly the consistency of a body lotion. But don't let that fool you. Unlike the Dermud which is far thicker than this, and has no suds at all, this cream wash lathers up like nothing I've ever used before. My little sample lasted me a full three showers by using an amount that was about the same as what I take from my shampoo to cover my very short hair. Even with this small amount applied directly from my hands, I got lots of bubbles. Of course, when I switched to using a bath puff I was rewarded with a huge amount of suds, using the same amount of product. What's more, there's something very luxurious about the lather here that feels far softer than their regular mineral body wash which I could only describe just as they have done - velvety. So as far as texture is concerned, this was an extremely satisfying experience.
The sample they sent me in the mail was for their Orange & Frangipani wash, but after sniffing every type they had in the shop, I ended up buying a bottle of the Lotus Flower & Chestnut with my discount. I have to say that the Orange & Frangipani smelled very nice - not too orangey or tart, and not overly sweet either. While you can smell the orange in this when you first start using it, the overall scent is very delicate. I have a similar experience with the Lotus Flower & Chestnut wash, where you smell the scents just as you start to use it. Neither of these seems to stay with you after your shower, which actually doesn't bother me at all - even if I don't put on a perfume afterwards. This means you won't feel it clash with whatever you spray on yourself after your shower. And if you're like me and hardly ever use perfume, you'll not feel forced to cover up the smell of this after you've dried yourself off. I can assume that the other flavours of this are basically the same, and while I found most of the other ones to be a bit on the bland side, none of them had any medicinal or chemical tones to them, which some Dead Sea products sometimes have. I generally prefer a shower wash to be powerfully scented enough to wake me in the mornings. Still, while I found these won't slap you in the face with their aroma, they do gently nudge you into awareness, which was a pleasant change for me.
Both of the types I tried made my skin feel very nice after my showers. While unlike the Dermud I didn't feel the urge to pat myself dry, I also didn't feel either of these dried out my already dry skin. However, I can't say there's a whole lot of difference between the one for normal to dry skin and one for sensitive skin, as far as how they made me feel after using them. Both did seem to hydrate my skin more than the regular Ahava shower gel, but not as much as the Dermud - which I think was to be expected. These also feel like the rinse off very nicely so I don't feel like I've got oil all over my skin, which is very important to me.
I should mention that these come in probably the ugliest bottles I've ever seen - all dark brown and boring looking. While the labels are nicely designed, these still aren't the types of things you'll feel you want sitting out on display when guests visit your powder room. But you should never judge a book by its cover, nor a shower gel by its bottle, so who cares, really, what these look like, right?
All things considered, I'm very pleased with Ahava's new Mineral Botanic Cream Body Wash. While not all the scents are amazing, they are pleasant and none of them are overpowering. The texture of the soap itself is a lovely creamy one, they leave my skin feeling very nice and smooth, and they have the softest, most elegantly abundant suds I've ever experienced. The only drawbacks are that the bottles they come in are particularly ugly and the price isn't terribly cheap (see below) - even for me in Israel (and even with my one-time discount). Since I can't really see much of a difference between the normal and sensitive ones, I think I'll give these four out of five stars, but still recommend them.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © March 2009
You can buy Ahava products through their webpage at www.ahava.co.uk and a 500ml bottle costs £15. They also have a catalogue for ordering by mail.
A body wash prepared with healthy Dead Sea minerals, Macadamia oil and organic plant extracts /