“ Brand: Wild-Olive / Type: Soap „
A month ago I found myself unwell with a horrid cold. Out came the garlic; out came the homemade soup recipes and my trusty Asda slow cooker. Water, herbal teas and a push to using an electric blanket again for cold nights aided by Olbas oil or Vicks Vaporub to scent the bedroom and unblock my sinuses replaced tea and coffee were duly actioned. Against all of this medicinal and extra treatment amidst the true beginning of summer, this is now the season where my combination skin changes once again. Dry patches, sore and red appearing straight after showering and a continual application of Dry skin creams combat dryness during the day as well as lending some light relief. Having to put up with a dreadful cold made my skin look really grey and tired looking, not to mention the red nose syndrome from blowing into too many tissues.
Whilst shopping at a local health food shop for more herbal remedies, I came across the Wild Olive soap company, whose products are largely additive, free and more natural pushing towards the boundaries of glycerine looking hand soaps with various additives inside them. Infact, the soaps are all square in shape and often, as the company state, mirror little squares of "fudge," rather than soap which I will agree with, when the company do state that the soap "looks good enough to eat." Not that you would want to, of course but their "Oatmeal and Vanilla," soap claims to be suitable as a natural exfoliant bar of soap and for 100g the cost prices can be costly ranging from £3-50 to £4-80 (Amazon.co.uk) per 100g although Wild Olive themselves sell 50g bars at £1-99 and £3-99 for the 100g respectively - though best to check for availability.
What appeals to me about this company's soap products however isn't just for the fact of the price you pay but for the superb quality that this company heap into their entire line up of naturally home made soaps - hey, they also make candles too! They also have a range of soaps for particular areas of care like facial care, men's soaps, mineral & botanical soaps to even soaps fit for use on dogs! The lady behind it all is called Julie Holmes and the company she owns promise a bit of luxury at a good value price.
The box that the soap comes in is a glossy square box that has a handy gift like idea behind it, dressed in white with a beige/pink insert tray and a leafy pattern. The outer box has Wild Olive's trademark green and white bands across a white background, whilst the product in terms of its promise claims to be able to scrub and exfoliate. When it is left out, the product's box also looks like an "old style country" home made soap when left in a bathroom. When the soap isn't in use, I put the soap back into the box even if it is made of thick, glossy covered cardboard. Leave the soap out however and its size can diminish quite rapidly whenever hot steam is near it; that is how natural this soap product is!
In use, Wild Olive Oatmeal & Vanilla has a very soft appearance despite the square edges from the start of use and measures 6.5 cm all round approximately with a depth of 2cm. It doesn't take long for the little chunks of oatmeal to come through the golden brown/cream look of the soap, and I quite enjoy using this soap on all parts of my body, not just my face where the size of this soap is best designed for. However, whilst the oatmeal bits soften well in the shower, the enticing scent of creamy honey and authentic vanilla come through quite easily and the shower becomes enlightened with a woody, cedar smell even if the soap's additives don't claim to hold anything like this. It could be the palm oil, or the olive oil that gives off the creamy, golden aroma, but each time I use the soap, it does make me smile somewhat. There is a hint of coconut, which is pleasing all the same, but it comes at the end of the soap's fragrant tones. Oatmeal by its very use removes dead skin cells and as the company claims, helps to make tired skin look fresh again. However, they are more secrets to the natural additives that this soap has:
Olive Oil: A natural oil that keeps blackheads and spots away as well as acting as a soft moisturiser.
Palm Oil: An oil that is rich in antioxidants as well as Vitamins A & D, it normally has a fairly light consistency that doesn't block pores. Also moisturises well and when used in hair, leaves hair soft.
Coconut Oil: Makes an ideal oil to combat dryness and rough skin.
Further use as a shower body soap, Wild Olive's Oatmeal & Vanilla soap lathers up fairly well, which is always a good bonus and an aspect I feel peace of mind with, as some soap products don't lather quite enough when in use and everytime I use the soap I don't use it with a towel or a sponge - either lathering it up in my hands and applying to skin or soap-straight-to-the-skin gets the best results. Although lacking the usual "Dove" moisturised added softness, this soap doesn't leave skin rough-dry like traditional soaps can but it can be overly dry if you continue to rinse your skin over and over with water. Because it is so natural, the scent is lovely at the time but when towelling down or patting my face, the scent dies away a bit too quickly. When I washed my face with this soap however, I was delighted to find that the results were just as good as the overall promise.
Surprisingly, very little red patches on my face confirm Wild Olive Oatmeal & Vanilla soap is quite effective for exfoliation but also for the fact that it doesn't appear to dry my facial skin out. The dry and sore red patches around my nose have virtually vanished and my skin felt glowing after I had rinsed off with water. I've used the soap a couple of times, especially around the moustache line where black heads have disappeared upon continual use with it, and though not a soap that cures the pain of dry skin, I firmly believe the contents in the soap have relieved me of not so-serious dry skin conditions. If you have eczema or other more serious conditions of dry skin, then I wouldn't necessarily say this is a good rescue remedy - but it does do the job well of cleaning and exfoliating generally - without the need to moisturise large areas of facial skin later on compared to chemically enhanced soaps I've used in the past.
In terms of longevity, I've so far found this 100g bar lasts a month before fading away to nothing but a small sliver of a square. I'd have also liked to see information on the soap box to whether this product is dermatologically approved, even if the entire contents are available to view both on the website and the product. The only downsides then to this product are the sizes, the price and the availability. Against what other companies have however, Wild Olive is quite unique for being able to deliver a soap product that largely has no chemicals and no dangerous additives, and for the fact that the soap has proved to be of worth in use and just does what it says, coasted along by the wonderful natural fragrances on offer. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2011