Glycerin Soap: the Sweetest Way to Lather Up


We know that the artificial preservatives and detergents in mass-produced soaps are bad for our skin and the environment. (They’re also horrible for any unfortunate tastebuds that get in the way.)

I’m currently trying out some of Strawberry Hedgehog‘s range of natural vegan soaps, made from plant extracts and oils, and a few days ago as I lathered my face up I got some in my mouth. If this had been a detergent-based soap I would have grimaced and fumbled for a glass of water – but these soaps are made with olive oil and glycerin, a sugar alcohol obtained from natural fats and oils. Industrial soap-making removes excess glycerin so it can be used in more expensive skincare products, because it’s terrific for the skin. And it’s sweet. You’d be a fool to lick a bar of soap, but if some of this sneaks into your mouth when you’re showering…not a problem.

It’s a sign of what a different world these oil & glycerin soaps are. They’re a delight for the senses: gorgeous colours, a creamy texture embedded with flecks of herbs or spices, and an aroma to die for. This week I’ve been trying out the cucumber & mint and cucumber & ginger varieties – both wonderfully fresh and distinctive – but as I suspected it would, the tea tree & rosemary soap stole me away to a better life. Truly superb.

Note: If you’ve never used tea tree oil products it’s important to test them against your skin first – in a very small minority of cases this powerfully anti-bacterial essential oil can cause an allergic skin reaction.

Glycerin soap? Consider me a fan.

Further reading:

Interview with Strawberry Hedgehog’s founder Tracy Perkins

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.