Liquid Soap Is Learning to Love Your Hands


What’s the difference between hand soap and body soap?

My opinion is that there shouldn’t be any. I respect the skin of my hands just as much as that anywhere else on my body (after all, finger-tips are in charge of one of our five senses). But conventional wisdom seems to be that liquid hand soap should be harsher, more aggressive. That doesn’t sound very wise to me.

In Sarah‘s words, what we need is a soap that feeds the skin – natural, sustainable, effective but gentle. (Feeding, yes – intoxicating, no). So we’re talking about Castile Soap, produced purely from vegetable oils. Dr. Bronner’s range is a market leader in the States, with a tagline that confirms everything I think about good soap – “All-One”. Reviews? Glowing (here’s Adam’s, over at Life Goggles).

In the U.K., we’re big on two brands of eco-friendly liquid soap – Ecosoapia and Ecover. I’ve no hands-on experience with the former (which enjoyed a lot of media attention in the first half of 2007) but I’m a fan of Ecover, which leaves my hands feeling and smelling like they’re freshly laundered.

Don’t take my word – test them yourself! A stockist of both Ecosoapia and Dr. Bronner’s is EcoHip – for example, the peppermint Ecosoapia variety costs around $12, and 16 oz. of Dr. Bronner’s Pure Almond Castile Liquid Soap is around $13 (note: this soap is better value than it looks, since it’s thick enough to water down and still remain useful).

Image: B.G. – Oodwin

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.