Tuesday, 15 September 2009
San Diego Bath & Body Company
Well, the girls have been getting excited all week with the postman delivering loads of fantastic goodies for them to test and yesterday, it was my turn. As soon as I opened the package, the gorgeous smells and beautifully wrapped products had me oohing and aahing, poking and sniffing and declaring that tonight, the girls would be going to bed early so Mummy could have a pamper session in peace in the bathroom !!
We all know that natural and chemical-free products are the best for our skin - and our planet - but in my experience, I've found that that often means you have to settle for slightly less efficient products - the soap dries out too quickly, the perfumes are too weak, the bubble baths don't make enough bubbles. You often have to choose between ethics and luxury.
And that was what blew me away with these products - they smell, look and feel divine but ... I just double-checked on the website to be sure !! ... they are 100% natural ! On their homepage, they say : "Our products are made with the best quality natural oils, butters, seeds, petals, and other botanical ingredients we can find. We offer a full line of luxurious and relaxing products to pamper your body and refresh your mind and soul. They're a treat to the senses and a great way to wake up your body and renew your spirit. ... All of our products are handcrafted in small batches here in San Diego, California to ensure quality and freshness." Well, for once, I have to totally agree with everything they say. "Your skin is your largest organ so we believe in putting only nature's best on your body. The endless sunshine, beautiful coastlines, and clear, blue skies here in San Diego provide the natural inspiration behind our luxurious line of all-natural bath and body products." Well, there's nothing I can add to that, time to head to the bathroom for some serious pampering, oops I mean testing !
First up, the All-Natural Orange Blossom Body Scrub. I love body scrubs and the way they make you feel all refreshed after your shower with skin as smooth as a baby's bum, but they often feel a bit scratchy and leave your skin slightly sore and red afterwards. No-one ever said it was easy being beautiful, I know !! The body scrubs I've used in the past have mainly used salt as the key ingredient but the difference here is that they are made with organic turbinado sugar crystals. Not only does it feel super soft and luxurious, the fact that it melts away in the water means that it buffs away dry skin gently. It looks just like brown sugar and smells absolutely divinely of freshly squeezed oranges so keep it out of the reach of children or they'll probably eat it ! The gorgeous smell is great for waking up in a good mood in the morning ! The lovely nourishing oils do tend to sink to the bottom of the pot though, so turn the tub upside down a few times and allow it to sink through all the sugar crystals before use.
Next up, the All Natural Body Sprays - "perfect for a refreshing lift anytime, anywhere" ... "spray onto body for a quick refresher". There were two fragrances to test - Sweet Vanilla and Orange Blossom - but the ingredients, in a refreshingly short list (no nasty additives), were identical : witch hazel, purified water, grapefruit extract, glycerin, citric acid, natural scent. The Orange Blossom fragrance was slightly more acidic and less sweet than in the body scrub but it still smelt natural, uplifting and refreshing. Sophie told me I smelt just like a yummy ice cream when I tried out the vanilla one and coming from an 8-year-old, that's a compliment ! It's a summery relaxing scent that smelt so gorgeous, I reapplied it several times during the day just for that instant feel-good kick ! It has the same effect as a square of chocolate but without the calories !
And finally, the bath bars, both of which were lumpy and bumpy and uneven, which is a sure sign of a genuinely handmade product. With their beautiful wrappings, these would be great as gifts. As samples, having no names or descriptions on them, I decided to do a sniff-test and see how it compared to the write-up on the website. For the first one, I jotted down "smells of peppermint and a walk along a windy beach" - off to check, aha ! Must be the Pacific Ocean Bath Bar ! "This bar combines the refreshing benefits of sea kelp with the crisp, tingly, eye-opening scent of peppermint." How close was I ?! For the second one, I put "it smells of a fern-covered hillside after the rain". Very poetic but not quite as close, it's actually a Lavender Bath Bar. "The subtle, yet classic smell of Lavender is known for is ability to relieve tension, disinfect skin, and enhance blood circulation. "
All of the San Diego Bath & Body Company products are 100% all-natural and 100% vegan. I'll add to that 100% gorgeous and luxurious. You can buy online, use paypal, follow them on twitter or facebook, the co-founder/owner Christy is an absolutely lovely lady - there has to be a catch ! And there is ! At this time, they only deliver to the United States, its territories and Canada. BUT they do say on their website, "We hope to expand our shipping options in the near future" so keep your fingers crossed !!
star rating : 5/5
For more information and to buy online, if you want to treat your friends in the States ! : http://www.sdbathandbody.com/
**** please read additional info in the comments below, international shipping is now possible !