Review: Virginia Soaps and Scents

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A few weeks ago, I received a very clean-smelling package in the mail — it was from Virginia Soaps and Scents, a homeschooling, soap-making, family-run business based in — you guessed it — Virginia.  The Spargur family’s business started innocently enough — as a one-time school project.

The family enjoyed the project so much that they continued to experiment and, six months later, in 2008, their business began.  Today, they product a wide variety of products such as soap, lip balm, pet shampoo and a shampoo bar.  The products are made with all natural ingredients, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, and no added chemicals.

We received three different soap scents, a shampoo bar, and a make-your-own-laundry-detergent kit to sample.  We’ve had mixed reactions.  My older daughter, age 14,  loves the soaps and their scents.  My husband, who suffers from severe skin allergies, said the soap made him itch, though he did just try one scent and thought it might be the cinnamon that was making him itch.

I thought the smell of the soap itself was very strong, at first, but I think that it may have just been the fact that it was package with the laundry detergent ingredients because, after a few days the soapy smell wasn’t as strong.  I have noticed that the soap leaves an oily film on my body — which isn’t a bad thing.  It’s similar to using baby oil for dry skin and seems to have a similar effect of holding in moisture.  I’ve noticed that my skin is much softer and places where I tend to get dry and itchy (especially in the colder months) are staying soft and, well, not itchy.

I’ve waffled on my opinion of the shampoo bar.  It lathers well and is very convenient to use, but it leaves a strange-feeling film — not quite greasy — on my hair.  I thought, the first time I used it, that my hair was going to appear oily, based on the way it felt, but it didn’t and I didn’t have any trouble styling it as usual, with the exception of not adding styling products.  So, the strange-feeling film did not seem negatively affect the appearance of my hair, though I could feel it even the next day when I wet my hair again.

However, after a few days, it did seem to leave a heavy build-up that left my hair very greasy-looking and feeling when I washed with my regular shampoo.  Even after re-washing my hair that same day, with my shampoo, it still looked and felt oily and heavy.  Since then, I’ve been afraid to use it again, although it seemed to be good for my hair the first couple of uses.

I was a bit afraid, with my husband’s skin allergies and the fact that he said the soap made him feel itchy, to try to laundry soap kit.  I did finally try it this week, though, and haven’t noticed any problems.  It is supposed to be effective for even HE washers and, so far, it seems to do well in my washer.  The laundry soap can be produced for as little as four- to seven-cents per wash.

I know a lot of my readers will appreciate the fact that Virginia Soaps and Scents’ products are all-natural with no added chemicals, so be sure to check out their full product line, including their new Bed-and-Breakfast size samplers.  The 4.5 oz. soaps are available for $4.50 each, 3 for $12, buy 4 get one free or 10 bars for $35.  The laundry soap kit is just $4.95, and the shampoo bars are $5.50 each or 2 for $10.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I'd love to support a homeschooling family as well as the all natural aspect. I'm going to go check out their site.

  2. Kris, we use something they sell here in Japan called "soap shampoo". It is in liquid form, but I am sure it is very similar in make up to the one you are reviewing. I avoided it for a long time because of that strange "coated" feeling. My husband likes it fine as is, though.

    Through reading different blog posts about avoiding shampoo I got the idea of rinsing with vinegar. I just add a random amount to a cup (probably about 2-3 Tbs.), and add water to fill the cup and pour it on my hair. This totally prevents that build up on my hair.

    As long as I don't over do the vinegar I don't wind up smelling too much like a salad :-)! The vinegar also seems to bring out the red in my hair, which is an added bonus.

  3. That's something to think about, Sue. I really do like the way the shampoo bar makes my hair feel — when it's dry — the first day (especially considering that I didn't need to use additional styling products), but the build-up was just too much.

    I'll have to try following it with a vinegar rinse. That would have the added benefit of leaving it shiny, too.

  4. I’ve been using the skin cleansing and repair oil for years. i use it in the shower to remove make up, and then put a thin layer on before bed. I wake up and my skin isn’t oily. I swear by this product, although I suspect that the product had been changed . It seems to be whipped now instead of a denser oil.

    Never the less, I would recommend the product, as it seems to have made my wrinkles less obvious.

    Good job Terri!

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