Coghlan Cottage Soap Co. Review
I heard about this small company from a friend and wanted to check out her small batch soaps + shampoo bars. I found out their farm was only a short drive away from my house, so I made a trip out to visit a few weeks ago. Stacey, the owner, was so friendly and it was nice to talk to her a bit about her business making and selling zero-waste soap, solid shampoo and conditioner, as well as running a farm. Coghlan Cottage has a slow living philosophy that places a lot of thought, care and love into their business practices. Check out their family farm + mercantile where they sell fresh farm eggs, meats, and zero-waste home products!
Stacey gave me a few samples of her solid shampoo bars, conditioner & facial bar to try out. I took home samples of the Refresh Rosemary Mint, Vintage Rose and Lemon Cream solid shampoo bar, as well as a Rosemary Mint solid conditioner sample and Fraser Fog soap bar sample. Those samples actually lasted me a good 2 weeks so I was able to try them all out.
Now that I've decided to change my lifestyle around to one that is more mindful of the environment and reduce waste wherever I can, I started with the products I use on a daily basis: personal care & hygiene products. I have sensitive combination skin on my face, eczema and now fully virgin (I used to bleach and dye my hair a lot) asian hair that tends to get oily. It is a lovely combination of constant irritation and discomfort for me that I've had to live with since I was young. Finding soaps and shampoos has always been difficult for me because scents tend to irritate my skin, more so on my face. However, a lot of the unscented, hypo-allergenic soaps and shampoos I would use still came in plastic bottles and/or had other chemicals that I didn't realize were in them.
Then I came across Coghlan Cottage Soap Co. and gave their organically scented solid body bars a chance. Yes, they are scented, but with essential oils and they all have a gentle scent, nothing overpowering, and don't have any junk in them (ie. no palm oil, fragrance oils, or petrochemicals). Essential oils are also another fickle thing for me because anything too overpowering would irritate my skin as well -- from trial and error, I found that my face reacts to lavender, but the rest of my skin doesn't; in fact my hair and body seems to like the rose + lavender combination better than other essential oil combinations. Everybody's skin is different, so you'll have to find what works for you!
Out of all the shampoos I tried, the Vintage Rose was the most gentle on my hair. I loved all the other scents, but I found the Lemon Cream made my hair oilier and the Refresh Rosemary Mint dried it out a bit too much for my liking. The Fraser Fog Body Bar sample was really nice and smelled lovely, and I would've gotten the bigger version, but I opted for the Vintage Rose Body Bar to match with the shampoo. I will probably choose the Fraser Fog next time when my body bar stash depletes! The vegan solid conditioner I tried was the Refresh Rosemary Mint and I honestly really liked it, much more than the shampoo bar. It left my hair feeling silky smooth and nourished. I only purchased the larger Vintage Rose solid conditioner because I had already got the solid shampoo version. You only need to run the bar a few times through your hair to get enough of it, so the bar will last quite awhile.
The Detox Facial Bar is the one I didn't try initially since I didn't take one of the samples for it. I had purchased another charcoal facial bar from another company, but found that it didn't work for my skin and dried it out. So far I have used the Detox Facial Bar from Coghlan Cottage twice and it didn't dry my skin out. It left it feeling clean without it feeling tight. I will need to try it out for a few more weeks to get a better review of it and see if my skin likes it.
To make these bars last longer, I followed a tip from one of my friends to cut them up into smaller pieces. Cutting them up allows them to dry out faster after using it, compared to keeping it in the larger bar. There is a tendency for solid shampoo bars of breaking and crumbling when they don't dry out properly. I have a shower caddy in my bathroom that has a slotted shelf where I can store my bars which allows them to sit more openly so that they can dry out better. Letting them sit in water only makes them soft and crumble faster. The smaller pieces makes them more portable and travel friendly -- goodbye tiny plastic travel bottles I always lose during or after a trip! I stored the rest of the bars I cut up in mason jars that I labelled for Shampoo, Body Bar & Facial Bar. These bars should last me a good few months at least!
Thanks Stacey, and my friend Christine (she initially vouched for Coghlan Cottage and shared her experience with using their products on her Instagram), for showing me how lovely living slow can be!
I was not asked to review this product, nor was I asked to take photos of the product at all. I purchased the products myself out of my own pocket. This was done purely out of my own interest and love of the company and to expand my photography portfolio.