*Okay, okay, I know I’m stretching the analogy a bit here: Ancient Egyptian Queen Cleopatra famously bathed in asses’ milk. But I’m sure, had she been sent the super moisturising Camel Milk Soap bar by Katya at The Online Medina as I recently have been, she would have been a convert too.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen a teaser of an upcoming product review in the form of a small, brown paper package I received last week with some colourful Tunisian postage stamps on. The recycled packaging gave away no clues as to the indulgent product it contained, so I’m excited to finally share it now!
ETHICAL SOAP? WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
I never intended this blog to include beauty reviews. I love reading them, but that particular blog niche seem so saturated that I didn’t think I’d have anything new or worthwhile to add to the conversation. What convinced me to take Katya up on her offer, though, was the ethical aspect of the company.
The Online Medina is committed to working with fair trade practices. Regarding the soap production, they work with a French expat in Tunisia who sources the high quality, natural and often organic, ingredients from small local suppliers. The same dispersion of profit throughout the supply chain applies to other products that The Online Medina sells, and you can’t really say fair(trade)er than that! So I didn’t accept the Camel Milk Soap because it was a luxury cosmetic (though it is, see below for the review!), I accepted it because I loved the idea of supporting a social enterprise. We need to make doing good profitable, and what better way than by supporting companies like The Online Medina who produce high-quality products that you genuinely would want to buy anyway!
OK, SO THE COMPANY IS ETHICAL, BUT WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
The soap. What. A. Soap.
I thought I’d bring the Camel Milk soap with me to a work conference in Romania, as I much prefer solid cosmetics when I’m flying (no security issues, or having to refill teeny tiny liquid bottles over and over!). The product boasted such moisturising properties and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to really test this; at conferences the combination of aeroplanes, air conditioning, not eating very healthily and –erm- burning the candle at both ends (read: networking 😉 ) can leave the skin on my face feeling tighter than the skin of the drum! So it was a tall order for this little bar that could, and it certainly didn’t fail to deliver!
The soap looks handmade. It has a really satisfying beeswax edge and a natural rope attached. Due to its high fat content it can wear down faster than artificial products, so the packaging advises hanging it to dry after use. No problemo- soap on a rope was born for hanging around!
I actually really liked the fact that the soap comes in a fragrance free version. It felt very natural and left my face smelling clean, rather than overly floral or of essential oils, which I can sometimes find overpowering. It also meant that I dared to use this near my delicate eye area and experienced no irritation at all. (Note: I rinsed like crazy before opening them again: safety first, folks.)
At the sink, I wet my hands and rubbed them two or three times across the back of the soap to produce a thin film across my palms. Rubbing them together the soap didn’t lather as such, but did work up a little to provide enough product to clean my entire face. Showering with the bar produced significantly more bubbles, and a wonderfully creamy wash.
My thirsty skin drank up the oils in the soap and once I had rinsed I was left with a refreshingly “plump” feeling to it, needing only a really light moisturiser to protect the hydrated feeling. I loved it and, weirdly, couldn’t stop feeling my face all evening!
Camel milk is purportedly excellent for skin conditions such as eczema, so I think I may sacrifice this test bar and send it to a relative who suffers and see what power it really has! Then again, I may find it hard to part with such a lovely cleansing product which fits so perfectly with my travel routine!
I absolutely loved trialling this product, and it has convinced me that maybe my beauty routine does need a shake up; particularly in terms of ethical products!
Have you ever tried Camel Milk Soap? I’d love to hear what you thought of it if you have! I’m definitely a convert!