One of the most basic personal care items, which almost everyone uses is soap. Yet the majority of soaps that people use today are extremely destructive to the skin, and overall health. They are based on various petrochemical compounds that are drying and irritating, and include various chemical foaming agents, dyes, fragrances and preservatives. For anyone who wants to support their skin and overall health, conventional soap, whether in solid or liquid form is not an option.

Soap has been made for centuries and is such a simple product, which need not be laced with chemicals that harm our health at all. In fact to this day many people make their own soap, and even offer soaps for sale to others at local fairs or community markets. Yes, some are very simple and pure, while others are not as even local artisans may choose to add artificial dyes or fragrances. However, with a little research and discernment we can quickly learn to tell products apart.

For those of us who do not have the opportunity to take advantage of local, homemade soaps, other options exist on the market that are truly natural, pure and high quality soaps. One in particular stands out as being the market leader and has been a trusted source for decades. This being Dr. Bronner’s magic soaps.

About the Company & Product

Dr. Bronner’s is a company that was started by Emmanuel Bronner in Germany. In 1929, he brought his formulas for high-quality liquid and bar soaps to America, starting Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in its current form in 1948. Renowned for their quality, versatility and eco-friendliness, today 4th and 5th generations of the Bronner family run the company with unsurpassed care and integrity. The product line has grown from soaps to include other personal care products, even some foods and educational materials.

I feel very comfortable to support this company and its products due to the overall efforts, messages and work of Dr. Bronner. His life’s mission wasn’t just about quality, natural soap, but about world peace and environmental sustainability as well. And today as we continue to grow in awareness, we should be conscious of who or what efforts we are supporting with our money, and our choices.

Dr.Bronner’s soaps are all created based on simple, old formula traditions that incorporate a combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, together with pure essential oils. The main oils which are sourced from abroad like coconut, palm and olive are fair trade certified.

The soaps come in solid bar form, or liquid form. Both come in multiple varieties, namely: eucalyptus, almond, tea tree, rose, citrus orange, peppermint, lavender and unscented baby mild. You can learn here about the soap-making process that Dr. Bronner’s uses and how it excels in quality. The soaps are said to have numerous uses, from personal care to laundry and other home care, hence the name “magic” soap.

Personal Experience

I have been personally using Dr. Bronner’s soaps on and off for about 4 years. To date I had the pleasure of trying the eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, lavender and unscented liquid varieties, as well as the tea tree solid bar variety.

In terms of ingredients, they are really outstanding and hard to beat. The oils used are of a high quality, organic and fair trade sourced. There are no fillers, dyes, or artificial additives of any kind to be harsh on our skin. The saponification process neutralizes the sodium hydroxide leaving behind a pure soap and glycerin product. They are known as pure castile soaps. The only part of the ingredients that I can see eco-conscious consumers having a problem with is that even though the soaps use fair trade palm oil, it is still palm oil. Today we have extreme ecological destruction of palm forests for the oil, which are destroying the habitats and killing off numerous species, including the orangoutangs. For this reason, even though I currently trust the ecological practices of this product, I personally avoid purchasing any food or personal care product that uses palm oil.

In terms of scent, the baby-mild unscented variety is perfect for anyone who has any allergies or sensitivities to any fragrance, or for babies. I enjoyed the scents of all of the other varieties I tried as well, such as peppermint and tea tree. The peppermint and eucalyptus also have a tingling feeling on the skin and scalp due to the menthol factor.

In terms of efficacy, the soaps are superior to any commercial soap. They lather extremely well, in a soft and silky manner. They clean just as one would expect a soap to clean. I have tried them in soft and hard water, and they worked great in both.

In terms of use, the soaps are considered all purpose. This means you can wash your face, body and hair with them….and anything else you may like in your home. As a body and even face soap I have found them to be excellent, and non-drying. I have tried using them as a shampoo too, but a few things surfaced here. On the plus side they worked exceptionally well in how they lathered, cleaned, removed residue and prolonged my hair from going oily by a day or two compared to regular shampoo. But this came at a price. The downside I found is that when used on a regular basis, the soap was too drying for my hair. If I use it intermittently with a typical natural shampoo, I get a great effect. If I use it for a few weeks straight, I start to feel my hair getting unnaturally dry. The only thing I can attribute this to is the basic or alkaline pH of this product, as opposed to shampoo which typically has an acidic pH.

Ultimately what I have discovered from all of my research thus far is that for optimal skin health, we should be using products (whether shampoo or soap) that are between 5 and 7 on the pH scale, or as neutral as possible, neither too acidic or basic. I think we really only need something stronger if we have some serious grease to wash off, like a mechanic may. Otherwise, we are constantly stripping our skin of its healthy balance and protective barrier. Our quest for ultra cleanliness has lost sight of what is best for our skin and health. Lisa Bronner, the granddaughter of Dr. Bronner, advocates for the soaps as safe and most natural for the whole family, including babies, from head to toe. However, it is hard to use this as credible info when one has a personal stake in the very product. I don’t doubt that she means well, but it does little to convince me that this is the best way to go.

Therefore, if I was writing this review about 4 years ago when I first started using this product, I would have hailed it as an outstanding choice, where one cannot go wrong. Today I am not as quick to do so. Yes, it will make an outstanding natural choice compared to any conventional soap. However, just because it is all natural and pure, due to its alkaline pH (about 9), I do not feel it is the best choice for our skin, and definitely not hair, on a regular basis.

The liquid soaps are very concentrated, so one also has to be mindful of literally using drops of them, or diluting them appropriately. Some people also make the soaps work by balancing or using them with apple cider vinegar on their hair.


So while I still recommend the company and product very much, and will most likely use it myself at times as a general hand soap or body cleanser, my personal journey now is going ultra natural. This means more focus on body brushing and plain water.

Depending on where each person is on their personal health journey, Dr. Bronner’s soaps can definitely make an excellent choice for personal care, as well as other uses around the home like being a great laundry detergent or overall cleaner. If you are interested in this product experiment with it yourself and see how your skin and hair respond to it. Our personal experience is always the most valuable one.


Baby Mild – Unscented Liquid Soap:

  • Water
  • Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin)
  • Organic Hemp Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Essential Oils**
  • Citric Acid
  • Vitamin E

* Certified FAIR TRADE Ingredients
** Available in Peppermint, Lavender, Almond, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Rose and Citrus Orange

Tea Tree-Hemp Bar Soap:

  • Organic Coconut Oil*
  • Organic Palm Oil*
  • Sodium hydroxide**
  • Organic Olive Oil*
  • Organic Hemp Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Tea tree extract
  • Sodium chloride
  • Citric Acid
  • Vitamin E

* Certified FAIR TRADE Ingredients
** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin


The liquid soaps come in numerous sizes from small travel bottles to large 1 gallon bulk bottles, and are packaged in 100% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Cylinder Bottles and Paper Labels. The bar soaps come in a 5oz (140g) bar and have a 100% Post-Consumer Waste paper wrapper with water based ink. The packaging is fully recyclable when the products are finished.

Price (as of this posting)



  • $2.99 – $59.99 US for liquid soap (various sizes) from
  • $2.00 – $44.50 US for liquid soap (various sizes) from
  • $5.99 - $57.99 US for liquid soap (various sizes) from The Vitamin Shoppe
  • $3.99 – $19.99 CA for liquid soap (various sizes) from


  • Most health food stores across Canada and the United States
  • For US, Canadian and Interntational customers, online stores like, or (see above in price posting)


  • Excellent ingredients
  • Organic ingredients
  • Fair trade ingredients
  • Great lathering
  • Great natural scents or unscented
  • No artificial dyes
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No SLS or other foaming agents
  • Made with natural and safe ingredients
  • Not tested on animals
  • Biodegradable
  • Suitable for all skin types, including babies
  • Vegetarian/Vegan friendly
  • Eco-conscious packaging
  • Fair Price


  • Has a pH of about 9, which may not be ideal for prolonged use, or optimal skin or hair health