The nice folks at Grandma’s Lye Soap sent us some soap to review (it’s awesome, read on). Plus, they’re offering you the chance to win their winter skincare gift set and a coupon for a free bar of soap when you try their soaps. Good luck and enjoy!
As the name implies, Grandma’s Lye Soap was first made by Grandma in 2002. Today, she and her husband make a whole line of natural products. They never use detergents or additives, their product base of food grade lard comes from the U.S. and they make all of their soaps in the U.S.
I’ve heard from some people who are afraid to use lye soap because lye is a corrosive material. Or they’ve had a bad experience with a lye soap or heard from others who had.
So let’s set the record straight: it’s impossible to make soap without lye though it’s fair to say not all soaps are made equal. As a side note, many commercial “soaps” are made with chemicals and petroleum byproducts, they do not use lye but they are also not a real soap.
A well-made bar of lye soap is great for skin and most will not find it harsh at all. Lye soap has three main ingredients – lard, water and lye – which combine to form glycerin, a substance naturally found in the skin. Glycerin is a cleansing agent – it removes dirt and oil – and it helps your skin attract and retain moisture.
Usually, when someone has a bad experience with lye soap it’s because the ingredients in the soap were not mixed in the right proportions and the chemical reactions during the sopanification process did not complete, leaving lye behind. If there’s lye left in the soap, the user will find it harsh.
When in doubt, smell or lick the soap. Soap that burns your nose or “zaps” you on the tongue has unprocessed lye and should never be used.
Yes! Lye soap is all-natural and biodegradable as long as no chemicals, such as artificial fragrances, have been added to it.
In January, I received a free trial sized 2 ounce bar of Grandma’s Lye Soap (original). The bar was small and I wondered if it would last long enough for me to give it a fair review. I had also been enjoying the homemade body wash I had been making and, being partial to body washes over bar soap, I was curious to see how they compared.
I’ve been using the Grandma’s Lye Soap for about a month now, and it’s been bitterly cold in Pittsburgh with temperatures frequently below zero and not usually above freezing. This type of weather really dries out your skin so Grandma’s Lye Soap was put to the test to see how gentle and moisturizing it could be.
The bar itself has a very mild, soap smell, but there are no added scents to irritate dry or sensitive skin. In the shower the soap creates a nice thick, milky lather that stays close to the skin.
I was very happy with the result of my trial. Grandma’s Lye soap proved to be very moisturizing, despite the colder and drier than usual weather this month. During this trial month I only moisturized a few times a week when I got out of the shower. This is a stark contrast to my friends who were ranting on Facebook this week about having to bathe in moisturizers multiple times a day because their skin is so dry and itchy.
And that little 2 ounce bar is only half gone, so I expect to be using it for another month!
I’ll admit it, free is awesome and always seems better. It’s easy for bloggers, who get free products, to recommend you go out and pay money for things they love but won’t buy themselves because the cost and value doesn’t balance out. I didn’t have to pay for this soap but when my trial bar runs out, would I buy it? Yes.
A full-sized, 6 oz. bar is $5.00 and it would last me about 6 months. I can rationalize spending $10 a year on soap that’s good for me and good for the environment. The Grandma’s Lye soap I tried is perfect if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or other dermatological conditions because the simple ingredients of lard, lye and water are all you need to keep your skin healthy. I don’t have sensitive skin and enjoy lightly scented soaps so I’m more inclined to buy the Grandma’s Assortment or a soap from the Secrets of Suzanne herbals line.
To be eligible to win you must like Grandma’s Lye Soap on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. All of the other options are just that, optional, but you’ll get extra points for each one and increase your chance of winning. Good luck!
UPDATE 03/04/14: Congratulations to our winner, Rebecca E. from South Carolina!
Remwood Products is also offering all of our readers a coupon, good until 03/31/2014. When you buy any 2 bars of soap you can get 1 free with the coupon code BLOGFREE. To use the coupon, call 1-800-345-3925 (unfortunately their having trouble with their website and it can’t be applied through the online shopping cart).