Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soaps have been around for sixty years now, and the cryptic pseudo religious rants on their trademark labels have led many a granola muncher to scratch their head. The soaps are high quality and seem to last just about forever. They’re liquid and bar soap products are certified organic and are fair trade products. Lets take a closer look at the history of this iconic company as well as some of their classic products.
Dr. Emmanuel Bronner was the son of a Jewish soap maker. He immigrated from Germany to the United States in the late 1920’s. He attempted to encourage his parents to come with him to avoid the growing Nazi threat, but he was unsuccessful and never heard from them again after receiving a postcard years later agreeing that Bronner had been correct regarding the Nazi menace. According to Sara Lamm, director of the documentary Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox, Bronner started his soap company after escaping from a mental institution in the 1940’s.
As a believer in the unity of humanity, he included messages regarding his “moral ABCs” and other creeds on the packages of his soaps. The sprawling writing style of his religious and ethical codes have been a part of his soap packages for many decades. Although Bronner passed in 1997, his family has announced that they intend to continue the signature messaging into the future.
Dr. Bronner’s is best known for their liquid soaps. The soaps are produced with a variety of potent essential oils, with scents to include Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Almond, Rose, Citrus, Lavendar, Tea Tree, and a special mild formula for babies. Each of the soaps are made with basic, organic oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, hemp oil, and jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is a vegetable oil that is very similar to an animal oil produced by our bodies, and it is used in a variety skin and hair care products
My experience with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps has been limited to the peppermint and tea tree varieties. In 2000, I bought a full gallon of the classic peppermint soap, and I spent the next six to seven years trying to use it up before giving the remaining half gallon to a friend. I used it every day, but such a small quantity is need to work into a full shower’s lather that it just never ends. Easily the most recognizable thing about his peppermint soap is the minty zing sensation in gives the skin when being used. It’s a helpful spark to getting moving in the morning.
The other product that I have used, the tea tree liquid soap. Neither the smell nor the zing are as powerful as the peppermint, which is good, as most of us don’t want to go around smelling like tea tree oil all day. However, it is clearly healthy for the skin and hair, and I really feel a difference with this product over normal bar soap. Also, I’ve used a small portion of the soap to clean out wounds for last few knicks and scrapes I’ve managed to get, and I’ve avoided any sort of infection ever since.