Dr. Bronner: the Iconic Soapmaker
09.14.12 Dr. Bronner: the Iconic Soapmaker
Most people probably recognize the soap made by Dr. Bronner. You know, the one that has an essay worth of words written in miniscule, barely legible font on the label? If you've ever taken the time (or a magnifying lens) to actually read his message, Bronner has a firm belief in "goodness and unity of humanity," among many other ideas. Some ideas are considered enlightened and some a little crazy.
Once found only in niche health food stores, his products are now available in more main stream shops, and have a noticable presence in the personal care aisle.
The history of the company is fascinating, even prompting a documentary film about Dr. Bronner's life called, "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox." In short, Dr, Emmanuel Bronner emigrated to the US from Germany during the Nazi regime. He hoped his parents would follow but they never made it. While in Chicago, Dr. Bronner was commiited to a mental hospital but he eventually escaped and made his way to California. As part of a long line of Jewish soapmakers, making soap was a natural next step....(well, it wasn't exactly that easy, but this is the simplified version).
Dr. Bronner's soaps are fair trade, vegan, organic and all-natural. They lather tremendously thanks to the coconut oil and lack of anything toxic. They also smell great. They're made with the intention of diluting, so they're economical and safe for our planet as a fully biodegradeable product.
The company, now run by his sons, continues to be socially conscious and progressive. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps was the first company to fabricate recycled bottles from 100% post-consumer waste for the packaging of liquid soaps. The company also has a policy to cap salaries at no more tha 5x the wage of the lowest paid employee. And the bottles are packed by hand, without machines and assembly-line panic.
At MightyNest, our selection of Dr. Bronner products:
SOAP: Dr. Bronner's soaps are made with certifed fair trade organic oils.They do NOT contain the foaming agent Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), commonly found in conventional soaps. While SLS can be highly irritating to the skin, it also can also cause hormonal balances and cancer. "Pure-Castile" is your guarantee that what you are using is a real ecological and simple soap, not a complex blend of detergents with a higher ecological impact due to the waste stream during manufacture and slower biodegradability, " explains Dr. Bronner's company.
LOTION: Certified to National Organic Standards, Dr. Bronner's lotions are based on pure organic oils free of petrochemically modified ingredients and preservatives. Organic jojoba oil moisturizes dry skin exceptionally well due to its unique similarity to the skin's natural oil. Organic coconut oil assists absorption while organic hemp and avocado oils help keep skin smooth and supple. Organic grain alcohol (ethanol) is used as a natural preservative at a level that helps absorption without being drying.
Dr. Bronner's hand and body lotion is also free of synthetic chemicals like parabens, phthalates, aluminum, fromaldehyde, 1-4 dioxane, synthetic dyes or fragrances.
SHAVE GEL: Organic Shikakai comes from the seed pods of the small South Asian tree Acacia Concinna. It's been used for over 1000 years in India as a gentle conditioning cleanser for both skin and hair. Dr. Bronner's extracts the shikakai in organic sucrose and grape juice which have excellent humectant (moisturizing) qualities and combine the mixture with Dr. Bronner's castile soap base, providing a rich, emollient lather for an excellent shave gel.
Conventional shaving creams often contain petrochemicals like phthalates (for fragrance), SLS (as a lather), parabens (as a preservative), triclosan (as an antibacterial agent), BHA/BHT (as an antioxidant/preservative).
COCONUT OIL: This pure, certified organic, raw, unrefined, virgin coconut oil is untouched by heat or chemical treatment before, during or after pressing. Left in its raw state, every living enzyme and nutrient is left intact to nourish skin and provide health for our bodies. Coconut oil is known for its anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
In addition the healthy benefits of eating coconut oil, it can be used for care in healing cuts and treating dry hair and skin. And it aids in digestion, prevents tooth decay and effectively seasons cast iron and wooden cutting boards. For more, read here for The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil.
Are you a fan of Dr. Bronner's products?