Review: Skipping the Chemicals with Skipping Stone Soap
My journey towards safer, kinder and more natural beauty began pretty much the same way many other people's have: natural soap.
It's a pretty common occurrence: you want to make the switch to green beauty, transitioning from chemical-laden crap to natural skincare that will actually do you some favors as opposed to just bathing your skin in preservatives and fragrances. Typically, we begin this transitioning process with soap; it is, after all, one of the most widely used bath products and is so readily available in such a vast array of forms that it's virtually impossible not to find a natural alternative to it.
We search high and low for natural soap, some of us finding ethical soap a bit elusive (thanks to you, conflict palm oil) but nonetheless keeping up the noble pursuit of sourcing greener, more natural solutions to our Bath & Body Works "Apple Chai Cinnamon Autumn Spice Dried Leaves" body wash that does nothing but dry our skin out and leave us feeling duped. But finding a natural soap doesn't have to be that difficult - I even wrote a guide about it to help you choose the right natural soaps.
Personally, I've come across many a brand that claims to make "natural" soaps which turn out to be filled to the brim with fragrances, preservatives, palm oil derivatives (or just straight up palm) and other ingredients I've been pretty shocked to see in a "natural soap." I'm not saying a soap made with an ingredient like palm oil isn't natural, but for those of us seeking to avoid beauty items made with conflict ingredients, I typically run for the hills when I see the words "palm" and "palm oil" on the label of a soap bar. I know what it's like to fall victim to greenwashing, so steering clear of palm is a large priority for me.
So what's this about Skipping Stone Soap?
I came across Skipping Stone Soap completely by accident, but as luck (fate?) would have it, this Toronto-based soap brand turned out to be a saving grace. When it came down to crunch time and I needed to restock my freezer with natural soaps, I ordered a pack of 5 soap bars from Skipping Stone and it arrived not only on time but wrapped beautifully. I was pretty impressed by the quality of the soap, the delicious scents, and the stellar packaging.
What I like so much about Skipping Stone Soap is the luxuriousness of their soaps and the impressive selection they offer. Their collection boasts a variety of unscented soaps perfect for those sensitive to scents or with allergies, but you can also find shampoo bars, shaving soaps, and collections of bars scented with originally-made blends of essential oils or natural fragrances. Most soap brands offer one or two unscented soaps, with the rest heavily fragranced, but Skipping Stone possesses a considerable amount of soap bars perfect for just about everyone. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that, in future, they'll consider making laundry soap. A girl can hope!
In a typical bar of soap from Skipping Stone, you'll find a stellar array of natural butters and oils, such as cocoa and mango butter, along with argan, coconut and avocado oil - all of which are quite moisturizing and hydrating. The addition of natural ingredients such as coffee, chamomile, kelp, clays and even green tea give these soaps an added punch and host their own benefits for skin. Each bar is unique, with some meant for the hair, others for the hands and body. My favorite thus far is "Coffee Shop," which has a pretty rich and delicious scent of coffee, orange, and cinnamon. It's extremely moisturizing in the shower and has left my skin feeling far softer than the natural liquid soap I was using before.
Considering I've only been successful at sourcing natural soap from a few different Canadian brands (like this one), finding Skipping Stone Soap was a happy and welcome accident. Their soaps have made the perfect addition to my natural skincare arsenal and will likely end up in some of my family members' stockings this Christmas. However, there's one thing I have yet to mention...
They're not all palm-free.
Skipping Stone openly lists and explains each ingredient used in their soaps on their website, and goes one step further by listing which products each ingredient appears in; I found this extremely helpful when choosing which soaps to order, as I wanted to avoid any soaps with animal by-products (such as milk or honey). I noticed after the fact that their "Sunset Orange" soap contains what they claim to be "organic red palm oil," and was disappointed in myself that I had purchased that soap as part of my bundle.
But that isn't the brand's fault; it's mine. And I fully admit to having been a bit lazy in reading the full ingredients of the "Sunset Orange" soap!
See, I should have been looking more closely at the ingredient list of each soap I ordered, as opposed to assuming that all were palm-free. What I appreciate about Skipping Stone is that they do not try to hide the fact that they use palm oil, nor do they claim to be a vegan brand (some of their soaps contain honey, for instance). I have to give them props for transparency.
In their Etsy product listings, you'll notice they include a blurb about glycerin, but not all of their soap products contain this palm derivative, nor do all of their soaps contain red palm oil. What it boils down to is looking at each soap's ingredient list carefully to ensure that the soap you choose from this brand is palm-free, and simply avoid purchasing the ones that aren't if you're seeking to go palm-free with your beauty. At the very least, and for me personally, it's reassuring that Skipping Stone doesn't attempt to hide their use of palm, which makes it easier to choose the right soap for you from this brand.
My verdict, overall, for Skipping Stone is that I would recommend it as a go-to soap brand if you're looking for natural soaps to help you transition from the artificial to the natural. However, it's important to read each ingredient label if you're looking to avoid soap with palm, but luckily for us, the brand has made that process simple by being transparent about which ingredients are used in certain products. I love how soft, soothing and hydrating their soaps are, and would certainly gift them again to friends and family, but I'm also glad to have found another natural soap maker based in Canada; it's not often I stumble across one!
~All imagery in this post courtesy of yours truly (me)