The Soap Kitchen Has Some Good Things Cookin’!

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Our Green Monday review of their homemade beauty goodness

photo: we heart this

In a day and age where chemicals make their way into our hair products, cleaning products, soaps and lotions, it’s always nice to find a company that takes it back to the basics. I don’t spend a lot of time checking ingredients of my shampoos, lotions and soaps, but when I do, the laundry list of chemicals I can barely pronounce seems to go on and on and on. I started to wonder what kind of effect so many synthetic compounds may be having on my hair, skin, and body, in general? This is why I was delighted to test a few items fresh from The Soap Kitchen for a Green Monday review.

Founded over 6 years ago in Old Town Pasadena, The Soap Kitchen prides itself on being a natural alternative to commercial soaps, shampoos, and shower gels. They create all of their products from scratch by hand in their California ‘kitchen” where each and every item is lovingly created with a blend of essential oils and herbs. Additionally, every product is free of synthetic fragrances, colors and preservatives.

The wht review team had a chance to sample what’s cooking at The Soap Kitchen when we received a piping fresh batch of the Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil soaps and a tube of the Mint Verbena Lip Balm.

First, I have to say I really enjoyed the Ultra Rich Mint Verbena lip balm ($6). While I’m always a sucker for a good balm, this brand new flavor has a two great things going for it; a refreshing minty, herbal taste, and the fact it is loaded with natural oils (including olive oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil). All of which means this balm glides on like butter!

Interestingly, this minty balm also contains hints of lavender, a scent not found in any of my other (dozens of) balms. This unique ingredient just added to the depth of flavor and made applying this balm reminiscent of drinking a cozy cup of herbal tea. I found myself reaching for this balm on a daily basis and it’s definitely becoming one of my favorites. I know it’s weird to say a lip balm is comforting, but that’s exactly how I felt using it. Before, during and after a long day, I am loving this herbal blended balm!

As for the Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil Soap ($7), I made good use of the generously sized slice sample o’ soap the testers received, a brand new scent in the Olive Oil collection. I really found the scent to be invigorating! And no wonder, since it’s packed with peppermint leaves, lemon peel, olive, palm, and coconut oils.

This bar of soap glides on easily and gets your hands clean in no time at all. What I liked is that it didn’t leave any traces of residue, as I thought the olive oil might leave my hands slightly greasy. Not so, this soap went on easy, and washed away quickly leaving a slight trace of its yummy scent.

The Soap Kitchen has a variety of different olive oil soap scents including Kahlua Coffee Bar, Lemon Italian, and Orange Clove and Cinnamon Spice, all of which sound divine! I’m seriously craving the Lemon Italian right now. They have lots more “on the burners” at The Soap Kitchen including shea butter soaps, scrubs, and even a line for men. Oh and they also offer a Soapscription which will send you (or a friend) a new soap every month! Who would have thought instead of a food/wine of the month, I could send a soap subscription!

The Soap Kitchen’s homemade goods were a refreshing treat in my otherwise, chemical ridden beauty regime, and I found that sometimes the best thing to do is to go back to the basics!

How did the rest of you fare? Did you find The Soap Kitchen to be cookin’ up some goodness?

Erin is a secondary science teacher who adores makeup and fashion. She spends her free time pursuing her other passions which include cooking, antiquing, and decorating.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Erin

    Erin is a secondary science teacher who adores makeup and fashion. She spends her free time pursuing her other passions which include cooking, antiquing, and decorating. skin tone: NC30 skin type: oily to normal favorite beauty product: lipglosses and bronzers

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  1. As the lucky recipient of a slice of Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil Soap, I agree with everything you said about it, @spitfire77. And I’d like to add one more accolade: it’s long-lasting! I’ve been using the tiny slice for ages, and I still have a sliver left. And it’s still packed with that amazing, refreshing minty/lemony scent. This isn’t your usual handmade soap that looks pretty but melts away in no time at all.

    I’m so impressed with the quality of this soap, its natural ingredients, and especially the way it makes my skin feel: soft. I’d love to treat myself to another bar or two… I think Kahlua Coffee Bar is next on my list. Ooh, and I guess I need that Ultra Rich Mint Verbena lip balm, too, don’t I?

    5 big stars for this little sliver of heaven!

  2. I also got Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil Soap, and @spitfire77 is exactly right. I am wary of handmade soaps because they tend to be a bit harsh and drying. But this left me soft and smooth! My only mistake was to leave it in an area where water constantly beat down, so it dissolved faster than I wanted it to! (My fault, not the product’s. I’m used to bottles of body wash!)

    I also visited their website and I’m loving their products for men! I think I might need to get a shaving bar or two for my husband. And since I’m there, it would be a shame for me not to grab a bar of Lemon Italian for me. And Orange Vanilla. And possibly Tea Tree Wake Up. (this could get ugly.)

  3. I love handmade soaps and this one was no exception. This soap had two of my favorite ingredients lemon (I am a sucker for citrus) and tea tree. The smell was heavenly and the sample size was very long lasting.

    I guess I did not follow the instructions because I decided to use this in the bath tub. It was great moisturizing bar. The lemon scent kind of gave me a “pick me up.” I hardly needed any body lotion when I got out of my very hot bath.

    I used up every single little bit of this product. I loved this soap!

    5 stars for me.

  4. I also got a chance to try soap. I agree with everything every has already said. This was very long lasting, did not dry my skin, and the smell was great. Actually the smell was the only reason I didn’t use this soap up quicker. I like to shower at night, and this had such a great bright smell that I’ve only used it on weekends when I shower in the morning. The scent was so bright it was like a slice of sunshine, perfect for getting me going on a cold winter morning. I think this would also be perfect to keep next to your kitchen sink to remove onion and garlic scents. I will be checking out their website soon.

  5. Oops, I forgot to mention, I’d give this soap a solid 4 stars.

  6. We were just talking about soaps in a recent Myth Squad and I remembered “oh yeah! I have a slice of Soap Kitchen soap to try!”

    I too tested the Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil Soap and I ended up placing it in the kitchen. My hands have been sooo dry lately, and I’m a big hand washer, so I skipped it the bathroom (even though the invigorating scent really would be great in the morning shower)and placed it on a water safe bamboo holder in next to the kitchen sink.

    The moisturizing bar helped keep my hands from drying out after a round of dishes.And even better, the minty herbal scent really cut through cooking odors – even onions!Topped off with affordable prices I’m giving 4 stars!

    I’m loving the Soap Kitchen philosophy and processes too – I think a wht field trip may be in oder!

  7. First of all I LOVE Old Town Pasadena! I must return since it has been well over six years since I’ve been there.. The Soap Kitchen sounds amazing and their soaps are too. I really enjoyed testing out the “Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil Soap”. I think that it is made extremely well. Love the family story. And appreciate that they use all natural ingredients. It’s so refreshing to find this little gem in the midst of so many commercially made soaps. I also love they make all this by hand.. What an undertaking and labor of love.. I am impressed with the quality. $7.00 is not too much for this at ALL! I found that this cleaned well – but admit I missed having more lather- not because it wasn’t doing its job cleaning. Regardless, this has olive oil in it and left my hands feeling soft, clean and without any residue behind. Very refreshing. I like Tea Tree very much as it is so this went over really well in my little world! I give this a solid four stars! I would love to get my mitts on the Mint Verbena Lip Balm too. Will stop in next time I’m out that way!

  8. The lip balm is my favorite! I’ve really been enjoying this line and the fact that it’s so affordable and green, means it gets a solid four stars from me!

  9. I have had the pleasure of trying both the lip balm and the soap! Color my impressed. Both are just what the doctor ordered in this harsh winter weather. My skin and lips have been a hot mess lately! Unbelievably dry and miserable.

    But this soap is just heaven for my hands. It is so moisturizing and has a delightful scent. It is not at all greasy and its skin healing effects seems to be long lasting! Love it and can’t wait to get a full size bar!

    I also got my hands on the lip balm. It is a dream!! My lips feel like heaven. No stickiness or goopiness! Love it!

    5 Stars for both products from me!!!

  10. Yes Tyna, Holly’s myth squad article had me excited for this soap, too! And taught me that it’s a vegetable fat soap and so no wonder is so wonderfully moisturizing yet leaves no residue. I’m extremely impressed with it and not surprised that people were able to skip moisturizer with it. I myself don’t feel the need for hand lotion after I use it – and I always need hand lotion this time of year. The lemon verbena scent is perfect – and my favorite also. I also adore tea tree products for their cleansing abilities, so that’s probably why this one is so superior in my book. I wish I’d tried the lip balm, too – that sounds great! 5 stars from me – I can’t find anything I don’t like about this soap, and the price seals the deal!

  11. I also received a generously sized sample of the Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil soap to test out. Although I’m not really a fan of bar soap (I hate how it gets mushy after awhile–I love liquid soap and body wash!) , but I’m a fan of this one. I used it in the shower because I liked the scent so much. It didn’t irritate my skin at all–not greasy, not drying. There wasn’t much lather, which I didn’t like (I know, I know, lather is really just unnecessary chemicals that make you feel like a product is doing something, but I kind of like how a lather feels haha).

    This product would make a great gift. It is a little bit more expensive that what you get at Walmart, but it’s good stuff. I’m probably going to order some of the face bars! FOUR STARS from me :)

  12. This sounds like a great company! I have to try the tee tree oil soap…tea tree is one of my absolute favorite scents!

  13. I also received a slice of the Tea Tree Verbena Olive Oil soap to try out and wow, is that slice still going strong!
    At first I tried out the soap in the shower. I thought it would be great for those quick showers where I just want to kill that runner’s funk and be done with it, and the tea tree oil would be nice for that. Sadly, it didn’t work well for me in the shower. It just took too much work to get it to suds up and it felt like it was dragging on my skin. Now this could be due to my hard water, but I’ve only rarely had this problem with other bar soaps. And I really wish that the scent was a little stronger. I don’t get much scent at all!
    So on to the kitchen. The slice has been sitting at my sink and it gets pretty regular use. I LOVE that it really seems to cut down on the lasting smell of onions on my hands. Not to mention my fingers are just barely cracking and by this time of the winter I normally have huge cracks in all my digits. (Gross, I know.) That in itself is a testament to the non-drying nature of this soap.

    All in all I give the soap 4 stars. A bit more sudsing power and a stronger scent would send it flying over the top for me!

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