Soap Opera: As the Bar Soap Turns

This week the washing habits of the millennials has been in the news. Apparently, the majority of Americans between the ages of 18-24 are choosing liquid soap over bar soap because they believe that bar soap is covered in germs. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they are debunking this germy claim. It's about the length of time we use when hand washing (20 seconds) regardless of the soap type. The hands-free liquid soap dispenser may be preferable for those working in the healthcare industry, but the CDC says that liquid, bar, or powered forms of plain soap are acceptable.  The Mayo Clinic also recommends either option of liquid or bar, as well. 

Also, something more important to consider is the carbon footprint of the liquid soap. In a typical visit to the sink, we use almost seven times more liquid soap (2.3 grams) than bar soap (0.35). The extra soap means more chemicals, more processing, therefore more energy and carbon emissions.  Look how much liquid soap goes down the shower drain that you haven't used, but carelessly spilled. Not to mention all of the plastic containers in our landfills vs. the simple cardboard box or paper wrapper from a bar of soap.  

More bacteria grows on your tooth brush than it does on a bar of soap. So, let me introduce you to my bars of soaps. You see I am a proponent of the lovely bar of soap. For me, a bar of rich fragrant soap is one of those "simple trimmings for an elegant life..." 

When I found myself a single being, and it was then I set my life into motion for change and small indulges. When friends and family asked me what I wanted for Christmas I would answer, "If I cannot read it, eat it, drink it, burn it, or bathe in it, I do not want it." In other words: give me a book or a magazine subscription, food, drink, candles, or pretty soaps. All it took was a few special bars of lovely soap (soap of the month club), and I never looked back. 
Yardley's English Lavender - The Aristocrat of Soaps
Bars of soap comes in all shapes and sizes, from imports to local artisan, from fine cosmetic houses to the affordable Yardley London (no animal testing) - - and yes, I am a big fan of Yardley London English Lavender bar soap. It is a luxury, yet an affordable luxury for me. 

Ever since I was a teen, I was a fan of Yardley London English Lavender soap. It is affordable, and can be found in most drug stores. Yardley London was established in 1770, as an international English-based company specializing in cosmetics, fragrances, and other toiletries. In the 1960's it started a new following when the British model, Twiggy became the face of Yardley. It's certainly when I started noticing their products, as many of us young teens wanted to look and be like Twiggy (Twiggy, you ask? Google it, youngster). Today, this quintessentially English company is enjoying a revival - with lavender at its heart.

There is something wonderful about walking into my bathroom and smelling the lingering fragrance of lavender soap in my shower - a fragrance that was popular with royalty over three-hundred years ago. In my home, English lavender soap is a staple, and for every two boxes of Yardley London bar soap I open, I open up a bar of a more expensive soap. You see, I am the person who goes into the little boutiques and buys those pretty bars of soap, especially the French imports and also the local artisan soaps. (Support your local soapmaker!) Oh, and that luxury bar of soap from the expensive cosmetic house? The soap is basically all I can afford to buy from them. Over all, I don't want any slimy liquid soap, I want to bathe or shower with a lovely bar of soap. 

On my bathroom counter there is an old Depression glass dish-tray, and I keep it filled with a variety of some of my favorite soaps - along with the Yardley, there is also some Chanel and Roger & Gallet (another old European soap company started in 1862 in France) - - and that in the photo isn't even all of my soap collection. 

In fact, soap doesn't get stale, so take it out of the box and let it "cure," meaning let it air-dry for about six to eight weeks before using and it will last longer. Also, when in use let the soap dry from underneath in an appropriate soap dish. 

Don't forget to read Treat Yourself: Use Your Pretties and you may just have a lonely china or Depression glass platter that needs your attention and wouldn't mind holding your pretty soaps. And stop getting all lathered up over germs - relax and turn on your favorite soap - bar soap, that is. 
The keeper of the soaps


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