I Bought Zero Waste Skincare and Hair Products from an Etsy Seller

By the end of April, I could see that my shampoo bar, facial cleansing bar, and body lotion that I normally buy were running a little low. Instead of buying the same products from the same brands that I normally do, I decided that it was time for me to branch out and help a small business on Etsy. I really wanted to find one seller on Etsy that had a variety of skin and hair products that were low waste. After searching for a while and looking at a ton of shops, I finally found the one that I thought would work well for this experiment.

I found the shop dirtydivasoaps and was honestly a little gobsmacked by all of the offerings that the owner, Kim, had listed:

  • Shampoo Bars
  • Hair Conditioners
  • Mens Grooming
  • Lotions and Butters
  • Soaps
  • Facial Care/Treatments
  • Deodorant
  • Lip Balms
  • Perfumes
    and
  • Gift Sets

I of course started with her shampoo bars and expected what I normally see for a shampoo bar: an off white square bar that has one simple fragrance that is normally an essential oil. But oh no, Kim has offerings with scents and colors that I have never seen in shampoo bars. I’m talking offerings with names like Summer Peach, Drangonsblood, Orange Dreamsicle, Sleeping Dragon, Northern Lights, and even more. And the colors of the bars are so unique and very cute. Not to mention how affordable they are. My Ethique shampoo bars that I love cost around $17 for a full size bar, and these are almost half the price! A lot of the scents that she has also come in conditioners so you can have matching scent profiles.

I decided that since summer was around the corner that it would be great to get some fruity and summery scents, so I order the Waikiki and Flamingo Beach Shampoo bars. I didn’t order any of the conditioner bars, because I’ve really just felt like they don’t do a lot for me, and I also have more than half of my Wonderbar from Ethique left, but next time I order I am curious to see what dirtydivasoaps formula is like.

Waikiki
Flamingo Beach

Next I looked at lotions and body butters. I was using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil for maximum hydration and to also help with stretch marks, but I honestly didn’t see any fading while using it, so I was ready for something new. I love the smell of coffee and have had an amazing body wash in the past from Organix that was coffee and coconut oil with coffee grounds for exfoliation, and ever since I’ve been looking for a coffee body lotion that I can put on and smell like a coffee shop. Lucky for me, dirtydivasoaps had just the thing I was looking for.

Next I was looking for a good replacement for my Cleen Beauty White Clay Facial Cleansing Bar. Usually I would just go out and buy a new one, since the brand works really good for me and the bar is only $3, but for some reason, the Walmart back home doesn’t carry Cleen Beauty products like the one in Sioux City does. I’ve had this problem with a few products that I like to get at Walmart that have virtually no packaging, and it always seems to be beauty and hygiene products. Since I won’t be back in Sioux City until the fall, I decided that I could maybe find something in this shop that would work well.

Now all of dirtydivasoaps facial bars are around $8, which isn’t a terrible price, but I was a little iffy if I really wanted to spend that much for soap, but then I also remembered that I’m getting this product from a person who makes all this stuff by hand and is also trying to make a living by doing this. I also then began to notice that each of the facial bars came with a little crocheted face scrubby, and thought that that was a really cool idea to have with a bar of soap. She has four facial cleansing soaps: a sea mud bar for troubled skin, a rose clay bar for all skin types, a calendula bar for all skin types, and an oatmeal shea bar for dry skin. I decided to opt for the rose clay bar

I should also mention that dirtydivasoaps also had a bunch of face masks and facial moisturizers in the shop as well, but I didn’t buy anything because I don’t really use face masks very much and also I have my own moisturizer that I use and take forever to use up so I didn’t feel the need to buy any. Perhaps at a later time I could give them a try.

I placed my order on May 7th and my package was finally delivered on May 19th. Everything came intact, and the individual bars were all shrink wrapped in plastic, which I’m not mad about. This was less of a zero waste review as it was trying to help out a small business while also getting some quality products. If dirtydivasoaps marketed itself as a zero waste brand, then I would maybe be a little more picky, but from what I could find, they just really marketing themselves as making quality handmade soaps and shampoo bars.

So the first real test of these products is the scents, because when buying online, you don’t really get the option of smelling before you buy. The Rose Clay Facial Soap definitely smells strongly of roses. While I thought it was a little overpowering and old-lady-ish at first, it really grew on me overtime and kind of made me feel like I was pampering myself. I had my mom and my sister smell each of the products too to get some other opinions. Mom absolutely loved the smell of the the Rose Clay Facial Soap, although she may be a little biased since she absolutely loves roses, but I now know what I can get her for a gift. My sister Hanna mostly agreed with me about the smell.

When first smelling the Flamingo Beach Shampoo, my olfactory sensors automatically went off. I don’t know if everyone will be able to understand this, but the pink section of the bar smells like Fruit Stripes Gum. When I had my mom tell me what she thought the bar smelled like, she couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but as soon as I said Fruit Stripes, she lit up and instantly agreed. Hanna definitely got the same olfactory memory from the smell as I did, and it made her want to go out and find someplce that sold the gum.

I found that the “beach” smell of the bar came from the more blue-green parts of the bar, which was very reminiscent of any beach or ocean scented candle. According to the product description, Flamingo Beach is “a big burst of lime is followed by notes sweet and crisp bergamot oil. Fragrant frankincense and lemony litsea cubeba round out this blend. It’s got a citrus kick, with a slightly smoky and resinous finish that makes this fragrance sweet + sultry.”

The Waikiki Shampoo Bar was a little bit of a harder scent to pin down. It was sorta fruity but also sorts flowery. On the product page, it says “Waikiki is a delicious tropical scent with passionfruit and melon and a touch of soft plumeria and jasmine.” But I knew that there was something that the collective smell reminded me of. My mom thought it was a great smell, but wasn’t much help on pinning down the exact smell. Hanna and I agreed that it reminded us more of those cone-shaped air fresheners that have the gel inside them.

The last product that I performed the scent test on was the Organic Coffee Butter. I personally loved the smell and thought it smelled like some of the sweetest coffee. My mom loves coffee, but surprisingly she wasn’t much of a fan. She thought that it smelled good, but personally wouldn’t use it herself. Hanna actually really liked the smell and said that it was sweeter smelling that she had originally thought.

Using the Products:

The first product that I ended up using almost immediately when I got my package delivered was the Rose Clay Facial Soap. Since I stopped wearing makeup, I’ve discovered that having a consistent skincare routine is really important. In all honesty, I only really wash my face at night right before I go to bed during my shower, and since I keep my current face bar in the shower, I never think to wash my face in the morning. I’m really hoping that having this new bar on my sink will remind me to wash my face more often in the morning and at night.

I lathered up the bar like you would and washed my face with the bar, and I even used the cute little face scrubby to get some great exfoliation going. My face was so soft after and it even felt tighter and I honestly highly recommend this bar. I found from a quick Google search that the rosehip oil that makes up most of the composition of the bar is great for a multitude of different skin conditions.

Rosehip oil is actually known to:

  • hydration and moisturizing
  • exfoliation
  • brightening
  • boosting collagen
  • reducing inflammation

The next product I started using almost immediately was the Organic Coffee Butter. I usually use moisturizer on my legs after showering. I found that I needed to use a little more product than I initially wanted to. The butter is super thick and hard to spread out as much as a normal lotion, but it does rehydrate my dry skin and smells great. I paid about $11 for only a 4 oz container, and I’m not sure how long it will last me. I think in the future that I could maybe look for a better alternative, but I’m not super disappointed about the purchase as a whole.

Lastly, I used the Flamingo Beach shampoo bar (I’m saving the Waikiki Bar for whenever this one is done). I was kind of expecting to have a horrible experience like what I’ve had with some other shampoo bars. I don’t know if it’s because I have been using my other shampoo bars for a while now, but this bar doesn’t leave any residue and actually makes my hair feel pretty great. The scent of the bar actually stays in my hair after it dries too, which is something that I haven’t really experienced

When it comes to handmade soaps and shampoo bars from a small seller like the ones on Etsy, I’m usually a little skeptical on what the quality is going to be like and how the product is going to react with my skin and hair. But honestly, dirtydivasoaps really surprised me with how great the products are. The face bar is comparable to the ones that I’ve bought in the past from brands like Neutrogena and CeraVe, and the shampoo bar is just as good as the bars I’ve been in love with from Ethique. I was fully ready to be disappointed with what I got for the money that I spent, but I’m glad that I basically proved myself wrong.

I want to make it clear that dirtydivasoaps has no clue that I was making this review over their shop and the products that I purchased with my own money. I give this shop a stamp of approval and thoroughly implore you to check out their products. Like I said in the beginning of this article, they have so much to choose from that I’m sure that anybody could find something that they enjoy.

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