ampr fyi: when soap gets in your eyes

November 8th, 2010

Hello and welcome to our very first “AMPR’s FYI”. Here at AMPR we get a real insider’s view of some of the most incredible people, places and things and we just can’t keep it bottled up inside anymore – we have to share what we know! Each week an AMPR staffer will post a personal account of a unique adventure, little-known fact or must-try experience that you would perhaps otherwise never have discovered.

To get the ball rolling, my name is Sarah Winters and I am a fairly recent addition to the AMPR team. I love to travel and I love anything to do with skincare and make-up (and sparkley things.) This week, I have decided to give you the 411 on a little gem of a product: ESPA’s Soothing Cleansing Bar. Yes, soap!


Once I had decided that I simply must dish the dish on this heavenly hunk of dirt remover, I realized that I would need to set some relatable parameters for my review. Here are the criteria for my sudsy evaluation: Scent, Handiness, Lather, Scour Power and Lastability.

At core of ESPA’s modus operandi is to provide quality natural products that serve a multi-purpose, and with the Soothing Cleansing Bar they do not disappoint.

  • Scent: The Soothing Cleansing Bar contains aromatherapy-active essential oils, namely, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Lavendar and Patchouli. Let me tell you, it smells fantastic – an androgynous just-home-from-the-spa kind of smell that appeals to both men and women. The combo of steam from the shower and the essential oils makes for a refreshingly fragranced and very relaxing rinse – this soap definitely lives up to its name.
  • Handiness: I know this is a subject to which people will have given little thought but it is of no less importance. While I like to think that I have a proportionate body, my hands do tend toward the smaller side and sometimes soaps can be a little unwieldy, especially when fresh out of the carton. What I love about the ESPA Cleansing Bar is that they have disposed with the usual rectangular or oval shape and have chosen to go with something that is halfway between a cube and a rectangle. It fits perfectly in the palm of your hand but is still a satisfying chunk of clean-maker, whether you have big hands or small.
  • Lather: I have strong feelings about the lather of soaps. Some seem to repel water and won’t even dispense with a single sud, yet others seem to coat you with a layer of impenetrable goo – leaving one fearing that one might break one’s hip if one puts one’s foot down after washing it. The Cleansing Bar scores another point in this department. Made with Palm Oil, Coconut Oil and a selection of other naturally occurring moisturizers, it soaps up nicely and leaves your skin feeling fresh and smooth and clean – not dried out or super slippery.
  • Scour Power: While gentle and suitable for all skin types, ESPA’s soap really does the dirty on dirt. On the streets and subways of New York in the summertime it’s hard to completely avoid the city grime, so I put the Cleansing Bar to the test on my walk-everywhere feet. Sure enough, those little hooves were clean as a whistle after the lightest of scrubs.
  • Lastability: If there’s one thing I hate, it’s soaps that start off looking like they’ll get the job done – think Hulk Hogan, but soap – but after a few days they’ve wasted away to a miserable-looking Woody Allen of a thing. This little bundle of soothing cleanliness gives you the best of both worlds: an appropriate level of lather without dissolving into mush on the soap-holder.

In sum, ESPA’s Soothing Cleansing Bar has proven to be one of the best beauty/bathing discoveries I’ve made. I’m hooked and it has my man’s stamp of approval too, no easy feat! If you want to try it, too, let us know and we’ll send you one for your own personal road-test; the only condition is that you report back using the criteria above.

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