I first heard about Primal Suds via Eco Green Revolution (A plastic free and zero waste online supermarket that stocks loads of awesome indie brands, treat yourself and save the planet!) who kindly gifted me a few of their favourite items and within that package was a bar of Primal Suds solid soap. I unboxed it and was incredibly shocked when I saw that it was made in Southampton, which is where I live. How did I not know this before?! I was amazed, and soon found out they are based within a few minutes walking distance of where I’ve lived for the past few years…Small world, eh?
They invited me to pay their soap kitchen a visit, which was really exciting as I’ve never seen anything like that and it’s SO similar to cooking. Even the ingredients include lots of things you might find in the kitchen; coconut oil, olive oil, chia seeds, oats plus herbs and spices.
Primal Suds are the only company I know of that use all natural ingredients and absolutely no nasties – that means no parabens, no Sodium lauryl sulphate (often abbreviated to SLS, it’s in loads of things but is actually a harsh synthetic foaming agent) no palm oil and all vegan. Lots of companies say they do, or insinuate that they are natural but very few actually ARE…It’s just clever wording. Instead of synthetic baddies, these soaps are made using sustainable coconut oil (which is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal), olive oil, shea butter and rapeseed oil. Natural essential oils make everything smell lovely without any fakery using clays and charcoal to naturally draw out nasties from your skin. Finally, they use an awesome assortment of natural exfoliants such as oats, chia, tea, hemp etc which, in turn, also help to colour the soaps. You will notice that there are no crazy colours here and that’s the first thing that should draw your attention to the fact that something probably isn’t all natural, there aren’t many things you can use to make a natural luminous glittery pink soap I’m afraid! But a little spirulina or annatto seeds along with the clay blends and you can definitely get some interesting natural colours on the go. All these natural lovelies mean you don’t need to scrape the soap around your skin or press too hard, the natural, scrubby exfoliants will be doing their bit without you having to do all the hard work.
Finally, everything you can buy on their store is vegan, cruelty free and absolutely never tested on animals. The soap is fully naturally, degradable and all packaging is 100% compostable which means no plastic, zero waste and, even better, not only is it great for you and your skin but it also means you’re not washing a load of harsh chemicals down the drain.
There’s a load of different soaps on the site with different scents so just take a look to seek out your fave but there’s also ‘Bare Coconuts’ which is unscented, perfect for anyone avoiding essential oils for whatever reason. The best thing about Primal Suds is that on their listed ingredients, you can see instantly that they really are all natural and eco-friendly, no secret baddies here:
INGREDIENTS: Sodium cocoate (Coconut oil), Aqua, Kaolin white clay, Sodium shea butterate, Charcoal powder (This is for ‘Bare Coconuts’)
The soaps offer wonderfully fresh scents with zesty citrus notes or relaxing eucalyptus, reviving coffee or good-enough-to-eat (but don’t) chocolate orange. I particularly love the ‘suds stumps‘ they’ve been stocking – not only do they look great but they’re perfect for looking after your sud block and helping it last as long as possible! Keeping your soap on a stump like this will help dry it out and keep it fresh with as little wastage as possible.
You can also get little soap wedgie samples for £2 if you fancy trying a few different minis or just need something a bit smaller to travel with. You can even get a box of the little guys for only a tenner! On the opposite side of the scale, they also include the option for you to purchase a ‘mammoth helping‘ for £7 if you just want a simple boulder of no-fuss-soap. There’s even a pretty fucking cool soap-on-a-rope option.
There are different options available depending on your hair type and what you’re after, dry, oily, etc but I just have the ‘normal’ one to try out first and it has such a refreshingly fruity smell without being too sweet. These are solid, natural shampoo bars so no plastic bottle getting thrown away and, just as importantly, no awful synthetic crap getting washed away down the plug hole. So let’s talk ingredients!
INGREDIENTS: Marshmallow Root, Jojoba Oil, Argan oil, Hemp oil, Caster oil, Avocado oil, Rice powder, Aloe Vera, Clays…Plus whatever the option you choose has to offer in addition to this base.
The thing I hear most with natural haircare is KEEP AT IT! I’m a total grease-ball as it is, so I don’t think it’s as noticeable for me but if you’re used to luxury (synthetic, harsh) products you may find yourself at a bit of a crossroads at some point where you hair just doesn’t feel as clean as you’d like…but stick at it, you’ll get there, your hair is just getting used to its new, happy life. Now don’t drag the solid bar across your hair, give it some love first and simply lather up your shampoo bar like you would with soap and use those glorious suds on your locks. Ta da! If you particularly struggle with the transition period (apparently this is worse in hard water areas) then try a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse just after. You won’t need to do this for long, and it won’t smell so don’t worry about that.
Solid Deodorant bar – £5.50 – £10
This one I haven’t tried yet but I’ve seen so many rave reviews about how much easier to use it is than the few options currently available in shops that I still wanted to include it. You can warm it in your hands a little or rub on your arm to get it going before giving your pits a little rub with these lovely fresh, natural scents. Absolutely no plastic involved to throw away and it lasts for ages. There’s a few different ‘flavours’ and two size options to suit your budget, so you could always just pick up a small one to see how you get on. Soap is pretty easy to get used to (lots of us were brought up with solid soaps and conned into buying the plastic stuff later on) but sometimes ‘going green’ can take a little more adjustment and solid deodorant is one of those things, it’s worth it in the long run though.
Check out the video below to see some of the products up close!
In the interest of honesty, all items here were gifted to me by Primal Suds for the purpose of review. These are still all my honest opinions.
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