Summer is here and our outdoor adventures can begin once again! Here in the Just Add Cloth family, we spend a lot of time outdoors. This is a very recreational city and any day of the week the running paths and lake trails are filled with strollers, bikers, joggers, and plenty of people just out enjoying the warmth. After a long winter of about ooohh, 40-some odd months every year, Minnesotans are itching to get out of the house and play! Unfortunately, once the cabin fever itch is scratched, another itch is usually not far behind. This is mosquito country after all. Therefore, I am excited to offer a review of these cool soaps that can remedy those summer ailments from our not so friendly flora and fauna. Introducing the Grandma’s Pure & Natural Summer Survival Soap Set.
Grandma’s Pure & Natural soaps are made with natural ingredients and simple recipes. As a soap maker myself, I appreciate the short list of ingredients in each bar and the mild healing properties each can deliver. These soaps are lard based, which makes them less drying than vegetable based soaps and less allergenic. The simple lye soap is similar to the base soap batch I like to make every year for everyday cleaning. It contains lard, water, and lye, with no fragrance or irritants. This is great for sensitive skin. So many cleansers these days are really detergents for your body and contain several harsh chemicals. Most commercial “soap” bars are not soap at all and can be very irritating, not to mention leaching unwanted impurities into your largest organ: your skin!
Being in the Midwest, we are no strangers to mosquitoes. There is even a horror movie on the topic! I have a two year old and a five month old. The bugs love them, but I am not comfortable spraying chemical laden insect repellants on kids of any age, let alone this young. I love finding natural bug repellants for my kids (and myself!). Mr.JAC works for the park service, along with tons of volunteer hours for the local greening projects. He also enjoys 60 mile backpacking treks up along the border, so he has deet based repellants for his gear. For myself and the kids, something milder will do since we are usually right in town.
The Grandma’s Pure & Natural Don’t Bug Me bar can do the trick for pesky townie bugs. It has the lard, water, and lye base with essential oils of basil, cedar, and citronella added. Before heading out, simply wash with the Don’t Bug Me bar. For extra protection, you can lather it up and just rub the residue on your skin. You will smell like the soap, but it is better than smelling like bug spray. My husband wears a cologne with basil and cedar in it, so I actually like the smell of the soap. My tip is to actually shave some of the soap into tiny pieces and put it in a foaming pump dispenser with warm water. Then you can simply pump some into your hand and rub it on exposed skin.
Apparently an old natural remedy for Poison Ivy is Jewelweed, which happens to be the active ingredient in the Grandma’s Pure & Natural Poison Ivy & Oak bar. The ingredients are simple: Food Grade Lard, Jewelweed (Impatiens Capensis) Infusion, and Lye. We haven’t had any Poison Ivy rashes to try it out on and Mr.JAC wasn’t keen on my idea of him rolling around in a Poison Oak patch, so I tried it out on my eczema itching instead. I wet the bar and rubbed it on the red, itchy patches on my ankles and let it dry on my skin. It burned slightly for a couple seconds and then was fine. I surprisingly has less itching in that area for about two hours. I spent the evening scratching everywhere, but my ankles instead.
Grandma’s Pure & Natural has several other products for the home and family. I really want to try the Laundry and Diaper Soap and the Pet soap. Most of the specialty soap bars are only $6.
* I received a review product for this article, but was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own.