Katie Vibes
low-impact & conscious lifestyle


Posts tagged coutiver
My First Shampoo Bar Experience

A couple months ago I finally made the decision to ditch liquid shampoos and try a shampoo bar. For those who don't know, shampoo bars are essentially natural soap bars (made with oils and waxes), which are specially designed for washing your hair. They're really popular in the green beauty community and I've been wanting to try one for a while. So - when my favourite soap brand Coutiver released one (pictured above) - I took the plunge. This post was originally going to be an in-depth review of said shampoo bar but I've now come to the conclusion that shampoo bars might not be for me.

Shampoo bars HATE hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content - usually magnesium and calcium. This makes the scales of your hair stand up, making the texture rough and making it a lot harder to efficiently rinse out soap that tends to react with the higher levels of minerals. This results in hair that feels weighed down and almost coated.

Truth is, Coutiver's Chestnut Beer Shampoo Bar is all kinds of wonderful. I cannot fault the formula whatsoever. I would list you the beautiful ingredients but unfortunately I no longer have the wrapper and the product is currently out of stock in Coutiver's Etsy shop. It leaves my hair lovely and clean and there's no denying that an actual bar of shampoo feels a lot more natural than even a sulfate-free liquid shampoo. Unfortunately, here in Essex, we have extremely hard water. This can be remedied by following your shampoo with an apple cider vinegar rinse but even with a 50/50 ACV to water split (which also works out quite expensive), I'm still experiencing side effects such as lint-like soap scum on my hairbrush and hair after brushing and a distinct reduction in hair volume, especially at the scalp. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE the idea of a shampoo bar but I'm starting to think that they're quite the hassle when you have thick hair and hard water. I've also noticed that the bars dissolve down quite quickly and when it becomes thin, it also becomes a lot harder to use. Therefore, I've decided to go back to my old faithful Acure shampoo for now.

Despite all this, if you're lucky enough to be blessed with lovely soft water, I really suggest that you give a shampoo bar a try as they are far superior in ingredients to your average natural liquid shampoo. I would highly suggest a palm-free shampoo bar and if Coutiver restocks the Chestnut Beer soap, grab it! Finally, if you have any tips about making the most of shampoo bars with hard water - leave them below!

Review: Coutiver Palm-Free Vegan Soap

I am so excited to finally get this post out and introduce everyone to this amazing, palm-free, super ethical, vegan soap company.

Coutiver is run by the ever-so-lovely Christophe Lecoeur from a base in Hornchurch, Essex. Christophe spent his entire childhood in the South of France and that is where the obsession with natural/organic ingredients began. Coutiver blends together amazing French artistry with truly wonderful environmental/ethical concerns. All Coutiver soaps are:

100% vegan
100% recycled, recyclable or compostable packaging
100% palm-oil free
100% produced with green energy
100% synthetic-free
100% perfume free

They are also handmade, cold-processed, carry c02 footprint compensation, local product based and use the maximum amount of organic ingredients available. Wow! Furthermore, they are cruelty-free certified by PETA, and when purchasing, you have the option to buy with or without the packaging (a lovely touch!).

I have been trying out two soaps from the line:Pinch of Rosemary* and Aniseed*. And yes, both smell as divine as they sound! Pinch of Rosemary is yet to be opened but I have been happily using Aniseed and I am most definitely impressed. Surprisingly, Aniseed is fragranced with purely essential oils and the aniseed-drop-like scent has been created purely with Fennel... amazing! The formula is super clean and it really does preform. Apart from fulfilling the general job description of a soap (and very well may I add - yay for lather!), this bar also feels incredibly moisturising. This can be attributed to the inclusion of coconut oil and sweet almond oil, both completely organic. It is so moisturising that I've even been finding that I can skip a body lotion after use! The ingredients are super simple and effective; saponified virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, sweet almond oil, ground fennel and filtered water. Most notably, no palm-oil in sight! I am a big fan of companies skipping palm oil in their recipes, as generally, the ingredient is not very sustainable, and the cultivation can be highly damaging to the habitats of primates such as orang-utans. I'm really impressed that this company has extended their ethical standpoint to saving animals as well as the environment - and your skin!

Pinch of Rosemary includes similar ingredients with the addition of rosemary essential oil, ground rosemary and spirulina. I absolute adore rosemary so I am more than excited about opening this one up when I have finished with Aniseed.

Coutiver has become a company so very central on my radar and I am most definitely going to be making an order in the future. I love their ethical standpoint and the fact that they are based in my own county! I am currently eyeing up their shampoo bar as an alternative to liquid shampoo. I'll let you know how it goes... You can find Coutiver on Etsy or at Henna Herbals.