Let me take a moment to talk about soap. That’s right, soap. We use it every day, or at least we should, and there are an ungodly number of different soaps out on the market these days. As a society we are moving more and more away from the big brand, mass produced products and closer and closer to smaller boutique brands typically ones that are local in nature. This is the case with Okie Dope Soaps.
Okie Dope Soaps was created by Tulsa, Oklahoma local Candace Martino. “I started making soap for more than just a hobby or being more self-sufficient. I like to learn about ingredients and how they affect skin.” Martino says. “I like to formulate recipes to target and help improve skin.”
Recently, I got my hands on a bar of this handcrafted harbinger of clean. Full disclosure before we go any further, I am currently in a business partnership with Okie Dope Soaps. They are creating a bar of soap branded in conjunction with my book “The Sunflower Stories.” That being said the following is my honest assessment.
Now typically I am the three in one soap kind of guy. I have a shaved head and a beard so I don’t have much need for shampoo so I just handle everything is one fail swoop. Bar soap has always been something my parents or grandparents used or something I was forced to use in a hotel room. To illustrate this better, I have had the same unused bar of goat milk soap in my drawer for the last three years that I got while working a job. I’m sure it’s great soap, but still, it’s not my cheap and easy liquid.
Being that I have a vested interest in the bar soap industry now, I figured I should take a look at what it’s all about and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. At least, that is, with Okie Dope Soaps. The bar I have is their Charcoal Tea Tree, which has an ingredient list of: saponified oils of olive, coconut, sustainable palm, castor, tamanu, tea tree essential oil, activated charcoal, sodium lactate, and love. That last ingredient is very important.
“Well, I love charcoal. It is a bit of a magical powder…” Martino states. “Charcoal helps absorb oil and pull out dirt from pores,” which she tells me is great for acne. “Also a lot of people don’t know this, but charcoal is healing and can be put on cuts to absorb harmful microbes, giving it an antibacterial effect.” You can tell that Martino knows her stuff and that she takes great pride in what she does. She continues, “Tea tree essential oil is great for acne as well and helps oil control. Tamanu oil is another ingredient I use. This oil is derived from a tree nut and has multiple benefits that help improve skin texture and health.I love it because it is a rich fatty acid making it very moisturizing.”
Talking with Martino about this is opening my eyes to the world of skin care and making me realize that it involves or at least should involve more than just clean skin.
One of my favorite things about my research for this article is that my lab was my shower. Not only did I get to hone my vocal skills each day, but I got to test out Okie Dope Soaps and see what they were all about for myself. The bars are rectangle in shape so they aren’t your typical oval bars of Irish Spring or Dove. They have an interesting and appealing design aspect on their tops which bring a bit of interest to your shower or bath. The lather is just right and smooth and while I’ve been maintaining my love for the liquid kind of clean I have discovered the joy of not having the feeling of a light film coated over my whole body. Oh and I did I mention I love the way my body smells after a shower? Well, if I didn’t then I will now. I love the way my body smells after using Okie Dope Soaps! It’s amazing the things you learn when you branch out of your comfort zone.
Okie Dope Soaps has several different bars out other than the Charcoal Tea Tree that I used as well as new ones being made all the time including bars that are made with beer as an ingredient, which I am told has incredible benefits of its own. That’s a story for another time. All in all I would say that Okie Dope Soaps is off to a great start in making the world a cleaner and healthier place. At least for your skin.
Check out Okie Dope Soaps on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Okie-Dope-Soaps-LLC-622844361401278/