• kalyncallan


Happy Plastic Free July 2020! This is my first year taking part and what better time to test out a new shampoo bar! Swapping to solid toiletries instead of liquid products avoids plastic packaging, and you're usually buying a more natural product from an ethical brand. What's not to love? I first tried a shampoo bar about a year ago and while it did take some getting used to, I ended up loving it. My hair felt healthy and it was so convenient when on the go. I travelled a bit for work last year, and it was so refreshing not having to worry about anything leaking in my bag, or liquid restrictions in my hand luggage. Despite not having any problems, I did stop using shampoo bars when my hairdresser pressured me into buying ‘salon approved’ haircare. She was adamant that to improve the condition of my hair, I MUST buy the expensive stuff the salon sold... Silly me for falling for this. Now that overpriced shampoo has finally ran out, I’m switching back to shampoo bars. Hooray! I can honestly say having used the ‘salon approved’ stuff, I preferred how my hair felt when using bars. And it’s more sustainable. Result!


"Care for the skin you're in"

Skinsence were very kind to send me their citrus burst shampoo bar and a couple of lotion samples to try. Although they were very kindly gifted, these are my unbiased opinions and it’s completely my choice to review this for you today.

About the brand

Alan and Sheila started Skinsence with the ambition to create plastic-free, eco-friendly products that are free from harsh chemicals. They've spoken out about how, although a lot of other brands use recyclable plastic, only 9% actually ends up being recycled (such a great point that is not spoken about enough). The majority of their products are organic, vegan and they're all made in small batches by hand in Hampshire. As the company are doing amazing things for the environment and I think they have excellent ethics, I was over the moon to try their products and do my bit to support a small business.

My hair type

Before I get into the review, let me tell you a bit about my hair type. I have combination hair (the struggle) my roots can get quite greasy; however, the mid-ends of my hair are dryer and I’m prone to frizz. My hair is not quite wavy, but not quite straight. Some days it will dry dead straight, then other times it will be a wavy frizzy mess. I’ve always found it difficult to find the perfect product which adds moisture to my hair without making my roots greasy A.F.

First impressions

So first of all, my Skinsence delivery arrived in completely plastic-free packaging! It was wrapped in brown paper, with cardboard used to protect the products from damage. I absolutely love this. You'd be surprised how often plastic-free products arrive in PLASTIC packaging... We're off to a good start. There was an overpowering lemongrass smell that hit me as soon as I began opening the package, which I'm not the greatest fan of. But let's not judge too quickly. Upon opening up and getting a good look at the shampoo bar, I can't lie, I didn't have high hopes for this product. The bar felt rock hard and a little grainy. There’s some texture to it, so I was a little worried it was going to be super drying on my hair. But despite my first impressions not being great, you can’t knock it until you try it!

First use

On my first use, I tried lathering the shampoo bar in my hands first then ran my hands through my hair. This didn’t work too well, as the shampoo didn't lather up much. So I rubbed the bar gently through my hair instead. Much better, but still not a lot of lather. Sulphate is often the ingredient in shampoos which makes it get all soapy, however a lot of natural brands have started to steer away from sulphates due to speculation over the health effects. Those with curlier and dyed hair often stay clear of sulphates as it can be quite harsh on their hair (I know the curly girl method stays clear of sulphates). Because all of their shampoo bars are SLS (sulphate) free, they use a natural alternative ingredient to make their formula lather up. This particular ingredient (SLSA) usually derives from coconut or palm oil. We all know how problematic palm oil is, however, I spoke with Skinsence and they confirmed that they do not use palm oil in any of their products. Hallelujah! So bear in this in mind, it will not give the same kind of lather you may be used to if you've been using liquid shampoos which contain SLS. Back to the hair wash! I once read that shampooing twice every wash massively prolongs the time between washes and leaves your hair in better condition. AND I SWEAR BY IT! On my second round of shampooing, I found the bar lathered up so much better. I mentioned that I was initially worried about how hard the bar was when I first opened it, however once it's wet it does soften so the friction when washing isn't a problem. I actually really like that this product doesn't soften too much, I’ve found with other shampoo bars it’s hard to control how much you’re using and you often fly through the product a lot faster than liquid shampoo when it's too soft. Not ideal, when the average price of other shampoo bars is more expensive. Out of all the shampoo bars I've used, this one is by far the best for its lifespan. Although I haven't used it for THAT long I can already tell by how the bar is almost completely the same size, and I've used it 8 times! Yes, this bar will set you back £6.50, but you're getting a hell of a lot for your money.

Is the shampoo bar worth it?

Having used it a good few times now, I’m actually really impressed with this product! Okay so I'm not the biggest fan of the scent, but they stock others so it's not a deal-breaker. I noticed a big difference in how quickly my hair began to get greasy. Having looked on their website, this particular one is suited to greasy hair and I couldn't agree more. If you're looking for a shampoo bar and have oily hair, I highly recommend giving this a try. It was just a tad too drying for me personally. I did have to use more conditioner and argan oil on my ends to avoid drying. However, I often switch between a shampoo targeted at dry hair, and then one for oily hair every now and then when my needs change. So I think I’ll definitely continue to use this for times when my hair is more oily.


While the shampoo was the star of the show, Skinsence kindly also sent testers of their hand cream and face moisturiser for me to try. The hand cream was excellent! Really moisturising and not too sticky or oily either. I much prefer the rosehip fragrance, although I do have some concerns with any fragranced toiletries, particularly creams. If you had contact dermatitis or eczema on your hands, I think this formula wouldn’t be suitable. Fragrance can cause stinging and irritation, so it’s always best to be cautious. It's not uncommon for me to have reactions to some hand soaps, and from experience any fragranced hand cream stings like a B**** when I'm suffering from contact dermatitis. The face moisturiser has a very similar formula and many of the same ingredients. Like the hand cream, it is too fragranced for sensitive skin. My skin is personally very dry (dry hair, dry skin, I'm basically a reptile at this point) so I use a thick moisturiser specifically for dry skin from the pharmacy. Stupidly, I used this on my face knowing that it is sensitive. Within seconds it started to sting the drier patches on my face, and I had to remove it. But ever since I’ve just used this as a hand cream and it’s been fine! Skin is so personal, and only you know what skin type you have and how sensitive you are. So please be cautious and use your own judgement when choosing products. If you’re unsure what skin type you have, the body shop offers a great service where they’ll test how much hydration your skin has and if you’re more oily, dehydrated, or dry. I’m not sure if this service is currently available with COVID but it’s worth looking into.

That concludes my review of Skinsence! I hope you found it useful. Skinsence are a newer company with incredible ethics so go and check them out on social media (I’ll leave the link below). Shop small people!

Stay safe x


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