12/27/16

Soap Review: Rad Soap Activated Charcoal Moon Rock Body Bar




This one breaks my heart. If you shop at Whole Foods, you may have spotted these soaps there, normally priced at around ten dollars a bar, which is about right for Whole-Paycheck Whole Foods. I'm not one to explore the "activated charcoal" fad in upscale soaps, mainly because charcoal is black and dirty and prone to staining white tubs, but occasionally a concept jumps out at me and makes me wonder. Such is the case with Rad Soap's Moon Rock bar.

The bar is hefty, pitch black, and pitted to look like a rock. The scent is charcoal and black currant, and I can verify that both notes are beautifully rendered, striking a harmonic balance usually reserved for high performance engines. The charcoal is sooty and dry, almost bready, and the currant is mild, not urinous or fetid, a soft sweetness suggestive of ripe berries. On skin this combination is even better, emitting a clear freshness very similar to Claiborne Sport's saturnine, wine-like essence.

What saddens me is that the bar itself is a disaster. Texturally it feels like a solid, somewhat oily compound that becomes quite greasy as you lather, and actually melts off itself in water. Cue the black streaks, with sizable fragments of soap dropping from the bar and clogging my tub drain. The thing just won't hold together. After two washings I gave up and had to toss the bar. Adding to the misery, I noticed black streaks had formed under the soap holder built into my shower wall; the Moon Rock continued dissolving long after the showers were over.

These soaps aren't especially hard to find, and I think there are ten more in the line, give or take. Maybe the others fare better, but the Moon Rock just doesn't pass muster. I wish it did, because its cleansing properties and fragrance are both quite good. Note to the Rad Soap company: you're almost there - just tweak the density of your product. Meanwhile, back to Irish Spring for me.



7 comments:

  1. I guess you could always just pour some activated charcoal in a bottle of shower gel. The effect should be about the same, minus the black currant note.

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    1. True, very true. Where did the idea that charcoal is "cleansing" come from, anyway?

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    2. Activated charcoal is good as an adsorbent, so it's used for teeth whitening, treating people who ingested toxic substances, or for filtration. But as a cleanser? Beats me. The soap cleans off everything as it is. How much cleaner could someone get?
      Though it isn't as gimmicky as the Irish Spring body wash with "volcanic minerals." Making a product sound like it's carcinogenic, or like some dude risked certain death to acquire the ingredients, makes it sound more effective. I guess.

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  2. From Rad Soaps-
    "Activated Charcoal: Acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oils.
    Black Currant Oil: Antioxidant properties to nourish dry damaged skin and restore its natural glow.

    H2O with Botanical Extraction of Black Currant Fruit, Saponified Non-GMO Food Grade Oils of Palm, Coconut, Olive, Sunflower and Safflower; Black Currant & Virgin Hemp Seed Oils; Activated Charcoal and Black Currant Natural Fragrance Oil."

    This is the main problem with these 'artisan' soaps. They're 'superfatted' making them quite luxurious and emollient to the skin but dissolve into a gloopy mess after one to 2 uses. I've made some of those superfatted soaps scented with nag champa & tuberose for a local spa, a scent I named 'Sikkim Dreams.' Charcoal doesn't do a darned thing rubbed on your skin except stain it. What a dumb thing to put in soap. Put the antioxidant black currant oils in an after bath lotion, cream or 'dry oil' so they can soak in & do some good rather than being washed off fer gawsh sakes!

    Sorry, I want my soap to get me clean without abrading my skin or stripping the slightly acid pH or natural oil out of it AND that bar better last a month.

    Stick to old fashioned olive oil soaps like Maja or Castile for a great smellin' long lasting bar that will get you clean without damaging your skin. Maja soap's lovely fragrance lingers for hours. Yardley's Olde English Lavender is a good one also. Yardley's Lavender is ok if you like your lavender neutered with a bland vanilla.

    I miss shopping at Whole Paycheck. Not a danged thing I need to buy there but always a pleasant experience. Watch out for those vicious & entitled Dem Elites shopping at Whole Foods, Mr Ross! If you didn't vote for HRC you're an ignorant racist (or so I'm hearing from my liberal SFBay area Dem elite friends(?)

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    1. Yeah the charcoal thing is a good idea, but definitely a gimmick. Personally I prefer drugstore standards, stuff like Dial and Irish Spring, and occasionally a bar of Imperial Leather is welcome, too. Not a fan of "body bars." They're all greasy and weird to me. Soap is supposed to whither my skin and give me dandruff.

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  3. I personally prefer tallow based soaps. They create a creamy and stable lather with great moisturizing benefits. I also prefer tallow shave soaps. I have used Pelican Deitanseki Clay & Charcoal Facial Cleansing Bar in the past and find it to be an excellent product. They make some solid performing soaps.

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    1. Been meaning to try Brut soap. Ever give that stuff a whirl? Wondering if it's as good (or as bad) as people make it out to be.

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