Anima Soap Review

Posted on May 13, 2010 by Stefanie


A couple months ago, I was standing in the shower thinking about Greenists post ideas. (Well, more specifically, I was standing in the shower showering, but also thinking of Greenists post ideas, because I am a big fan of multitasking and because we all know lots of good ideas happen in the shower.) And as I lathered up the bar of soap I’d picked up at a recent craft sale, it occurred to me that I should write about what a good idea it is to switch from disposable plastic poufs and bottled shower gel to old school bar soap. I was thinking about how much less packaging bar soap uses and how easy it is to find bar soaps that aren’t full of unpronounceable chemicals and how switching to bar soap is just the kind of simple, good idea The Greenists love to focus on. And then I searched the archives and realized… Allie already wrote about that. Of course she did! OK then.

A good tip is always worth repeating, so I decided to mention it anyway, in my Not-Quite-New Year’s Resolutions post a while back. And I’m mentioning it again now not because I like to beat a dead horse, but because the good people at Anima Soap sent me some samples of their fine products, and they’d probably like me to tell you about them.

Anima sells handmade soap in two varieties—a grapefruit scented bar and an unscented baby bar. Both are made with organic oils and no chemicals or synthetic substances. There are exactly six ingredients listed on the box (including water), and I recognize all of them.

The word “anima” is Latin for “soul.” The company chose that name to convey the fact that it has a soul, a conscience. “So long as [Anima] exists,” their web site promises, “it will produce products that put human and ecological values first.” As such, it probably comes as no surprise that their certified organic products are never tested on animals, and their simple paper packaging is 95% recycled and recyclable.

But how is the soap itself? I tried both varieties, and I have to say… thumbs up. To a certain degree, soap is soap, but some bar soaps are definitely better than others, and this is a good one. It works up easily into a soft, rich lather, but the bar itself holds up in the shower really well (no slimy, squooshy mess, and no wasted cracked slivers as the bar wears down; it was usable right up until the last tiny remnant dissolved in my hand). And those organic oils must be doing their job, because Anima left my skin feeling soft and moisturized. I even used it on my face (it’s billed as a face and body soap, but that doesn’t always mean much), fully expecting it to give my cheeks and forehead that dried-out, pulled-tight feeling that most supposedly facial-friendly body soaps cause. But you know what? My face felt fine! Just like when I use a dedicated facial cleanser on it, actually. Who’d have thought? Crazy.

The grapefruit bar has a really light, pleasant scent that’s refreshing and citrusy without being cloyingly sweet or overpowering. If you prefer a fragrance-free soap, go with the baby version instead. It’s essentially the same formula, but without the scent. (Presumably the baby version is also good for… you know, babies, but I wasn’t going to acquire one of those just to properly test drive this stuff.)

Best of all, it’s extremely affordable, too. Though they sell in bulk, the per-bar price is only $1.89. That may in fact be one of the best bar soap deals on the web (for equivalent products, that is). If you live in Austin or New York, you can pick Anima up at a few select stores. The rest of us have to order online. I may just be ordering some more myself!


  1. That’s great! I admit, when I first realized I should probably switch to bar soap, I was HORRIFIED. It seemed so … 80s. But then I realized it wasn’t the bar aspect that bummed me out, it was the overdrying and flaky skin that cheap soaps can cause. But if I can have cute, scented soaps that work on my body AND face, shower time is fun again! I will definitely try out this Anima soap!

    May 13th, 2010 at 10:37 am
    Comment by Courtney
  2. I’m a big fan of bar soap. I use the stuff from Trader Joe’s. I used to use the poof with body wash, but a wash cloth and bar soap just feels so much more manly.

    May 13th, 2010 at 11:21 am
    Comment by mickey
  3. It is funny how we’ve been kind of trained to think of bar soap as uncouth now. And for the longest time, my idea of bar soap was those awful unnaturally pink bars, but there are a lot of great soaps out there. And it is fun to try new ones. I love the package on these and 1.99 per bar is SUPER affordable! I’ll have to check it out.

    May 13th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    Comment by Allie
  4. Sadly my biggest issue with bar soap is my uncanny ability to drop it *every* time and have to retreive it without losing my balance. Glad to hear this one did not get slimy in the shower as that is my second biggest issue. Happy to hear you finally have a shower to do such great thinking in again Stef, (are we ever going to see pictures?) I made bar soap from goat’s milk at this crazy little store on vacation in PEI, Canada and it was amazingly moisturizing and not super fragrant. Maybe I will try bar soap again – thanks for the reminder!

    May 13th, 2010 at 4:57 pm
    Comment by badger reader
  5. I’ll have to try it out. How long did the soap last?

    June 21st, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Comment by jen

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If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


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