Natural Living, Natural Parenting

Dr Bronners = better than California Baby

So last week I wrote about how much I loved our California Baby shampoo. It was later brought to my attention that California Baby no longer uses all natural formulas, which I was super disappointed to hear. After doing some further research on it & contacting their company, I found that sometime last year they changed their formula (without announcing it, causing a lot of upset parents), and their new formula had sodium benzoate, a chemical preservative. Sodium Benzoate is considered a “safe” chemical, but as you probably know by now, I’m not a big fan on any chemicals, so off to Target we went to return our California Baby products (also not a fan of companies not being completely honest.)

While there I looked for a better option, and bought this shampoo/wash by Shea Moisture. It seemed natural reading all the ingredients, but after coming home & doing a little google search found that “Japanese Honeysuckle Extract” is actually a chemical (I know, it sounds natural, right?!) So returned that one too.

After some more searching we’ve decided to try using Dr. Bronner’s soap as our baby shampoo/body wash (& for making baby wipes.) It’s a completely natural soap with tons of different uses & has been around since the 1940’s as a family business that actually started in Germany in the mid-1800’s. We had a bottle of lavender that I’ve been using as a cleaning spray (put a few drops in a spray bottle of water – for counter tops, wiping down the table, etc.), but decided on the almond scent to use for shampoo.

For using as baby soap, I got a cute little $0.97 3 oz. spray bottle at Target to make dispensing it during bath time a little easier. I spray a squirt or two in my hand and lather it up between my hands & then use it to soap K’s body & hair. It’s a soap, not a shampoo so it doesn’t entirely act like one (won’t lather up well in your hair), but it does clean very well. And it smells really nice (note: Dr Bronner’s makes a “Baby Mild” scent that is fragrance free also, but none of Dr Bronner’s soaps are “tear free”, so be careful around the eyes.)

Since I will be using this soap on my babies, I wanted to try it out on my own hair too (had been using Whole Foods 365 stuff, which is not all natural either), & have been using that for the past week or so. I’ve found that I really like it so far. Some reviews said that it can be drying to your hair, but as long as you don’t wash your hair every day, and be sure to use some sort of conditioner (or a vinegar rinse – gonna try that one out soon) it shouldn’t be a problem. Although everyone’s hair is different, so you may just have to try it out if you’re curious 🙂 I haven’t made a final decision on whether I’ll stick with it for myself, it’s recommended to give at least 2 weeks to let your hair adjust, so we’ll have to see.

For the fifth use we’ve tried so far, Dr Bronner’s soap works really well as a face wash too! This one’s probably my favorite actually (although I like them all.) I’ve noticed over the past week or so of using it in place of my Origins face wash that my skin has a lot fewer break outs & feels really soft and smooth. And again, all natural! Plus inexpensive. Major bonus.

If you’re interested in Dr Bronner’s soaps they come in a variety of sizes & scents & can be purchased in liquid or bar soap form. I’ve found them at Target, Whole Foods, & on Amazon. You can check out a list of their many uses here.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Update: after using Dr Bronner’s shampoo for Kaden and myself for several months, I switched back to California Baby for him & to Shikai shampoo & conditioner for myself. He hates getting his hair rinsed & I feel better having “tear-free” for him. And I like the way my hair feels more with this brand. I’m still not thrilled about the sodium benzoate in CA baby, but I haven’t been able to find any kid’s shampoo that doesn’t use it. If you know of one, please share! And I’m still loving Dr. Bronner’s as my face wash & body wash.





  1. Sara Hanson

    April 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I use Dr. Bronner’s for EVERYTHING! 🙂 Body wash, shampoo, dog wash, dishes, laundry, cleaning, it’s awesome and Almond is my favorite scent for sure!

  2. Rachel Smith

    April 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Do you mind to share your wipe recipe??

      1. Katelyn Perkins

        April 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        And just let me know if you have any questions!

        1. Rachel Smith

          April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

          could this be used as a bottom spray too?

          1. Katelyn Perkins

            April 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

            I’m not sure… I’ve never used a spray before. Maybe try a google search & see if anyone’s tried it? Good luck!

  3. Amanda

    September 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Dolphin organics is sodium benzoate free

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