LAFCO New York has recently added liquid soap and hand lotion to their already stellar product line. The fragrances they offer are so outstanding that they have long since been my go to brand for candles, which lead me to their bar soaps. So far, all good. It only gets better… with the addition of their TRUE LIQUID HAND SOAP and REPARATIVE HAND CREAM. What I had not previously realized about LAFCO products was that they are HOMEOPATHIC, so if ingredients are not beneficial, they will not be included in LAFCO products. I was already a fan of the product line, but now LAFCO really had my attention…
I had the opportunity to meet Jon Bresler, the founder of LAFCO New York, and learn a bit about the company and the products. Bresler’s intensely detailed focus on quality demonstrates loyalty to the well-being of his customers. The company began in the Upper West Side of New York City twenty-one years ago, as a distributor of Santa Maria Novella (Italy’s largest homeopathic pharmacy) products. Then Bresler began to dabble in candles, creating “fragrances for different spaces”. The candle production went from a fun idea to 70% of his business. If you are familiar with these candles, you can well understand why. If not, I recommend you experience the dreamy fragrances of LAFCO immediately. The attention to quality is clear to the user. LAFCO uses and 4th-5th generation tiny perfume house in Southern France and opts for highly natural fragrances for the better, longer burn. Candle aficionados appreciate these nuances of quality… which transfer into the production of his soaps.
The Dirty Truth About Soap
I wil try to make this brief so I do not bore you, but how could you be bored if I freak you out. From the days of Cleopatra to recent times, soap was made of lye. Fat + Acid = Soap. Animal fat. However, in the last 20 years, the use of animal products became uncool (even though those animal fat byproducts are just simply now just going unused – animals are not being saved by this soap production movement). So Coconut Oil is now the current fat used for soap, with Malaysia as biggest supplier. Where it gets concerning is how the coconut oil is removed for mass production. More oil can be removed from a coconut with the use of petroleum-based products — that do not fully separate from the oil, once removed, so consider them both a part of your mainstream soap base. Then, added to mainstream soaps are sulfates, degreasing agents, petroleum derivatives, shelf stabilizers, emulsifiers, and the list goes on. Many of these ingredients should not be slathered over our entire bodies for absorption, much less the cocktail of all of them. Some are hormone inhibitors, some are carcinogenic, some are toxic. Most of these “liquid soaps” on the market should not actually qualify as soaps, but detergents or degreasers… as defined by their ingredients – and I include many high-end, expensive, luxury brands in with the mainstream ones. If you are disgusted by what you are reading, trust me, so am I.
What is True Liquid Soap like?
It is different from what we are used to, interestingly so. LAFCO True Liquid Soaps are chemical free, made from olive oil and come in the same luxurious scents as the candles. They have a completely different feel from what you may be used to – rather than the tricked up engineered foaming effects of mainstream choices, these soaps have a silky more subtle lather. The omegas restore the skin’s lipids and you can feel the retained moisture as you dry your hands. These soaps do not have shelf stabilizers, so they may have different thicknesses from one container to the next or thicken slightly over time, or the color might shift. These are the hallmarks of natural products.
A Side Note about LAFCO Bar Soaps
While LAFCO New York bar soaps may appear to be expensive, they last longer than any soap I have ever had. Why? Because they are aged. LAFCO goes the extra step, adding about a month to production time for the aging process to remove the water content by 15-20%. What does this mean? It means that when you wash your hands, the soap won’t sit in spool of water and deteriorate. It dries quickly after use and lasts longer.
The President Called Me Out
…on a previous article I wrote. For a split second, I could have been embarrassed, but that would have been lame. I was thrilled that this impressive, intellectual president of a major company was reading my online publication. I had written an article about making your own customized scented laundry detergent. My scent of choice was a LAFCO soap (still is, btw), so the article was as much about LAFCO as it was the laundry detergent. Bresler informed me that while my scent choice was excellent, the very homeopathic things that make his soaps healing and nourishing for the skin might make them a less wise choice for the longevity of the fibers of our clothes. He kindly advised that a Marseille soap would be the better choice for that DIY Detergent. I thought that was pretty cool of him.
And a finishing note on the Hand Creams…
Wow. They are lovely. They are Italian Certified Organic before fragrance is added, which means of higher standards than U.S., these silky creams have almond oil and avocado oil, and NO silicone (rare to find). Silicone = petroleum, which clogs pores. There is no beneficial reason to put silicone on your skin.
The Net Net
I am a fan of these products and have total respect for the care and detail that goes into them. The fact that they are homeopathic is meaningful to me, because I feel strongly that we should all be proactive about our health. Treat yourself to some healthy luxury at LAFCO New York. 800-362-3677
The bottom line regarding LAFCO New York products being homeopathic: the process and the ingredients are painstakingly considered from the homeopathic point of view – if an ingredient does not have a benefit or value to the body, then it is not included in the product. How can the consumer not respect this? LAFCO most certainly has my loyalty.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with Lafco. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for CourtneyPrice.com.
Addendum: The True Liquid Soap line (liquid soap only) was recalled on April 21, 2014. Please read note in the comment section from the founder of the company. Meanwhile, please continue to enjoy the rest of their wonderful product line with the confidence that LAFCO acts honorably and cares about the well being of their customers.
UPDATE: September 2014:
LAFCO True Liquid Soap is back, as glorious as ever. Silky and lovely, this soap is as pleasing as it is healthy. Note to LAFCO, I have been eagerly awaiting this soap’s return, now that I know to be aware of product ingredients. It is all about trust and quality. Well done!
The “net, net” is I want some of this liquid soap right next to my kitchen & bathroom sinks! Certainly not bored but happy for the reality check on soap. Good soap does last longer and being better for you is worth the price. Heading out to do some shopping…
Courtney Price says
Totally agree with you. Scary to think about the toxins I have been lathering all over my body for years. These soaps have the bonus of smelling better than any out there, so it’s not like you are “taking one for the team” to go homeopathic.
Justin Michael says
I’ll stick to my Dove but that does seem like fancy soap. Enjoy Courtney 🙂
Courtney Price says
jon bresler says
Justin, it is not just fancy soap. Its actually made from oils (olive oil) that are good for you skin and will improve the skin function and look. It is synthetic free and preservative free. Before you stick to dove forever, check the ingredients. They include…. Propylene glycol: is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; and Tetrasodium EDTA, t’s tetrasodium ETDA, made from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde—a known carcinogen according to the National Cancer Institute—and sodium cyanide (which is made from the toxic gas hydrogen cyanide). This ingredient is also a penetration enhancer. That means it breaks down the skin’s protective barrier, making it easier for other potentially harmful ingredients in the formula to sink deeper into your tissues and perhaps even into your bloodstream. There are more I promise. Check it out.
Courtney Price says
Thanks for this, Jon, appreciate the details…very important for us to understand.
jon bresler says
Dear Courtney Price followers:
Last month Courtney posted a feature on Lafco’s True Liquid Soap. Yesterday Lafco instituted a recall of this product and we have informed every purchaser for whom we have contact information.
Additionally we feel that it is appropriate to post information for any reader who has purchased the product after Courtney’s endorsement but who may not be reachable by Lafco.
During a quality control inspection we noticed a formula breakdown in a few samples of our liquid soap. We rushed them to a laboratory and were informed late last week that some samples of 2 of our 8 fragrances of soap contained a bacteria. While the remaining 6 fragrances tested clean, we decided to be extremely cautious and recall all 8 fragrances of our liquid soap.
No customer complaints have been received or associated with the product and now considering our aggressive action we do not expect any.
If you purchased Lafco True Liquid Soap we ask that you stop using it and discard it. Please contact Lafco at 800.362.3677 for a refund. If you need additional information or have concerns that you would like to discuss please call us or email MonikaB@Lafco.com
Sincerely Jon Bresler
Courtney Price says
Thank you for posting this honorable letter. Your attention to the details of this high level of quality have only increased my admiration for your company – and my comfort level with your products. I look forward to the next version of these wonderful soaps.
Wow, this is beyond impressive. While I only have your candles and some of the regular soap, it is nice to know a company can be so forthcoming. It isn’t if there is a problem, but how someone handles a problem which separates a great company from a mediocre one. I’ve liked your products since I was introduced to them but its this kind of corporate responsibility, without any fluff, which earns my loyalty.
Thank you Jon for letting us know!