Making the Switch to Solid Shampoo: The Benefits of Shampoo Bars

Say goodbye to plastic shampoo bottles and hello to a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative: shampoo bars. Shampoo bars are solid bars of shampoo that offer a number of benefits over traditional liquid shampoo.

Eco-Friendly: Shampoo bars eliminate the need for plastic shampoo bottles, reducing waste and helping to preserve the environment. When you make the switch to solid shampoo, you’ll be doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet for future generations.

Long-Lasting: Shampoo bars are highly concentrated and provide long-lasting performance. You’ll get more washes out of a single bar of shampoo than you would from a bottle of liquid shampoo, making them more economical in the long run.

Gentle on Hair and Scalp: Shampoo bars are made with nourishing ingredients that are gentle on your hair and scalp. Whether you have dry or oily hair, our shampoo bars will leave your hair feeling clean, refreshed, and revitalised. And, because they’re free of harsh chemicals, they’re safe for color-treated hair and won’t strip away natural oils.

Soap-Free: Our shampoo bars use a combination of ingredients to create a gentle and effective product. This type of shampoo is called a “syndet” which is short for synthetic detergent. Unlike soap-based bars, our shampoo bars are free from harsh alkalis, making them perfect for those with sensitive skin. The syndet we use is a naturally derived soap-free cleansing product that is formulated with a blend of moisturisers, oils and other ingredients to clean and care for your hair and scalp. Our bars are also free from harsh chemicals, such as sulfates (SLS/SLES) and parabens, making them suitable for those with sensitive scalps.

Convenient: Shampoo bars are compact and travel-friendly, making them the perfect solution for those who are always on the go. They’re also easy to use and lather up just like traditional liquid shampoo.

At Shower Blocks, we believe in the power of solid shower and shampoo products to make a positive impact on the environment. That’s why we’ve created a range of shampoo bars that are both eco-friendly and effective. Have you tried one yet?

The History of Palm Oil

palm oil

Palm oil is a type of edible oil derived from the fruit of oil palm trees, which are primarily grown in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is one of the most widely used oils in the world, and is a staple ingredient in many food and cosmetic products.

The history of palm oil dates back to the early 19th century, when British traders first introduced oil palm trees to Southeast Asia. Over the next few decades, the production of palm oil expanded rapidly, driven by increasing demand from European countries for vegetable oil. By the mid-20th century, Indonesia and Malaysia had become the world’s largest producers of palm oil.

The high yield of palm oil is a key factor in its popularity as an edible oil. On a per-hectare basis, oil palm trees can produce up to six times more oil than other oil-producing crops, such as soybeans or rapeseed. This makes it an attractive option for farmers and companies looking to maximize their returns on investment.

For example, a single hectare of oil palm trees can produce up to 4,000 to 6,000 kilograms of palm oil per year, compared to only 600 to 800 kilograms of soybean oil or 500 to 600 kilograms of rapeseed oil per hectare. This higher yield allows for a lower cost of production, which makes palm oil more affordable for consumers.

In addition to its high yield, palm oil is also prized for its versatility and stability. Unlike other vegetable oils, palm oil remains solid at room temperature, making it ideal for use in products such as margarine, shortenings, and snack foods. Its neutral taste and high smoke point also make it a popular choice for frying and baking.

Its popularity in soap making is another testament to its versatility. Palm oil is an ideal ingredient for soap making due to its hardness, creamy lather, moisturizing properties, and conditioning benefits, making it a popular choice for soap makers and consumers alike.

In addition to these properties, palm oil is also an important source of biofuel, as well as a versatile ingredient in the production of many other products, such as candles, cosmetics, and personal care products. The high yield of oil palm trees and its ability to thrive in a variety of climates have made it a popular crop for farmers around the world.

However, the expansion of oil palm cultivation has not been without its challenges. Large-scale oil palm plantations require significant amounts of land, and the conversion of forests and other ecosystems to make way for these plantations has led to widespread deforestation, habitat loss, and greenhouse gas emissions.

In response to these concerns, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004. The RSPO is a global organization that seeks to promote the sustainable production of palm oil by setting environmental and social standards for companies that produce, trade, or use the oil.

One of the key ways that the RSPO promotes sustainability is by encouraging companies to adopt “best practices” for palm oil production, such as minimizing the use of pesticides and fertilizers, protecting wildlife habitats, and ensuring that the rights of local communities are respected. Companies that meet the RSPO’s standards are certified as sustainable, and their products are labeled as such.

In recent years, the RSPO has been successful in raising awareness about the need for sustainable palm oil production, and many major companies have committed to sourcing only RSPO-certified palm oil. This has led to an increase in the amount of sustainable palm oil on the market, and has helped to reduce the environmental and social impact of the industry.

Palm oil plays a key role in the development of some of our products that without, would make them unviable. As a result, we’re committed to only using RSPO sourced sustainable palm oil.

The Benefits of Solid Shower Gel

At Shower Blocks, we believe that everyone should have access to high-quality, effective, and sustainable products for their daily routine. That’s why we’re proud to offer solid shower gel as a solution to traditional, plastic-based body wash.

Not only is solid shower gel a more sustainable option compared to bottled body wash, but it also offers a range of benefits that make it a must-have in your shower routine. In this article, we’ll explore the key benefits of using Shower Blocks solid shower gel.

1) Gentle on Skin: Our solid shower gel blocks are made with natural and nourishing ingredients that are gentle on your skin. Unlike traditional body wash that can strip your skin of its natural oils, our solid shower gel nourishes and hydrates your skin, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised after every use.

2) Effective Clean: Shower Blocks solid shower gel provides a deep and effective clean without the use of harsh chemicals. Our nourishing oil blend and additional moisturisers help to leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated after every use.

3) Easy to Use: Simply wet the block, lather up, and enjoy the invigorating clean. It’s that simple!

4) Convenient: With Shower Blocks solid shower gel, you no longer have to worry about carrying around heavy or bulky bottles of body wash when traveling. Our blocks are lightweight, compact, and easy to store, making them the perfect option for those on-the-go.

5) Sustainable: Shower Blocks solid shower gel is packaged in fully recyclable and biodegradable packaging, making it a plastic-free alternative to traditional bottled body wash. This means that when you’re done with the block, the packaging can be properly disposed of in your home recycling bin without causing harm to the environment.

At Shower Blocks, we believe that sustainability and personal well-being go hand in hand. That’s why we use natural and eco-friendly ingredients in all of our products.

Ready to make the switch to solid shower gel? Explore our wide range of scents and products on our website. Whether you prefer invigorating lime & sandalwood, fruity Mango & Passionfruit, or something in between, we have a solid shower gel option that’s right for you.

Shop our collection of solid shower gel today and start enjoying the many benefits of a more sustainable and convenient shower routine!

Reducing Plastic Waste in the Shower – An Introduction

plastic bottles

At Shower Blocks, we believe in creating sustainable and effective products that reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in the bathroom. That’s why we’re proud to offer a wide range of solid shower gel and other options to help you switch to a plastic-free shower.

According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. This is a daunting reality, especially considering the significant amount of plastic waste generated in the bathroom. From shampoo bottles to body wash containers, the bathroom is a major source of plastic waste. But there is a solution…

Shower Blocks is leading the way in offering a convenient and sustainable alternative to bottled body wash. Each of our solid shower gel blocks is long-lasting, provides an effective clean without harsh chemicals, and comes packaged in fully recyclable and biodegradable packaging. With a variety of scents to choose from, including invigorating peppermint and fruity mango & passionfruit, you’re sure to find a Block that meets your needs.

In addition to solid shower gel, you can reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in the shower through the use of alternative products like shampoo bars, conditioner bars, as well as traditional soap bars.

Why is reducing plastic waste in the shower important? Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and much of it ends up in our oceans, causing harm to marine life and the environment. According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund, plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to ocean health, and it is estimated that every year, 100,000 marine animals and 1 million seabirds die from plastic ingestion or entanglement.

By making simple changes in the shower, you can play a significant role in protecting the planet. In fact, a study by Zero Waste Scotland found that switching from bottled shower products to solid alternatives can reduce plastic waste by up to 90%. Not only is the plastic-free shower good for the environment, but it’s also good for you. Our solid shower gel, as well as our other products, are made with natural ingredients and are gentle on the skin, providing a better shower experience.

By making the switch to a plastic-free shower, you can make a positive impact on the environment and improve your personal well-being. Join us in our mission to remove single use plastics from showers all over the UK (and globe)!


How to use shower soap

Shower soap, naked shower gel

Soap for the shower isn’t a new thing (obviously), and soap themselves have been around for as long as 6000 years around the time of the Babylonians (around 2800 BC).

Gels and liquid soaps have long since taken over the shower space for around 100 years , offering what’s seen as a more convenient and better feeling product than the traditional soap bar which in most cases has been considered to be somewhat drying and sticky during use. When gels were devised there was however no consideration on what happens to the plastic waste… it becomes someone else’s problem until the end of the line which no one really knew where it was, until very recently.

Our Totally Solid shower gels (aka soaps for the shower) aim to overcome the key problems with traditional soaps such as that sticky feel during usage and the fact they can be really drying. We’ve created (what we think is) the perfect product if you want to get away from those plastic bottles and add a bit more sustainability to your life. It’s the best of both worlds… great feeling showers with none of the plastic.

It might seem obvious, but there are some fundamental usage differences if you want to make the switch to our solid shower gels.

Washing yourself using soap for the shower

Washing with a soap for the shower compared to using a shower gel is quite a different experience. Gels are generally a fair bit quicker to bubble up due to the amount of water already within the product (and chemicals), so you will generally need to activate a bar product a bit more under the water.

From there you will get a creamy and bubbly lather, allowing you to wash yourself like you would have with your gel. Where Shower Blocks differs from other soap options is that they have a similar skin feel to a gel through the whole process, from creating a lather through to rinsing it off. It’s that easy.

Storing your soap

When you store your traditional shower gels, it’s true to say that it’s just easy. Stick them on a shower rack, whack them down in the corner, or stick them the other side of the bath. The outcome is the same every time. No mess.

Soap in the shower does have a little more thinking to do around how you keep them. It’s important to keep them dry after usage to avoid most of them turning to much, so definitely don’t leave in a wet pool in the corner.

Luckily there’s a number of handy products available to help you keep your bathroom tidy.

A Wooden Soap Dish: It allows you to keep the side of the bath looking neat and tidy, and gives maximum air circulation to allow your soap to dry off.

Wooden soap dish

A travel tin: For those of you on the go, this is perfect if you’re taking it through airports etc. No plastic bottles to worry about either.

Travel soap tin

Magnetised soap hangers: This is our personal favourite. Attach them to the side of the shower, attach the magnet to your soap, and then hang after use. The soap drip dries very quickly, and is out of the way in as tidy as possible fashion. You can get them in all kinds of materials and designs to suit your needs too.

Magnetic soap holder, soap for showers

Naked Shower Gel? Isn’t it just a bar of soap?

naked shower gel, soap for shower

Naked shower gel has been around for some time, and here at Shower Blocks they’ve been of great influence to our mission. Historically though, they’ve been very costly and so not so much of a viable option for many people wanting to replace their standard shower gel with a solid alternative that doesn’t break the bank.

They’re not really the same as what you’d consider your regular bar of soap. They do use similar ingredients in places, but if you think of how you shower, lather up and wash off the bubbles, there’s different needs for how the product and your skin reacts at each stage. A general bar of soap is usually a palm, coconut and olive style base, and on their own they can be very drying or ‘squeaky’. Naked shower gels aim to give you the same great feeling as the bottled stuff.

Why bother making it naked in the first place?

Now more than ever people are becoming more and more sustainably conscious, and plastic bottles have become a real bone of contention.  In the UK there’s approximately 200 million bottles used annually for shower gels… if we can impact even 1% of that we’ll be very happy.

There’s other great benefits of using Naked shower gel, in that they become easier to transport in your luggage for holiday, and they also use less water in their production. All that carbon footprint on their shipping is not wasted on water too.

Will Shower Blocks work as well as regular shower gel?

Absolutely. We spent a long time formulating the perfect ingredient blend to replicate a gel feeling at every stage. In particular the moment you wash the suds off is just as you’d expect. There’s no sticky and squeaky feeling you’d associate with a regular soap bar. Combine that with big bubbles, creamy lather and punchy fragrances there’s a lot to love.

Once you’ve used your Shower Block and feeling ready for your day, you simply put it on the side to dry out before the next use.

Are Plastics Bad?

are plastics bad, soap for the shower

Plastics in retail have been under heavy scrutiny over the last few years, and it’s fair to say that a key catalyst for this, particularly in the UK was the most recent series of Blue Planet with David Attenborough.

Being able to see baby whales caught up in plastic waste in part of the ocean that you could never imagine was an extremely sobering sight for many people, myself included.

It’s important to distinguish the difference between what is a single use and potentially unnecessary plastic, and one that has longevity before we start to look at whether they are all bad or not.

I think we can all agree that plastic bags from the supermarket are the worst kind of plastic… their usage is for the most part for little over a few hours of a day before they’re thrown away, or if you’re like me, on the occasion that you do have one, it then spends years in a cupboard with the other ones, because you know, you’ll use it some day. Right… right?

Other types of disposable plastic that you might find in store are plastic bottles (at the heart of the Shower Blocks mission), food wrapping, cellophane, inner box packaging, blah blah endless list.

Can all of those be overcome?

Fresh food wrapping is a great challenge for the retail sector to overcome due to just how good it is at preserving food. When you start to weigh up food waste versus plastic waste it gets complex. Use something as an alternative, you may end up with a lot of spoiled food. Too much spoilage would inevitably lead to price hikes to cover the loss, so it’s understandable that retailers are finding this a challenge to find a more sustainable alternative for.

Our mission surrounds ‘recyclable’ plastic bottles. Now, seeing as the bottles are recyclable why should you care? At the moment just 59% of all plastic bottles are recycled according to the British Plastics Federation. We could assume that this might be a nicely massaged number given the source, but we’ll go with it.

The shower market is worth around £290 million a year, and a shower gel is approx. £1-2 a bottle. We can therefor assume that there is at least a total of 145 million product sales yearly, if not more. If 41% (a low estimate) of those are going to landfill, then we’re talking 60 million plastic bottles that are not recycled.

That’s a staggering amount of wastage that does not need to be there when we have viable alternatives. This is the reason we created Shower Blocks, to provide customers a viable product that could replicate the experience of a shower gel, but in soap form… totally solid shower gels.

What about other kinds of plastics? Kids toys, appliances etc.

The fact is that plastic is a very fast and cheap method of production. Think of that kettle you have in the kitchen. Now, mine is currently a plastic one. I have had it for 8 years so far and it’s still going strong. In term of usability I have much preferred using that on a personal level than the previous one I had which was aluminium. If you’ve had a metal one or do have one… you can easily burn yourself. When it comes to the end of the lifecycle, they both have a similar problem in that they would need to be broken down into their sum parts. That’s not a material problem, that’s an appliance problem that’s a lot harder to overcome.

Kids toys are a similar story. They get recycled in their ownership over and over again and whilst they do take a long time when it comes to decomposing and is a problem that needs looking at from a long-term perspective, they don’t post the same risk to the sustainability of our ecosystems as single use plastic consumption.

We believe that plastics in general can have their place, but as a society and business community we should be doing as much as we can in providing viable options to reduce needless consumption of fast turnover packaging.

Here we use cardboard boxes as our retail packaging, and we’re always looking at what is available to improve things further.

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve things, by all means get in touch. We’re always listening.

Words: Neil Whippey, founder Shower Blocks

Sunflower Oil In Soap

Sunflower oil in soap

Sunflower oil is something you’ve probably had in your kitchen, or if not your parents’ kitchen. It’s the classic oil for a good old fry, but sunflower oil in soap has got some pretty amazing properties.

Sunflower oil is very high in Linoleic fatty acids. These kinds of fatty acids are incredible for moisturising the skin and are also known to make a silky lather that feels great. Like many other oils, sunflower oil is also useful for a hard bar of soap.

Finally, it’s high in vitamin E which is great for nourishing and protecting the skin.

Olive Oil In Soap

olive oil in soap

Olive oil has been used for centuries in the soap making process, so it’s not just something that you cook with or put on your salad!

Olive oil is known to have great properties for soap products, such as providing a creamy lather and being extremely conditioning. As a soft oil, it can take a lot longer to cure but still makes a really hard bar of soap, like for example a castile soap.

Under hot water on it’s own, an olive oil soap will simply melt away, so it isn’t the best for a long lasting product.

Palm Oil In Soap

Palm oil in soap

Palm oil is used in 35% of the world’s vegetable oil applications, a staggering percentage.

It’s another oil that is good enough to eat, having a presence in a large percentage of ready to eat foods you might find on supermarket shelves.

Using palm oil in soap is really key for us at Shower Blocks. Whilst Palm oil has moderate cleansing properties, a key function of it is in making a hard and durable product, making it perfefct for forming a good base to build from.

Palm oil is extremely high in the fatty acid, Palmitic acid. Palmitic acid can also be found in small quantities in other things, such as cheese (yes really) and coconut oil.

At Shower Blocks we only use RSPO certified sustainable Palm Oil. We regularly check the status of our suppliers’ certifications.