I decided not long ago that I would never buy another bar of soap again.
Soap is slippery and slimy and there’s no practical way to store it when you’re on the go. Native’s body wash is my favorite in my everyday routine, but the 18-ounce bottle isn’t exactly something I can stow in my travel bag. Plus, transferring the gooey liquid to a plane-friendly mini bottle just leaves me annoyed and sticky.
On a recent Target trip, I stumbled across a purple package with a fat-font “PLUS” on it. The front of the box boasted interesting claims like “zero waste body wash sheets” and “100% dissolvable pouches,” which caught my attention right away. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the box points out more sustainably based statements like the difference between Plus body sheets and traditional bottled body wash.
On the plus side
Apparently, the dehydrated sheets use 38 percent less water in manufacturing than bottles and the packages produce 80 percent less CO2 emissions during shipping because of wood pulp sourced from responsibly managed FSC forests. They’re also cruelty-free, vegan, safe for sensitive skin, and dermatologist-approved. A quick scan of the barcode to my ingredients scanner app showed no harmful ingredients, so I tossed two boxes in my cart.
At Target, Plus offers a purple box with coconut and jasmine-scented sheets and an orange box with citrus and neroli-scented sheets. The cute instruction graphics state that all you have to do is take the soap strip out of its sachet with dry hands (which I later learned to be more convenient, too), run it under water, and lather it in your hands or loofah (I tested it on both). As for the tissue paper-like envelope, you simply drop on the floor under the water’s stream, and the paper dissolves.
My first attempt wasn’t the most successful. After opting for the jasmine-scented strips, my first impression was that it ironically felt like a very thin piece of styrofoam. It didn’t lather very well in my hands or last very long on my body, but that could’ve been from letting it get too wet before lathering. As for the envelope, by the time I looked down at my feet to observe the dissolving action, the last of it was already dissipated into a mesh of purple swept into the drain.
For my second try a day later, I decided to use two strips of soap and a loofah to create a more bubbly lather. Almost immediately, the loofah and soap sheet joined forces in a beautiful display of soapy goodness. The lather stayed considerably longer than my first try, which I appreciated. As for the sachets, I looked down at my feet and observed the paper break down in seconds and wash down the drain. Thankfully, it didn’t go down in chunks, either, but rather in one thin stream of purple, drain-safe liquid. My skin didn’t feel tight or dried out post-shower either, which I loved most of all.
As an employed twenty-something, I fall into the 75 percent of Millennials who are willing to budget a little more for sustainable products.
Growing up in a Hispanic home, I now realize my family wasn’t the most eco-friendly. Sure, we recycled regularly and reused plastic containers for leftovers. But our food, body, and cleaning products were typically selected based on price, not their promises of doing good for the planet. Now, as an employed twenty-something, I fall into the 75 percent of millennials who are willing to budget a little more for sustainable products. Thankfully, Plus is still on the affordable end, so even my mother would approve.
While I probably wouldn’t replace my entire shower lineup with the body sheets just yet, I can definitely see the appeal of a no-waste body wash solution, especially while on the go. It weighs next to nothing and a pack of 10 retails for just under $7. As someone who’s pretty picky about the chemicals I put on my body, it also grants me some relief knowing that I can easily pack the strips in my travel bag and not have to rely on icky hotel body wash or whatever my host has in their shower.
The environmental benefits of the body wash sheets sell me on the product almost as much as its personal benefits. Replacing single-use plastic is a practice all of us could do a little more of, but the cuteness and functionality of Plus makes that easier. All of us have neglected the planet at some point, but it’s time to come clean.
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