Online Exclusives

King of the Castile

March 31, 2009

Dr. Bronner�s Magic Soaps are still going strong after more than 60 years.

King of the Castile



Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are still going strong after more than 60 years.



By Melissa Meisel
Associate Editor



In 1858, Emmanuel Heilbronner started manufacturing soaps in the basement of his home in Laupheim, Germany. A few decades later, Heilbronner and his brothers created the first liquid castile soap and supplied public washrooms across the country. In 1908, a sole male heir the business was born, Emanuel (Emil) Heilbronner; 40 years later, he founded Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.


Sixty-one years afterward and on the heels of its 151th anniversary of family soapmaking for five generations, the company is now led by Dr. Bronner’s grandson, David, and recently rolled out a new line of USDA organic personal care products.


Today, the iconic brand of peppermint-flavored castile soap is best known for its multi-purpose usage (18-in-1, the brand says) and illustrious printed labels with Dr. Bronner’s “All-One” philosophies. Its customer base has grown by leaps and bounds —what once was a product with a 1970s counterculture following is now attracting the attentions of the burgeoning million-dollar global green market. So, what makes Dr. Bronner’s soaps so magical?


“Quality soap-making consists in great part of choosing the right proportions of the right oils with their different fatty acids. Most commercial and even ‘natural’ brands do not use true soaps versus detergents in their so-called ‘liquid soap’ products,” David Bronner, president of the company, tells Happi.com. “Our soaps are made with certified organic olive, hemp and palm oils instead of tallow, and contain three times more organic coconut oil than commercial soaps.”


According to Bronner—a Harvard graduate who joined the family business in 1998—saponified coconut oil generates high-lather cleansing even in hard water because it has shorter-chain saturated fatty acids. Hemp, olive and palm oil-based soaps make a mild, smooth, creamy lather because these oils contain longer-chain unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.


Dr. Bronner’s soaps are also touted for their moisturizing qualities and eco-friendly packaging. According to Bronner, the company “superfats” its soaps with organic hemp and jojoba oils for a milder, smoother lather. Plant-derived vitamin E and citric acid are added to protect freshness.


Also, since the soaps are three times more concentrated than most on the market, the company ecologically saves on packaging materials, according to Bronner. The new plastic cylinder bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.


The classic castile soaps are available in a variety of sizes in flavors—from 2oz. travel minis ($2.49) to gallons ($52.49), and from classic peppermint to exotic rose or citrus orange. Dr. Bronner’s also recently added its USDA-certified organic personal care line featuring a whole new set of innovative formulations, such as shikakai hand soaps ($8.99) in lemongrass lime, a mild baby balm ($4.99) made with jojoba, avocado and hemp and a lavender hair conditioner and styling crème ($7.99), to name a few.


For 2009 and beyond, the brand is aiming to extend its fair trade supply certification of major ingredients to include minor ingredients used as well—besides the family magic, of course.


More info: www.drbronner.com

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Special Effects

    Special Effects

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    Fall 2016 color cosmetics reflect light and offer a focus on elements like pigment, slip and wear.

  • Silent Partners

    Silent Partners

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    From research & development to logistics to confidentiality, savvy distributors help finished formulators achieve their goals

  • Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Industry stakeholders convene in New York City for Organic Monitor’s annual event

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different…

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    August 15, 2016
    Phlur is out to make you rethink fragrance packaging.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.

  • The Future of Innovation

    The Future of Innovation

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||June 27, 2016
    Fashion Institute of Technology graduate students tackle a far-reaching topic for their Capstone project.

  • Henkel Grabs the Sun

    Henkel Grabs the Sun

    Ian Bell, Euromonitor International||June 24, 2016
    Euromonitor's Ian Bell on the impact the purchase will have on the US detergent industry.

  • Problems for Preservatives

    Problems for Preservatives

    June 20, 2016
    David Steinberg details the issues surrounding this critical ingredient category.

  • We

    We're Surrounded!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 30, 2016
    Industry experts explain the important role that the skin microbiome plays in human health.

  • Luxury Re-Coded

    Luxury Re-Coded

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||May 25, 2016
    Consumers have new expectations for beauty.

  • Procter Reels in Doctors

    Procter Reels in Doctors

    May 16, 2016
    The Procter & Gamble stand was abuzz during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

  • If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 13, 2016
    Be sure to contact the Bay Area Beauty Association.

  • Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    LOLI box marks the convergence of natural and organic ingredients, subscription service and DIY cosmetic chemistry.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.

  • Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 4, 2016
    A new way to try-before-you buy is capturing the attention of consumers and the beauty industry.

  • From Greenville to Guangzhou

    From Greenville to Guangzhou

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    South Carolina start-up BabyBlossom has big plans for its nontoxic baby products line...in China.

  • NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    New product development, formulation expertise and proper preservation are topics of discussion at February monthly meeting.

  • Texture on the Runway

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 22, 2016
    Au Naturale by Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Creme of Nature, Design Essentials and Garnier create head-turning hairstyles.

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.