You’re probably at least a little familiar with Dr. Bronner’s… You know, the (very old) soap brand with the quirky writing all over their bottles? (Hey, it makes for a great bathroom read!)

This 75+ year-old, family-owned business was “progressive” & “natural” before it was cool. It has a cult-like following, which was what initially drew my attention to it… Since when are people so passionate about soap!? 

Is Dr. Bronner’s really worth the hype? Can their soap be that good? Can I truly use it for 18 different things like they say you can?

Well, I’ll give you a little spoiler: I’ve been using their products for years.

So in this article, I’m doing a deep review of my most-used and favorite products, how I use them, what I love… and what I don’t love. 😬

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Not all links are affiliate, and we only recommend things we’d use ourselves!


First, let’s talk ingredients. Are they really natural & non-toxic?

For the most part: yes

But there are a couple of things to look out for—especially if you’re very sensitive. Most of Dr. Bronner’s products are EWG-verified, natural, and non-toxic. This applies to all of their Castile soaps (scented and unscented, bar + liquid) and their lip balms. The rest of their non-verified products are still pretty good ingredients-wise.

If you’re sensitive to oil extracts such as menthol, tea tree oil, and citrus oils—there are a few products to look out for. You’ll find these oils in their toothpaste, hair rinse, hand & body lotion, and shaving soap. (But note that the oils are organic and from natural sources!)

Their shaving cream and hair rinse use potassium hydroxide, which may not be ideal, but none of it remains after saponification. (Just wanted to mention it!)

So basically, if organic extract oils are not a concern for you, you should be fine using all of their products! 

Plus, Dr. Bronner’s says they’re working on having all of their products EWG-verified by the end of 2024. 

What I love about Dr. Bronner’s (and what I don’t) 

I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s products for years, so that’s a dead giveaway that I’m a huge fan of their brand, ethos, products, and basically everything they stand for. 

There are many things I love about this brand, but what keeps me coming back is the simplicity and effectiveness of their products. 

I’m definitely a minimalist. I have about 5 items in my makeup bag, and I have literally 5 pairs of shoes. 

It’s no different when it comes to cleaning: I like to keep things to a minimum. This is one of the reasons I love Dr.. Bronner’s: One product, many uses. They actually claim that you get 18 different uses out of their Castile soap, but I don’t go that far (yet!?). 

These are a few of my favorite things about Dr. Bronner’s:

1. Simple, natural ingredients. Always. 

Their ingredient list is small, natural & organic, and you don’t need to Google any ingredients to know what it is. It’s true simplicity, which I appreciate so much! 

2. Loooong lasting products

Something else I love is that all their products last for so long. The liquid Castile soap is super concentrated, so you can dilute it, or just use a tiny bit. A little goes a long way! I’ve had some of their products for years, and am still only halfway through them. 

Saving money, waste, and my skin!

3. Available in-store & accessible on all fronts 

You can find Dr. Bronner’s products pretty much anywhere—Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, local natural shops, and grocery stores. They’re also very affordable, and as I said, long-lasting. 

4. They go beyond ‘just good’

Dr. Bronner’s has always been a “force for good” business. They’re a Benefit Corporation (which means they are, by law, a positive-impact company), a B Corp (which is actually different from a Benefit Corporation even though that’s confusing), and they have very progressive pay structures for employees (including farmers they source from). 

Plus, they always seem to be making continuous improvements. For example, their Castile soap comes in plastic bottles, but they’ve recently added Refill options made out of paper cartons.

These are just a few of the many ways in which they’re doing more than just good! 

And now, some things I don’t love. 

Clearly, there’s a lot I love about Dr. Bronner’s. But as with everything, there are a couple of things I don’t love so much.

1. Soap can be harsh and drying on the face & hair

As I said before, the liquid Castile soap is very concentrated, and sometimes I find that it can dry the skin on my face. (It doesn’t do that on my body though—just my face.) 

I also tried using it as shampoo and also felt it was too drying for my hair. It gave it a straw-like texture. I do have hard-ish water though. (P.S. If you want to see what shampoo I’ve been using instead lately, check out my shampoo bar review.)

I did not try diluting it more to see if that would help since I’d used the recommended dilution ratio. I still use it on my face occasionally (when I’m traveling or when I’m just out of face soap). I add some coconut oil right after for extra hydration and that helps! 

For my hair, I’ve never used it again. I care a lot for my hair and I didn’t like the texture afterwards at all. 

The soap bars (instead of liquid) are a bit gentler in my opinion, but I still wouldn’t use it on my hair. They’re a bit better for my face but I already have dry skin, so it still has a drying effect. 

2. They use palm oil 

I usually stay away from any products with palm oil because of the environmental concerns, and I don’t love that Dr. Bronner uses it. The reason I’ve stayed a loyal customer regardless is that they do share quite a bit of information about it. 

They share where the palm oil comes from, and they work with small farmers and old, organic plantations that don’t contribute to the current issue of deforestation and land-clearing. They also team up with organic farmers (which means no pesticides or agrochemicals), work on restoring soil fertility, and help farmers increase their yield (which means more oil within the same piece of land). 

I still don’t love that they use palm oil, which probably stems from a general mistrust of the palm oil industry. But I do trust this brand and appreciate having the information to know that at least it’s sourced mindfully. 

Is Dr. Bronner’s *actually* sustainable? 

Personally, I think sustainability is too nuanced to say something as black and white as “yes, it’s sustainable” or “no, it’s not.” 

All businesses have an impact on the environment, but some have better practices than others to reduce/offset this impact. In my opinion, Dr. Bronner’s goes the extra mile to minimize the unavoidable impact of their brand and products. So if you really want me to pick one, then I would say yes, they are sustainable.

“Treat The Earth Like Home” is one of their ‘cosmic’ principles. And like I’ve said, they do walk the walk!

Here are some of their sustainability efforts so you can make up your own mind:

1. Plastic-reduction efforts

Although they’re not a plastic-free brand by any means, they are making changes and innovating ways to reduce plastic usage. Last year, they launched a refill station at Jimbo’s Naturally, a grocery store in California, allowing people to refill instead of buying new containers. 

They also launched their refill carton, which replaced the previous PCR plastic bottle. And even though recycled plastic is plastic, 80% of their packaging is made from PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic… Which is at least more eco-friendly than virgin plastic.

2. Transparency

Transparency is a must for companies making any sort of environmental or social justice claims. Dr. Bronner’s publishes a thorough report every year on their profits, how they were spent, their environmental impact, what they are doing to improve, charitable efforts, and more. 

I think it’s important for more companies to be this transparent about where their money is going. They also have an extensive FAQ with lots of information about their products and practices. 

3. Regenerative/organic agriculture

Dr. Bronner’s farms all practice regenerative & organic agriculture, while also working to improve the living conditions of all their farmers. They’re actually working on creating their own “Regenerative Organic Certified” standard alongside Patagonia and other companies! 

4. Certifications

Dr. Bronner’s has multiple third-party certifications to keep them accountable. These are all of them: 

  • USDA Organic
  • Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
  • Regenerative Organic Certified™
  • Fair for Life
  • EWG Verified (not for every product, however, they’re supposed to verify all of them by the end of 2024)
  • NSF: Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients
  • Leaping Bunny
  • Vegan Action
  • B Corp
  • Non-GMO Project
  • OK Kosher

True sustainability takes into account a lot more than just reducing carbon footprint or recycling. It must look at environmental and social impact, governance practices, and so much more. I love to see Dr. Bronner’s trailblazing new standards for what businesses could and should look like in the (hopefully near!) future. 


So… are Dr. Bronner’s products good? Here’s my honest review as a long-term user!

Is Dr. Bronner’s too good to be true? Let me tell you.

Here you’ll find a full review of 6 of their products: bar Castile soap, liquid Castile soap, organic coconut oil, organic magic balm, all-one toothpaste, and their dark chocolate bars. I’ve been using all of these products for at least a year—and some for way longer! 

Bar Castile Soap

Dr Bronner's Bar Castile Soap

Price: $4.99 a bar. 
What I use it for: Body soap, shaving, and (sometimes) face soap. 
Scents I’ve tried: Unscented, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, rose, and eucalyptus. 

This soap is a daily go-to in my household. It’s our permanent body soap, and on rare occasions, I use it on my face. I find the bar so smooth and silky compared to the liquid one, which feels a bit harsher sometimes. (If I had to guess, it’s probably because the liquid Castile one is probably more concentrated.)

The bars smell amazing, they truly clean so well, and a little bit goes a long way—a single bar lasts for weeks (daily use for 2 people). They’re also great for shaving! I’m not a shaving cream kind of person because I don’t like clutter, so I tend to use 1 product for many things. 

Ingredients-wise, these soaps are great—all of them are EWG-verified. But if you have sensitive skin like me, I would 100% suggest using the bars rather than the liquid soap—they’re just more gentle. (Or, make sure to dilute the liquid one very well.)

The scents are my favorite part. I’m sensitive to strong smells, so any scent that’s too overpowering tends to trigger my allergies. These soaps are great because they smell, but they’re soft and gentle. My favorite ones are lavender and rose. My husband swears by the eucalyptus! 

Plus, they’re completely plastic-free, which is important to me. The packaging is a paper bag that’s home compostable and you can find these bars at pretty much any grocery store, supermarket, or natural shops. 

Grab the bar soap at:


Liquid Castile Soap

Dr Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap

Price: $16.99 for 32oz (they have many sizes!)
What I use it for: Body soap, shaving, dishes, and as a travel soap
Scents I’ve tried: Unscented and peppermint 

Castile soap is to me a must-have in a natural cleaning toolkit—and Dr. Bronner’s is my go-to. It serves so many purposes while being affordable and easy to find pretty much anywhere. I love that it’s super concentrated, so not only does it last a long time, you only need a little bit to do a lot. 

Dr. Bronners also has a dilution cheat sheet for you to get the most out of your soap, and they share 18 different uses you can tap into! You can also see some DIY recipes and dilutions I’ve tried and loved here. 

My favorite use for this soap is as a travel buddy. I love going on camping and backpacking trips, and sometimes a bar soap it’s more difficult to store after it’s wet, so this one is perfect! 

Since it’s super concentrated, I know the travel size is always enough for me and my husband. And it serves so many purposes! We use it as a face + body soap, to do dishes, clean gear, and pretty much anything while camping. The soap is biodegradable and natural, so we can use it anywhere in nature without worrying about polluting waters and soil with chemicals. 

Note that as I shared before, this is very concentrated, and it can be a bit drying on the skin—especially on the face in my experience. Not so much on my body. What I do while traveling is make sure to dilute it very well or use very, very little for my face (exactly one tiny drop). 

For everyday use, I tap more into the bars, but for any emergencies, I immediately pick this up. Run out of dish soap? This works fine. Out of body or face soap? Yup! Works too. I even use it for handwashing clothes—especially while camping or backpacking. 

I’ve also used it for some of my plants as a natural remedy for some pests or just to clean the leaves. Overall, this soap is always around in my house. Sometimes I find myself using it daily, others just for emergencies. No matter what, it’s a must-have for me.

Get the liquid soap at:


Regenerative, Organic Coconut Oil 

Dr Bronner's Regenerative, Organic Coconut Oil 

Price: $11.99
What I use it for: Body moisturizer, oil massages, hair oil, and for dry brushing. Also as a natural sunscreen (only when I won’t be directly exposed to the sun—more on that below!) 

This is one of my favorite products from Dr. Bronner’s. I love coconut oil in my food, but I love it even more on my hair and skin… And no, I don’t mind walking around smelling like a coconut (it’s subtle though!). 🥥

There are a few reasons why this is my favorite coconut oil. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive than other supermarket brands but hear me out. First, this is virgin oil, which means it’s not bleached, refined, or processed in any way—that’s something to look for, especially for skin! 

Plus, it’s not only produced by organic and regenerative farms, but it also comes in a glass (plastic-free!). 

My main use for this is as a moisturizer—I rub it on my entire body. My skin soaks it up and it’s super hydrating and nourishing. I usually put it on, and then dry brush for a spa-at-home kinda day. It’s also good to apply it right after a steamy shower when your pores are more open and ready to absorb. 

Another important use I give this product is as a hair care essential. Sometimes I rub a tiny bit in my hair and it gives it shine and body, plus helps with frizz. I also use it straight up as a super-hydrating hair mask or add it to DIY natural hair mask recipes I love making (check out one of my recipes here!

Coconut oil also apparently has a little bit of SPF. I would NOT solely rely on coconut oil on a beach day, but when I’m running errands and sun exposure is minimal, I use a bit of coconut oil as a sunscreen. It works for me! But note that the SPF is only about 20% or less. 

And last but not least, sometimes I eat it directly from the jar! It’s fantastic for cooking, but so it is for straight-out-of-the-jar eating. Weird craving I guess, but it has an amazing nutty flavor! 

Shop the coconut oil at:


Organic Magic Balm 

Dr Bronner's Organic Magic Balm 

Price: $9.99
What I use it for: Chapped lips, dry skin patches, and skin peeling.  
Scents I’ve tried: Unscented 

This one is a must in my cabinet, trips, and makeup bag. I truly love this little tin. It’s easy to keep with you at all times, lasts forever, and works very well. Plus, it has only 6 natural ingredients, it’s EWG-verified, and it’s super gentle. 

The balm is my go-to for chapstick (but they do sell lip balm, too). A lot of chapsticks give me momentary hydration but then make my lips drier. That doesn’t happen with this truly magical balm. I used to struggle with chapped lips all the time, and since I started using this, my lips look and feel great. I still get dryness sometimes, but I don’t use the balm daily, so whenever they’re feeling chapped, I just put it on and it’s all good again.

There’s even more magic though! The balm is also great on dry skin patches—think elbows, toes, and heels. I use it on blisters from uncomfortable shoes, on my cuticles, and on dry hands from cold winter days. Also on skin dryness from dusty camping trips and bug bites. 

Another unexpected but effective use is to heal tattoos and keep them nice and bright! 

Grab the *magic* balm at:


All-One Toothpaste

best natural toothpaste dr bronners on TheFiltery.com

Price: $6.79
What I use it for: Brushing my teeth! (duh)
Scents I’ve tried: Spearmint, peppermint, anis. 

Toothpaste was actually the first product from Dr. Bronner I started using, and my way in to learn about their brand and soaps. I’ve been using this toothpaste for a while, and there are things I love about it… 

Great minimal ingredients, affordable, long-lasting, and I love the spearmint & peppermint flavors—fresh but not spicy. My teeth and mouth feel clean and fresh after use, even though the paste doesn’t foam much (this is a non-foaming toothpaste!). 

One thing I don’t love about this is that the texture of the paste is kind of thick, which can make it hard to squeeze out of the tube. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but definitely annoying at times. 

*For my full review on a bunch of non-toxic and natural toothpaste brands (including this one!) check out this article! 

Shop the toothpaste at:


Bonus: Dark Chocolate Bars! 

Price: $32.94 for a 6-pack ($5.49 a bar). 
What I use it for: Snacking, of course!
Flavors I’ve tried: Salted dark, and peppermint. 

Yes, Dr. Bronner makes chocolate. And let me tell you—it’s delicious. I love chocolate, truly. It’s one of the things I simply can’t give up. I was pretty excited when I found out about this. First, all of the bars are vegan & the ones I’ve tried, taste fantastic. I would’ve tried them all but I’m allergic to almonds. 

I love that they’re not sweetened with cane sugar; they use coconut sugar instead. All the bars are dark chocolate, which I absolutely love! And they’re sustainably sourced but are still priced very reasonably. 

They also just added a bunch of oat milk bars to their collection which is meant to be a “milk chocolate” bar. I have not tried them yet, but trust me, I will. 

Most bars have very few ingredients, are organic, free of cane sugar, and are 100% vegan & fair trade. Most bars with these qualities are $8-10 a bar, if not more, so this is a step forward for all conscious chocolate lovers.  

Get your hands on the chocolate at:


In a Nutshell: Pros and Cons of Dr. Bronner’s (in my opinion!)

I already shared a ton of information on the brand and products, so to close it off, here’s an overview of the pros and cons of Dr. Bronner’s products. 

Pros

✅ A safe, non-toxic brand with lots of certifications to back up their products

✅ Easy to find in most stores and very affordable

✅ Multiple uses for most of their products

✅ Many positive environmental and social efforts

Cons

❌ Their highly concentrated products can be drying for the skin (dilution is key!)

❌ Liquid Castile soap is not “pump dispenser friendly” —it’ll clog!

❌ Most of their products use coconut, which is an allergen (coconut is a tree nut!). 

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About Ana

Ana is a sustainability-focused copywriter and the founder of Copy That Co. She helps eco-conscious businesses grow through action-driven copy, inspiring storytelling, and an honest and positive approach to marketing.


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