During my visit to Eldora Chocolate in Albuquerque this summer, I was enticed by all of the chocolate body care products in the shop. While such products aren't unheard of, it is certainly less common to find chocolate body care products that are also organic and free of artificial colors and scents. Artificial chocolate is a horrendous aroma/flavor. So I took advantage of the situation and got two soaps, a lip balm, and a small body butter. Maybe I should instead have chosen more chocolate bars, but this was the choice I made and I'm not unhappy about it.
The body care products are a local collaboration with Tayori. (Side note while talking about artificial colors: while browsing their website, I see some colorful soaps that say they contain "skin safe colorants," so I'm not sure what that means--but either way, the chocolate products don't have those bright colors.) We'll start with the soaps. The first is the plainer one, a simple rectangle marked Organic Lavender Lemon Chocolate Soap. The two bases are olive oil and coconut oil, which is a major plus if like me you try and avoid palm oil (which most people use as a soap base). Lavender and lemon essential oils give aroma, though the scent isn't strong. And yes, in addition to the Eldora cocoa, there is Lavender Lemon Chocolate from Eldora in the soap itself. The perhaps greatest part is that while the soap looks like it contains pieces of lavender, that's an illusion. Rather, there are specks of different-colored soap that give the look of lavender without leaving a floral mess in your sink or shower. It's a good soap.
I'm not sure that photos can adequately portray how beautiful the second soap looked with its buddies in the store. They gleamed like jewels, and my feminine heart had to have one. The Chocolate Salt Heart Soap is brown with golden paint and a sort of flower on top. It's beautiful to display. In use, though, I do have some criticism. The "paint" on the surface of the heart does wash off with a good amount of color. So the first time you use the soap, there will be brown. (There was to a minor degree with the first soap throughout, too.) Not a big deal, but a bit strange.
And then there is the texture. I didn't pay much attention to the fact that this is a "salt" heart. But yes, there are chucks of Himalayan salt in the soap. That's great if you want to scrub your feet and it's okay if you use it to wash your hands and are gentle in the handing. But if you want to use this as a body soap, you'll probably need to rub the soap bar onto a washcloth and then use that. Otherwise the salt chunks will scratch against your skin. Himalayan salt is great for your skin, so I don't mind it being in here. But it does make the soap a little more difficult to use. It also means that the beautiful heart looks like a chunk of heart-shaped cement after you've started using it. So it won't look as pretty in a bathroom soap dish while in use as it did when it was just decorative.
Next we have the Organic Unscented Chocolate Lip Balm. Notice this again. These products aren't about fake chocolate scents. We're not ten years old shopping at Bath & Body Works for lip gloss. There is no chocolate scent/flavor, but there is chocolate. Once again, it's dark chocolate as well as cocoa butter, since cocoa butter in itself isn't at all unusual for a natural or organic lip balm. Also in here are shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, and hemp oil. Pretty standard ingredients.
The lip balm does have a light to medium brown color. But it isn't tinted. So I'm not positive on whether or not it's going to be completely clear and colorless for everyone. I'm light but not very fair; my eyes are dark enough brown as to be almost black. So while I can say that this lip balm doesn't add any brown color on my skin, I can't say whether or not that would be the case for someone who is very fair. When I test it out on the inside of my wrist or on my palm, I don't see any color. So I'm going to go with that as most likely, but you be the judge.
Because of the most likely lack of color, this can be a unisex lip balm, which is nice. While it isn't chocolate-scented, it does of course have a light aroma from all of the rich ingredients. And because of them, it's also very moisturizing. I in fact find that I prefer this lip balm to a similars sort of balm that I regularly use.
Last we have an item that intrigued me when I was browsing Eldora's website before even going into the store. This is the Organic Chocolate Lavender Body Butter, which I got in the small size just to try it out. It's like a mini jelly jar with the same plain labeling we've been seeing throughout. Ingredients include shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil (which I had to look up and is apparently obtained either from coconut or palm kernel oil), castor oil, and of course both cocoa butter and dark chocolate.
The butter is pale, pale brown like liquid foundation. It smells lovely like lavender--much more so than the soap did. While I don't see this confirmed, given that Eldora uses Los Poblanos lavender in their chocolate, I would expect for the same in these products. I also expect it to be the case given what I've said about the fresh, strong quality of Los Poblanos lavender; I get that same sense from this body butter. Rub a little on your skin and it's like taking a breath of clear air. It you want something calming and clarifying, good lavender will do it.
Texture-wise, this is a soft and smooth butter. I normally use raw shea butter as lotion/moisturizer/etc., and this is a much softer version of that given the additional oils and the beeswax. So it has that rich, luxury feel in texture that you don't always get from a single ingredient product like solo shea butter. Other than the pale brown color, I don't get any sense of chocolate from it. But that's okay: just knowing there's chocolate in here is fun, and cocoa butter is good for your skin. Aroma-wise, it's the lavender that rules the day for this one. How you use a product like this will vary for you: you can use it as body lotion, you can use it as hand cream, you can use it as a facial moisturizer. Like with the lip balm, there is no color in it once you put it on your skin.
Overall, I'm pleased with these products. I appreciate the natural ingredients paired with the fun element of chocolate. The quality is high, as are the aesthetics. All of them would make great gifts, especially the body butter. I like that one so much that I'm rationing it and probably need to force myself to just use it up.