For those who may not be familiar with my love affair with all things hand-soothing, let me begin by saying I have many - and I mean many salves, balms, ointments, creams, and linaments because I'm one of those crazy people with chronic pain and an auto-immune disease that worsens with repetitive motion who decided to pursue one of the most repetitive as a career. In addition to my array of medications and supplements I find that massaging my forearms and hands before and after my stretches eases my pain and calms my mind. It's truly kismet that I would receive this Love + Leche lotion bar at the onset of a flare-up when I seem to be doing more stretching than working to get through the day.
I selected the Lavender Mint scent - which, by the way, is a limited edition scent available July & August of 2015 only so you must get it while you can! As I mentioned, I use my products not only for conditioning or softening my skin, but for soothing my pain and this scent combination was one I found irresistible. Through all of my trials, I've found a single word that makes my heart flutter because this ingredient has never let me down: Calendula. And yes, it's there, printed under the ingredients just as it should be! So, what is Calendula? It's a cheerful little yellow flower that has a myriad of health benefits. When it comes to topical applications, it's an anti-inflammatory and vulnerary. This means it helps with my autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and rashes as well as heals minor abrasions and insect bites.
The company also sent a generous sample of one of their new scents, Citrus Rose. Honestly, I don't know that I would have selected this particular scent (especially online without sniffing it) because... well, the combination didn't appeal to me straight away. For this reason, I'm grateful to Daven (the mastermind, CEO + Milkmaid) for having the good sense to send it. This bar smells like hot, earthy summer. As soon as I popped the flap open on the wax paper bag I felt like I was breathing in the Saturday market and I was transported to my grandmother's back porch, peeling giant navel oranges with her while my grandfather carefully selected a bouquet of roses from his beloved bushes growing behind the house for me to take home. The blend of Citrus and Rose oils can be an anti-depressant and encourages focus, calm, and confidence. Scent truly is a powerful thing.
I feel like there are three categories of lotion bar available - waxy, oily, and creamy. I've used a bar that turned out to be creamy and it quickly dissolved into a sloppy mess and so I tend to avoid those at all costs. Waxy and oily seem to be where the magic lives. For an oily bar, I prefer to use ones that are poured into a tin (like the Love + Leche Anywhere Balm) and for a waxy bar, I prefer ones that are loose so that I can smooth them over my skin and gently massage the product in. I'm happy to find that these bars are nicely waxy and don't become slippery so that I can use them without them jumping out of my hands!
As a creative, visual-focused person, I love the selection of bar designs from a simple little spiral to a sweet mother and baby scene. I'm personally partial to the Bee + Sunflower bar though even if it seems almost too lovely to destroy in use. The Lavender Mint scent is just as light and soothing as I had imagined it would be and the lingering aroma is carried along with my yarn stitch by stitch. Both of these oils are anti-inflammatory pain reducers (or, my best friends) and though the lavender is notoriously soothing, the mint balances by invigorating the mind. Hours after applying the bar and knitting away on my newest design I can still feel the product doing it's work to smooth my hands without leaving an oily or waxy residue.
I haven't said much about the company here, however as I've been writing reviews of products I've learned the importance of the where - and it's just as important as the what. You can watch the videos and read all about the story of Love + Leche HERE.
Now, we've established what this lotion bar is - a beautiful product that would make a thoughtful gift. It's everything it claims to be and something I'll certainly add to my collection from this day forward! But I really enjoyed reading the story of where. Not everything in life falls perfectly in place and starting a company is rarely something you nail straight from the gate. Navigating family and finance while balancing passion and career is the trickiest and something I'm all too familiar with. What stood out to me about the story of Love + Leche was the pure thoughtfulness - the love and passion that drives such attention. Daven's inclusion of her children and wisdom to allow the company to evolve while holding onto the core focus of what she wants her product to be is inspiring. Through transitioning from farm to city and losing her original name, she stayed the course, nurturing relationships with local growers and keeping her hands in the process. It's hard to avoid the pull to support this company!
Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for this review; I did however receive the product in exchange for posting my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with the company mentioned in this post. Your experience with the reviewed products may differ from my own.