Before there were loofahs and sugar polishes, among other common modern exfoliants, there was felted wool soap, which is exactly what it sounds like: soap wrapped in a sweater. I stumbled upon these strange, but visually appealing little bundles by California-based company Fiat Luxe on Saturday afternoon, and was intrigued, but first needed a couple of questions answered:
For starters, the tag states that it's anti-fungal, but how can that be true? I needed more of an explanation and found it: bacteria is attracted to smooth surfaces, not the scaly, neutrally charged surfaces of wool. That put me more at ease, but I still wondered if I'd be able to get past the "ick" factor of rubbing wool all over my body.
With bar in hand (I chose lavender mint, but it comes in a variety of fragrances), I made my way home and soaked it in a bowl of hot water overnight to attempt to procure a lather. This process, pictured below, made my kitchen smell lovely thanks to all those botanically-derived essential oils.
Since it's felted wool, which is wool that's pressed and unwoven, it feels more like a cotton washcloth, not harsh and scratchy like the sweater in the deep recesses of your closet that gives you welts. Added bonus? The wool acts as a wicking agent, so the soap lasts twice as long. The felt shrinks along with the soap as it's used.
My only complaint is that I thought it would lather-up more than it did, especially after letting it soak overnight, but once I got over that, I embraced the fact that it left my skin feeling really clean and soft and smelling vaguely of lavender even several hours later. At $15, it's not cheap, but you can reuse it by slitting the casing and adding a new bar. Buy it here.
Note: Nail art at the top by Museum Nails.