With breathtaking landscape and high standards of living Norway consistantly tops polls of the world’s most desirable places to live, so it is no surprise that the home of achingly cool minimalism and incredible phenomena like the Northern Lights also produces some stunning natural beauty products. Products like the beautiful handmade natural soaps from Yager & May, a company located in Fredrikstad, Norway.
All Yager & May soaps are produced by company founder, Rachel Simons, in her small home studio, where she blends, pours, cuts and packages all the products by hand. Excluding parabens, detergents, and artificial colours and perfumes, whilst using olive oil as a base and blending many other skin-loving oils and butters into the mix, the soaps lather well yet gently cleanse and nourish the skin.
This process is a labour of love, as all the soaps are cured for a minimum of four weeks, and it really does show in the beautiful products. Yager & May soaps look like jewels; their rich, earthy tones reflecting Norways amazing landscapes, and each one tells a story of Norwegian folklore or tradition. I was very kindly sent a bar of their gorgeous Nøkken soap, as well as some samples, which I’m hugely excited to share with you.
Nøkken* is an all natural soap containing tea tree oil, French green clay and activated charcoal. The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil, detoxifying charcoal and oil absorbing green clay make this soap the perfect choice for oily and acne prone skin and its base of olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and sweet almond oil mean it cleanses without stripping the skin.
As you may imagine the tea tree lends this soap a distinctive medicinal scent, but added peppermint, star anise and lavender give a fresh, herby dimension to the fragrance. This is a great bar of soap if you suffer from acne or hormonal breakouts, and is ideal if you have teenagers or live with a man who is partial to stealing your toiletries.
Nøkken is actually a kind of Troll in Norwegian folklore, but far from being the cute kind these creatures that live in water are rather more sinister. The soap was inspired by Kittelsens famous illustration of the nøkken (above) and you can almost imagine the dark tendrils grabbing and pulling you to the murky green waters below. This soap however will definitely leave you feeling far from murky as its 100% natural formula thoroughly cleanses and hydrates.
Yager & May produce a number of other equally wonderful soaps, of which I was sent six samples;
Sommernatt – Made with green clay and lemongrass, a natural insect repellant, this soap is perfect for use in the summer. Its citrus aroma is very uplifting.
Askepott – This facial soap is blended with norwegian rosehips and grapefruit. Naturally high in vitamins E and C, this is ideal for aging skin.
Askeladden – An all natural detoxifying soap with activated charcoal and cedarwood, this has a woody, earthy aroma; perfect for the man in your life.
Åse Gåsepike – With ground almonds, vanilla, nutmeg, and clove this soap literally smells good enough to eat, and it’s super skin-friendly too.
Smorbukken – Made with 80% olive oil, coconut oil and buttermilk, this is a lovely soap for those with sensitive skins and my daughter’s eczema-prone skin has loved it!
Jeg er Havren – Ground oatmeal in this soap soothes the skin while Norwegian honey is antibacterial, and speeds healing, making this another great soap for those with problematic skin conditions.
All the soaps retail at 95 kr (roughly £7.80) for a hefty 110g bar and shipping is dependant on weight but as a guide 1st class postage to Europe for 2 bars is 58 kr (£4.70), and for 3-9 bars is 104 kr (£8.50). Yager & May will happily ship worldwide but do contact them for a shipping quote.
Yager & May soaps are very striking and would grace the most modern of bathrooms, but beyond looks their formulas pack an impressive punch. Beautifully packed into individual boxes they also make lovely gifts if you can bear to part with their loveliness! It isn’t very often a beauty product invokes Wanderlust in me, but Yager & May soaps not only make me want to run a bath but also to see all the places that inspired the products. Cheap flights to Norway anyone?
Find Yager & May online here.