26 Jul 2014
Generously sized soap bars and liquid soap bottle with strong yet attractive aromas. The products lasted a long time, arguably way longer than previous soaps aimed at MMA/grappling audience. I enjoyed using the soap bars but did not like the liquid soap.
Within the grappling community, I have noticed a recent explosion of soap and hygiene products appearing on the market. For reference, you can see my previous review of Fight Soap vs Defense Soap and a more recent review of the Idee Athlete Soap. The Arm Bar Soap Company started in 2012 by Chad Hospodar and seems to be a popular recommendation among BJJ folk when reading forum and Facebook comments on the topic of fighter soaps. Judging from their online presence, the products and marketing are presented in a very professional manner.
Information and disclosures
The Armbar Soap Company is based in the USA
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thearmbarsoapcompany
Cost: $4.95 (soap bar), $10.95 (lotion)
I have no business or personal connection with The Arm Bar Soap Company.
I was sent four versions of their soap bar to test out. So far I have only managed to test out one of them for the sole reason that the bar lasts a very very long time.
I have been washing with the Cocoa Batch soap bar for the past month - after every training session and for my morning showers, washing hands and face and just generally using it all the time and the bar still refuses to disintegrate. I have actually lost count how many times I have used it but in my estimation, it is the most durable and long lasting of the fighter soaps I have reviewed so far.
All the soap bars are opaque in colour and fairly dry to the touch when handled prior to using in the shower. Each measures 8cmx6cmx3cm and weighs 133grams (4.7oz). My first observation when using the product was how substantially chunky and large it was.
The bar itself produces a mild lather when washing and the essential oil ingredients (including tea tree oil, lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint) provide a strong, yet pleasant aroma. Unlike some other soap products, thankfully the Cocoa Batch does not contain the harsh poppy seed exfoliants. Instead it uses oatmeal, which is much softer and provides a more gentle abrasion when applied to the skin.
The cocoa butter (and other oils) within the ingredients meant that the bar gave a slight moisturising effect and my skin was not left with residue or that 'dry' feeling you get with some off-the-shelf soap products.
The photo above shows the status of the Cocoa Batch bar as of this morning. As mentioned above, I have been using the bar for every major and minor wash and it simply refuses to die. It is remarkably resilient compared to other fighter soaps I have sampled and continues to function the same as if it was a brand new bar. It is a very impressive product and I can't wait to move on to the other formula bars once this one has finally died.
I guess my only criticism with the soap bars in general is that the packaging does not include some form of portable box, carton or bag. It doesn't bother me since I stick to my washing for when I am at home but for those who like carry their soaps to the gym, it may be something to be aware of.
The other concern, seeing as I am based in the UK, is that it really is only economic to buy this soap if you are based in the USA - or if you are willing to purchase it in bulk and import it.
Original Potion liquid soap
The Potion is packaged in a small plastic squeeze bottle containing 8 fl oz of soap - by volume, that's slightly more than the soap bar. When pouring the soap onto your hands, the lotion has the consistency of very runny milk. The aroma from the essential oils seems to be much sharper and more pungent than the solid bar.
I must confess I did not enjoy using the Potion. It is designed for use within the shower and I like my shower gels to be much thicker and particle free. The Potion pours out very runny and applying it felt like I was putting liquid mayonnaise onto my skin. The formula contains walnut powder as an exfoliant. As with poppy seeds in other soap products I found these to be too abrasive and frankly, it leaves a unsightly mess in the bath after washing - the particles don't seem to run into the drain easily, but instead just lie there on the base of the shower floor which necessitates me having to clean out the shower area.
The Arm Bar Soap company offers a supremely satisfying and solid product with their various soap bars. I thoroughly enjoyed using the Cocoa Batch, which was pleasant smelling, long lasting and performed its function perfectly. I can't wait to try out the others. The liquid soap was less satisfying - I didn't enjoying applying the product and the poppy seeds were very annoying.