Defense Soap Product Review
Words by Naoyuki da Silva
After using Defense Soap products for almost two years now, I'm glad I had the chance to review something I am so familiar with and also so fond of.
Although Defense Soap has a whole line of different items, I am going to talk only about those that I have had extensive experience with. These include: Shower Gel, Soap Bar, Barrier Foam and Body Wipes.
Their marketing materials say that the Australian Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil that are used as the active ingredients in all of their products have been clinically shown to have anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, and to be effective against MRSA, Staph, Ringworm, Impetigo and Herpes. Their products are also all natural, triclosan-free, and claim to have no harmful side effects... all positives.
When I met the owner of the Defense Soap company a couple years back at an expo, he explained to me how most people actually don't shower properly! He said that in order for soap, any soap, to be fully effective, it has to be lathered onto the skin and left for as long as 30 seconds or more before rinsing it off. It's during this time that the active cleaning ingredients in soaps actually take effect. And so since that conversation, I changed my showering habits, and I now angle the water away from myself once I've lathered, as I let the soap do its very important work.
When I use Defense soap, I can in fact feel its effect...whenever I lather over mat burns or scrapes from training, it really stings! And that's how I know it's got microbial kill-power. But since it is so strong, it tends to leave my skin quite dry, so you may want to use some kind of moisturizer if you are using Defense Soap fairly regularly.
As for the scent, it's pretty much the same across the board for all of Defense Soap's products, as they all use the same active ingredients. The scent is really quite nice and fresh, but very potent and strong. So if you happen to like the scent, as I do, it's great...otherwise these soaps may not be for you.
Now I use the Defense Soap bar for my regular everyday showering, even when I haven't trained. I figure if I use it every day, my skin will always be healthy and fungus-free. I never give those microbes a chance to nestle themselves into my hide.
I hate getting a fungal infection on my skin from training, as I'm sure everyone does, so I would say that it's definitely worthwhile using products like these religiously, and since Defense Soap is really made specifically for grapplers, I know that they've thought of my needs when developing their product line.
Shower Gel - I like this product, although it's not my favourite pick of the bunch. It was the first defense soap I ever used back when I got my very first samples at a BJJ tournament. But the gel runs out quite quickly because you need to use a fair amount of it in order to get a good foamy lather going, which is really the key to the soap doing its job.
Soap Bar - My favourite of the defense soap products. I'm not generally a bar soap guy, and I've always preferred shower gels, but in this case, the bar is a clear winner. It's simple, and incredibly long-lasting. You get about twice the foaming action from this soap than from just about any other bar soap on the market, and it seems to last 2 - 3 times longer than other bars, as it's really quite dense and hard (you can feel it, as it's a surprisingly heavy bar of soap for its standard bar size).
Barrier Foam - This is a foam that you apply to your skin pre-training. Great idea for a product, but it is just a bit too involved for me to want to use it before every training session. Perhaps I'm just lazy... but it really does make a lot of sense to defend against skin conditions proactively (ie before picking something up in training) and not just after the fact as most of us do (ie. washing off whatever you've picked up in training).
Body Wipes - My other favourite Defense Soap product. It's the first thing I do when I get back to the locker room after training...I grab one of these very potent wet wipes, wipe down my face, neck, forearms and hands, and I know that at least I've got a head start on keeping myself clean and fungus-free. I live only about 15 minutes from where I train, and although it's always nice to shower in the locker room right after rolling, I often drive home to shower there, and when I do, it's nice having that first line of defense that the wipes provide so that any fungus that I may have picked up doesn't have the time to nestle itself in. The wipes are easy to use, but the bottle that they come in is rather large and takes up quite a bit of space in my gear bag (I'd love to see it come in a more space-friendly package).
With a very clearly descriptive name, and an extremely niche and specialized business, Defense Soap knows its game and plays it well. This line gets my seal of approval, and I look forward to the evolution of the products in their line, as I'm sure they will continue to improve and innovate over time.
UPDATE Special note: This product review was published in June 2012, approximately six months before Defense Soap became a title sponsor of Jits.
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