Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So Gentle, It Is Pointless: Bath & Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Foaming Hand Soap!

The Good: Appears to have anti-bacterial properties.
The Bad: Weak (nonexistent) scent, No grit or cleaning ability, Proportionately expensive, Dries hands out.
The Basics: For the Halloween and Thanksgiving season, Bath & Body Works has engineered an anti-bacterial foaming hand soap that is so mild as to be utterly worthless with Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin.

Sometimes, it is only when I am reviewing something that I truly discover how worthless a product is. Going into my review of the Bath & Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Gentle Foaming Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap, I was critical. The scent is weak, it has no real cleaning power and it is only faith in the brand that tells me it truly is anti-bacterial vs. washing my hands with water alone. But as I sat here typing up the review this morning, I realized my hands were uncomfortable and I soon became able to blame the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin foaming hand soap. I've used nothing else on my hands this morning and after washing them six times with this soap, as I type I am discovering my skin is abnormally dry!

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Gentle Anti-bacterial Foaming Hand Soap is a seasonal product from Bath & Body Works. Ostensibly just an excuse to sell their pumpkin shaped foaming soap dispensers (reviewed here later today!), Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin is an utterly ineffective hand soap that is bound to disappoint those who actually use the soap this autumn season. Allow me to detail.

First, Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin is available in the Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap pump. The 8.75 fl. oz. bottle tends to run under four dollars and is available from late summer through Thanksgiving at Bath & Body Works stores around the country. The bottle holds a light, peach-colored fluid that appears more watery than most soaps. This is intentional, however, because the soap is not designed to be dispensed as a fluid. Instead, pressing down on the wide pump top transforms the fluid into a foam. When this happens, what scent there is disappears.

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin sounds like a great scent, but here is one of the serious issues with this particular anti-bacterial hand soap: the scent is neither evocative, nor lasting. I first smelled the foam that was issued forth from the bottle when this gentle foaming hand soap appeared in my house. I was surprised because usually, Bath & Body Works products are rich in aroma and when this foaming hand soap was dispensed, I could detect no scent to it. So, I opened it up. Opening my bottle of Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, I was instantly shocked by how I could not identify a single element of the scent. The aroma was vaguely lemon or citrus with the most faint hint of cinnamon. Because the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin foaming hand soap came to me in the pumpkin dispenser, I had no idea what scent it was supposed to be. It was only looking the promotional item up that revealed to me what the scent was intended. Smelling it over and over again, I cannot detect anything remotely like pumpkin in its aroma, making it a huge letdown on that front. In the bottle, there is the most bare hint of cinnamon.

The scent problem is magnified when the soap becomes the cleaning foam as it leaves the bottle. What was a bare hint of a scent in the bottle becomes utterly nonexistent as it exits the spout. The foam has virtually no scent and what aroma there is is not recognizable as cinnamon or pumpkin. Having used only this foaming hand soap for a few days now, but most specifically this morning several times to test the functionality of this product, the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin leaves absolutely no scent on the skin. My hands smell like me and my keyboard, as opposed to anything autumn. As a sidenote here, my little rabbit, Daisy, just came up to my soap dispenser, sniffed it a few times and attempted to use the spout like she would her water bottle. I cannot think of a better illustration of how mild this product is than my rabbit's perception that it might be drinkable!

With Bath & Body Works products, largely what one is paying for (outside the brand name) is the scent. With the scent of the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin virtually nonexistent, it fell to the product's cleaning power to wow me. There again, the product failed entirely. The foam is light and frothy and there is no real cleaning power to it. It does not cut through grease, it does not exfoliate; indeed, the only real agitation one will get when using this product is from whatever one rubs one's hands against (loufa, washcloth, the skin of your other hand) . That makes it about as effective as washing with water alone. As a perfect example of the lack of cleaning power, when I cleaned out my cat and rabbit's litter box, I went to wash my hands afterward. This is just a good idea because most fine litter has dust that naturally gets on one's hands. Washing with the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap did not remove the smell of litter from my fingertips and lacking scrubbing beads or anything as abrasive as actual liquid hand soap, I was not confident my hands actually got clean.

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Gentle Foaming Anti-bacterial Hand Soap claims to have anti-bacterial properties. Lacking a decent microscope and a small laboratory, I cannot write about that honestly. I tend to believe Bath & Body Works when they say their products are anti-bacterial, if for no other reason than the backlash they would receive should they be found to be inaccurate on that count would be prohibitive to lying in this case.

However, while I cannot write about the anti-bacterial properties of this foaming hand soap, I can credibly write about how it made my skin feel. In addition to not leaving any scent residue on my hands, when rinsed clean, the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap did not leave my hands feeling particularly clean. The foam does not moisturize and my skin has become drier since starting to use this religiously for a week. While my skin has not cracked or broken as a result of the soap, it has felt drier, especially at the fingertips and given the only aspect of my cleaning regimen that has been altered is the use of this foaming hand soap, it seems reasonable that this is to blame.

Bath & Body Works' Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Anti-Bacterial Foaming Hand Soap has only strikes against it. It is a seasonal attempt from Bath & Body Works to bamboozle customers in the hopes that they will not notice the product they have bought is utterly ineffective. I noticed; so you do not need to be fooled!

For other anti-bacterial products, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Dial anti-bacterial liquid hand soap
Bath & Body Works Plumeria Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Anti-Bacterial Gel


For other health and beauty products, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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