“Due to client demand, Rescue Spa, a luxury day spa in Center City, now carries three-dozen bar soaps, up from just six kinds it sold three years ago. Older clients who have used commercial bar soaps for years appreciate the skin-softening benefits of natural soaps, said Kim Zimmerman, Rescue Spa’s e-commerce and marketing director. “And millennials appreciate the eco-conscious packaging, that they’re organic, and Korean beauty products are all the rage,” she said, noting that the best-sellers are natural organic Gounjae soaps selling for $14 to $19 and wrapped in traditional Korean paper called hanji. And Morihata’s black charcoal soap, $32 for 3.8 ounces, is popular among teenage boys (bought by their mothers) for bacne (acne on the back), she said.”
Gounjae is a revered Korean traditional soap brand originating from Korea’s botanical-rich Jeju Island. It approaches soapmaking with the same obsession as vintners do winemaking. Using time-honored techniques, Gounjae obsesses over optimal temperature and timing to unlock ingredients at their most optimal state. Soaps are steamed three times and then aged 500 days to ripen before being wrapped in traditional Korean hanji paper that allows the soaps to “breathe.”
The soaps are egg-shaped and I can almost see the wizened old hands that crafted each single bar. The brand’s Green Farm soap contains persimmon leaves to lighten freckles and pigmentation, pine leaves to purge pores, and nutrient-rich mulberry leaves for amino acids.
Because it’s a natural soap, it doesn’t have abundant lather, but the soap works more effectively when applied directly to the face. The texture is gently exfoliating and the shape makes it effective as a facial massager as you cleanse.
Gounjae Green Farm Handcrafted Soap, $12, available at Shop Rescue Spa.