These Deliciously Scented Ursa Major Soaps Themed After National Parks Also Give Back to Nature

These days, there are so many amazing body soap options out there, that it's just not enough to smell amazing. Products should give back in some way, too.

That's what immediately drew me to the incredible new National Parks Soap Collection from forest-infused skincare brand, Ursa Major. They made the set in collaboration with Parks Project, purveyors of national park-inspired goods who've also dedicated themselves to preserving and protecting public lands, and these soaps reflect the parks in their ingredients and the good they do.

I was lucky enough to be sent the full collection for review, and I've never been more delighted to smell like the trees of the forests.

The Collection

The National Parks Soap Collection from Ursa Major and Parks Projects includes three incredible soaps representing Acadia, Redwood and Zion national parks. Not only is every soap scented with essential oils that transport your imagination right to those parks, but they also include botanical ingredients native to each of the parks, including prickly pear, seaweed, kelp and huckleberry. For hydration, the soaps include a sustainably and ethically sourced coconut oil base that doesn't strip skin. Each is also beautifully colored with natural ingredients and includes zero glycols, parabens, PEGs, petrochemicals, SLS, SLES, silicones, synthetic fragrances or synthetic colors.

Even better yet, 5% of every purchase supports the National Parks Conservation Association. Of course, it only makes sense that they're also packaged entirely in 100% post-consumer recycled materials. It's appropriate, then, that the three bars are imprinted with the words "Leave It Better." The full National Parks Soap Set is available for $40, while the individual bars retail for $14 each.


The Experience

The moment I opened the box containing the National Parks Soap Collection, my nostrils filled with the scent of trees and the forest. I happen to live in a very woodsy area where I'm also surrounded by trees, but I loved the fact that these soaps made it feel like the forest was coming into my home, and I couldn't wait to get started bathing with them.

The packaging itself was also stunning. The cardboard outside, with its green, blue, orange and pink waves, has a striking look that would look appropriate displayed on a shelf. I loved the wrapping for the individual soaps, too, with different color schemes, patterns and fonts representing the three included national parks. It was almost a shame to have to rip them open, but once I did, I had zero regrets.


(via Ursa Major)



I began with the Acadia soap, inspired by Acadia National Park in Maine. I've never been there myself, but the powerful astringent scent of the soap didn't make it difficult to imagine myself there. Though the scent was strong, it also smelled totally natural, like stepping into the forest. The fragrances of scotch pine and rock rose reminded me of a freshly cut Christmas tree, with accents of eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint, which is instantly refreshing as well as grounding—and just the thing to pick you up if you're sleepy during your morning shower.

The bar itself is colored a blue-grey hue with natural charcoal. When I started lathering up, I was actually shocked by how great it made my skin feel. It was super hydrating and creamy on my skin—which I don't usually expect from such strongly scented soaps—and it also seemed to very gently exfoliate my skin. I adored the experience and looked forward to many more showers with it—but not before it was time to test the other bars.


(via Ursa Major)



Out of the three bars, I was looking forward to the Redwood the most because I've actually been to the Redwood National and State Parks stretching across Northern California. When I gave this one a whiff, it also felt the most familiar. The juniper and fir needle scents were subtler, but still bold and soothing to my nose. Perhaps it's because I'm originally from California, but to me, this is the bar that smells like the great outdoors. This bar is a soft green color with French green clay and spirulina algae, and felt just as amazing for my body as the previous bar. I have to say that of the three, this is my favorite—though the two others nearly tie it for first.


(via Ursa Major)



Last but not least was the Zion bar. Zion National Park in Utah is already unfamiliar territory for me—maybe that's a signal I need to take a road trip soon?—so I wasn't sure what to expect from this bar, besides the description stating that it's scented with sage and sabino cedar. I immediately adored the earthy scent of the sage, though I feel this soap also somehow captures the scent of the giant rock formations of the park with the essence of something that reminds me of clay and sandstone. It makes sense, then, that the bar gets its orange-red color from real Moroccan lava clay. By this time, I wasn't at all surprised when the bar made my skin feel silky-smooth and moisturized. And lucky for me, I think these three bars are enough for me to enjoy for a long time.



(via Ursa Major)


Bottom Line

If you don't love the idea of smelling like towering pine, fir and cedar trees, this collection from Ursa Major and Parks Project probably isn't for you. However, if you adore those scents—and want to support the national parks—you should absolutely give at least one of these bars a try. At $14 apiece, or $40 for the set, they're definitely pricier than your average soap bar, but well within the reasonable range for luxury soaps, and they'll make your skin feel better than just about any bar soap I've tried. I'm obsessed with all three—and they've definitely piqued my curiosity about what else Ursa Major has to offer, too.


Want to make the switch to eco-friendly bar products for the shower? Click HERE to read all about Peach soaps for the body, hair and face.