Dr. James Woodbury, a physician from Vermont created Woodbury’s Soap around 1865. Woodbury had a strong interest in dermatology and the development of skincare products. He believed that soap could be made with ingredients that were gentle and nourishing to the skin, rather than harsh and drying.
Dr. Woodbury set out to create a soap that was different from the traditional soaps of the time. Previously, they were made with lye and animal fats. He experimented with different ingredients and finally settled on a formula that included glycerin. This is a natural byproduct of soap-making that helps to moisturize the skin. He also added various oils, such as coconut oil and palm oil, which have skin-nourishing properties.
Here are some ways in which the ingredients in Woodbury’s Soap compare to those in other soaps:
Glycerin: One of the key ingredients in Woodbury’s Soap is glycerin, a natural byproduct of soap-making that helps to moisturize the skin. Glycerin is also found in many other soaps, but it is often removed during the soap-making process to be used in other products, such as lotions and creams.
Oils: Woodbury’s Soap contains a blend of oils, including coconut oil and palm oil, which have skin-nourishing properties. Many other soaps also contain oils, but they may use different types of oils or in different proportions.
Fragrances: Woodbury’s Soap is known for its distinctive scent, which is a blend of various fragrances. Some other soaps may contain synthetic fragrances, which can be irritating to some people, while others may be fragrance-free.
No Harsh chemicals: Unlike many other soaps, Woodbury’s Soap does not contain harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate. This can be drying and irritating to the skin. Instead, it relies on its gentle and nourishing ingredients to clean and moisturize the skin.
The resulting soap was a hit, and Dr. Woodbury began selling it to his patients and colleagues. He named the soap after himself, and it soon became known as Woodbury’s Facial Soap. In the early years, the soap was only available through doctors and pharmacies. However, it quickly gained popularity and became more widely available.
Over time, the Woodbury’s brand expanded to include other personal care products, such as shaving cream, talcum powder, and hair tonic. The company also became known for its advertising campaigns, which emphasized the gentle and nourishing properties of the products. In the early 20th century, Woodbury’s advertisements featured illustrations of women with flawless skin and radiant hair, implying that the use of Woodbury’s products would lead to similar results. The ad on this page was considered quite daring in 1915. A bare-shouldered lady is seen in a tight embrace with a man. My, how times change!
Woodbury’s Soap continued to be a popular brand throughout the 20th century. It continues to offer a range of personal care products that are designed to be gentle and nourishing to the skin. Although the brand has evolved over the years, the original formula for Woodbury’s Soap is still used today.
Woodbury’s Soap has changed ownership several times throughout its history. Here is a brief overview of its ownership history:
1865 – 1905: Dr. James Woodbury, the creator of the soap, owns and operates the Woodbury Soap Company.
1905 – 1912: The Woodbury Soap Company is sold to the Andrew Jergens Company, a soap and cosmetics manufacturer based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1912 – 1953: The Andrew Jergens Company continues to own and operate the Woodbury Soap Company, and expands the Woodbury brand to include other personal care products.
1953 – 1963: The Procter & Gamble Company acquires the Andrew Jergens Company, and with it, the Woodbury brand.
1963 – 1995: Unilever, a consumer goods company based in the Netherlands, acquires the Woodbury brand as part of its acquisition of the personal care products division of the Procter & Gamble Company.
1995 and Beyond: The Colgate-Palmolive Company acquires the Woodbury brand as part of its acquisition of the personal care products division of Unilever. Woodbury’s Soap is still owned and operated by the Colgate-Palmolive Company. They continue to sell a range of personal care products under the Woodbury’s brand.
- Year Started: 1865
- Year Ended: 2099
- Origin Of Name: Name of Founder
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Dr. James Woodbury
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: Colgate-Palmolive
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Woodbury’s Soap
- Naics Code: 325611
- Location Headquarters: Albany, New York USA