Public Goods Membership Review – February 2018
Public Goods (previously known as Morgans) is a membership service through which you can buy healthy essential personal care products at cost. All of their products are cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and most are also vegan-friendly made in the USA.
Readers, please note: This review is from 2018. You can find an updated review for 2020 here.
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Public Goods
The Subscription Box: Public Goods
The Cost: Access to members-only prices is $59 for one year
The Products: Your choice of natural grooming products
Ships to: US, free with orders over $25
Public Goods Membership & Products Review
I was drawn to Public Goods initially because of the design of their products. My bathroom is definitely on the cluttered side and I love how simple their minimal black and white design is by contrast; it would look great in any bathroom, but especially in our new vintage-inspired black and white remodel.
Now, I’ve never been the type of person to decant my shampoo into a fancy glass container or anything like that. But visual clutter is real, and I was really curious if these products would perform as well as they look:
I love the simple “it’s all good” branding on these, too.
Public Goods Shampoo, 12 oz – Members Price $3.75 (Non-Member Price $20)
This shampoo is simple but nice. It reminds me of a high-end hotel shampoo, which sounds like a criticism, but I actually LOVE that stuff. It has a very pleasant citrusy, herbal-y scent that doesn’t linger after rinsing. It lathered well and made my fine hair feel nice and clean.
Public Goods Conditioner, 12 oz – Members Price $2.50 (Non-Member Price $20)
The matching conditioner has a similar pleasant and clean citrus scent. It wasn’t the most moisturizing formula I’ve ever tried, but my hair felt soft and clean. I have fine hair, and I can say that it didn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down or too dry either– it was a happy medium.
This is a small detail, but since the shampoo and conditioner bottles look so similar, I really appreciated that this bottle has a pump-style top. That made it so much easier to tell the difference between in the shower.
Public Goods Body Lotion, 12 oz – Members Price $4.00 (Non-Member Price $20)
This is an unscented lotion, and it works great as a general purpose body lotion. It’s not greasy and absorbs into the skin quickly. It’s definitely been helpful to keep on hand for dry hands and elbows during the cold weather we’re still getting here in the northeast!
Public Goods Moisturizer, 4 oz – Members Price $3.25 (Non-Member Price $18)
If you’ve read some of my past reviews, you may know that my skin is a bit sensitive and doesn’t always handle new facial moisturizers well, especially those with fragrance or essential oil ingredients. I have started just patch testing things in the last few months because I’m just not sure how I’ll react.
I wasn’t sure about this at first because it does have a bit of fragrance to it: this one has a sort of sea-breeze “fresh” smell rather than the citrusy scent of the other Public Goods products. But, I’m super pleased that this facial moisturizer is gentle on my skin, and has actually helped calm some redness that another product had caused. If they made a version of this with SPF, I’d consider it for my daily routine. It’s lightweight and the fragrance doesn’t stick around.
At this point it makes sense to note that all of these products so far are pretty unisex; the fragrances are pleasant and light enough for anyone to use them.
Public Goods Shaving Cream, 6 oz – Members Price $3.25 (Non-Member Price $18)
Shaving cream is a total luxury for me; I rarely buy it. This one is pleasantly peppermint, but it’s not so strong that it makes your skin tingle. It had a great consistency and a little really went a long way when shaving my legs in the shower!
Public Goods Razor Blades, 4 pack – Member Price $3 (Non-Member Price $15)
To complete the shaving kit, Public Goods offers these 4 packs of blade refills, as well as a handle:
Public Goods Razor Handle – Members Price $11 (Non-Member Price $55)
This one is solid and nicely made of wood with metal accents.
The set worked great together, and I thought these blades worked really well. The only downside to the beautiful wooden handle is that it is super smooth, and so it’s a bit slippery to work within the shower once you’ve applied the shaving cream.
Public Goods Bar Soap, 5 oz – Member Price $3.00 (Non-Member Price $16)
I never expect bar soap to impress me, but I’ve been making a conscious effort to create less plastic trash this year, so I’ve been trying more bar soaps than body washes lately. This coconut oil and glycerin based soap leaves me feeling clean without an overpowering smell, and doesn’t dry my skin out.
I was skeptical of the first ingredient being palm oil since it has been criticized for deforestation and climate destruction in tropical areas. Happily though, this bar is made with CSPO Palm Oil, which stands for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and means the producers follow a number of guidelines designed to make the product more sustainable for the environment and habitat in which it is grown.
Public Goods Deodorant, 2.5 oz – Members Price $4 (Non-Member Price $18)
Right off the bat, I was happy to see this deodorant does not contain aluminum. I’ve stayed away from aluminum-based antiperspirants since I was pregnant with my son, and really haven’t looked back.
This is a gel-type stick that glides on smoothly and cleanly (which is a refreshing change from my Schmidt’s brand stick that seems to take 20 minutes to warm up). The natural fragrance is probably the most masculine of all of the products and reminded me a bit of that classic botanical/medicinal aftershave smell, but like all of these products, the smell does not seem to linger very long.
Given that it’s winter, I haven’t really put this to the test yet because I’m not sweating much… but so far, I like the application and formula at least.
Public Goods Natural Silk Dental Floss, 30 meters – Member Price $2 (Non-Member Price $11)
This is one of the few products they offer which are not vegan, as this floss is made from natural silk. This does make it biodegradable, though, and it comes in a recyclable glass container too.
This is definitely the first time I’ve ever thought about how beautiful floss packaging could be. And clear glass, so you can tell when you’re about to run out? Amazing.
Packaging design aside, the floss itself worked really well for me. There is a natural peppermint flavor, and I found the floss to be a nice size and have a bit of texture that seemed to help do the job well.
Set of 2 Bamboo Toothbrushes – Members Price $3.50 (Non-Member Price $14)
This is the only product in the whole box that was a real miss for me.
Although I love that this comes in a two pack and is color-coded (so you can easily split this with your spouse), I just couldn’t get past the taste and texture of wood in my mouth as I brushed.
I try to use eco-friendly materials and recycle and all that jazz, but I think this is one product I’ll just have to take a hard pass on.
Public Goods Toothpaste – Members Price $4.50 (Non-Member Price $14)
The toothpaste, though, was a winner. It’s got a pleasant natural peppermint flavor as you might expect.
I found it to be effective and overall pleasant, but I want to note that like many other natural toothpastes, it does not include fluoride.
Public Goods Mini Lip Balm – Members Price $0.75 (Non-Member Price $2)
Finally the cutest thing ever: the world’s tiniest lip balm.
This petite stick is less than half the size of a regular-sized lip balm. I would LOVE to know the story behind this… is it because they were frustrated at all the half-used lip balms they’d find scattered around the house? That is my guess.
This is a simple, unflavored balm that’s great to have on hand year-round. Even though the first ingredient is coconut oil, I found this to have less of an overt coconut flavor than other brands I’ve tried. The texture is a little grainy when being applied, but smooths as it warms up.
Overall, I was really pleased with the quality and variety of products available through a Public Goods membership. I think there are a few different types of people that might be interested in this brand: If you want to bring more good design into your bathroom, if you want to switch to using sulfate-free, paraben-free and otherwise ‘healthier’ products without doing a ton of research, and/or if you often find yourself stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ when looking at personal care products…. then it may be worth checking these products out. (I also think these would be great for stocking up a guest bathroom since the products are all unisex and good quality!)
The prices are good, too, but as with all memberships, your savings will increase the more you order in a calendar year. Public Goods membership is $59/year paid upfront, which is less than $5/month (and you can try them free for two weeks, which would give you a chance to try the products at cost before you commit). If you find yourself ordering even 2-3 products a month, the overall cost is worthwhile when I look at how much I might pay for similar products at the grocery store. They also offer toilet paper, sunscreen, and body wash and plan to add more products regularly.
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