Monday, January 4, 2010

Handmade soaps..Yay or Nay?

During my search for the lovelies at my store, one of the challenges was to decide what type of products to include at the initial launch. Scrubs, creams, butters, perfumes...these are all pretty straightforward. Soaps, on the other hand, were a bit of a dilemma. Yes, I used to belong to the camp of skeptics against soaps. Like an average city girl, I have been used to the squirt - rinse - jump out of shower sequence with a shower gel. "Troublesome" was the word that I associated with soaps - don't they just turn into gooey mess beside the bath tub and melt away?

But with so many soap-making brands out there (Saipua, Claus Porto, and of course Nostalgia!), and all with such beautiful products...perhaps I am missing something? So I purchased a bunch of natural hand-made soaps for me and family to try. Since then, I have been a firm convert!!

Goosebumps - Perfect for a good scrubbing!
Happy Days - Zesty & refreshing
Sweet Orange - An extra dash of moisture for dry skins
Mud Pie - Chocoholic's heaven
Lavender Flowers - Calming after a day's hard work
Velveteen Rose - Unscented for very sensitive skins
Mixed Greens - Who doesn't need anti-oxidants?
My Deerest - A minty wake-up call!

The first soap that i tried out is the Happy Days from Nostalgia Organics. Admittedly the soap was very blocky to use at first. Good or bad? Good because bigger size = better value! But it was a tad uncomfortable to hold. This issue goes away after a few showers as the soap slowly becomes more rounded to fit better in my palms (I do have very small hands).

The rest, I have no complaints at all!! In addition to the deliciously refreshing aromas, the soap lathers up extremely well with very smooth foams that almost felt like whipped cream. Normally I have extremely dry skin, but the soap left me cleansed but not stripped of moisture. Best of all, my back which was prone to spots for god knows how many years, have slowly cleared away!!

The soap lasted for 2+ months, almost as long as any bottle of shower gel can offer. Did I take special care to dry the soap after use? Not at all! I probably should have and my soap would last even longer. But I simply left it next to my bath tub in a soap dish (without cover), which was away from direct shower sprays but by no means under a dry/ventilated area.

Scrutinising the content, I see saponified olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, natural vitamin e - all are well-known skin loving ingredients. Then compare this with my old shower gel (found in all drug stores, supermarkets), I see petrolatum, SLS, mineral wonder why my back used to clog up like crazy.. Yes my shower gel certainly is sold cheaper than my soap, then again, I have lost count of the amount of money that I spent trying to rid my back of spots..

Finally, it has been an interesting trend to observe among my customers especially during X'mas season. Some are obvious soap lovers and have literally stock piled them as gifts. Others however would hesitate as their friends "probably don't use soaps". I have already shifted sides from the Nay to the Yay camp. How about you?

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