Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Soap Lovely!

By Mag Teo
Soaps are enjoying a resurgence in popularity and it's easy to see why: skin-nurturing ingredients, together with an evocative feel of the past, have upped their beauty ante. Throw in a touch of luxe and soaps are set to rule the bath and body realm once more.

Soft and silky
Say goodbye to the skin-stripping bars of the past — today's bath soaps are infused with nourishing ingredients and laden with skin-loving goodness. Often containing restorative moisturisers — and sometimes, exfoliating agents — these soaps cleanse, soothe and smooth our skin all at once.

Old is new
The solid form atop a bath dish and the reassuring feel of a bar of soap in the palm not only conjure up memories of old for some of us, they are also a reminder of how some things never change. If retro is in, then soaps are the definitive nostalgic product of beauty past...and present.

A natural touch
Natural soaps contain plant-based ingredients (think shea butter, botanicals and essential oils) and sometimes, exfoliants (oatmeal and crushed seeds, for instance). Usually organically-sourced, these beneficial ingredients not only pamper our skin, they are gentler on the earth than the chemicals in commercial soaps.

Packaging is everything
A sprinkling of floral petals dispersed in natural soap cakes lend them an air of charm, while vintage-inspired packaging adds a touch of whimsy to these functional products. Ribbons and sacks sometimes dress them prettily, delighting the visual senses. The best thing? Soaps are often simply but tastefully packed in paper — easy-peasy to recycle and great for the environment.

Scents of smell
Gone are the synthetic scents of yesteryear. Essential oil fragrances often permeate natural soaps and are released with every use. At once an olfactory and therapeutic pleasure, the aromatic whiffs make baths a joy and enhance our well-being.

With a plethora of reasons to use these cakes of lovelies, it's time to revel in this soap renaissance!

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