Solid beauty products are gaining more and more popularity. I wrote a blog post about solid cosmetic products some time ago. Solid skin care beauty trend is part of the zero-waste thinking, which is a very common phenomenon around the globe.  In Asia, where awakening to environmental problems is already happening, organic cosmetic products are becoming more popular.  The number of environmental-friendly manufacturers is growing in Asia, too. There are also manufacturers of organic cosmetic products In Thailand, a country famous of its aromatherapy bath products.

soap-villa-solid-cosmetics

Solid cosmetic products are perfect for tropics

In tropical conditions, the composition of the cosmetic product is very different from the products mentioned to cooler climate. Traditional cosmetic product does require plenty of preservatives in the tropics. In addition, emulsifiers may suffer from constant heat. Organic cosmetic products contain safe preservatives but are they good enough in hot and humid atmosphere?

Water-free cosmetic products are really good alternative to traditional products in the tropics. Soap-based products do not need any preservatives. Solid beauty products are the only realistic choice to make organic cosmetic products for tropics.

Washing with soap soothes your skin

Nordic skin is very dry, both the sebum and moisture are usually missing. Tropical skin has different problems. Tropical skin is moist and usually only slightly oily, a perfect home for many microbes. Microbes on the skin are naturally a good thing, but sometimes a fungus and harmful bacteria can be found as well. This is quite common in the tropics. Soap-based washing products often remove oily skin and neutralize skin’s pH. Soap is actually the only recommended skin cleanser for tropical holidays.

Organic, solid beauty products

Soap Villa is a Thai beauty brand that produces organic cosmetic soap- and shampoo bars and other solid cosmetic products. The products of Soap Villa are high quality products, also the packages have style. At this point I want to emphasize the fact that I’ve purchased all the products by myself and I do not make any kind of commercial co-operation with Soap Villa.

In a typical Thai way, the Soap Villa has launched a huge amount of different scented soaps. Each soap contains its own tropical herbs. Each Thai herb has an old, traditional herbal remedy. In Thailand, herbal medicine is still very popular. People believe in the power of herbs just like in China.

Thai soap villa has created soap for every skin problem

All the soaps contain Thai traditional herbs. The herbs are carefully selected for each purpose. These soaps are designed mainly for the facial cleaning, but are also suitable for the whole body.

Soap Villa also makes shampoo bars

soap-villa-solid-cosmetics

Shampoo bars have made a real breakthrough around the world, and now in Asia as well. Shampoo bars are particularly suitable for hot and humid tropics. All Soap Villa’s shampoo bars contain caring herbs for hair and scalp.

Soap Villa black and white series

I bought black and white soap from Soap Villa myself. White soap contains milk and is a very gentle exfoliating soap. I use it on my whole body when needed.

Black soap contains effective, deep-cleansing activated carbon from coconut. Activated carbon soap is a must in major Asian cities. Air in Asian growth centres is much more polluted than in many European cities. Activated carbon soap effectively removes make-up and impurities from the skin.

Although I don’t use soap as my primary skin cleanser, I use it logically whenever needed. Stayin or just visiting in big cities puts a heavy strain on the skin. Then I choose lesser evil thing and use activated carbon soap for deep cleansing of my skin.

Soap is both an alkali and effective surfactant, a detergent, a sebum removing ingredient. After a soap wash, it is always good to neutralize your skin with something mild-acidic liquid. For example, a mixture of apple vinegar and water is suitable. I often use fermented herbal extracts or Molkosan mixed with water. Then the skin will also gain back the beneficial bacteria it has lost.

Soap Villa products are only available in Thailand

soap-villa-solid-cosmetics

Currently, Soap Villa sells its products in a few stores in the Bangkok area, up north in Chiang Mai and on the beach city of Pattaya. Stores selling Soap Villa products are listed on the company’s website.

I’m really glad that Asia also is following the trend to resist synthetic cosmetic products. Many visitors buy cosmetic products as souvenirs and gifts from Thailand. These organic beauty products of Thai Villa are truly great buys. By purchasing these great products instead of synthetic cosmetics in Thailand, you are also encouraging Thai people to develop more organic beauty products.

What are your favourite homecoming gifts or items you want to buy from abroad?

What are shampoo bars? Shampoo bars have arrived to stay. With the Zero waste ideology, more and more people want to get along with simple products. Bar-shaped products are the simplest cosmetic products you can find. What is the Shampoo, Conditioner and Lotion bars are made of? Are they as environmentally friendly as they are claimed to be? Read my story about shampoo bars and other beauty bar innovations!

what-are-shampoo-bars
Photo silviarita Pixabaystä

Background of cosmetic cosmetics

Beauty bars were originally created by the zero-waste movement. People wanted cosmetics products without any waste and without anything that was not necessary. By creating beauty bars, this has been achieved almost or even 100% completely. Beauty bars do not require protective packaging. Beauty bars are usually packed in cardboard boxes or just in paper.

Of course, one could also sell beauty bars without any wrapping at all. For the product itself, wrapping is not necessary. In many countries, for legislation reasons there must be some wrapping. Product information including INCI lists must be clearly visible on the product. The packaging also protects the product from contamination. After all, beauty product is related to personal hygiene.

It all started with a soap bar

The zero-waste people first started to wash their hair with Marseille soap. In the beginning of the zero-waste movement, Marseille soap was the only acceptable detergent used in zero-waste household. It was used for washing hair, face, body, and the entire home, including laundry and dishes. The idea of replacing dozens of household chemicals by a single, simple, environmentally friendly product was perfect for both minimalistic and zero waste ideologies.

Pressure cause innovations, beauty bars were invented

Problems with Marseille soap were discovered pretty quickly. The product was not suitable for all purposes. There was also a desire for more, alternative beauty products and naturally beauty shops wanted more products for sale. This caused the sinking of Marseille soap to basic household cleaning use only. This is a pity, because Marseille soap is the best soap for skin. It is not suitable for cleaning or laundry because of its high fat content. It is suitable for wool, silk and leather cleaning.

The super-popular zero waste soap bar idea was intensely developed. This is how beauty bars products were created. Today, there is a beauty bar version of almost every cosmetic product. Especially shampoo bars are very popular. Manufacturers are developing more and more of them all the time. For sure there are several choices for every hair quality.

Beauty bars are ecological cosmetics

what-are-shampoo-bars
Kuva S. Hermann & F. Richter Pixabaystä

Ecological cosmetics take the utmost account of the environment. All foreign substances are a burden on the environment. There are no completely safe substances. However, beauty bars have considerable advantages over conventional cosmetics.

Beauty bars are anhydrous cosmetics

Beauty bars are water-free. All ingredients are either fats, oils or completely dry ingredients. However, the lack of water in the product does not limit the number of other ingredients. You will soon notice how useless the water really is in cosmetics. After all, anyone can add water to the product him/herself. You don’t have to buy it with the product from the store and carry it home.

Water also causes significant problems. All water-containing products always need a preservative. To exclude preservative from an aqueous product would be a clear health risk and would make cosmetics unsafe to health. There is no water in a beauty bar product, so a preservative is unnecessary.

Anhydrous beauty bars are preserved without any preservative, without emulsifier or any other chemicals that affects the structure or shelf life of the product. This is a really big plus. The chemical load is significantly reduced by choosing beauty bars. But some manufacturers are adding toxic chemicals, synthetic colours and/or fragrances to some products. Therefore, better to check the ingredient facts carefully before buying the product.

What ingredients are used in making beauty bars?

Beauty bars are solid, anhydrous products. What are the ingredients then? Next, we’ll take a look of some beauty bars INCI -lists.

Beauty bars include all solid cosmetics sold as a bar. It includes soaps, ointments, cleansers, shampoo and conditioner.

Check whether the cosmetic product has been formed without any synthetic chemicals.

Beauty bars can get their solid shape in four different ways.

Traditional soaps

lotion-bar
Photo silviarita Pixabaystä

The traditional beauty bar product is, of course, the good, old familiar soap. The range of soaps has grown considerably. Several new soaps, suitable especially for the facial wash have appeared on the market. The alkalinity of these new soaps is minimized with either salt or a simply by adding plenty of fat to the soap. When adding fat, in most cases, manufacturers have added good quality healing oils. Also, vegetable extracts and essential oils have been added to the soaps.

What are shampoo bars?

What are shampoo bars? Shampoo bars can be either soap based or SLS based (sodium lauryl sulphate). By far the most common shampoo bar is a soap-based one. It is also by far the most natural and ecological. You can read more information about SLS emulsifier here. Soap-based shampoo bars contain more healing oils than regular soap. A shampoo bar may also contain other ingredients that are good for the hair and scalp. Nettle, clay, coconut, olive and hemp are often added to a shampoo bar. There has been criticism over the shampoo bar claiming they are too alkaline. This is true. They are not suitable for everyone’s hair. Some people can use soap-based shampoo only occasionally. For some, shampoo bar is a must they will never give up.

What are Conditioner bars?

making-lotion-bars
Making lotion bars Photo gefrorene_wand Pixabaystä

Conditioner bars are high in fluid oils. They are solidified with emulsifiers which work in oils. Such emulsifiers include stearyl alcohol and behentrimonium methosufate. Stearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol made from stearic acid. It is not harmful to humans or to the environment.

Behenttrimonium methosufate

Behentrimonium methosufate is mild and effective ingredient. Its de-tangling and hair thickening chemical. Behentrimonium methosufate is made from rapeseed oil. It is an antistatic agent that removes static electricity from the hair and acts as an emulsifier. Behentrimonium methosufate also softens hair. Almost always stearyl alcohol and behentrimonium methosufate are added together. They work perfectly in a bar product as a pair.

What are Lotion bars?

Lotion bars are usually made from solid vegetable fats. They often contain plant extracts and essential oils. Lotion bars for sale are generally safe and made of natural ingredients only.

Human skin cannot completely absorb hard grease used in lotion bars. If your skin that gets easily pimples you should avoid lotion bars. Lotion bars are at their best when outdoors in the wintertime. When the wind blows hard and dries the surface of the skin, the ointment protects the skin. Remember, there is no water in lotion bars. Never spread a lotion containing water on your face in wintertime. You can check out my recipe for last-minute protective creams.

Cleansing bars or oil cleansing cakes

shapoo-bar
Photo gefrorene_wand Pixabaystä

Oil cleansing cakes are made in the same way as lotion bars using solid vegetable fats. However, the cleansing cakes are made from different oils. This gives a better cleansing effect. Domestic oil cleansing cakes do contain only safe, natural ingredients.

Beauty bars are the future

Noe you know what are shampoo bars. Beauty bars are definitely worth trying out. It’s an easy way to get and own cosmetics. Beauty bars are almost always an environmentally friendly choice. Most beauty bar products are for multi-purpose use. The shampoo works well both as a soap and as a shampoo when travelling. You can also remove makeup using a bar. Lotion bars can also be used as a face mask.

It is also nice to make beauty bars by ourselves. All you need is the suitable silicone moulds. And the best of all, you do not need any glass or aluminium storage jars for beauty bars. You can wrap them eco-friendly in baking paper and use them as gifts.

Have you already made beauty bars for yourself or as a gift?

These home-made lotion bars are very popular. They do not need any cans or bottles to protect them. A nice silk-paper wrap is enough. Ingredients are very simple and there is no need to use any preservatives or emulsifying substance. The lotion bars suit best for cold climate to protect skin and lips. You can protect small children as well using this bar, but you cannot use essential oils.

lotion-bars

Basic ingredient is shea butter. There are two types of shea butter. Most common is hard shea butter which has plenty of hard fatty acids. These hard-fatty acids offer very effective protection for skin. There is also another type of shea butter, shea niotica, which is softer and contains oil acids. You can use it as it is for leg treatment but for making these blocks it is not suitable. I have used solid, raw shea butter for this recipe. In case you do not like the odor of raw butter you can use purified as well.

You need:

How to do:

Use the lotion bars outdoors for skin protection. They are easy to carry with. In room temperature the lotion bars will last usable at least 6 months after cooking; most cases you can use them still after a year.

fiSuomi