3 months ago | Updated 3 months ago

Shawn’s Soaps: This Chef-Turned-Soaper Makes Natural Soaps That Promote Healing

By Esther Chan

My bathroom has never smelled so invigorating.

Do you have eczema or know someone who does? Then perhaps Shawn’s Soaps might be ideal for you. Using only 100% natural ingredients, Shawn draws on his experience as a chef to create his handmade soaps.

Unlike most commercial brands that add perfumes, synthetics, and colourings, Shawn only uses essential oils and the plant/fruit itself (depending on the soap) too.

Shawn’s Natural Handmade Garden Rose Bar Soap

Take this Garden Rose Bar Soap (S$17) for example – if you’re wondering why it’s black, that’s because no artificial colouring was added.

Shawn explains that no matter how he tries, steeping flowers like roses or lavender in hot water turns them into a dark brown; which means commercial rose beauty products that are pink in colour have artificial colouring in them. Noooo.

He doesn’t add artificial perfumes to his soaps either, so the gentle scent of rose that I got a whiff of was all from the dried roses and rose oil that he incorporated into the soap!

Meet Shawn!

Before soap making, Shawn used to work as a chef as well as a glass bead crafter. “As I got older, commercially produced soaps like dettol started to irritate my skin,” Shawn said. “So I decided to research and make my own soaps.”

When asked how he comes up with recipes for his soaps, he says that the ideas simply pop into his head.

Shawn’s soap recipe book.

He also bases his ideas off certain skin conditions – such as eczema and psoriasis – and tries to think about what ingredients would promote healing for people with such conditions.

Together with his wife, Tammy, the couple test out each soap bar that they produce before putting the complete product up for sale to make sure that the soaps are suitable for people with sensitive skin.

“Sometimes too much dry ingredients or oils are added too, and the integrity of the resulting soap bar can get too crumbly.”

Stirring in the good stuff.

Upon my request, Shawn demonstrated how he makes his soaps via the melt-and-pour method. The soap base he uses is free from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which are lathering agents that can be too drying for people with sensitive skin (they’re also toxic to aquatic animals!).

After melting the soap base, he adds in a mixture of ground and whole flax seeds, and a couple teaspoons of coconut oil. “Flax seeds have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties,” he said. As for coconut oil, we all know that it has plenty of benefits for our skin!

Pouring the completed soap into the mould.

As he only makes a very limited number of soaps in each batch, a lead time of 2-12 working days is needed if you want to place orders for more than 10 bars of soaps for your events.

“We do get some customers ordering the Mini Soap Cubes (S$4.50) as wedding or party favours”, says Tammy, “People who want to try out the different soaps usually order them as well.”

Mini soap cubes! How adorable.

The Regular Soap Bars retail for S$17 each, and the Mini Soap Cubes are S$4.50 (three for S$12).

Each soap is individually cling-wrapped and packaged in a ziplock kraft bag. If your purchase is more than S$48, you get a free Ramie Soap Saver Bag (shown above) worth S$7.90 which doubles as an eco-friendly body scrubber!

Left- Eucalyptus & Sea Salt; Right- Mint & Tea Tree

Tammy and Shawn were very kind to give me two Mini Soap Cubes to try (thank you so much), and I must say that the scent of the soaps made my bathroom smell absolutely refreshing. It’s like I’m greeted by an invisible breeze every time I walk in.

The Eucalyptus & Sea Salt Bar helps to relieves muscle aches and has anti-microbial properties, which is great for people who lead active lifestyles. Mint & Tea Tree (a combination I’m all too familiar with due to my acne-prone skin) helps to soothe skin and reduce blemishes.

Range of unique oils.

Other than his range of skin-healing and boosting soap bars, Shawn also makes unique soap flavours during seasonal periods like Christmas. He showed me his collection of bottled oils that he plans on using for his soaps: English Toffee, Butterscotch, and Cotton Candy (just to name a few).

They sound yummy, and smell yummy too! However, since Shawn does not add any additional perfumes to the soaps he makes (the scent of the soaps are all natural), the benefits of the oils and ingredients used are absorbed into the skin, but the scents do not linger as long compared to commercially produced soaps.

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If you have sensitive skin or know a friend who does, Shawn’s Soaps would be ideal as a gift!

Shawn also takes custom orders if you have specific skin concerns that you’d like to address; just drop him an email and he’ll get back to you. Visit his website to check out the full range of the soaps currently available as well as to find out more about the ingredients’ benefits for our skin.

Prices: S$4.50 – S$17

Shawn’s Soaps: Website | Facebook

Esther Chan

ghetto chick. @streetsixtyytwo