By Crystal Chong
Kind to the Skin, Kind to the Environment
The love of a mum is powerful. After all, it led to the founding of Kinder Soaps, a Malaysian brand of handcrafted soaps with an aim to address skin concerns.
In 2008, Michelle Ho noticed her newborn baby girl developing signs of eczema, with blotchy red patches of skin on her neck, face and joints. Dedicated as she was, she searched the Internet to find an all-natural skincare product that could help make the discomfort go away. Shipping products from abroad was an expensive option, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and create soap from her kitchen, using only ingredients that were truly beneficial for the skin.
Thankfully, it worked! The red patches disappeared and this gave Michelle an idea. Having suffered from eczema herself, she knew there were many others out there in the same boat. So she embarked on six months of further research and experimentation, and started Kinder Soaps to help more people around the world.
MAKING THE SOAP
Today, Kinder Soaps works from a studio with a small team of five. Everything is still made by hand and the company is audited by the Ministry of Health to ensure quality and safety for all consumers.
Despite the years, the Kinder Soaps mission remains – making all-natural soaps free from chemicals that may irritate skin. When asked about the soap-making process, Michelle explained it is much like baking – just without the oven. The team uses a method known as “cold process”, where a specific ratio of sodium hydroxide and vegetable oils are mixed, resulting in a chemical reaction known as saponification. Natural clays and botanical extracts are then used to give colour, and essential oils used to give fragrance and to enhance overall well-being. With these raw ingredients, they are able to create a range of soaps to address different skin types and concerns. The Goat’s Milk and Patchouli Soap, for example, is the soap first made for Michelle’s daughter, which proved helpful in soothing her eczema. With no fragrances or nasties in the mix, the patchouli essential oil takes centre stage, aiding in calming irritated skin and healing wounds and sores by promoting cell rejuvenation.
SAVING THE PLANET
As a mum of four now, Michelle is determined to leave a less polluted home for future generations. As such, Kinder Soaps actively finds ways to reduce its impact on the environment, beginning with its product packaging.
The company was one of the first in Malaysia to start selling soap bars naked, and with the rise of zero-waste stores in the country, this is made even more achievable. Where packaging is needed, such as with shipping online orders, Kinder Soaps has come up with a paper- and-plastic- free solution – beeswax- infused cloth which is waterproof, compostable and best of all, reusable.
Customers are also encouraged to think twice before throwing the cloths away, as every dozen pieces returned is rewarded with a free bar of soap.
Taking this further, Kinder Soaps started introducing furoshiki cloths as eco-friendly gift wraps. Beautiful and multifunctional, these handy cloths come in different sizes and can be turned into wrist pouches, shopping bags or a sarong once the gifts are unwrapped.
Beyond what they can do as a brand, the Kinder Soaps team also helped to recycle soap from Sunway Hotels and Resorts in 2019. Unfinished soap bars were collected, cleaned, disinfected and reformed into fresh bars of soap for those in need, giving the gift of hygiene and reducing waste in landfills.
Find the product most suited to your skin at kindersoaps.com.
Address: Kinder Soaps
11A-A (First Floor), Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7732 0955