Review: Eco Essentials Sughandi Bath Powder


Updated on 9 Jan, 2017

I bought Eco Essentials Sughandi Bath Powder at Khadi Eco Basket in Secunderabad and was really excited to try it.

Ingredients: Indian sarsaparilla, Spiked Ginger Lily, Vetiver, Crape ginger, Wild turmeric, Dhumparastrum, Neem, Sandalwood, Tulasi, Rose petals, Green gram powder, other herbs etc. [See the photo below]

Eco Essentials Sughandi Bath Powder

Price: 50 rupees

Size: 100g

How to use it: Make a paste with 2-3 tablespoons of the powder with water or milk and apply paste all over body.

Texture: Not finely ground.

Smell: Smells nice and herb-like pleasant

Feel: I really wanted to like it but I did not like it on its own because it is coarsely ground and my skin felt like it was being scratched when I applied this paste and it hurt a little even though I had oil on my skin. I now use it mixed with finely ground green gram powder in a ratio of 1:1 which alleviates decreases the coarseness of the bath powder overall. I would not recommend using this particular bath powder daily because of its coarse nature but weekly should be fine only when it is mixed with finely ground green gram powder or besan (gram flour).

Attempt 6 – 9 Jan, 2017

I tried the powder on its own. This time, I did things differently. I made the powder into a more watery paste. My skin was throughly wet. Then, I rubbed the watery paste gently on my skin. It did not hurt.

Do note that it is better not to do it on freshly shaved/waxed skin or on areas with skin issues like blisters or cuts. Also, do not scrub too hard or use on dry skin.

Note: Herbal bath powders do not foam like soaps though there is little foam due to green gram powder.

Overall: 2.7 3.3/ 5

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Review: Zion Health Clay Soaps


I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed Zion Health Clay Soaps yet because I have been using them regularly since last year.  So far, I have used:

Ingredients: Varies but is usually Montmorillonite Clay (Kanwa), Shea Butter, Edible Coconut, Olive Oil, Essential Oil, Fragrance

Zion Health River Spring Soap

Price: 7-10 SGD depending on the variety and size. I feel the price is quite reasonable taking in account the size you get for the money compared to other equivalent organic soaps. I got them from iHerb.

Size: Comes in 2 sizes – 170g and 300g. I have tried both and usually get the 170g one. The 300g soap is really huge to hold in the hand for me.

Zion Health Soap
                                                                                                              300g                                                                                            
Zion Health Ancient Clay Love Soap
                                                                                                           170g

Lather: Good

Scent: My favourite scent was Ancient Clay Song Bird which is quite mild. River Spring has a perfume like scent undertone to it and has a strong scent.

Feel: The thing I really like about these soaps is the presence of clay. This really makes the soap a gentle and mild cleanser and I used it on my face for quite a while with no issues.

Overall: 4.85/5

Recommended: Yes

*I paid and tried all the soaps with my money.

Review: Sunfeather Chamomile Rose Soap


A long time since I reviewed a soap though I have been using several different ones! I am currently using Sunfeather Chamomile Rose soap. This is the first time I have used any product from this brand. I got it from iHerb but I am sure it can be found in several stores in USA.

Sunfeather Chamomile Rose Soap

Website: www.sunfeather.com

Ingredients: Saponified oils – olive + coconut + palm*, titaniun dioxide, cedarwood oil, rose geranium oil, natural cranberry aromatic, chamomile oil, lavender oil, rosemary leaf extract

Sunfeather Chamomile Rose Soap Ingredients

*Lately, I have been looking for palm oil free cosmetics and products because of haze. It has proven to be incredibly difficult to find some. Even, so many products in Asia have palm oil, even though they are suffering poor air quality by using those very same products. I did find very few soaps without it and I wanted to try other brands. Some soaps have sustainable sourced palm oil.

Price: I paid roughly 5.6SGD on iHerb

Size: 121g medium.

Sunfeather Chamomile Rose Soap

Note: The soap developed a sticky coating but that must be due to the high humidity here and the fact that it was packed in cardboard which attracted moisture.

Scent: It smells amazing! Strong smell and has a rose + geranium scent

Lather: Good. I usually rub the soap on a  Body Shop loofah and use it.

Feel: A little drying on my skin.

Overall: 4/5

Do natural cosmetics have a short shelf life?


My usage of cosmetics is quite slow as I am the only person using most of them along with the fact that I switch products depending on my mood.

My Acure face wash ended up staying in my bathroom for quite a while, maybe a year till I realised that the original smell had changed. I do not think the product went bad per se but the original smell was missing. I feel that this is a result of it staying too long in a extremely hot and humid climate (where everything gets spoilt or get fungus eventually – including bags, jeans etc.). I am now trying to finish it up.

Also, a lot of my lip balms started smelling rancid and  I them away. The chemical lip balm I bought 3 years ago is still good. Hmph.

On the other hand, face washes, creams from brands like Nivea aren’t affected by this climate and seem unchanged after years.

My recommendation is to buy organic/clean cosmetics as per usage basis as they seem to have slightly shorter shelf life compared to the mainstream ones especially if you are in a hot and humid climate.

That is expected considering that there are lesser preservatives/chemicals used. They may however last longer in continental climates.

Review: Laundry Detergents


As I was gradually switching to more eco-friendly products in my beauty routine and home, I came across a post about a local natural brand – Idocare. I bought it once my laundry detergent ran out. 

Idocare Lavender Fields Concentrated Laundry Powder

IMG_2094

I have been using Idocare laundry detergent since Aug 2013. I initially bought it online from their website but later discovered that is was available at a store nearby – Yes Natural where I now buy it.

Price: 12SGD for 1Kg. I used to purchase Attack which now costs about 10SGD for 2-3Kg.

Verdict: The detergent works well  in terms of cleaning side so far and I have no complaints. It lasts us quite a while maybe around 2-3 months. 

The only minor design detail that is not great is that each pack has 1 scoop inside and not outside the plastic bag. It is often always buried deep inside. So, you have to empty half of the bagt at least to get the scoop. That is okay if you are the sort who transfers the detergent to a different box. Usually, I open it and use a clip on the original bag. Therefore, I save the last pack’s scoop for reuse.

Secondly, the clothes come out unscented  or very mildly scented even if the detergent is lavender scent. This is great for babies with allergies.

The other day Uncle said that he was bored with our washed clothes smelling like nothing when conventional detergents smelled so good. He had a point.

 

Why does being eco-friendly mean not great smelling? 

I knew there had to be a solution because clean cosmetics did not smell great earlier and they have improved so much over the last few years.  

On the cost of eco friendly cleaners

Holy shit! Until I was looking up prices for this post,  I had conveniently blocked out the prices of conventional detergents because they are way cheaper. Why does being eco friendly have to be so expensive? Shouldn’t we be the ones getting more discounts because we are making earth friendly choices and choosing not to release too many toxins in the environment.

How can we encourage more people to switch to earth friendly alternatives when it is so expensive?

So much for those who claim switching to a natural lifestyle ‘saved them lots of money’ hmph.

Zum Clean Laundry Soap – frankincense & myrhh

I scouted  local supermarket websites and iHerb for laundry detergents. I came across Zum Clean Laundry Soap on iHerb. It had the best reviews in terms of the scent though some complained that it was too diluted recently. I chose the frankincense & myrhh scent because I have tried the Zum soap with the same scent and it smells awesome. This scent is almost always out of stock and I purchased it the moment it was in stock.

Price:18SGD (ouch!)  for 900mL. It is quite expensive in my opinion considering when I can get 2 litres of conventional laundry detergent for 6SGD.

When I received the package, I was so disappointed. When  I saw the photos, I visualized a large can of detergent like the conventional ones but it was a thin tiny can.

 

Do note that the detergent can be a bit messy to pour out of the can. They recommended using 8 capfuls for a full load in a top loading machine. So, we used about 4 caps for half a load and clearly we overdid it.

Next time onwards, we started using 1.5 caps for a full load + 1/2 scoop of Idocare laundry powder and this combinations works well in terms of smell and costs.

Note: Companies always recommend you to use double the amount of what you actually need so that you will use their products faster and buy more. Applies literally to everything form detergents to face washes. Do not listen to them. 

Verdict: Our clothes smell so good that we love it. They smell great for days afterwards just like conventional detergents. It cleans well too. Overall, it was worth the price tag but I feel it could be cheaper. 

It is my laundry detergent nirvana (mixed with another powder) at the moment!

Other laundry detergents

I feel iHerb does not have a broad range of laundry detergents at the moment. The other day, I checked Cold Storage and was surprised with their wide range. More options to check out in the future!

Notes on laundry usage and cleaning

  1. The reviews are based on laundry usage for 2 adults with no kids.
  2. A typical full load of clothes in our case generally consists of  3-4 western dresses, 1-2 tops, 1-2 men’s shirts, undies, socks, 1-3 hand towels, 1-2 towels,1 bedsheet and 1-2 pillow covers.
  3. My clothes do not get as dirty as it did when I was in India because overall, everything is cleaner. I do not know how these detergents will perform in dustier environments.
  4. We don’t have any kid related messes either. I really do not know these will perform in those cases.
  5. We wash our clothes in room temperature water and do not use hot water.
  6. We use a top loading machine and line dry the clothes. I am not sure if using a dryer would take away some of Zum’s scent.

Review: Soulflower Soaps


On my recent trips to Hyderabad, I was excited to come across Soulflower soaps in Shopper’s Stop and Lifestyle. The ingredient lists looked good and they all smelled awesome. I picked up 3 of them and have used 2 so far. They range in price from INR 200 to INR 400. I picked up 1-2 soaps on sale for INR 125. So, I would definitely recommend watching out for sales.

Website: http://www.soulflower.biz/c-3-handmade-soaps-vegetarian.aspx 

Soulflower Light me up soap

I also used Baby your skin soap.

Ingredients: Essential oils, gram flour, turmeric, orange peel powder, glycerin, saponified oils 

Soulflower Light me Up Ingredients

Size: 150 g

Review: Smells awesome. I really hope they are not using any chemical scents in their soaps. Lathers well. 

The ‘Light Me Up’ really has turmeric. Our loofah became discloured using this soap but we don’t mind. Do take note if you do not wish to discolour yours. 

The ‘Baby Your Skin’ smelled faintly chocalatey. Lathers equally well.

Rating: 4.5/5

P.S: Overall, I am really glad that natural soaps are now available in India.  However, do take note of many brands that list only the natural ingredients and conveniently do not list the rest which are ‘not so natural’. Another set are the greenwashers which claim to be ‘natural’ but are not. These include Meera herbal powder, Khadi soaps, Biotique etc. 

Review: Bathe to Basics + So True Naturals Soaps


I won 3 soaps in a giveaway by Plume & Preen – 2 Bathe to Basics bar soaps and one So True Naturals bar soap.

1. Bathe To Basics Basic Cream Bar No.1

BASIC CREAM BAR NO.1

 

BASIC CREAM BAR NO.1

Review – This was the nicest of all the 3 soaps. Mild and unscented. Quite gentle, I would say.

2.  Bathe To Basics Olive Bar

Bathe to Basics Olive Bar

Review – It was okay. Not harsh on skin. Nothing memorable.

3. So True Naturals Fresca Castile Soap

So True Naturals Fresca Castile Soap

So True Naturals Fresca Castile Soap

So True Naturals Fresca Castile Soap

Review – I do not recommend this soap at all. I felt it was kinda harsh. When I used it, it took me a long time and  a lot of water to wash it off my hands. I do not know if it was a result of excess humidity (but my other soaps survive here and this soap was made in SE Asia), the soap became slimy dissolved in a less than 3 days! Something is really wrong with their composition.

So True Naturals Fresca Castile Soap

Price – The price for these soaps  is around 16SGD/soap which is pretty expensive in my opinion. Most of the soaps  I buy are 5 USD.

Overall – 2.5/5