PETALING JAYA: Everyone deserves a bit of self-care now and then. And what better way to indulge than with skincare?
It’s time to return to the basics with soap bars – and not just any kind of soap bar, but the luxurious artisanal kind made by a proud Malaysian.
Eva Loy, a 34-year-old mother of three, is on a mission to give you an experience that’ll make you linger in the shower or the tub for longer. As the founder of Soapology by Quackamole, she crafts soaps that are as delightful to smell as to behold. And they are gentle and moisturising, leaving your skin as velvety as a baby’s bottom.
Eva left her job as a fitness instructor a few years ago and pivoted her passion for soap-making into a flourishing business. Her products are now not only sought after as gifts but have also become the go-to soaps for those wishing to tackle various skin conditions.
“The best testimony for me is when customers reach out to say that their eczema is gone or their psoriasis has vanished,” she told FMT Lifestyle.
“And when I hear things like, ‘Eva, I can’t live without your soap’, it just feels amazing.”
Her soaps will surely turn heads, thanks to their aesthetics. There are intricate designs on each bar, showing a level of artistry that’s a rare find on supermarket shelves. Be it rainbow layers, multicoloured swirls or heart shapes gracing the top of the soap bars, each is a sight to behold.
“For me, it’s not just about making soap,” she said. “It’s my form of creative expression. Whatever design or pattern that comes to my mind, I can turn into soap.”
No wonder she has amassed a fan following for her social media videos, which showcase her soap-making process.
FMT Lifestyle had the privilege of seeing Eva in action as she made one of her popular cold process soaps, Orange Patchouli.
The cold process involves blending oils and sodium hydroxide lye, initiating a chemical reaction known as saponification.
“This technique is tough and time consuming,” she said. “The bars take four to six weeks to cure before I can sell them. But the longer they cure, the better the texture.”
Her dedication has certainly paid off. “The ones you find at the supermarket are low in quality, drying on the skin and breaking apart easily. Cold process soaps last a much longer time.”
The cold process allows for the customisation of ingredients. In one soap bar, Eva combines five different oils, including coconut and olive.
Once the fragrance and pigments are added, she has to move quickly before the mixture starts to harden. This prompts her to swiftly mix and pour each uniquely coloured layer of soap mixture into the mould. To add to the finishing touch, she uses a wooden stick to create the eye-catching swirl designs on the surface.
“The coolest thing is that since the designs are done freehand, there’s never a single bar that looks exactly like another, even within the same slab,” she said.
Only after 48 hours can she cut up the slabs into individual bars of soap.
It wasn’t until early 2019 that soap-making officially became a hobby for Eva, but her profound love for these lathery bars began all the way back in her childhood days.
“Growing up, I always loved soap bars because of my grandmother,” she said.
She recalls that her grandmother remained loyal to a single brand of soap through her entire life. “To this day, when I smell that same brand of soap again, I always think of her.”
As shower gels gained popularity, Eva momentarily drifted away from her affection for soap bars. However, fate had its plans. In early 2019, she stumbled upon a soap-making course, igniting her hobby, which then evolved into a thriving business.
There is true purpose in what she does. “People always talk about being environmentally friendly. To me, ditching the shower gels that come in giant plastic bottles for these handmade soap bars is the best way to go zero waste.”
Although the process is time consuming, Eva emphasises that she doesn’t see it as a hassle. In fact, just as lathering these soaps on one’s body is a form of self-care, making them is her way of practising self-care. “I could keep making soaps all day if possible.”
Speaking of the future, she said: “My dream is to eventually own a studio and sell 500 bars a month. But I’d never want to lose that personal touch with my customers.”
Follow Soapology by Quackamole on Instagram.