KOCHI: Of late, soap-making has become a trendy practice. Athira VR is a teacher at St Ephrem’s UP School, Pongumoodu, Thiruvananthapuram. But, in her spare time, she makes handmade soaps using natural materials such as turmeric, neem, carrot, and avocado. She assures that there are no added colours.
It has been only five months since Athira started making these soaps.
“Most of the soaps available in the market have all sorts of chemicals which are harmful for the skin. I began making soaps as a passion but later I thought of continuing it as there are hardly any natural soaps,” says Athira.
Focusing more on ‘natural’, Athira makes her soaps with handpicked ingredients, which are mixed in the right quantity. Her first attempt was a glycerine base soap which had turmeric, neem, vitamin oil and tea tree oil. “This was one of my first attempts and my friends and family members who used it gave me positive feedback,” she says.
Now, Athira makes about six to seven different kinds of artisanal soaps with ingredients such as aloe vera, carrot, and avocado. Carrot soap is made using the puree of carrot which is mixed with the carrot oil. This gives a light orange colour to the soap. She also makes a coconut milk base soap which is made from coconut. But, Athira says that customers prefer a carrot soap or an aloe vera soap.
‘The turmeric and ragi scrub soaps are also liked by the customers,’ she says. Under the brand name ‘Ziona’, Athira sells her soaps at prices ranging from Rs 40 to Rs 150 based on the ingredients used and the weight.