Revised Floorplan for BPFK’s Consideration

KS Studio Floorplan 1406-01

I’m praying that this layout finally meets BPFK’s requirements. Being a complete newbie to cosmetics manufacturing and working together with the authorities to get a GMP-compliant studio has been extremely challenging (but in a good way, definitely).

Next is to get hold of a couple of contractors to once again provide quotations for renovating the studio and restoring the Jaya33 shop to its original state. Much has changed by way of the layout since the first quotations were presented to me.

I’m so glad I can finally sit down now… this particular drawing kept me on my feet ALL afternoon at my hubby’s standing desk. 0_O

Mould (Yuck!) On Our New Beeswax Cloth Packaging

140611 moldy wrapperSometimes the best laid plans really don’t turn out the way you expect them to.

We discovered that mould was developing on the edges of our beeswax cloth wraps. :( That’s the greyish, knobbly stuff that you see along the corner edges of the wrap in the photo.

However, the white powder on the flat surface of the wrapper, however, is known as beeswax bloom – something that appears on 100% pure beeswax products, and is entirely safe. Read this page for a bit more info on this. It can be brushed off the surface of the wrappers with a dry cloth, and both the wrapper and the soap it protects will be perfectly fine.

To say that I am disheartened is putting it very mildly. This is the first time ever that we have had this kind of thing happen to our products. So far we have seen the mould appearing on the cloth wraps for Goat’s Milk and Honey (Batch Numbers GMH1402-01 and GMH1402-03). It sort of makes sense, because not only does cold process soap naturally contain glycerin which is a humectant (i.e. absorbs moisture), but our goat’s milk and honey soap also contains a generous amount of honey, which is also a humectant. It must have been exposed to quite a bit of moisture in the air that made the soap slightly damp, and allowed the mould to form along the edges as you can see from the photograph.

Recall that we are doing all that we can to reduce the use of plastic in our packaging – these beeswax cloth wraps are a completely plastic-free alternative to shrink wrapping, but from this incident we can see that they do indeed have limitations. We’ve never had mould growing on the plastic shrink wrapping that we used to employ to protect our soap in the past.

There doesn’t seem to be any sign of mould on the soap – just the cloth wraps. The soap bars still look completely normal despite the mould on their wrappers, but we’re taking them off the shelves anyway, to be kept for observation.

Now while I am all for championing the use of environmentally-friendly packaging options, I don’t like the sight or just the idea of mould appearing on anything that we make. So here’s what we are going to do:

If you notice this happening to any soap that you have bought from us from March 2014 onwards, we would like to offer you a full refund or an exchange for fresh soap to replace the ones that you have found to be in mouldy wrappers. Just send us an email together with photographs of the offensive wrappers (so that we can confirm it as a valid case, as well as for supplementing our own investigation) and we’ll get you sorted out.

If you have bought soap from us in these beeswax wraps and you foresee storing them for a long period of time (i.e. more than a month), please do all that you can to ensure that the place where you’re storing your soap is clean and dry. We reckon that we may have a dampness issue in our retail store at Jaya 33 (we aren’t the only store owners reporting mouldy items, apparently – I will need to confirm this). Here’s what you can do to keep your storage areas dry:

  1. Use ordinary uncooked rice. Place it in a bowl or a drawstring cloth bag, and keep it in your storage space. Check on it every now and then, and replace every 3 months. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that rice has saved many an electronic gadget from ‘drowning’! :p
  2. Use rock salt. Here’s an easy how-to for this method. I love the fact that the salt can be reused again and again – just by drying it out in the sun, if necessary.
  3. You can also opt for store-bought dehumidifiers like Thirsty Hippo, but they are not biodegradable, and can only be used once (as far as I’m aware, at least).

On our end, we’re taking the soap bars that are affected by this mouldy wrapping, and keeping them for observation. They will not be available for sale.

We are truly sorry that this has happened. We really didn’t see this coming when we first rolled out the beeswax cloth wraps at the end of last year – testing in the months prior to that went along without a hitch. I think mould on our wrappers is going to be a longstanding issue due to our natural tropical climate in Malaysia, as well as the fact that we are trying our very best to adopt an earth-friendly stance to our packaging options… But I truly hope that together with your own efforts to provide good storage conditions for your soap, we can still make these beeswax cloth wraps a viable, long-term packaging solution that will be kinder on our earth.

If you have any thoughts on this, please share them with us in the Comments section below, or write to me at michelle@kindersoaps.com. I would be more than glad to hear from you.

All Package Deals To Be Discontinued From June 9th onwards

new

From this coming Monday onwards, Kinder Soaps will no longer be offering Package Deals for sale (both online and at our retail store), but will instead be putting in place a Points and Rewards system.

We know that quite a number of you have been regularly purchasing your basic skin care items with us, which is why we have decided to set up this way of saying “thank-you” for being such loyal customers. This system lets you rack up points with every purchase – regardless of how much you spend at Kinder Soaps – and redeem them as savings against your future purchases from us. I’ll be posting more details about this system at a later date, so watch this space. :)

(UPDATE: Complete information about our new Points and Rewards system can now be found on this page.)

Having said that, you can still purchase any of our Package Deals for the rest of this week, till Sunday.

Fire Duck

140529 Tangy Lavender

…that’s what I keep thinking when I look at this photo. :p

It’s been raining lots in the past few weeks, mostly in the evenings. It’s challenging to photograph products with my camera phone in this light, but it’ll have to do for now. Thanks for your patience as we gradually introduced products onto the site (namely essential oils) over the past week or so. Our Father’s Day promotion is still on, so remember to enter the coupon code “ilovedaddy” after clicking on “View Cart” to enjoy 20% savings on all soap (except Teselli).

Hope that all you parents out there are enjoying the school holidays with your children! I’m thinking of taking ours to the bird park within the coming week… or quite possibly, trampolining! :D

Relief of Itching and Skin Irritation

140520 oat and calendula tea bath

This evening I was a bit too enthusiastic in applying some essential oils on my kids to help them overcome their coughs and colds, and ended up with an itchy, stinging rash forming on my left index finger which is prone to dyshidrotic eczema, also known as pompholyx. I knew if I didn’t intervene soon, those dreaded itchy blisters would form and I’d be scratching them till they’d weep, just to get some relief.

So I made an oat and calendula tea bath / poultice to apply on my finger, and within 10 minutes it stopped itching completely. Here’s what I did, and you can too:

Place the following in a little drawstring pouch that can take the heat of boiling water (I used one of our cotton muslin bags which we use for packaging our soap in):

  • 4 teaspoons of ground oats (whole rolled oats probably works just as well, I reckon)
  • 4 heads of dried calendula flowers (optional, but I happened to have some handy so in they went along with the oats!)

140520 calendula and oats

Steep the bag in water that’s just off the boil for about 3-5 minutes.

Note: If you don’t have a drawstring bag to put the ingredients in, don’t fret – just follow the rest of the instructions by using just a mug, and dip a small washcloth in the resulting tea to apply on your skin instead.

Drain off the hot water, and replace it with cool water and ice cubes to cool down the bag. (If you are doing this without a drawstring bag, then just add ice to the resulting tea and wait for the mixture to cool.)

When the bag is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water from it. You now have a poultice.

Apply the poultice on the affected area. It will feel slimy and slightly sticky – this is normal. The itch may or may not subside at this point.

Continue applying the poultice on the affected area for about 5-10 minutes, occasionally dipping it back in the ice water to cool it down again.

Allow the skin to air dry naturally–try not to wipe off the oat water from the surface of the skin.

When the skin finally dries, you will find that the oat water would have left behind a protective film over your skin which feels dry and perhaps very faintly powdery, but comfortable. By now the itch (in my case, at least) was completely gone.

I hope that this can help some of you with your occasional brush with severe skin irritations and itchy outbreaks. If you do try this, let me know in the comments below if it worked for you, okay? :)

Father’s Day Special – 20% Off All Soap!

140516 Fathers Day

In conjunction with Father’s Day, we’re offering 20% off all our soap from now till 30th June 2014. Regulars will know that we don’t do sales very much at all, so you might want to take this opportunity to stock up on your favourites. ;)

Enter the coupon code “ilovedaddy” during your checkout and you’ll enjoy 20% savings on all soap purchases. Not valid with our Teselli Soap, Package Deals and Starter Gift Baskets.

Please use the share buttons below to spread the word amongst your friends and family. And if they have any questions for us, send us an email at sales@kindersoaps.com and we’ll attend to their queries right away.

Thanks for visiting our brand new website and let us know what you think of it!

Studio Redesign V2.0

KS Studio Floorplan 1405.01-02-02

I’m just back from a 3.5 week hiatus from work – our servant went home for her annual holiday and I took over most of the household chores and caring for the children full time. It was fun, but I cannot say that I’m unhappy to be back looking at Kinder Soaps things. ;)

As usual there are so many things happening at the same time. Needing to say “No” to some business propositions for the sake of maintaining quality (not to mention my sanity), but it’s all good.

 

The photo above is the most recent studio layout which I sent over to the good folks at BPFK’s GMP division. Thank goodness it’s pretty easy to find some simple instructions on how to use Adobe Illustrator online. Now to keep my fingers crossed that it will be approved soon, so I can finally get moving on to the next phase of our studio’s renovation.

Hope you’re all having a great week so far! Hugs from me. :)