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Soap - second to nature

Lisa Peehikuru is a Kiwi who loves nature - hiking in the mountains, swimming in the seas, or even spending some free time in her garden; she wants nature to be part of her daily life. Lisa was keen and committed to sharing her treasures with the locals and tourists. That was the beginning of Soap Plus. “It was conceived in the Coromandel from Papatuanuku (Mother Earth), “ says Lisa.

For the last few years, Lisa’s passion has been making natural handmade soaps, using quality oils blended with pure essential oils for a luxurious soap to leave the skin soft and beautifully conditioned. She uses olive oil as the primary base oil because it is rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene. Besides being an antioxidant, it stimulates new cell generation, slows the progression of wrinkles, gives skin a youthful look, and is exceptionally mild and beneficial for various skin conditions. Lisa says, “These days, more and more people are becoming aware that what we put onto our skin is just as important as what we put into our bodies.”But using natural materials to make soap is just the start of her career. After a course in Rongoā Māori (traditional Māori healing, which encompasses herbal remedies, physical therapies and spiritual healing), Lisa decided to incorporate her new knowledge into her soaps to benefit from their natural healing properties. This is how her native range was born. One bar uses Kopakopa and Kawakawa to create a moisturising vitamin-enriched soap with anti-inflammatory properties to help with dry skin conditions. And then she also expanded the range to include KopaKawa and TupaKawa cream and balm.

Lisa's products were popular among locals and tourists, but she wanted to try something different. She had the idea to wrap the soap in natural materials. She chose merino and alpaca to create her felted soap wrappings. This creation has proved to be very successful. The fibre not only makes the soaps easier to hold but also eliminates the need for a washcloth and helps the bar last longer. Even when the felt continues to shrink and may split when using the soap, it will allow it to lather even more. As well as sharing her products, Lisa wants to share her knowledge and experience in soap making. She runs kids’ workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school holidays. When kids try to make their designer soap, such as a unicorn, spider, dinosaur or farm animal, Lisa believes that this kind of activity will instil an interest in nature and increase their knowledge of what is available from natural sources.

Caption: Lisa Peehikuru in her shop Soap Plus.

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