A version of this post was previously published on Sassy Hong Kong.
Satisfy your inner beauty junkie urges with the finest of the city’s local and handmade beauty products. Below the best in class on all matters beauty & body so you can make the most sustainable choices. Better for the planet, better for you!
Bathe to Basics
Founded in 2011 by Gia Wong and Edmund Ip, Bathe to Basics’ soap making centers around the handmade cold process (CP) philosophy- products are never exposed to temperatures higher than 40 C to preserve the nutrients and active properties of the ingredients used. All their products are made locally in their Tai Po workshop. Edmund’s background is in design so Bathe to Basics exudes sophistication. Their packaging is sleep and attractive- ideal gifts for the most discerning of your friends.
What’s on offer: They have a selection of various bar soaps, liquid shower gel, hand wash, face wash and baby foam soap. They also feature seasonal scents& flavours such as the Lunar New Year Pomelo Leaf Chinese Ritual Bath soap bar.
Where to find Bathe to Basics: Order directly from their swishy e-commerce website or find them at markets and fairs.
Why we love Bathe to Basics: All their toxin-free products can biodegrade in water within 24 hours. No clogging up waterways, rivers or oceans, no damaging marine life with dirty chemicals, no environmental footprint!
Green Queen Pick: Their Baby Foam Soap is a great option for your little bubba- it is unscented (scents can overwhelm a baby’s sensitive skin) and extremely gentle.
Local eco enthusiast Bella Ip founded Bella Sapone over 6 years. Looking to channel her love for nature and her deep respect for the environment, she taught herself the art by reading traditional soap making manuals and through persistent experimentation became the soap pro she is today. Bella Sapone products are made using ingredients sourced as ethically as possible, supporting micro farming communities across the region such as coconut farmers. All her soaps contain plant oil blends (coconut, castor and olive oil usually) mixed with one or two essential oils like lavender and tea tree.
What’s on offer: Bella Sapone offers hand soaps and liquid soaps including for hair, body, hands and pets. They also have multi-purpose cleaning soap, laundry gel and dishwashing liquid- the only brand on this list to do so.
Where to find Bella Sapone: Their products are available at a few green living shops, get the list here but for ease and convenience use their online order form.
Why we love Bella Sapone: Bella Sapone offers one litre bottles that are friendly to the environment and to our wallets!
Product Pick: Give your pooch the greenest bath there is: They are the only outfit in town to stock toxin-free locally made liquid Pet Soap.
Clara Yeung Skincare
Clara Yeung Skincare is a complete range of luxury quality skincare. The products are made exclusively by Clara herself. Whilst very much handmade in their formulations, they are packaged beautifully and of professional grade. The ingredients are powerful and chosen to address targeted beauty needs. The brand is focused specifically on face care.
What’s on offer: Clara Yeung Skincare is mostly focused on facial products which include facial toner, face cream, facial exfoliant, facial cleansing oil, eye cream and face serum but does offer a few non face products such as lip balm and deodorant.
Where to find Clara Yeung Skincare: Contact Clara via email and she will send you her complete product & price list. You can also find her at markets & fairs around town. Note: Her Facebook page is a great resource but mostly updated in Cantonese. She does not have a website.
Why we love Clara Yeung Skincare: The brand uses Fair Trade ingredients wherever possible.
Product Pick: Chamomile & Calendula Gentle Cleansing Oil- we know many ladies out there swear by Shu Umura’s face cleansing oil- here is the natural, toxin free version!
Native Essentials was founded by Daniela Pelonara a certified Aromatologist and fully trained cosmetics chemist. After discovering the healing powers of essential oils and aromateherapy, she set out to create an entire care line based around it. Native Essentials is a complete luxury aromatherapy living care brand. They offer products for every aspect of your life- they have solutions for every . Forget the chemist and forgo the pharmacy, invest in Native Essentials’ plant based solution for your daily heatlyh woes.
What’s on offer: Native Essentials has a huge collection of products- too large to list here-, which includes essential oil blends, massage oil blends, baby care products, pregnancy care products, children care products, skincare, body care, hair care, aromatherapy remedies, diffusers & burners. They also provide bespoke services- they will blend bespoke skincare products and aromatherapy remedies to suit your needs.
Where to find Native Essentials: Their entire collection is available through their e-commerce website. A selection of their products is also available at various shops, spas, yoga studios, wellness centres and gyms. For a complete list, check their website.
Why we love Native Essentials: All their ingredients are 100% certified organic. No dirty toxins to distract the healing power of the oils and essences they use. Eco Bonus: they will take back all their empty bottles and give you a 5% discount on your next order for going through the trouble of recycling. Win-win!
Green Queen Pick: Dry & Damaged Hair Mask with cedarwood, lavender and geranium in Argan oil. Extreme weather conditions are on the rise, which takes a huge toll on your tresses. Protect and rejuvenate them with this potent potion.
Bella Sapone founder Bella Ip is the brains behind what has become one of Hong Kong’s most recognizable handmade beauty brands. Whilst developing Bella Sapone, she realized there was a way to involve her community and create safe personal care products so she created So…Soap!– a social enterprise: a business with a conscience and a yearning to benefit the community as well as turn a profit. The company employs disadvantaged and marginalized women to make their products and they use recycled soya milk bottles as their liquid soap containers.
What’s on offer: The growing brand makes bar soaps, liquid hand and body soap, lip balm, body cream and hand cream.
Where to find So…Soap!: They recently opened their first Pop Up store in Causeway Bay but they are available at a host of retail outlets, here is the full list.
Why we love So…Soap!: On top of being the city’s first soap social enterprise, they are constantly and tirelessly working to protect our planet’s resources. They organize bottle collection campaigns, practice upcycling and host soap making workshops across the city.
Green Queen Pick: We cannot get enough of their tea tree hand wash. It’s in every bathroom in the house! Lots of local businesses agree too- we regularly spot So…Soap! in the ladies room of artisan cafes and restaurants.
Swedish’s Handmade Bodycare
Rebecka Lundin, founder of Swedish’s Handmade Bodycare grew up amongst plants & trees in her native Sweden. Her childhood was one of homegrown vegetables and natural remedies. She is passionate about the importance of using clean, toxin-free & non-synthetic products. She started making soaps in her tiny Hong Kong kitchen a few years ago and her hobby soon turned into a whole line of goodies.
What’s on offer: soap bars, lip balm, hand soap gel, eye makeup remover, face oil, hand cream, body lotion, shower gel, body scrub, oil burner incense and scented candles.
Where to find Swedish’s Handmade Bodycare: email Rebecka directly to order-she sells her products from her apartment- or find her at various markets and fairs.
Why we love Swedish’s Handmade Bodycare: The homemade quality of the brand is hard to beat- her packaging is charmingly old fashioned and festive with dried fruits and spices adoring pretty ribbons. The products make beautiful gift for any special lady in your life.
Product Pick: We love the Sea Salt Body Scrub- it is the perfect consistency of salt & oil and left our skin feeling smooth and moisturized. A must try!
Flower2 Grass by We Are NO expert
The We Are NO Expert team approaches the making of every product as if it were their favourite after-school hobby and the cheerful updates they share with their fans on Facebook feel like the notes your best friend used to pass you in class. Said hobby is actually a fully-fledged handmade beauty & body care line. Each product has its own interesting story and unique packaging- though all share high quality, unprocessed ingredients.
What’s on offer: aloe vera gel, bath salts, facial polish, body oil, shower gel, hand cream, eye cream, day cream, night cream, make up remover, facial toner spray, bar soaps and face masks.
Where to find Flower2 Grass: They showcase at fairs, markets and shopping centres or you can order them online on their website’s order form. Selected products are also stocked by Organic We in Mongkok.
Why we love Flower2 Grass: All their products have a therapeutic element, with scents and ingredients chosen to help you detoxify both physically and mentally.
Green Queen Pick: Their Amazing Kefir Yogurt Mask is a beauty must-have amongst local ladies in the know. We are on board. Results are amazing!
For more great local beauty brands and for all your green beauty needs, check out the Locally Made Products list in the Beauty section of the Green Queen’s Guide to Hong Kong.
Photos courtesy of Bathe to Basics, Bella Sapone, Clara Yeung Skincare, Native Essentials, So..Soap!, Swedish’s Handmade Bodycare and We are NO Expert and BreaMarieP via photopin.cc.