Living Zero-waste: Where to find Handmade Soaps and Shampoo Bars in Cebu City and Why Make the Swap

I made the swap to Handmade Soaps and Shampoo Bars to fulfill these 2 objectives:

  1. To have a waste-free body skin care and hair routine
  2. To detoxify by using non-toxic body and hair products

Now, my generated solid wastes were lessened, plus, my skin and hair are at their healthiest state ever! But it didn’t start smoothly. When I said yes to the zero-waste lifestyle, the first thing that I got obsessed with is finding a package-free soap and shampoo. At first, I thought it would be a very easy task. I mean, handmade soaps and shampoo bars are not new concepts! Unfortunately, I was wrong. Only very few sellers sell these items and at a very expensive price. *sighs But hey, no need to be sad. Maybe someday, if the demand increases, many sellers would make these products available, right?

In this article, I already summed up where to look for these products outside and around the city. I have struggled for the past few months looking for these products. This way, I hope you don’t get to struggle like I did. Enjoy! 🙂

Handmade Face/Body Soaps

Aside from being low-waste or package-free, handmade soaps are usually made up of all natural products. Because of that, they are non-toxic and lighter on your skin. That is also the reason why handmade soaps are usually used for both body and face.

Healthy Options

Since I started my zero-waste journey, this store has become one of my bestfriends. Don’t you forget to note its locations because you might need to spend a lot of time in these stores moving forward.

  • Locations
    • SM City Cebu Branch (Ground Floor Northwing across Uniqlo)
    • Ayala Center Cebu (3rd Floor New Wing)
  • Product
    • Sappo Hill Soaps : Php 149 each
      • In my experience, 1 piece will last for 14 washes.
      • My skin absolutely loved it! My favorite is that Oatmeal Soap.
    • Other Soaps wrapped in Paper : Around Php 200 ~ Php 300

IMG_E1937

ONO All Naturals

Their soap is actually wrapped in plastic because they are shipped from another province. But because of how expensive Sappo Hill soaps are, this is my 2nd option. I actually need to keep products that are cost-effective because I am a poor kid. So yes. Unfortunately, their soaps are small so these are normally only good for 6 washes for the 37g, if used wisely.

Anyway, compared to store-bought soaps, its plastic is easier to recycle because it only has a very small size and is very thin. So it is still zero-waste, plus, it’s all natural!

  • Location: Salon Maiya, Banawa  (near Convergys Banawa)
    • I heard that they just closed down. Perhaps it is wise to call them before visiting them just to check if they only relocated.
  • Prices (in their Cebu branch)
    • 37g (see pic below) : Php 25.00 each
    • 67g : Php 45.00 each
  • Website: ONO All Naturals
    • They also sell in bulk with wholesale price.

IMG_E1930

Dulcet Skin

Same with the ONO All Naturals products, they are all natural and these soaps are also wrapped in plastics. Fortunately, they are also easy to recycle that is why they are also included in this list Best part is, their soaps are bigger than the ones above. These will last longer.

  • Location: SM City Cebu (Somewhere in Ground Floor, in a small kiosk)
  • Prices
    • Huge soaps : Php 250 ~ Php 350
    • Small soaps : Php 120 ~ Php 250

IMG_2826

Apron Strings

This was supposedly my best option, but unfortunately, the production of their soaps is very slow. It would usually take at least 1 month to produce 1 batch of soap. That is why, if you choose to order from them, you would need to do it monthly and in bulk.

  • Location: No physical store, just occasional appearances in malls or markets
  • Price: All bars of soaps are for Php 100 each
  • Website: Apron String Handmade Soap
Photo not mine

Lush

Many people in the zero-waste movement order soaps from Lush, so, I included this here. Unfortunately, I am not a fan because their soaps are very expensive with prices that range from Php 275~ Php 500 per piece. Moreover, they ship your order from the US or from Manila, so, you would probably need to order in bulk. Order in bulk with that price? This poor kid says NG.

They boasts that their soaps are up to 80 washes. Maybe that’s true.

Anyways, if you would like to order from them, check them out here: Lush Philippines

Photo not mine

Daniela Calumba’s

This eco warrior priestess is also very popular in PH’s zero-waste universe and for good reason! She sells many sustainable products and that includes her pretty soaps. Again, since I need to order this from far away (another province) and prices are very expensive, I didn’t use her soaps but I heard that these are amazing.

  • Location: Manila
  • Price: Php 350.00 for a 110g soap

If you want to order, just send her a DM in Instagram: @danielacalumba

Photo not mine

Before I end with the face and body soaps, let me iterate the pros, cons, and tips in making the swap to help you decide better.

Pros

  • Low-waste or Package-free
  • All natural ingredients, healthy and light for your skin
  • Can help with skin allergies/rashes/wounds

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not that accessible

Tips

  • Since these are very expensive soaps, make sure to use them wisely. You may cut them in parts so that you won’t waste a lot of it.
  • Use those which are readily available to you to lessen the carbon footprint. (i.e. those that have stores in cebu)
  • If you can, creating your own soaps is better.

Now, let’s move on to our next topic.

Shampoo Bars

Before, I have tons of wastes from my store-bought shampoo sachets and bottles every month. Moreover, I used to be very afraid of the chemicals in our commercial shampoo before that I always mix a lot of water to it. The use of Shampoo Bars has absolutely saved me from all of that. Now, I can say that I am never going back.

If the package-free or low-waste all natural handmade soap was difficult to find here in Cebu City, Shampoo Bars are way more difficult to find here. *laughs Not many people know that Shampoo Bars exist and that they are better than the store-bought shampoos. That is probably why there are only very few who sell this product.

ONO All Naturals

Same details with what is stated above.

This is what I currently use and I love it! Their Shampoo Bars doesn’t smell that nice but it really works good on your hair after the 2-3 weeks transition period of the scalp. If used wisely, 1 bar lasts for 1 1/2 weeks.

  • Price: Php 45.00 per piece

IMG_2706

Eco Bar Solid Shampoo

I haven’t tried these, but I have heard from friends that their Shampoo Bars are very easy to use and have very good effects on your hair. Maybe you would like to try.

  • Location: Manila
  • Price: Php 150 ~ Php 180 per piece
  • Order here: @ecobarph
Photo not mine

Daniela Calumba’s

Same details above but please see price of her Shampoo Bar below:

  • Price: Php 450 for a 100g bar
Photo not mine

Paraluman PH

Even though I didn’t use their Shampoo Bar, they have very good reviews online and their Shampoo Bar is also affordable.

  • Location: Manila
  • Price: Php 90.00 per piece
  • Check them out here: @paralumanph
Photo not mine

As for the shampoo bars, below are the pros, cons, and tips.

Pros

  • Package-free/ Low-waste
  • All natural, non-toxic, healthy and safe for your hair and scalp

Cons

  • Majority are very expensive
  • Requires transitional period for scalp for at least 2~3 weeks. See tips below.
  • Difficult to apply, doesn’t lather that much
  • Not accessible

Tips

  • Since your hair and scalp has adapted to the harshness of store-bought shampoos, they will need at least 2~3 weeks of transitional period, so, don’t give up that early. For all the tips of better usage, read this: Hair Adjusting to Shampoo Bars
  • Use it wisely, cut into parts.

It is already common knowledge that the number 1 source of toxic in a household are the soaps and shampoos that we are using. Perhaps everybody is aware of that, but not so many are ready to make the swap to a safer and healthier skin and hair routine. That is the reason I made the swap. I am choosing products that would not only lessen my solid wastes but also, will help me get away from all the toxic that are being normalized in our homes.

I hope this article has been helpful, especially to those who are new to the zero-waste universe or for those just decided to detoxify their body. For those who haven’t decided, make the swap now!

If you have new information, comments, or suggestions, don’t forget to drop’em below. Thanks for reading!

D.M.P.

One thought on “Living Zero-waste: Where to find Handmade Soaps and Shampoo Bars in Cebu City and Why Make the Swap

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