Plagued by red spots and itchy skin, Saigon Suds, founded by Rachel Arn and Megan Eichelberger, started as a personal effort to combat the exhaust fumes and pollution patches left on their skin after a day in the city. Learning from the kitchen of their apartment in District 7, colors were tested, scents perfected and recipes accumulated. Using quality ingredients and sourcing regionally produced materials; they use the traditional cold- process method of making soap. This method naturally produces glycerin, a humectant that helps your skin retain moisture, leaving it soft and smooth. Glycerin helps to formulate bars that are both moisturizing and cleansing, while keeping individual skin type in mind. Goat milk and oatmeal soothe sensitive skin, activated charcoal and tea tree oil remove toxic build-up, and coconut milk and cucumber purée relieve dry skin.

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Starting with handmade soap and graduating to more complicated endeavors, their product list now includes shampoo bars, face oils, conditioner bars and liquid hand soap. An alternative to over-the-counter shampoos, Saigon Suds shampoo bars contain no harmful chemicals or ingredients that are impossible to pronounce. While commercial shampoos strip the hair of natural oils, they use rosemary, grapefruit, ylang ylang and lavender essential oils to promote healthy hair growth and a high concentration of castor oil to lock-in moisture. Canine friends also bark about the Woof Woof dog shampoo, made with oat milk and neem powder to repel fleas and relieve itchy skin. Look for their solid conditioner bars and moisturizing face oils to further remove chemicals from your beauty care regime.

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Saigon Suds continues to operate on a small scale, interacting with their customers and using customer feedback for the development of new products. Dedicated to promoting the products of local businesses, as well as supporting the zero-waste movement, they challenge you to test naturally-made products against their over-the-counter chemical alternatives. Saigon Suds is 100 percent palm oil free with no added parabens, SLS or detergents and many vegan options are available.

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For more info, visit Saigon Suds at www. facebook.com/saigonsuds.