I Have A New Obsession And It's These Yummy-Feeling Handmade Soaps


They say cold showers improve mental health and even "treat" depression;

this tita says cold showers is a way to survive in the Philippines.


And if there is anything I am thankful for, it's that when we all decided to split the bills at home, my brother decided to be in charge of the water bill (which consequently means unli ligo for me. yay!)

Recently, my showers have been feeling extra wonderful, all thanks to my latest collection of handmade soaps from By Hand, a local brand that specializes in handmade, feel-good products. Ahhh, just the name of the brand alone already makes my body feel relaxed.

On my soap rack are: the Oat Yeah Soothing Bar (brown, chocolatey-looking one), the Citrus Shine Brightening Bar (the yellow one with a light brown stripe), the Exfodetox Body Bar (the yummiest looking in the bunch!), the Lavender Fields Calming Bar (the one with the most interesting color), and the Coco Rosa Cleansing Bar (a wave of yellow and pink).

And so with five body bars to choose from with every single shower, I was tempted to ask Bianca (co-owner of the girl boss tandem behind By Hand and the one who makes the soaps herself!) which one is the best-selling one. She replies with conviction, "They're all best-sellers!", adding that it all really depends on the skin benefit you want, or if there's a particular scent you prefer.

I guess you can say I’m more of a scents over benefits type of girl. To my own surprise, I loved the Oat Yeah Soothing Bar the most! I honestly thought it wouldn't be my top favorite since I'm not really a fan of chocolates (I was sort of banned from it because of my asthma), but I guess there's a huge difference between eating chocolate to smelling chocolate as you bathe! And believe me when I say it's as relaxing and mood-bending as ever. It definitely lifts my spirits!

THE OAT YEAH SOOTHING BAR IS Infused with colloidal oatmeal which helps protect the skin by retaining moisture. it soothes dry skin and relieves skin irritations. Made with raw cocoa butter as well as skin-loving, unrefined oils.

At the times I feel like I’m in need of a deep cleanse (literally and figuratively), I first reach out for the Exfodetox Body Bar. It has a mild scrubbing effect that definitely makes me feel like I'm shedding off my dull, dreary skin like a reptile ready to let go of past mistakes. In fact, there was a week when I got addicted to using it for days straight that I had to consult with Bianca if it's safe to "detox" on a daily basis. I was relieved when she said yes!

the exfodetox body bar is A powerful 2-in-1 soap and scrub bar that exfoliates and draws out impurities for healthier skin! 

Whenever I feel like my skin needs pampering, care, love, and affection, I reach out for the Citrus Shine Brightening Bar. This soap feels like it's packed with all the essential oils my skin is thirsting for! As it name suggests, I am also often tempted to stay longer in the shower to brighten up my day and keep soaping myself more and more to savor the benefits!

the citrus shine brightening bar is A powerful combination of lemon peel powder, orange peel powder, and bentonite clay, which magnificently work together to clarify and brighten the skin. Fragranced with the fresh scent of bergamot and made with raw shea butter as well as skin-loving, unrefined oils to nourish the skin !

While I'm not entirely a fan of floral scents (I think the asthma makes me sensitive and most floral scents make me sneeze), the Lavender Fields Calming Bar promises "relaxation" so once when I was down and feeling blue, I gave it a try. I sang “Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, Lavender’s green. When you am king, dilly dilly, I shall be queen” as I showered and even for a few hours after.

The scent to me was mild and comforting and just right for me (no sneezing, yay!). And since it doesn't make you high and excited like the chocolate one, it makes this body bar a good choice for night showers and winding down.

this body bar is Made with real Lavandula x intermedia flower powder and skin-loving, unrefined oils to nourish the skin .

The Coco Rosa Cleansing Bar, too, has a floral scent and in a way, smells like home. It's the kind of feeling you get when you come home after a long day and you find your room tidied up by your mother who thoughtfully put flowers to decorate the room, too. Ahhh.

the coco rosa cleansing bar is Made with 60% virgin coconut oil and is enhanced with kaolin clay. it soaks up excess sebum and purifies pores.

If celebrities only have Belo touch their skin, I only trust Bianca (and a few other beauty friends!) when it comes to skincare. It’s because she’s always been so meticulous with the products she uses and is ahead with trends. I learned about BB cream from her even before it was a thing here! She was also one of the first who taught me to switch from commercial brands to more naturally-made beauty products, and I think it’s one of the best decisions you can make for your life ever.

I would definitely recommend buying their soaps in bulk (it will last you for months!) because these sell out fast, by the way! By Hand also has hand-poured room and linen sprays (made by the other girl boss half, Tin, herself!), foot soak scrubs, and even clutches, mini backpacks, and bags.