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Spring 2020

Dear Soapies,

It’s been a really long time in this internet age since I sat down to write a proper article for our soap shop. Seeing that giving a discount did not generate any sales online (only privately), and then after the sales, there are people buying more than expected.

Could this be due to the Covid-19 situation?

Just a word of caution, and probably a reminder to those who already knew this: using soap and clean water to wash your hands thoroughly as a measure of personal hygiene is really practical and good enough, while taking care to do the necessary precautions as laid out by the authorities.

Using too much hand sanitizers, alcohols swabs, antibacterial gels, etc may irritate your skin and desensitize your own immune systems for general protection against the immediate environment. It may even compromise the usual flora of beneficial bacteria on your skin surface which act as a balance against other more aggressive ones.

Hence, using a good bar of soap with good quality ingredients, keep your skin supple and moist, allowing it to do its own biological function as our most natural protector against the outside environment.

Remember to read the ingredients carefully when you buy a bar of soap, or any toiletries that come into contact with your body. Chemicals, colourings, fragrances, stabilizers and preservatives can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions, leading to rough texture, drying and crackling skin, itchiness and even rashes.

Personally I wash my hand more than 30 times a day now during this difficult period. I have not been using any hand sanitizer nor moisturizer, especially at home. The most stringent I use is a homemade mixture of essential oils, especially when I’m out. Just be mindful the things your hands and arms come into contact with and take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce cross contamination of surfaces.

Most important too, are other factors in your life: keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day, sufficient rest and quality sleep, stretches and body movements at home, maintain a healthy outlook to keep stress in balance, eat wholesomely and learn to laugh wholeheartedly.

When each of us can regulate our body mind and soul in equilibrium, we will find our balance. We will be brighter, happier and more empowered to deal with difficult situations in life.

If you’re staying home, apart from work and necessary household tasks, find some time for solitude. Know the difference between being alone, and being lonely. It’s what the world is experiencing right now. Time to spend looking within. Time to reflect on our pasts when too much resources have been given over to focus on the ‘wrong’ things, or things that didn’t matter.

Declutter if you need to. Refresh your environment if you feel like. You don’t need to throw out your sofa or your bureau. You can make something to beautify your own space. Be creative. Be bold. Be you.

I remember an old drama series – 天蚕变。天蚕(tian can) is a silkworm that can spin a cocoon around itself during a phase of its growth (pupa stage of moths and butterflies). When it matures and is ready, it will break the cocoon and emerge into the adult form. The English name of the drama is Reincarnated. The plot of the story is about a bumpkin becoming the best martial artist in school. It’s a process and it has to be experienced alone.

If we wish to change for the better, take this time away from the familials (colleagues and friends) and allow ourselves to transform into a more beautiful us after this one month enforced stay home term. Change is the only true constant in life. Be not afraid to change. We will look back at this period one day and thank ourselves for having the courage to confront our shadows and the will to face the light.

May we all activate our highest will to keep ourselves calm, sane and strong in dealing with the current social situation, and emerge the best version of ourselves whenever we’re ready.

Best of health to you and yours!

Shirley Lam



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