Essential things to know about essential oils

Essential things to know about essential oils

soapnut lavender essential oils
Essential oils always conjure up an image of indulgence and luxury. It is typically infused into the air to provide sensual flavour, that helps you relax. Essential oils really have a lot of benefits to you and your health, but make sure you are using real essential oils.
As always, knowledge is key to understanding what is beneficial and what is harmful. 
How are essential oils made?
A common way of making essential oil is through distillation, basically steaming the plant over boiling water. The process "squeezes" the oils out of the plant while the steam vapour absorbs other aromatic compounds within the plant. The result is essential oils and aromatic water (also known as hydrosol).  Oil and water don't mix, so it can be easily separated. 
Other methods of extracting essential oils, include expression, enfleurage, solvents, etc.
Which essential oils are in Soapnut Republic and why?
There are 2 types of lemongrass essential oils from 2 variants of the lemongrass plant: Cymbopogon citratus or Cymbopogon flexuosus. Soapnut Republic products uses Cymbopogon citratus which has the higher concentration of myrcene which increases anti-bacterial action. The other type is called Cymbopogon flexuosu is more likely to cause skin irritation and hence used in lower grade products or products that do not come into contact with our skin.
We spoke about the benefits of lemongrass essential oil previously, and I shall not elaborate further, simply note it's antimicrobial, anti bacterial and mood lifting benefits to your health. Lemongrass essential oil is used in Soapnut Republic liquid laundry, laundry powder, foaming hand wash. 
Tea Tree 
It is also known as melaleuca. Tea tree oil is another wonderful essential oil, with antiseptic properties. It is commonly used topically to treat a wide range of skin conditions, acne, cold sores, bacteria infections, eczema, etc. It is also a natural insect repellent. 
Tea tree essential oil is used in almost all Soapnut Republic products as it provides powerful antiseptic properties. It is in the foaming hand wash, liquid laundry, wool cashmere silk shampoo, multi purpose cleaner, stain remover, dish soap, glass cleaner, bathroom & toilet spray, floor cleaner,  toilet cleaner, cream cleanser.
Citrus oil / Grapefuit
This is essential oils from citrus fruits, i.e. orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc. It contains limonene or D-Limonene, which is an anti-oxidant, and help to neutralize acid in your body and stimulate the immune system to fight infections. It is also widely used in natural cleaning products to provide a fresh scent, this scent can calm and relax and help to relieve anxiety.
Citrus oil is used in Soapnut Republic multi purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, bathroom & toilet spray
Grapefruit oil is used in Soapnut Republic dish soap and stain remover.
It is obtained from the fresh leaves of the eucalyptus tree (scientifically classified as Eucalyptus Globulus). Eucalyptus essential oils has many benefits being antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial and can be applied in many situations, to wounds, to relieve muscle ache, respiratory relief and a stimulant to rejuvenate the tired mind. 
This oil is used in Soapnut Republic Floor Cleaner as it antibacterial and provides a uplifting scent that is safe after you are done cleaning your home.
A commonly used essential oil, mostly for therapeutic purposes to lift moods and help you relax. Lavender also skin benefits such as reducing acne and restoring skin complexion. So, wash your hands and reap the benefits of restoration, as lavender oil is used in Soapnut Republic foaming hand wash.
Mint, or Mentha Piperita, provides a cooling refreshing effect. It provides relieve for sore muscles and also has antimicrobial properties. It's uplifting scent also helps to calm the racing mind. If ingested, it can treat stomach aches and soothe digestive issues. It even helps to freshen your breath.
Mint, or peppermint essential oil is used in Soapnut Republic foaming hand wash.
September 01, 2017
Soapnuts Are Berries That Grow On Trees, And Produces Soap Naturally

Soapnuts Are Berries That Grow On Trees, And Produces Soap Naturally

Soapnut berry is a plant based surfactant that is grown and sourced sustainably and organically. It has been used for centuries in cleaning and in natural skin remedy. It is environmentally friendly and 100% biodegradable. Now, it is made conveniently available in Soapnut Republic Home and Personal Care products.
August 25, 2017
10 safe ingredients with toxic sounding names

10 safe ingredients with toxic sounding names

soapnut bundle natural

Chemical names used on the labels of cleaning products can be long, unpronounceable, and even sound like long lost sea creatures. Being aware empowers you to make the right decision for you and your family. Here I like to share the ingredients that typically make up natural cleaning products, including those of Soapnut Republic. Hopefully by demystifying these ingredients, you will be equipped to make a better choice the next time you buy home cleaning products.

You will note that most of the ingredients in cleaning agents are to help create foam/bubbly, or to thicken up the liquid to give it texture.

Caprylyl Capryl Glucoside (or Lauryl Glucoside)
EWG rating: 1
To create the nice bubbly effect of soap, what you would call foam.
This is a surfactant or foaming agent, to generate foam in cleaning products, and is derived from vegetables and coconut.

Sodium Coco Amphoacetate
EWG rating: 1
Another surfactant / foaming agent and thickening agent, that is is biodegradable and made from fatty acids from coconut oil.

Xanthan Gum
EWG rating: 1
Gooey, slimy substance that is formed during the fermentation of sugar from soy, wheat, diary, or corn.
This slimy substance helps to thicken and emulsify cleaning formulas, to provide the texture and consistency of the liquid, i.e. think of the texture of cream cleanser.

Glycerol Oleate
EWG rating: 1
Clear amber or pale yellow liquid, naturally occurring in oils and fats.
Used to form emulsions and also can be used as a skin conditioning agent (emollient). Also called Glyceryl Monooleate.

Sodium Polyaspartate
EWG rating: 1
This is a biodegradable condensation polymer based on the amino acid aspartic acid (what a mouthful!), a sodium salt of polyaspartic acid. This ingredient is a corrosion inhibitor, i.e. protects metal surfaces from rusting, corroding, etc.

Hydroxyethyl Cellulose
EWG rating: 1
This helps to thicken liquids and make it gel.
From cellulose, which are organic compound from plants.

Sodium Carbonate
EWG rating: 1
Similar to baking soda, but the non-edible form, which is typically used for cleaning. Commonly known as washing soda, and used in laundry detergent.

Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose
EWG rating: 1
Use mostly as a stablizer, to give liquids viscosity (i.e. thicken). It is derived from natural cellulose, treated with chloracetic acid. It is often used in food, i.e. ice creams, and gluten free, reduced fat foods.

Sodium Oleate
EWG rating: 2
Use as an emulsifying agent in soap. It is derived from fatty acids that occur naturally in many natural oils, i.e. Olive oil, canola oil, etc.

Sodium Aluminosilicate
EWG rating: 1
It is a compound which contain sodium, aluminium, silicon and oxygen, and which may also contain water. It is used as a viscosity agent, to add texture to the cleaning products. Also used in food as an anti caking agent.

Information above have been sourced from EWG and Wikipedia, do refer back to EWG for regular updates.

More about EWG rating
EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any.
More information can be found here:


August 17, 2017
Don’t blame childhood allergies only on pollution or your food

Don’t blame childhood allergies only on pollution or your food

soapnut childhood multi-purpose spray

Childhood allergies (asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, eczema) are on the rise. 1 in 3 have allergies in Singapore, and children up to 44.5%. Besides, dust mites and outdoor pollution, research points to other “environmental factors” that causes allergies, the often overlooked areas of our lives - our homes.

Our children today can easily spend 8+ hours a day (like any adult) in a closed, indoor air-conditioned environment (i.e. childcare, school, home and our shopping malls). Did you know that your everyday household cleaning products contain chemicals that are known to cause allergies, disrupt hormones and etc? I did not too, until I became a parent. My boy aged 2 has mild eczema and prone to nasal allergies, my girl 4 suffers from regular internal nose bleeding due to allergic reaction to substances in the air.

Our "parents' generation" cleaning products, which we thought were safe and continue to use today, are in fact, laden with chemicals. Chemicals that are causing the “environmental issues” or “indoor pollution" closely link to development of childhood allergies.

For example, household cleaning products that contain ammonia, bleach, sodium hydroxide, amines, colophony (pine resin) and limonene (lemon scent) should be avoided, as these chemicals are known asthma triggers.

I started looking for a natural cleaning alternative and stumbled upon Soapnut berries (Sapindus). Soapnut berries are the fruit of the soapnut shrub, a native crop of China and India. It is used to make soap by native peoples in Asia (especially India) and Native Americans for thousands of years. In addition, Soapnut Berries have medicinal benefits for people with sensitive skin, eczema and other skin conditions, as the soapnut saponin (plant surfactant) appears to be hypoallergenic and mild on the skin.

I first experimented by throwing soapnuts into my laundry. It does generate soap but was not as effective in cleaning. Further research for natural household cleaning products let me to discover Soapnut Republic - a company founded by a New Zealand couple in China with 3 beautiful children. The company uses a very high content of Soapnut berries extracts (in replacement of toxic chemical as cleaning surfactants / foamers ) in their entire range of cleaning products, ranging from multi-purpose cleaner, foaming hand wash, laundry detergent, toilet cleaners, etc. Soapnut Republic products are now available online here (

At the end of the day, I asked myself this: "Is my family’s health really not worth me spending a little more money on soap and floor cleaners? Is my peace of mind really not worth my time spent ensuring our bathroom at home isn’t a zone of toxic chemicals?" While we cannot control all the chemicals in the malls or schools, but we are the gatekeepers of our own home where our children eat, play and sleep. As a wife and mother, feels good to know I am eliminating chemicals and toxic chemicals from my house that carry detrimental short term or long term side effects.


Shop allergen free cleaning products


August 11, 2017
Soapnut Republic products are proudly Cruelty Free and Vegan

Soapnut Republic products are proudly Cruelty Free and Vegan

soapnut is peta certified

Soapnut Republic products have always been Cruelty Free and Vegan and they are accredited by the leading American animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

March 16, 2017