Is the use of plants in soaps and shampoos popular in Peru, where you’re from? Definitely, the use of plants has been very present in the culture of Peru since ancestral times. Thankfully, the highlands and the Amazon rainforest provide us with a rich amount of plants and seeds such as the quinoa, the maca root, the buriti fruit, the cupuaçu fruit, and also chia seeds, which many Singaporeans also consume, among many others. These have been traditionally used in personal care for the benefits they provide to the hair and skin. Nowadays, there is a revival of these products, but still not on a large scale.

I think there is a similar phenomenon in Singapore; people are coming back to these more traditional practices, and there are more and more brands that use these ingredients to formulate thei r products . For instance, in all my solid shampoos I include quinoa in the form of hydrolysed protein because i t condi t ions and protects the hair from harsh elements in the environment.

What’s your current

Find out more about Susan’s products at and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok @sachabotanicals. What does a typical day look like for you? My work is quite flexible, but I usually start around 9am with teaching or doing research. Because the main campus of my university and the researchers I collaborate with are mostly based in Europe, I usually have meetings and calls in the evenings. But when my day finishes early, I enjoy having dinner at home or with friends, or I take evening walks or watch a movie. favourite product from Sacha Botanicals? I absolutely love my “Chocolicious” solid shampoo, which is perfect for dry hair. It smells so good! I really enjoy the rich and yummy chocolate scent, and the fact that it’s all natural. I also love my “Warm me, lavender” handmade soap. It gently cleanses the skin while transporting you to a warm and calming place because of the lavender essential oil. I often use it before going to bed to have a good rest. What do you do for fun in Singapore? When I’m not working, I do dragon boating with the Latin Dragons team, a group of Spanish-speaking rowers. I also like trying new restaurants with my boyfriend – there’s such a great variety of food to try here in Singapore!

Photo: Thaïs Breton

I remembered how my mom used our native plants in Peru to create shampoos for us as kids. This brought me to study and work on creating my own recipes for handmade soaps and solid shampoos without ingredients that could harm us, but with ingredients that nurture our hair and skin. At first, I was just sharing my products with my friends. But I got great reception, and people kept urging me to share themmore broadly. That’s when I launched Sacha Botanicals, which consists of a line of handmade soaps and solid shampoos that respect your skin and the environment.

149 DECEMBER2022

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