Your skin can react extremely positively or negatively to different ingredients that you put on it. If you are using products with synthetic and harmful materials, it is likely that it will react negatively. Jenna Tan is aware of this and has developed her business Soap Faculty to teach people around the world how to develop their own skincare products using organic and natural ingredients. The easy to follow and highly enjoyable online masterclasses have allowed people globally to take their skincare into their own hands.
Hi Jenna, thanks for your time. Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
My pleasure. People often point out how bubbly, encouraging and positive I am, that made me believe I was born to shine in this way. My light allows others to glow as well and, with that knowledge, I have found my purpose. I am the founder of Soap Faculty and am a DIY beauty coach. I help beginners to kickstart their natural skincare and soap making journeys, it’s kind of like helping them to get a shortcut ticket so that they can reach the destination faster. Perhaps I was a high school teacher before.
I think what makes me different from other beauty entrepreneurs is that I still have a teacher’s pure heart. I enjoy teaching and sharing what I know with my students, there is no holding back. Frankly, whenever they share their success with me, I gain a kind of satisfaction that money just can’t buy.
What inspired you to create your business Soap Faculty?
I guess it all started when my little boy, Jaeden developed rashes all of a sudden after coming back from his child care center. I saw the big, red patches of rashes on his neck and the more he scratched it, the more my heart sank, the patches were spreading to bigger parts of his body. I couldn’t bear it any longer, I rushed to the supermarket and bought all the popular baby creams and ointments every mother would use, yet to my despair, none of them worked!
When I told my mother about my disappointment, she then shared with me two books about cancer-causing chemicals in cosmetics and daily use personal care products. Little did I know, many so-called baby products are “blacklisted” in the books for containing a long list of harmful chemicals! That was like a wake-up call for me to start making my own natural skincare for Jaeden and myself.
Guess what, my first natural handmade soap managed to clear his angry rashes, I could see Jaeden’s bright smile again, and since then, there is no turning back. To cut the long story short, I was able to design an easy formulation system, step by step. I also realized one thing: to formulate awesome natural skincare, no, I don’t have to be a chemist, no, I don’t need any prior experience at all! That inspired me to share this useful knowledge with more women, that’s how Soap Faculty was created.
You use organic and natural ingredients. Why is this important for skincare products?
From my point of view, organic and natural ingredients are given by God. Imagine that they are just like precious presents prepared for us. These ingredients contain many beneficial, ayurvedic and therapeutic properties for our skin, why must we look further for other synthetic options, right?
Talking about synthetic ingredients, we can’t even pronounce them properly! Of course, I understand not all organic and natural ingredients are suitable for everyone, some people can still have allergic reactions to these ingredients, but if we can practice safe skin patch testing before using the natural skincare products, nothing will harm us.
On the other hand, hidden harmful chemicals can be the silent killers in the long run because many of them can irritate our skin to cause dryness, redness, itchiness and inflammation, some might even cause cancer. Besides, choosing organic and natural ingredients is equally important if we want to make sure the skincare products are animal cruelty free, vegan and promote a green culture.
What can people learn in your workshops at Soap Faculty?
People can learn to handcraft natural skincare, hair care and soap very easily. They are introduced to natural and organic ingredients and their functions. They are also taught to formulate products easily following my 6-Step Formulation Framework. Soap making becomes a business opportunity when they can learn to calculate soap formulations to create their own amazing recipes. This gives them the power to tweak formulations to meet their personal skin type, desires and even fix their own skin issues. I teach them to not just to follow a recipe blindly.
I am proud to say that a number of my students started their own beauty brands and they are selling well! The results speak for themselves as I have seen from the many 5-star reviews written by their happy customers. I am pleased when this profitable skill can actually spark the entrepreneurship spirit in my students. They are earning good side income right now, some of them even thanked me for helping them to survive the pandemic bad economy crisis because they are selling what they handmade online to earn side income!
Yes, in fact physical workshops are not allowed to be conducted during my country’s lockdown in Malaysia, my blooming business is forced to put an instant full-stop just like that. Anyhow, this didn’t stop my spirit to continue teaching and sharing my knowledge. I know clearly that to pivot fast is the only way to stay. Therefore, within weeks, I successfully transformed all my physical workshops into online masterclasses and courses single handedly with just an iPhone, mic, speaker, ring light and video editing software.
I chose to pay for a premium subscription and host my online courses on Teachable because I want my online students to have a nice online learning experience, whereby the curriculum is designed and arranged in a step by step process. Online students even get to download and print a certificate as a reward after completing the whole course 100%. This allows me to continue running the educational business without the geographical limits. On top of this, international students are enrolling, which gives me the opportunity to share this easy formulation skill with more beginners globally.
What kind of products can online course students learn to make? How do they get the materials?
Oh they will discover how to make “top-to-toe” luxurious products with organic and natural ingredients. For example, in my best selling online masterclass – Rapid DIY Natural Skincare (RDNS), the online students can discover how to DIY Organic Peppermint Shampoo, Ylang Ylang Facial Cleanser, Rose Geranium Face Serum, Hyaluronic Acid Eye Serum, Organic Chamomile Hydrating Sunblock, Tea Tree Shea Butter Soap, Calendula-Infused Lavender Body Lotion, Coffee Whipped Soap Scrub, and more. They will not only learn about the theory but also hands-on skill demonstrated via video tutorials. This is where I’ll hold them by the hand and take them step by step through the entire process from the start until it is finished.
I designed the curriculum to be easy to follow and digest. I want it not to overwhelm yet be result-oriented, if only the students take action. So, to help them to get started with the materials, for international students, I prepared premium suppliers’ website links for them to shop easily. For local students, they will have a list of shopping links to get the materials, or another even more convenient option. They can add on DIY Kits directly from me and I will ship the full kits to their home. Yes, simple as that to kickstart.
What kind of people are your online courses best for?
There is no age limit, no qualification required, nor prior experience needed, so I would say anyone who wants to learn natural cosmetics formulation at their own pace while having lifetime access to an online course will benefit.
They are action takers without anyone telling them when to learn and when to handcraft the natural cosmetics. They also enjoy playing video tutorials as many times as they need until the skill is picked up. The students are also adventurous and willing to try entrepreneurship in order to start a small online business and earn extra side income.
Finally, what is your biggest piece of fundamental skincare advice?
Sometimes, we tend to forget that our skin is the largest organ of the body. If we are not picky about what to apply on our skin and if we don’t take back the power to have control over the ingredients, who else will?
Remember, self-care can also start from switching your personal care to natural skincare, your skin will definitely thank you. Positive transformation will only happen when you have faith in what you handmade, so keep your skincare routine brutally simple and easy to follow, the key is “consistency”. When you believe it will help you to solve your struggles, it will do like you wished. Just trust the universe, trust the natural ingredients, trust your hands, that’s the Law of Attraction, isn’t it?
Thank you Jenna for your time!