Soap-making classes provide the knowledge and skills needed to produce a natural substance that suits particular skin types and satisfying senses of smell and touch. 'Our classes provide students with a more personal connection to the soaps they use at home, as the ones they make match their individual needs and sense of creativity,' says Eve Chan, director of sales and marketing at Sustainable Lifestyle & Organic Work (SLOW). SLOW ( www.sosoap.com ) offers workshops that run for 90 minutes and cost HK$320 for tuition and ingredients. Workshops cover the basics and enable participants to use natural ingredients that are easily purchased so that they can continue to make their preferred soaps at home. 'We hope that our workshops will enable participants to know more about the nature of the soaps they use at home and become more able to question the ingredients they contain,' Chan says. Sesame Kitchen ( www.sesame kitchen.com) offers classes for absolute beginners at its studio in Sheung Wan where elementary techniques and methods for using ingredients that produce a variety of colours and fragrances are taught. 'My class started as an extension of my cooking classes,' says Shima Shimizu, raw food chef and instructor at Sesame Kitchen. 'By using edible ingredients to make organic soap, that supports the skin's natural rejuvenation processes, you can custom make soap to suit particular skin types and the different seasons.' Participants are taught to how to use food items that are found in most refrigerators at home, Shimizu says. Spinach, cacao and turmeric provide the colours, and the fragrances come from the use of high-grade plant based essential oils. Some dehydrated food ingredients may also be used to add texture and fragrance. Classes run for two hours and cost HK$300. Artlife ( www.artlife.com.hk ) offers soap-making classes in Tsim Sha Tsui. Examples of soaps that participants make are lavender oil-balancing, red-wine antistress, chamomile and bamboo charcoal deep-cleansing. Cost for each 90-minute class is HK$380. Private Garden ( www.jspg.com.hk ) offers a beginners workshop focusing on the different methods used to make cake and liquid soaps. Cost is HK$500 for the four-hour class, which includes a theory presentation and tuition on the basic techniques in making both forms of soap. People with a keener interest may choose a series of three classes that provide skills development from beginner to advanced levels. Cost ranges from HK$300 to HK$450, with classes running for two to two-and-a-half hours, each including a 30-minute theory presentation. Participants are taught techniques for making cake and liquid soaps using natural ingredients and pure essential oils. Other course elements include getting to know skin type, the use of basic garland rendering or layering techniques and the use of Taiwanese soap moulds.