Have you heard of the soap-cutting trend before now? It's something that came onto our radar here at Heyland & Whittle only recently and, as lovers of all things soap, we simply had to look into this mesmerising trend a little further.
In a nutshell, soap-cutting is the practice of cutting pieces of soap into shapes or sculptures for both art and pleasure.
Search for the hashtag #soapcutting on Instagram or look for soap-cutting videos on YouTube and you'll see everything from delicately crafted soap flowers to sculptures that look like slices of watermelon or simply different coloured smooth rolls arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Image credit: Praiwun via iStock
Soap sculptures can look very beautiful, but where has this trend come from?
It's particularly popular among followers of the the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) scene, which is all about deriving enjoyment from actions that feel or sound pleasurable. For example, this could be having your hair brushed or arranging objects in a particular pattern.
In the case of soap-cutting, it's the sensation of tools cutting into bars of soap, and the soft, soothing sound the action generates.
Many fans of the art find this to be incredibly mesmerising and almost hypnotic, viewing it as a calming antidote to the hectic pace of modern life.
Some people also derive pleasure from the shavings left over from a soap-cutting session, assembling these into artworks of their own.
Experiencing an ASMR gives many people a tingling sensation in their body, so soap-cutting can be an incredibly sensual experience.
There is even scientific research to suggest that these sensations could benefit people's wider health, with a study carried out at the University of Sheffield finding that watching ASMR videos tended to make people feel calmer, happier and less stressed.
Image credit: Sinhyu via iStock
Of course, if you're using a scented soap, like the handmade Soap Bars from the Heyland & Whittle range, your sense of smell will also be stimulated by soap-cutting, adding a whole extra sensual dimension to the act.
Several of them, such as our Rose Soap Bar and Lavender Soap Bar, are scented with flowers known for their calming and soothing properties, so if you practice soap-cutting yourself, you could find the feel, sound and scent of the activity relaxing.
Our Soap Bars are available in a variety of different colours (all natural) too, so you'd be able to team together delicate pinks, rusty oranges, vibrant greens and soft pastels to create a truly show-stopping soap sculpture.