Frustrated by the lack of zero-waste beauty products, Megan Cozens started experimenting with making products five years ago. Supported by the business knowledge of her parents as well as a diploma in organic skincare formulation, she founded a soap brand, Plaiin, with quality and zero-waste as its central pillars. She believes strongly that “if you can’t eat it, your skin shouldn’t either” and has developed an all-natural, vegan and plastic-free product. We put it to the test.
An organic cotton drawstring bag is Plaiin’s simple and elegant solution to plastic packaging. Product is shipped plastic-free, with the bars arriving in cardboard and wrapped in paper. Included is a lovely note encouraging recycling or reusing the packaging. The bar feels solid and substantial, easy to grip and should fit comfortably in most hand-sizes.
The current range has four bars, each with its own scent: Anti Venom, Breakfast in Bed, Masala Chai and Butt First Coffee. The names give you a good idea of what to expect, which I like as I’m a “does-what-it-says-on-the-tin” kinda gal.
Anti Venom is a fresh, sharp-scented bar with charcoal, pink salt and an overarching sweet spearmint nose. Breakfast in Bed is a soft scent making it the subtlest of the bunch. Oatmeal, chocolate and almond are dominant scents and blend beautifully. Butt First Coffee is for coffee lovers. Strong, earthy and rich coffee scents fill the room when you use this bar. It’s wonderfully fragrant but may be overwhelming if you’re more of a subtle, “coffee-kissed” fan.
Masala Chai is my personal favourite but also powerfully aromatic. A heady mix of ginger, clove, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper, this little bar smells like a cup of spiced chai on a sunny afternoon. Once again if you don’t enjoy strong scents, this one isn’t for you.
These are dual-textured bars, you can moisturise and exfoliate with the same product. The bottom half of the bar is made up of a smooth, waxy base that glides easily over the skin and absorbs relatively quickly. Just like each bar has its unique scent, they also have their own exfoliants. They range in degrees of exfoliation, with Breakfast in Bed offering a gentler scrub than the Anti Venom.
Gender neutral usage
Plaiin hits neutrality in the best possible way. The scents are all natural and range from slightly sweet and delicate, to robust and striking. The names of the bars are gender neutral. The product is marketed for use on all bodies with an emphasis on remedying skin issues that affect all genders. Plaiin doesn’t frame “cellulite” or “fine lines” as women-only but rather as issues that everyone deals with and which can be easily addressed.
After two weeks of regular use, I’m impressed. I gave my fiancé a bar to use because we have very different skin types and needs. After the first week I noticed that the skin on my forearms and chest was visibly brighter and clearer. Small blemishes were reduced and some I couldn’t see anymore. My fiancé had the best results. He chose Breakfast in Bed and found that regularly using it on his upper back and shoulders dramatically reduced the blemishes in the area and stopped new ones from forming almost completely. He also smelled delightful which is always an added benefit!
When it comes to oil or wax-based exfoliants, one should practice caution because not everyone’s skin reacts well to them. That being said, these vegan, all-natural bars from Plaiin should be on your list of “to try”, locally-made, zero-waste skincare items.
Price: R95 per bar.
Online, visit Plaiin
Images: Bekah Vogel