Self-care is important, especially in today’s hectic times. Be it putting on a face mask at the end of a tiring day or making sure you are eating healthy, it’s these little things that have wonderful benefits in the long run. It’s probably because of this need for self-love that Saboo:, a brand that specializes in selling personal care products (that too all-natural), has found a growing market for itself here in Nepal.
Saboo: was started by childhood friends Dibeev Bhakta Shrestha, Puneet Shakya and Aakash Shrestha. According to Dibeev, ever since finishing their high school they had always wanted to work on something together. However, it was only after all of them finished their master’s degree that they were finally able to come together to work on their startup. “Since 2011, I had been making natural soaps at home and so we thought we could take that further,” says Dibeev. However, the trio wanted to introduce something new in the market and so they created a body wash.
In 2015 they were able to make the body wash but when it came to bottling and packaging, it was almost impossible for them to get a suitable one. “We searched everywhere and at a point almost gave up,” says Puneet. However, one of their acquaintances came to the rescue and they were able to finally introduce their body wash in the market. They complemented the body wash with essential oils that they started selling in small 10ml bottles.
When it came to giving the brand a name, Dibeev came up with Saboo: which means soap in Newari, Thai, and French. “The word is short, sweet and easy to remember,” says Aakash. Saboo: in 2017 had their first-ever product exhibition at Image Ark’s Art Market.
After their body wash and essential oils got positive reviews, the trio started making other products like bar soap, face wash, bath salts as well as diffusers. Furthermore, their essential oil diffusers (devices that are used to disperse essential oils and is a part of aromatherapy) were a big hit. “Not many people knew about essential oils and diffusers here in Kathmandu but they were curious about it when we introduced these in the market,” says Puneet.
As a personal care brand, Saboo: focuses on essential oils because its benefits are aplenty.
“Essential oils have been used in Nepal for a long time, yet no one seems to know exactly what it does or where it is found,” says Dibeev. He gives the example of “Sancho” which is a blend of pure natural Himalayan essential oils and is used to treat headaches, cold, muscular pain, etc. “Essential oils have countless health benefits and can put you at ease whenever you are feeling unwell,” says Aakash.
One can find their products online as well as at outlets like Maya ko Chino and Timro Concept Store in Jhamsikhel, and Chhaya Center and Masala Beads in Thamel. In the future, along with selling all-natural personal care products, Saboo: also hopes to educate their consumers about the benefits and importance of natural ingredients used on their products.
Lavender coffee soap
Saboo: upcycles the coffee grounds that they get from cafes like Himalayan Java and adds them to the soaps it makes. As coffee is a natural exfoliator, this soap helps remove dead skin cells. Other than the lavender coffee soap, they also sell lemongrass coffee scrub soap, packed up in a leaf that makes the whole product a sustainable one.
Essential oils and diffusers
Saboo: sells a wide range of essential oils. Lavender essential oil can be used to improve sleep, eucalyptus oil helps clear congestion and remedy colds and rose essential oil is said to lessen stress and menstrual cramps. They also offer essential oil with juniper, sandalwood, tuberose, jasmine extracts. These oils can be diffused with the help of candle and electric diffusers that are available at Saboo:.
Essential oil “roll-on” perfume
A new addition to Saboo:’s collection of natural products, the essential oil roll-on perfume is easy to carry and apply. The founders recommend rubbing the roll-on on your wrist as well as at the sides of your neck so you can feel fresh and remain calm throughout the day.
Tea tree face wash and Saboo body wash
According to the trio, this face wash is popular among their female customers, thanks to its ability to combat acne and bad skin. Tea tree can help reduce inflammation associated with acne and prevent acne lesions. Moreover, it also acts as a natural moisturizer and helps to restore the skins natural oil balance. The body washes at Saboo: come with sandalwood, juniper, lemongrass, and lavender extracts. Along with making you feel good because of their fragrances, these body washes can also help relieve stress.