Will HB jump on the CBD bandwagon?
Everywhere I look lately, I’m seeing CBD (cannabidiol) being introduced in ALL kinds of products. Many of you have asked me when we would begin developing products with tjis ingredient. Here in California, standards are being developed for testing Cannabis products, but not yet for CBD products. I am researching the testing and quality control standards of various vendors to understand that side of the house. There are also many restrictions on accepting/processing payments for CBD products.
As for the benefits of CBD in bath products, that’s what I would like to find out. CBD is a compound found in the Cannabis plant and is non-psychoactive (it can’t get you high, like its close relative THC). It is I’ve been watching this product over the last few years and researching potential benefits to my customers. Scientific research is showing CBD and exhaustive list of health benefits from its use (i.e. pain, inflammation, psoriasis, epilepsy to name a few). My goal has always been to provide natural healthy alternatives to commercially produced chemical laden products.
I have heard about the many benefits of CBD oil taken orally, vaping, edibles and topically. Since our business is all about the skin, I’ve focused my research on topical application. CBD is absorbed through skin pores with topical application but will not enter the blood stream through this method.
So, can loading up a bath bomb (no pun intended) or adding this miracle oil to salves really provide the great benefits I’ve been hearing about? How about blending the benefits of this miracle with other miracle herbs and tinctures?
Well, I’m headed off to do more research and will let you all know how that works out. I’ll be working on bath soaks and muscle rubs and I’m expecting it to be a very RELAXING experience (j/k). Hopefully the relaxation carries over into all of the regulatory requirements & payment processing.
During this time of year dry chapped lips are a real nuisance. The peeling skin not only feels terrible but also isn't the best look either. Exfoliate for smoother healthier lips.
Get soft smooth lips with this simple DIY Lip Scrub Recipe in a flash with 3 ingredients.
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (or granulated)
1/4 Tsp. Raw Honey
10 Drops Almond Oil (or any light oil)
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Apply a small amount to lips.
3. Rub gently into lips for a few seconds or up to two minutes.
4. If time allows, let the mixture remain on lips for a minute or two.
5. Wipe off gently with a warm, damp cloth (or you can just lick it all off ;-) )
6. Store the excess in a closed container.
7. Wah-Lah Smooth Soft Lips!
I noticed a definite nip in the air this morning, letting me know that fall is here. Of course the falling oak leaves in the front yard should have been an indication a couple of weeks ago, but I decided to blame it on the California draught. Yes, I was in denial, but who would blame me? I am not a big fan of winter AT ALL and Fall is the segway to winter.
With Fall comes another change in the environment that effects how we care for our skin. Our tootsies are about to leave those sandals and flip flops behind and be hidden away in boots and closed toe shoes for the next 5 or 6 months (depending on where you live). Out of site is out of mind and for most of us that means neglecting our feet for the season. One benefit of hiding those tootsies away is that unlike Spring and Summer, cracked heals are usually not a problem. However, you will begin to see an increase in dryness, fungus, ingrown nails, callouses and blisters/bunions.
Over the next week, I’ll cover natural ways to battle these winter toe blues. For now, take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery changing around you.
As lovely and skin loving as bar soaps are...it is often hard to convert liquid soap users over to the bar. Some people hate the goopy mess that can happen with a bar left in wet shower.
Solution: Use Soap Savers keep the bar out of direct sprays of water when not in use and let the bar dry out between uses. Simple.
But I have yet to come up for a solution for those folks that hate the feel of the slippery bar for hand washing or despise the look of that soap bar on the counter with the inevitable drainage puddle that occurs underneath "as it drains"...UNTIL NOW!
I ran across this little handy Soap Flake Dispenser by Nathalie Stämpfli which she has designed to solve all these issues. It's neat. No more wet bar. Easy dispensing. Nice Design. Atlas, the design never came to fruition.
But wait, these guys came up with an improved design. Super Shaver Soap Saver, but these guys have stopped selling and are reevaluating there production model.
So we will continue our search until we find one or build it ourselves.
By Arvette Hammar
I thought my days of acne were over at 18. Wasn't 5 years of teenage acne the price to pay for entry into adulthood? Well it appears that acne after 40 is a common occurrence. Acne may come in the whopper smack dab in the middle of your forehead or a scattering of constellations on your cheeks. In whatever form your adult acne comes in, finding ways to reduce incidents and quickly handle outbreaks when they occur.
Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it - adult skin does not have the same issues as teenage acne; which is usually caused by fluctuations in hormones. Find out more about the causes of Adult Acne from the American Academy of Dermatology here.
Acne is often the result of bacteria clogging pores and unregulated sebum (oil) production. The key is detoxing the body and skin and eliminated pore clogging products. Try these tips:
Try this Natural DIY Acne Healing Mask
Adult Acne Healing Mask
Acne is often caused by bacteria and clogged oil pores. Often times as adults, we forget how irritating and uncomfortable acne was as a youth as well as not being quite sure how to deal with it. Try this soothing acne mask at night.
1/4 cup of Oatmeal - Anti-Inflammatory
1/4 cup of Water
2 tbsp Raw Honey - Anti-bacterial/Natural skin healer
3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil - Anti-bacterial/Anti-Inflammatory
Soak the Oatmeal in the water overnight in the refrigerator. Puree the Oat and Water mixture in the blender until well mixed. Strain the oat mixture in cheese cloth to reserve the "Oat Milk". You should have a liquid the consistency of buttermilk. Discard the strained Oats (in the compost is a wonderful place). Set aside.
Warm the honey slightly until semi-fluid, but do not get it hot as this will destroy its healing properties. Add the oat milk and honey to the blender and blend well. Pour mixture into a sealable container. Add Tea Tree Oil, replace top and shake vigorously. This mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Cleanse face gently with a natural facial cleanser (Buy our African Black Facial Soap for Problem Skin Here). Pat face dry. Apply a thin layer of Acne Mask to face and let sit for 10 minutes (avoid getting in eyes as the Tea Tree can irritate). Rinse thoroughly. Pat dry and apply a light natural facial moisturizer.
Like every year, this year I made my resolutions to proactively BE healthier. What that means to me is to eat healthier, be more active and continue to make healthier decisions on the products my family and I use. As, I cleaned out my "beauty" drawer this weekend throwing out the old cosmetics and cleansers I noticed that I've been using the same products day in and day out for years; regardless of the season.
When we moved to the Foothills at a higher elevation, I really struggled with the impacts the changing environment had on my skin; particularly the dryness. As summer turned to winter, I found that the products that had worked in the summer didn't particularly work well in the winter. This got me to thinking...Each season represents not only changes in the weather but the cyclical patterns of the earth's renewal and regeneration. Since our bodies are in tune (some better than others) with these changes, our body's needs change with the seasons. Our seasons may look different depending on where we live and some may be more subtle than others (Florida winter vs. Fargo winter), but the changes occur all the same.
Your skincare regime needs to change with the changing seasons. The processes tend to stay the same, however the products will differ.
Bottom Line...what works for your skin in one season may not work in another because your skin's needs are constantly changing. Embrace the changes and give your skin what it needs when it needs it.
Where are we now? DRY WINTER SKIN
Your old skin layers are dying in preparation for the new cells that will emerge. Remember that exfoliating will remove dead skin cells and blackheads from clogged pores. Exfoliating salt and sugar scrubs are wonderful for removing dead skin and giving your skin a vibrant glow.
Try this DIY Natural Sugar Scrub Recipe:
Honey Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup of Sugar (white of brown - raw sugar will be too rough)
1/4 cup of Oil (I like Almond and Coconut, but any natural light oil will work)
1 tsp. Raw Honey
2-3 drops of your favorite Essential Oil (I like Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Patchouli for their dry skin benefits)
Mix ingredients well in a bowl and store in an airtight container. Stores on the counter for about two months.
Wet skin thoroughly in shower. Turn off water and apply mixture to body in a circular motion, focusing on any dry rough areas. Rinse thoroughly.
Don't want to make your own scrub? Try our sugar and salt scrub
Fight Winter Dry Skin...and Win
By Arvette Hammar
Fall is in the air and winter is around the corner. Cooler weather can lead to dry damaged skin if the proper steps aren't taken to protect delicate skin. As the weather turns cooler we tend to layer on clothing and skin is covered up and for the most part left to fend for itself. We turn on our furnaces and light our fireplaces which suck the moisture from our skin and homes. Cold windy weather strips our skin of its moisture as well. Oh and those hot showers and baths we use to take the chill off – dry our skin out too. So, while we're working on a new winter moisturizer line – here are a few tips to keeping your skin moisturized and healthy this winter.
Drink lots of fluids. Keeping your insides hydrated will take you a long way in keeping your skin from drying out. We tend to not be as thirsty in the winter as the warmer seasons of the year, but your skin loses moisture even when you’re not sweating and needs to be kept hydrated. Remember to avoid caffeinated drinks which can be diuretics making you lose more fluids.
Hot Showers and Baths
Limit hot showers and baths to 10 minutes. Although those hot baths and showers feel glorious on a cold morning or chilly evening, hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead go for a warm short shower or bath and gently pat the skin dry.
Soaps & Detergents
Harsh detergent soaps will normally strip your skin of its natural oils, but even overuse of natural soaps can be drying in the winter. Use soaps with emollients like Coco Butter, Shea Butter and Castor Oil to help skin retain moisture. Limit the frequent application of soap to the areas that really need it (the “hot” spots) – application of water will clean most areas adequately (yes, I know this goes against everything we have ever been taught).
Avoid products with synthetic perfumes, deodorants and antibacterial ingredients as well as skincare products containing alcohol.
Soak in a lukewarm bath with an essential oil blends that balance out oil production and are anti-inflammatory. Lavender, geranium, rose, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood and neroli all have skin regenerative properties. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory for cracked and damaged skin. Apply a few drops of your favorite blend with a scoop of colloidal oatmeal (better in cloth bag or tea ball for easy removal) to soothe and soften dry itchy skin. Try our ITCH RELIEF Bath Soaks
Exfoliating removes dry skin and allows moisturizers to penetrate and skin cells to regenerate. Salt and sugar scrubs are excellent 1x – 2x per week or loofah and other in bath “scrubbers” are great for an one stop bathing/exfoliating experience every day.
Use moisturizers often, especially after hand washing and bathing. Whether you’re a naturalist or not – use something. Products with low water content and higher oil content will last longer and protect your skin more. Don’t forget your lips, face, ears and feet.
Body Butters are excellent for dry skin as their main ingredients are usually thick rich moisturizing butters like Shea, Mango, Coco and oils like Olive, Almond and Coconut. Apply to especially dry areas before going to bed and cover with socks or mittens for overnight improvement.
UV rays are still present in cooler temperatures – so apply at least a SPF 30 sunscreen before heading outdoors.
Don’t forget your face
Your face and lips are not protected from winter elements with clothing, so protect them with sunscreen, moisturizers and lip balms to keep them hydrated.
Turn Down Your Thermostat
Dry heat robs your skin of it moisture – Turn down your thermostat at night before going to sleep to limit the drying effects while you sleep.
Use a Humidifier
Add a humidifier to your home to put back moisture in the winter months. There are many models and sizes out there to fit your needs including cool mist and warm mist humidifiers. Humidifiers can take you a long way in reducing winter dry skin and sinus issues. Another low tech method is to fill a sink or tub full of water – but if you're in California’s current drought conditions – that would probably not be the best use of resources.
*Remember to clean humidifiers often to limit bacterial growth
Wear breathable clothing, sweat trapped against you skin under clothing can make you itch.
In our final part in our 4 part series on ingredients in your natural bath and body products - we're talking about oils.
It has been ingrained DEEP in us that oil and fat is BAD for you. But in most cases and specifically in skin care - this simply isn't true. As a Soap Maker, there are many many oils, butters and fats at my disposal to formulate products. Some oils make massive bubbles in soap and even work in salt water like coconut oil, while others add a protectant layer to skin in moisturizers like cocoa butter. Some oils are healing and reduce the appearance of wrinkles by improving elasticity and plumping the skin like Almond oil. Oil choice has always been a very individual preference like a baker’s choice in flour; we all have our personal favorites. For me, its coconut oil for soap and avocado oil for moisturizers, but being an equal opportunity artist - I select oils based on the benefit I am trying to achieve for each product. For instance if I am trying to create a vegan product, I refrain from using any type of animal fat such as lard or tallow (you’ll notice that a lot of commercial bars will list sodium tallowate as a main ingredient). If I want to create a product for acne prone skin, I will use oils that are anti-bacterial and sebum regulating like safflower and argan. There are numerous skin and hair loving oils out there and it’s all a matter of preference and purpose.
Many people assume that oils and butters clog pores and should be avoided, but this is a true myth in most cases (I love this myth busting article by Alternative Medicine Magazine - Beauty Myth Busters). Some oils are very close to the chemical make-up of the skin’s sebaceous glands while others literally regulate the production of these oils. It is not unheard of to cleanse your face with certain oils opposed to drying soaps or cleansers. I have successfully cleansed with olive and coconut oil for years.
As a firm believer of “What goes on your body, goes in your body”, the purity of oils is of the upmost importance. As a general rule, we source our oils from vendors where oil sources are traceable and use organic sustainable oils whenever possible. By ensuring the quality of the oils going into products are pure, we can limit impurities going into the body and ensure the natural benefits and nutrients are available for the body.
Here's our list of some of our favorite oils and their properties:
About Our Blog
Join me in my quest for natural alternatives in beauty and healthy living. I am passionate about my craft and strive to continuously educate myself and others on natural ways to care for ourselves and our families. I am thankful for the ability to educate others and formulate bath and body products to enhance one's overall well being.