Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Soaps Curing, Available Soon

Our newest batches of soap are now in the curing cabinet! I love making cold-process soap, it reminds me of my Grandmother and all the things she would make by hand--from pickles and sweets to clothing and crafts.

Once I start making soap it's hard to stop because while I'm working on one batch, an idea for the next batch is already forming in my head. But I'm trying to stay focused so the current batch is the best ever. It's always hard to pick a favorite, they're my babies, and there's some really yummy scents in here right now!

Our newest batches of soap include:

Tiger Eye: With a deep scent and a dusting of gold mica on top, this soap is a luxurious blend of Dark Mosses and Ancient Woods, Dark Patchouli, Red Musk, Red Currant, Black Musk, and Mysore Sandalwood. It reminds me of an Egyptian Queen. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Rice Bran Oil, Purified Water, and Sodium Hydroxide.

Handmilled Decadence: It looks good enough to eat! The real vanilla and cocoa colored these bars a natural fudgy brown, but don't eat it, it's actually a luxurious, lathery bar of decadent soap! White Musk, Sandalwood EO, Cedarwood EO, Milk and Honey, Carnation, Patchouli EO, Dark Amber, Swirls of White Chocolate, Cocoa Absolute, and a gentle stir of Vanilla Absolute. This beautiful batch is made with Coconut Oil, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sweet Almond Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, and Avocado Oil.

Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey: You can never go wrong with these ingredients. Gentle and comforting, like mom taking care of you when you don't feel well. This batch has real oatmeal, real milk, and real (local) honey. What could be better? Soy Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Beeswax, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Powdered Milk, Oatmeal, and Local Honey.

Handmilled Lotus Flower: A nice floral soap to perk you up, like a Spring day! Sunflower Seed Oil (very high in Vitamin E), Avocado Oil, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Purified Water, and Sodium Hydroxide.

Mexicali Champagne: I had to try it! This batch is made with a bottle of Corona beer and lime, of course. A blend of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Castor Oil, Soy Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Shea Butter, Purified Water, and Sodium Hydroxide.

Classic Sandalwood and Amber: Always a good choice. This pairing is like a tweed blazer that never goes out of style or that perfect pair of shoes. Comfortable. What you go for when you want to feel good about yourself. Try a bar! Made with Coconut Oil, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Castor Oil, Babassu Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Purified Water, and Sodium Hydroxide.

Curious to see what other Artisan Soaps we have? Check out our website--and don't forget, they make excellent gifts!

Monday, November 22, 2010

3 Ways to Avoid Dry, Winter Skin

Winter is coming up very quickly here...and so is dry, Winter skin. Having spent a day this past weekend outside in under 30-degree weather, I'm reminded that our dry-skin season is upon us.

The best advice I have for your skin is "don't wait until you have dry skin to start moisturizing"! You can avoid having dry skin by following some simple rules every day. Add it to your daily routine and you'll soon forget that you're evening doing it.

Moisturize Your Face--this is very important. Last Saturday when I was outside all day, everything was covered up except my face. If you wear makeup, this can help dry up your facial skin too. So make sure you moisturize--but keep it simple. There's no need for expensive, highly-marketed products; you are only paying for their commercials, highly-paid CEOs, marketing and legal teams, and research laboratories. Try natural products, they are better for you anyway. Make sure you read the label, and do not use fragrances on your face. They dry your skin out faster than if you used nothing at all. A good lotion stick with Shea Butter works well. I use our Lotion Stick with Emu Oil and Tamanu Oil religiously, very good for moisturizing and healing.

Moisturize Your Body. This should include your bath products, including shower gel, soaps, oils, and lotions. Does the product you are using really moisturize? Look at the label. Spoil yourself--get the Artisan-style soaps with the Mango Butter, Babassu Oil, Shea Butter; exotic oils and butters help keep your skin soft and supple.

How about your lotion? Again, read the label. Can you pronounce all or even most of the ingredients? Does it contain alcohol, which really dries out your skin? If so, does it at least have Shea Butter or another butter/oil to balance out the alcohol? Also, essential oils are all natural and do not have the same drying effect as fragrances. If you want to just moisturize your skin, go for unscented or essential oils. If you want to smell pretty, go for the scented lotions.

Moisturize Your Really Dry Skin Areas. I saw a woman I know in the beauty salon the other day. It's freezing cold outside and she is wearing open shoes and no socks (I was wearing winter socks and boots). She's in her 60s. I asked her why she wasn't keeping her feet warm, and she said she never wears socks and that she only had to walk outside for a minute because her daughter was picking her up. Okay...but I really looked at the skin on her ankles and heels and asked her if she ever used lotion on them (because it sure didn't look like it). She told me the name of the inexpensive lotion she uses. I told her to stop using that because it's not helping at all and her response was "but I like the way it smells". Needless to say I'm making her some Healing Lotion. Having feet that smell like almonds is nice, but having dry, cracked, painful feet is another story.

So read your product ingredients, try natural if possible. And moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Your skin will love you for it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to Use Essential Oils on Your Pet

All-natural essential oils can help humans with various issues, but they can also be beneficial to your pet--dogs, cats, horses, and other animals. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that they are much more sensitive than we are, so you MUST be careful to use less, use a diluted solution, or make sure you place it in the correct area on the animal.

A few rules: A dilution rate of about 90% should be used on your small dog or cat, and essential oils should be applied only to their paws, and Wintergreen and high-phenol oils should not be used on cats (for example, oregano or thyme).

Amounts to use:
Small dogs and cats - use 3-5 drops of diluted essential oil (90% carrier oil) per application.
Larger dogs - use 3-5 drops of undiluted essential oil per application.
Horses - 20-30 drops of undiluted essential oil per application.
(Other animals can benefit as well, such as goats, cattle, sheep, et al.)

Here's a very brief list of essential oils and blends available from Heaven and Earth Essentials that can be used to treat your pet:

Tranquility Blend or Pure Lavender - for calming an animal down, if they've been hurt or traumatized in some way, or if you or the vet are going to perform a procedure on them.

Muscle Pain Blend - for hurt muscles, arthritis. Massage on sore area. (Do not apply to open wounds.)

Pure Peppermint - Put 1 drop on a cotton swab, apply to a wood tick that is on your animal. When it releases its head, remove it from the animal (works on humans too).

Cold & Flu Blend - helps with sinus and lung congestion. Add a few drops to a mister with water, then spray the area where the animal sleeps.

Rosemary and Sandalwood essential oils - help keep your pet's coat nice and shiny.

Pure Lavender - for scratches and burns. Helps with tissue regeneration.

All-Natural Flea Spray - contains essential oils of Lemongrass, Citronella, and Lemon Eucalyptus, and helps keep fleas and other parasites away.

All-Natural Mosquito Spray - contains Wintergreen essential oil and other natural ingredients to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. (Do not use on cats.)

These are just a few things you can do with essential oils. Make sure you are using all-natural essential oils, not fragrance oils. Our pets give us unconditional love and devotion, they deserve the same in return. So make sure you give them a big hug when you are done working with them. My dog, Windsor, shown above, will do just about anything for a hug from me.