All posts by Barbara Templin

Make Your Own Aromatherapy Candles

Who doesn’t love candles? Candles are lovely! The scents can affect your mood, lifting you up with happiness, energy, or calming your spirit. But sometimes we have to find our own scent that we cannot find anywhere. Here is the opportunity to experience and put those old mason jars to use. You just need wax, wicks, and your favorite essential oils!

Pro Tips

When pouring your candles, do it over newspaper or old magazines. This will prevent wax drops from getting everywhere. If you are like me, you aren’t passionate about cleaning off the stovetop.

You’ll want to secure your wicks with an anchor. Some will place a wax paper on the bottom of your jar or container, but I like to use little pebbles. I think it adds a bit of an earthy look to the bottom of the container. But you’ll want to ensure your wick is straight, it isn’t straight it won’t burn properly.

Environmental note, do not put your wax down the drain. This will save you a big mess.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 3 Hours | Yield: 4 Candles

What you’ll need

  • A jar for the candle
  • Wax flakes (we always shoot for sustainably sourced wax)
  • Essential oils (You can select from Aura Cacia’s wide selection found here at Soap Hope. I’m partial to the Citronella since it is summer time.
  • Flower or plant leaves
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Wick
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • A container that can be boiled safely

Instructions

  1. Turn up the heat! The first step is to melt down your wax flakes in a pot over low-medium heat. They should melt quickly, so you’ll want to pay close attention, but if it takes a little longer than expected, just turn up the heat. While it is melting, be sure and stir using a wooden spoon. I like to mix in a few flower and plant leaves for texture.
  2. Now that your wax flakes are melted add 70-100 drops of your favorite essential oils. This amount depends on how potent your essential oil selection is and how much of a scent you want. You can select from subtle to sensational.
  3. At this point, you are going to want to anchor your wicks to the bottom of the container you have chosen using either a bit of wax or a stone.  Make sure it is straight.
  4. Tape the wick in a vertical position. Lay something across the top of the container and tape the wick to it so it stays upright. I’ll use a stick.
  5. Pour baby pour! Pour that wax into your container and then repeat this skilled move until all the containers are full.
  6. Let them cool and sit for about an hour or so.
  7. Cut it out! Cut those wicks to your desired height and now you have your candle.
  8. The final step, you worked hard, grab a book, a cup of tea (find the perfect cup here), and light up that candle for a cozy, well deserved afternoon!

Too much work for you? Don’t have the time and want a sustainably sourced candle solution right now? Check out our collections.

Aging Naturally

Aging has a negative connotation for many people. It means more doctors’ visits, frailty, wrinkles, fatigue, and sickness. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. We can incorporate steps into our daily routine for better aging and health naturally. These tips are basic needs we should be utilizing; food, water, sleep, and relaxation. While we have no control over our genes, we certainly have control over these! Remember you are beautiful and aging is part of that beauty!

Anti-Aging Foods

Don’t put that dark chocolate down, it’s actually good for you. Eating a healthy amount actually slows aging. Cacao, which is that bitter taste, is the healthy part of the chocolate.  Nuts lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease due to the amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. What kind of nut works? They all do. If you’re not much of a nut or have allergies, then avocados are a good substitute to consider. Bone broth offers many needed minerals, salmon improves blood circulation with astaxanthin, figs are packed with flavonoids. Those are just some of the foods that will keep you healthy and young. Some others include; mushrooms, maca, blueberries, watermelon, green tea, pomegranates and much more. Many of these would make excellent snacks to give your afternoon a sweet kick.

Sleep

It’s starting to become common knowledge that a stable sleep cycle can help many aspects of people’s health. There are many people who don’t get enough sleep, or whose sleep schedule is erratic. A consistent sleep schedule can help the body recharge. Sleep is when our bodies have a chance to repair damage inside and out. One of those damages is daily stress, which, if left to grow, can accelerate the aging process. The best target range is around 7-9 hours. Missing that target every once in a while is fine, but even too much sleep can be detrimental to your health. If getting to sleep becomes difficult, then consider using lavender to help you calm down.

Hydrate

Did you know cells shrivel up when dehydrated? It’s sort of gross, but animal cells don’t do well when left without moisture for too long. When our cells are hydrated, they work more efficiently. This means your system is working faster and keeping your skin plump, and that can lead to fewer wrinkles as well as happy cells. 2 liters over the course of a day is a commonly recommended amount, but if you exercise you may want to raise the amount after a workout. Balance is the key because drinking too much can also be harmful.

Relax

Managing stress is just as important to keeping a youthful glow as fighting off free radicals. Traditional stress reducers include exercise, meditation, tea, and talking. Green tea is already an anti-aging drink. If you’re out at the moment, Yogi offers a Green Tea Super Antioxidant that’s made specifically to fight free radicals. If you’re not a big tea drinker, you can meditate to help center yourself. It’s as simple as finding a comfortable spot, putting on some calming music/sounds, and clearing your mind. I’m an exercise person myself, being a little too restless to meditate. A good walk with my puppy is how I wind down for the day. I find myself feeling the best when friends join me, and we just chat about mindless things. Being able to talk about unimportant matters is what helps me find my center. We don’t have to solve problems we bring up , we’re just listening. That’s another natural way to lower stress. Slow down for a chat with a friend, not to talk about world problems or deep worries. Talk about a sale you’ve seen or a cute animal video. Remind each other of a funny event, or share interesting facts you’ve learned that week.

Detox Naturally – Your Body Already Knows How!

Is it time for a detox? Detoxes are very popular, and no wonder with the promise to give you more energy, lose weight, clear up the skin, among other things.

Most all detoxes do not work. They often are counterproductive because the stripe your body of the essential nutrients needed to function. Our bodies only need to be treated right in order to detox the way they are naturally meant to. The question we should be asking is, how can we support that natural process.

A good detox routine can help you eliminate more stubborn toxins and support you at the same time. Juice isn’t in the process, sorry! But there are plenty of other natural ways you can support your body without spending a lot of money or time.

First, what are toxins? How do we get them in our body? Unfortunately, in today’s modern society, harmful chemicals are everywhere. We have to work hard to remove as many of these toxins from our life where we have control. This can be in the products we use on our bodies, our homes, and of course incorporating a healthy detox every now and then!

One of the things that shocked me the most was the build-up of bisphenol-A (BPA) and other plastics we ingest, while we eliminate most, a small percentage gets in our fat cells, messing with our hormones and accumulating over time. Maybe that is why I can’t lose those stubborn pounds, or it could be the chocolate too, most likely the chocolate, but my new reason is definitely plastic. Plastic is really the real-world villain of our time.  This is just one toxin that your body builds up.

No matter what you do, you’re picking up chemicals throughout the day, be it through physical contact or ingestion.

The benefits of a natural detox built into your routine are boundless. No one is immune from the toxic overload of life and so a natural detox can lead to some major benefits like:

  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Clear skin
  • Reduced cravings
  • Lower inflammation
  • Better digestion
  • Potential weight loss

Where to start with your natural detox? We’ve got suggestions below. Definitely always consult your doctor before starting a new routine or detox as we are all awesome, unique individuals and have different needs and reactions. You are beautiful!

Sauna / Exercise to Flush Toxins

Sweat it out! Go to your local sauna and allow the toxins to seep out of your pores, but drink plenty of water and get plenty of salt while you are enjoying this benefit. I like to add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to my water.

You can also exercise. You should do this for the obvious reasons, but you should also do it because regular exercise is another way to flush toxins from your body. Exercise increases lipolysis (the breakdown of fat tissue) and releases those toxins we talked about that are stored in your fat. Lipolysis is especially effective when you combine with liver and kidney support or adsorbents that can suck up the released toxins.  So get moving!

Drink Detox Tea

Enjoy a nice soothing cuppa while also cleansing your body. We recommend trying Yogi Detox Tea that is infused with Burdock and Dandelion, cleansing herbs that have a time-honored tradition of use, are blended with Juniper Berry and the Ayurvedic “trikatu” combination of Long Pepper, Black Pepper, and Ginger. Clove, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Licorice, and Indian Sarsaparilla are also mixed in to complete this spicy and flavorful blend.

You can also partake in Pukka Herbal Tea Detox, this tea flushes out with the old and in with the new. Sweet aniseed, crisp fennel, lush cardamom, and licorice root work to remove those pesky toxins and reset your spirit.

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal is a form of carbon that has massive surface area and a strong negative charge. It’s been around for thousands of years and is still used by both western and eastern medical professionals.

Activated charcoal contains many small chambers and cavities that ‘capture’ or bind-up unwanted materials and gas and carry it through the digestive system. Try taking a couple charcoal pills along with exercise or a sauna session. They should absorb many of the toxins you release into your gut and GI tract. Try Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal capsules. 

Shower to detox skin and hair

Enjoying a good shower with a multi-use soap that has the essentials needed to help you purge toxins can have some long-lasting benefits.

We recommend the Seaweed Bath Co. Detox Cellulite Soap and Zum Bar Clove Mint that is infused with not clover, but clove, a bud that comes from certain trees. The mix of clove and spearmint soothes damaged skin. Both these bars take a bite out of toxins.

You can also add a little of Aura Cacia’s Clove Bud Essential Oil to your body wash or shampoo. It will help mend damaged skin and hair. Now that’s something you can enjoy from root to tip.

 

Natural Deodorants That Seriously Work

Aluminum! Everyone’s heard about aluminum in deodorant. Is it safe? Is it bad? Does it matter?

Aluminum chloralhydrate is a group of salts that is made by reacting aluminum with hydrochloric acid. Its commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants because it alters the pH balance of the skin and production of sweat.  Funny thing is, it doesn’t even work that well at preventing perspiration. With that said it’s not worth using aluminum-based deodorants whatever the health risks might be. If you are looking for alternative options without aluminum here are some natural deodorants we are absolutely loving at Soap Hope!

Tom of Maine

No aluminum and a spotless track record should put you at ease. If not, well, this is the brand that my mother taught me to use. She sat me down and said she didn’t care what I used, as long as it didn’t have aluminum in it, and then recommended Tom of Maine. We both still use it today. The deodorants offer ingredients like plant extracts and water.

Schmidt’s Naturals

Want something even more natural? This deodorant uses plant extracts, vitamin E, and essential oils. Give yourself some extra aromatherapy with scents like tea tree and geranium. Several on our staff swear by it.

KIND Soap Company

Containing natural ingredients like beeswax and shea butter, this brand offers deodorants that are multi-purpose. Yes, it’s deodorant, but it’s also a muscle rub, perfume, and lotion. It’s also travel sized.

Hugo Natural

Made with botanicals, Hugo Natural’s deodorants offer a wide variety of scents. No chemicals here, just natural ingredients made from plant extracts.

Nourish Organics

This brand of deodorant was good enough to get our Best rating. That means everything is natural and organic. Makes sense for Nourish Organics. Their deodorant is made using organic ingredients and is soft even on sensitive skin.

With Summer right around the corner, it is a good time to enjoy the weather and smell naturally amazing of course!