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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Moisture, moisture, moisture! Where does it go and how can you get it back?
I wouldn’t be doing my job as a healer if I did not clarify that diet is fundamental. The less healthy fats you have in the diet, the worse it gets. In the body, each skin cell is wrapped in a protective fatty membrane that helps to seal in moisture and ward of irritation from chemicals and toxins in our environment. If you don’t have enough fatty acids nutritionally supporting your body, you cannot effectively replenish this protection in the skin. This leads to faster evaporation of moisture from the skin and dryness. This also depletes elasticity, which is what allows your skin to snap back like a rubber band and remain smooth and supple.
Step #1: Eat your moisture-makers!
Loads of beneficial Omega-3s, otherwise know as Alpha-linoleic acids (ALAs) can be found in delicious fatty fish like wild-caught salmon and sardines. Eggs have the perfect balance of omegas (yolk and all) and the perfect touch of useful protein. Grass-fed butter and ghee are fabulous sources of healthy fat without all the antibiotics and toxins. Coconut oil is one of my very favorite cooking oils and sources for healthy fat because of its natural anti-fungal properties, healthy omega ratios and high heat capabilities during cooking. Avocado, hemp, flax and sprouted walnuts are also fat-fabulous!
Another moisture-major factor is to address your environment. Weather, indoor heating, and pollution can really deplete. As your skin’s capillary system works hard to accommodate the blood flow response from extreme cold and heat, higher levels of moisture are lost from the skin in the process. The light, oil-free moisturizer you use in summer may not be the best fit for winter. A refreshing gel cleanser might be a smidge too astringent once the weather turns cooler and you are not producing quite as much oil.
Step #2: Listen to your skin and adjust your regimen based on seasonal needs and environment.
If you are experiencing more depletion in winter months, look for cleansers with a creamier consistency versus a gel. I feel the cleansing step is often the most stripping culprit. Avalon Organics Wrinkle Therapy Cleansing Milk With Coq10 & Rosehip contains soothing components like lavender, arnica, and my favorite…licorice root extract. For moisture, you find rosehip, sunflower seed, borage, and kukui nut oils all in one pump, to deliver high plant-based omega fatty acid content. CoQ10 supports healthy cellular replication and Aloe makes up the base of the product, giving an added boost of nutritional and hydrating efforts. All of this protects the skin’s barrier function and natural oils while deeply cleansing.
Use a toner to support healthy acidity in the skin, hydration and optimal product penetration. Your skin is best at a more acidic 4-5.5 pH. Those natural sweat and oil secretions in the skin create your natural barrier function, called the acid mantle. Even water can be too alkaline and strip the skin! So the best action is to fortify with a refreshing, hydrating blast of toner after cleansing and before applying your moisturizing products. Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner works to acidify the skin while delivering loads of humectants, which pull moisture from the air into the skin. Additionally, you get the added benefit of vitamin C to boost radiance and help protect the skin from pollution, weather elements, and other free-radical attacks.
Add a humidifier to the room. Indoor heating is the worst at drying the skin and moisture resources. A good humidifier can be an inexpensive way to put a bit more moisture back into the air and help to alleviate dry skin, chapped lips, nose bleeds and other pesky cold-weather conditions. It’s even been known to reduce some snoring! Just be sure to clean them properly and refresh the water often.
Most heavy moisturizers tend to have a very fat molecular structure. The crazy thing is, those fat molecules are often too big to penetrate the pore! That means, your “nourishing cream” is simply sitting on the surface, hydrating dead skin cells, but never efficiently delivering nutrients to where your skin can actually use it to balance and change its moisture concentration. That’s why many folks have used the same heavy cream for years and their skin is still dry!
Step #3: Heavier isn’t always better!
Look for hydrators and moisturizers that absorb readily but embody powerful nutrition to support the way the skin is functioning and retaining natural moisture. One of my favorites is ACURE’S Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer. It penetrates easily and relies on the power of essential fatty acids from argan oil and lilac extract, in combination with powerful plant cultures like chlorella, clinically proven to support moisture, cellular rejuvenation and optimal collagen and elastin.
Add nutrient-dense face oils like Avalon Organics’ Intense Defense Antioxidant Oil With Vitamin C to your moisturizer. I call it cocktailing in its highest form! Before applying your favorite lotion or cream, add 2-4 drops of this oil to create a more beneficial boost to the skin’s moisture value and support system. Apricot, raspberry and argan oils, all rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, absorb quickly to reinforce the skin’s natural lipid barrier and lock in moisture. Absorbable vitamin C protects the skin against environmental stressors.
As an added treatment while you sleep, layer on ACURE’s Magical Wonderfluff Hydrating Booster Mask before going to bed. With gardenia and argan extracts and a concentration of high omega-rich oils, you get a light-weight treat that replenishes while supporting more rapid turnover and healthy collagen regeneration.
It’s likely that you’ve seen ads or commercials touting its many benefits, but you might be wondering: what makes natural mineral makeup different? Or, you may have recently purchased some mineral makeup and you’re thinking: Is there anything different to applying mineral makeup versus “regular” makeup?
Before We Start Applying Mineral Makeup
Let’s first look at what is in mineral makeup.
Mineral makeup has been around for several decades now as a beauty product, and it’s known for its light finish and “barely there” feel.
Mineral makeup contains many of the same ingredients as other types of makeups — just without the preservatives or skin irritants that can be found in a lot of other brands. In fact, many dermatologists recommend applying mineral makeup on skin disorders like rosacea and eczema, because it doesn’t contain fragrances or oil that can cause breakouts or redness.
And even better — you can find natural mineral makeup for your whole face. From foundations to eye shadow, you can nail that night-on-the-town or everyday look that you’re going for.
Setting the Perfect (Mineral) Foundation
Starting your look with the right foundation is key — and especially during the warmer months, having a foundation that still lets your skin breathe is a bonus!
Before you begin applying mineral makeup, you’ll want to start with clean, moisturized skin. Throughout the application process, you will be adding layers of powder to your skin. If your face is too dry, you might wind up with a “powdered” look.
Once you’ve got a clean and well-hydrated face, applying the mineral foundation is easy — just swirl a makeup brush in the foundation, tap away any excess, and apply as usual. If you prefer more coverage, you can always add an additional layer.
Note: You’ll want to stock up on some quality brushes that will last you a good while. You can generally find a brush set with all your basics just about anywhere. Mahya Cosmetics offers a sweet 7-piece set that’s great for everyday use, even when you’re traveling.
Covering and Concealing
For any unwanted blemishes or scars, mineral makeup has you covered. A mineral concealer is perfect for minimizing the appearance of any spots or lines, without clogging your pores.
These concealers also work on dark circles under your eyes, leaving you with a brighter, fresher appearance.
The concealer is applied by using a smaller brush, for a more focused application on blemish areas. Dip the brush in concealer, tap away excess powder, and gently “dot” the area that you want to cover up. Be sure to blend the area a bit so that the look is consistent and not “patchy” looking.
You’re Making Me Blush
Everyone loves some color, and no look is complete without a great blush to highlight those cheeks. You can choose from matte applications or a blush with some sexy shimmer to it.
From fresh and youthful to sultry and dramatic, there are dozens of color options for you to choose from. Remember — mineral makeup is highly pigmented, so you’ll want to use a lighter hand when applying the blush to your cheeks. You can always add more!
The Eyes Have It
No look is complete without the perfect eye! Whether you’re heading into the office or out with your friends, there’s a mineral eye shadow for the occasion.
It’s worth noting that mineral eye shadow will stay on the skin longer if a primer is used before you apply it. Don’t have any primer? Just a bit of moisturizer or some of your foundation applied to your eyelid will give the eye shadow something to stick to. Have fun!
Give your look some additional glam with a gorgeous bronzer. You can use the bronzer to add more color to your skin, enhance your cheekbones, or add highlights and contouring to your look — get creative!
The bronzer is applied just like your foundation, with a larger brush to cover more surface area. Use a light hand here, as well. You can always build on more powder if you’d like the effect to be more dramatic.
Finishing the Look
After you’ve put the time into creating your perfect look, you’ll want to make sure it stays put, right?
Grab one of your larger brushes after you’ve applied the rest of your makeup, and gently dust your face with the finishing powder. This sets the mineral makeup and leaves you with a soft finish to your look.
So if you’ve been curious about applying mineral makeup, maybe it’s time you gave it a try. Start with something fun like an eye shadow or blush, then branch out into the foundation, bronzer, and finishing powder. Your new look is just a few brush strokes away!
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), bleach, and ammonia are known lung irritants that worsen the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
When products containing household bleach and ammonia are mixed, they emit dangerous toxic gases into the air that have adverse effects on the body when inhaled.
New research shows that fragrances used in household cleaners, when mixed with ozone (O3), can create carcinogenic formaldehyde particles in the air.
Because of all of the risks associated with the use of harsh chemicals in our house, don’t you think it’s high time we reconsider the old “tried and true” cleaners as the benchmark of cleanliness?
In all honesty, I never liked the smell of bleach or any other industrial cleaner when I was growing up. As I’ve grown up and taken on the responsibility of managing the care of my own home, I’ve come to love the fresh and light aromas of pure plant extracts and essential oils found in natural kitchen cleaning products.
Products made with safe, natural ingredients instead of artificial chemicals can be just as effective at cleaning and sanitizing your home. And, you don’t have to give up “the smell of clean” just so you can get a product that’s safe enough for even the smallest hands and feet (or paws) in the house.
If you’ve ever caught your toddler (or pooch) eating food off the kitchen floor, you can appreciate the overall safety of a natural kitchen cleaner like Better Life’s All Purpose Cleaner.
Once lauded as an aid in preventing illness and increasing safety, Triclosan, which is found in many anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers, has been shown to have no demonstrable benefit in preventing everyday illnesses. In addition, triclosan may pose additional health risks, like the contributing to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria and causing adverse hormonal effects, when used long-term.
Top to Bottom
Even though my mom may not have had it entirely right with the “smell clean, is clean” mantra, she taught me that when we know better, we do better. It’s time to do better with our kitchen cleaners.
So when it’s time to clean your kitchen again (When is the kitchen really ever clean?), avoid the temptation of the “old smell test” and instead, opt for the refreshing aromas of natural ingredients that won’t overwhelm the olfactory receptors of your family. They will thank you, and your kitchen will thank you as well.
Here are a few of our favorite natural kitchen cleaners at Soap Hope.
One of my favorite forbidden treats as a little girl was the delicate glass jar on my grandmother’s vanity, filled with fragrant, pink-tinted rosewater. I would dab just the faintest drop of the blushing potion beneath my nose so that the heady but soothing aroma of rose lingered well after the car ride home.
It wasn’t until much later, on my own journey that I discovered the benefits of that sweet elixir went far beyond its aroma. As my own path meandered towards natural and plant based solutions for both health and beauty, I came to understand the lasting allure of the rose for both mind and body.
The Symbol of Love
The symbol of love, The Queen of the Flowers, the rose draws countless references in art, history, and culture. With the recent passing of Valentine’s Day, roses have been absolutely everywhere.
From ancient Asia to Rome and Greece, this flower is steeped in mythology and revered as a most precious botanical. It was said that in India, Vishnu built his bride, Lakshmi, out of 108 large and 1008 small rose petals.
Nearly everywhere you look in ancient history, the rose is revered. What you may not know about this bud, is that it is honored just as much for its health and beauty prowess as it is for its appearance and aroma. In particular, the rose hybrid known as rosa damascena (or the Damascus Rose) offers wonderful benefits for the mind and body.
Not Just a Pretty Flower
The aroma alone of the Damascus rose carries a potent combination of both relaxing and uplifting properties. As an aromatherapeutic, rose oil is touted for improving and helping to stabilize the mood of regular users. I have to admit, even though I’m not wild about highly floral scents, I am unable to close my eyes and take a deep breath with my face buried in a rose without coming out the other side almost mystically happy.
But the reasons roses have been used for health and beauty for centuries go far beyond a pretty smell. From controlling acne to maintaining moisture in dry or maturing skin, rose oil has many phenomenal benefits:
CLEANSER: Like many essential oils, rose carries both antiviral and antibacterial properties, making it an outstanding cleanser.
MOISTURIZER: As we are learning in the world of natural health and beauty, oil cleansers carry many benefits for maintaining moisture in the skin. Rose is particularly helpful to those facing dry conditions or wishing to maintain their skin’s moisture as they mature.
ACNE: It may seem like a contradiction for something that hydrates so deeply to also help prevent and control blemishes on the skin, but rose oil is known for both of these things, making it an ideal ingredient to have in your routine in all stages of life.
The skin on our face is typically the most exposed part of our body. Harsh winter air, UV rays, and the natural processes of aging can damage skin and slow down cell renewal.
But there’s still hope! You can ensure that your skin is getting the nourishment and protection that it needs by incorporating these natural products into your skin care regimen.
1. The Right Cleanser
Washing away the day’s impurities is essential to your skin’s health. Leaving behind any grime and dead skin on your face can lead to breakouts and further skin damage.
Choosing a cleanser, though, is no easy task! You’ll want to find a product that is effective enough to wash away impurities, but not so harsh that it strips away all of your skin’s natural moisture and oils.
Probiotics, enriching argan oil, and omega fatty acids make this cleanser a gentle but seriously nourishing solution.
“It’s the perfect mix between a gel and a cream cleanser,” says one Acure customer, “[it] doesn’t leave skin with a residue and removes every bit of makeup, even smudge-resistant liquid liner and mascara. Very gentle and soothing, doesn’t leave my skin sensitized or raw afterwards. This is definitely a new staple in my face care routine!”¹
“The facial cleanser doesn’t leave skin with a residue and removes every bit of makeup, even smudge-resistant liquid liner and mascara.”
2. A Gentle Toner
Some might not consider this step of facial care to be entirely necessary, but we’re big fans of toners.
Applying a toner after you cleanse helps to balance out skin tone and soothes any irritation.
Moisturizers are a no-brainer. They deliver vitamins and nutrients, and lock in hydration for your skin, keeping it healthy and nourished. Who wouldn’t want that for their skin?
Picking the right moisturizer can be a chore, though — there are a lot of different options, and finding the right one for your skin’s needs means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
Acure’s Oil Control Moisturizer does just what it says. Combat oily skin and help prevent future breakouts by applying after you wash and tone. The moisturizer contains Lilac Stem Cells, which help to reduce acne lesions and protect against more irritation. The Chlorella Growth Factor renews damaged skin cells, and improves your skin’s tone and texture.
To support cell renewal and skin elasticity, try Acure’s Gotu Kola Stem Cell Day Cream. It goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly, and protects your skin from free radicals and environmental damage.
4. Night Creams
Our bodies undergo repair while we sleep, and we can help boost this restorative process by using products that benefit cell renewal and deliver extra hydration.
Acure’s Night Cream contains Moroccan Argan Oil, which moisturizes and feeds your skin. Chlorella Growth Factor strengthens the elastin fibers and collagen in your skin, so you’ll wake up looking refreshed (even if you’re not feeling it).
5. Masks and Scrubs
These kinds of products should not typically be used on a daily basis, but including them once or twice a week in your routine will help boost the effectiveness of your existing regimen.
“I’ve never used a scrub that made my face feel so good after using this one. It’s very effective, and strikes the perfect balance between working and still being gentle. I use this everyday before I use my cleanser,” said one Acure customer.²
“I’ve never used a scrub that made my face feel so good after using this one…I use this everyday before I use my cleanser.”
6. Facial Oils
It seems counter-intuitive to use oil on our skin – doesn’t oil encourage breakouts or unwanted shine?
But treating the face with oil provides your skin with the vitamins and nutrients that it needs, without stripping away any of your skin’s moisture.
Acure’s Marula Oil treatment uses 100% pure wildcrafted marula oil. Widely known for its anti-aging properties, marula oil is often referred to as a “miracle oil” for its extremely potent moisturizing and nourishing agents. Even better – it’s great for all skin types!
Your Ideal Facial Care Routine
Now more than ever, there is an overwhelming array of beauty products available for your facial care routine. Finding what works best for your skin type and its specific needs – and keeping your regimen consistent – will help to ensure that you maintain healthy skin and a fresh, happy face.
“Any more natural and you’d be naked.” (Indigo Wild)
Irreverent, provocative, tongue-in-cheek. Call them what you’d like, but the folks at Indigo Wild have genuine personality.
“You can’t appeal to everyone,” explains Indigo Wild owner and president, Emily Voth, about their company’s “wild” culture.
Their Zum Bar soaps have been on Soap Hope shelves since we first started, and Indigo Wild’s collection of quality, natural skin care is still one of our top selling brands.
It’s a pleasure to work with individuals and companies that are so passionate about the work that they do, and if you’re familiar with Indigo Wild, you’ll know that the same passion extends to the products they create.
Indigo Wild: A Passion for Natural
Emily had been working in the corporate world for several years when she started to recognize how disenchanted she felt with her career.
“I wanted to do something I cared about,” says Emily. “I’d been working in that environment for so long, but I looked up at one point and just thought, ‘Is this it?'”
She’d cultivated an interest for aromatherapy and herb gardening, and her yoga instructor suggested turning one of her passions into more of a business.
“So I started sneaking my lunch into the library, researching everything I could; I started testing and making soaps, and gave those to my friends to try out,” she said.
Her husband helped her out (he designed the Indigo Wild logo on a napkin) and they prepared to set up shop at her local farmers market. Her soap bars were a huge hit.
“We sold out of everything,” she said.
She gave herself six months to get the business going, and did freelance work to help generate an income. Not the easiest route to take, but Emily couldn’t give up the idea. “I had to start something where I felt more like myself.”
But that’s just where things began.
Building a Culture that Cares
This kind of tenacious, self-motivated spirit has carried through Indigo Wild’s overall company culture, as well.
“It takes a special kind of person to work here. You can’t teach passion or train people to be motivated,” says Emily.
And it’s the company’s authenticity and passion for creating such quality products that has brought them so much success.
Building a culture where the employees are not only allowed, but encouraged, to fly their freak flags has helped to establish Indigo Wild as a nationally recognized natural brand. They’ve been recognized in numerous publications, like InStyle and Rachael Ray’s Everyday.
A Recipe for Success
Indigo Wild’s bar soaps use goat’s milk — which is why they have the adorable goat on all of their bars and products.
Goat’s milk is naturally moisturizing, pH balanced for skin and hair, and full of vitamins that our skin craves.
Combining such wholesome ingredients with aromatherapeutic essential oils makes the Zum soap bar popular with our Soap Hope customers — and it’s now carried in stores all over the U.S. (and Canada!).
Indigo Wild is also dedicated to several worthy causes, including a local dog rescue group and programs that support breast cancer survivors.
It’s that sort of commitment to product and making an impact that makes us proud to carry Indigo Wild here at Soap Hope.
Here are a few of our favorite Indigo Wild products!
Any brand or product we carry at Soap Hope is one that we’ve tested and believe in. The people behind those brands are just as passionate as we are about their products, and it’s always a pleasure to work with individuals and companies that are so conscientious and committed.
Joshua Scott Onysko founded Pangea Organics in 2000. He started the company with a dedication to creating organic skin care products that are nourishing and effective.
Pangea Organic’s message is clear — everything the company makes is natural and ethically sourced, out of a reverence for our planet and commitment to living mindfully.
“Every decision we make affects the greater good,” says Joshua. “When we live with that in mind, life is more fulfilling, more authentic.”
From the ingredients that are hand-picked for Pangea’s products to the company’s mission of creating a more sustainable future, Pangea is dedicated to creating inspiring experiences for its customers.
A Born Explorer
Joshua grew up in the Northeast, and was certainly not your typical teen.
“I didn’t fit in at school, didn’t do very well in my classes, except for art. At 16, I talked to my parents, and left in a VW bus to travel and explore the world. I wanted to experience different cultures,” he explains.
Joshua spent several years traveling, discovering new traditions and exploring other countries. Those experiences and the people that he encountered during his travels inspired the launch of Pangea Organics.
The Pangea Vision
Joshua had been committed to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle before the idea for Pangea came about, and has adhered to his original vision for the company: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial.
Pangea Organics prides itself on using only organic and nutrient-rich foods in their skin care products.
“We spend months discovering the world’s most effective, nourishing ingredients to create the best skincare products available,” says Joshua.
The Pangea Skin Care Line
We’re thrilled to be able to offer Pangea Organics here at Soap Hope. Joshua’s commitment to finding the most effective and sustainably-sourced ingredients and creating a premium skin care line means we’re able to offer our Soap Hope customers some the best products out there.
With a focus on improving and maintaining healthy skin, Pangea Organics’ products help to defend our largest organ against free radicals, support collagen retention and hydration, and nourish aging skin with nutrients found around the world.
It’s that kind of dedication and commitment to sustainable practices and natural skin care that makes us proud to carry Pangea Organics. Check out some of our favorite products below!
Sometimes hair doesn’t produce enough oil — and as we get older, our sebaceous glands stop producing as much sebum. This can lead to not just dry hair, but a dry scalp, as well (which is what causes dandruff).
Your hair isn’t keeping moisture in.
Each strand of hair is protected by a cuticle, shielding the strand from heat and other types of damage. The cuticle also helps to lock in the sebum that your scalp is generating.
Excessive dryness can also cause split ends, where the hair shaft splits or frays due to heat applications or “mechanical stress” (like using a curling iron).
Some of this damage can be prevented and repaired, with a few adjustments in your hair care routine.
Stop washing your hair daily. This strips the hair of its natural oils and can actually lead to the overproduction of oils, disrupting your hair’s natural balance.
Use a shampoo that’s less harsh on your hair — and especially shampoos with toxic ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate or synthetic preservative. The Seaweed Bath Company handcrafts their shampoos using quality ingredients that feed and nourish damaged hair.