Oh My Gourd! Five Ingredients You Need to Use this Fall

When the season’s change, so does your skin. Now that October is here and fall weather is creeping in (love Halloween!), it’s time to repair your skin from summer’s sun damage. We are sharing several articles this month with content around skin care for the fall. As the humidity level drops outside and the heat kicks on the inside, our skin needs extra moisture and reminders to stay dewy, radiant, and soft. These are the five skin-care kick gourd ingredients that will keep your skin looking great all fall and winter long.

PUMPKINS

Each fall without fail, the pumpkin obsession begins – from pumpkin spiced lattes to pumpkin pies, everyone wants a piece of this seasonal treat. This vegetable is not only good for tantalizing your taste buds but also your skin. Pumpkins are rich in enzymes, beta-carotene, amino acids and antioxidants that do wonders for your skin. For pumpkin-perfect moisturized hands this season we recommend Desert Essence Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream. This super-hydrating, fast-absorbing hand cream will restore or maintain softness throughout the winter with the added benefits of jojoba oil and licorice root. If you are a pumpkin fanatic we also recommend stepping up your game with Anadolu Natural’s Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask. This mask will scare away the dry, dull surface cells, all the while resurfacing and exfoliating the skin for a brighter complexion, smoother texture, and more even tone.

YAMS

Why not take the beauty benefits of pumpkin to the next level by adding yams to the mix? Yams have been used in Asian traditional medicine for centuries due to their tremendous healing powers. This root vegetable contains allantoin, a cell proliferate that helps the healing process of damaged skin. For the perfect fall pairing of ingredients, we recommend Jason’s Balancing Wild Yam Pure Natural Moisturizing Crème. This super-hydrating cream is specifically designed to comfort and balance transitional skin. The cooling blend of Licorice and Wild Yam works harmoniously to help increase moisture retention, and boost skin’s elasticity, clarity, and radiance. We could all use a little yam in our skin routine this season.

CRANBERRY

Cranberries add amazing flavor to food, but in addition to your fall menu, this tiny berry adds impressive beauty benefits when used as a body and skin care ingredient. Cranberries are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants that help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They’re also rich in phytochemicals with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Take advantage of the beauty benefits for the entire body with Jason’s Antioxidant Cranberry Body Wash. This blend of Cranberry Oil and soothing Aloe Vera helps fight oxidative stress while it softens your skin. Just what you need to add to your routine before the holidays hit.

JOJOBA OIL

It’s like a big glass of water for dry skin – 100% pure jojoba oil doesn’t cost all that much and it is extremely powerful. It absorbs quickly, won’t clog pores or make pimples worse, and it’s rich in fatty acids and lipids that are really, truly moisturizing. My fall and winter remedy is to keep a bottle of this within reach when my face, body, or scalp starts to feel dry. Putting a few drops in your shampoo, face or body lotion will do wonders for the overall care of your skin. If you have some serious trouble areas, you can take a little time to massage in jojoba oil directly to the problematic area. If you want your jojoba oil to be effective, we recommend Desert Essence’s 100% Pure Jojoba Oil that is made with pure and natural plant extract which will penetrate and moisturize your skin without leaving any oily residue. One added benefit of this luxurious oil is that it can be used to remove makeup.

LICORICE

Fall is the perfect time to be reminded that what we put in our body is just as important as what we put on it. Licorice Root has been valued for its soothing qualities, rich flavor, and sweetness since the great Kings of Egypt. We recommend Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea that will help with your skin by brightening the appearance, moisturizing, and just plain enjoyable.

3 Herbal Cocktails to Fall in Love With

We love delicious cocktails and mocktails year-round, no season seems more suited to them than Autumn. As Summer’s light begins to wane and we look for excuses to gather indoors, the cocktail proves a tried-and-true party starter – especially if it is as delicious as one of these below. Check out the recipes below for two cocktails (and 1 non-alcoholic drink so potent we dare not call it a mocktail) below! Cheers!!!

The Fall Okwes 

This makes one cocktail and you’ll definitely want to make more.

1 1/2 ounces Rye Whiskey (your choice)
1/2 ounce applejack
1 ounce spiced cider syrup*
3/4 ounce cider vinegar
1 drop Liquid Herbal Ginger 
Dash of baked apple bitters
Whole nutmeg

Fill a shaker with ice and add spirits, syrup, vinegar, and bitters. Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

*In a large saucepan, combine a half-gallon of apple cider, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 star anise, 1 stick cinnamon, 1/2 nutmug and 5 cracked green cardamom pods. Simmer briskly until liquid is reduced down to about 2 cups, about 2-3 hours. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally. Strain, discard spices, and set aside in a pitcher for use later. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. Extra syrup is great for waffles, pancakes, or yogurt!

The Herbal Haven

Again makes 1 cocktail, so double, triple up if you are sharing!

2 ounces Gin
1 ounce H2 Herb Syrup*
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 drop of Liquid Sage 
Absinthe mist**
Fennel pollen

Fill a shaker with ice and add gin, herb syrup, and lime juice. Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass. Mist with absinthe, drop of sage, and a pinch of fennel pollen.

*In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water until sugar dissolves. While still hot, stir in a large handful of fresh herbs, including thyme, rosemary, shiso, basil, lovage, lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemongrass, 3 drops of liquid sage, 3 drops of liquid lavender, wild fennel, coriander, pineapple sage, mint, rose geranium, and marjoram. Cover pan and cool completely. Strain out and discard herbs. Place in the fridge until cold. Extra syrup is so delicious mixed with sparkling water or drizzled over fresh fruit.

**Fill a 2-ounce spray bottle with absinthe. I know this sounds silly, but trust me!

Jaune Tonic

Makes two amazing elixirs

4 drops of Liquid Turmeric, or to taste
3 ounces fresh ginger juice
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 ounce filtered water
1 ounce grade B maple syrup, or to taste
4 grinds of black pepper
1 large pinch of ground cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Serve over ice.

How to Transition Your Skin from Summer to Fall

With the Fall in full swing, it’s time to talk skin. The Autumn season brings cooler temperatures (Yay, sweater weather!) and a drop in humidity. All these changes make for dry, stale air and even direr skin. Mix this with heaters kicking on, and it is your skins worst nightmare. Think eczema and dry, itchy, cracked skin. We’ve got some quick tips to add to your routine to help you avoid the itch fest this fall.

Think Thick

Thick moisturizers that is. Say goodbye to the lightweight, oil-free moisturizers of summer. It’s time to bulk up with a heftier hydrator. We recommend heavy creams made with essential oils that help the skin replenish during the colder months. Our top pick is Nourish Organic’s Ultra Hydrating Face Cream, which is also packed with pomegranate to firm and protect the skin from environmental damage and acai to fight fine lines and reduce signs of stress and fatigue.

A Must Add to the Mix

Body lotion is a must. When summer humidity ends, the skin may start to feel dry, stretched, and itchy. Like the moisture is being leached from your skin and the air around you. The best way to stop the itch? Load up on hydration – from head to toe. Moisturizers provide both a protective barrier over the skin, allowing it to retain hydration and draw in hydration to the outer skin layer. We like Jason’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion. This is a daily go-to lotion. Your skin will stay silky soft all winter long and you’ll smell amazing. Too late and already got the itch? Nourish and relief your skin with the Seaweed Bath Co.’s Eucalyptus and Peppermint Body Cream.

End the Daily Grind

It’s time to cut back on exfoliating. As the weather gets colder, it’s best to slow down the exfoliating routine. We recommend using glycolic treatments or a mask once a week to help remove discoloration and skin brought on by the summer sun. We love Anadolu’s Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask packed with AHA, fruit stem cells, vitamin C, plus it is packed with beta-carotene-rich organic pumpkin and manuka honey which help sweep away and dissolve dry, dull surface cells. As for masks we seek hydrating masks like Derma-E’s Hydrating Clay Mask that deeply moisturizes and replenishes dry skin. It contains hyaluronic acid, ‘nature’s moisture magnet’ an ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

A Humidifier Makes a Happy Home

Boost the hydration in your home by adding your own moisturizer to the mix with the help of a humidifier. Turn it on as soon as you put the heat on for the best results.

5 Essential Supplements to Fight Cold and Flu

As we enter into the Fall now is a great time to prepare for Cold and Flu Season. Colds are no fun. From a sore nose from tissues to just feeling crummy. The flu is even worse, and sometimes the vaccination just comes too late. While science works on that philosopher’s stone of a cure for the common cold, here are some good old natural supplements that can be used to prevent or shorten these two illnesses.

Zinc Lozenges

A study in Finland recently showed that taking zinc lozenges reduced a cold’s length to around five days. While the dosage they used was a bit high, America did a bit more research and decided 40mg a day works. However, it’s still recommended to ask your doctor before taking zinc long-term.

Elderberry

Elderberry’s helpfulness doesn’t just stop at the cold and flu, it can also help with asthma. It lessens symptoms and can soothe a sore throat. Sambucus is where elderberry extract can normally be found and is known to shorten the flu by three days. Elderberry is unsafe when the leaves, stems, unripened fruit, or uncooked fruit is consumed. The cooked or processed elderberry fruit is safer this way and has a lot of health benefits, but raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea. That’s why we suggest using a processed form of Elderberry only.

Secret tip, my favorite way to get both zinc and elderberry benefits is with Sambucus organic lozenges – great for on-the-go.

Garlic

Colds suck you dry so they can sort of be considered a vampire. Eating garlic or taking a supplement when cold or flu symptoms start appearing can reduce symptoms. Studies recommend 1 ½ cloves, so a particularly garlicky spaghetti or herb roasted chicken might do the trick.

Ginseng

Ginseng tea is one of the best supplements you can drink. Not only does it keep you from catching a cold or the flu, but if you’ve already caught one, the tea can shorten the time you are ill. Ginseng tea also helps soothe a sore throat. Besides the tea, you can also take a Ginseng supplement., Nature’s Way Ginseng is a great source.

Eucalyptus

There’s a reason those fuzzy little koalas eat this stuff. Eucalyptus mist can really help a clogged nose. In oil form, it can be applied to a cold sore to help with pain and speed the healing process. We recommend Aura Cacia’s Eucalyptus Essential Oil and right now you can get 15% off, just use code ACAEE.

While you are in the shower I would highly recommend treating yourself to a body wash that is specifically made for cold and flu by Kiss My Face. While it doesn’t provide a cure, it sure does provide a dose of soothing comfort. You don’t need to have a cold to be able to enjoy this popular bath and body wash with its ingredients that include: time-tested botanicals Eucalyptus, Fennel, Horehound and other aromatics.

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on The Good Life Blog. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

Self-Care For Your Number One

Caring for the most Important Person in Your Life; Yourself!

Self-care is extremely important because if you aren’t cared for, how can you care and do for those around you properly. Self-care is all about slowing down, and I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy trying to find my place in the world to pay attention to myself. With a husband, baby, and career finding time for myself seems almost impossible, but it’s something that I owe those around me. I know this sounds a bit “self-centered” but let me explain.

Self-care is supposed to help you balance your life. Working hard is necessary for a fulfilling life, but taking breaks at the right time is too. Run too hard and you’ll exhaust yourself. If you’ve ever seen anyone burned out, overly tired or resentful, they may have overworked themselves without allowing the breaks they so desperately need to recenter.

The thing about self-care is that the best way to do it is to design it around your schedule – build it in. So, I’m going to list some of my favorite techniques, few things I have enjoyed trying. Remember, this is to help you relax and improve yourself. Little incremental shifts towards more self-care will really create balance. It doesn’t have to be big things; the little ones add up. You’ll need to play around to see what works for you.

Relaxing Bath

Take a soak. Slow down, run a hot bath, drop in some bath salts, and just breathe. Personally, I love Aura Cacia Lavender Foam Bath or SoapCreek’s Butter Bombs. Use this as a time to meditate and unwind. Don’t think about what’s gone wrong, or what you need to get done. Just exist. It’s okay to just exist. Put on some music if your mind is too noisy, or maybe listen to a podcast that reads stories, or even crack open a good book with a glass of wine or a beer if that’s your fancy.

Watching

People-watching, nature watching, or cloud watching. Go to your favorite spot outside and simply watch. You can also hit up a cool, nook of a coffee shop that you’ve been meaning to try out. Inspect the way leaves blow, how someone moves when they talk to another, how clouds morph into different shapes. Literally, slow down to smell the roses. The world is so amazing when you slow down enough to take notice.

Say “No”

I feel like as we grow up our opinion on the word “no” inverts. Children love to say “no.” Meanwhile, many adults have forgotten how, because saying “no” implies selfishness or weakness or not capable. However, it can be healthy to say “no.” If you say “yes” too much, you may find yourself floundering. Exercise your right to say “no.” If you don’t feel like doing something (and it isn’t important) then just say “no.” If you need an excuse, say you are full on commitments currently and to give the best you need to balance. You can also say you have an appointment, that appointment is with yourself.

Socialize

We are social creatures by nature. So, you might feel a bit of a rush after talking to a stranger. It’s good for your mind and soul to make tiny connections with those around you. If you’re shy, start by just saying “hi” to a coworker you normally don’t talk to. Greet people you see, but don’t typically interact with. If strangers are still a bit daunting, try interacting more with your friends. Ask them for help and see how they react or have a compliment session where you tell each other what you like about the other.

Treat Yourself as a Friend

You live with yourself before you live with anybody else. So treat that person with a bit of dignity. Tell yourself that it’s okay. Look for the positives about yourself. If something happens, don’t judge it as yourself. Pretend that thing is happening to your best friend. You wouldn’t call them pathetic, would you? Take some time for yourself; plan an outing with just you, take yourself on a date, buy a little treat for yourself. Don’t feel guilty. You have to show you that you love yourself!

My take: I feel like this one is the most important on this list. I spend too much time judging myself for not being perfect. I’ve found that when I forgive myself, tell myself everything’s okay, I’m much less stressed. I need to work on being a better friend to myself.

Pets on the Prowl for Healthy Living

We all love our pets, and our pets love us. My own fur baby; Krypto the 3-year-old German, Labrador, and Husky gets super excited when I come home. And then gets excited again when I come back from checking the mail. Then it’s dinner! And a Walk! Do you want to take a shower? Allow me to guard the door by blocking it with my body so you cannot leave. Are you asleep? Can you tell I’m right next to the bed watching you? Maybe you’re awake? We should be awake. Let’s snuggle!

I think I can speak for a lot of pet parents when I say I spend more time and energy making sure I’m giving healthy products to my dog than I do for myself. There aren’t strict regulations for pet products, so I have to be the barrier between toxic and Krypto’s tummy.

When I first joined Soap Hope, the first thing I bought wasn’t for me, but for Krypto, because I checked the ingredients and found them more than satisfactory. Here are some products that Krypto and others love!

Bach’s Rescue Remedy for Pets

Sometimes our poor furry friends get stressed out. It happens. Krypto gets super stressed out during thunderstorms. I didn’t think dogs could hyperventilate until I got him. So, I decided to try out Rescue Remedy Pet Drops. It calms him without making him drowsy. He’s still alert, he’s just calm. No heavy panting, no panicked jumping, just a chill pooch. Let’s be honest, sometimes we also need a chill out pill, Bach’s thinks of both canine and human. Check out their entire line here.

Indigo Wild’s Yum Zum Mist

Sometimes I get home and Krypto just stinks. Where did he pick up this smell? Do I want to know? Why must he rub against my sofa afterward? I don’t even have time to bathe him. This mist is a good substitute. It’s fine for dogs and what they rub against. My first experiment with this was to spray it on Krypto’s back. He didn’t care, then ran around the house because I got too close to the leash. After that my whole house smelled good. Thank you, Zum!

A Wild Soap Bar Woof Wild

Finally, enough time to wash my dog. How did it go? Well, he pretty quickly realized that he could flee when I washed him off and ran around the yard like he was on fire. But with this soap, he still smelled good after that impromptu run, and it kept mosquitoes at bay. Unfortunately, the only picture I was able to get was of him begging for his beloved collar.

Tea Time!

Nothing beats a nice warm cup of tea. It’s a healthy alternative to other, more sugary drinks, and it can be matched to foods and moods. In fact, you can drink tea instead of taking chemicals to help with being too energized, or not energized enough. It can calm you when your life is a storm and be enjoyed to capture the happiest of times. It’s no wonder you can find tea the world over. Especially in Turkey, the world’s number one tea drinker! It seems Britain has been dethroned.

With so much tea in the world, how do you figure out what to drink? Here are a few types of tea, and their properties that can be of benefit by pouring into a cup.

Lavender Tea

Okay, you’re awake now. But it’s midnight and it’s time to sleep, your mind is buzzing. Tea won’t work, it wakes you up, right? Not always. Lavender is known to help people relax. A cup of tea made from lavender can have the same effect. Just take a deep breath, a sip of tea and feel the calm sweep over you, like a gentle purple wave that has a hint of flowers. We also love this honey lavender infused tea.

Green Tea

Feel that? That tiny yuck feeling that gives you a hint of a headache and tickle in your throat? No, you can’t. You need those sick days for when your kid gets sick or something we would never do – play hooky. It’s time for tea! A cup of green tea will help boost your immune system and throw off that cold before it can even take hold. There’s a green tea for everything from Yogi, check out their selection.

Peppermint Tea

Life can be stressful. But that’s okay, we have meditation. If only it were that easy to get into the mindset. Take a deep breath in and count 1…2…3… and remember that there’s a meeting in an hour you must present at. Let’s start over. Make a cup of peppermint tea, let it soothe you and boost your outlook. It’s specifically good at calming mental stress. All better? Take a deep breath in, chant your meditation phrase and rock that meeting.

Black Tea

Patience yields focus. But black tea is a good alternative if you’re having trouble. It increases alpha-brain waves and contains all sorts of natural goodness that helps with concentration. Task list – you just met your worst enemy.

Ginger Tea

Do you ever just wake up feeling bad? Some call it waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I call it Monday! A cup of tea infused with ginger, we love Pukka Tea’s Revitalise can help perk that mood right up. It’s just a good feeling in liquid form. You’ll be cheered up in no time.

Find your favorite natural and organic tea when shopping at Soap Hope and know that with each sip you are helping to end poverty for women and their families here locally and around the world. How’s that for a power-packed cup of tea?

Make Your Belly Smile With Probiotics

You might have heard probiotics in passing as something that’s good for you. Pro- means good, doesn’t it? Well, yeah. Probiotics are often described as being the “good bacteria” in your body. We get them at birth from our mothers so that the body can start recognizing them as helpful.

They live in your gut—gross I know—but they don’t hurt you. In fact, they help with digestion, the immune system and more. Probiotics help move food along in your gut by stimulating nerves. As for the immune system, well, it’s much closer to where these probiotics are than you think. That’s because 70% of the immune system is in the digestive tract.

Using topical application can help treat skin problems while also offering some probiotics. It can soothe inflamed skin by calming the immune system and keeping it from irritating the skin. Probiotics that specialize in helping skin can delay signs of aging and help smooth wrinkles. Finally, it can strengthen the protection of your skin. That’s just what it does on its own. When it’s used in combination with other treatments, it can help boost the effectiveness of it. If you want to give some probiotic cream a try, I recommend Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Renewal Cream.

Now that we know a bit about these helpful little bacteria, how do we get them and how do we lose them?

Get Out Bacteria! Wait, no, not you

Overuse of Antibiotics

Antibiotics fight bacteria, but it isn’t discriminatory between bacteria that are good for you and those that are bad. Typically after a sickness, you’ll lose some probiotics, but they can be easily restored. Using too many antibiotics, however, may start to kill off a significant number of your bacteria buddies. Try to stay balanced in your usage.

Lack of Exercise

Who would’ve thought exercise helps the gut? People who exercise and support themselves often have a higher number of and healthier probiotics. This might be because they eat a wider range of foods to help recover. Research is still trying to find all the connections, but they know that those who live more athletic lifestyles have a wider variety of probiotics.

Poor Eating Habits

As stated above, those who eat a wider range of foods tend to have stronger probiotics. Processed food and foods containing food coloring kill off probiotics. You don’t have to stop eating them all together, however, do limit how much of these you consume. On a similar note, overconsumption of alcohol is a major problem for probiotics. Again, you don’t have to stop. In fact, red wine has a few helpful bacteria of its own. Moderation and balance is the key.

Getting More Bacteria Buddies

Bacteria isn’t supposed to be in food, though. Well, to a certain extent, yes, and that’s why finding food containing probiotics can be a bit of a challenge. Foods considered “sour” typically have some probiotics. Kefir is fermented milk. It contains yeast and probiotics, which is very healthy. Kimchi is a Chinese dish that can contain many probiotics. It’s a source of other health benefits, like cholesterol and colon health. The most typical place you can find probiotics is yogurt. However, some people are picky and don’t like these foods, others may feel a bit squeamish about eating living things. That’s fine, along with creams and toners, you can still ingest some using supplements.

4 Ways to Try Activated Charcoal + Other Benefits

Charcoal is touted to have many benefits from whiting your teeth to riding your body of bacteria. On the market, we’ve seen that response with charcoal masks to tooth-whitening tubes of toothpaste. Activated Charcoal is leaving its carbon “footprint” just about everywhere. But the real question is does it work and is it safe? And what exactly is activated charcoal? 

When we think charcoal we think time to fire up the grill but hold on a moment. That regular charcoal is a known carcinogen, while activated charcoal is medicinal. Activated charcoal is created by the slow burning of wood, peat or even some shells that are treated with oxygen. Activated charcoal is sold and produced in many forms such as scrubs, sponges, fabrics, powders, and pills. The ingredient has been used for millennia by eastern medicine and is now just becoming popular in western countries. It’s now reached the superfood status due to its potent alkalizing detoxification properties and touted health benefits.

Here are 5 ways we love to use activated charcoal that is safe:

1. Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening 

Usually, I would be skeptical of anything saying it would whiten your teeth naturally, but I’m a believer in activated charcoal for teeth whitening. It helps to absorb discolorations in your tooth enamel. I’m in favor of toothpaste that uses activated coconut shell charcoal. Right now I’m really loving Desert Essence’s Activated Charcoal Toothpaste infused with mint. This cool gray, not black formula lets you get all the benefits from activated charcoal without the potential work of cleaning out the black charcoal bits. It also has a hit of Australian Tea Tree Oil that helps defend against sugar acids as the baking soda and sea salt gently clean your teeth. Find it here.

2. Activated Charcoal Masks

I love face masks. I have a stack of them and I choose which benefit I want to give my sink as I sink into a nice warm bath. I lean back and relax as the mask does its work. Recently I tried Derma-E’s Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask with Activated Charcoal and I was pleasantly surprised. This dual-action, deep detox mask purges pores of toxins then gently exfoliates for fresh, glowing skin. I like to keep it on as long as possible, and for someone with sensitive and dry skin, it seems to work on all skin types. This is a great product to dip your toes in the Activated Charcoal pool.

3. Activated Charcoal Scrubs

We all need to exfoliate at least twice a week and I thought I’d incorporate a little-activated charcoal into that routine to see if I saw any benefit. The fact is my pores definitely got cleaner and Indigo Wild makes a Zum Facial Scrub that uses an age-old formula to cleanse your face of dirt and impurities, which stick to the activated charcoal. When the charcoal gets rinsed, so does the toxins and gunk. In other words, the scrub cleanses, detoxifies, and hydrates resulting in beautiful, healthy skin. It comes in a glass container so you can easily just leave it in the shower and use throughout the week.

4. Activated Charcoal Deodorant

While there hasn’t been much study around charcoal in deodorant it is worth a try as charcoal is known not to irritate skin and is a natural byproduct. It claims to help neutralize odor and absorb wetness at the same time detoxifying your pits. If you try it, Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant has plant-based powders that are free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, and no artificial fragrance.

Other benefits of activated Charcoal include:

Poisoning

Activated charcoal is primarily used to cure poisoning. It’s able to absorb toxic material so that the body may more easily rid itself of it. You may have heard of someone on the news getting charcoal for an overdose, and this is why. It’s used in hospitals and can be carried in a first aid kit. If someone is poisoned, you may ask a 911 dispatcher if it’s okay to administer activated charcoal while they are on their way. It may help slow the poison until an ambulance arrives.

Gastrointestinal Issues

While not as extreme as poison, some materials can upset a stomach or intestines. Like poison, activated charcoal can help with that. It absorbs material that the intestines have trouble with and make it easier to pass through. This can reduce gas. However, to be effective, it’s best to take 500 milligrams before the meal. Check out these for your tummy.

Hangover

It happens to everyone. A misjudgment on how strong a drink is, had one too many. It’s okay because activated charcoal can help that hangover. It removes harmful toxins that alcohol contains, settling the stomach and making the morning a little more bearable. (Note: research is inconclusive on alcohol poisoning. If alcohol poisoning is suspected, call 911 or go directly to the emergency room.)

While the jury is still out on all the benefits of activated charcoal the decision is that it is safe for use, has properties that help skin and body and plus the color looks really neat!

Toxic Ingredients to Avoid

Okay, so ingredients are important. The quality, the type, and the benefit. We all need to focus on what we are putting in and on our bodies and we rely on the brands we buy to ensure they are not putting ingredients in the products we love that are toxic.
With the choice of “natural” and “organic” products, it can be difficult to sort through which ingredients are acceptable and which are downright bad for you. We care as much as you do about ingredients and we carefully review and rate every single product we sell on our shelves and those who do not past muster, well they are banned from our shelves that you shop from.
We are just going to share just a few today you’ll want to avoid when shopping outside of Soap Hope.

BHA

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a preservative linked to cancer, skin irritation, and hormone disruption.

BHT

Butylated Hydroxytoluene s a Toluene-based preservative linked to skin irritation.

Formaldehyde

You won’t typically see Formaldehyde listed as an ingredient, but “releasers” or “donors” often are listed on ingredient labels. These ingredients likely have Formaldehyde tagging along, not specifically indicated because they don’t have to. We ban this ingredient. Other names that Formaldehyde will be listed as is
  • Dmdm Hydantoin
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin
  • Quaternium-15
  • Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol
  • Polyoxymethylene Urea
  • 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3 Dioxane
  • Glyoxal
  • Methenamine
  • Benzylhemiformal

Hydroquinone

This ingredient is typically used to lighten skin and it inhibits melanin synthesis, causes skin irritation, and may cause discoloration of the skin. It is a metabolite of the carcinogen benzene.

Methyl Cellosolve

While still used in the United States, this ingredient is banned in the European Union. It is a solvent that is used as an additive in perfumes. It can cause skin irritation and may cause effects on the central nervous system, blood, bone marrow, kidneys, and liver.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone

Again another ingredient banned by our EU friends in leave-on cosmetics and they are restricted to a small amount in rinse off products. They can cause skin allergies and irritation and may be toxic to the nervous system.

Nanoparticles

We recently wrote a blog just on Nanoparticles. These small ingredients are ultrafine and may cross over permeable membranes in our bodies (including our brains and other organs). Since there is not enough research and are unnecessary ingredients, we won’t sell products that carry these in them. Nanoparticles ingredients include Nano-sized Zinc or Titanium Dioxide, Fullerenes, Nanotubes, Liposomes, and Quantum Dots.

Parabens

Parabens have been linked to hormone disruption. We ban Parabens and their cohorts Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben.

Petrolatum and Paraffin

Petrolatum is a semisolid mixture derived from processed petroleum. Mineral Oil, Paraffin Wax, Liquid Paraffin, and several other ingredients are also petroleum distillation byproducts. The concerns with these ingredients are unsustainable sourcing and possible PAHs contamination. PAHs (which stands for Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons) are linked to cancer.

Phthalates

Certain phthalates (like Dibutyl Phthalate, aka DBP, or DEHP, and DEP) appear on product labels, but most typically remain unlisted, hiding under the term “fragrance.” Since some phthalates have been linked to hormone disruption, we ask that our brand partners to avoid using them as ingredients altogether.

Resorcinol

Usually used in hair dyes, it’s linked to a host of issues including allergies, irritation, and hormone disruption.\

SPF’s

We won’t sell Chemical SPFs at Soap Hope. Why you ask? Some have been linked to hormone disruption. Others, like Avobenzone, appear safer, but remain understudied. Chemical sunscreens include Benzophenone; Diphenylmethanone; Diphenyl Ketone; 119-61-9; Benzoylbenzene; Phenyl Ketone; Oxybenzone; 2-Hydroxy-4 Methoxybenzophenone; 131-57-7; Benzophenone-3; (2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxyphenyl).  We stock (non-nano) Mineral Sunscreens that contain natural ingredients like Zinc and Titanium Dioxide, which physically block the sun’s rays and leave your body toxin free.

Toluene

A solvent that is toxic to the immune system, may cause birth defects, and usually found in nail polishes. We ask our brand partners to find safer alternatives.

Triclosan and Triclocarban

These are antibacterials and preservatives used in personal care and home-cleaning products. They’re persistent in the environment and may be associated with hormone disruption.