Tag Archives: all-natural

The Many Health Benefits of Rosemary (Pt. 2)

A couple weeks ago, we waxed poetic about the many benefits that rosemary brings to the table. If you missed out, click here and feel free to catch up on things.

Back? Good. Now that you’re here, we can go over even MORE advantages to using rosemary.

Rosemary – An Awesome Antioxidant

Rosemary is an antioxidant, rather than a preservative.

Technically, a preservative is a synthetic chemical that prevents decay and spoilage. An antioxidant is a naturally occurring element that helps to slow oxidation, which causes decay, spoilage and cellular breakdown.

Rosemary contains over a dozen antioxidant elements, including vitamin E, which makes it extremely useful in preserving organic products.

Synthetic preservatives will help a product last longer but can be dangerous to your health. Antioxidants slow the process of decay and spoilage without harming you or the environment; in fact, antioxidants are extremely beneficial to your health.

All About Oxidation – How It Affects Your Food, Body and Soap

Knowing about cellular breakdown is not just for chemists; oxidation affects us on a daily basis and has serious health implications.

WARNING: SCIENCE AHEAD.

atom with electronsTo start with, atoms need an even number of electrons to maintain stability, which allows whatever material they compose (organic or mineral) to function properly.

During the oxidation process, light and oxygen come in contact with an atom, which causes it to lose an electron and become unstable. Unstable atoms with an odd number of electrons are called free radicals, the kind of elements that cause decomposition and decay.

The term “free radicals” is often used when talking about the health benefits of pomegranate juice or green tea. On a chemical level, free radicals are like atomic thieves. To become stable again with an even number of electrons, the free radical must steal an electron from another atom. This causes a chain reaction of unstable atoms stealing from each other.

In organic matter, these unstable atoms can cause an entire cell to die, leaving leftover unstable atoms whizzing around to wreak havoc on an ever increasing number of other atoms.

This process causes organic material to decompose and eventually spoil. The oxidation of oils (called lipid oxidation) in all-natural soap can cause it to disintegrate and lose its cleansing and rejuvenating effects – unless a natural ingredient like rosemary is added to stop the process.

Free radicals are especially harmful because they cause this chain reaction of electron thievery and cellular death in human systems as well – the results of which include cancer and premature aging.

Antioxidants like rosemary stop the chain reaction of oxidation by “donating” one of their own electrons to the free radicals, which keeps atoms stable and cells healthy.

For this reason antioxidants are attributed with the ability to increase product shelf life, prevent cancer, lengthen life spans and slow aging.

Next time you buy pomegranate juice at the grocery store or order rosemary products from Soap Hope, you’ll know why antioxidants receive so much attention.

Antioxidants and Skin Care

In order to keep every ingredient all-natural, soap makers use antioxidants like rosemary. All-natural soap products contain essential plant oils, olive or coconut oil, or goat’s milk, which means they contain lipids, leaving them vulnerable to oxidation.

hand washingFor longer product shelf life in all-natural products, an antioxidant is a powerful alternative to synthetic preservatives. When used as preserving ingredient, antioxidants like rosemary are used in small extract amounts.

Applying products topically can affect your internal systems as well; what is good on the body is good in the body.

That’s why we’re such big fans of ingredients like rosemary in our products. Here are a few of our favorites!

 

 

 

Brands We Love: A Wild Soap Bar

We make it part of our Soap Hope mission to only offer soaps and products that we feel comfortable using. This means that we only work with brands we trust, and who use ingredients that are wholesome and safe.

We’ve carried A Wild Soap Bar products since we started Soap Hope (the Bluebonnet bar is my personal favorite).

Maggie Hanus, founder and “Soap Bartender” at A Wild Soap Bar took a moment to talk with us about why she’s so passionate about the work she does and the products she offers.

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Soap Hope: How long have you been in business?

A Wild Soap Bar: 20 years.

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SH: Why did you start making soap?

AWSB: I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands, so when I ran across Sandy Maines’ first little book about soap making, I decided to give it a whirl.

awildsoap
From a few years back, A Wild Soap Bar family.

I eventually became good at it through trial and error and I haven’t been able to stop ever since. My son Jory makes all of our products now, but I still stir up a batch of soap every now and then, just for grins.

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SH: What do you love most about making your products?

AWSB: I get so excited when I hear how our products are helping people with skin problems they’ve had for years! Making a difference in someone’s life, that’s what it’s all about. Being your own boss is incredibly hard work, but hearing from our satisfied customers makes it all worthwhile.

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SH: What’s your favorite soap/scent/product right now?

AWSB: I designed all of our products, so naturally, I like them all. It’s hard to pick just one, but I’d have to say that my all time favorite soap bar is our Warm Wishes Holiday Soap that’s only available Oct. – Dec. (I actually hoarded some from last year.) The intoxicating vanilla spice scent drives me wild! Other favorite soaps are Desert Sage, Sassafras, Prickly Pear, and our Yucca Root Shampoo & Body Bar.

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SH: What makes A Wild Soap Bar different from other natural skin care products?

AWSB: Our line is based around wild native plants, so that makes our products unique to begin with. For instance, everybody makes a lavender soap, but who makes a Bluebonnet Soap with real wild-crafted Texas bluebonnets in it? Everybody makes a mint soap, but who makes Horsemint Soap from locally gathered horsemint plants? There may be a few others doing it now, but we were the originals.

Other than the native botanicals, I believe our ingredients really set us apart. Every one is carefully chosen to be effective and sustainable. Our pure and natural essential oil blends are rich and complex, not the single notes used by many other soap makers. Compare our ingredient lists to others and you’ll see what I mean.

We use a wide range of natural and organic ingredients and we’ve been tweaking our ingredients for over 20 years now.

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SH: What’s your most popular product?

AWSB: Black Willow Bark Soap for Acne, hands down. I can’t tell you how many people have written to say that it’s cleared their acne or at the very least, vastly improved it. How awesome is that?

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SH: Why are all-natural ingredients so important in A Wild Soap Bar products?

AWSB: Our goal is to make products that are safe for all living things and a joy to use. What we put on our skin is important. What we dump on our earth is important. What we leave behind for our children and our grandchildren….is important! Why use synthetic chemical filled products that are poisoning our bodies and our earth when safe natural ones are just as effective?

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SH: What responsibilities do you think businesses have, when it comes to community and social responsibility?

AWSB: Businesses can make all the difference in the world! If even 1/3 of the businesses adopted some form of environmental and social responsibility it would make a HUGE difference in our hurting world.

Businesses can and should step up to the plate. It’s all about the triple bottom line…people, planet and then profit.

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SH: Why do you work with businesses like Soap Hope?

AWSB: Soap Hope has been a huge inspiration to us! They’re our ideal retailer because they’re not just in business to make a buck. We know they care because they put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. Salah’s brilliant Good Returns model was one of the sparks that initiated our own Kiva lending team, wild about good.

If every business did something similar, no matter how small, just think of the mountains we could move! We’re super proud to have Soap Hope in our family of fine retailers and we hope that more businesses will take their example to heart by creating sustainable business models that empower people to improve their own lives.

Businesses MUST take the lead if we hope to change our world and Soap Hope is a shining example for us all.

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You can find out more about A Wild Soap Bar by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to learn more.

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Here are a few of our favorites from A Wild Soap Bar!