Tag Archives: soap

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!

 

 

 

Why we love castile soaps

If you do a quick Google search on castile soap, you’ll find it has just about as many uses as a Swiss army knife.

Soap making has a long history, spanning several centuries and a variety of production methods.

The chemical process for making soap has not, however, changed all that much. Fats are boiled with alkali, which then produces soap (yay!) and glycerin.

Castile soap: a brief history

The quality of soap produced is especially dependent on the ingredients used. Early attempts, for example, relied on ash. In Spain, the salsola plant was burned to produce an ash called barilla.

“This, used in conjunction with locally available olive oil, offered a good quality soap which, by salting-out or “graining” the boiled liquor with brine, allowed the soap to float to the surface, leaving the lye, vegetable colouring and impurities to settle out. This produced what was probably the first white hard soap: Jabon de Castilla, or Castile soap, also known to pharmacists as Sapo hispaniensis or Sapo castilliensis.

Eventually, “castile soap” became the generic name for the hard, white, olive oil soaps, which we still use today.

Soap
“Aleppo soap 03″ by Bernard Gagnon

Castile soaps can also be made with coconut oil, palm oil, or any other quality vegetable-based oil — and castile soaps also come in liquid form. The liquid soaps use potassium hydroxide to saponify the vegetable oils, while the hard bar soaps use sodium hydroxide.

Just like the food that we eat, it’s crucial that the products we use on our skin are nutrient-rich. Which is why we’re especially big fans of castile soap!

Made of goodness

Castile soap is made with olive oil, which contains all kinds of fatty acids and antioxidants, along with vitamins E and K — all good things!

Vitamin K has been found to help prevent the calcification of our skin’s elastin (the protein that gives skin the ability to spring back). Fatty acids are known to reduce the body’s production of compounds that cause inflammation.

All kinds of remedies

massage-389716_1280

Castile soap (as mentioned before) uses olive oil, which has long been used as a remedy for skin care and health. Greeks, for instance, used olive oil during massage, to help prevent injuries, relieve muscle fatigue, and eliminate lactic acid buildup. Olive oil has also been recommended as a treatment against skin diseases like eczema and dandruff.

Versatile AND healthy

peg-238525_1280Castile soap doesn’t just clean and nourish your skin — you can use it for washing laundry, cleaning carpets, and scrubbing your vegetables!

There are a host of reasons to love and use castile soaps, and we’ve only named just a few here.

 

How else do you use your castile soap goodness? Comment below!

 

Some of our favorite castile soap products: