Archive for the ‘SoapWalla’ Category

The creator of Soapwalla, Rachel Winard, has so graciously provided the following DIY recipes for holiday gift ideas.  Her product line, Soapwalla is one of my absolute favorites so I know you’ll appreciate her bountiful knowledge –   Enjoy!

Want to give your loved ones something special this year? Why not make them something that’s sure to please, won’t break the bank, and is good for the environment to boot!

Below are some basic, high quality skincare products that can be created with items you’d find in your kitchen cabinets.  Dressed up in beautiful jars and lovely labeling, these presents will be a huge hit.

You can purchase many of the specialty ingredients, as well as bottles and jars, from one of my favorite sources — Mountain Rose Herbs.

Face Mask – for all skin types

You’ll need:
1 cup kaolin clay
1 cup baking soda
1 cup finely ground oat flour (or rolled oats ground in your food processor)
15 drops lavender essential oil

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add essential oil and mix thoroughly with your fingers until the oil is thoroughly incorporated.  Divide into 4- or 8-oz glass jars.

How to use: pour a generous amount into the palm of your hand or small bowl (1-2 tablespoons). Add enough water to make a thin paste. Apply to dry face and neck in a gentle upward-sweeping motion. Let set for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Use twice a week.

Volumizing Hair Rinse

½ cup witch hazel
¼ cup rose water
Splash vodka (½ oz at most)
2 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops rosemary essential oil

Mix all ingredients and store in an opaque 8 oz. glass or metal bottle.  Shake thoroughly before each use.

How to use: twice a week, apply rinse to damp hair that has been washed. Allow to penetrate for a few minutes, then rinse off.

Uplifting Eau de Toilette (Room Spray)

2 cups distilled water (not tap or purified)
½ cup vodka
10 drops each of the following essential oils: lavender, lime
5 drops cedarwood essential oil

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in opaque 4 oz. glass or plastic spray bottles. Let sit for 1 week, to allow the ingredients to meld. Shake before each use. Can be used as room refresher, on bed linens, and in bathrooms and kitchens. Do not spray on food, pets, or children.

Rachel Winard is the Brooklyn-based creator of Soapwalla, a line of luxury organic face and body products made with the highest quality organic and food-grade ingredients, never questionable additives such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or harsh and synthetic additives.

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I’m admitting, right here and right now, that I do not make my own deodorant.  Statia does, and her and her husband use it often.  But I have not gone down that road personally.  I have had success using several brands of natural deodorants and with some time and patience, I do not need to rely on a stick of Dove for security.  In fact the last time I did, I smelled within a few hours.  Not sure why, but that was the last time I used a traditional deodorant.

I will also admit that not every natural deodorant works for me, and that’s not because the product doesn’t work or is faulty.  But sometimes, certain recipes don’t mesh with your body chemistry.  You have to find what works best for YOU.

In order for me to consider a deodorant safe, it must be free of the following ingredients:

Aluminum:  Research is suggesting that aluminum may be linked to Alzheimer’s Disease  and some aluminum ingredients may be hormone disruptors to boot. Propylene Glycol, Parabens, Phthalates, Triclosan (believe it or not some “deodorants claiming they are natural contain Triclosan) and all the other usual suspects that I scan for in approved products.  This list is in alphabetical order and is not comprehensive so if you know a brand you think belongs here, let me know and I’ll verify it and add it to the list.

Best In Show

Runner Up’s (Better but not great)

  • Jason Natural Cosmetics Deodorant – This works well as a deodorant but the first ingredient listed is Propylene Glycol.  I have used this as my safety net deodorant when I needed extra protection but my armpits started peeling recently so I have since stopped using it.
  • Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant – Same deal.  Uses Propylene Glycol as their main ingredient.  My parents both use this with great success but I had a not effective relationship with it myself and never went back.
  • Kiss My Face Active Enzyme Deodorant – Not chemical free and contains Phenoxyethanol.
  • Earth Science Natural Deodorant – Not chemical free and main ingredient is Propylene Glycol.

I’ve chosen not to list crystal deodorant stones and sprays because of the possible unintentional aluminum content.  To read more about that please visit Stephanie Greenwood’s blog for more information.  If you disagree, that’s fine. I’m sure I’ll get some crap about not including it but…tough noogies.

DIY: If you’re into making things yourself, please check out our recipe for natural deodorant!

The creator of Soapwalla, Rachel Winard, has so graciously provided the following tips and DIY recipes for dealing with Rosacea – a common question around here.  I have a mild case of it myself.  Her product line, Soapwalla is one of my absolute favorites so I know you’ll appreciate her bountiful knowledge –   Enjoy!

The single most common question people ask me is what are the most effective natural ways to treat rosacea, a chronic and sometimes disruptive disorder.

What is Rosacea? Rosacea is a skin disorder that causes redness and swelling, primarily on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Others experience increased sensitivity and redness on the scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and eyes. Some people mistakenly confuse rosacea for acne, sunburn, and excessive flushing. The National Rosacea Society estimates that well over 16 million Americans suffer from this skin condition.

I know firsthand how debilitating face rashes can be. When I have a particularly bad face rash, I dread and will do almost anything to avoid public outings.

Causes

What causes rosacea? Experts aren’t sure, although one recent study suggested a link between rosacea and the H Pylori bacteria that commonly causes ulcers.* However, there are certain universal rosacea triggers that we may avoid, including:

  • Stress: goes without saying. Nearly impossible to implement, but try to incorporate stress reduction techniques in your daily schedule. I personally cannot function without my yoga practice.
  • Temperature: extreme temperature changes, strong winds, saunas and steam rooms, etc.
  • Beverages: avoid alcohol, caffeine, and excessively hot drinks – in temperature as well as spiciness.
  • Foods: this varies, but the most common culprits include chocolate, vinegar, nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes), spicy foods, cheese, and citrus fruits. A specific food allergy can also manifest itself as skin redness.
  • Skincare Products: avoid witch hazel, alcohol, acetone, and anything that causes burning or stinging upon application. Topical steroid creams can also aggravate red skin. When my skin is particularly inflamed, I cannot use aloe vera as it literally burns my skin (I learned the hard way, and I’ll spare you the gory details). In addition, overzealous skin cleansing and harsh exfoliation exacerbate redness and tenderness.
  • Systems: hormone imbalances or synthetic hormones (think hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills) and poor digestion are linked to increased skin flares.

Treatments

I firmly believe that we can help our skin repair itself through diet, supplements and a holistic skincare regimen. Below is a list of highly potent ingredients that replenish our bodies and calm down redness and irritation:

  • Wholesome Foods: I often talk about the link between healthful eating and happy skin, and it’s true – what we put in our bodies is as important as what we put on them. Support your body by eating fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains like brown rice and millet, and including nuts and seeds that are high in essential fatty acids, such as flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Supplements: Make sure you are getting a daily dose of B-Complex vitamins. If you are vegan, you need to take a supplement. I personally like Floradix Iron & Herbs.
  • In addition, think about incorporating probiotics, milk thistle (a potent liver cleanser), bromelain (digestive enzyme found in pineapple) and turmeric (a spice with incredible anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties) into your daily routine.

  • Skincare: use skincare preparations that are designed specifically for sensitive skin. Seek out products with organic, whole ingredients and that avoid synthetics, chemicals, petrochemicals, and preservatives. Look for the following ingredients, shown to tone down redness and reduce inflammation:
    1. Evening Primrose, Borage and Black Currant Oils – rich sources of gamma linoleic acid, an Omega 6 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. [Note: these oils should not be heated prior to use, as their potent health benefits will be reduced.]
    2. Blue Chamomile, Lavender and Carrot Seed Essential Oils – Blue Chamomile contains a concentration of Azulene, which has potent anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties. Lavender, regarded as the most versatile therapeutic oil, is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory must-have addition to your skin care products. Carrot Seed essential oil contains substantial amounts of Vitamins A, C, B1 and B2, and effectively removes toxins from the skin, giving it a fresher and firmer appearance.
    3. Calendula – Calendula oil is perhaps the most successful oil in diminishing dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, and other skin ailments. An easy DIY calendula recipe is as follows:Place ¼ cup fully dried calendula flowers (make sure there is absolutely no moisture on the flowers; otherwise your oil will spoil) in the bottom of a clear glass jar that has an airtight seal. Pour 1 cup of your favorite oil (olive oil, sweet almond oil and jojoba oil are ideal) over the flowers, completely immersing them. Shake vigorously and place on a sunny windowsill. Shake once or twice a day for a month, until the oil turns a beautiful deep golden color. After a month, strain well and store in a dark glass container away from light and heat. This calendula oil can be used directly on the skin whenever you feel redness or irritation, and truly is a wonderful – and essential – addition to any sensitive skincare regimen!
  • Cosmetics: While we ultimately want to eradicate redness and irritation, sometimes we just need to get out of the door looking – and feeling – confident. Luckily, these days we have a number of ethical, progressive cosmetics companies to choose from. Some of my favorites include RMS Beauty and Jane Iredale. Jessa Blades, founder of Blades Natural Beauty and an immensely talented make-up artist and eco-beauty consultant, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to choosing and applying natural makeup and skincare products. Please stop by Jessa’s website for more information.

NOTE: Please test all new ingredients or formulations on the inside of your wrist to ensure you don’t have a sensitivity or allergic reaction.

Rachel Winard is the Brooklyn-based creator of Soapwalla, a line of luxury organic face and body products made with the highest quality organic and food-grade ingredients, never questionable additives such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or harsh and synthetic additives.

*http://www.rosacea.org/rr/2001/winter/article_4.php

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Categories: Eco Beauty News & Tips, Skin Care, SoapWalla

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soapwalla-deodThere’s been many times where I’ve tried different products here and there and although they are natural and organic, they just don’t measure up to my girlie need for something indulgent. I’m a reformed bath product junkie so the stuff I choose now has to be safe and also work well.  But to really impress me it needs to make me feel like I’ve invested in something special. I know that I found a line of products that meet all my standards when I look forward to getting out of the shower to use them.  That is definitely the case with the products I have tried from Soapwalla.

Rachel, the “chef” behind the Soapwalla kitchen, created a line of truly natural products that not only work, they smell and feel unbelievably awesome.  Rachel, kind soul that she is, sent me 4 samples and while I loved all of them – I immediately went to her store and ordered 2 things: Her Deodorant Cream and the Luxurious Body Oil.  I’ll tell you why.

After using her Deodorant Cream I was totally hooked. At first I thought “I have to slap this on like spackle into my pits?” But in soapwalla body oilreality, you simply smooth a little bit on after a shower and that’s it.  You never feel sticky or wet.  After a week or so using it in warm (read: hot sweaty) Florida it has been effective enough to keep me odor free.  With some other natural deodorants I have had to reapply during the day and on one occasion I reeked after a few hours. (I don’t use that one anymore…. do you see what I do for you ladies? I SUFFER WITH B.O. just to find out what works best.  You can thank me later.  With products.  Or love and admiration. Whichever.) There are some I’m still trying and some I still use depending on the day but Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream is definitely an awesome and effective product. It gets the LovelyMama seal of approval.

I also want to talk about her Luxurious Moisturizing Body Oil.  To start, I really love body oils over lotions.  Lotions usually need some kind of emulsifying ingredient which is typically a chemical or chemically processed wax or stearate. So I use a lot of lotion bars and oils to compensate.  I’ll admit that I love the idea of lotion more due to the ease of use and tend to choose them over oils when I’m in a hurry since oils can leave you feeling greasy for a bit while they soak in.  However there are certain cases when body oils don’t feel like you’re bathing in olive oil.  This is one of them.  Soapwalla’s Luxurious Moisturizing Body Oil goes on really light and absorbs in a reasonable time, so I don’t ever wish I chose lotion.  And the scent? Ooooohhhh my.  If I was a scent, I would be this one.  It’s light and citrusy, but with a delicate floral component so it has a certain feminine appeal to it.  After using it I feel girlie and pretty.  No need for phthalate ridden perfumes.  I just sniffed my arm and I still smell it – clean and girlie – even after running around all day. In a word: LOVE.

Soapwalla only uses organic ingredients and oils and never uses icky preservatives or chemicals.  I will definitely be shopping there again.  My next splurge? Organic Citrus Grove Soap Bar and some Almond Joy Body Polish.

GET IT: You can pick up all of Soapwalla’s great products on her Etsy Shop.

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Categories: Bath Goodies, Deodorant, SoapWalla

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