Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apparently Mexican Bugs HATE Wild Things Lotion Stick

A co-worker (DeAnn) of mine recently purchased Wild Things Lotion Stick, but before I could get to her, she took off and went to Mexico. Prior to leaving, another co-worker (Cathy) who bought several of my sticks gave her one of her own and insisted that she take it with her to ward of mosquitos and other biting bugs while there.

While down there, they visited a site in the jungle that was filled with mosquitos and other bugs. She and her hubby used the lotion stick. Others were getting bit right and left, but "the bugs hardly bothered us at all when we put the lotion stick on. If this stuff works down in the Mexican jungle, it will work anywhere!"

Cathy (the other co-worker), also stated that she put her lotion stick on and it "worked wonders" on preventing mosquitos from landing and biting. They still flew around, but would not land.

These are just a few of many testimonies I've received regarding this cute little 1 oz lotion stick that smells fresh and is made using all natural products. It is small enough to fit in your purse, pocket or backpack. It comes in a solid oil format but soft enough to glide on your skin with ease.

Looking for a simple, easy, fresh and natural option to artificial chemicals?

Wild Things Lotion Stick just may be your answer.

You can find it at  Soapy Blessings

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a popular additive to many health and beauty products because of the properties it contains. I thought you might wish to know a little more about tea tree oil.
It is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of  Melaleuca alternifolia and is purported to have antiseptic properties and used traditionally to prevent and treat infections. There have been many small scale laboratory studies done that demonstrate that this oil truly does some antimicrobial properties; human studies have focused mostly on fungal infections, such as that of the nails, athelete's foot, acne and vaginal infections.

On the down side, tea tree oil should not be ingested, so extra care should be taken if used inside or near the mouth due to reports of toxicity. It can also cause some mild skin irritation if used in high concentration directly on the skin.

Here are what some scientific studies have shown that tea tree oil can do:

Acne: Tea tree oil may reduce the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions.

Allergic Skin Reactions: Tea tree oil applied to the skin may reduce histamine-induced inflammation. Although it may, as mentioned before, can CAUSE skin irritation if used in too high concentration or on people who have a sensitivity to tea tree oil.

Athelete's Foot: Tea tree oil may have activity against several fungal species.

Bad Breath: Tea tree oil is used in mouthwash for dental and oral health. However, tea tree oil can be toxic when taken by mouth and therefore should not be swallowed.

Dandruff: The use of 5% tea tree oil shampoo on mild-to-moderate dandruff may be effective and well tolerated. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

Fungal nail infections: Tea tree oil is thought to have activity against several fungus species.

Herpes: Tea tree oil has activity against some viruses, and it has been suggested that a tea tree gel may be useful as a treatment on the skin for genital herpes.
Lice: Early studies have found that tea tree alone or in combination with other agents may be effective against lice.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) chronic infection: Laboratory studies report that tea tree oil has activity against methicillin-resistant  Staphylococcus aureus  (MRSA). Using a tea tree oil ointment in the nose and a tea tree wash on the body may treat colonization by these bacteria. However, this treatment should never take the place of recommended treatments by your MD.

Thrush (candida albicans in the mouth): In laboratory studies, tea tree oil has been shown to kill fungus and yeast such as  Candida albicans.  Tea tree oil can be toxic when taken by mouth and therefore should not be swallowed.

Vaginal infections (bacteria and yeast): Tea tree oil has been shown to kill yeast and certain bacteria .  Although tea tree oil may reduce itching caused by yeast or bacteria, it may also cause itching from dry skin or allergy.

Here is a list of some treatments tea tree oil is used for, based on traditional and theoretical ideologies:

Abscesses, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant, antiseptic, body odor, boils, bone diseases (osteomyelitis), bronchial congestion, bruises, burns, canker sores, colds, chronic venous insufficiency, contraction cessation, corns, cough, dermatitis, eczema, gangrene, immune system deficiencies, impetigo, insect bites/stings, leg ulcers, lung inflammation, melanoma, mouth sores, muscle and joint pain, nose and throat irritation, pressure ulcers, psoriasis, ringworm, root canal treatment, rosacea, scabies, sinus infections, skin ailments/infections, sore throat, swelling, tonsillitis, vulvovaginitis, warts, wound healing.

How should tea tree oil be used?
There is no proven effective dose, but a common dose is 5-10% tea tree oil can be applied on the skin daily for up to four weeks. Even though 100% tea tree oil is sometimes used for fungal nail infections, it is often diluted with inactive ingredients. It is strongly recommended that tea tree oil not be taken by mouth due to reports of severe side effects after tea tree oil ingestion, . Tea tree oil solution has been used as a mouthwash, but it should not be swallowed.

Allergies to tea tree oil:
Skin reactions can occur, from mild contact dermatitis to severe blistering rashes. People with a history of allergy to tea tree oil ( Melaleuca alternifolia ), or to plants that are members of the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family, balsam of Peru, or benzoin, should not use tea tree oil. It should also be used cautiously if someone has a known allergy to eucalyptol. Many tea tree preparations often contain this ingredient as well.

This information has been collected from a variety of different sources and not meant to take the place of your own research. Always consult with your MD before using tea tree oil as replacement therapy for conditions where othere treatment has already been recommended.

Now, given all of this information, you may ask if I use tea tree oil in any of my soap and bath and body products? The answer is Yes. Do I recommend the use of my products as a replacement therapy for certain conditions? No. If you happen to receive benefits by using products containing tea tree oil, wonderful! If you experience side effects, stop using the product containing tea tree oil, as you may have a sensitivity to it.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Camas Days

Camas Days is coming up next week. In case you don't know where Camas is, it is a delightful town in southwestern Washington, just east of Vancouver, and across the Columbia river from Portland, Oregon.

Camas knows how to do their celebration right. All kinds of fun things to do AND a chance to win a trip to Hawaii too? Wow!

This will be my first year as a vendor at Camas Days, selling my handcrafted soaps and other related body and bath care products. I am hoping that the weather will be cooperative, warm and sunny.

Yesterday, I had a nice little surprise when I received a phone call from the newspaper in Camas, WA. A phone interview on new vendors at Camas Days. The article comes out this coming Tuesday. How fun is that?

Hope to see you at Camas Days this coming week on Friday and Saturday, July 23-24th 2010.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Plain n' Simple Goat's Milk Soap

Goat's milk has some wonderful qualities suited for soap. Leaves skin soft, and feeling pampered.  There are bunches of soapers out there that make goat's milk soap. Many have their own farms and use their own product to make soaps and lotions from their farm-produced goat's milk.

There others who have goats and a surplus of goat's milk on occasion and look for folks like me who want to purchase their goat's milk, since I don't own a farm that produces goats milk.

Now, that I have some goat's milk, I must make soap and support our local farmers, right? My contribution to the support of local goat farmers is to make a simplistic goat's milk soap, like this one you see pictured above.

Lots of folks have problems with artificial fragrances and colors; some even have issues with certain essential oils that create a fragrance. This is the reason for Plain n' Simple Goat's Milk soap.

This soap is gentle on the skin, without artificial scents, no artificial colors. Perfect for sensitive skin, and perfect for children and infants.

Stay tuned, one goat's milk soap coming up in guest size that contains just a little lemongrass oil in it.

Check out Plain n' Simple on Soapy Blessings

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11th Today Only Special

Gorgeous Sea Turtle Soap! $1.00 off regular price...that's TODAY ONLY! There are only a few left. This offer will end by either the end of this day (my time Pacific Standard) or when they are all sold.

Lovely handcrafted soap in shape of sea turtles in shades of blues and greens. Awapuhi Seaberry fragrance added to make this a perfect gift soap or a decorative soap for you bathroom.

This isn't just a fancy soap though. This is made from oils that won't dry out your skin and oodles of lather to make this a perfect bathtime experience. Each soap is over 3 oz each.

Available at  Soapy Blessings

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jasmine Sugar Cube Scrubs...a TODAY ONLY Special

Just what is a sugar scrub cube?

Sugar scrub cubes pamper your skin by gently removing dead skin cells.

Each cube is about the size of a regular sugar cube. Just pick one or two out of the jar and mix with a little water in your hand and start polishing. Keep cube jar tightly closed and avoid getting water in the jar and store in a cool, dry place. Sultry jasmine fragrance too!

You receive approximately 5oz of sugar scrub cubes, usually 28 to 29 cubes per jar. The small size of the cubes allows you to use on one area of your skin only without waste. If you want a total body scrub experience, use two or more.

Jasmine Sugar Scrub CubesClick above to see this delightful product


$1.00 off listed price.

*****All you need to do is purchase this item at the regular price and your invoice will be adjusted via Paypal refund.*****

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Plants that Contain Natural Insect Repellent Qualities

 Summer has definitely arrived and with it has come all of the biting bugs that can ruin your hike, summer BBQ, camping and other outdoor activities.

So, what are your options? Most folks apply insect repellent with all of the odd, unpronounceable chemical names it includes on their skin, or wear one of those clip on thingys that have recently come out on the market.

There are a few other options, like knowing about plants that contain ingredients that naturally repel bugs. You can use these plants in your yard, around your garden or patio area to deter those pesky critters without using wacky sounding chemicals. 

Here are a few of those plants you can use around your garden, entryway, patio area etc.

CATNIP: Mosquitoes HATE catnip! It's also a pretty plant with pretty flowers. Cats love it too.

ROSEMARY: Now, you can grow it to repel bugs and eat it too!!! Delish on roasted chicken (my favorite use for rosemary besides natural bug repellent.)

MARIGOLDS: Gorgeous flower and it has been used for years in gardens to keep away veggie-eating bugs. Your yard will look beautiful too!

CITRONELLA GRASS: Yes, grow some of this stuff in a planter around your patio. GREAT bug repellent!

LEMONGRASS:  Another lovely grass that bugs abhor, is good for flavoring foods and for tea!!!

LAVENDER:  Beautiful plant with tons of uses, including keeping bugs away. I have one growing near the entryway of my home. 

MINT:  YES, use for tea, flavoring and bug repellent too! It grows quite easily!

Now that you have a nice little list of bug repellent plants and have covered your yard with them, you can have bug free yard and enjoy the great outdoors, right? Not so fast! What if you want to leave your yard?  Take some of those plants with you? Not always feasible. Or is it?
There are lots of ways to take it with you. Use products containing these same ingredients in a plant oil form, dried sachet form or other handy means. So you CAN take it with you when you go.

Try a candle made from some of these plants, or that include eucalyptus, cedar or juniper oil. Not the fragrance oil that is chemically produced to smell like them, but the REAL essential oil. The fragrance oil doesn't work the same way. Bugs know the difference.

Use a soap daily that contains these natural essential oils. You'll smell better too!

Used a lotion, oil, or solid oil stick that contains these essential oils. Re-apply every 2 to 4 hours. You don't need a lot. Just apply them at your pulse points: your temples and neck, inside of wrists and arms, back of knees, inside ankle bone, top of your foot...those are the most common areas.

You'll smell better than everyone else around you too!

We were out one Fourth of July, watching the fireworks display. Several folks were slapping at biting bugs while we were able to enjoy the sight using our lotion stick containing many of these oils. I happened to have a lotion stick in my pocket and offered to let a few of my neighbors try it. The next day, I sold out all of my lotion sticks and had to make more! 

Do we claim that our soap and lotion sticks are bug repellents? NO! I just make them because they contain natural plant oils that are already well known to keep bugs away. I don't like bugs biting me, so I use what I know works for me. AND, they smell good!

What a concept...

And YES. There are soaps and lotion sticks in shop that contain some of these items. Click on my shop site icon if you like what you hear.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Is it in the Name, the Appearance or the Fragrance?

Several weeks back, we were busy making several different types of spa soaps. These soaps contained lots of special ingredients like sea salt, clays and summer fragrances. Three different types were made, pictured below. Each were packaged in a similar manner, just different colors.

The one listed above is called Lime Margarita and is listed on etsy  here
This soap has a distinctive lime fragrance and is a great summertime soap. Probably my favorite fragrance among the three kinds we made. It is also the most popular of the three online and a great seller at arts and crafts fairs.
Since it sells faster than the other two, the amount of views and hearts appear on this etsy listing is less than the others, only  because it doesn't stay listed as long.

The next spa soap is this one, called Summer Fling, pictured below.

I love the swirls of blue and greens in this soap and I think it is the lovliest of the three. The fragrance is also fantastic, also a favorite of mine. The fragrance is a combination of tropical florals and citrus, my two favorite fragrance types. Combined together, it is an awesome fragrance. It is listed here on etsy. It does not have as many views or hearts as the other two, and is my lowest seller of the three both online and in arts and craft fairs. That boggles my mind because of the three we made, this one is my favorite over all in appearance and fragrance and presentation.

The last spa soap we made is pictured below.

This one is called Butt Naked and it originally was a darker blue color than Summer Fling. However, because of the nature of the fragrance I used (called Butt Naked, by the way), it slowly turned a dark gray color over the course of a week while it was curing. By the time it was fully cured, it was totally gray. I worried over that, thinking that everyone would hate the color and not buy, but I packaged it up, using a funkier look. I figured with a name like Butt Naked, it would probably hold its own anyway. It is listed on etsy here  and is my second best seller of the three I've mentioned. With a fun name, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. It has been my best seller of the three in arts and crafts fairs so far, surpassing Lime Margarita. The fragrance is fresh with just a hint of spice in the background. I love the fragrance, hate the color, love the name of this soap. What makes this a great soap is that it is quite unisex in look and fragrance compared to the other two.

All three of these have their own unique style, fragrance, and look. My personal favorite is my slowest mover by far for reasons that leave me scratching my head. OK, so maybe I'm just different than everyone else, but I thought I might ask my reading audience what YOU think. Which one of these seems the most appealing? Which is least appealing? Why?

I would love to hear your feedback.