“You Got This” – Facial Liquid Soap & Mask in One

You Got This- Facial Liquid Soap & Mask in One

Who has the time to give yourself facial masks, nevermind go and get facials? While rituals of cleansing are important aspects of self-care, anything that causes you extra stress is not worth its time. Having this thought in mind, plus my obsession with the cosmetic benefits of clay, I decided to create “You Got This!,” a natural, liquid, facial Castile soap dually serves as a face wash and face mask in one.

 

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Click to View YOU GOT THIS

 

Another Monday? Didn’t get enough sleep? A sweaty mess from the gym? Acne and oil from crazy hormones? Don’t worry – YOU GOT THIS! You Got This! is intended to be an affirmation that you can take on anything the day has to offer you! Handcrafted in small batches with ingredients specifically chosen to awaken tired, dull, sensitive, acne-prone, oily, and/or sweaty skin.

The base is made from organic olive oil.  Because the saponified part of this soap is 100% olive oil. It is named Castile soap from the town in Spain where Castile 100% olive oil soap is derived. Castile soap is gentle and luxurious with a perfect amount of mild suds which do not destroy the skin’s natural protective layer.

The first goal of a facial mask is cleansing.  We use masks to especially remove dirt and oil from our pores.  We use white Kaolin clay in “You Got This!”  As explained on Stylecaster, “White kaolin clay is the gentlest [of the different colored Kaolin clays] and thus great for sensitive dry skin. It doesn’t absorb so much as it does soften with super gentle bits for a mild exfoliation.”  It softly purifies the skin and pores without the harshness that comes with other facial masks.

We include jojoba oil, which is an oil whose chemical property closely mimics human sebum, to create an extra moisturizing softness to balance out the pulling and deep-cleansing from the clay.  Finally, we scent You Got This! with a blend of essential oils to create both toned and balanced skin, as well as create a fresh, green, and awake fragrance.

You Got This! is mild, gentle, and safe to also be used as a body wash or as a bath soak. It works ideally in a sea sponge or a Konjac sponge.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Myths About Essential Oils

myths about essential oils

There is hardly anywhere you can turn without hearing about essential oils.  From relaxation to cleaning, migraines to massages, essential oils are often touted as the modern-day natural solution to almost anything.  Coming out of a generation that became warped by its over-reliance on pharmacological medications, it’s pretty easy to understand why people, especially Millennials and Generation X, would want to adapt into a more natural and healthier lifestyle.

But, how far is too far? When is natural simply not safe?

When people ask me about Scents the Moment, they usually ask if our products are “all natural,” to which I reply our products are where “nature meets science.”

Unfortunately, because of the all-natural wave in the last decade, many holistic companies and individuals have become fear-mongers, touting falsities about “all natural” that is, at best, wrong, and at worst, deadly. An example of when holistic goes too far is the anti-vaccine brigade which has instigated the resurgence of dormant diseases, specifically measles, mumps, and rubella, all on the false claims that vaccines cause Autism.

The claims I have heard about essential oils, especially from the two major multi-level marketing (MLM) companies, are downright scary. In this blog, I hope to do some essential oil myth-busting, putting our trust in actual science.

  1. MYTH: Essential oils are better and safer than fragrance oils in my cosmetics and skincare.
    1. Actually, this is not the case. In fact, there are some essential oils, such as eucalyptus, which can actually burn your skin, or citrus essential oils which cause phototoxicity. Fragrance oils, specifically phthalate-free fragrances, have been specifically formulated to be consistent with replication and safe for the skin. I would dare say they are safer since they are being created and duplicated from an actual formulation as opposed to varied crops and seasons that can affect essential oils.
  2. MYTH: I can ingest essential oils.
    1. What!? No! As my brilliant, and certified aromatherapist friend, Kayla Fioravanti says, “Beware of anyone who tells you to ingest essential oils either by putting a few drops in your water or putting them into a capsule. The only cases of death, organ failure, and hospitalization in the history of aromatherapy have been caused by ingesting essential oils. It is THAT dangerous.”
  3. MYTH: I use essential oils around my pets and babies to keep them _____.
    1. Please stop! Many essential oils are toxic to both children and pets. For example, tea tree essential oil can actually send your cats into toxic shock and seizures. Have a nice essential oil blend diffusing in your baby’s room? You could actually be triggering asthma and allergies.
  4. MYTH: Essential oils come from plants, so they must be safe.
    1. The FDA says it best: “Sometimes people think that if an “essential oil” or other ingredient comes from a plant, it must be safe. But many plants contain materials that are toxic, irritating, or likely to cause allergic reactions when applied to the skin.” Think of it this way: Poison ivy is a plant, do you want to rub it all over yourself?
  5. MYTH: My essential oils are “therapeutic grade,” so they’re higher quality.
    1. Yeah, sorry, NOPE again. There is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” essential oils.  As explained by aromatherapist Jade Shutes, “therapeutic grade” essential oils is only the use of clever marketing to imply that some oils are better than others. However, when you study the language, anything that claims to be “therapeutic” is implying medicinal practice, which is just plain dangerous, especially in the hands of untrained essential oil distributors.
  6. MYTH: I can just mix essential oils with water and use it as a cosmetic.
    1. Yikes for so many reasons.
      1. Water grows mold and bacteria. Unless you have included a preservative, the essential oils in water are just as susceptible to growing mold and bacteria.
      2. Most essential oils need to be diluted in another carrier oil for safety. Because some essential oils are so potent, they can cause major skin irritation, burning, or worse, unless diluted. As we know from basic chemistry, oils and water don’t mix (without an emulsifier), so you’re putting whoever you’re spraying at major risk for burns.
  7. MYTH: I use special blends of essential oils to sanitize and disinfect my home.
    1. While mixtures of essential oils can be decent for gentle cleaning and odor refreshing, as far as sanitizing or disinfecting – nope. Depending on what you need to sanitize or disinfect, you still need bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
  8. MYTH: I only burn essential oil candles because they’re healthier.
    1. Sorry to be a downer, but no again. Actually, because essential oils have such a low combustion rate when mixed with the fire of a candle, the fire is actually changing the chemical compound of the essential oil – this means that burning it could literally make it a) combustible b) flammable, or c) poisonous.  Essential oils not only burn poorly in candles, they make your candle more likely to spark and even explode, turning them into a major fire hazard. Plus, they really stink at being scented candles since their chemical compounds change and the scent changes along with it.
  9. MYTH: Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils will make my son grow breasts.
    1. If we take a look at the actual BBC study that has become the root of this claim, we find that they did not even use essential oils, but instead used various components and chemicals that can also be found in these oils. Dr. Robert Pappas of Essential Oil University explains most of this on his Facebook page.
  10. MYTH: Essential oils are part of my chemical-free lifestyle.
    1. You can’t be chemical-free. Water is comprised of two hydrogen particles and one oxygen particle = chemicals.  All things have chemicals.

Do you have any other questions about aromatherapy or essential oils?

*For further reading, I recommend Kayla Fioravanti’s book: The Art, Science, and Business of Aromatherapy: Your Essential Oil and Entrepreneurship Guide

 

 

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Making Lotion from Scratch

making lotions from scratch blog

Like making cold-processed soap, crafting lotion is an exact science.  It all begins with your oils and butters – knowing exactly the properties you want your lotion to have will guide you to the best possible ingredients.  When I craft my lotions (and really, whenever I craft any of the products for my business), I always think about what I would absolutely use. I will not make a product that I wouldn’t use.

I always prefer a lotion that’s a little thicker, but quickly absorbed; one that won’t leave your skin greasy.  I opt to craft lotions with avocado oil and mango butter because each of these oils contains high levels of antioxidants, but are also non-comedogenic and fast-absorbing.

I also like strongly scented lotions in clean or fresh scents; I want to be able to smell my hands in an hour and still smell the fragrance.  I usually choose fragrances that have some kind of lavender inside the mixture because if I am wearing the fragrance all day, I want it to be soothing, calming, and something my nose won’t get sick of.

Distilled water is the main ingredient in all lotions, but I like to mix water with aloe vera juice. It adds an additional level of moisture and is both calming and soothing to dry, cracked skin.

Finally, I consider all of the additives. It’s imperative to use a preservative because anything made with water has the potential for the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria; a preservative keeps the product both fresh and safe. I also use stearic acid because it makes the lotion light and fluffy, otherwise it would become more like a heavy cream. Emulsifying wax is essential to bind both water and the oils, otherwise, the product would separate. The right amount of e-wax is tricky, and even with it, sometimes natural lotions can be a little liquidy on the bottom – if it’s only a little, not to worry, just give the bottle a good shake, open it up and mix,  then close and shake again.

Check out the video below to see how I craft lotions:

If you have any questions about how we craft our lotions, please feel free to leave a comment!  (Unfortunately, we are not able to answer recipe questions as our recipe is proprietary to our own formulation.)

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Fragrance Spotlight: Why You Need Lavender in Your Life

Fragrance Spotlight_ Why You Need Lavender in Your Life

I’m in love with lavender. I’m so in love with lavender, I was once tempted to make my business solely based on all things lavender. I settled for purple as our brand coloring, but there’s no doubt you’ll see my obsession with lavender if you simply searched the term on our website. So, what exactly makes lavender the most sought-after fragrance in the bath, body, and candle market?

Lavender itself is a plant, actually part of the mint family, distinguished by small, purple flowers grown upwards in grass-like fashion. It has a gentle, floral aroma which makes it incredibly popular for uses in cosmetics and home aesthetics. It’s relatively easy to grow, as long as it has proper drainage; the lavender plant does not tolerate saturation very well. It needs a good amount of light and does well in warmer climates. If you’re in a colder environment, lavender takes well to being potted.

Dating back to the time of Ancient Rome, the origin of the word lavender comes from the Latin, “lavare,” which means to wash. The Romans would often use the lavender plant to scent their baths, and while they did so, they discovered the properties it has to create a feeling of soothing and relaxation.

According to WebMd:

Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomitingnausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.

Lavender’s known relaxing properties are what drove me to create the Rest Easy aromatherapy spray. A beautiful blend of lavender essential oil with Roman & German chamomile, this spray can be used in an aromatherapy necklace, as a perfume, as a linen spray, for baby, as a facial toner, as a make-up remover, and even on medium-large dogs. Lavender and chamomile are a few of the only essential oils safe for babies; however, I always recommend you check with your pediatrician first – every child is different! Also, as a warning, while lavender is generally regarded as safe (GRAS under the FDA), it is best to avoid using lavender essential oil when pregnant, while on medication that could induce drowsiness, or when undergoing anesthesia.

Regarding its fragrance, lavender is beautiful on its own but is also known for blending well with numerous scents. In perfuming and blending, lavender is considered a middle floral note, and it blends particularly well with other florals, cleans, and fruit scents, though mixing it up with sweet scents also creates a wonderful blend, such as our famous Midnight in Paris bath bomb which is a blend of lavender and chocolate. I like to also bend the rules a little by blending lavender with woodsy/musky scents, like sandalwood. Our two best-selling candles are lavender blends: Unstressed, which is lavender and chamomile (two florals), and Weekend Getaway, which is lavender and sandalwood (floral and woodsy).

While lavender is now grown all over the world, and has been grown for over 2500 years, the most coveted lavender comes from Bulgaria. Surprisingly, if you sought to purchase lavender essential oil, there are so many varieties with numerous differences in price. Market prices change drastically pending crops, but as of right now, the general going rate, per pound:

  • Bulgarian Lavender – $100 – floral, sweet, choice for aromatherapists
  • French Lavender – $85- simple, sweet, floral
  • Lavender 40/42 (most common essential oil) – $40 – herbaceous, floral, and woodsy (main choice for soaps)
  • Population Lavender – $107 – green and a little sweet
  • South African Lavender – $50 – actually a hybrid, known as lavandin; the notes are fresh and sweet
  • Spanish Lavender – $67 – fresh, floral herbaceous odor

One of the best sources regarding lavender is the blog written by New Directions Aromatics; an excellent read for anyone who wants to learn even more about lavender!

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

Why You Should Try Bath Salts

Why You Should Try Bath Salts

We love our baths around here – obviously, that’s one of the many reasons we run our business – but even more fun (for us) than taking baths are creating different products to make your bath more enjoyable! Taking hot baths have been proven to relieve muscle aches and create relaxation. As quoted by Dr. Foxman from the Reader’s Digest article: ““The benefits that come from heat from water—which is an opportunity to relax—and the benefits of heat on capillary dilation at skin level, for some relieves pain,” he says.”

While simply soaking in hot water will definitely make you relax – think of yourself like a tea bag just expanding and floating in the hot water – hot water alone isn’t very fun. Add some pizazz to your bath with fragrance, color, and water softeners, and you can take an already relaxing experience to spa-level indulgence.

That’s why we just launched a line of bath salts. Our bath salts are comprised of Dead Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salt, Menthol Crystals, Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 80, fragrance, and colorant.

So, what are each of these ingredients and what are their benefits? We’ll start with the most “scientific-sounding” term on our ingredients list:

  • Polysorbate 80 – Polysorbate 80 is derived from polyethoxylated sorbitan and oleic acid; essentially, it is a polymer of sugar alcohols and fatty acids, like those found in olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. We use this ingredient because it’s an emulsifying agent and dispersing agent, allowing the oils from the fragrances we use to disperse properly in the water you’re soaking in (so you don’t see droplets of oil at the top of your tub while soaking).
  • Dead Sea Salt – Said to be rich in minerals because of all the natural light at the Dead Sea in Israel, salt (and mud) from the Dead Sea is especially water-softening. According to a study conducted in 2005 published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin.”
  • Pink Himalayan Salt – While there are no studies that prove Himalayan Salt has any more benefits or properties than, say, regular table salt, it is really pretty to use in bath salts! Himalayan Salt has sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium at slightly higher levels than table salt; all of these minerals do act as water softeners, making the bath feel smoother, and such can be perceived as more relaxing.
  • Epsom Salt – Epsom salt is not really a “salt” at all, just has similar chemical properties to salt, which is why it’s given that name. Epsom is actually magnesium sulfate, named after Epsom, England, where it was first discovered. While there is a lot of hype around Epsom Salt, especially if you ask your grandmother, there is no actual evidence that the magnesium-deficient will be able to absorb the magnesium transdermally in a bath.  Again, however, like Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salt does act as a water softener, which makes bathing much more pleasurable.
  • Menthol Crystals – Menthol crystals serve aromatherapy benefits as the perception of breathing menthol and menthol-like scents (i.e. peppermint, eucalyptus), create a feeling of breathing greener, fresher air.
  • Baking Soda & Citric Acid – Combined, these create a fizzing action in the water. Only used in small amounts in bath salts, these will not create the same fizz that you would find in a bath bomb, but still, produces fizzing results as the carbon particles are released into the water. In a phrase – tiny bubbles! The combination of the two also neutralizes the pH of general tap water by alkalizing it.

While there is not much scientific evidence to suggest that any of these salts have properties beyond softening the water, the salts all do act as water softeners which make the skin feel softer and more moisturized after bathing.  Plus, the combination of fragrance and/or essential oils act with aromatherapy benefits – pleasing scents = happier people.

Why try bath salts, then? Because bath salts have been used in various forms for decades to produce a joyful, elegant bath. Unlike their bath bomb counterparts, our bath salts can be used for many baths as they’re stored in plastic jars, with cork tops, and wooden scoop spoons. We recommend about three scoops per bath, but go ahead and use as much or as little as you would like!

 

 

 

 

worth your salt bath salts
Shop Bath Salts Now!

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

 

Living Naturally with Breast Cancer

 

Living Naturally with Breast CancerOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I need to ask you: Have you had your mammography in the last year? Not trying to get in your business, but totally getting in your business.

In the last year, I have learned about five women I know who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Turns out that according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. This staggering number is one of the many reasons I decided to create a natural bath and body line for our company.

I met Lisa Vento-Nielsen in the summer of 2016 when I was running a special summer project in my school for upcoming seniors to prepare for college and careers. Lisa was one of the guest speakers that my principal invited in to teach students about preparedness. Along with being the owner and visionary of The Next Step as an entrepreneur and author, Lisa gave the students incredible tips on how to write resumes, use LinkedIn, and blogging. I remember clearly thinking – “This woman is a firecracker!” – Brilliant, bright, vibrant, energetic, no one knew, including herself, that she was living with breast cancer.

Fast forward to earlier this summer, I noticed Lisa was off of Facebook but found her again on Instagram. I wanted to touch base with her simply because I found her inspiring and wanted to go grab coffee with her – that’s when I found out she was living with breast cancer. Instead of giving into cancer (and let’s be honest, sometimes people don’t have a choice), she turned her pain into an array of inspiration and education. She started a new blog, called The Time Between – Breast Cancer Survival Guide. 

Knowing several of my customers are breast cancer survivors, I am sure to curate some products that are without fragrance oils. However, my biggest drive was to create a natural deodorant free of aluminum, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and any other additives that may be linked to breast cancer. While the evidence of linking antiperspirants to breast cancer is still considered inconclusive, I know my customers were looking for a natural alternative where there was clearly no link to breast cancer.

Once I heard what Lisa was going through, I had to let her know about my products. It was not even about business, which is why I curated a small package for Lisa for free, but about education – there is a better way; people now have a choice to live naturally. Here you can read about Lisa’s experience with our products: Click Here for Her Review.

While breast cancer is still prevalent, the greatest resource you have is knowledge and prevention. What is recommended for your health and prevention:

  • Get 30 minutes of exercise every day
  • Keep your weight down to a healthy number
  • Drink plenty of water daily
  • Perform monthly self-exams on your breasts to check for lumps and indentations on your breasts
  • Visit your gynecologist at least once a year – but most insurances will pay for 6-month visits
  • Get a mammography every year after turning 40, and earlier if there is a history of breast cancer in your family
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

To your health and happiness!

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

The Art and Market of Castile Soap

The Art and Market of Castile Soap

Olive oil is a staple in many nations, but especially in Mediterranean cultures. From cooking to soapmaking, olive oil is one of the most versatile natural ingredients found on the market today. The ingredient is so important in traditional soapmaking, that one traditional recipe of soap, Castile soap, named after its origin city in Spain, is made solely with 100% olive oil as the lipid.

The history isn’t completely clear, but it’s believed that Castile soap originated in the early 1500s-1600s as a derivation of Aleppo soap. Aleppo soap is a combination of olive oil and laurel berry oil originating in the Middle-East. It’s believed that the Crusaders brought it back to Europe around the middle 16th century, but because laurel berry oil was native to the Middle East, it was dropped from the recipe when soapmakers in Castile, Spain started crafting it themselves. (Wikipedia.)

Castile soap is a test of fortitude and patience. Soapmaking is already a time-consuming art, as the cold-process method requires soapmakers to wait between four and six weeks of “curing” before the soap is ready to be used. Castile soap takes between six months and one year!

We crafted our first version of Castile soap, With Grace, on April 2, 2017, using a steep water discount and adding sodium lactate.  In soapmaking, a water discount means we cut down on the amount of water used in the recipe. This helps to create a harder bar of soap a little faster. Adding sodium lactate, which is a liquid salt derived from the natural fermentation of sugars found in corn and beets (read more on our blog post about sodium in soap), also creates a harder bar of soap. Because Castile soap is 100% olive oil, it can be very mushy and difficult to unmold – the combination of the water discount and sodium lactate make it possible to maintain its shape and still be usable after a nearly six-month curing time.

What makes Castile soap so coveted is the moisturizing properties of olive oil. In cold-process soap, olive oil is often a key ingredient because it is rich in oleic and linoleic acids. These fatty compounds produce conditioning effects when saponified, making a soft, gentle, and stable lather in soap. Therefore, Castile soap is effective for sensitive skin and for babies because of its gentle properties.

Unfortunately, have you noticed the price of olive oil going up in grocery stores? According to USA Today, “The combination of bad weather and pests hit the harvest in Southern Europe, most of all in Italy, where production [of olive oil] is halved from last fall. That’s pushing up Italian wholesale prices by 64% as of mid-February compared with a year earlier, which translates to shelf price increases of 15 to 20% in Italy.” Since the overwhelming majority of olive oil is imported from Italy and Greece to the United States, the prices have significantly jumped, making Castile soap an even more coveted luxury item.

Even with olive oil prices rising, the demand for Castile soap remains high. With such nourishing, moisturizing, skin-loving properties, it’s easy to see why the love for this soap remains 500 years later.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

 

Tales of an Angry Handcrafter: Rude Soap, Candle, & Skincare Questions with Answers

Tales of an Angry Handcrafter- Rude Soap, Candle, & Skincare Questions with Answers

I like to present myself as a jovial person full of laughs and jokes. Put me in the right crowd and that’s exactly who I am.  I am also capable of fear-rendering rage, but this Hulk only comes out when 1) Driving – because I am obviously the only person who knows how to drive in the whole world, 2) Facing Arrogant Ignorance – because nothing grinds-my-gears quite like a person preaching from a soapbox (no pun intended) about wrong information.

I was vending at an expo earlier this week and it was uncharacteristically slow. On top of the lack of foot traffic, the number of rude people out of the few dozen people who stopped by was blisteringly high. But today’s post is not just about the rude commentary from the expo event; it also includes a collection of various rude comments I have received about my business and the answers I wish I would have had at the time.

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge some facts: 1) My business is not for everyone, 2) My personality and demeanor are not for everyone, 3) Those who appreciate both are the best people on Earth.  Now that we cleared that up…but seriously, it’s okay if my products don’t appeal to you – I may not understand your opinion, but I will always respect it. That said, a little respect goes a long way, and if you’re at a show and not loving the products at a vendor table, simply say “thank you” and walk away.

The following statements have been made to me at vendor events over the years by people who lack couth, were raised in a barnyard, or just sadistically enjoy rudeness. In an effort to minimize these comments in the future, I also have answers… I hope you appreciate my snark.

  1. Why should I buy your soap when I can buy a bar of soap at the grocery store for 99 cents?
    1. Why buy a Ferrari when you can get a 1974 Gremlin? The reality is that wherever people spend money is where they find the greatest value. If a person doesn’t value a product that is carefully formulated and hand-crafted, free of parabens, phthalates, detergents, animal by-products, is certified cruelty-free, vegan (OR sustainable palm-oil vegetarian), that is made specifically to moisturize skin, then I won’t be able to change your mind.
  2. Oh no, your products are not “all-natural”!
    1. No, and we never claim them to be “all-natural;” however, we do use natural ingredients mixed with SCIENCE. Why aren’t we touting ourselves as “all-natural”? Well, because poison ivy, scurvy, mold, and the bubonic plague are “all-natural,” and yet, we don’t want our bodies rubbed in them. There’s a reason people live well into their 80s now and not during Paleo times – it’s called SCIENCE.
  3. I can buy candles at XXCANDLE STOREXX for much cheaper.
    1. Yes, you probably could, and we’re sure they’re wonderful. So, what makes our candles stand out? Well, for one, we use USA soy wax, ensuring American farmers remain employed. We skip on paraffin because it’s petroleum-based, and we don’t believe big-oil needs any more money, plus soy burns much cleaner; we skip on beeswax because we’re a vegan company and love plants. Our wicks are cotton, not lead or zinc, so you won’t be burning any metal pollutants in your home. Our fragrances are always phthalate-free, minimizing the risk of allergic reaction and indoor air pollution. Our jars are Libbey-glass, which are American-made and high quality; they’re not going to combust on you. We assemble and hand-pour each and every candle with love and concentration to quality. So, you could spend less somewhere else, or you could support our small business that always has YOU (and not the almighty dollar) at the center of our vision.
  4. Oh yeah, I saw a video on how to make XYZ product myself; that’s easy to make.
    1. Awesome! We love supporting other makers! Let us know when you’ve bought all the ingredients, created a Good Manufacturing Process lab, purchased packaging, created a website, obtained liability insurance, designed and printed your labels, maintained batch numbers, followed FDA regulations, received a county business license, federal tax-ID, state tax-ID, and tested your products – then we’ll be super-psyched to purchase and try your products out, too!
  5. I make soap/scrubs/etc. also, can you share your recipe?
    1. In a word, nope. We’ll gladly share our ingredients (because we 1. have to legally disclose them, and 2. like to be transparent), but our recipes – sorry, friend, we went through a whole lot of testing (=time & money) to ensure our recipes are superb. However, we’ll happily private label our products for you to sell and make money with!
  6. You use lye in your soap. I can’t use soap with lye, it makes me itch/squirm/dance-on-bars, etc.
    1. So sorry to hear you’re unable to use SOAP – what do you wash with? Oh, you see, all soap is made with lye (even way back when great-great-great granny made her own soap). No lye = no soap.
  7. I only use natural essential oils which are chemical-free.
    1. We love essential oils, too! We use them in many of our products, but we also love phthalate-free fragrance oils. You see, there are only so many scents that can be recreated with essential oils, and we like to have the ability to tap into all fragrances.
    2. Also, essential oils are not “chemical-free” – if it’s chemical-free, it doesn’t exist on Earth.  For example, Lavender essential oil is comprised of “a total of 47
      compounds representing 98.4 – 99.7% of the oils were identified. 1,5-Dimethyl-1-vinyl-4-hexenylbutyrate was the main constituent of essential oil (43.73%), followed by 1,3,7-Octatriene, 3,7-dimethyl- (25.10%), Eucalyptol (7.32%), and Camphor (3.79%)” – African Journal of Microbiology Research.
  8. Are your products homemade, like in your kitchen?
    1. Our products are “handcrafted,” and maybe we’re just being picky about connotation here, but the implication of “homemade” versus “handcrafted” implies a product with less sterility and stability. And no, we actually have a dedicated LAB where we create our products.
  9. Why do you donate to rescuing animals and not something important like cancer research?
    1. We believe any cause for the freedom, health, and well-being of Earth’s creatures is a justifiable cause. Our focus happens to be animal rescue because we’re advocates for those who don’t have a voice and because we personally rescue pit bulls. However, we’d love to be a part of any charity event, and in fact, we currently support various religious, historical, civil-rights, and animal groups through vending.
  10. I don’t use soy because of all the GMOs and your products have soy.
    1. Yup, some of our products, and all of our candles do use soy wax or soybean oil. Truthfully, we don’t mind GMO soy for wax candles because it allows for a larger production to support American jobs – and since you don’t eat your candles, it’s not going to alter your body. As for our skincare products, we use organic soybean oil (and according to USDA standards, you cannot label something organic if it has GMOs) because we know that’s important to you and it’s going directly onto your body.

Yes, believe it or not, we have received all of these questions, and usually presented to us in a rude manner, but we remember the heart of it comes simply from not knowing our brand yet. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of who we are…and a better way to ask questions when you don’t know!

Do you have “rude” questions for us? Please feel free to go rogue and ask away!

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

The Best Moments Products During Pregnancy

 

The Best Moments Products During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an amazing time for future moms, but it can also be incredibly nerve-wracking. There are so many rules involved about what you can and cannot ingest, wear, smell, etc.; it may feel like pregnant women should be walking around with a caution label.

The Cautions

When it comes to fragrances and skincare for pregnant women, there’s a lot of information warning women against the use of essential oils or certain fragrances. The reality is that most of this information applies to ingesting essential oils – which we never recommend unless under the direct care of a certified medical professional.

The second major precaution for pregnant women is the warning against the use of phthalates. Phthalates are a chemical compound are often found in vinyl flooring, toys, detergents, lubricating agents, and fragrance in cosmetics.  While the FDA has declared they have found no conclusive evidence that phthalates are endocrine disruptors, phthalates are still under strict evaluation. The problem is that the FDA does not require the cosmetic industry to clearly indicate whether or not the fragrance used has phthalates, which is why Bath, Body, Candle Moments always takes extra precaution to always formulate WITHOUT phthalates. Rest assured, we are a 100% phthalate-free fragrance soap, skincare, and candle manufacturer.

In general, because of hormonal shifts in pregnant women, some fragrances a woman used to love may become irritating, and vice-versa. It really comes down to personal preference, and not safety, for pregnant women and fragrance. Fragrances are generally safe to use for pregnant women.

The most important point here is to be sure you’re gathering your information from credible resources.

For Sore Mommy Belly & Nipples

Carrying a baby is hard enough without the skin stretch irritation, which is why I recommend Butter Me Up Body Butter and/or our Body Lotion. Rich in butters and nourishing oils, it will help keep the skin supple, especially while it’s stretching to accommodate baby’s growth.  The Body Butter and Body Lotion will not necessarily help with stretch marks, as that really depends on genetics, and how hydrated momma keeps her skin, but consistent moisture is key to creating skin elasticity.

For sore nipples before giving birth, Butter Me Up and the Body Lotion will work wonders.  However, we recommend using organic extra virgin olive oil or organic raw cocoa butter while nursing and/or breastfeeding.  This is because we don’t want to risk baby ingesting any fragrance, but before baby comes, slather on that Body Butter and Body Lotion!

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For Hormone-Fickle Face

The hormone shifts in pregnant women can do all sorts of crazy things to your facial skin. You may have not seen a pimple since you were a teenager, and all of a sudden you’re breaking out like crazy, or suddenly your life-long acne has cleared up completely. The most important steps to take during this shift is to consistently stay well-hydrated, exfoliated, and moisturized.

Give your face a beautiful cleansing with our Resting Beach Face Dead Sea Mud Vegan Facial Bar Soap which is scented with soothing lavender, geranium, and ylang ylang essential oils. Follow up with Evanescence at night to keep your skin soft and supple. Two-three times per week use Face the Day to exfoliate and moisturize.

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For Relaxation

Our number-one recommendation for relaxation is our Rest Easy Aromatherapy Spray gently formulated with witch hazel and benzoic acid, scented with the essential oils of Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and German Chamomile. Completely alcohol-free, you can use this lovely spray on your body, face, linens, or you can use it to remove make-up, as a facial toner, and you can even use it to spray baby’s crib – that’s how gentle it is.

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Our phthalate-free cotton-wick soy candles are another wonderful way to just kick-back and relax while you’re pregnant. We highly recommend grabbing the remote, putting on your favorite fuzzy slippers, lighting the perfect Moments Candle, and just taking a deep breath of complete and utter calm and relaxation.

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For Cleansing

For both momma and baby, the purest and most gentle soap we offer is the Purely Free Vegan Soap. Formulated without any fragrance and rich in cocoa butter, known for its super-moisturizing properties, this soap is absolutely an ideal way to cleanse while pregnant or to cleanse baby. It’s completely pure and natural with a luxurious and gentle lather that will leave skin feeling clean and soft with no irritation because it’s free of fragrance and detergents.

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As I mentioned earlier, the best thing you can do while you’re pregnant is to gather as much information as possible and test your own tolerance for different fragrances.


This article is in no way meant to treat or diagnose any disease, nor does it take the place of a consult with a medical professional. Please be sure to speak with a medical professional before using any essential oils while pregnant.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Balms, Lotions, Cremes, Butters…OH MY: Which Moisturizer is Best for You?

Balms, Lotions, Cremes, Butters...OH MY- Which Moisturizer is Best for You-

Let’s start with the basics here.  According to a simple Google search of the definition of moisturizer, this is what you will get:

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The first important point to recognize is that each of these products has been created to moisturize the skin in some way, and they are all considered humectants – which is a substance that promotes the retention of moisture.    Seems like simple rhetoric, but in the cosmetic industry, there are subtle differences.

Balms: According to the FDA, balms have the connotation of healing, so they really shouldn’t be used for cosmetics, but more cosmetic-like drugs – for example, a “healing lip balm.” Technically, this would need drug clearance by the FDA, but assume the product does have this clearance, balms are waxy in texture. Many balms are made with beeswax and vegan balms are often made with candelilla, soy, or carnauba wax.  Balms are created to leave a waxy coating for healing or protection. You want to go for these if your skin is really damaged or you will be in an extreme climate.

Butters: Butters are very nourishing for extra dry skin. They work especially well after exfoliating or after a hot shower/bath when the pores are open for absorption. Butters are usually made with a 75% hard oil (or butter) to 25% liquid oil ratio. Butters don’t have water, so they don’t need a preservative, but be very careful not to put wet hands into a butter jar or you could be introducing bacteria and mold. With butters, a little goes a long way, so start small and add as needed. Be sure to thoroughly rub in a butter or it can feel greasy on the skin.

Creme versus Cream: Focusing on denotation, a “creme” is literally the French word for “cream;” however, when it comes to cosmetics, a creme usually has a lighter consistency compared to a cream. Creams are usually in jars and are focused on the face, under the eyes, or extremely dry skin; they usually have a high consistency of butters (like shea, mango, or cocoa). Cremes are also usually for the face, but are a little lighter in consistency and may have a greater focus on liquid oils over butters (like olive, grapeseed, jojoba, etc.). Most creams/cremes also have some water consistency. Choose a heavier cream if you have very dry skin, for harsher climates, or people with fair skin. A heavier cream also works well on the body for people with “ashy” skin. Opt for a creme if you have medium/dry or combination skin; you may need to switch for summer months.

Lotion: Lotions are lighter in consistency and texture. They are mostly comprised of purified water making them easily absorbed for nearly every skin type. Lotions can vary a great deal based on what types of oils and/or butters are being used, but high-quality lotions will use oils rich in antioxidants like avocado oil, mango butter, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip seed oil (etc.). Lotions are also made with emulsifying wax to ensure the oil and water combine, as well as cetyl alcohol and/or stearic acid to create a fluffy consistency; don’t worry, these are all non-toxic chemicals derived from plants. Lotions also require a preservative since they are made with water; if you ever see a lotion without a preservative, run the other way because it absolutely will grow mold and/or bacteria. Lotions are easily spreadable and are perfect for quick, non-greasy moisture, or for skin that tends to get oily or sweaty.

Salves: If you’re seeking a salve, you’re probably in need of some topical medical treatment. Salves are in-between creams and balms; they are softer than balms but waxier than creams. Salves are often created for medicinal purposes, often called ointments; a common example that many of us have used is Vicks VapoRub. They are often infused with essential oils believed to suppress certain aches and pains – like a muscle salve, an after-workout salve, a clear breathing salve, etc. As with balms, please be sure the salve/ointment has FDA drug clearance before making any medicinal claims!

Serums: Serums are very thin in texture and are created to work beneath a regular creame/creme or lotion. They function to protect and encapsulate skin with extra soothing and moisturizing properties. Serums are almost completely comprised of botanical liquid oils and usually only require a few drops. You wear serums on your face and decolletage because they are rich and specifically made for that gentle skin. Be careful not to use too much, or it can definitely make your skin feel oily. Serums are especially useful for filling fine lines and wrinkles while helping the skin rejuvenate lost moisture, usually for dry skin or mature skin.  If you tend to have oily skin or acne, you probably don’t need a serum.

Hopefully this blog helped to clarify all your moisturizing needs! If you have any questions, please comment below!

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident