Moments of Skin Mayhem: Surprise Reasons Your Skin Isn’t Cooperating

Moments of Skin Mayhem_ Surprise Reasons Your Skin Isn't Cooperating

With the skincare industry expected to reach $130 Billion by 2019, it’s safe to say that the concern for your skin is not just yours alone. There are hundreds of medical reasons why your skin may not be as you want it to be, with the most common in the United States being acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea. Your skin is your largest organ, so you can almost bet that it indicates when there is an underlying issue. While all of the aforementioned issues should be treated by a medical professional, there may be some other factors in your daily life that are affecting the condition of your skin.

  1. Dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your skin will react in two possible ways. It will become dry and inflexible, or you can over-produce oil. Both circumstances can lead to redness, inflammation, dry patches, brittleness, and even itching. Be sure to consume enough pure water every day to flood your skin’s cells to aid in the rejuvenation process.
  2. Diet. As the old adage exclaims, you are what you eat. Eating too many foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates can create acne breakouts. The sugars themselves don’t cause the issue, it’s how our body reacts to it. We’re not meant to over-indulge on simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sweets, etc.) so our insulin levels will fluctuate when our body is trying to digest these sugars. This creates a hormonal imbalance which can turn to a development of acne and dull-looking skin. Balance your nutrition with protein, fresh vegetables, and complex carbs, like from legumes, to help regulate your blood sugar.
  3. Phthalates and Artificial Fragrances. In our daily lives, we inhale thousands of particles of unhealthy fragrance. From canned air fresheners to cleaners, to scented and harsh detergents, we’re breathing in the unhealthy air all the time. Minimize the use of phthalate-rich products by switching to phthalate-free products (like our soy candles), and avoid using artificially fragranced products on your face. We created the Resting Beach Face soap using essential oils because they minimize the risk of skin reaction, but every person is different and should monitor how he/she reacts to various fragrances.
  4. Your Face Wash or Toner. Many commercial face washes and toners use harsh surfactants, parabens, phthalates, and detergents to cleanse your skin. While these products may be effective for some people, many people don’t need such harsh cleansing ingredients for their daily life. Try switching to a natural face wash that is skin-sensitive and moisturizing; you want the product to be a soap, but not a detergent which can cause irritation. The same goes for facial toners; they may be too harsh with ingredients like salicylic acid. While salicylic acid is a useful chemical if you’re suffering from acne, we often only need to tone the portion of our face with the acne with these products. Instead, try using micellar water or hydrogen peroxide once per week which kills bacteria (one of the main culprits of skin issues). Don’t overuse hydrogen peroxide, though! While it’s killing off the bacteria on your skin, it’s also damaging some skin cells. Follow-up with a gentle moisturizer that contains oils rich in Vitamin E and C.
  5. Dirty Pillows, Jackets, & Scarves. You may not realize it, but your pillow is dirty! From sleeping on it every day, a normal pillow will have the remains of dead skin, drool, oil, hair products, make-up (don’t lie, you’ve gone to sleep without washing your face once or twice). This build-up all rubs into your skin while you sleep! The same goes for the collar of your jacket and your scarves. Just be sure to wash these items regularly (ideally would be once-per-week) to keep a clean environment for your face.
  6. Your Cell Phone. You touch your cell phone hundreds of times per day. Sometimes your hands are clean, sometimes they’re not. You stick your phone in your purse, your pocket, your hoodie, tables, hand it over to your kid who wants to play a game, use it in the restroom… all of this causes millions of various germs to grow on your phone. Then, that one time you go to answer it, poof, that’s all over your face! First thing is to keep your phone in a case to avoid all of those germs to actually get into your phone; this makes it much easier to clean, also. Then clean your phone case with rubbing alcohol every day (or, at least as often as you can remember!).
  7. Your Hands. You probably touch your face dozens of times per day, and while you do wash your hands every time you use the restroom, you’re still touching your face after you type, touch door handles, the office coffee pot. While we can’t live in a bubble, just remember to continue to wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  8. Your Pets. While you may not be distinctly allergic to pets, their dander is generally a human irritant. Your face may be more sensitive to pet dander causing some inflammation. Plus, we all love having our dogs kiss our faces, but the old myth about their mouths being clean is simply not true… if you have ever had a dog, you know just about everything goes into their mouths, and in turn, onto your face.
  9. Your Cosmetics. Not all makeup is created equal and some brands use ingredients that may be irritating to you without even realizing it. If you suspect your cosmetics may be the cause of your skin irritation, spend a few days without wearing any to see how your skin responds.
  10. Vitamin Deficiency. If you’re lacking certain vitamins, your skin could be one of the first places your body demonstrates this deficiency to you. The best way to check this is to visit a medical professional to test yourself for vitamin deficiencies, in the meantime, eating a balanced diet and taking a daily multi-vitamin will help cover these bases.
  11. Pollen & Dust.  While “hay fever” is a common allergy, you may not realize how it’s also affecting your skin. Common allergies activate our body’s histamines, which often cause reactions like runny noses, itchy eyes, and inflamed skin. You may notice this the most during certain times of the year, especially spring and fall (when flowers bloom and when trees drop their leaves). Speak to your medical professional first, but often over-the-counter antihistamines, like loratadine, will help deter these effects. Also, being sure to dust and vacuum frequently to eliminate these from your home will help minimize their effects.
  12. Air Pollutants. We’ve all heard the term “free radicals.” Free radicals are air pollutants that come from our daily lives like carbon emissions and cigarette smoke. Of course, if you smoke cigarettes, this damages healthy skin cells amongst hundreds of other harmful effects on the body. While you can control whether or not you smoke, you cannot control your environment completely. The best protection is to keep your face clean and protected with deep moisturizers that create barriers on your skin. This will not prevent all free radicals but will reduce the amount that reaches your skin.

The most important point to remember is to listen to your skin. If it’s suddenly not cooperating with you, it’s trying to tell you that something isn’t right.

*Disclaimer: Please note that none of the above replaces the advice of a medical professional. If you suspect there is something wrong with your skin, seek the advice of your medical professional before making any changes or starting a new skin routine.

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

Seasonal Dry Skin Solutions

Seasonal Dry Skin Solutions

The air suddenly got much chillier in New York the last few days. Along with the sweeping cold-front, I noticed that my skin was drier and itchier. This is not new for me, and usually the first indicator of fall and winter for my body.

To check to see if your skin is too dry, there is a simple test. Take your fingernail and run it down your arm, if the lines remain on your skin, or you see some peeling, your skin is too dry.

Sometimes people don’t realize that your skin care needs change with the seasons. Our skin directly responds to two major factors: 1) What we put inside of our bodies, 2) The environment.

When the weather starts to become cooler, the humidity in the environment drops. While this is generally more comfortable for most people (who likes to just stand and drip with sweat?), our skin is responding to the lack of moisture in the air by also drying out.

Speaking with Pamela Maes, skin-care expert and esthetician with over 6 years of experience, she offers this skin advice:

“Consider changing your skin-care routine to suit the winter weather by changing to a richer moisturizer. Between the dry indoor air and the cold outdoor temperatures, the moisture in your skin can quickly get zapped. Also, try doing a scrub one day and a mask the next to maximize skin-care benefits.  Another tip: Add a humidifier to your room to combat the dry air inside.”

As the winter months approach, we recommend exfoliating two-to-three times per week for your body and twice-per-week for your face. The outer layers of your epidermis will get dry and flaky, and exfoliating polishes the dead skin away to reveal the new, fresh skin.  Not every exfoliator is made alike, and it’s important to discern between a facial exfoliator and a body exfoliator. Generally, it’s fine to use a facial exfoliator on your body, but not the other way around; body polishes may be a bit too rough for facial skin. Body exfoliators should be rich to help replenish lost oils, and facial exfoliators should use oils, like jojoba, which mimic the properties of human sebum.

Pro Facial Tip: For an at-home spa treatment, light a candle, run a bath, and soak a washcloth in hot water (as hot as you can take without feeling any discomfort), and place the hot washcloth over your face. Allow it to sit there for 5-7 minutes. The heat will encourage your face to sweat, helping to push out any facial impurities. Rinse with cold water and follow with a clay facial mask.   Finally, rinse the mask and finish with a facial serum.

Pro Body Tip: After exfoliating, then shave (if you need to); this will make the hair easier to come off. Rinse with cool-to-cold water and follow with a rich moisturizer – either a body cream or body butter will be great. This is amazing for hands, knees, and elbows, as well!

How You Wash Matters: It’s probably incredibly tempting to take a super-hot shower, especially as the weather gets cooler; however, this is detrimental to the health of your skin. According to Newsweek.com, long, hot showers actually strip your skin of its natural moisture, making you feel drier and itchier. It’s best to reduce the length of time you spend in the shower along with lowering the temperature.

If you tend to get itchy, dry skin, opt for natural soap free of parabens, surfactants, and phthalates. Natural soaps scented with essential oils might be most beneficial for you, but if you have severely dry skin, opt for fragrance-free soap.

Remember to Nourish from the Inside Out: During the summer and spring, we take more caution to stay hydrated. Plus, with all the seasonal fruits and vegetables available, it’s a little easier to ensure we’re getting our 5-servings a day. While the winter and fall are so tempting with delicious coffees and desserts, it’s imperative to continue to hydrate your body with pure water and nourish your body with fruits and veggies. The natural nutrition keeps your skin glowing and more resilient to the harsher environment.  If you’re not a fan of drinking plain water, add cucumber, mint, lemon, and/or lime to add a burst of nutritional flavor.

Dry skin is not fun, but there’s plenty that can be done to prevent and improve so your skin will feel youthful and look glowing again.

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

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

Will I turn glittery with this soap? Addressing Customer Questions!

Will I turn glittery with this soap- Addressing Customer Questions!.jpg

Whenever we craft and create products, we do our best to predict customer questions and concerns. We try to anticipate how the product will be received, which is why we offer a comprehensive FAQ page, an ingredients page, and a product care page.

Even with all of the information we offer, including on our blog and product descriptions, we still get questions from customers. We’re so happy when you contact us with your questions because it makes us better makers, providers, and allows us to offer service that is specific for you. Most of the questions we receive are in person at our shows, but we also get them via email and our social media accounts.

Some of the questions we receive are a little obscure, which is why we don’t just update our FAQ pages, but we thought it would be a lot of fun to share them (and answer them) here!

  1. Will the glitter on your soap turn me glittery or make me sparkle?
    1. No, we use cosmetic grade and biodegradable glitter solely for the aesthetic purpose of the soap itself. It will not adhere to your body….or make you a unicorn.
    2. *Side note – We use this same glitter (sometimes) in our bath bombs. This may get stuck to your bath tub, but it is easily rinsed off with water and a cloth.
  2. Will your soap wash off blood?
    1. To be completely honest, the context of how this question was asked freaked us out… A LOT, nonetheless, if the blood is on the body (such as a cut or scratch), then yes, our soap is no different than any other body soap in that it will wash off the blood. If this question was referring to fabric, then the answer is no. You would need a special blood enzyme stain remover for fabric. Just for the sake of precaution – our soap does not claim to stop bleeding or act as first aid equipment. 
  3. Will your products cure my eczema/acne/psoriasis?
    1. As much as we would love to boast that our products could do everything, maybe even your laundry, the reality is that our products are solely created for cosmetic purposes – to make you look younger and more beautiful than you already are.
  4. Is your soap made with lye?
    1. Yes, our soap is made with lye. It’s as simple as this: no lye, no soap. (FYI – Lye is the common name for sodium hydroxide.)
  5. Why did my bath bomb fizzle all out in my tub?
    1. Bath bombs are created as a one-time-use-only bathtub treat. Some people have broken the bombs to get multiple uses from them, but the bath bombs will not perform in the way they were intended to if they are broken.
  6. I’ve left my scrub open in the shower and now it smells weird/looks weird?
    1. While we use enough preservative in our oil-based scrubs to anticipate some water contamination (like wet fingers dipping in to grab more lovely scrub), you can never, ever leave any products open for water contamination. Where there’s water, there’s mold, mildew, and bacteria.
  7. I want to stretch my product, can’t I just add water and/or more oils?
    1. No, no, and please NO. Not only are you risking some serious contamination, you are messing with delicate chemistry and formulations. Unless you know the actual percentages and properties of everything inside of a product, you don’t take it upon yourself to change it. Think of it this way – if you’re making cookies and you’re out of eggs, do you just add more water?
  8. I only use liquid soap; I don’t buy bar soap because it’s dirty.
    1. Well, we actually wrote a whole blog entry about this, but in short – you’re way dirtier than your bar soap will ever be, unless you store it in the dumpster.
  9. Are your products natural?
    1. Ah, the famous natural question. The answer is yes and no. Did we pick our bar soaps and candles off of our magical bath and body bushes, nope; did we use ingredients derived from nature, yup; were those ingredients synthesized and decontaminated through various scientific methods, yup; do we use harsh surfactants, detergents, phthalates, or formaldehyde, nope. In short, NATURE + CHEMISTRY = BEAUTIFULLY SAFE.
  10. Do you have anything made with milk, beeswax, or honey?
    1. No. We are a vegan company who only uses botanical (plant-based) ingredients. The closest we get to breaking that law is the use of palm oil (from palm trees); however, we only use RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) which is responsibly sourced palm oil. [More about why some people don’t consider Palm Oil vegan here.] Milk, Beeswax, and Honey are all animal-derived ingredients, which is why they do not fit our criteria.
  11. Can’t I just melt my own wax and crayons to make my own candles?
    1. We encourage anyone who wants to be a maker to be a maker; however, anyone who plans on selling their products needs to do an incredible amount of product testing first. You can try whatever you please, but FYI on the DIY – crayons are created to be flame-retardant, so they will drown your wick.
  12. Do you have a shop on Etsy?
    1. No, we do not sell our products on Etsy or Amazon at this time. All of our products are sold directly to consumer from us through our website or at one of our tradeshows. We do not plan on joining Etsy or Amazon in the future. Our future plans consist on having independent sales representatives.
  13. How come you don’t have more candle scents/soap scents, etc.?
    1. Putting a product on the market is a lot more work than “Ok, I’m going to put this on the market today.” We have to buy fragrances/ingredients to make product, ensure it goes through complete testing, if it passes – then buy packaging and labels, pay a photographer, store the inventory, and then hope it is successful on the market. This process can take months. We’ve significantly narrowed our product line to ensure the products are successful and attributed to our vision and branding.

Do you have any other questions for us that we have not addressed? Email us at info@scentsthemoment.com and ask us!

 

Obsessed with Clay Masks: The Solution for Every Skin Type

Obsessed with Clay Masks- The Solution for Every Skin Type

I am CLAZY about clay. I became obsessed with clay when I started using it in cold-process soap recipes. Clay brings a natural exfoliant and helps maintain fragrance in soap, but there is so much more to clay. About six months ago, I started using excess clay to make my own face masks, and the positive skin results are undeniable.

Clay is extraordinarily beneficial for sensitive skin, oily skin, and acne-prone skin. This is because clay masks, as they begin to harden, draw out excess oil and sebum from the skin making the appearance tighter, refreshed, brighter, and clean.

As beneficial as clay masks are, there are wrong and right ways to use clay masks. In our dry mix, Saving Face, we recommend leaving the mask on from 4 to 7 minutes, but no longer. According to Allure:

“There are three phases of a clay mask,” McGlinchey continued. “There’s the damp phase where your skin drinks in the beneficial minerals from the outside. Then you have the start of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. But then there’s the dry phase, which draws out moisture from the surface of your skin, causing dehydration and irritation.” Not only does skin then feel dry, tight, and sometimes itchy, but when you counteract it by slathering on extra face cream, you’re just smothering your freshly cleansed skin.

When using your clay mask, you never want it to become completely dry because then you’re drying out your skin far too much. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of sebum on your skin to keep your face moisturized, but more importantly, to protect your skin against environmental damage.

A clay mask is most beneficial when you have tired and over-worked skin, such as wearing make-up or sunscreen all week. You want to use your clay mask no more than twice per week. A clay mask is also beneficial to use when you start to notice a normal break-out. I’m stressing normal break-out because most break-outs are the results of hormone shifts…and skipping washing your make-up off (which you should never do). If a break-out is abnormal (and you know your skin), or lasting longer than usual, definitely consult a dermatologist.

But what about skincare for the 45+ gorgeous person? Clay masks are perfect for this age group, as well. Most people in the 45+ age group are not suffering break-outs, but instead, are facing skin that is a little less resilient. Clay masks are beneficial for this group because it tightens pores and draws blood-flow to the skin. The extra circulation in the face is what promotes the rosy color and oxygen flow. Blood carries nutrients, water, and oxygen around the body, so anything that increases circulation (like a vigorous workout), helps bring all of the benefits to the skin.

After rinsing off your clay mask with cool-to-lukewarm water, be sure to pat dry your face. Patting your face dry is always how you should dry your face to prevent pulling and yanking on your skin. Follow-up with a serum and/or moisturizer to replenish healthy oils and make your skin glow. We recommend Evanescence for a full facial treatment.

A few final recommendations when using Saving Face: Be sure to start with fresh, clean skin and a dry face. Finally, don’t overwork your skin by exfoliating on the same day. Alternate between Face the Day and Saving Face throughout the week to give your skin a chance to rest.

In the video below, I am demonstrating how to use Saving Face, our clay mask. If you have any questions or skin concerns, I am always happy to answer – just leave them in the comments below!

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

There’s More Than One Way to Evanescence

There's More Than One Way to Evanescence

The word “Evanescence” means the process of disappearing like vapor. We named our signature luxury facial serum, Evanescence, to describe the moment of all your skin troubles disappearing away after using the serum.

We’ve received some rave reviews about how Evanescence creates glowing, youthful, bright skin. Between the Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, there’s no doubt that our facial serum is an absolute gorgeous luxury in a bottle. Plus, with the beautiful mix of the essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile, Frankincense, and Rose, the blend is teeming with antioxidants and the fragrance is rich, elegant, and absolutely divine.

Evanescence - The Gold Standard of Facial Serums

But did you know that you could use your bottle of Evanescence for more than just your face? Oh yes, this bottle of liquid gold is a divine treat for a multitude of uses. Here are just a few ways we have discovered how you could use Evanescence:

  1. For your hair. Just squirt a dime-sized amount of Evanescence into your palm, rub around, and smooth through your hair to help tame fly-aways on dry hair, or to help you blow-dry wet hair. This oil helps soften and silken your hair as well as leaving a beautiful fragrance.
  2. For your nails and cuticles. If you’re like most of us, you get dry, hard cuticles. Squirt a small amount of Evanescence into your hands and rub deeply into your cuticles to help soften and smooth to create a beautiful manicure or freshen up your manicure. Use it as a cuticle oil while you’re giving yourself a manicure to protect your nailbeds. (The same works for pedicures!)
  3. For your hands and elbows. Super-dry spots of skin absolutely love Evanescence. Rub deeply into your skin to moisturize dry areas.
  4. To protect your feet. Are wearing shoes killing your heels? Rub Evanescence into your heels before your put on your shoes to give your skin an extra layer of protection. (If you still feel pain and rubbing, you may be wearing the wrong size, or the shoes may need to be stretched.)
  5. For chapped lips. Use Evanescence on your dry and cracked lips to make them supple and moisturized. Use a very small amount and spend a moment to rub it into the delicate skin of your lips.
  6. As a make-up remover. Evanescence is an excellent make-up remover because it doesn’t dry out your skin! This is perfect for your everyday make-up. If you’re wearing heavy makeup, we recommend using a standard make-up remover.
  7. As a natural perfume. The beautiful blend of essential oils in Evanescence will give your skin an elegant, natural fragrance for hours. Just dap a bit behind your ears, on your wrists, on your neck, and behind your elbows to carry the scent of lavender, chamomile, frankincense, and rose with you all day.
  8. As an emollient for after waxing. If you wax the hair off of your face, use Evanescence to help rub off the excess wax from your face before washing. This will help prevent the extra snagging and pulling of your skin which could lead to red marks and bruising.

How do you use your Evanescence?theres-more-than-one-way-to-evanescence

Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

artisan-entrepreneur-of-the-year-2016

When I opened up my little online shop just 18 short months ago, I never imagined what we would grow into. What began as a hobby and a dream sparked into a full-time business. With no background in business, I studied and learned from the entrepreneurs before me and combined with a will and drive to succeed, I turned Bath Body Candle Moments into a local brand.

Running a business, especially from the ground up, without any knowledge base, is incredibly challenging. I went through some major pitfalls. Yes, I lost money and time, but I gained knowledge and wisdom by listening. Instead of quitting, I chose to evolve.

 

IBN-AOF-2016-Winners.png
CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SITE

 

I could never have received the honor of Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 without these major shifts:

  • Studying from brilliant entrepreneurs who offered meaningful, insightful, invaluable feedback – Donna Marie Johnson of Indie Business Network
  • Investing in a website designer who was knowledgeable and a visionary – Dean Pagliaro of eCommerceDean.
  • Investing in product photography with a talented photographer with an eye for branding – Bryan Maes of Inspiration Studios.
  • Being coachable and learning how to blog – Donna DeRosa of Donna DeRosa Coaching

Above all, I am humbled by my customers. My customers who not only show me such love and gratitude but who go above and beyond by sharing my products and sharing our story.

The categories I was honored in are: artisan products, community engagement and customer service, inspired storytelling, and website user experience.

I chose to make the products we offer because I know the value of the little moments of living add up to a life – a life worth living. I knew I could make something that would benefit and save the lives of animals instead of testing on them or using them as experiments. I learned how blogging about our business and offering up my knowledge to the world could help make someone else’s life better. What I didn’t realize was how many of you were watching and listening.

There are no better words to show my gratitude for your vote of confidence than simply thank you.

Thank you for believing in me, in my vision, in my artwork. Thank you for sharing in my mistakes, celebrating my joys, and sticking with me through it all. Thank you for your dedication to a cruelty-free and empty-shelter world. Thank you for giving me purpose. 

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

One of the most common questions I receive from customers is: “What are your best selling items?” This answer is both easy and complicated because of the nature of our business; we make a lot of Limited Edition products to keep things interesting in our store, so the answer depends on the time of year and the audience.

For some fun, we’re going to break down the trends from the last 12 months!

Best Selling Soap – Women
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Beach Bumming – Sun, Sand, Sea Mist
3. Moonlight – Rose

Best Selling Soap – Men
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Black Tie Affair – Black Velvet Peppercorn
3. Mocha Coffee Break – Coffee

Best Selling Bath Bomb
1. Midnight in Paris – Lavender & Chocolate

Most Requested Wholesale and Private Label Item
1. Bath Bombs – We private labeled bath bombs for 4 companies, and wholesaled to 3 companies. In the last 12 months, we’ve made nearly 2500 bath bombs! (Just in case you were wondering, that’s approximately 700 pounds of baking soda.)

Best Debuted Items
1. Don’t Bug Me Natural Bug Deterrent – We sold over 200 bottles in three months!
2. Evanescence Supreme Luxury Facial Serum – Once we announced the product, we had 15 pre-sold in the first three minutes. Since then, we had even considered closing this product down to limit our offerings and we received over 20 emails or messages asking us not to and sold 10 more in the first day. We sold over 25 samples, and have been asked to private label for a famous indie skincare brand.

Best Selling Holiday Products
1. Snow Day! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like snowmen.
2. Trick or Treat! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like jack-o-lanterns.
3. Wrapping Gifts Soap – Scented in Peppermint

Greatest Loyalty
1. Face the Day Sugar Face Scrub – Once people switch to Face the Day, they never go back to their old facial products. (Just read the reviews!)
2. Butter Me Up Face & Body Butter – People who buy Butter Me Up come back and almost always buy more for their friends and family…then,  of course, more for themselves!

Best Selling Candles
1. Unstressed – Lavender & Chamomile
2. Summer Break – Ocean Mist
3. After the Rain – Aroma Spa

Top Two Best Selling Items by Quantity (Overall)
1. Midnight in Paris Bath Bomb
2. Sneak a Smooch Lip Moisturizer

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Skin Care Edition: Fact or Fiction?

skin-care-edition-fact-or-fiction

There are so many incredible tips out there to help us live happier, healthier, and more natural lives, but sometimes these tips are simply wrong, and sometimes you would be surprised at what is actually true! Whether these tips come from old wives tales, family tradition, or the internet, it’s key to be informed to stay healthy.

  • Use alcohol to dry out pimples. FICTION. Egads, this is TERRIBLE for your skin! Alcohol is incredibly drying to the top layers of your skin, so by applying alcohol, all you’re doing is burning away skin tissue. If you have a pimple, leave it be, or if you insist on clearing it out, use a clean towel to create a hot compress until the pimple expels on its own. After, use a little bit of Neosporin to keep bacteria and germs out. (Don’t use your fingers, ever!)
  • Using oil on your face will make you break out. FICTION. Non-comedogenic oils such as argan oil, rosehip seed oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil are extremely beneficial to all skin types (yes, even oily skin). For dry skin, it helps to moisturize, for oily skin, it lets your body know it doesn’t need to produce more oil. The right oils will help balance your skin to create a youthful appearance. Try a product like Evanescence.
  • Lemon and sugar make a good scrub. FACT. The Vitamin C and citric acid found in lemon juice and lemon rinds is naturally antibacterial and offer antioxidants. Sugar is small and granule making it a perfect base for gentle exfoliation. Never rub lemon directly on your face, but mix lemon juice with a non-comedogenic oil (like jojoba or fractionated coconut) and sugar to create your own scrub. Or, you could always use a scrub that’s been perfectly formulated for your skin already.
  • Using soap on your face is a bad idea. FACT and FICTION. This all depends on the soap itself! Natural soaps crafted with enriching oils and/or butters are perfectly fine for face washing! However, you want to stay away from soaps that have ingredients like propylene glycol, parabens, or sodium lauryl sulfate; the jury is still out on the effects of these ingredients, so why risk your face?
  • Eating sugar and carb-rich foods cause breakouts. FACT. Most breakouts actually occur from your body’s chemistry, such as your hormones and the foods your eating. When you eat foods rich in sugar or saturated fats you can aggravate your sebaceous glands, which may lead to zits.
  • You don’t need sunscreen in the winter. FICTION. Some of the worst sunburns can occur in the winter time! The reason this myth arose is because people are less likely to spend time outside in the winter, but the sun still shines in the winter. This is especially true if you partake in winter sports, or spend time in the snow; the water in the snow actually reflects the light from the sun, creating more rays than you would expect. Final point: Wear your sunscreen.
  • Cucumbers reduce puffy eyes. FACT. Chilled sliced cucumbers placed on puffy eyes can help reduce the swelling because the cooling effect of evaporation helps drain the lymphatic nodes under your eyes. Also, cucumbers offer flavonoids and antioxidants which are thought to reduce irritation.

We would love to hear about the different advice you’ve received to keep your skin healthy! Comment below and we’ll fact-check it for you!

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Keep Mature Skin Glowing

Keep Mature Skin Glowing

Mature Skin has special requirements to maintain the look of glowing vitality. As we age, we produce less collagen and elastin, two proteins which are responsible for giving skin the “plump” look, and the ability to “snap-back” (like elastic).  Our skin also appears to become more transparent as we age, revealing spots and a sallow look; this is a result of the epidermis (top layer of skin) actually thinning. Environmental factors also create aging skin, with the number one factor being sun damage.

So, between the environment and Father Time, what is the number one skincare item to save our sallow, sagging skin?

I’m going to break the rules here and tell you what even the best skincare can’t do: It cannot turn back the clock. Yes, yes, seems obvious, right? Yet, we spend thousands of dollars a year trying to do exactly that.

There is good news. While we can’t change our past, we can change our future by first changing our present. (<–This golden nugget applies to all factors of life.)

I Feel 30, How Do I Look 30?

  • Start using sunscreen NOW. With a thinning epidermis, mature skin is far more susceptible to even further sun damage. Even minutes of a high-UV index can start to take its toll and damage skin. Our favorite recommendation for sunscreen is Neutrogena 45 Broad-Spectrum.
  • Drink plenty of water. This is classic advice and just makes for overall greater health, anyway. But drinking more water helps skin to appear rejuvenated and plump.
  • Exfoliate. Exfoliation helps to wash away dead skin cells for the more youthful cells to appear. The brushing affect also helps drive blood to the skins surface, making it appear rosy and young, and aiding in circulation. For the best exfoliation in town, you must try Face the Day.
  • Wash with a gentle cleanser. Mature skin doesn’t have the same elasticity it used to, so the harsh rubbing and pulling of a regular face wash may be counter-intuitive. Ideally, wash your face with a natural soap made with essential oils, or a cleanser free of surfactants, detergents, and sulfates.
  • Use oils to remove make-up. Washing your face further to try and remove your make-up can be irritating for mature skin, and many make-up removers contain alcohol which is incredibly drying for all skin types. It’s best to use oil-based products that are gentle and soothing, such as the Rest Easy Spray.
  • Use serums with oils rich in anti-oxidants. To help revitalize the appearance of mature skin, oils rich in anti-oxidants, such as argan oil and rosehip seed oil, can aid in the protection against free radical damage. Another excellent oil is jojoba, which is actually a wax ester, and most closely resembles natural human sebum, giving the skin extra nourishment. Our luxury facial serum, Evanescence, includes all of these oils for this exact reason. It promotes beauty and youthful appearance in all skin types.
  • Use satin pillowcases. How you sleep can actually affect how your skin appears. Pillowcases made of rougher materials, such as cotton (less than 500 thread), can pull on the skin while you sleep, and since mature skin doesn’t have the same elasticity, it will not rebound as it once did. Satin or high-end luxury cotton pillowcases are less likely to pull (plus, they feel like you’re sleeping in a five-star hotel).

As always, the key to vibrant skin at any age starts with balanced nutrition, exercise, and reduced stress. A simple daily walk in nature can both increase your cardiovascular health and boost your happiness, which always makes everyone look beautiful.