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!

butter me up small 1

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.

rest easy 2

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.

unstressed-candle

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:

Capture

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

Brewsome Bar Soap: Making Soap With Coffee, Beer, Wine, and Tea

Brewsome Bar Soap - Making Soap With Coffee, Beer, Wine, and Tea

A normal cold-process soap recipe calls for distilled water as one of the main ingredients. But what happens when you decide to kick your water to the curb? Apparently, brew soap is what happens. I was tired of the same distilled water base for my soap recipes, so I decided to see what the outcome of brew soaps would be. (In short, pretty awesome.)

Like millions of other Americans, I start my morning off with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. During the months when I teach, I’m usually harried and run to a local coffee shop to grab my fix of morning joe, but during the summer months, I like to brew my own coffee and sip it outside on my porch while reading.

Bath Body Candle Moments Mocha Coffee Break Soap

The Mocha Coffee Break Soap has been part of our permanent line. Inspired by sipping coffee, the love of the smell of chocolate, and the desire to create an exfoliating, scratchy bar of soap, Mocha Coffee Break was born.  Screenshot 2017-06-02 23.25.49

Mocha Coffee Break Soap soon became a fan favorite – with myself and my husband included. I love the scratchiness and exfoliation, plus the extra caffeine boost from the soap made with real Colombian coffee helps to tighten pores.

The spring I figured – why stop at coffee? I decided to expand my soaping horizons and explore the skin benefits – and the fun – of using other brews to make soap.

I tried out beer soap. I use Samuel Adams Oatmeal Cappuccino Stout to make Monday Night Football Vegan Soap.  Because of the sugar, beer soap produces a beautiful, fluffy lather. I thought this would be especially perfect for Father’s Day, so I scented it with cedarwood essential oil, with a dash of patchouli. Between the hoppiness of the beer and the woodsiness of the cedarwood, this soap smells masculine, strong, but still elegant.

 

Mondayy Night Football Vegan Beer Soap
Monday Night Football Vegan Soap

 

I really loved using the cocoa butter in this bar soap because it’s extra firm, and I truly wanted to give the impression of a “manly” soap. Working with the beer was a lot easier than I anticipated. After boiling off the alcohol, it actually behaved very well in the soap to produce a bar that was smooth, beautiful, fragrant, and easy to cut. I sincerely believe using a high-quality beer made all the difference.

 

Girls' Night Out Wine Soap
Girls Night Out Wine Soap

 

The name of this soap was born before the idea. I always loved the concept of a “Girls Night Out” theme for one of our moments, but never could quite grasp what that scent was. That’s when I got an invitation from my friend to come over to her house to play board games and sip wine. Boom. To the brew-mobile, Batman! GIRLS NIGHT OUT WINE SOAP! 

Working with wine was a real challenge. First, I had to boil off the alcohol but had to watch not to boil it too long or I would actually burn the wine. Then I had to let the wine cool, freeze, and finally, I could mix it with the lye. The amount of sugar in wine is so intense that mixing it with the lye without freezing would cause the temperatures to go over 300 degrees Fahrenheit – completely making a burning mess.  On the flip side, the sugar creates a beautiful fluffy lather, and the Cabernet gives the soap such a floral fragrance. This soap did start to seize on me pretty fast when mixing, so it’s a bit more rugged looking than others, but an absolutely gorgeous bar of soap.

 

Tea Time Soap
Tea Time Vegan Soap

 

Finally, I wanted to work with one of my favorite comfort beverages – Early Gray Tea. I love the natural bergamot that comes through with Early Gray, and the softness the tea makes for the water. In soap, that soft water translated to a lustrous, smooth bar of beautiful Tea Time Vegan Soap.

I scented this one with crisp cranberries and lemon poppy, so the top notes are bursting with a freshness closing off bottom notes that have a light, sugary edge. I chose to make this bar with shea butter to give it an extra firmness with lovely moisturizing properties. I sincerely love the way this bar smells and wish I would have made a bigger batch!


Overall, I really enjoyed working with different mediums to make soap and will continue to experiment in the future.  I would love to hear your ideas on what I should make next!

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

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!

 

The Amazing Luffa (Loofah) Soap

The Amazing Luffa Soap

When most people think about “Luffa,” they believe it is a sea sponge. This is wrong! The Luffa Plant is actually a gourd which produces fruit! Commonly grown in the United States and Asia, people have been consuming the squash produced from the luffa plant for centuries.

The luffa you find in cosmetic use, common for exfoliation, has actually been dehydrated for months.

 

Photo courtesy of Wholesale Supplies Plus

 

Most commonly, people purchase pieces of luffa for use in the shower. It’s used by adding soap and scrubbing the skin, but this can actually be quite harsh, more so, left alone in the shower, the luffa has the potential to grow mold, mildew, and bacteria. For these reasons, we created the After the Rain Luffa Soap.

 

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After the Rain Luffa Soap by Bath, Body, Candle Moments

 

Using the melt-and-pour soapmaking technique, we added chunks of luffa directly into the soap, so there is no concern about the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria because these microbes cannot grow on soap.

Ideally, you would use a luffa soap for extremely rough or dry skin, such as on the feet. When used on the feet, it’s an amazing exfoliation of dead skin because the soap is naturally coarse and rough, helping to slough off the hardened, dried skin.

A luffa soap can also be used to invigorate the body. An ancient technique, called “Dry Brushing,” usually requires the use of a bristle brush, but a luffa soap can almost be used in the same way. Using the luffa soap on areas like the hips, glutes, and back can create a deep scratching feel, which promotes circulation and can feel like a deep-tissue massage. Be careful not to scratch too deeply – if the skin is red, inflamed, stinging, or painful, it was done too hard, or the skin may be too sensitive for this kind of use. It’s normal for the skin to be slightly pink.

Luffa soap is also excellent for areas where there are ingrown hairs, as the coarse features of the soap may help to loosen the skin blocking the hair. For this reason, using the luffa soap right before you shave (never your face!) can create a smoother, softer, closer shave.

In any way you decide to use a luffa soap, always be sure to moisturize afterward to keep your skin soft and supple.

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

 

 

From Staten Island to Ghana: Making Traditional African Black Soap

From Staten Island to Ghana- Making Traditional African Black Soap

It was Spring Break here in Staten Island, New York this past week. While many of my fellow teacher friends were hopping on airplanes to Caribbean climates, I chose a stay-cation in my Staten Island soap lab. I finally had a full week to be super creative with my soaping!

I chose to dedicate this week’s soap shenanigans to step outside of my normal soaping zone. I made soap with beer, soap with wine, Spanish Castile soap, soap inspired by the Arabian desert, and traditional African Black Soap with a recipe from Ghana.

I started doing my research on African Black Soap several months ago when a friend told me his wife was obsessed with it.  It goes by many names – anago soap, alata simena, and dudu-osun – and it all depends on which part of Africa the recipe is derived from.

What’s interesting about African Black Soap is that no two soaps from different regions are alike. The reason is because it’s actually a tribal recipe, and the recipes that we have now were deduced from backward engineering, otherwise, they are tribal secrets. Secondly, the ingredients are solely based on what’s locally available; however, what each recipe has in common is an abundance of shea butter.

In the soap forum, Soapmakingfun.com, the ingredient derivatives are explained:
“Palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter and shea butter are commonly used as base oil, while the lye component, usually in the form of potash (potassium hydroxide), is derived from the ashes of plantain skins, cocoa pods, shea tree bark and the by-products of shea production.”

This is an unusual method of making bar soap because bar soap normally requires sodium hydroxide while liquid soap requires potassium hydroxide – this is why African Black Soap is softer and more crumbly than regular bar soap.

African Black Soap has many natural exfoliants and is generally slightly scratchy when using it. This makes it an incredible soap for troubled skin. Interestingly, even with the exfoliating component, it is also an excellent soap for sensitive skin. It’s generally just an excellent soap to use for people who are seeking a natural alternative for irritated skin.

“Black” soap is a bit of a misnomer to the rustic appearance as it is really a variety of browns. Truly, because of all the natural, local ingredients, batches can extremely vary in appearance.

The natural scent of this soap may not be appealing to many people as it smells a bit ashy, which is why I took my own twist on the recipe and added tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil. Along with improving the fragrance, tea tree and lavender essential oils are also ideal for troubled and sensitive skin while maintaining the completely natural, synthetic-free state of the soap.

The beauty of this soap is how simultaneously clean, fresh, and soft your skin will feel after using it. It’s clear to see why so many people are raving about it, but don’t be fooled by mislabeling. I’ve seen a lot of brands marketing their products as traditional African Black Soap but then reading ingredient labels that have SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), which is an added synthetic surfactant. Read your labels, know your products.

Why not grab a bar of Traditional African Black Soap and see what the craze is all about?

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2