Natural & Herbal Additives
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has long been used as a natural hair care product to promote healthy hair and scalp. Vinegar removes scaly build-up and residue from hair shafts and closes the cuticles. Since residue coats the hair causing it to look dull, removing residue gives your hair more natural shine. By closing the cuticles, the hair shaft is strengthened and slides more easily so there will be fewer tangles and splits. It also reduces the itching, drying scalp and dandruff by destroying the bacteria or fungi that clog hair follicles and cause hair loss. ACV cleanses and gives hair more body and luster. All ACV is not created equal. We use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar that is made from fresh pressed apples and contains the mother of vinegar. The apple cider vinegar is raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving the fragile enzymes and nutrients. Clear processed vinegar does not have the same benefits as raw ACV.
- Apricots are chocked full of many wonderful vitamins, minerals and natural oils. Rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and especially beta carotene, apricots are good for sunburn, itching and eczema. Apricots are known for their hydrating, firming and revitalizing properties, making them an excellent addition to natural skin care products. Apricots are great for dry skin, high in Vitamin A, and help smooth wrinkles and rejuvenate and tighten skin.
- Arrowroot Powder, Maranta arundinacea, made from a starch extracted from the rhizome of the arrowroot plant, is most often used in cooking as a replacement for cornstarch in thickening puddings and sauces. It imparts a silky texture to body creams and helps decrease the oily feeling of natural oils and butters. A great substitute for cornstarch for those with corn allergies, arrowroot powder also helps absorb perspiration. Arrowrootsoftens the skin and is used to help heal rashes.
- Avocados, a treasury of vitamins, minerals and natural oils, were once used as an aphrodisiac. Although we make no guarantees on that account, the oils do have an ancient history of use in cosmetics. Ancient Aztec, Mayan and Inca women believed that the avocado fed the skin from without as well as within. Today avocado pulp is used to make moisturizing complexion masks. Avocados are high in beta-carotene, lecithin, fatty acids, potassium and protein, not usually found in fruit. They are high in vitamins A and D and contain more vitamin E than any other fruit. Avocado pulp is rich, nourishing, and moisturizing leaving skin feeling soft and smooth.
- Baking Soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has been used for years to treat stomach ailments, eliminate odors, clean your home and create scrumptious food. But baking soda is also great for skin and hair care. It can be used as a dry shampoo, a clarifying rinse to remove residue and chlorine from hair, natural deodorant, foot soak, bath soak and more. While any baking soda will do for cleaning, all baking sodas are not created equal. Our baking soda is mined directly from the ground in its natural state. There are no chemical reactions, nothing added or processed--simply pure sodium bicarbonate, just the way our Earth made it. Less expensive baking soda is made using a chemical process that creates baking soda from mined trona ore. This baking soda is not necessarily bad, but it’s not the same as natural baking soda.A side note: Baking Soda does not and never has contained aluminum. It is baking powder that may have aluminum--so look for the aluminum-free label when buying baking powder.
- Activated Bamboo Charcoal is made up of pieces of the rapidly growing moso bamboo. As the moso bamboo matures, millions of tiny holes or pores form in the stalks.These tiny holes increase the surface area of the bamboo. This means that it is able to adsorb a large amount of bacteria, toxins and micro-particles. Due to its exfoliating and detoxifying properties, bamboo charcoal is great for folks with acne, troubled skin, or oily/combination skin. It works to unclog skin and absorb excess skin oil. Charcoal adsorbs dirt and debris from pores leaving skin ultra-clean, soft and smooth. Four times more adsorbent than wood charcoal, bamboo charcoal eliminates impurities and neutralizes odors.
- Beer is a humectant, which means it attracts and locks moisture to the skin. Adding beer to a bath is a practice that began in the Middle Ages. Well known for its conditioning properties, beer creates a gentle moisturizing lather. The malt and yeast in beer are rich in B complex vitamins, biotin, pantothenic acid, and trace minerals, which help make skin smooth and supple. Beer has been used to help acne, eczema, and skin infections. The hops in the beer gives the soap a nice clean smell with a hint of sweetness similar to honey. In hair care, beer tightens the cuticle of the hair shaft adds luster, body and manageability. The proteins from the malt and hops coat the hair, build it up and help repair damage.
- Carrots and Carrot Juice were regarded by the ancient healers as the 'herbal healer' of skin. Carrots are rich in antioxidants which fight tissue damage caused by free radicals, help rejuvenate sun-exposed and mature skin and may help with wrinkles. The soothing properties of carrots have been used to treat dermatitis, eczema, and rashes. The fresh root, finely chopped, has been used as a beauty mask for the face . The carrot juice adds a lovely orange color to soap. Carrots were first cultivated in 500 BC in the Mediterranean regions. They were introduced in Europe 1600's and ladies used the feathery tops as decoration for hats and wore them in their hair.
- Chocolate and Cocoa Powder add color, aroma, and skin soothing and softening properties. People pay good money to have their bodies coated with real chocolate. Chocolate contains antioxidants, which inhibit the free radicals that otherwise break down normal cell reproduction. Many people use green tea-based cosmetic products, for their antioxidant qualities, but dark chocolate has four times as many antioxidants as green tea. It also contains well known cellulite fighter - natural Caffeine! Caffeine helps temporarily plump and smooth the skin. Bathing in chocolate is almost as much fun as eating it. Chocolate has been associated with romance since the age of the Aztecs. Our chocolate and cocoa are Fair Trade and supports small farmer co-ops that use sustainable farming methods.
- Clays, called Ee-Wah-Kee, which means "mud-that-heals," were used by Native Americans as a natural way to purify, sooth, and heal wounds. Clay masks are used today by many cultures as a natural way to remove toxins and tone facial skin. Buyer Beware: Clays also have many industrial uses. Cheaper industrial grade clays are not necessarily pure. Knowing your clay, how its source, processed and handled is very important. The clays we use are monitored by our organic certification agency!
- Bentonite Clay is derived from naturally occurring volcanic ash sediments here in the US. When mixed with water, it becomes very slippery, almost gel-like. Good for all skin types, it is commonly used in shaving soaps to make the razor slippery to avoid cuts to the skin. It also makes an invigorating body or face mask. Great for treating problem skin and poison ivy, clays are also reputed to naturally cleanse pores. When used in natural deodorants, nutrient-rich bentonite clay helps absorb sweat naturally. Clay gives soap a smooth silky lather. In hair care, bentonite clay draws out impurities, restores hair’s natural balance and helps remove product buildup on the hair and scalp.
China White Kaolin Clay, also called kaolin clay or white clay, is one of the mildest and purest of all clays. It can be used on even the most sensitive skin. Since it does not draw oils from the skin, it can be used on dry skin and is often used in fine face powders. The very fine, naturally absorbent texture gently cleans, exfoliates, and eliminates clogged pores, while improving circulation. White China clay is soothing, cleansing, hydrating, detoxifying, and gives soap a smooth creamy lather. In hair care, gentle and rich in silica, kaolin clay helps clean scalp without drying. It calms inflammation and helps moisturize dry, brittle hair. It improves circulation in the scalp and removes dirt and impurities from the hair follicles which helps strengthens the roots.
French Green Clay is mined from bedrock quarries in France. It has great absorbent powers and literally "drinks" oils, toxins and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin bringing fresh blood to damaged skin cells, revitalizing the complexion while tightening pores. This clay is great for oily skin and helps to clear problem skin.
Rhassoul Clay, also known as Moroccan Lava Clay, is an ancient clay formed deep beneath the Atlas mountains in eastern Morocco. Due to its ability to detoxify and absorb oil and impurities from both skin and hair, rhassoul clay leaves the hair and skin unbelievably clean, smooth, moisturized, clear, and feeling fresh. Rhassoul clay, very rich in trace minerals, has extraordinary absorption properties which makes it very effective for cleansing the skin. It helps reduce dryness, reduce flakiness, improve skin clarity, improve skin elasticity and improve skin texture. It removes dead skin, surface oil, and oil from inside and around clogged pores resulting in a general smoothing of the skin. Often used in masks, mud baths, and clay baths, rhassoul is described as a balancing clay, perfect for all skin types since it attracts and lifts dirt, yet does not strip the skin of precious natural oils. In hair care rhassoul was used to naturally shampoo hair in Ancient Rome and Egypt. Rhassoul clay is the moisturizer and softener. It reduces dryness in the hair while also removing impurities and product buildup. It stimulates the scalp, helps restore softness and luster to dull hair and nourishes because of the higher ratio of silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other trace minerals.
- Coconut milk, softening, soothing and moisturizing to the skin, adds creaminess to handcrafted soap. Rich in natural antiseptic fatty acids, coconut milk, gently removes impurities without drying sensitive skin. Coconut milk has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is widely used in spas in India to soothe dry skin and scalps. Women in India often use coconut milk to help prevent hair loss.
- Coffee is used in soaps to absorb odors from the skin. It also contains well known cellulite fighter - Caffeine! Caffeine helps temporarily plump and smooth the skin. Coffee grounds provide pumice-like exfoliation, removing dead skin cells, and firming and toning skin. In hair care, brunettes have been pouring fresh brewed coffee on their hair for centuries to help transform flat brown tones to into shiny, rich color and maybe even do away with some of those pesky gray strands. The natural oil from the coffee beans adds luster to dry hair and studies done at a university in Germany suggest that caffeine promotes hair growth. Our coffee is Fair Trade and supports small farmer co-ops that use sustainable farming methods.
- Cornmeal absorbs oils and has long been used for its mildly abrasive qualities, which help to unclog skin pores and increase blood circulation to the skin. This exfoliating skin cleanser promotes finer skin texture. Your skin will regain a glowing, refreshed look.
Cornstarch, a silky powder made from corn, soothes and helps heal irritated skin. It helps give skin a fresh, dry, silky smooth feeling. It adds the silkiness of silk fibers to soap without using animal products. Cornstarch helps to cut a nit of the oiliness and adds silkiness to natural body butters. Our cornstarch is 100% pure cornstarch made from certified organic non-genetically modified corn.
- Dead Sea Mud and Salt: Legendary for its rich concentration of salt and rare minerals, the Dead Sea has long been praised for its healing qualities and therapeutic properties. At 1,290 feet below sea level it is one of the most saline lakes in the world with a mineral concentration of 33%, compared to the average 3% in the world's oceans. Fed mainly by the Jordan River, the Dead Sea has no outlet and loses large amounts of water by evaporation into the hot dry air. This results in a giant reservoir of salts and minerals. The water of the Dead Sea contains 21 minerals, many of which are found in no other sea or ocean. Cleopatra went to great expense to obtain exclusive rights over the Dead Sea area.
- The Dead Sea’s most precious resource, Dead Sea Mud,comes from the sedimentation of plant and sea-life deposits over thousands of years. The mud is packed with organic nutrients, proteins, minerals and natural enzymes. Dead Sea Mud stimulates blood circulation, rejuvenates the skin, and leaves the skin glowing and youthful looking. It deep cleans to remove impurities. The fine, natural grain of the mud softly yet effectively sloughs off dead skin cells and leaves the skin looking fresh and radiant. The Dead Sea Mud used in our soap and shampoo is not a powder product, it is a mixture of Dead Sea Mud and nourishing mineral water from the Dead Sea. In hair care, Dead Sea mud creates fuller, shinier, softer, and healthier hair. It re-mineralizes the hair and scalp and helps rid the scalp of impurities. The proteins and minerals in Dead Sea mud rejuvenate the hair and replenish lost nutrients. Mud masks made with Dead Sea Mud are said to be very helpful for strengthening hair roots when applied to the scalp. Dead Sea Salt is so rich in minerals that it has been renowned for its therapeutic effects since ancient times. Skin absorbs the minerals lost due to sun, age and pollution, looking healthier and younger!
- Eggs are one of nature's most perfectly balanced foods, containing all the protein, vitamins (except vitamin C) and minerals essential for good health. Eggs are considered a complete protein because they contain all of the essential amino acids, which are the "building blocks" of protein. In addition, eggs contain thirteen essential vitamins and minerals. They are rich in the B vitamin family, and also contribute vitamins A and D. In particular, egg yolks are one of the greatest sources of riboflavin and vitamin B12. In hair care, eggs are an egg-cellent natural conditioner. They strengthen hair and leave it shiny and manageable. Eggs help moisturize hair because they contain lecithin, an important component of cell membranes. Some hair egg-sperts suggest applying an egg bath to your hair once a week. Cleopatra’s regular shampoo was made by combining egg yolks and vinegar. We use certified organic, free range eggs.
- Goat Milk is one of natures finest moisturizers and skin softeners due to its high butterfat content. People who can not use regular soap find that our goat milk soaps are very mild and non-irritating to their skin. Rich in vitamins, goat milk also contains lactic acid, one of the most commonly used alpha hydroxy acids in skin care. Alpha-hydroxy acids penetrate the skin and have rejuvenating effects on skin's cells, neutralizing free radicals, slowing the aging process and improving the overall look and feel of the skin.
- Himilayan Pink Salt: Millions of years ago, a great ocean separated India from Asia in the region that would become the Himalayan Mountain range. The pristine salt deposits from this ocean are over 250 million years old. Harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas, this naturally pink salt is one of the purest salts found on earth. These salts, known for their healing properties, are an effective treatment for dry skin, psoriasis, and acne. Himalayan salt can also soothe insect bites, heal blisters, and even help with arthritis. Himalayan salt baths cleanse and detoxify the skin, leaving it smoother, softer, and healthier. Our Himalayan pink salt is organic compliant.
- Honey is nature's ultimate beauty product. Throughout the centuries, beautiful woman have used honey as part of their skin and hair care treatments. Cleopatra was famous for her milk and honey baths, and Poppea, wife of Roman Emperor Nero, used a honey and milk lotion on her face to keep her looking youthful. The acids in honey have been known to help one’s skin look youthful. Numerous studies have proven its effectiveness in fighting infection, promoting new skin growth and even lessening scarring. It is used in many hospitals to treat burns. Honey derives its antibacterial effects from natural hydrogen peroxide, produced by an enzyme naturally present in honey. Honey never spoils due to a very high potassium content, which makes it difficult for bacteria to survive. Honey hydrates, moisturizes, soothes, softens and gives soap a lovely tan color and a sweet scent, Honey, one of the best-known humectants, traps and seals in moisture leaving skin soft and supple. In hair care, honey revitalizes hair and acts as a natural sealant, holding moisture and shine in the hair. We use natural raw honey so it still contains bits of pollen, honeycomb, and healing propolis- all the natural goodness the bees put in.
- Loofah, a plant in the pumpkin or gourd family, is a fast growing annual vine that grows much like the cucumber and produces strange looking fruit that is edible when immature and used as sponges when fully mature. Loofah, one of the best exfoliants, is a sponge made from the fibrous skeleton of the fruit. These all natural vegetable sponges gently exfoliate your skin, removing dead cells to reveal healthy new ones and improve circulation. Exfoliation, the best renewal process for your skin, helps shed the top layer of dead, dry flakes and unclog pores, while improving the look and feel of your skin. Since dead skin cells prevent moisture from being absorbed into the skin, exfoliation makes skin more receptive to moisturizers. Loofah deep cleans and conditions your skin naturally. Environmentally conscious consumers appreciate that loofah products are biodegradable, 100% natural and a renewable resource.
- Menthol Crystals, Mentha arvensis,are the solid portion of the natural oil of mint. As the mint essential oil is subjected to very low temperatures, the menthol crystallizes out. Menthol crystals stimulate cold receptors in the skin and are excellent for use in products made to provide cooling and soothing relief for muscular aches and pains. Their strong minty aroma also helps with upper respiratory and nasal congestion. Our menthol crystals are a 100% natural organic product that originate from mint essential oil extraction--nothing synthetic!
- Sea Salt, Also known as “fleur de sel” (flower of salt), it is processed only by the sea, sun and human hands. The salt is harvested, sun dried and stone ground and undergoes no treatment after harvesting. Since there is no processing, washing, or additives added, Celtic sea salt retains its wealth of trace elements, like calcium and magnesium. Celtic sea salt has 17.5% trace mineral content as compared to 1.68% of table salts or over processed "sea salt." These pure salt crystals, loaded with health-enhancing minerals, help exfoliate dead skin, remove toxins from the skin, clean pores, strengthen skin tissue and stimulate circulation to keep skin looking younger. Our Noirmoutier salt is organic compliant.
- Oatmeal has long been used to soften and soothe sensitive or irritated skin. Ground oats have been used in beauty bars for centuries as a gentle exfoliant that removes dead cells and stimulates circulation to maintain healthy, beautiful skin Oatmeal is a soothing, anti-inflammatory grain that helps calm dry, inflamed and sensitive skin and helps with the painful itching associated with eczema and minor skin irritations. Finely ground oatmeal binds moisturizing emollients to your skin which helps dry skin. Many of you may remember using an oatmeal and baking soda bath to help relieve the itching of chicken pox! Oatmeal provides a wonderful texture, color, and scent to the soap naturally.
- Oranges are loaded with vitamin C. Everybody knows that Vitamin C is necessary for a variety of biological functions, but it can also be great for your skin. It is an anti-oxidant and may help to reduce free-radicals in your skin. The natural oil found in orange peel is believed to tone the skin and help diminish the effects of scars and blemishes.
- Paprika, Capsicum annuum, is a red spice made from dried bell peppers ground into a powder. Great for mature, tired, sun-damaged or blemished skin, paprika masks are often used as facial treatment in spas to stimulate circulation, detoxify and clarify skin, and improve acne skin.
- Pumpkin, high in vitamin A and beta carotene, protects and soothes sore rough skin and helps prevent flaking…perfect for eczema. Salons are now mixing this vitamin rich vegetable into facials. Natural enzymes found in pumpkin help exfoliate dead skin and leave skin softer and brighter. Pumpkin also adds a lovely natural orange color, sweet aroma, and creamy texture to soap.
- Rice Flour, made from finely milled rice, is a good substitute for wheat flour for those who are sensitive to gluten. Rice flour has been used as a natural beauty treatment for centuries to relieve inflammation associated with skin diseases and for cleansing and softening skin. Its oil-absorbing properties make it an excellent choice for balancing skin oils. This very fine and silky flour makes an excellent base for natural body and hair powders. It can also be used as a natural base for make-up to create a satin smooth finish.
- Rosemary Oil Extract (ROE), Rosmarinus officinalis, is not an essential oil. Often called nature's best antioxidant, it contains natural antioxidant compounds, that are very beneficial in both skin care and hair care. Researchers in Italy have shown that rosemary antioxidant helps protect skin cells and may prevent age-related skin damage. ROE has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial characteristics. We use this natural, plant-based antioxidant to inhibit oxidation of our natural oils and butters.
- Vanilla Beans, Vanilla planifolia, are the dried unripe fruit pods of a climbing orchid vine. Although its sensual aroma helps soothe your soul, relax nerves, ease tension, lift your mood and acts as an aphrodisiac, vanilla is more than just a pretty scent. It is a great additive to skin care products. The major constituent of vanilla beans, vanillin, is a powerful antioxidant that helps the skin repair cell damage. Its anti-inflammatory properties help ease muscle strain and tension. Vanilla bean infused oils can be used for relaxing massages, calming baths or as a deliciously moisturizing body oil. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron. Growing vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. It takes up to three years after the vines are planted before the first flowers appear. Each flower opens only one day a year for a few hours before wilting and must be hand pollinated by workers in order to produce the vanilla bean fruit. Each flower produces a single bean. The yellow unripe beans are picked, boiled and then dried slowly in the Sun over a period of months. As the beans dry and shrivel the flavors concentrate.
- Yogurt, has been used in facial masks and creams for years. Yogurt moistures as it soothes, softens and rejuvenates the skin. Milk and yogurt contain lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid that helps the remove dead skin cells and hydrate and sooth the complexion--leaving skin refreshed and clear. Yogurt is very rich and nourishing and is helpful for all skin types, even sensitive and delicate. It makes a wonderful soap that is verymoisturizing and has a great texture!!