All Natural Handmade Soap – 4 Reasons to buy it

I am often asked why a customer should buy my handmade soap rather than
the brand name in the stores and since unfortunately we are in a time
where we are unable to personally converse with our customers I
like to answer this question and share the differences in this Article.

Handmade Soap vs Commercial Brand Name Soaps

Brand name soap makers are constantly advertising to consumers and are
often times very misleading.

For starters, their is a big difference between two words “Natural” and
Organic” when it comes to soap.

The word organic, when used on a label is a word that is
regulated by the USDA and has a set of quality standards attached to it.

The word natural does not, and often times those products use
detergents that have a chemical base as well as artificial foaming
agents and fragrances.

I always say, “read the label”!

But don’t be fooled, some smaller soap makers also use these ingredients, often times to keep the cost down when making products in large batches.

Ask questions like, what ingredients do they use? What is the process and method they make their soaps with? Educate yourself before buying.

Since this article is written about my own soaps and I like to be
transparent with my customers, I am going to share the differences
between store bought soaps and handmade Soaps by Gegi’s Original.

Four Reasons why you should buy handmade soap

 

#1 Glycerin

Glycerin is the ultimate moisturizer. It is a humectant, which means it has the
property of attracting water to itself from deeper skin layers, helps slow the evaporation of water from your skin and because of that it is important to have glycerin in your soap to not just clean your skin but also keep your skin moisturized.

Glycerin has a pretty high price tag and therefor it is the ingredient that is being removed from typical store-bought soaps and then added to additional products like lotions or creams. Why? It is simple, making money is being placed over your skin health and quality of life, so in order for your skin to restore moisture you now have to buy a lotion or cream to get it back after
it has been stripped from your skin while washing it.( you have to buy 2 products instead of one )

Think about it. When you wash your hands, how do they feel after you dried them? Do you immediately go for the hand lotion next to the sink?

My Soap base that I use is:


STEPHENSON OLIVE OIL MELT AND POUR SOAP BASE,
where
20% of the oils and fatty acids used are from olive oil packed with
antioxidants and hydrating properties. Olive oil has been known for
millennia as a key ingredient in promoting skin health.

This base, m
ade with pure virgin olive oil, is an all-vegetable base that lathers richly.

#2 Fragrance vs Essential oils

Fragrances are manufactured synthetic scents, that will have chemicals added to them to enhance the aroma.
The FDA does not require for companies to disclose the ingredients for their so called trademark scents and therefore those soaps could contain harmful chemicals that you will never know about. Some which have been known to cost skin irritation.

Did you ever have a fragrance soap or detergent that literately made your skin itch? Yep chemicals!

Soaps with pure essential oils that have been extracted thru either steam distillation or solvent extraction (a process in which oil-bearing materials are being extracted with a low boiler solvents like soybean or rice bran) and thru pressing methods, have no chemicals what so ever.

Now, you do not just have a soap that smells amazing but you can profit
from the therapeutic benefits that the properties of each essential oil offers. For Example: Peppermint soap does not just act as a refreshing skin tonic that can cool down inflammation cause by skin blemishes and acne it also works as
an antiseptic skin cleanser and can be used to treat urticaria and other forms of itchy skins. Or using coffee soap may help decrease the appearance of sun spots,redness, and fine lines.

I use Essential Oils from Jade Bloom

Jade Bloom Oils are 100% pure essential oils. Jade Bloom also requires that the farms they purchase from only produce organic, pesticide-free, and non-GMO raw plants and seeds for their distillery.

#3 How is it made? – What are they made with?

There are really only 2 ways you can make soap. Cold process or hot process.

The cold process is the oldest way of making soap, during which you are mixing sodium hydroxide (aka lye) with water add your essential oils and if wanted, the natural colorant like beet root powder of Alfalfa, after that you poor it into your molds and let it sit for 48 hours. Removed from the molds, you now have to let the soap air dry for 6 to 8 weeks so it cures/hardens. This is quite a process and takes time. Just like a good bottle of wine, you want your soap to age for best results.

The hot process is pretty much the same only here you cure your soap in
the oven or crock-pot until it is hardened.

Both processes are very simplified here and since you are using lye you
will always have the danger of not getting the amounts perfect and blowing up your kitchen if it gets to hot, so I prefer to get my base from a supplier as mentioned above.

I am melting the soap base to the required heat, than remove from the double burner and add essential oils and in some cases dried herbs from my garden. It is hand poured into individual molds, it than is left alone for at least 2 days to cool and relax before taken out of the molds. Now it is allowed to cure on the air for at least 4 weeks before it will get packaged and than stored.

Store bought soap is totally different. It is made in a factory thru a
continuous flow of the same “batch” that never rests. Rather than
giving it time to cure it is enhanced with fillers and chemicals
before formed into molds to harden it and give it a fragrance.

#4 There is nothing better than handmade Soap

As a skilled soap maker I can produce the soap that is right for any skin type, occasion or need. I can blend my own herbs in it (that grow in my garden),
choose the companies that I get my additional ingredients and base
from, based on their value, culture and standards that align with mine. Handmade soap preserves the integrity of all ingredients, so, when I say I made soap with olive oil base essential oils and added ground peppermint for the cold season, than that’s what’s in it! The vitamins and minerals that are found in those oils have the highest quality and I make sure of it because it is my Name that is on the product.

Conclusion

You can see there is no need for chemicals or synthetic additives on the
contrary, handmade soaps are better for your skin and overall
health. So yes they are worth the price tag and by the time you add up
the environmental impact (the chemicals in the store bought soaps
are non biodegradable) the physical impact (every essential oil has
a job to do, from helping with emotions, to healing your skin ) and
just plain knowing you are doing mother Earth good, the price tag is
really not that high.

You can buy my soaps here to give it a try.

Cheers

Andrea

 

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Herb growing guide – Rosemary

Rosemary, the Perennial that is one of my favorites. Its very aromatic scent and mild woody flavor makes this herb a must have in your garden. Rosemary is an evergreen and has little blue flowers. It is native to the mediterranean and loves full sun. As in most herbs, rosemary has much more to offer then spice up your culinary creations.

Where, When and How to plant Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the more complicated herbs to grow in your garden. If your region has hot and dry temperatures you could plant rosemary in your garden. It will need well drained soil because rosemary does not tolerate consistently wet soil. Rosemary can grow up to 4 feet tall and just as wide, so make sure you give it enough space.

In case you are in a Region that has rain periods and is very humid I would suggest planting your rosemary in a container, so that it can be brought in during the rain season and winter.

Either way, you could start rosemary from seed, but it is very hard to germinate and takes a long time to do so. The best way to plant is with cuttings from a mature plant, that way you will get a head start by growing the cuttings indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost. When Spring comes and risk of frost has passed you are ready to move your new plants outside. Soil temperature should be around 70 degrees.

How to care for Rosemary

Make sure you have your plant is in full sun, the warmer the better. Soil needs to be very well drained. I grow my rosemary in cactus soil, which has the nutrients that it needs and is well draining. The hardest thing about keeping rosemary is to know when to water since it’s needle like leaves do not wilt, so my suggestion is to water every 2 weeks unless you are in a dessert like region where you should water once a week. As mentioned before, if you are in a region that gets cold, keep your plant in a container and bring it indoor for the colder months. Make sure it stays out of cold drafts and has full sun.

When do you harvest Rosemary and how

Rosemary can be harvested all year round and should be pruned regularly to keep it bushy and does not generate long shoots that have little to no leaves. You can snip off stems to use fresh in your dishes or hang them in small bundles in a dry dark place for later use. It is best to harvest the young stems to get the freshest taste. When harvesting you want to trim about one third of the plant and then let it rest to regrow more stems to harvest.

Storing Rosemary and how to use them

It is best to dry your stems and then keep in an airtight container. You can either do that with the whole stems or you can break of the needles, like leaves, for a smaller container if storage is an issue. Use the fresh stems to add to your dishes, make tea or add to bread, butter and what ever dish you would like to make a little hardier in taste.

Medicinal use :

Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and has been shown to help with brain function by enhancing memory and concentration. It also has many anti-inflamatory properties that can reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin and helps to heal burns. The medicinal quality of this herb is powerful and often used to help with curing chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Rosemary, when added to your diet is a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6.

However DO NOT INGEST ROSEMARY OIL. It can cause damage to liver and stomach, has been know to cause

seizures along with other side effects. Read here to get the full list

Rosemary Oil is energizing and can revitalize the atmosphere you are in, no matter if in the office, kitchen or car. Just add a few drops of rosemary oil to your difuser or car vent clip. If you like, you can also add it with Orange or Lemon Oil to get that uplifting feel.

Rosemary is also know to help with reducing dull hair, just add a few drops of rosemary oil to your daily shampoo, let it sit on your skull for 5 minutes while showering and then finish up with your normal routine.


How to harvest your own Rosemary

Rosemary should be divided every couple of years, to give it enough room to reproduce nice bushy stems. Even though you could harvest the seeds of your flowering plant, I would not suggest it. Seeds are very hard to germinate and will take a very long time (4-7 weeks) and need very special care. It is much easier to cut stems of a mature plant that can be planted directly in small pots with very well drained soil and are being watered frequently until rooted.

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Herb Growing guide – Sage

Sage is a perennial and loves full Sun. This easy to grow herb needs
little care when mature. Sage can be planted directly into the herb garden or can be included in your perennial border as it has pretty spring flowers in
colors that include blue purple or pink.

Not all Sage plants are eatable, so when using Sage in the kitchen you
want to stick to Salvia officinalis

That is the kind I am talking about today.

 

Where, When and How to plant Sage – Salvia officinalis

 

You want to plant sage in full sun and in well-draining soil. Sage does
not tolerate wet soil at all. To make it clear, Sage will grow in the foothills in California with little to no rain, so try to remember
this when you pick the spot for your plants, .

You can start Sage from seeds but the easiest way to grow it is by
setting small plants or rooted cuttings in well drained soil in the
garden after the last spring frost (the soil temperature should be
around 65 degrees). Sage will grow to about 30 inches in height and
around 12 inches wide. It is a great companion for rosemary, cabbage
and carrots but you want to make sure to keep it away from cucumbers,
since there need for soil is completely opposite.

 

Sage CAN be kept indoors but it is in need of at least 8 hours of full sun. The watering of the pot is just like outside, little is better.

 

How to care for Sage

 

Sage is very easy to care for since it does not need much when fully
grown, but during the growing season your young plants need to be
watered regularly and not let get dried out. After they are grown
make sure to cut the woody stems every spring so the plant will
continue to produce.

 

 

When do you Harvest Sage and how do you store it.

 

If you have a young plant under a year I would leave it alone so it can
mature. When the plant is over one year old you can harvest the
leaves as needed or harvest the stalks when you have more than 5
leaves on them starting in late Spring.

Sage can be used fresh for any dish you like but can also be dried for
later use. Some people like to keep it in the freezer but I noticed
that they are easily plagued with freezer burn, so I would suggest to
dry the Herb and keep it in an airtight container.

However, if you like to go with the freezer method you can chop the leaves soak them with oil and put them into ice cube trays, so you have portions ready to cook with.

Sage and how to use them – Medicinal use

Sage is a great addition to any meat dish even turkey and chicken. Try it
in your rice and bean dish or with roasted chicken.

Even though Sage has been used in medicine for centuries I would like to
give a word of warning.

Sage, if used for a longer period can cause stomach cramps. When
using sage as antiviral natural medicine, make sure you are not
exceeding more than 2 cups of tea a day or over 2 drops of the oil
per day. For your safe shopping you can find the oil here

How to harvest your own Sage Seeds.

You could harvest the seeds after the flowers reside in the Spring, but
it is easier to cut small stalks of sage and get them rooted in a
water container or a very well moist soil. You can also divide plants
after they are older than a year.

 

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Herb Growing Guide – Oregano

Oregano is a perennial (it will grow for more than 2 Years) and has many more
uses than just as add on for Tomato Sauce and Pizza. It can be used
in salads, antipasti,with Fish and meat or with Vegetables and Rice dishes. Oregano is one the those herbs that will have a more intense taste when dried. The essential oils in oregano are more concentrated when dried and
therefor you only need a small amount when adding to your dishes. Continue reading “Herb Growing Guide – Oregano”

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Herb growing guide – Parsley

Parsley is a biennial Herb (that means it grows only for one season) and much underestimated as “just” a Kitchen Herb that tastes good in Soups, salad is added to Sauces and used as a garnish .

Two of the most common plants are the flat leaved feather-like and the more bold and curly variety. Both of which have very similar tastes and both of them are also very good for you since parsley is rich on vitamins A and C as well as iron. Continue reading “Herb growing guide – Parsley”

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greenUP box – review

PRODUCT NAME: greenUP box subscription ( ships every 2 months )

PRICE
: $39.95

A Box on a mission, reduce your plastic footprint and get inspired to go plastic free with great alternative products.

If you are looking for ways to go #byeplastic while supporting small businesses and brands that are focused on sustainability and environmentally friendly products, then this is the box for you!

Each box comes with products that are intentionally curated around 6 life areas , are Eco friendly and an alternative to plastic. greenUP works with brands that have walked them thru their process on how they are creating sustainability and are ethical manufactures. These brands are helping manufacturers learn how to reduce plastic throughout their entire supply chain.


My Summer Box included:

SPF 30 sunscreens by Eir NYC, it is water resident, has a subtle scent of cocoa and is easy to apply

A copper water bottle made in India by H&J ayurvedic (Coronavirus only lives up to 4 hours on copper vs. 7 days on stainless steel) It is a very stylish bottle with a large opening that can fit full size ice cubes.

Kokoa Botanics deoderant that is aluminum free, and biodegradable. No strong scent and does the job

1 Organic cotton french net bag that is amazing, is strong enough to hold groceries but is also stylish enough to head into town or the beach.

1 box of 9 Earth Suds body wash cubes . Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben and sulfate-free. No silicone or phthalate, when used with a loofah or washcloth, one little cube will get it all done. Feels great on your skin and has no smell.

1 Set of 8 Bamboo straws in a cotton pouch , great way to have your straws on the go or to share with friends. Straws came with a straw cleaner.

 

PROS AND CONS

Each Item in the box comes with a description and some with directions on how to use them. For example : The Earth suds came with an explanation on how they got inspired to create EarthSuds.

Company Names and websites are included for all products so you can easily reorder what you liked.

Not many manufacturers are from the US but when asked that question I found out that unfortunately the manufacturing of Eco friendly products in the US is extremely limited.

FINAL OPINION

to support sustainability and live environmentally friendly this is a great box to find companies that share these values and get Products to keep you informed and educated about how and with what we can go #plasticfree

to get started check out the next box here

 

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healthiest cooking oil – which one is it?

According to WebMD and the American Heart Association it is Olive Oil

You can use it for almost any kind of cooking and extra-virgin olive oil (also called EVOO) can help fight inflammation and lower your blood pressure, what in turn can lower your risk of heart disease. EVOO is loaded with antioxidants and since it is able to improve the health of your blood vessels, it prevents blood clots.

I have been using this oil all my life , but also like it to be flavored to give the dishes a little extra kick, so here I will share how you can make an easy herb infused olive oil yourself. Continue reading “healthiest cooking oil – which one is it?”

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