Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ingredient Spotlight - Honey!

Honey-Do-Right ~ The benefits of Honey
Article by Rachel Yost

“Honey Pie hello”
Throughout history honey has been constantly used, first and foremost for consumption. After all, it was mankind’s original sweetener. Flower nectar, harvested by bees, is then digested and stored in hives. This is where the moisture evaporates and produces the substance we all know as honey. It is definitely superior to processed sweeteners because of its low level of calories and natural vitamins and minerals. Yet, we may owe more to our busy little friends than just a tasty treat. The very food that is good for your body is also good for your skin.

Queen Bees and then Men Who Loved Them
Honey is becoming increasingly proven to have “sweet” effects on skin. However, it has been used by beauty savvy women throughout history; giving them smooth skin that is fit for a queen, literally. Cleopatra, the famed Queen of the Nile and timeless paradigm of youth and beauty, notoriously bathed in a mixture of milk and honey to keep her skin looking young and supple. Her famous ritual apparently did its job; making her skin “to die for” (just ask Julius!).

Another Queen Bee who utilized the beneficial aspects of honey was Poppea, wife of the infamous Roman emperor, Nero. Poppea slathered her royal face with a lotion concocted from honey and milk. How well did it work? She was of such notable beauty Nero banished his first wife Octavia to make room for her sweet face. While we can’t say much for her taste in men, Poppea’s beauty regimen was certainly admirable.

In the sixteenth century, yet another ruler was drawn in by the raw beauty of honey. Madame du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV of France, regularly used honey as a facial mask enriching and moisturizing her skin. This natural beauty used her looks to move on up from a peasant born to impoverished parents and ending up as a Madame in the Court of France. Although in the end, she did lose her head, you can be sure she faced the guillotine with smooth skin.

Honey, I’m... Gorgeous!
Just why is a honey comb such a goldmine of beauty secrets? Surely, one of the greatest aspects of honey is that is it completely natural. It one of the few products from nature that requires no processing or preservatives. It can be sent directly from the bees to you; giving the term “natural beauty” new meaning.

The purity of honey is only the beginning. More scientifically, honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture. It also has emollient properties, meaning it helps to soften and soothe. The skin’s ability to retain moisture is essential for softness and elasticity. Honey’s natural humectant and emollient aspects make it an ideal ingredient for moisturizers and face makes.

As you age, your skin loses this precious ability to retain moisture, resulting in the loss of elasticity and eventually the appearance of wrinkles. Therefore, honey may not only make your skin supple in the present, but it may also keep it smooth for years to come.

Another consequence of aging is damaged skin from exposure to UV rays, cigarette smoke, and other environmental stresses. These strains make skin not only look withered and dry, but also lessen its ability to heal itself. Honey is thought to have appreciable antioxidant aspects. What does this mean? Well, antioxidants may not only ward off cancer, but they also help defend against malicious UV rays and aid in skin rejuvenation. That means, honey may not only combat the signs of aging, but also help reverse the effects of Father Time. Ever wonder how Winnie the Pooh maintains such a smooth face after all these years? He keeps his kisser perpetually sticky with his favorite treat, Honey!

Worried about sensitive skin? Honey is also thought to be a natural anti-irritant, making it safe for oh-so-sensitive skin. In addition to its antioxidant and moisturizing qualities, honey is gaining more evidence as a natural antiseptic. When heated and smeared over skin, it attracts the dirt away from pores. It’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular ingredient in cleansers and soaps and the sugary scent makes it all the more sweet!

Historically, doctors have used honey in treating burns and dressing wounds. Recently, they have been finding out this remedy may have truth on its side. Honey has been shown to have antimicrobial attributes. It can be applied to wounds and may aid in preventing infection by smothering bacteria with its high content of sugar and relatively low ph level. As an added bonus, it is also a natural anti-inflammatory, thus keeping skin from swelling while cleaning and protecting the cut. Perhaps old world doctors really knew what they were doing after all!

Catch more flies with honey!
Honey seems like it can do it all; moisturizing, soothing, protecting, cleansing and healing. All things considered, it should be easy to see why we add honey to so many of our products. To see for yourself, why not spoil yourself by trying one of our handmade honey-fied soaps or enriching honey facials? Pamper yourself like the royalty you are!
Honey-fied Soaps
Oat N Goat
HoneyBee Good!
Autumn Bloom
As American as Apple Pie
Blackberry Sage
Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey Castile Soap (coming soon!)
All Natural Honey-fied Soaps
Wildflower Honey & Wheatgerm Soap
Carrot & Honey Creme
Enriching Honey Facials
Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Facial
Limited Edition Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Facial

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas....

...all around our shop!
I just can’t help but to sing that classic song (with some new verses by me of coarse!) as I work around the shop today. We’ve got Orange Glazed Gingerbread Soap curing nicely to the right, our new Spice Cake Soap drying to the left, and piled everywhere are our Scent of the Month products in Sweet Pumpkin Kiss! It smells so good around here, we have nose prints on the outside of our windows….”Peeping Toms”….or “Sniffing Toms”…hmmm, or it could just be my husband who is supposed to be cleaning leaves!We were a bit set back in our inventory by our last special. Have no fear, we’ve got a whole army of new soap waiting to hit the shelves…or website…early December. Be sure to stop by for all your last minute gifts and goodies!