Whether you’re gluten intolerant or not, there are many reasons to switch to Castle Baths’ gluten free bath products and spa products.
You may have heard the hype about going gluten free, and how a gluten free diet can lead to weight loss, greater energy, and many more health benefits (as well as a few risks.) But did you know that gluten can also be found in your commercial body lotion and makeup? You probably didn’t because, despite all the publicity gluten free diets have received in recent times, the potential problems arising from gluten in cosmetics, and the rise of gluten free bath products have received relatively little attention.
So what exactly is gluten and why is it in my spa and bath products?
Gluten, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a protein found in wheat, wheat derivatives, and some meats. Gluten is also used in the formulation of many commercial spa products as an emulsifier (a substance used to blend other ingredients together.) Some household cleaners also incorporate gluten into their formulations for this purpose.
Like lactose in milk, gluten is something to which some people have a genetic intolerance or sensitivity. The allergic reactions people with gluten sensitivities experience can range from mild indigestion to severe symptoms depending on the severity of the person’s intolerance. Some people have a particularly severe gluten intolerance known as celiac disease, and must avoid all sources of gluten entirely.
Do I really need gluten free bath products? If so, where can I find them?
Science estimates that your skin absorbs as much as 60% of whatever you rub into it, so, if you have a gluten sensitivity, it is probably a good idea to avoid gluten-based products when possible. This can be difficult to do, however, as cosmetics companies that produce the synthetic products you see in retail stores are not required to disclose all their ingredients on their labels. Even those that do disclose ingredients may disguise their true sources by using scientific-sounding chemical names. The only sure way to find gluten free bath products and spa products is to look for products that say “gluten free.”
Next Monday marks the 43rd Earth Day since its creation as a national holiday on April 22, 1970, and we at Castle Baths are very excited to do our part in contributing to the cause of environmental sustainability by continuing to offer spa-quality natural bath and body products!
The concept of Earth Day, as you may or may not be aware, was created by former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in September 1969 and came to fruition less than one year later. Nelson , inspired by the anti-war campus activism of the day, intended Earth Day to be a grass-roots anti-pollution activism movement. He believed the best solution to generating awareness and concern over the depletion of our planet’s natural resources was for ordinary citizens to teach others about environmental issues and how each person could contribute to environmental sustainability in his or her own unique way.
If you’ve been looking for a unique way in which you can show your concern for the environment this Earth Day – something more than just throwing plastic bottles and aluminum cans into your recycling bin, we have a few suggestions for you:
Educate yourself and your friends and family about the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and learn why Castle Baths has had to discontinue using Canola Oil and Soy-based ingredients in order to ensure the safety and eco-friendliness of our products.
Check the ingredients in your body lotion and other cosmetics against the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database, and find out what you’re really rubbing into your skin. Then go throw half of them away once you’ve recovered from your shock.
Switch out one or more of your synthetic bath and spa products for one of our natural equivalents and experience the difference in your skin’s softness, as well as your overall health and mood. Even something as simple as using natural soap instead of commercial bar soap will make a difference!
If you have a blog or website related to environmental sustainability issues, you may also wish to consider becoming an affiliate of Castle Baths, and sharing the health and environmental benefits of our natural spa products with your readers.
Of course, you can try any or all of the staple Earth Day activities too if you wish. Plant a tree, make crafts out of recycled household materials, or simply spend time outdoors enjoying nature – but if you do, be sure to bring along some shea butter to help protect your skin while outside! Happy Earth Day!
Now that it’s starting to warm up (at least it is here in Virginia), perhaps you’re thinking of taking a day trip to the beach and working on your tan for this summer. But what do you do if things don’t go as planned, and instead of a glowing tan, you end up with itchy, red patches on your back and shoulders?
The drug stores and synthetic cosmetics companies will tell you to simply prepare yourself before sunbathing by using lots of sunscreen, conveniently omitting that you should always check to see what chemicals have been included in it. Are there any natural alternatives to help prevent sunburns or for sunburn treatment?
Actually there are. Using natural topical creams made with Unrefined Shea Butter or Hazelnut Oil have been shown to have numerous benefits to skin concerning sun exposure. They aren’t “cures” and won’t make your sunburns go away (only time and your body’s natural healing abilities will do this), but they can provide soothing relief, as well as help protect against incurring any permanent damage as a result of overexposure to UV rays.
If you do get a sunburn, the first concern on your mind will likely be cooling, soothing relief. Using a rich, creamy, Shea-Butter-based Body Butter is a great natural way to help your skin feel relief from the burning sensations of mild to moderate sunburn. Aloe Body Butter, Lavender Body Butter, and Green Tea Body Butter are all excellent choices for delivering cooling sensations and sunburn-fighting vitamins, such as Vitamins A, E, and F to your sunburned skin.
If you have sunburns on your face or a particularly severe sunburn on your body, A Hazelnut-oil-based cream such as Hazelnut Neck & Chest Cream is in order. Hazelnut oil not only helps provide soothing relief, but also works on the deep layers of your skin to address the issue of free radicals generated by UV rays. Free radicals, if left to run their course, can accumulate over many years, eventually building to the point where they can cause lasting damage such as premature wrinkles.
You can learn more about Castle Baths’ natural skin care solutions for sunburns at our sunburn treatment page. We hope you enjoy this beautiful weather and the chance to show off your beautiful skin!
For most people, choosing a body lotion comes down to three criteria: scent, feel, and cost. If it feels smooth and refreshing on your skin, it smells nice, and it’s cheap, you buy it. But have you ever stopped to consider the ingredients responsible for giving your lotion its creamy feel and fragrant aroma? Or how the company that makes it could possibly afford to sell it for so little?
Most likely, you haven’t stopped to ask these questions, and the manufacturers of synthetic, chemical-based bath and body products want to keep it that way. They’re doing an excellent job of keeping the general public blissfully ignorant too – cleverly disguising known toxins such as heavy metals, carcinogenic chemicals, and even poisons with unpronounceable, scientific-sounding names such as butylphenyl methylpropional and benzyl salicylate. After all, how would anyone go about researching these chemical ingredients to find out if they’re harmful?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) makes it easy for the general public to educate themselves on the safety of their cosmetics’ ingredients, and begin to fight back against the ambiguity and disinformation many of these companies promote. The EWG has researched and tested hundreds of ingredients commonly used in cosmetics products from almost every cosmetics company you can think of – from the million dollar corporations like Bath & Body Works to small, handmade cosmetics companies like Castle Baths.
The EWG evaluates a product based upon five criteria: its potential to cause cancer, its potential to cause reproductive issues or birth defects, its potential to cause allergic reactions or compromise the immune system, the number of demographics for which the product is NOT recommended, and its overall hazard. Each category is ranked on a scale of zero to ten, with zero being the least dangerous, and ten being the most dangerous. The average of these rankings for all five categories determines the product’s overall safety rating.
Concerned customers like you can view and compare the EWG’s test results for your favorite (or potentially soon-to-be least favorite) bath and body products by visiting EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database.
For example, if you were to compare Castle Baths’ Bathsheba Hand and Body Lotion to Bath & Body Works’ Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Lotion (one of Bath & Body Works’ top sellers), you will find that Castle Baths’ Bathsheba Hand and Body Lotion received an overall safety rating of two, putting it firmly into the green safe zone. Bath & Body Works’ Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Lotion, on the other hand, received an eight, putting it firmly in the red hazardous zone. The infograph below shows some of the EWG’s top reasons for each product’s rating:
Scary, isn’t it? The abundance of chemicals used in synthetic cosmetics is also what keeps them so cheap. When you buy natural bath and body products, you may pay a little extra, but remember, you are getting real, quality skin care ingredients as opposed to toxic soup. You probably want to go and check the ingredients of your other cosmetics now, so we’ll conclude our little tirade for now. But here’s one last piece of advice: look up the chemical “coumarin” as well as its main ingredient “warafin.” If you are unfamiliar with either term, your research results will absolutely shock you (because it’s probably in your body lotion!)
Though Spring has officially started, many may still have dry winter skin from the various snowstorms this past winter. Dry scaly skin can also occur indoors from heating your home, which, unless you live in the deep south or tropics, you’re not likely to stop doing any time soon. So what can you do while you wait for the weather to catch up with the calendar?
You may have been told you need to find a good moisturizer, but where do you start? Do you need an oil-based moisturizer, a water-based moisturizer? A natural moisturizer? An over-the-counter drug-infused moisturizer? The choices are nearly endless, and the longer you wait, the worse your dry scaly skin will become. But how do you choose the best moisturizer if you don’t understand the underlying causes of dry winter skin, and what skin care ingredients will help address each cause?
What causes dry skin?
Cold temperatures cause outside air to lose humidity, and forced air heating systems do the same to indoor air. Your skin breathes air just like your lungs, so when the air is dry, your skin is also dry. The red patches you may see when you have winter dry skin are typically the result of inflammation. Inflammation can cause and/or exacerbate dry skin, so when looking for a moisturizer to re-hydrate your dry winter skin, it is very important you choose one that will not only moisturize but help reduce your skin’s inflammation as well.
Moisturizing Natural Skin Care Ingredients Helpful for Dry Scaly Skin
Coffee – the caffeine content in coffee makes it a natural anti-inflammatory skin care ingredient. Try our coffee cocoa bath scrub to experience the anti-inflammatory properties of coffee combined with the powerful moisturizing abilities of unrefined cocoa butter. Coffee’s natural anti-inflammatory abilities are also the reasoning behind our including it in our Cellu Coffee Soap to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Evening Primrose Oil – Certified Organic Evening Primrose Oil is both moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, and thus, addresses both causes of dry winter skin at once. We use Certified Organic Evening Primrose Oil as one of the primary ingredients in our Tre’Yours BeRestored Face Cream, making it an excellent choice of moisturizer for those with a genetic predisposition towards dry skin.
Keep in mind when using these skin care ingredients and products that they are not intended to treat or cure any disease associated with dry scaly skin such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, though they are all excellent moisturizers to use if you have these conditions. But be sure to reapply them often to keep dry winter skin at bay.
After coming home after a day of skiing, Samantha removed her heavy winter overcoat and knitted hat. She proceeded up the stairs to take a shower, but was startled when the feel of the water droplets hitting her skin triggered a burning sensation. She checked the dial on the faucet, but as she suspected, she hadn’t set it to be as hot as it felt. After muddling through the pain of her shower, she looked into the mirror and saw red splotches all over her face and neck. Despite it being the middle of February, it looked as though she had all the symptoms of a sunburn.
If you’ve been in a situation similar to Samatha’s, be advised that her initial diagnosis was correct. You can indeed get a sunburn at any time of the year, even during a cold winter day. This is just one of the reasons it is important to take good care of your skin during the winter as well as in the summer.
But how? How is skin susceptible to sunburn during the winter, and what can be done about it? Aside from trying to find a sunscreen not overloaded with chemicals and preservatives, which is no easy task to be sure, there are several natural skin care ingredients you can use to help soothe and mitigate the effects of winter sunburns (and summer sunburns too, for that matter.)
How do sunburns occur in winter?
Before discussing the various skin care ingredients you can use to help sunburned skin, let’s first talk about how sunburn even manages to occur during winter. A sunburn is, essentially, a mild case of ultraviolet radiation poisoning. When ultraviolet rays come into contact with skin, they damage its outer layer by causing it to produce chemicals known as free radicals. Your body responds by increasing blood flow to your skin, resulting in the blotchy redness indicative of sunburn, and releases chemicals that trigger your skin’s pain receptors, alerting you to the damage. Sunburns can occur during winter due to a variety of environmental conditions including:
Snow: snow can reflect up to 85% of ultraviolet radiation
Ice and water: water or ice reflects 100% of ultraviolet rays, making reflective sunlight just as damaging as direct exposure.
Altitude: Ultraviolet ray intensity increases approximately 4% for every 1,000 feet above sea level, so if you go skiing in the mountains, be careful!
The pain, redness, and itchiness associated with sunburns will go away in time. However, the free radicals produced by sunburns, if left untreated, will continue to build up inside your skin over many years, eventually causing DNA damage that can result in premature wrinkles, brown spots, and even skin cancer!
What can people do to protect their skin from sunburns during wintertime?
Free radicals cause damage to skin via oxidation – the same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust when exposed to rain and other weather over many years. To keep this from happening inside your body, look for skin care ingredients that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are precisely what they sound like – substances that fight oxidation. One of the most popular antioxidant skin care ingredients you may know of is Aloe. Aloe contains many antioxidants including Vitamins, A, C and E, antioxidant polysaccharides and flavanoids, and also the mineral antioxidants, zinc and selenium. The next time you are sunburned, try rubbing Aloe Body Butter into your skin. Its Aloe and Organic Shea Butter mixture will help soothe your skin’s itchiness and pain while working on the deeper layers of your skin to break down and purge free radicals.
Mango Butter is also an excellent choice for soothing sunburned skin. Mango Butter is widely used by people living in tropical areas where strong UV rays occur year-round. In addition to containing numerous antioxidant and moisturizing substances, Mango butter also contains a triterpene known as lupeol, which has been found in laboratories to effectively inhibit skin cancer.
If it is your face, neck, or chest that is sunburned, you may want to try a Hazelnut Oil skin care product such as Tre’Yours Hazelnut Neck and Chest Cream to soothe your skin. Hazelnut oil is rich in B vitamins, as well as Vitamin E, plant phenolics, and other antioxidants. It also functions as an excellent moisturizer for dry skin, as well as help purify your skin of free radicals generated by other sources such as pollution.
Keep in mind, however, that these skin care ingredients, while excellent for soothing skin that has already been sunburned, may not prevent sunburns from occurring in the first place. The best way to prevent sunburn during winter is to simply use common sense: wear sunglasses, bundle up, never use a UV tanning bed, and try to limit your time outdoors on bright sunny days.
There are no shortage of images people associate with wintertime, from drinking hot beverages while sitting by a fireplace, to kids playing in three feet of snow, to the crisp, dry air and freezing temperatures that allow you to see your breath. But when it comes to foot care, one unsightly image tends to come to mind before anything else: cracked heels.
If your heels feel rough, itchy, or painful, and you see yellowish lesions forming on them, chances are you are one of the many sufferers of cracked heels. Even if your symptoms haven’t yet progressed to this extreme, if you notice callouses or rough patches of skin on your heels, you may be well on your way. Fortunately, there’s a simple and easy solution to get your feet feeling soft and smooth again: body butter.
Typically used in place of water-based moisturizers to hydrate a person’s arms and legs during wintertime, body butters can also work wonders on feet. This is because cracked heels are, in reality, nothing more than extreme cases of dry skin. As you probably know, the drying effects of both cold outdoor temperatures and heated indoor temperatures can have a combined dehydrating effect on the skin. This is particularly true of the skin on your feet.
Though other factors such as standing for long periods of time on hard surface floors, wearing shoes with open backs, and being predisposed to other foot problems or skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can influence or aggravate cracked heels, (which is why your heels may crack even in the summer from walking around all day in sandals) the solution is the same: just add body butter.
Pure, unrefined Shea Butter is one of the most popular body butters for foot care, butters made with Mango Butter or Cocoa Butter are just as effective. Our Slice of Life Gift Basket is also a great option if you’re looking to help a friend or loved one with cracked feet, as this gift basket includes a body butter among other spa products.
If you do not see any improvement in your cracked heels, or if your lesions have progressed to the point where your heels are bleeding and/or have open sores, please consult a podiatrist, as you may have developed a problem more serious than a simple case of dry skin. Also please keep in mind that this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
We hope you find this winter season lesion-free. Be sure to check back with us next week for more skin care and beauty tips and information.
Body Butter is an all natural, Vitamin A rich, skin moisturizer. It is generally made with different butter types; including, Shea, Cocoa, and Mango butter. Sometimes other natural oils, such as coconut, are also included to lock in the deep moisturizing benefits.
How is it different from Lotion?
Body butter is thicker than most lotions and is used for more severe cases of dry, sun damaged, or wind chapped skin. Lotion is a thinner mixture, made of oil and water, used mostly to moisturize the skin on a daily basis rather than for a specific skin problem.
Castle Baths Body Butter Variety
We have four body butter choices for you to choose from. They are each made with Natural Mango Butter, Certified Organic Shea Butter and Certified Organic and Certified Fair Trade Cocoa Butter for intense moisture. As always, these Castle Baths products are chemical free with no preservatives added.
You’ve been to the beauty products section of the store, you know that there are dozens of choices for your skin care. Most of these have harsh chemicals that can actually reduce your skin’s beauty and elasticity, making you look older, rather than younger. We use only natural ingredients to detoxify your skin, lock in moisture, and rejuvenate your face and body in the process.
Daily Renewal Face & Body Bar is for dry, damaged, and mature skin; it is low lather and has extra moisturizing properties.
Mango Butter for repair and reconditioning of the face
Certified Organic Shea Butter reduces blemishes and scars while moisturizing
Certified Organic Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp Seed Butter are natural emollients and rich in Vitamin E
Essential oil of Rose nourishes and hydrates the skin while balancing pH
This Face Soap Bar can be used to cleanse your face, and moisturize it all in one step! Our Face Soap is 80% Moisturizing Oils from Cream. Dry, damaged, and aging skin that has been the result of exposure to extreme temperatures and UV radiation can be repaired with daily use. Click here to learn more!
Dead Sea Black Mineral Mud Facial Bar – with EO of Ginger
Dead Sea Black Mineral Mud Facial Bar- with EO of Ginger is great for daily use for oily and sensitive skin- It’s also wonderful for once a week dry, damaged, aged skin that could benefit from the minerals of the Dead Sea. Please only wash face weekly with this bar if you have aged, damaged, and or dry skin.
The Perfect Face Bar! Our NATURAL Dead Sea Mud Soap Contains:
Lasts the average buyer a full year
Formulated to detox, de-grease and feed skin for youthful glowing results.
Largest percentage of actual Dead Sea Mud you’ll probably ever find in a mud bar!
Removes even the toughest oil based cream make-ups (even clown make-up) in one application.
Pink Grapefruit: Astringent for oily skin and hair.
Ginger: Reduces inflammation and increases circulation
Bergamot: Relaxing and refreshing, uplifting, and reduces tension.
Clove: Antibacterial and anti fungal to give your face a true clean
Detoxifies pores for deep cleansing and helps acne prone skin!
Helps even out the complexion for oily skin, acne sensitive and/or redness
Even though this bar is made to detox pores from oil and is wonderful for acne, it’s made with just the right percent of Certified Organic Macadamia Nut Oil to soften and mositurize even the driest skin to include cracked skin! Click here to learn more!
Cellu Body Bar – with Coffee for circulation
Cellu Body Bar – with Coffee for circulation is an all time favorite natural soap bar of both men and woman- made with cocoa butter and coffee butter- to really help skin and senses.
Enhance the appearance of your legs
Helps with the appearance of cellulite, reduces swelling and increases circulation, especially in the legs.
Delicately scrubs away dirt and environmental pollutants
Rich in Coffee Butter, Certified Organic and Certified Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, and Hemp Butter
Contains fresh ground Java Coffee Bean for a natural exfoliation
Our kids are growing up faster and have longer working years ahead of them than ever before – show your teenager how to naturally take care of their skin as well as relieve stress. After all, they will need this skill and this is advice that will be used on a daily basis (unlike some of your other advice)!
Sometimes, as adults, we forget how very stressful being a teenager can be. Hormones are all over the place, large decisions about where their life will head are coming up quickly and self-confidence is almost always an issue. Help your teen to be self assured, confident, and ready to face the changes and challenges that God has in store for them by teaching them how to relieve stress and protect their skin in a natural, healthy way.
It is imperative in the stressful, busy world we have brought our children into, that they learn how to relax and let stressful emotions go on a daily basis. Our Sweet Dreams scent can be found in several different product types (body wash, bath tea, aromatherapy oils, etc.) and will help your teen to relax, sleep well, and be ready for another day in their busy life.
Natural Skin Care
Nothing seems more important when you are a teenager than your appearance. If your teen suffers from lack of confidence in their skin appearance, it may be the kind of body wash or face wash that is being applied. See this video on the difference that a natural body wash makes versus a leading competitor’s body wash.
If you have a specific situation, and would like to discuss how our natural products could be used or applied to help, please contact us at (757) 788-8157 or by email.