Send the Perfect Spa Gift

4 Reasons to buy all your holiday gifts BEFORE Black Friday

October 16th, 2014

It’s mid-October. Do you have all your holiday gifts purchased yet? If not, you really should get started as soon as possible. Here’s 4 reasons why you should consider getting your Christmas and other holiday shopping done before Black Friday, especially  if you plan on doing most of your shopping online.

1. Two words… down time. Remember what happened when open enrollment in the Healthcare Exchange website debuted? Nobody could complete their applications because everyone was trying to log in at the same time. When hackers try to intentionally overload a site via fake mass logins it’s called a denial of service attack. When it happens accidentally with legitimate login attempts, it’s called down time or lag time. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals attract customers. Lots and lots of customers, all trying to claim their discounts before the sales end and get their merchandise shipped before the holidays.  That means lots of down time while various online stores try to accommodate the overload in site traffic.

2. Black Friday deals are no longer the biggest sales of the year. The Wall Street Journal reports that online shopping has created far greater transparency in how companies control their pricing, and there are many ways customers can monitor items they wish to purchase for discount throughout the year, such as adding items to their wishlist.

3.  Mass demand causes items to sell out. If there’s a huge influx of customers looking to buy a particular product all on the same day, inventory levels may not hold out. If you want to guarantee that you find exactly what you’re looking for, instead of having to settle for your second or third choice, or miss out on a good sale because the item on sale is sold out, it’s best to do your shopping while demand is low and inventory levels are stable.

4. Shipping takes time… even more so if shipping companies are overburdened. If you want to guarantee that the items you want will arrive on time, it’s best to make your purchases well in advance of the date by which you need them to arrive. International shipping takes even more time to arrive and clear customs.

Solutions for beating the Black Friday rush this holiday season

holiday gift basketSpa Gift Baskets are a great holiday gift idea for almost anyone, especially someone for whom you don’t have any ideas on what to buy. You don’t need to wrap them or package them for shipping – we’ll take care of all of that for you! Plus, we offer several sure-fire ways to guarantee that the gift basket you select will be appropriate for and appreciated by the recipient:

Green tea for skin care?

October 12th, 2014

face-cream-dailyrenewalHow this popular beverage can help you have beautiful, youthful skin

Do you know the most common dietary source of antioxidants in the United States? Is it:

  • A. fruits and vegetables
  • B. cooking oils
  • C. caffeine

You may be surprised to learn that , while all three are common sources of antioxidants, the correct answer to which of these three is the most common source of antioxidants in the United States is C. Caffeine – particularly the caffeine found in coffee and certain teas.

What does any of this have to do with green tea or skin care?

Well, for starters, antioxidants, for those unfamiliar with the term, are substances that destroy free radicals. Free radicals are toxins that can build up in the various tissues of the body, particularly in the skin, as a result of overexposure to ultraviolet rays (sunlight), polluted air, or polluted water. They are also a byproduct of your body’s natural metabolism. If these toxins accumulate to dangerous levels over a long period of time they can cause DNA damage, potentially resulting in premature aging, skin cancer, and other health issues.

Green tea is naturally high in caffeine, and thus, is naturally high in antioxidants. This is just one of the reasons why it makes such a great natural skin care ingredient.

So, I should just drink a lot of green tea to keep my skin healthy then, right?

Drinking green tea, particularly organic green tea, is certainly a healthy choice, but you might want to also look for natural skin care products formulated with green tea. Here’s why:

Your body will attempt to purge itself of free radicals in two ways: waste (i.e. going to the bathroom) and by pushing free radicals outwards by way of your skin, so they can be washed away. However, if your skin’s pores are clogged, those free radicals won’t have anywhere else to go and will get stuck in the deep tissues of your skin.

This issue is compounded if you use synthetic skin care products that claim to “lock in” moisture. While they certainly may indeed prevent moisture from leaving your skin, they can also prevent free radicals from leaving it. Chances are, the synthetic skin care products themselves also contain a few free radicals by virtue of having been made with chemicals. These too become trapped in your skin with each use.

How to take advantage of green tea’s skin care properties

bath salts - green tea infusionSo, if you’re interested in green tea for its skin care properties, what you really need is something that will deep-cleanse your skin’s pores and deliver generous amounts of caffeinated green tea directly to your skin, like this jar of Green Tea Infusion Dead Sea Bath Salts.

Dead Sea Salt is one of the best detoxifying and deep-cleansing agents in nature, and, when infused with green tea, can deliver everything you need to fight free radical buildup exactly where its needed: your skin.

Beyond antioxidants: other benefits of green tea

Green tea makes a great skin care ingredient for many more reasons than just its antioxidant content. Click here to learn more about green tea’s other skin care benefits.

How to make holiday shopping easy with Castle Baths’ gift guide

October 8th, 2014

gift guide - spa gift baskets

It’s already time to start thinking about holiday gifts. Have you checked our our gift guide?

It always feels like time seems to speed up starting in October, and we’re not speaking just from the perspective of small businesses. Before you know it, it’s Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. If you’re like some of our staff and have family and friends with birthdays and anniversaries during the last three months of the year it can get to the point where you feel bombarded with gift giving obligations, one after the other, with no time to even catch your breath let alone go shopping.

Shopping for gifts online can alleviate some of the end-of-the-year gifting stress you may be feeling, but with so many gifts from which to choose, it can also complicate matters. That’s why we started offering our gift guide last year.

How to use Castle Baths’ gift guide most effectively

Our gift guide provides you with links and descriptions for each type of spa gift basket we offer, as well as our top staff picks for each category. For example, if you know someone with a birthday coming up who you think might appreciate a spa gift basket, you can instantly jump to our birthday category, and see the gift baskets we recommend for birthday gifts (many of which include chocolate scented products.)

How we select staff picks for gift baskets

Our staff picks aren’t just our personal preferences; each staff pick is selected based upon our research on which products and aromatherapy scents various demographics are most likely to enjoy. For example, our Sweet Escape Gift Basket is a staff pick for our Mother’s Day category because it includes an assortment of relaxing Sweet Dreams (vanilla & lavender) scented products, which we have found to be extremely popular among young mothers who need a break from their kids so they can rest and relax.

Talk to one of our experts

expert gift advice - contact

You can also use our gift guide to talk one-on-one with one of our experts. We’re more than happy to share our demographic research with you and help you select the perfect gift basket for whatever upcoming occasion you have in mind. You’ll always get a real person too – someone who actually knows what she’s talking about and can answer your questions quickly and accurately. (Because we, like you, know just how annoying it can be when you go to a store and ask an associate a question, only to find out that he or she is just part-time holiday help and doesn’t know where anything is or how anything works.)

When you see for yourself how easy our gift guide makes it to shop for spa gift baskets online, you’ll see why it’s become one of our most popular pages!

 

6 Superfoods for Skin you NEED to know about if you’ve had cosmetic surgery

October 4th, 2014

Have you had reconstructive or cosmetic surgery on your face? Are you considering having surgery?

Find out how one person was able to avoid scarring and reduce his recuperation time simply by using natural, organic ingredients in this FREE e-book: 6 Superfoods for Skin.

ebook superfoods

The beauty and dermatology industries currently tend to favor synthetically manufactured face creams made with prescription ingredients when recommending products to clients and patients who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. While these types of creams might indeed have beneficial effects for your skin, you may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of natural, non-prescription ingredients that can also provide intense regeneration and soothing for sensitive, post-op skin.

Meet Dave.

Dave was in his mid-50s when he decided to have a second face lift to touch up and correct the scarring from his first procedure, which he had about 10 years ago. He was nervous about going under the knife a second time considering the unpleasant recuperation process and scarring he was left with the previous time, but he didn’t want to just live with the damage either.

Read all about Dave’s second-time experience and how he learned about  6 superfoods for skin. Once he learned that there was something he could use without getting a prescription that could help reduce his recuperation time and avoid scarring, he had to try it for himself!

ebook

Dave’s surgeon was skeptical at first when Dave started using the 6 superfoods for skin system over the prescription face cream he had given him, but once he saw the results in only a short time, he couldn’t argue with Dave’s success.

Now both Dave and his surgeon recommend this system for anyone they encounter who is considering cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.

Get your copy of 6 Superfoods for Skin and you’ll likely become a believer too!

You can read Dave’s full story and how he discovered two unique face creams that combined these 6 superfoods for skin in such a way that they accomplished more together than any one ingredient could have on its own when you request your copy of 6 Superfoods for Skin.

 

 

Evening Primrose Oil – one of the best natural skin care ingredients discovered since Vitamin C

September 30th, 2014

Evening primrose oil is recommended by many in the skin care and folk medicine communities. Here’s why:

evening primrose oilDid you know that your choice of moisturizer can play a role in easing your discomfort if you suffer from PMS or other women’s issues? Using pure Evening Primrose Oil as your moisturizer of choice, or using face creams made with Evening Primrose Oil can go a long way towards relieving your womanly woes while simultaneously delivering a host of other skin care benefits.

What is evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is the oil extracted from the seeds of evening primrose flowers, which grow naturally in the eastern and central parts of North America among other places. The oil is extracted through cold pressing (grinding of the seeds) and retains most if not all of the evening primrose plant’s natural benefits depending on to what degree the oil has been refined.

Benefits of evening primrose oil for women’s issues

Evening primrose oil has three main qualities that make it an effective topical herbal remedy for women’s issues. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, it is a natural source of the pain-relieving compound phenylalanine, and it possesses high concentrations of gamma-linoleic acids (GLAs), linoleic acids, and other nutrients, which your skin absorbs and uses to keep your cell metabolism and hormonal levels in balance. All of these qualities work together to make evening primrose oil an effective topical, herbal remedy for PMS, cramps, migraine headaches, and many other conditions. Many herbalists often recommend this oil to women for these reasons.

Benefits of evening primrose oil for skin care

The same qualities that make evening primrose oil such an effective topical, herbal remedy for women’s issues are also responsible for giving this oil its numerous skin care benefits.

Evening primrose oil’s high concentrations of GLAs, linoleic acids, and other nutrients makes it a very effective topical skin care solution for maintaining skin elasticity and preserving youthful looks. When applied to the face and other areas of skin that are prone to acne, it can help dilute any excess sebum oil your skin produces so your pores won’t clog up and become acnetic.

Evening primrose oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties also make this oil an effective soothing solution to use if you have eczema or psoriasis.

You can learn more about the skin care benefits of evening primrose oil here.

 

22 Top naturally disinfecting essential oils

September 26th, 2014

essential oils

When it comes to staying clean and killing germs, there are two main types of cleansing products you can use: those formulated with synthetic detergents, and those that are formulated with naturally disinfecting essential oils. Though detergent-based soaps and cleansers tend to dominate the market today, choosing cleansers that achieve their disinfectant properties with pure essential oils may be the better choice for you in the long run.

essential oil lemonIn the days prior to the invention of synthetic detergents, essential oils were considered a staple ingredient in the soap making process because so many oils possessed naturally occurring disinfectant properties. The essential oils of lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus, in particular, all have strong antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

While synthetic detergents do effectively kill germs, they also spread their chemical-derived ingredients all over the area you’re trying to clean. This becomes a particularly problematic side effect when the area you’re trying to clean is your body, as almost all synthetic detergents are quite drying to skin, and can also induce allergic reactions in some people with sensitivities to their chemical ingredients.

Naturally disinfectant essential oils, on the other hand, can be just as effective at removing harmful bacteria and other grime from your skin without drying it out or causing you to experience allergies. In fact, many disinfecting essential oils also help replenish your skin’s natural moisture and oil as an added bonus.

natural soap - lavenderIf you’re interested in making the switch to essential-oil-based soaps and cleansers, here is a list of some of the top disinfecting essential oils to look for when comparing ingredients.

You can take advantage of these naturally disinfecting essential oils by purchasing any of our natural soaps or purchasing these oils in pure form to create your own natural air freshener spray.

Detox skin care solutions from the Dead Sea

September 22nd, 2014

Did you know that one of the ways your body’s internal detox system excretes toxins is by way of the skin? This is one of the reasons why you run a fever and sweat when you’re sick; your body is trying to purge itself of the germs and toxins that are making you ill.

But toxins can accumulate in your skin even when you’re not sick, both from your body’s detox system pushing them outwards and your skin’s absorbing external toxins like free radicals from the sun’s UV rays. If left to build up, these toxins can become trapped inside your skin and cause acne breakouts, and/or make even more serious trouble for you later in life.

dead sea bath saltsSo, how can you get rid of them?

Sweating is one way your body expels toxins from your skin, but unless you don’t mind the unpleasant smell that comes with perspiration, this probably isn’t your first choice for a detox skin care solution.

Which leads us to the next best natural detox skin care solution: Dead Sea products.

The salt, mud, and waters of the Dead Sea are some of the most effective detox skin care solutions in nature. Learn the benefits of each Dead Sea ingredient and product in this tutorial on how to remove toxins from your skin.

Dead Sea Mud Tutorial: how to apply a mud mask

September 18th, 2014

dead sea mud maskIf you follow our blogs with any regularity, you’ve probably heard us talk at length about the many benefits of pure Dead Sea Mud, drawing special emphasis to the fact that it….

  • Contains 20+ naturally occurring minerals that aid your skin’s metabolism, 12 of which are found only in the Dead Sea
  • Is one of the most effective deep-cleansing and detoxifying skin care ingredients in nature, minimizing the appearance of pores and keeping your skin free of dirt and pollutants
  • Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines

… but we haven’t told you what all you can do with it once you purchase it, that is, until now.

Dead Sea Mud can actually be used anywhere on your face, body, or hair, and delivers unique benefits for each area. But its use as a detoxifying and anti-aging facial mask remains, by far, one of its most popular skin care purposes.

dead sea mud tutorial

Therefore, we’ve prepared this Dead Sea Mud Mask tutorial to guide you through the steps you should take before, during, and after applying Dead Sea Mud to your face for this purpose.

If you would like to see tutorials for some of the other spa treatments you can do with Dead Sea Mud, please let us know! If we get enough interest, we may offer additional  Dead Sea Mud tutorials in the future.

The Skin Care Benefits of Dead Sea Brine

September 14th, 2014

Pure Dead Sea Brine, an ancient regenerative skin treatment resurfaces with science-backed results

Would you like to experience the regenerative powers of the Dead Sea? If you’re under 40 or you have sensitive skin, the extreme richness of pure, authentic Dead Sea Mud may be a little too much for you, so we recommend you try the next best thing: pure Dead Sea Brine.

Dead Sea Brine is one of the best natural skin care ingredients you can look for in spa and bath products, and delivers many of the same benefits as Dead Sea Mud, but it’s much lighter and gentler, making it the ideal Dead Sea spa treatment for people with sensitive skin or skin under 40.

One of the qualities of the Dead Sea that makes its brine and mud so sought after as skin care ingredients is its high nutrient content. Millions of years ago, the Dead Sea was not dead, and in fact, thrived with life. As the sea grew saltier its native life died out, but the nutrients that sustained that life are still present and still just as beneficial today as they were in the past.

dead sea brine - exotic earthThe saltiness of the Dead Sea also contributes to Dead Sea Brine’s effectiveness as a skin care ingredient. Dead Sea Salt is one of the best deep-cleansing and detoxifying agents in nature. Dead Sea Brine retains this quality, as the salt is dissolved within it.

Dead Sea Brine also contains the same 21 naturally occurring minerals as Dead Sea Mud, 12 of which are found nowhere but in the brine and mud of the Dead Sea. Minerals are like vitamins for your skin, and can trigger specific tissue responses within your skin’s deep layers to keep it looking firm and youthful.

How to use Dead Sea Brine

There are two ways we recommend you use your bottle of pure, Dead Sea Brine:

  • As a water-based moisturizer and/or facial toner
  • As a mixing solution for one of our natural clay masks (we recommend the sea clay mask in particular, as this will get you closest to the effects of a Dead Sea Mud Mask if Dead Sea Mud is too rich for your skin.)

Regardless of how you decide to use your Dead Sea Brine, when you order from Castle Baths, you can be sure that the Dead Sea Brine you receive will be pure, authentic, and natural!

 

Cucumber Extract for skin: a natural beauty secret revealed

September 10th, 2014

cucumberHave you ever wondered why aestheticians place cucumber slices over the eyes of their clients during facials? The benefits of cucumber extract for skin care, particularly when used on sensitive skin or on sensitive areas like the skin around the eyes, have been known to those in the beauty industry for years. Now, it’s time to let the general public in on their secret.

Cucumber extract’s skin care benefits go far beyond simple moisturizing. Cucumber is, in fact, a superfood for skin. It is extremely soothing to dry and damaged skin, with properties similar to aloe vera. It tightens and firms skin for a more youthful appearance, and it contains numerous antioxidant vitamins to combat free radical damage.

It is for these reasons that we use cucumber extract as one of the main ingredients in our Avocado Eye Cream (along with avocado oil, of course) and in our Tre’Yours Avocado Face Cream & Avocado Hemp Regenerative Cream. Cucumber extract is great for your skin on its own, but when blended with avocado oil, becomes even better.

Check out these luxurious anti-aging skin care products from Castle Baths’ Tre’Yours line that incorporate cucumber extract into their formulations:

face creameye creamavocado hemp creamrenewal face cream

Here’s an article where you can learn even more about the many skin care benefits of cucumber extract.