August 29th, 2013
With the kids off to school, it’s time for a little luxurious pampering!
The new academic year is approaching rapidly for those with school-aged or college-aged children. This means you’ll soon have some time to yourself again, so why not start planning for a day of luxurious pampering. After all the hard work you’ve done this summer to keep your kids occupied, keep the house clean, and keep the bills paid, you deserve a break!
If you want to feel pampered, a day at the spa is always a good start – or even better yet, turn your home into your own personal spa with one of these luxurious handmade spa gift baskets.
The Sweet Escape Spa Gift Basket , originally intended as a Mother’s Day gift basket, is the perfect pampering indulgence for mothers of school-aged children, as it includes a unique selection of aromatherapy spa products scented in Castle Baths’ soothing Sweet Dreams essential oil blend of lavender and vanilla. This particular aromatherapy blend has proven very popular among Generation Y/Millenial women.
If you’re a mother of college-aged children, the Enchanted Evening Spa Gift Basket , also originally a Mother’s Day gift basket, is likely to be the perfect choice for you! It includes a wide variety of natural spa products scented in Castle Baths’ Bathsheba aromatherapy essential oil blend of rosewood and pure rose absolute for romance-inspiring sensations. The Enchanted Evening Spa Gift Basket has proven extremely popular among Baby Boomer and Generation X women.
At Castle Baths, we treat every day as Mother’s Day, because you need more than just one day per year to take time off to pamper yourself and relax!
If gift baskets aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps you would prefer some pampering spa products you can enjoy with your significant other, such as natural massage oils or bath oils. The quiet hours when the kids are away at school is also the perfect time to indulge in an anti-aging mud mask or body scrub.
Whatever you decide, make sure you make time for yourself during the upcoming weeks. Relaxation and pampering aren’t just indulgences, they’re necessities for maintaining your physical and mental health during your hectic schedule!
August 15th, 2013
Using massage oil as body oil for intense moisture
Castle Baths’ massage oils make a great treat for when you want to go the extra step when giving or receiving a massage. But did you know, our massage oils can be used for much more than just giving massages?
Many people who shop for massage oils at Castle Baths do so with the intention of using our massage oils as body oil. If you suffer from chronic dry skin, using one of our aromatherapy massage oils as body oil may actually serve you better than some of our other body moisturizers.
As you may or may not recall from our previous blog articles and website, dry skin lacks oil, whereas dehydrated skin lacks water. The synthetic cosmetics industry has led many people to believe that oil is bad for your skin – and that it will make you break out with acne. While this may be the case for some people, others with extremely dry skin may need a generous dose of oil in their skin care products to reduce their chances of developing premature wrinkles.
Our massage oils, a.k.a. body oils are also great for people with sensitive skin, as they consist of only two ingredients: cold pressed rice bran oil, and the essential oil aromatherapy blend of your choice (we offer seven varieties.) When it comes to sensitive skin, the fewer ingredients in your skin care products, the better, as there is less chance of irritation from the blend of two or three ingredients than from the 20 chemicals you’d find in a synthetic product.
Last but not least, you may just want to experience the soothing effects of our natural massage oils without having to find someone to actually give you a massage. There are so many reasons why so many people love indulging their skin in luxurious natural body oil.
Do you have a preference on whether to use massage oil for massages or as body oil? Tell us! We may just feature your story in a future blog!
August 8th, 2013
“Why is my decorative soap all black?” asked the wife.
“I used it to clean motor oil off my hands,” the husband replied.
“What! That wasn’t for washing with!”
“It’s a bar of soap. What else would it be for?”
“But now, instead of smelling like lavender, it smells like a car engine!”
“Yes, it does smell much better now. I never liked its original scent.”
If you’re an aficionado of decorative soap, perhaps this conversation sounds all-too-familiar to you. If you search the Internet for decorative soaps, you’ll find plenty of discussion boards with similar back-and-fourth arguments. Clearly, the debate over whether decorative soaps should be used or left untouched as decorations has become a hot topic. Are decorative soaps decorations that happen to be made of soap, or are they soaps that happen to be decorative?
The answer, of course, is up to you (and whomever shares your home), but if you’re looking for some ideas of ways to use decorative soaps beyond the age-old “decoration versus soap” debate, here are a few suggestions.
Give them as housewarming gifts, wedding gifts, or prizes. Decorative soaps are small, fancy, and (if you so choose) functional – the perfect gift or door prize! Our Fancy Fat Cat and Fancy Fat Dog decorative soaps make great gifts or prizes for animal lovers, and we offer several decorative soap spa gift baskets too!
Use them to help sell your house. Making your kitchen appear warm and inviting is essential to selling a home, or so your realtor may have told you. What better way to accomplish this than with Castle Baths’ Key Lime Pie Slice Soap, Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream Soap, or one of our other tasty-treat-shaped decorative soaps.
Travel with them. We offer several decorative soaps that are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand as well as in a small travel kit, like our Bathsheba Rose Soap, Passion Daisy Soap, and Prayer Sunflower Soap. Finally, no more putting up with those drying, scentless soaps the hotel gives you!
Use them as air fresheners. All of Castle Baths’ decorative soaps are scented with pure essential oils (not artificial fragrances), so they have a pleasant-yet-not-overpowering scent that is perfect for giving your bathroom a light, sweet scent, and sparing you from having to use chemical-based air freshener.
Have your own ideas about what to do with your decorative soap? Let us know! We may just feature your suggestion in one of our future blogs!
July 25th, 2013
Planning an end-of-summer trip? Be sure to take your body lotion mist along!
August is approaching fast, and for many people, that means trying to squeeze in one more vacation before Summer officially ends in September. You’ve booked your flight, reserved a room in a beautiful hotel, and have just finished packing your suitcase… or so you thought. But did you remember to pack your body lotion mist?
If not, or if you’re almost out, you may want to consider restocking yourself before you leave. Having your body lotion mist on you at all times will help you avoid:
- Smelling like a rental car. Some people love the smell of a new car, but who wants to smell like one while they’re trying to relax on the beach, going out to a party, or having dinner at a fancy restaurant? Plus, for those who are health conscious, you may be surprised to learn that the “new car smell” is actually caused by chemicals such as flame retardants and plasticizers used to manufacture dashboards leaching into the air.
- Peeling in the sun. Castle Baths’ body lotion mists are formulated with unrefined Shea Butter, which possesses natural sunscreen properties and can help keep your skin hydrated so that you don’t sizzle while sunbathing at the beach or pool.
- Sleepless nights. Staying at a hotel can be fun, but sometimes the bed just isn’t what you’re used to . The mattress might be too firm. The pillows might be the type you sink into. You don’t want to spend all day sleeping because you couldn’t fall asleep last night, and a relaxing aromatherapy body lotion mist may be just what you need to do that. Try Sweet Communion or Sweet Dreams body lotion mists and discover relaxation!
Castle Baths offers body lotion mists in seven proprietary aromatherapy scents. In addition to Sweet Communion (for relaxation) and Sweet Dreams (for restfulness), there is Bathsheba (for romance), Jubilee (for energizing), Passion (for sensuality/arousal), Prayer (for meditation), and Restoration (for womanly woes.) All Castle Baths body mists come in an easy-to-transport aluminum spray bottle for added convenience and luxury.
Stock up on natural body lotion mists today, and/or try one of our hand and body lotions for even deeper moisturizing action!
July 18th, 2013
Manufacturers of cosmetics containing synthetic ingredients who sell internationally beware! The European Union’s Cosmetics Regulation, which was passed in 2009 to replace the Cosmetics Directive of 1976, took full effect on July 11. The EU’s new rules and regulations are designed to better enforce existing protections for the health and safety of consumers, and mandates the following for manufacturers:
Manufacturers of cosmetics formulated with synthetic ingredients and/or “cosmeceuticals” with active and inactive ingredients must now include specific reasons why a particular ingredient is or is not safe for all users in its material safety data sheet (MSDS.) Prior to the passing of the 2009 regulation, manufacturers were simply required to have an MSDS, but broad discretion was allowed in the format and content of such a sheet.
With regards to labeling, prior to the passage of the 2009 regulation, labels needed only to include contact info for a product’s manufacturer, and include some type of statement detailing the product’s shelf life. Now, the new laws require manufacturers not only to disclose their corporate contact info, but also contact info for whomever is responsible for compliance with health and safety laws. Additionally, products containing nano ingredients must must be labeled as such.
The new law has also streamlined the process for reporting any potentially harmful ingredients to the various EU member countries by routing the process through the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal, which allows poison control centers within the European Union to retrieve the information within seconds. Manufacturers are also now required to inform authorities of any potentially harmful ingredients their products contain.
How does Castle Baths measure up?
Even if the U.S. were to adopt the EU’s new cosmetics regulations, Castle Baths would have nothing to worry about. With regards to our labeling, our company contact information is on every label, and the contact information for our headquarters and the person responsible for ensuring health and safety compliance are one in the same. Consumers can also find our website address on every label, and can contact Castle Baths’ founder and chief product formulator, Laura Thomas, from there.
Bottom line, products are safe, natural, and in good shape to meet the EU’s new rules and regulations. It’s the manufacturers of synthetic, chemical-based products who should be worried.
Why does Castle Baths care about European Union laws?
The European Union typically maintains stricter regulation on cosmetics than the United States, which is why we use EU rules as our guidelines even though we are based in the U.S. If our products can withstand the health and safety laws imposed throughout the European Union, they should be more than ready to hold up to U.S. regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)
Even more importantly, we as a company have always been about using ingredients that are good for people, not just good for business. We genuinely care about you and the planet, so we always strive to bring our customers the best in natural skin care.
July 11th, 2013
If you’ve ever tried a natural hand and body lotion or face cream, you may have noticed that it does not absorb into your skin as fast as a synthetic product. But does this mean the product is too greasy to be an effective moisturizer?
Absolutely not! Natural body lotions and face creams such as those offered by Castle Baths tend to absorb into the skin less quickly than synthetic products because our natural body lotions and face creams do not contain alcohol. Alcohol is added to many synthetic bath and body products to make them absorb into a person’s skin quickly, but doing so also reduces these products’ moisturizing effectiveness, since alcohol is extremely drying to skin.
Another reason some manufacturers of synthetic spa products add alcohol to their lotions and creams is because alcohol has astringent properties, meaning it tightens and firms up your skin, making it look and feel more youthful. However, this benefit can also be achieved naturally by using organic Witch Hazel instead of alcohol, as was done in the formulation of Tre’Yours Facial Toner.
In addition to alcohol, many synthetic spa products contain chemical-based penetration enhancers, which break down your skin’s protective outer layer for the purpose of delivering whatever skin care benefits are claimed on that product to the deeper layers of your skin. The downside to using products that contain penetration enhancers is that once they have broken down your skin’s protective outer layer, they will leave your skin vulnerable to germs and pollutants your skin would ordinarily be able to withstand.
A synthetic skin care product that absorbs into skin almost instantly will also likely have reduced protective abilities when compared with a natural one. There is actually an advantage to having a natural lotion or cream remain on the outer layer of your skin for a while, especially if it contains ingredients that act as natural sunscreens such as Shea Butter or Avocado Oil, as the presence of these substances on the outer layer of your skin will help protect your skin from damaging UV rays. You can find both ingredients in our Tre’Yours Avocado Eye Cream, and in our new Avocado Corrective Face Cream and Avocado Hemp Regenerative Cream.
Natural body lotions and face creams are well worth the wait in absorption time when you consider all the added skin care benefits and lack of harsh chemicals!
June 27th, 2013
Eye Skin is Different: here's what you need to know
A person’s eyes are one of the most distinctive features of his or her entire face, which is why so many cosmetics companies develop eye liner, false lashes, and other products made specifically to enhance the appearance of eye skin. But did you know that eye skin is also one of the first areas of your face to show physical signs of aging?
If you’ve ever shopped in retail stores for eye care products or cosmetics, you may have been told that eye skin is very different from the skin on the rest of your face, and requires special care – that “care” often ending up being a sales pitch for some chemical-laden cream which will only irritate your skin and make your problems even worse. But there is some truth to the claim that eye skin is different, and faces some unique challenges with regards to anti aging skin care. Knowing exactly what those differences are and why they occur can help you make an informed decision when shopping for your next anti-wrinkle eye cream.
Eyelid Skin vs Facial Skin
One of the first differences between eye skin and regular facial skin to note is that the skin comprising your eyelids is the thinnest and softest on your face. This is to facilitate blinking, which protects the wet surface of your eyeballs. Eyelid skin also has high blood flow and nerve density, as well as high hydration and high water loss (meaning your body pumps a lot of moisture into your eyelids naturally, but that moisture quickly evaporates too.)
When eyelid skin ages, your body isn’t able to keep it as hydrated and your skin will develop a higher pH value. Nerve density in your eyelid skin will also decrease, all of which results in eyelid skin becoming more susceptible to irritation and damage from external factors (such as sun exposure.)
Eye wrinkles, commonly known as crow’s feet, result from a combination of several factors including smiling, squinting and blinking, genetics, lifetime sun exposure, and smoking. Blinking and squinting contribute to wrinkle formation through the repeated contraction of your orbicularis oculi muscle, while sun exposure and smoking can affect the aging process by damaging DNA via free radicals.
What can be done?
Well, you could never smile, open your eyes, or go out in public ever again, but what fun would that be? The more preferable, (and enjoyable) option is to find a chemical-free eye cream such as Tre’Yours Avocado Eyes Eye Cream. Its main ingredient, as suggested by its name, is Certified Organic Avocado Oil, which acts as a humectant and helps your eye skin absorb and retain moisture throughout the entire day. It also contains Green Tea and Cucumber Extract to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye puffiness.
How to best use Avocado Eyes Eye Cream:
According to medical research, eye wrinkling increases in the afternoon. This is due to a shift in tissue fluids. As a result, you should be sure to apply your eye cream before going to bed so your eye skin can rejuvenate itself while you sleep. Apply your eye cream once in the morning too to help protect your eye skin from sun exposure and other sources of free radicals. Be sure to wear sunglasses when outside too!
June 20th, 2013
Feel confident showing skin when you exfoliate with natural salt or sugar bath scrubs!
Summer is here. For many, this means beaches, bikinis, picnics, summer dresses, and overall fun in the sun! But is your skin up to it all?
Lingering dead skin cells from winter can derail your efforts to get that perfect beach tan by causing your skin to peel and burn in hot sunlight. So, if you want to look your best in that new swimsuit or dress, it’s best to get in an extra exfoliation session with a natural bath scrub.
What is a bath scrub and how will it help me?
A bath scrub, also known as a body scrub, is an exfoliation solution comprised of salt or sugar. Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania showed that exfoliation with bath scrubs helped promote the growth of new skin cells. This, in turn, helped participants’ skin look and feel smoother and more youthful, since the growth of new skin cells causes skin to naturally firm up and tighten.
Salt scrub or sugar scrub?
Bath scrubs made with Dead Sea Salt, such as Castle Baths’ Mediterranean Breeze Salt Scrub, are ideal for full body exfoliation (to exclude the face) and help infuse skin with much-needed minerals while sloughing off dead skin cells for a healthy glow. Bath scrubs made with brown sugar are ideal for facial exfoliation or full body exfoliation for people with sensitive skin, as the texture of brown sugar granules is gentler than that of Dead Sea Salt. Castle Baths offers both salt scrubs and sugar scrubs made with organic and wild crafted ingredients, and scented in aromatherapy essential oil blends.
Are there any other benefits to using salt or sugar bath scrubs?
Dead Sea Salt scrubs will also help detoxify and deep-cleanse your skin’s pores, making them less visible for those occasions when you want to show off your skin. Additionally, Castle Baths’ Coffee Cocoa Bath Scrub is made with real coffee grounds and cocoa butter, plus the patented anti-aging CoffeeBerry®. Coffee and cocoa, by virtue of containing caffeine, help stimulate circulation naturally, which can help reduce the appearance of redness or cellulite on skin. Coffee is also antioxidant, as is cocoa, meaning they help fight damaging free radicals produced by sunlight overexposure and pollution (which can lead to premature aging.) The patented CoffeeBerry® is an even greater antioxidant than regular coffee for additional anti-aging benefits.
Why use Castle Baths’ salt scrubs and sugar scrubs over others?
Castle Baths offers natural, handmade luxury at an affordable price! Yes, our bath scrubs may be slightly more expensive than the discounted scrubs you may see in retail stores, but that is because of the quality ingredients we use. Our Dead Sea Salt is pure and authentic, straight from the Dead Sea, and we use only the highest quality Certified Organic, wild-crafted, and therapeutic ingredients. Plus, you’ll get to brag about your secret to beautifully polished and toned skin to all your friends!
So go ahead, and indulge your skin in our luxurious salt and sugar bath scrubs, and turn heads at the beach! Plus, check out our new Avocado Face Cream for a great natural sunscreen too!
June 13th, 2013
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.”
Castle Baths offers spa and bath products that are vegan, handmade with organic ingredients, and 100% gluten free. Our products are also free of parabens, preservatives, and other nasty chemicals that can be found in most synthetic, commercial equivalents. Take a look at how our Hand and Body Lotion compares with Bath and Body Works’ popular Cherry Blossom Body Lotion.
Even if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, there is no harm in switching to gluten free bath products and spa products, and doing so can still benefit your overall well-being.
June 6th, 2013
It’s hard to believe it’s going to be Father’s Day in only a week and a half. It feels like it was Mother’s Day just last weekend, so we at Castle Baths certainly can understand if you’re behind on your efforts to find a father’s day gift. “What should I get, and where?” you may be wondering as you shop around frantically. “Power tools?” “Clothes?” Aren’t those what everybody gets their dad for Father’s Day?
If you’ve been looking for a unique and unconventional Father’s Day gift, have you considered a spa gift basket from Castle Baths? You probably haven’t, and, like a lot of people, consider spa gift baskets to be firmly in the realm of feminine gifts, but you may be surprised to learn that Castle Baths attracts a fair number of male customers too!
Spa products and spa gift baskets for men are a growing trend in the natural bath and body industry, as more and more men come to realize the value of a good moisturizing and skin care routine. To meet this growing demand, Castle Baths has singled out numerous products likely to appeal to men, and particularly so, to dads. You can view them all on our gifts for dad page. (Be sure to check out our Bay Rum Soap, which has been very popular among men who remember it as the scent of classic downtown barber shops.)
We’re also offering two special deals available until Father’s Day (June 16.) Our Dead Sea Anti-Aging Spa Gift Basket is on sale at 30% off our regular price, and we’re offering FREE guest-size bars of our Dead Sea Salt Soap with all purchases over $25.
We at Castle Baths wish you a very happy Father’s Day, and encourage you to treat dad to something special this year.