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Natural vs. Synthetic Spa and Bath Products

August 14th, 2014

about castle baths

Learn all about Castle Baths’ efforts to spread the word on the benefits of natural spa products.

There are two ways you can shop for spa and bath products. You can go to the nearest store and purchase whichever synthetically formulated products happen to be on sale, or you can try to find a retailer who deals in natural spa and bath products. Going to the nearest store and purchasing whatever happens to be on sale sounds easy enough, so why are so many people just like you opting to shop for natural alternatives these days?

For long-time Castle Baths customer Janet, it was the unpredictability of synthetic products that led her to make the switch.

“The face cream that I used for about 35 years from [a company] had a formula change, the raw materials had changed completely and within 1 week I got the worst case of severe allergic eczema on my face and neck. It burned so badly and peeled even worse so I was desperate to try to find a new face cream but I had no luck. I tried expensive ones from the mall and cheaper, natural ones from the health food stores and they all just made it burn and peel worse. My skin was so dry but if I put any moisturizers on, it just got worse. Until I found the Avocado [Face] Cream from Castle Baths… With no chemicals or alcohol and very few ingredients my skin started healing quickly and stopped burning and peeling almost instantly, the PH seemed perfect and my skin which now looks more moist, fresh and younger says THANK YOU CASTLE BATHS!”  - Janet

Whatever the reason you decide to switch to natural spa and bath products by Castle Baths, chances are once you do, you’ll never want to go back to using synthetics.

Natural, handmade luxury at a comfortable price

We once asked our office staff (many of whom are also loyal Castle Baths customers) if they could summarize what makes Castle Baths stand out in one sentence or phrase. The result we came up with together was, natural, handmade luxury at a comfortable price. We ended up using it as an alternate tag line next to our “Nourish. Indulge. Seduce.”™ because it so accurately describes how we:

  • handmade castle bathsUse only natural, certified organic, and wild-crafted ingredients to formulate our spa and bath products, to include luxury skin care ingredients like Dead Sea Mud and Dead Sea Salt.
  • Make all of our products by hand and hand-package them with the utmost care.
  • Use eco-friendly, cruelty-free business practices.
  • And deliver real aromatherapy benefits by using pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Learn more about Castle Baths and the benefits of using our natural spa and bath products.

 

Free report on how to save your sun-damaged, sensitive skin from aging

August 10th, 2014

sensitive skinIf you were like most teenage and 20-something girls, you probably loved sunbathing at the beach during the summer months and getting that perfect tan while you basked in the warm, salty air without a care in the world.

Perhaps you still enjoy beach outings with your friends and family. But now that you’ve heard the media hype about how too much sun exposure can cause premature or worsening signs of aging, and in extreme cases, even lead to skin cancer, your youthful carefree attitude has been replaced with constant worrying, especially if you’ve already noticed a sunspot or two.

If you’ve been longing for fun in the sun this summer, but have taken to sheltering yourself indoors whenever possible for fear of further exposure to skin-damaging UV rays, you’re probably wondering, “Is there anything I can do to end my exile?” “Is it already too late to save my skin?”

free white paperIt’s not too late! There is a way to save and protect your skin!

… and it doesn’t involve expensive, painful anti-aging spa treatments, or using some concoction of synthetic chemicals that promises to erase all signs of aging from your face, but delivers only burning sensations and redness because your skin is having an allergic reaction to one of its unpronounceable ingredients.

The anti-aging skin care secret we are about to disclose is 100% natural, and  works by infusing your face and body with a unique combination of skin care superfoods – organic and wild-crafted skin care ingredients with intense regenerative abilities.

Intrigued? Find out more about this natural anti-aging secret in our FREE REPORT: Once Upon an Uglier Time.

This free report isn’t like the verbose and overly technical free reports you see advertised on other sites. It reads like a storybook, introducing you to some real people with skin care concerns just like yours (names changed to protect privacy, of course) who found relief after trying a day-cream/night-cream combo made with natural superfoods for skin.

This free report isn’t just for women with sun damage either….

avocado corrective face cream - hemp regenerative creamYou’ll learn how this system of skin care superfoods, applied at the correct times of day, can help you find relief for a variety of skin sensitivities and maladies including:

  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Sensitive skin
  • Allergies to certain chemical skin care ingredients (which you can eliminate by using natural products)
  • Avoiding scarring after facial surgery
  • And much more!

Need another reason to download your copy of Once Upon an Uglier Time? How about the fact that we’ll give you a discount on our Tre’Yours Anti-Aging Avocado Corrective Face Cream & Avocado Hemp Regenerative Cream combo as a thank you for downloading our free report.

free report - once upon an uglier time - sensitive skin

 

Search by skin type, scent, and more at Castle Baths

August 7th, 2014

There’s almost always something new and exciting going on at Castle Baths! We’re continually updating our inventory with new products we’ve formulated based on customer feedback, and offering new sales and promotions.

To see what’s new at Castle Baths, just visit our home page. Here, you’ll find feeds of all our new products, as well as all our products currently on sale, so you never have to browse aimlessly to find what you want.

castle baths - new products

Our streamlined search and navigation menus now offer you the ability to search by scent or by skin conditions such as acne, dry skin, or sensitive skin, so you can easily find products that are safe and effective for your specific skin type and skin care needs.

skin type

You’ll also find our popular gift guide for all occasions on our home page, as well as newly launched live chat feature that allows you to chat with one of our experts so you can get your skin care and gift giving experts so you can ask and get answers to your skin care and gift giving questions in real time.

castle baths - chat

Come check out our new products and new site features so you can start enjoying better skin today!

 

Coconut Oil for Preventative Anti-Aging Skin Care

July 31st, 2014

coconut oil for skinWhen you hear the words “coconut oil,” skin care might not be the first use to come to mind, but the fact remains that coconut oil is one of the best natural, preventative, anti-aging skin care ingredients you can use. It is packed with naturally occurring antioxidant vitamins that can destroy free radicals and stop the aging process stone dead.

There are many naturally occurring anti-aging skin care ingredients such as 100% pure Dead Sea Mud or hemp seed oil that work great on mature skin, but are far too rich to be effective on youthful skin as a preventative measure. Coconut oil is an exception to this rule, and as such, is something people of all ages should consider using to protect and hydrate their skin.

People who love to sunbathe, in particular, should definitely consider using coconut oil and taking advantage of its preventative anti-aging properties, as exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is the leading cause of free radical buildup in the skin.

Note that by “use,” we don’t mean, “ingest.” While frying something in coconut oil may make for a tasty dinner, coconut oil’s skin care properties become much more effective when you apply the oil topically. But before you run off to your local grocery store to pick up a bottle, you need to know about processed versus unprocessed oils.

If coconut oil is processed or refined, it loses its antioxidant properties and instead begin producing damaging free radicals, which would then be transferred to your skin if you were to use it topically. Unrefined or virgin coconut oil retains its antioxidant properties.

But where can you find unrefined, virgin coconut oil?

If you try to shop for pure coconut oil, you may have concerns about finding oil that is actually unrefined and that hasn’t been diluted or left to sit for a long time. You may also be concerned about acne and breakouts if you already struggle with oily or combination skin. Both are legitimate concerns.

coconut cream natural soapeycalyptus spearmint natural soap

Fortunately there’s an easy way to get just the right amount of coconut oil your skin needs, and be 100% certain that it is indeed unrefined with its anti-aging benefits left intact: use any of our natural soaps.

We use unrefined, virgin coconut oil in all of our handmade natural soaps, so the only choice you really have to make is choosing which scent you prefer. We scent our soaps in a variety of essential oil blends to create unique aromas that deliver real aromatherapy benefits.

We also offer patterned, decorative soap in a variety of shapes and sizes, also made with unrefined, virgin coconut oil.

Our natural soaps are gentle on the skin, and moisturize while they cleanse, as opposed to synthetically manufactured soaps, which can be quite drying since they’ve had their natural glycerin and oils extracted for use in higher-end products. Natural soaps are safe and effective for all ages, including children.

Learn more about coconut oil and preventative anti-aging skin care here.

 

Top essential oils for folk medicine and herbal home remedies

July 27th, 2014

essential oil marjoramBefore the days of pharmacies and hospitals, essential oils were used as herbal remedies for a variety of maladies as folk medicine, and many people today believe that even with modern medicine, the reputed healing properties of these natural oils should not be ignored.

They may very well be on to something. Modern day scientists have studied the effects of inhaling the aromas of essential oils, as well as the effects of applying them topically to the skin, and have confirmed much of what herbalists have believed for centuries.

Essential oils are quite literally the life force inside plants, hence the term “essential” oil. The word “essential” has its origins in the Latin word essentia, referring to an inseparable, often abstract quality of something or someone, like the soul or spirit. The energy and nutrients contained within a plants essential oil is retained when the oil is extracted and can be passed onto people via inhalation (aromatherapy) and/or topically by massaging the oil into the skin.

Now that you have a better understanding of how ancient and modern day healers have unraveled the mysterious benefits of essential oils, here is a list of some top essential oils used for folk medicine and the types of conditions for which they are best suited.

Damaged, sensitive skin? Try Avocado Oil

July 24th, 2014

avocado oil and butterAre you worried about the damaging effects of prolonged sun exposure on your skin? Avocado oil can help. In fact, it’s one of the best and most popular natural skin care ingredients you can use to protect and rejuvenate your skin, and is used in both women’s and men’s skin care products.

Avocado Oil for Sun Damage

If you did a lot of tanning in your teens and twenties either at the beach or in tanning salons, you may be worrying now about the cumulative effect of all those UV rays your skin has absorbed over the years, and with good reason. UV overexposure is the leading cause of free radical buildup in the skin. Free radicals are microscopic particles that, if left to build up over years, can lead to cell damage, resulting in premature aging and in severe cases even the beginnings of skin cancer. Fortunately, you probably aren’t at the point of no return yet, and with the help of certified organic avocado oil, hopefully you never will be.

tre'yours avocado face creamAvocado oil is considered a superfood for your skin. What makes avocado oil such a great skin care ingredient for sun damaged skin is its high concentrations of antioxidant vitamins A and E. Antioxidants destroy free radicals as soon as they are created so they don’t build up in your skin tissues and make trouble for you later in life.  Massaging these vitamins directly into your skin in their natural form via a moisturizing cream makes them far more effective for skin care purposes than simply ingesting foods rich in these same vitamins (not that you shouldn’t do that too), and using a natural moisturizing cream such as one made with certified organic avocado oil allows these antioxidant vitamins to work together in ways they never could individually or watered down in a synthetic cream.

Avocado Oil also has one of the highest natural SPF ratings, giving it mild sunscreen-like properties.

See the success rate of avocado oil as a skin care ingredient for yourself by checking out the reviews of these two avocado-oil-based anti-aging moisturizers from Castle Baths’ Tre’Yours line:

Avocado Oil for Sensitive Skin

In addition to being great for sun damaged skin, avocado oil is also a great skin care ingredient to look for if you have sensitive skin. Avocado oil is gentle enough to use around the eye where your skin is extremely light and fragile, which is why it is the main ingredient in Tre’Yours Avocado Eyes Eye Cream. It is also one of the main ingredients in Tre’Yours Avocado Hemp Regenerative Cream, which has had some amazing results both for people with chronic sensitive skin and people with temporarily sensitive skin due to facial surgery.avocado eye cream

New scented handmade natural soaps now available

July 17th, 2014

In addition to offering several new body oils, which we discussed in one of our recent blogs, the Exotic Earth bath and spa line now also includes several new natural soaps, scented in some very unique aromas that are appropriate for all seasons.

white tea ginger soap

White Ginger Natural Soap

ruby rush soap

Ruby Rush Natural Soap

green clover soap

Green Clover “Luck of the Irish” Natural Soap

lemon drop soap

Lemon Drop Natural Soap

 

Here is a breakdown of the skin care and aromatherapy benefits of each natural soap we’ve added.

Lemon Drop Natural Soap. This fresh, clean, citrus scented soap is made with the essential oil of lemon, which acts as a natural antibacterial and antiseptic cleanser (have you ever wondered why so many disinfectants have a lemon-like scent?) The essential oil of lemon is also useful for giving your skin a natural shine – not an oily shine, but more of a youthful, healthy shine, so don’t be surprised if you emerge from the tub or shower with beautiful, silky, shiny skin after using this natural soap bar.

Green Clover Natural Soap. This Celtic-inspired natural soap brings the aroma if Ireland to your bathroom or kitchen with a unique aromatherapy scent reminiscent of Irish green clovers. Whether you’re Irish by blood or you just appreciate Irish culture, this bar of natural soap will help you show off your Celtic side to all your friends and family.

Ruby Rush Natural Soap. This pink-grapefruit-scented natural soap delivers an invigorating, fruity, citrus aroma to help you feel the excitement and joy of a sugar rush without the exhausting crash afterwards. In addition to its energizing aromatherapy properties, the pink grapefruit essential oil used in this soap is also great for oily and acnetic skin.

White Ginger Natural Soap. This natural soap is scented in white tea and ginger to deliver an oriental aromatherapy experience of warm and fuzzy feelings. Plus, it retains the high antioxidant content of white tea, so it’s great for anti-aging purposes.

We also have this extra skin care goodie for you – pure cocoa butter gold nuggets. These nuggets aren’t soap; they’re actually body moisturizers in solid form. The cocoa butter will melt upon contact with your skin and infuse it with all the benefits of pure, unrefined cocoa butter.

Each of these soaps is scented in a blend of pure essential oils, not synthetic fragrances, to deliver real aromatherapy benefits and none of the unpleasant sensations such as headaches or nausea that some people experience with synthetically-scented products.

Whether you’re new to the world of handmade natural soap or you’re already hooked, these soaps will make great additions to your collection!

Types of essential oils explained

July 14th, 2014

Not all essential oils are created equal

Did you know there are multiple types of essential oils? We’re not talking about the difference between essential oils and synthetic fragrance oils, nor are we referring to the fact that there are so many essential oil scents from which to choose. We’re talking about how two bottles of the essential oil of lavender can have very different scents and aromatherapy effects.

“How can this be?” you may ask. “Shouldn’t all lavender smell and perform alike?” The answer is, “No.”

Different species = different scents

essential oil lavenderIf you were to travel to your nearest plant nursery in search of some tomatoes to plant in your vegetable garden, you’d see several different varieties of tomato plants, some labeled “Early Girl,” and others labeled “Cherry Tomato” or “Better Bush.” Each of these produces fruit that is slightly different from any other type of tomato plant because they are different species within the tomato plant family. The same is true of the plants used to produce essential oils. Different species produce different scents.

Now, to return to the example of lavender, you may now (correctly) surmise that the common name “lavender” does not refer to just one plant but a family of plants, all with similar but not identical characteristics.

Location matters

In addition to differentiation in species, the location in which a plant is grown can also affect the scent and aromatherapy properties of its essential oil. Continuing with the lavender example, French Fine High Altitude Lavender often has a much sweeter aroma than lavender grown in low-altitude eastern Europe.

Click here to see a breakdown of the various types of lavender by growing location.

Therapeutic grade essential oils

Every essential oil is assigned a therapeutic grade, which is determined by the quality of the plants used to produce it, the method by which the oil was extracted from the plants, and the oil’s purity. Low therapeutic grade essential oils may not be Certified Organic or wild-crafted, and are often diluted and used as little more than fragrances.

High therapeutic grade essential oils contain a higher percentage of pure oil and come from plants that were grown using organic farming practices. They retain most if not all of their aromatherapy and skin care benefits, and can be used by aromatherapists and herbalists therapeutically. The highest therapeutic grade essential oils contain 100% pure oil from organic and wild-crafted plant sources.

Find out which therapeutic grade essential oils Castle Baths uses  here.

Of course, like any crop, the weather plays an important role in determining the quality of the plants harvested, which in turn, affects the quality of the resulting oils. A bad season and crop can mean relying on supplies of a particular essential oil from previous years and drive prices up. But now at least you have a better understanding of the various types of essential oils available and the care that goes into preserving their quality from the field to your skin.

Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils: What’s the Difference?

July 10th, 2014

essential oilsaromatherapy scents

Allergies to synthetic fragrances are common – try products scented in essential oils instead

Do the scented spa products you see in big box stores give you headaches or make you feel nauseous? Are you hesitant to try lotions and bath salts with aromatherapy benefits because you worry that their scents will be overpowering? Have you become convinced that you’re allergic to scents and can only use unscented products?

If the only spa products you’ve tried have come from large retail chain stores, you may not be as allergic to scented spa products as you think you are. Many of the scented products you see lining the shelves of these stores have been scented with artificially created fragrance oils, which have been concocted from a mix of chemicals. Cosmetics manufacturers are not legally required to disclose all the ingredients they use to manufacture their fragrances, and as a result, many of the chemicals they use can be quite harsh and irritating to your skin and your nose.

The lotions, bath salts, soaps, and oils you’ll find online at Castle Baths, however, are scented in pure, natural essential oils, not synthetic fragrance oils. As such, they are much less likely to cause allergic reactions, and deliver real aromatherapy benefits.

Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils: Aromatherapy Benefits

 

essential oil - geranium rose

Fragrance oils are exactly that, fragrances; they just smell nice (or not so nice as the case may be.) Essential Oils, on the other hand, have real aromatherapy benefits. Spa products scented in essential oils retain the aromatherapy benefits of the herbs and flowers from which the oils were extracted. You can find multiple scientific studies on the effectiveness of aromatherapy here.

You can learn more about the essential oils we use and the aromatherapy benefits of the scents we’ve created by blending various essential oils together here.

A few of the essential oils we use do have allergy warnings, such as those derived from ragweed or pine. You can find disclosures regarding potential allergic reactions to such oils in the additional information tab on our product pages.

So, if you’re ready to end your exile from the world of scented spa products, come check out our aromatherapy essential oil blends!

6 new skin care products from Exotic Earth

July 5th, 2014

body oils

Try using these 6 skin care ingredient oils in place of or in addition to your regular moisturizer

In our last blog we discussed the numerous skin care benefits of using apricot oil as body oil, and introduced you to one of our new Exotic Earth products: pure cold-pressed apricot oil. What we didn’t tell you was that this new product isn’t alone. We now have five additional pure body oils in our Exotic Earth product inventory you can turn to whenever you need a light, non-greasy, oil-based moisturizer.

We added these new body oils in response to a steadily growing demand from our customers for pure oils. We kept getting callers asking questions like, “Where do you get your natural glycerin and can I buy some off you?” and “Do you sell pure hazelnut oil?” In the past we’ve regrettably had to refer these types of customers to other sources, but now the answer to anyone seeking to purchase these skin care oils is a resounding, “Yes!”

Here’s a breakdown of the new body oils we’re now offering, and the skin care purposes for  which each oil is best suited.

hazelnut oilHazelnut Oil. Hazelnut oil possesses natural astringent (skin tightening) properties and is rich in antioxidant vitamins B and E, making it ideal for acnetic skin and sensitive skin, as it is very light and gentle as well.  It also has mild UV protection properties and is very soothing and fast absorbing when applied to the skin, making it ideal for use on sunburned or damaged skin.

Evening Primrose Oil. The essential oil of Evening Primroses is considered by many skin care industry professionals to be one of the most important natural anti-aging ingredients discovered since Vitamin C. It contains the natural pain-relieving compound phenylalanine, as well as high concentrations of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is what gives Evening Primrose Oil its incredible anti-aging qualities. It has also demonstrated to be very effective for PMS and other women’s health issues, which is why we use it in our Restoration aromatherapy line.

Apricot Oil. We’ve already discussed many of the benefits of cold-pressed apricot oil in detail in our previous blog article, but just to recap, apricot oil is very similar to almond oil, yet notably less expensive. It contains high concentrations of essential fatty acids (EFAs) as well as numerous antioxidant vitamins, which work together to deliver incredible anti-aging results to your skin.

aloe vera juiceAloe Vera Juice. While aloe vera juice isn’t technically a body oil (it’s more of a light mist), it is one of the new skin care products we’re now offering as part of the Exotic Earth line. Aloe vera juice helps  your skin breathe easier (remember, your skin needs oxygen just like every other part of your body and if you have clogged pores, it can’t breathe easily.) It also contains high concentrations of antioxidant vitamins, which is why it is so often used in sunscreens (though many of the synthetically formulated sunscreens you see in big box stores likely don’t contain sufficient quantities of aloe vera to give your skin all of its beneficial effects.)

Natural Glycerin. Natural glycerin, like aloe vera, is technically not a body oil either. Again, it’s more of a light mist. Its main value as a skin care ingredient comes from its humectant properties, meaning it draws moisture out of the surrounding environment and into your skin. This absorption helps keep your skin’s outer layer intact and protects it from the drying effects of the elements. Our natural glycerin is derived exclusively from vegetable oils (not synthetic chemicals or old animal fats) and is not an alcohol.

emu oilEmu Oil. Emu oil has great anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent natural salve to use for a variety of skin maladies, as well as to soothe sore muscles. It is for this reason that Emu oil is a popular natural massage oil, particularly for sports massage where sore muscles are common. Emu oil is derived from the Australian Emu bird and, as such, is not vegan. Since Castle Baths remains committed to offering vegan skin care products we were initially very hesitant to offer Emu oil, but we have decided to test the waters by offering a limited quantity for a short period of time. Whether Emu oil becomes a permanent addition to the Exotic Earth line will depend on how well it sells and how we decide we feel about offering this one non-vegan product.

Now that you have a better understanding of what each of these oils and skin care ingredients should be used for, we hope that you will try one or more of them and experience the numerous skin care benefits of pure body oils  for yourself.