December 19th, 2014
Have you ever wondered how so many Japanese, Chinese, and other oriental women manage to maintain a youthful, blemish-free, soft and glowing appearance even in the dead of winter?
We certainly used to, until we discovered the natural anti-aging secret oriental women have been using for decades. If we asked you to guess what it was, you might suggest green tea, and, while green tea certainly does possess many beneficial anti-aging properties, it’s not the beauty secret to which we are currently referring.
Cold-pressed rice bran oil is great for use year-round, but particularly so during the winter months when your skin needs extra oil to help maintain its outer protective layer and lock in moisture when out in the cool, dry air.
It is also the only known source of the powerful antioxidant oryzanol, which is even an even more powerful anti-aging substance than Vitamin E.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of cold-pressed rice bran oil for skin.
December 15th, 2014
Castle Baths’ refer-a-friend program is well-suited to dog and cat breeders, and others too!
Carla the dog breeder (name changed) gives out a sample Anna Designer Pet Breeder Kit, which includes a $5 Castle Baths coupon, with every one of her new puppies. The people who buy from her almost always ask her what she uses to feed and groom her puppies because they know her reputation as an award-winning breeder, and want to ensure that they continue the exact same care regimen she uses.
This action, along with providing all the required veterinary records for each of her puppies every time she makes a sale, and her already stellar reputation in the dog breeder community would be more than enough to convince anyone that she is a good, ethical breeder – someone who cares more about the health and safety of her puppies even after they leave her care than she does about any profits she might make from each sale. But, Carla doesn’t stop there.
Once her buyers leave, she logs onto her computer and inputs her buyers’ e-mail addresses into the Refer-a-Friend form on Castle Baths’ website so they’ll know where to go to buy more Anna Designer Pet grooming supplies. By using Castle Baths’ refer-a-friend feature, she ensures that her buyers will have yet another discount waiting for them when they get home, and, once they buy their first refill, she’ll get a discount too.
It’s a win-win situation, and one that’s not exclusive to dog and cat breeders.
Castle Baths’ refer-a-friend feature makes it easy for anyone to earn discounts by referring friends and family, whether they buy pet grooming products, spa products, or a gift basket for someone else.
All you need in order to start earning discounts by referring your friends and family through our refer-a-friend program is:
- A Castle Baths customer account (creating one is easy)
- A list of your friends’ and family’s e-mail addresses
That’s it! You’re all done, and once the people you referred places an order, you’ll get your discount.
Click here to learn more about our refer a friend program and how you can earn up to 30% off your next Castle Baths order!
December 11th, 2014
… with our helpful product ingredient guide
Did you know that 1,300 chemical ingredients are banned from use in cosmetics in the European Union, but only 11 are banned in the U.S.? Scary, isn’t it.
Even scarier is the fact that you can’t always tell if a skin care product contains one of these potentially hazardous ingredients, as many are cleverly disguised on cosmetics labels with innocuous-sounding euphemisms or overly complex chemical terminology.
Here at Castle Baths, we believe you have the right to know exactly what it is you’re using on your skin, which is why we disclose all our product ingredients.
Our product ingredients page isn’t just a simple list of the ingredients we use; it’s your guide to natural skin care, featuring in-depth informative articles on each ingredient so you can learn:
- Why each ingredient is good for your skin
- The specific skin conditions for which each ingredient has shown to be effective
- Where each ingredient comes from
- How each ingredient is extracted from its natural source
- Which of our products contain high concentrations of each ingredient
For example, if you click the link to our Shea Butter article, you’ll learn that in order for Shea Butter to deliver all of its numerous benefits to your skin, it must be present in quantities of at least 20%. If you click the link to our article on Palm Oil, you’ll learn that unprocessed red Palm Oil is much better for your skin than refined, clear Palm Oil.
A note about preservatives & product ingredients
You can also find information on the few natural preservatives we use in our products, to include Vitamin E (which really isn’t a preservative, but still can help extend a product’s shelf life), Rosemary Extract (which is also not really a preservative but still helps extend shelf life), and GeoGuard Ultra, the only preservative accepted by ECOCERT for use in Certified Organic cosmetics.
As always, if you have questions regarding our product ingredients that we haven’t answered yet, feel free to contact us!
December 7th, 2014
When not participating in cat shows, many Persian cat breeders choose to give their cats a “lion cut” to reduce the amount of grooming each cat requires, or to keep them cool during the hot summer months. But, given that it’s close to winter now and cat show season is coming up, you’ll probably want to do all you can to keep your cats’ fur in pristine condition.
But how do you accomplish this if you’re not already a professional cat groomer?
Award-winning breeder of Purrinlot Persian cats, Laura Thomas, has a few tips for you. Once an internationally-known breeder of grand champion Persians, Laura has since retired from actively breeding cats and now offers her expertise to others interested in grooming their cats like a pro.
Laura’s tips on how to groom your Persian cat
Click here to read Laura’s top Persian cat care and grooming secrets.
Laura’s top Persian cat care tips include information on the best cat grooming supplies to use, which types of cat shampoos work best, how diet affects your cats’ fur, and much more!
These cat care and grooming tips aren’t exclusive to Persians either. They are intended for all longhaired cat breeds.
For even more tips by breeder Laura Thomas on how to get your cat looking show-quality, check out these cat grooming DVDs, featuring step-by-step instructions on how to give your Persian or other longhaired cat a bath, how to remove tear stains, and much more!
Though some cat owners choose a lion cut for their cats simply because they like the way it looks, there’s no reason you have to do so to if you don’t care for that particular style. Just be sure to maintain your cats’ coats regularly using these cat care and grooming tips.
December 3rd, 2014
Last week, we discussed using extra virgin olive oil for skin care purposes, specifically for incidents of dry winter skin. This week, we’d like to introduce you to another natural oil you can incorporate into your winter skin care regimen: palm oil.
Palm oil, extracted from the fruit of the African palm tree Elaeis guineensis or the American palm tree Elaeis oleifera, is more commonly known as a cooking oil than a skin care ingredient, but its skin care benefits should not be dismissed.
Skin care benefits of palm oil
While palm oil contains many beneficial vitamins and nutrients for your skin, among the most sought after is beta carotene. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your skin from the damaging free radicals it absorbs from sunlight overexposure and polluted air or water. Palm oil’s naturally high concentration of beta carotene is also what gives this oil it’s natural red color.
This particular skin care benefit is greatly reduced in palm oil that has been boiled or processed. If you want to try palm oil for skin, be sure to obtain pure, natural red palm oil rather than the clear, processed version that is more readily available.
Palm oil for dry winter skin
Wondering why we’ve singled out palm oil as being ideal for dry winter skin? Well, the first reason is because you will likely need to increase your use of oil-based skin care products to combat the drying effects of cool winter air. Natural skin care oils help firm up your skin’s natural protective layer, locking in moisture so your skin won’t completely dry out when it comes into contact with the cool, dry outdoor air, or the artificially heated but even drier indoor air. The second reason is you can still get sunburned during the winter months. If there’s snow on the ground and few to no clouds in the sky, you may actually be more at risk of sunlight overexposure than you would be during the summer because the snow reflects the sun. Ultraviolet rays from the sun produce just as many free radicals during wintertime as they do during summertime too, so it’s a good idea to keep up your use of skin care ingredients with natural antioxidant properties like red palm oil.
Palm oil versus palm kernel oil
Palm oil and palm kernel oil are two different oils with different properties, though both are derived from the Elaeis guinennsis or Elaeis oleifera tree. Palm oil, as mentioned above, is extracted from the tree’s fruit. Palm kernel oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the tree’s seeds. In cooking, palm oil tends to be preferred over palm kernel oil because palm oil is lower in saturated fat.
How to use palm oil for skin care
Finding a pure sample of natural palm oil with its beta carotene content intact can be a challenge. That’s why we suggest you leave that to us and just try one of our natural soaps made with organic palm oil, such as our Lemongrass Sage natural soap or Lavender Natural Soap.
November 29th, 2014
Did you know there’s a natural solution to dry winter skin that is likely already in your home? It’s probably not something you would have considered using for skin care purposes, and you probably keep it in one of your kitchen cabinets or your pantry. Still can’t guess what it is? We’ll give you a hint. It has the same name as Popeye the sailor’s girlfriend.
If you guessed olive oil, you’re correct!
Olive oil has been used for skin care purposes for thousands of years. Cleopatra, the ancient Greeks, and the ancient Romans are all said to have used olive oil when bathing. At some point in time they must have realized that olive oil not only aided in keeping skin clean, but also keeping it looking youthful and vibrant, but they likely didn’t know why olive oil worked so well.
Now, herbalists and modern scientists have finally discovered the answer. Olive oil, like many of the natural skin care and beauty treatments discovered in ancient times, is rich in antioxidants, which destroy skin-damaging free radicals produced by sun overexposure and pollution.
The benefits of olive oil for dry winter skin
“Antioxidants are great, but what does olive oil have to do with combatting dry winter skin?” you may be wondering. To answer this question, we’ll need to briefly re-examine the main cause of dry skin during the winter months: humidity, or lack thereof.
The main reason your skin feels so much drier during the winter months is because of a lack of humidity in the air. Because the air is so much cooler during the winter months, it can’t absorb the same amount of water vapor it does during the summer months, and thus, feels much drier. Your skin will try to absorb any source of moisture it can find to keep itself hydrated throughout the day, so if you spend time outdoors on a cold winter day, chances are your skin won’t find enough moisture in the surrounding air to keep itself from drying out.
Indoor air, while substantially warmer than outdoor air, is still just as dry (after all, it is the exact same air as what’s outdoors, albeit artificially heated.) In fact, indoor air can be even more drying to your skin than outdoor air because, since it’s so much warmer, it can once again absorb normal levels of water vapor. But if the only source of humidity in your home is your body, the heated air can suck what little moisture your skin has managed to retain right out of it.
Using oil-based skin care products, such as olive oil, helps firm up your skin’s protective layer and lock moisture into your skin. Just be sure to use extra virgin olive oil to avoid getting any preservatives or synthetic chemicals trapped in your skin along with it.
Here at Castle Baths, we use extra virgin olive oil in all of our natural soaps to take advantage of both its cleansing and anti-aging properties.
November 21st, 2014
When you hear the word “hemp,” your first thought may be its association with a certain illegal substance (though many US states have legalized cannabis and hemp products for certain medical conditions.) Or perhaps you’re into boating and are aware of the little-known fact that hemp is used in the manufacture of nautical rope.
But, were you aware that hemp is one of the most regenerative skin care ingredients in nature, or that hemp skin care is a growing industry in the U.S.?
Didn’t think so. But it’s true.
The hype about hemp: dispelling the myths about hemp seed oil and hemp butter
There are two main derivatives of hemp, a.k.a. cannabis, that are used in the skin care industry: hemp seed oil and hemp butter. Hemp seed oil, as its name implies, is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, and hemp butter is produced from the oil.
Contrary to popular belief, neither hemp seed oil nor hemp butter contain any THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, so you will never get “high” by using hemp skin care products. Also contrary to popular belief, both hemp seed oil and hemp butter are perfectly legal to sell and to use in the U.S., so don’t let worrying about jail time affect your opinion of hemp skin care products.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to start talking about the benefits of hemp seed oil and hemp butter for skin. There are so many! But we’ve highlighted a few of the most interesting facts about hemp skin care below:
- Hemp has a good ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, both of which are essential for your skin’s metabolism but aren’t produced by your body, so they need to be absorbed via an external source. Hemp’s Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio also helps combat the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, providing you with natural sunscreen-like protection.
- Hemp protects and firms skin just as it does for nautical rope, giving you long-lasting, healthy, youthful skin.
- Hemp is grown organically, without pesticides or chemical processing, making it a much better source of skin care nutrients than synthetic skin care ingredients or heavily watered-down natural ingredients.
Other benefits of hemp skin care products:
Hemp seed oil provides intense moisturizing and regeneration, especially for damaged, sensitive skin. Check out Tre’Yours Avocado Hemp Regenerative Cream by Castle Baths (pictured) and see how it helped one man avoid scarring after a face lift.
To learn more about the many benefits of hemp skin care, check out our detailed skin care ingredient articles on hemp seed oil and hemp butter.
November 17th, 2014
Macadamia nut oil is well known as a natural cooking oil, in fact, it’s become so popular it’s been dubbed “the new olive oil.” But did you know that macadamia nut oil is also a great ingredient to look for in natural soaps?
Why choose natural soaps made with macadamia nut oil over commercial soaps?
More and more people are turning to natural soaps made with ingredients like macadamia nut oil over using manufactured, commercial soaps, and when you consider the differences in how each is made, the reason becomes obvious.
Commercial soaps aren’t really soaps; they’re detergents – harsh, irritating chemicals that wash away everything in their path, bacteria, and your skin’s natural moisture and oils. This can leave your skin very dry and itchy. Commercial soaps also have their natural glycerin extracted before they hit the market so the glycerin can be used in higher priced skin care products. Natural soaps, on the other hand, retain their natural glycerin, and are made with saponified vegetable oils and seed oils like macadamia nut oil.
The benefits of macadamia nut oil as a soap making and skin care ingredient
The reason macadamia nut oil is such a good ingredient to use in the formulation of natural soaps is because of its many skin care benefits. All natural soaps inevitably come into contact with human skin at some point, so they all should possess some basic skin care benefits like glycerin to draw moisture into your skin. Some of the best natural soaps even have anti-aging properties, and this is certainly true of soaps made with macadamia nut oil. Here’s why:
Macadamia nut oil possesses high concentrations of palmitic acid, which is something your skin produces naturally to keep its outer epidermal layers moisturized. Your skin’s palmitic acid levels can decrease with age, necessitating the use of an external source of the oil to keep your skin from drying out rapidly.
Macadamia nut oil is one of the ingredients we use in our Dead Sea Mud Soap (in addition to Dead Sea Mud, of course.) We also use macadamia nut oil in some of our other natural soaps.
For more information on the skin care benefits of macadamia nut oil in soaps and other skin care products, check out this in-depth article on macadamia nut oil for skin.
November 13th, 2014
If you’re currently expecting, you’ve probably heard of (or perhaps already experienced) some of the aches and pains pregnancy can bring about, but you might not have been prepared for the suddenness or intensity of the sharp, squeezing, twisting pain of a charlie horse.
Some women have described the pain of charlie horses as feeling like their legs were being squeezed in a vise or clamp; others have described feeling as though their legs were being tied in knots and being pulled at both ends. However you want to describe it, the pain of a charlie horse is certainly unpleasant.
What is a charlie horse?
A charlie horse, also sometimes spelled “charley horse” is a type of leg cramp that affects pregnant women, particularly during their second and third trimesters. To this day, doctors are uncertain what precisely causes charlie horse leg cramps, but common theories include the uterus putting pressure on certain nerves, and/or decreased circulation in the legs as a result of the baby putting pressure on blood vessels.
Finding relief for charlie horse leg cramps
Prior to founding Castle Baths, CB owner Laura Thomas, experienced numerous charlie horse leg cramps during each of her pregnancies. Her doctor recommended an unusual solution: Dead Sea Bath Salts. She took his advice and has enjoyed the soothing and rejuvenating powers of aromatherapy-scented Dead Sea Bath Salts ever since! Now, she offers her experience and expertise with charlie horses freely to other expecting mothers.
If you’re expecting, or you know someone who is, be sure to check out Laura’s personal story on leg cramp and charlie horse relief to find out which aromatherapy essential oil blends she recommends when selecting a Dead Sea Bath Salt or Conditioning Soak.
Do you have your own natural or homeopathic remedy for charlie horse leg cramps? Talk to us! We’d love to hear from you, and add your story and advice to our leg cramp relief page!