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CallaWhipp

Why use natural soap?

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Natural products are a hot topic right now, and for good reason. More and more research suggests that our bodies perform best when treated with quality ingredients. That holds true for your skin, too, with scientific studies proposing that the majority of ingredients in soap are absorbed directly into the skin. What you put on your skin matters. Here are some reasons why.

 

1. Soap is different than detergent.

The FDA states that “there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products.” But what does that mean?

Detergents suds up nicely and often come at a lower price point, which makes them attractive to consumers. They are also comprised of a variety of chemicals that allow manufacturers to produce higher quantities at a lower cost. Detergent is actually regulated as a cosmetic – not a cleanser – but is legally labeled as soap. Detergent products dry out the skin and serve to mask odor as much as they cleanse.

Soap, on the other hand, is created by creating a base of fats or oils combined with an alkali. The reaction between the two is called saponification, and what was once a liquid becomes a solid. The process creates no waste, and additional ingredients can be added to achieve the desired results. For example, shea butter can be added as a moisturizer. In our case, natural caffeine is added to give your mind and body an extra boost.

 

2. It’s all about balance.

One time, maybe long ago, you took a chemistry class. In that class, you likely learned about pH levels. Your skin is your body’s barrier to the world. It’s your armor. And your armor functions best when it is in balance. Using the wrong products or eating the wrong foods can affect your skin’s pH levels, leaving it angry (AKA wrinkled, inflamed, sensitive…you get the picture). In a nutshell, if your skin is dry, itchy and red, you’re likely too alkaline (basic). If you tend to be oily and often suffer from breakouts, you’re likely too acidic. 

Your skin should be at a pH of about 5.5. Natural soap typically falls between 8-9 on the pH scale. Because showering dries the skin, a soap with a higher pH level will help balance out the effects of showering.

 

3. Essential oils mean more bang for your buck.

Many essential oils offer benefits to your mind and body. You can turn your home into a spa with some of the most popular essential oils, many of which you can find in natural soaps:

  1. Eucalyptus is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, providing relief from joint and muscle pain, and for the cooling, refreshing effect that helps reduce stress and mental exhaustion.
  2. Lavender Oil also acts as an anti-inflammatory for your joints, with aromatherapeutic advantages as well. The aroma of lavender helps alleviate stress and can help relax the mind to improve sleep quality.  
  3. Peppermint is one of the oldest medicinal plants. Containing menthol, it helps alleviate pain and inflammation and ease the pain of aching muscles. Additionally, the aroma of peppermint oil stimulates the mind and is thought to aid focus, memory and general mental performance.
  4. Since the days of ancient Egypt, Chamomile has been used to relieve pain. The aroma is also known as a sedative that calms, helping to reduce stress and encourage sleep

 

4. The planet is your friend.

Natural soap isn’t just good for your skin, it’s good for your planet, too. Because ingredients come from nature, they do no harm to nature when they make their way through the system. For the same reasons, natural soaps also don’t require animal testing. Even the manufacturing process for natural soaps is better for the environment! It’s a win, win, win. And if you can win three times, we say go for it.

 

5. Glycerin.

Glycerin naturally occurs in plant fats and oils and helps your skin retain moisture for hours after you wash. The saponification process bonds glycerin with soap molecules and helps keep your skin feel soft and supple. Many commercial soaps actually remove the pricey glycerin and sell it as a separate element, leaving your skin to pay the price.

 

6. The Experience.

Natural soap elevates your shower, and post-shower, experience. The naturally occurring aromas paired with the sensational cleansing power of quality ingredients can transform your day to day.

 

7. No parabens. No sulfates.

Parabens and sulfates are not good for you or your skin. Parabens are used as a preservative and sulfates offer cleansing and foaming. Used in moderation, they may not cause harm. However, parabens and sulfates are used in many, many products. Choosing to use products that do not contain either chemical removes one layer of toxicity.

DirtyBird Caffeine

Benefits of Caffeine for the Skin

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Your alarm goes off. You roll out from your warm cocoon into the crisp bedroom air. And if you’re like the rest of us, your next steps lead you to the kitchen, where, in just a few moments, the sweet smell of coffee fills the air. That morning wake-up routine is bittersweet. But one thing is sure: the best part is the coffee.

DirtyBird CaffeineAt DirtyBird, we take that routine one step farther, making the best part of your pre-shower routine the best part of your shower: Caffeinated soap.

That’s right. You know and love the effects of your morning cup. But did you know that coffee has incredible benefits for your skin, too? Grab your mug and take a read.

 

  1. Antioxidizing.
    Coffee is high in antioxidants, which reduce the production of skin-damaging free radicals. In other words, antioxidants help prevent wrinkles, fine lines and loss of elasticity. Sun damage and certain skin diseases can be treated with caffeine.
  2. Hydrating.
    Coffee beans are hydrating. Or at least not dehydrating. Coffee has the same pH as your skin, so it won’t dry you out. Lather with confidence! It always pays to moisturize after your shower, but do your skin a favor and use a soap that gently cleanses and hydrates, too.
  3. Stimulating.
    Caffeine stimulates blood flow, which is shown to aid in the production of collagen and can help reduce the effects of a myriad of skin conditions, including scarring, psoriasis, rosacea, stretch marks, acne and dry skin.
  4. Tightening.
    If you have bags under your eyes or puffy skin elsewhere, consider products containing coffee to help tighten and reduce puffiness. Coffee restricts blood vessels and improves circulation, leaving your skin looking taut and healthy.
  5. Soothing.
    Caffeine is naturally anti-inflammatory and helps calm swelling and redness. Use caffeinated soap to create an even complexion and control pesky acne.
  6. Slimming. Sort of.
    Caffeine can help draw water out of fatty cells, diminishing the appearance of cellulite. One study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo concluded that applying caffeinated skin cream can reduce the size of cellulite cells by 17%!
  7. An extra boost.
    A bonus side effect of caffeinated soap is the boost received from the caffeine itself. Caffeine is known to help prepare the body for tough workouts, and the caffeine from your soap will be absorbed by your skin, giving you a little added advantage on race day.

Ways to Stay Hydrated this Winter

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According to Punxsutawney Phil, winter is here to stay. And it is taking its toll. If you’ve managed to keep your home and office at a comfortable temperature, chances are you’re also depleting the air of much needed moisture. Check out our tips for staying hydrated and moisturized during these bitter cold winter days.

  1. Use a humidifier.
    Humidifiers are great, for a number of reasons. Viruses and bacteria don’t spread as easily, your skin will feel softer and your sinuses and throat will thank you. And if your own well-being isn’t convincing enough, humidifiers also help keep houseplants healthy and protect wood. Pro tip: if you want all the benefits of a humidifier, be sure to keep it clean!
     
  2. Stay hydrated.
    Yes. We know you know. But a good old fashioned reminder never hurts: drink lots of water. While you may not sweat as much in the winter, your body still needs plenty of old fashioned H2O. Cold weather causes your blood vessels to constrict to keep your core temperature up, which fools your brain into thinking you’re hydrated and diminishes your thirst response by up to 40 percent. Other factors, including loss of liquid during exercise through sweat and breathing, also contribute. Just drink your water.
     
  3. Use moisturizing soaps and lotions.
    What you put on your body is absorbed into the body. And not all moisturizing ingredients are created equal. Our very own
    Replenish bar takes soap to a new level, comprised of 30% creamy moisturizers (sustainable palm oil, cocoa butter and shea butter) to leave your skin feeling comfortably soft and supple. Seal in the moisture by applying lotion immediately following your shower (preferably within 30 seconds!). Moisturizers can be tricky, though! Petroleum-based moisturizers can actually dehydrate your skin. You may have noticed that we recommend natural, nourishing ingredients. Try Burt’s Bees Nourishing Milk & Honey or Indie Lee’s Natural Moisturizing Oils. 
  4. Protect your skin from the elements.
    Shield your skin from dry cold air and wind with gloves, hats and scarves. And, of course, sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun.
     
  5. Exfoliate.
    Dead skin cells can prevent moisture from entering younger skin cells. Use and exfoliating hand and body wash, such as
    Energy or Recover, to slough away the dead cells and allow the vibrant skin below to shine through. Your skin will feel soft, fresh and far less itchy! 
  6. Eat hydrating foods. 
    We all know drinking water is important. But did you know that you don’t have to drink the water? About 20% of our daily intake can come from solid foods. Fruits and veggies are a great source of hydration. Cucumber, lettuce, celery and radishes are comprised almost entirely of water (at or above 95%!). And there are plenty of others that fit the bill: tomatoes, green peppers, cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries and starfruit are just a few. And when you’re looking for a way to warm up and stay hydrated from the inside out, remember to eat plenty of soups!