The Soap Cabin

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Spotlight on Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia/Lavandula Officinalis

The name Lavender comes from the Latin ‘Lavandus’ which means ‘to be washed’ and it was used by the Romans for bathing to help alleviate skin problems. Lavender is a perennial shrub, native to the Mediterranean, but is also grown in England, France, Morocco, Spain and Hungary, amongst other places. In England, you can find lavender grown at Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead, the Carshalton Lavender Fields, both in Surrey and also at the Hitchin Lavender Fields in Hertfordshire.

Lavender essential oil is extracted by steam distillation and has fresh floral top notes and herbaceous undertones. It is analgesic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, anti-viral, deodorant, sedative and decongestant, to name just a few of its properties. It is soothing, calming and relaxing and is used to treat insomnia, colds and flu (using steam inhalation), inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, headaches, indigestion, minor burns, flatulence, colic, stress, and the list goes on…

We use lavender in our Soothing Skin oils and balms to help alleviate skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis, Revitalising Bath Oil for relaxing after a long day, our bar soap which contains lavender oil and the dried flowers, plus we sell lavender bags on the stall, which are perfect for putting under your pillow for a restful night’s sleep, or in your wardrobe to keep away moths!

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Contraindications of Lavender: Avoid in early pregnancy, particularly if there is a history of miscarriage.

Lavender image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources: Curtis, Susan, Neals Yard Remedies; Essential Oils, Winter Press, London (2014), Farrer-Halls, Gill, The Aromatherapy Bible, Octopus Books (2009), Mitchell, Charlotte, Plant Medicine: A guide for Home Use, Amberwood Publishing (2005)

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Bar Soap

I believe we have been totally brainwashed over the last couple of decades into discarding bar soap and only buying liquid soap and shower gels. I hear it at my stall all the time: “I only use liquid soap!”

We used to use Imperial Leather when I was growing up, and I loved using Pear’s Soap in the bath (love that coal tar scent!), and later Dove, but we gradually switched over to shop’s own brand handwash and Sanex or Simple shower gel in the 90s. (For some reason I seem to remember having Dettol in the bath as a child. Anyone else??) However, since becoming interested in what is actually present in my skincare, I decided to go back to natural bar soaps, rather than the cheap detergent ones. I also switched from having a bath every day to showering, and then only having a bath when I really want to chill out in some steam. I do use shower gel nowadays, especially in my gym bag, but for hand washing I am NATURAL BAR SOAP ALL THE WAY.

We have become paranoid about bacteria and believe that the only thing that will keep us germ-free is liquid soap. TV advertising is great at achieving this aim, with every advert about germ-killing products showing nasty, evil bacteria creatures contrasted with a bright, blindingly white kitchen or bathroom, which looks more like a laboratory. I am still not entirely sure when it comes to meat-handling and hygiene in the kitchen, so I do keep an anti-bacterial liquid soap in there, but if I’ve not handled anything like that, I just use my Kelp or Tea Tree soap to wash my hands – a lot of essential oils are anti-bacterial.

The thing that makes me laugh is that these companies are packaging one product in different bottles, and you buy them all, not realising the shower gel, the bubble bath and the hand wash are all exactly the same thing!

I love bar soap, and that’s why I make them, so here is a list of the Benefits of Bar Soap:

  • Looks SO MUCH nicer by the sink than an ugly plastic bottle
  • Less packaging, therefore better for the environment
  • Takes up less space and lighter to carry
  • Easier to fit into your suitcase and won’t leak
  • No chance of not being able to get any soap out because of a faulty pump
  • Just as hygienic, despite the claims of liquid soap manufacturers
  • All the properties you require can be present (e.g moisturising, exfoliating, anti-bacterial etc)
  • Glycerine soaps like ours and cold processed soaps are not harsh and drying like the mass-produced supermarket detergent soaps
  • Most liquid soaps are full of nasty chemicals and petroleum, where as natural soaps are not
  • The Soap Cabin soaps are locally produced and contain amazing essential oils!

Have I convinced you?…

Spotlight on Sweet Orange & Patchouli

This week I made 2 loaves of our lovely Sweet Orange & Patchouli soap, which contains pumice powder to scrub off dead skin. Although Lemongrass & Lime is our best selling soap, I am hooked on the sweet yet citrussy scent and vibrant orange colour of this transparent soap, with it’s fine powdery layer on top. It is almost mouth-watering!

Sweet Orange

Sweet Orange Essential Oil (Citrus dulcis) is pressed from the peel of the almost-ripe sweet orange, and has sweet and fruity top notes, with radiant undertones. The sweet-orange tree grows in Israel, America, Italy, Brazil and Australia. Because of its uplifting effects, it is known to be good for anxiety, stress and insomnia.

Therapeutic Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-sceptic, sedative, digestive, anti-depressant

Patchouli 

A lot of people tell me they love the smell of Patchouli because it reminds them of the 70s…

Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemom cablin) is a dark orange coloured oil with spicy, woody topnotes and earthy undertones. It is steam-distilled from the dried fermented leaves of the perennial shrub, which is found in Mauritius, Indonesia, China, India, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Therapeutic properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-sceptic, anti-microbial, anti-depressant, deodorant, aphrodisiac, sedative

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