Good Spend, Bad Spend: Bath Salts VS Bath Bombs

Good Spend, Bad Spend: Bath Salts VS Bath Bombs

 

This week, Mary decodes: Bath Bombs vs. Epsom Salt

 

There’s no better way to unwind and destress after a long week by taking a relaxing hot bath.

However, there are way more benefits of taking a hot bath than just for relaxing, in my opinion using products that can actually help your skin and your body matter more than a “tutti-frutti fizz.”

Personally, I would choose to use epsom salts over bath bombs any day! I know millennials, like the experience of a bath bomb but personally… I would rather spend on something a little more luxurious… which actually is less or the same price as a bath bomb.

Here’s why:

 

GOOD SPEND: Epsom salts

bath salts by pocahontas times

PHOTO BY POCAHONTAS TIMES.

All epsom salts contain the naturally occurring minerals of magnesium and sulphates, which are critical nutrients our body needs to function. They are poorly absorbed through our food, therefore most people are deficient in these nutrients. Luckily, these minerals are easily absorbed through the skin, which is why it’s even more beneficial to soak in a pure epsom salt bath. It has been used for decades and ask any pharmacist they will tell you there is nothing like an epsom bath to make you feel better… in cold and flu season.

There are so many medicinal properties and benefits of soaking in epsom salts:

  • Helps boosts circulation throughout the body
  • lowers blood pressure
  • relieves muscle and joint pain
  • pull toxins from your pores
  • Helps to relax your mind
  • Helps relieve congestion during a cold or flu

 

BAD SPEND: bath bombs

bath bombs by soapqueen

PHOTO BY SOAPQUEEN.

Sure, bath bombs are definitely fun, watching it fizz and slowly explode in your water can be entertaining. However, if you actually want to get something out of your hot bath other than just ‘fun’, bath bombs are not the most beneficial.

Here’s why:

  • Bath bombs use inexpensive fillers such as baking soda and citric acid.
  • Most commercially made bath bombs use artificial colors and food dyes. A 2013 Slovenian study found that your skin can actually absorb these toxic dyes, particularly through recently shaven skin and the mucous membranes. From there, the dyes are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, instead of being broken down in the gut or detoxed through the liver.
  • Many bath bombs also use synthetic fragrance, talk about a bomb!
  • The one thing I really hate to see in bath bombs is GLITTER. Sure it makes your bath look so pretty and Instagram worthy, but don’t forget – they’re tiny pieces of plastic that won’t biodegrade once its down the drain. I can’t see tiny pieces of glitter being healthy for “certain body parts” as well!  

 

CONCLUSION

If the visual aspect of a bath bomb is THAT important to you, and you don’t care that you’re soaking in inexpensive ingredients but paying as much or more than Epsom salts… by all means… but colour, glitter and synthetic fragrance in a bath is not my idea of a good spend.

So, if medicinal and healing benefits are more important to you, spend your money on pure epsom salts.

 

At kaia naturals, our detox hot baths were inspired by the healing waters of a Japanese onsen. If you want to give ours a try, USE CODE: TAKESUMI for 15% off your first order.

(Offer valid for new customers only; limit one per customer. Can’t be combined with other offers.)

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Why Natural Deodorants Don’t Work

Why Natural Deodorants Don’t Work

 

This week, Mary decodes: Your underarms.

 

The first thing I often hear from consumers is that, “Natural deodorants DON’T work!” I am going to admit that I had tried for years to use natural deodorant without success, until I figured out why…

 

The Method

The truth is, we have probably thrown out a lot of deodorants that actually DO work. First, I will state that not all deodorants are created equally, so keep this in mind as human microbiome in the underarm area is very complicated. Therefore, finding success with natural deodorants just requires some knowledge.

 

Here are some key tips to helping you choose a natural deodorant that will work for you:

time clock by lucas blazek

PHOTO BY LUCAS BLAZEK.

 

ALLOW THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF TIME

If you are going to be making the change from antiperspirant to natural deodorant or just changing brands, BE PATIENT.

Your underarm microbiomes are about to go on a wild ride as studies show that the bacteria in your underarm will change when you stop using antiperspirant or deodorant (even using different brands of deodorant will recolonize the armpits with new bacteria).

U.S. medical journals show that similar to the gut or the mouth, the biology of armpit bacteria is just as complicated. This is why you need to allow at least 2 to 4 weeks to adjust to natural deodorant.

 

clothes rack by priscilla du perez

PHOTO BY PRISCILLA DU PEREZ.

 

WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES WHEN TESTING

Antiperspirants block your sweat glands and prevent you from sweating, so when you stop using them, your body also needs to adjust to the feeling of moisture. Arrowroot and cornstarch, typically found in natural deodorants help with this.

However, if you sweat a great deal DO NOT WEAR TIGHT FITTING SYNTHETIC GARMENTS, you will feel like a wet mess for sure!

Wear loose fitting sleeves made of natural fibres like cotton, bamboo or linen so your underarms can breathe during the transition.

Think of it this way, when you change your skin care regime, you often will be told by an aesthetician that your skin may break-out.  Changing products under your arms will also cause some chaos. So preparing for this will definitely change the experience and possibly the outcome of your new product.

 

dropping essential oils in hands by christin hume

PHOTO BY CHRISTIN HUME.

 

WATCH FOR INGREDIENTS THAT ARE TROUBLE-MAKERS

Unless you already know if you have an underarm sensitivity to an ingredient, the only way you will know is to use the product. Patch testing a deodorant on your hand or arm will not work as the skin under your arm is a different country. It is a damp and dark country and ingredients in a damp enclosed areas will respond differently than on surface skin.

If you know that your skin is highly sensitive watch out for these ingredients at high levels: 

Baking soda – if it is in the first or second line of ingredients, you could have a problem as approximately 20% of consumers do.

High levels of essential oils (in the first or second line of the ingredient list) as some companies use essential oils to deal with odor instead of proper active ingredients intended to combat odor.

 

BE PATIENT AND EVALUATE AFTER 30 DAYS

At kaia naturals, we take pride in being transparent with our consumers. We want to ensure that you are aware there may be a 2 to 4 week transition period when switching from antiperspirant to natural deodorant.  Trust us, it’s worth it.

 

THE STAGES OF DETOX

Week 1:  All is good, the product is working just fine.

Week 2:  This is when the trouble starts, as this is when the bacterial communities recolonize the armpits as a result of the change. This is the timeframe where most people throw the deodorant out because they have no idea what is happening under their arm and they assume the product is not working.

Yes, you will notice more sweating during this week. Don’t panic either, reapply your deodorant or you could try showering with an antibacterial soap in the morning before you apply your deodorant to help combat this symptom. We discovered this problem when we developed our deodorant, so we launched a natural antibacterial bar to help people who wanted to ensure that they were not uncomfortable during this part of the transition.

Week 3: Things will start to normalize (for most people). This week may have a little bit of ups and downs with the bacteria under the arm, but hang in as the end is in sight.

Week 4: You should almost feel normal by now, but you may have a day here and there that you worry. In a short period of time you will forget that you even used antiperspirant.

 


 

charcoal natural deodorant by kaia naturals

 

At kaia naturals, our charcoal detox deodorants are 99% natural, aluminum-free and cruelty-free. If you want to give ours a try, USE CODE: TAKESUMI for 15% off your first order.

(Offer valid for new customers only; limit one per customer. Can’t be combined with other offers.)

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Are Face Wipes Really Bad For Your Skin?

Are Face Wipes Really Bad For Your Skin?

 

This week, Mary decodes: Conventional Face Wipes

 

We’ve all been told to never sleep with our makeup on, but sometimes the thought of going through a proper skincare routine and standing over a sink after a long exhausting day, just sounds impossible. Insert solution: FACE WIPES. They’re easy to use and so quick, plus you can literally cleanse your face anywhere you go.

Best beauty-hack ever? Yes and No.

Yes, because they are very few face wipes on the market that are actually healthy for your skin.

No, because it turns out that if you use conventional/drugstore wipes, they might actually be causing breakouts and wrinkles.

 

WHY FACE WIPES ARE BAD FOR YOUR SKIN?

 

PROBLEM #1 – What is the “Wet” in Wet Wipes?

The ingredients used in face wipes is quite common among all mainstream brands particularly those found in drug stores.

Many of the ingredients are inexpensive and derived from petro chemicals.. not necessarily toxic but definitely a skin irritant. The other thing about wet wipes that most people are not aware of is… due to the nature of the product they are very vulnerable to mould and fungus growth, so the preservatives used must be strong and effective in order to work. Unfortunately with the non-natural brands they are free to use some of the more harsh and formaldehyde-forming ingredients (which keep in mind will be used around your eyes, mouth and on your skin) without rinsing.

 

The following ingredients are what I would call chemicals of concern:

1. Pegs: You may find a number after each one. They are glycols that help the formula penetrate while carcinogenic contaminants are the primary concern, PEG compounds themselves show some evidence of genotoxicity and if used on broken skin can cause irritation and systemic toxicity.

2. Propylene Glycol: This ingredient is found in many non -natural wet wipes and many other cosmetic products because it helps ingredients penetrate the skin. The problem with this ingredient is that it is considered a skin irritant and some countries, (Health Canada) has flagged this ingredient as a moderate human health priority, which means it is flagged for future assessment.

3. Parabens: Wet wipes require extensive preservation as mentioned earlier so the presence of parabens in wet wipes formulations should have been a thing of the past. For some reason in 2018 some of the biggest drug store wet wipes brands still have them in their formulations. So my position on this is better to stay “safe not sorry”.  While the most common parabens also have “paraben” in their name — butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben—they can also be listed as “alkyl parahydroxy benzoates”.

Read more about parabens here.

4. Synthetic Fragrance: This is defiantly considered a skin irritant (even though we love the sensorial affect). I don’t like synthetic fragrances as I know what can be hidden in the name ‘fragrance’. The production of fragrance is complicated and so are the possible list of solvents that are involved in making them and they are definitely NOT skin friendly and definitely not something I would be rubbing around my eyes. So look for natural fragrance on the label or the actual essential oils. Just ensure you are not sensitive to any of them.

Read more on fragrances here.

 

REMEMBER *THIS* NEXT TIME YOU USE A FACE WIPE:

When you cleanse your face with a regular cleanser, you wash the product off your skin afterwards. With face wipes you’re wiping away makeup and dirt off your skin BUT then replacing it with the harsh chemicals which are then left on your skin (if you do not wash your face afterwards).

 

PROBLEM #2 – RAYON SUBSTRATE

Most face wipes use ‘rayon’ fibres, which are primarily made from wood pulp.

Think about when you have a cold and you are constantly wiping your nose with tissue. Tissue also uses wood pulp, which causes tiny micro-cuts on your skin. When we are constantly wiping our nose, we’re creating many tiny cuts, which is why our noses become red and sore.

Same analogy can be used with rayon face wipes, every time you wipe your face, you’re causing tiny micro cuts all over your skin, making it more receptive to breakouts and wrinkles.

 

PROBLEM #3 – SUSTAINABILITY

Wet wipes are filling up landfills, clogging city sewers, and devastating the habitat for marine wildlife. Most wipes are made with rayon and plastic resins including polyester and polypropylene, making them not entirely biodegradable. In addition, face wipes that use rayon require wood fibres from trees, which have taken 20-70 years to grow.

 

IF THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY?

There are very few face wipes on the market that are better and are actually healthy for your skin.

As a former product developer and executive for global brands such as Revlon, YSL and Shoppers Drug Mart, I worked really long hours and like many of us, just did not want to stand over a sink and wash my face. So I would reach for a conventional face wipe because they were so convenient. The problem was every time I used it, it would irritate my eyes and burn my skin.

juicy bamboo cleansing cloths were the first product I created for kaia naturals and it took more than 2 years of research and testing to get the perfect formulation. NO SKIN BURNING!

 

SOLUTION #1 – SOAKED IN NOURISHING CLEANSING OILS

Juicy bamboo cleansing cloths are soaked in a moisturizing medley of organic honey, jojoba oil, sunflower oil and a custom-blend of citrus essential oils. This 3-in-1 cleanser + toner + moisturizer was formulated for even the most sensitive skin and eyes.

 

SOLUTION #2 – BAMBOO CLOTH

Instead of using rayon fibres which are too harsh for your skin, I used bamboo fibres instead. Unlike rayon, bamboo fibres are cashmere-soft and won’t irritate your skin and are very soft around your eyes.

 

SOLUTION #3 – 100% EARTH FRIENDLY

With juicy bamboo, you can simply compost or bury the cloth in your garden or flower pots and they will disappear in 60-70 days. 100% biodegradable and non-toxic. Bamboo is very sustainable. It is actually a grass….so no trees died for this cleansing cloth.

 

PHOTO BY TOM NEWTON.

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How Labels Can Hide Dirty Secrets About Fragrance

How Labels Can Hide Dirty Secrets About Fragrance

 

This week, Mary decodes: Fragrance in beauty products.

 

HOW BRANDS CAN CHEAT

In Canada and US, manufacturers are not required to disclose their fragrance ingredients on their beauty products, as this is considered a ‘trade secret’.

 

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Without full disclosure of fragrance ingredients on product labels, this means a great deal of things can be hidden from you.

1. Chemicals such as phthalates, oxybenzone, BHT, Octinoxate, Musk Ketone, which are considered hormone disruptors, can be hidden from the label.

2. Beware of brands that say they are “ALL NATURAL”. They can also cheat on their fragrances and replace expensive essential oil fragrances with synthetic fragrances. Brands can simply label them as “fragrance” on the label.

 

NATURAL VS. SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES

The beauty industry has long favored using synthetics fragrances vs natural fragrances for these reasons:

1. Synthetic fragrance is significantly less expensive than natural.

2. It’s much easier to manufacture synthetic fragrances, as the ingredients are more reproducible because they are not replicating nature, which can vary depending on growing season.

3. Manufactures have greater ability to create more complex scents with synthetics (almost all of the most famous scents in the world are derived from synthetic compounds).

 

HOW SYNTHETICS FRAGRANCES ARE CREATED

The biggest divide between natural and synthetic fragrances lies in the way they are created.

 

Synthetic Fragrances

The Solvent Extraction is performed by putting plants into big, rotating drums. The plants are then covered with petroleum ether or benzene. The plant parts eventually dissolve in whatever solvent is used.  This leaves a waxy substance that contains the oils. This substance is then placed in ethyl alcohol. The oil dissolves in the alcohol, which is then burned off, leaving a highly concentrated perfume oil. The solvents that are used along with the preservatives in synthetic fragrances are considered chemicals of concern and this is not disclosed to the consumer as the label claim is simply ‘fragrance’. There is no standard for production in the fragrance industry in terms of what solvents can be used.

 

Natural Fragrances

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has a standard by which manufactures must follow in order to call their fragrances natural. The standard requires that aromatics are made by physically extracting the volatile fractions from plants WITHOUT chemically altering them. Natural aromatic raw materials must be physically obtained from plants using distillation, expression and extraction. Synthetically reconstituted essential oils, synthetic nature-identical ingredients and intentionally chemically modified natural raw materials (e.g. chemical acetylation of essential oil) cannot be used in fragrance compounds that are described as being natural.”

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR:

If your ingredient label says ‘natural fragrance’ or if it lists out the essential oils that were used, you know exactly what you’re getting – no dirty secrets. If it just says ‘FRAGRANCE’, then buyer beware.

Scents are integral to personal mood and wellbeing, so we never want them to go away. This is what makes the experience of using beauty products so special. We deserve to know what is in the fragrance we choose to put on our body. So keep this in mind the next time you pick up a beauty item with just ‘fragrance’ listed on the label.

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.

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Survey Says 55% of People Don’t Do Enough of This

Survey Says 55% of People Don’t Do Enough of This

mary futher founder of kaia naturalsHi everyone, Mary, founder of kaia naturals here. Today I’m sharing with you a very important wellness practice that most of us are not doing enough of. Did you know? Japanese people have the longest life expectancy in the world. The reasons are all related to their healthy lifestyle and diet. One lifestyle choice they make, as well as the Finnish people, is detoxing the largest organ in their body, the skin, with heat.

 

THE JAPANESE DETOX– HOT BATH

As Japan is located in a volcanic zone of geothermal activity, there are over 25,000 naturally-occurring mineral hot springs across every region of the country. Detoxification through excessive sweating is very important to the Japanese as they believe detoxification should be done through your body’s largest organ – your skin using heat.

 

ONSEN & SENTO

Onsen uses natural hot spring water heated beneath the ground and has to be at least 25C, although some onsens get as hot as 100C. Balneotherapy – medical treatments through the use of bathing is widely practiced in Japan. They believe the mineral-rich water (magnesium and sulphur) from an onsen helps to promote skin health, whereas the heat from the water helps to reduce inflammation, muscle pain, and boost your immune system.

Onsens are often looked upon as a treat due to its cost, whereas sentos are everyday bathhouses that are more affordable. These communal indoor public bathhouses (separated by gender), simply use regular hot water just like you would if you ran a hot bath at home.

 

THE FINNISH DETOX – SAUNA

Sauna is one of the main practices that Finnish people practice.  For instance, in Finland, 99% of people will head into a sauna at least once a week (if they don’t have one in their home), they use a public sauna. With 5.5 million people living in Finland, and over 3 million saunas nationwide, it shows just how serious they are about sweating it out. A sauna session is known to help detox by working the body into excessive sweating using dry heat, which helps release toxins and impurities through skin.

 

WHY NORTH AMERICAN’S HAVE IT WRONG

In North America, taking a bath is viewed as a way to relax and is somewhat time consuming. When we do choose to bathe, the water is often filled with synthetic colours, fragrances and “bubble baths” instead of natural salts and healing essential oils.

 

DETOXIFICATION THROUGH DIET IS NOT ENOUGH

Although doing a juice cleanse or incorporating detoxifying superfoods into your diet can help flush out toxins, your overall health and wellness cannot be maintained without the regular incorporation of excessive sweating. Therefore, wellness practices such as clean eating should also include going to the sauna, taking a hot bath or hot yoga on a weekly basis to actually enhance your body’s overall detoxification with heat.

 

BEST PRACTICES FOR A DETOX HOT BATH AT HOME

Simply fill your bath tub with the hottest water you can tolerate and soak your body for 15-30 minutes. The heat from the bath opens your pores and works your body into a sweat, expelling toxins from head to toe. 

TIP: Remember to hydrate, before and after taking a hot bath to replenish your electrolytes,

 

THE POWER OF EPSOM SALT

Magnesium and sulphur are critical nutrients our body needs. Unfortunately, they are poorly absorbed through our food.  Soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salts helps significantly as these minerals can easily absorb through the skin. An Epsom salt bath helps to boost circulation throughout the body, lower blood pressure, relieve muscle pain, and pull toxins from your pores. An Epsom salts bath has also proven to help flush out drugs remaining in the body after surgery.

 

ENHANCE YOUR DETOX WITH THE DETOX HOT BATHS

Inspired by the Japanese, we developed our detox hot baths so that everyone could experience the same detoxifying benefits of an onsen at home. The detox hot baths were formulated with 100% natural ingredients to heighten your detox experience, using Epsom salts and healing active ingredients like wintergreen, turmeric and Matcha.

 

Sleep – detox hot bath

Our custom essential oil blend, featuring wintergreen and spearmint, was specifically designed to completely relax your mind and body. The sleep detox was designed to escape the day and drift off into dreamland. Spearmint and wintergreen are also know to help with lymphatic drainage and increasing circulation.

 

Matcha – detox hot bath

Submerge yourself in our antioxidant rich matcha detox. As your pores open from the steam of this hot bath, allow your body to soak in the vitamins and antioxidants matcha offers. matcha is also know to exfoliate and detox the skin, bringing life back to dry, dull looking skin. Our custom essential oil blend will also help relax your body and mind.

 

Turmeric – detox hot bath

Soak in our turmeric detox and allow its anti-inflammatory healing powers ease sore muscles, and aid the body in detoxification. Also formulated with mustard seed, this hot bath helps increase circulation in the body, relieving congestion and other symptoms associated with cold and flu.

 

Changing our lifestyle to accommodate a detox through excessive sweating in heat once per week is one easy healthy lifestyle change that follows the practices of one of the healthiest cultures in the world… give it a try and see if you feel the difference.

 

PHOTO BY TRAVEL&CO.

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