Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What is a Lotion Bar?

When chatting with potential customers about my products I am ALWAYS asked, "What's a lotion bar?" Many times I am asked if it is used like soap. "Do you put it on in the shower?"

Nope.

A lotion bar is a bar made of solid lotion. It is rubbed directly on the skin whenever the skin feels it needs some extra love. I generally apply mine after a shower or bath. On especially dry days I apply before bed as well.

What are lotion bars made of?

Lotion bars are made up of plant based oils and butters mixed with beeswax. Without the beeswax, the oils and butters would not hold the shape of the bar very well. The beeswax is what makes the bar solid. Changing the ratio of beeswax to oil changes the the feel of the bar. 

I mix things up with my lotion bars by adding nourishing herbs and using different oils and butters. I find these bars help to soothe dry winter skin or small cuts and scrapes, often acquired from my particularly rambunctious cat, Hoodoo (or my day job).

This is Hoodoo. He thinks the best way to show he is enjoying being petted is by biting and putting his claws in you.

Reasons to use a lotion bar

Instead of coming in a bottle, jar, or tube, lotion bars often come in metal tins or wrapped in paper. Lotion bars require less packaging because they are solid. Less plastic packaging means less waste going into the landfill, which is definitely good for the environment. In the future I will have reusable metal tin packaging made to go with my lotion bars.

via Pixabay
Lotion bars are solid, so they make it super easy to travel, especially on planes. With all of the regulations and requirements we have to meet to get through security it's
easy to get up to the bins only to be told you have to throw your body care products away . Bypass those worries by bringing a lotion bar instead. Now, there will be more room for other products in that tiny little bag.  There are no worries about the lotion exploding all over your bag, covering your nice clean clothes in goop and getting all over your favorite shoes...I'm absolutely speaking out of personal experience here.

CC image courtesy of Jack Kennard via Flickr
Lotion bars do not require the use of an emulsifier. Emulsifiers are necessary to create liquid lotions and creams. These compounds combine the water and oil phases of a lotion so they become one unit. Plant based emulsifiers are available, but often times they are synthetic chemicals. I prefer to use plant based or non-synthetic materials in my products, and the options available just don't produce the feel I prefer in my lotion. I will do a post on the science behind emulsions at another time.

Along the same line of emulsifiers are preservatives. These are necessary in a product that combines oil and water. The presence of water leaves the product open to more readily allow pathogens to grow, causing the product to go rancid or moldy. Again, there are ways to preserve products that are non-synthetic but the products they produce are just not as desirable. Lotion bars DO NOT contain a mixture of oil and water, and therefore do not have the need for preservatives and emulsifiers in the same way lotions do.

Lotion bars have the added benefit of being like a massage bar for your skin. While applying the lotion you might find a sore muscle. You can apply light pressure to the area using the bar and rub the lotion in. I find it very soothing to do this in the morning, especially after a tough workout.

via Pixabay

Using a lotion bar

Lotion bars are super simple and easy to use. I like to warm the bar up in my hands for a few seconds to heat the oils. This will allow the bar to move over my skin more smoothly. Run the bar over your body, wherever you feel your skin needs some nourishment and love. 

You can find my lotion bars in my Etsy shop. Currently, I have two flavors (scents), but I will be adding more soon!!

Are there any scents you would like to try? Have you tried a lotion bar? What do you think?

💗 Courtney

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What is Just Add Love?

Hello and welcome to my blog!

This is my first blog post (!!!!) and I am so excited to introduce you to my company and share with you what I will be writing about in this blog. 

Just Add Love, LLC is a company that creates and sells organic, herbal skin care products. I create each product from start to finish in my kitchen. My products are infused with locally grown herbs and combined with various plant oils and butters to create nourishing products for the skin.  I test each product throughout the formulation process to ensure I've created an effective and soothing product for my skin. The final step in the formulation process is to have my friends and family test the formulations and provide feedback.  I find it very helpful when making new formulas to know what other people want in their skincare products.

"Jar Filled with Dried Herbs" by Kathy Zinn via PublicDomainPictures.net

Along with creating skin care products Just Add Love aims to promote self-love and self-compassion by encouraging our customers to take time out of their day to pay attention to themselves. Even taking just a minute to care for yourself by applying lip balm to chapped lips or salve to dry hands is an act of self-care. In our busy lives we often have a difficult time making sure we are taking care of ourselves. Small physical actions of self-compassion can encourage us to take larger steps to love ourselves.

The purpose of this blog is to spread the word about my company and our products. It gives me a space to communicate with potential customers. I will also be using this blog to talk about the chemistry and traditions behind herbal medicine. As a chemist I enjoy looking at how herbs work on a molecular level in our bodies and how they can actually help. Unfortunately, herbs are not often high on the list for research due to lack of funding, so I will do my best to find and share peer reviewed, reliable articles about the medicinal properties of herbs.

"Calendula officinalis" by xbqs42 via Pixabay is licensed under CC0
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog, and I appreciate any and all feedback. I am so excited to go on this journey with you and share everything I am learning about herbs and self-compassion. This is my first ever blog and I am definitely still learning.

Next time I will be explaining the what's, why's, and how's of the solid lotion bar.

Please find me on Facebook or my Etsy shop.

💗 Courtney