An ode to ethical cosmetics

We are flooded with different advertising sheets and -spots on a daily basis. Although different media want you to believe so, it is not true that those products with the highest sales are the best ones for our skin and hair. For example, different shampoos contain ingredients that make sure your hair gets greasy faster. Like this, you will need (read buy) more shampoo and thus be a more loyal consumer of this product. We are sponsoring the budget for a advertisement spot in the magazines. Like this, we will be seduced to buy again, and so forth. See the cycle? This is a rather simplistic representation of a complicated thing. Simple, but therefore not less true.

Let’s play a game:
Put a piece of raw garlic on your toe. Just for fun. Leave it there for about an hour. Then find yourself a volunteer who wants to smell your breath (help, what sort of game is this?). The garlic will smell out of your mouth. This game is more than just entertainment. It is an experiment, a lesson that tells us something important. Our skin absorbs. Therefore it’s best to be conscious about what we are lubricating on it. It’s not always easy. The ingredients on the packaging are often written so little that it becomes hard to read. And even though, who understand all those Latin terms? You might not care about what you are feeding your body? Or do you?
A responsible good organic product on, a healthy body, in a sustainable world. These three elements form together the powerful philosophy of House of Balm.  Think about what you lubricate because we eat through our skin.

AROMATHERAPY, Smells are memories

Ever wondered why the smell of rain made you feel reminiscent? Scents trigger emotions, memories, and conscious thoughts. This way they are connected with our past experiences.

We call the practice of using essential oils extracted from flowers, leaves, roots or other parts of plants aromatherapy. There are a wide number of ways to benefit from the scents of these essential oils and enhance our psychological (and physical) well-being or to stimulate our brain function. It’s so simple and yet so effective.

One rule only: If it works for you, use it!
Not all scents have the same effects on every person as smells always trigger vivid memories and emotions. Every person has his or her own preferences. Depending on what you’re looking for (stress reduce, alertness, mood enhancement, better sleep) you can experience and try to find your personal incenses.

Some fragrances
There are a wide number of essential oils available. Each of them has its own healing properties. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

Rosemary: De-stresses and has positive effects on performance and mood.
Lavender: Promotes sleep and has a calming effect in general.
Peppermint: Increases memory and alertness.
Cinnamon: Sharpens the mind.
Lemon: Relieves stress and enhances the mood.

There are several ways you can implement aromatherapy. Most simple is adding a couple of drops to your bath or while steaming your face. Others opions are using a diffuser or adding a couple of drops in a spray bottle together with water (shake before use) and spray where ever needed. This solution is also great for cleaning your yoga mat.

 

Let’s talk BODY ODOR and aluminum 

Though I don’t think we should exaggerate and use deodorant three times a day, I can’t deny that I like to use it (almost) daily since I can be sensitive for body odors

Lots of antiperspirants contain parabens or/and aluminum. Those toxins are being used in a wide variety of products such as food additives, food preservatives, make up or any other body care products. I like to avoid aluminum on any level of personal health care but today I’ll explain why I like to avoid it in my deodorant.

Difference between deodorant and antiperspirant

First of all let me explain why I use the term deodorant and not antiperspirant. It’s important to understand the difference between those two in order to understand why you shouldn’t opt for an antiperspirant in the first place. 

Deodorants allow perspiration but block the odor. In other words: they kill the bacteria that cause the smell but leave the underarm wetness. This might sound a little distasteful at first, but it actually is a way more natural process. 

An antiperspirant prevents your perspiration from occurring. The aluminium is absorbed by the body and actually blocks the pores. Keeping your body from perspiring is like preventing the toxins in your body from leaving through the underarm lymph nodes. It doesn’t even seem 

Last but not least

Aluminum has been associated with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and obesitas. I don’t want to scare anyone but I like to inspire you to be more conscious about these kind of matters. Next time you buy a deodorant I challenge you to have a look at the ingredients. In fact let’s make this a habit and start looking at the ingredients of the food you buy or any other body care products as well.

 

An ancient cure: Sea salt bathing

Ancient cures still prove their effectiveness in our modern times. In this article I’ll discuss the mystical healing power of sea minerals: Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Sulfur, Phosphorus, Sodium, Lithium and many more. Cleopatra VII was known for her perfect looking skin. Over 2000 years later we still value the salts that were of great importance in her beauty routines. 

One of the most popular ways to feed your body with the minerals of the sea is by taking a bath. Taking a sea saltbath is like creating a wellness resort in your own home. It has curative properties for skin diseases like eczema or psoriasis. And even if you don’t have troubled skin it’s just very detoxifying and stress relieving.  

Other benefits of sea salt baths:

  • Exfoliants the skin
  • Reduces muscle pain and stiffness
  • Will balance skin moisture
  • Eliminate toxins

Add 2 cups of sea salt water to your bathing water. Optional you can also add different essential oils like lavender (for relaxation) of eucalyptus (to find relief during a cold).

Since a bath can be warm and exhausting I like to keep myself hydrated with some tea or refreshing fruits. Make sure the bathroom is cleaned up so you can clean your head. For extra coziness you can light some candles or even an incense stick. Take this moment for yourself to meditate and relax. Not only your skin but also your mind will soak up the rewards of the sea minerals. It’s a wonderful health promoting ritual. Enjoy!