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Nothing instantaneously transforms dry, scaly skin like an exfoliating organic salt glow or sugar polish treatment, but few of us know why or how to choose between the two. For the most part, the basics for each product are almost identical, consisting essentially of oil and an exfoliant, in the form of either salt or sugar crystals. Both also perform triple duty by cleansing, removing dead skin cells and moisturizing simultaneously, with the added benefit of increasing blood circulation and oxygen to the skin, resulting in that lovely “glow”.
However, depending on your skin type and when you typically use the scrub, you may want to choose one or the other.
Sea salt has many wonderful qualities for the skin, not the least of which is its antiseptic properties, which cleanse, heal and detoxify at the same time as buffing away dead skin cells and speeding new cell turnover. However, because of its antiseptic nature, it can be slightly drying or irritating to sensitive skin, and no matter what skin type you have, you’ll want to make sure to use a salt glow before shaving, for it can cause stinging on freshly abraded skin.
Sugar also has unique benefits due to its mild glycolic acid content–a natural Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA)–which dissolves dead skin tissue chemically as well as mechanically buffing it away, making way for new cell production. Since sugar does not have antiseptic action, it can be used on sensitive skin and applied before as well as after shaving. However, for the cleanest, smoothest shave and to help prevent ingrown hairs, a scrub of either kind is best used beforehand.
At WoodSprite, we offer both refining Sea Salt Glows in four aromatherapeutic scent blends, and three smoothing Organic Sugar Polishes to suit your unique needs. Please feel free to visit our website for more information.
Here in Michigan, the lilacs are in full bloom, tender young leaves are filling the trees and the scent of honeysuckle blossom fills the air. Soon, it’ll be time for shorts, breezy blouses, and of course, those sassy, strappy sandals. After a long winter of neglect, a wonderful way to celebrate the rites of spring is to give your feet a little extra attention. Even if you aren’t able to get to the spa for a regular pedicure, you can treat your feet to some spa-worthy pampering in the comforts of your own home in just a few simple steps.
You’ll need the following equipment and products:
- Basin or Small Tub with Comfortably Warm Water
- Clean Towels
- Small Bowl of Hot Water for Washcloth
- Foot Soak
- Foot Scrub
- Foot Butter or Cream
- Nail Clippers, Emery Board, Pumice Stone, Orange Wood Stick
- Nail Polish (optional)
First, find a suitable place to work; ideally, with a soft, comfy spot to sit and a low stool or bench to prop up your feet. Remove any polish from your toenails. Fill a basin or small tub with comfortably hot water, then measure out and add your foot soak, giving it a swirl to dissolve. Of course, we recommend our Cool Your Heels Soothing Spa Foot Soak, because it contains natural epsom salts, soothing herbs and fizzing minerals that help to deodorize and cleanse. Ease your feet into the water, sit back, and relax for about 15 minutes as the soak softens your skin.
Next, remove one foot from the soak and gently dry with towel. Trim with clippers, buff and shape using a nail file or emery board, then clean beneath nails, and take care to gently push back cuticles using an orange wood stick. Smooth over especially tough calluses with your pumice stone or file. Return foot to soak, and then repeat procedure with the other foot. Add a bit more hot water to basin if you like, to keep temperatures comfortable.
Gently remove first foot from soak, prop up onto the side of basin or tub. Apply about ½ ounce (1 Tablespoon) of WoodSprite Organic Body Tea Tree & Peppermint Foot Scrub (or other foot polish) between palms, and then massage onto your feet, ankles, calves and lower legs, paying special attention to rough spots and calluses. Use even, smooth pressure, but don’t be rough. This important step stimulates nerve endings and encourages increased blood flow (and therefore oxygen) while natural black walnut shells exfoliate and smooth the skin. Return foot to basin and rinse off Scrub. Repeat for other foot.
Now, remove first foot from basin, and wrap in a hot, damp towel or washcloth. Apply gentle pressure, and slowly slide towel off of foot, wiping away any remaining foot scrub. Melt a small amount (about 1/2 teaspoon) of Overnight Sensation Organic Foot Butter (or another foot cream) between palms, and then massage onto foot, ankles and lower legs, concentrating on any rough spots such as calluses and the heels. Use more Overnight Sensation if needed, though this rich, conditioning butter is quite concentrated and a little goes a long way.
Now, this part is purely optional, but is an integral part of our Signature Spa Pedicure treatment and elevates the entire experience to true bliss! Gently wrap right foot in a fresh hot, damp towel (or place feet in plastic baggies first, then hot towel) and prop up in a comfortable position. Repeat with other foot, taking a few minutes to relax and allow the Butter to deeply infuse the skin with nourishing emollience. Unwrap, and continue to next step.
Finally, gently pat away any excess Overnight Sensation with towel. If applying polish, rub nail surfaces with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to remove any Butter residue, then paint nails with preferred color.
Voila! Your toes will be pretty as shiny new pennies and better yet, your feet will feel tingly, refreshed and rejuvenated. Repeat this procedure every few weeks to maintain healthy, happy feet all year long.
Well, the release of our new Pumpkin Chai Collection of organic skin and body care has been an overwhelming success! We’ve never experienced such a demand for any single product line in such a short time before, in ten full years of business, and all of us here at WoodSprite are very excited and grateful.
With pumpkin season full upon us and the dry autumn air well on its way, I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce a new ongoing column in the WoodSprite Organic Body Blog. This has actually been something I’ve been wanting to do for some years, now, but the daily demands of running my own business always managed to bump it off my List of Things to Do. Finally, the stars have smiled upon me and some recent really great questions from our customers prompted me to make it a priority. Welcome to Notes from a Natural Formulator; I sincerely hope you’ll find what is offered helpful, informative and interesting!
Proof is in the Pumpkin: Why pumpkin is so good for you, inside and out.
Though we tend to think of pumpkins only for carving or baking pie once or twice a year, this humble squash has a lot more to offer us year round than we might first realize. Pumpkins are nutrition-packed powerhouses; rich in the antioxidants Beta Carotene, Vitamins A, C & E, as well as such other cancer-fighting carotenoids as Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Pumpkin also boasts B Vitamins, Niacin, Riboflavin, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium and Enzymes, while pumpkin seeds are especially laden with Zinc, a natural sunblock and antioxidant. Furthermore, the oil obtained by cold-pressing the seeds contains emollient Omega Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), Proteins and Polyunsaturated Fats which protect, moisturize, soothe and help the skin’s own ability to regulate and balance sebum production (the natural oil our skin manufactures to protect and moisturize).
In skin and body care, Pumpkin pulp is wonderfully useful for exfoliating, nourishing and soothing the skin. Its high Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) content along with active digestive enzymes makes pumpkin particularly valuable in skin care treatments or facials, being gentler than glycolic peels yet just as effective at doing away with dead skin cells, bringing out a smoother, softer complexion after just one treatment.
You can give yourself a fresh pumpkin facial treatment in the comfort of your own kitchen with only a few ingredients:
- 3-4 Tablespoons Organic Pumpkin Puree (use small pie or sugar pumpkins, halve and remove seeds, bake cut-side down for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until tender, cool, scoop out from skins and puree pulp in blender or food processor until smooth) or Canned Organic Pumpkin Puree.
- 1 Tablespoon Organic Whole Milk or Greek Yogurt (Vegans, Use Soy Milk)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Organic Honey (Vegans, Use Maple Syrup)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Organic Raw Cane Sugar (Optional–For Making Exfoliating Scrub)
Instructions: Combine Pumpkin Puree, Milk or Yogurt and Honey until smooth. Warm gently over low heat or briefly pop into microwave for best results. Smooth over face, carefully avoiding eye area, then recline and relax for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, then follow with your favorite moisturizer if needed. For exfoliating scrub, add Organic Sugar and gently massage onto skin in circular patterns. Let set for a few minutes, rinse and moisturize as needed. Seal and refrigerate any leftovers; compost after 2 days.
How it works: The pumpkin puree nourishes and soothes the skin while active digestive enzymes work to dissolve dead skin cells. The milk or yogurt also contains natural lactic acids, which also dissolve dead cells. The honey is a natural antibacterial and humectant (meaning that it pulls moisture from the air), moisturizing and imparting valuable vitamins to the skin. If you opt for the sugar version, you’ll gain extra exfoliation while the sugar boosts the natural mild alpha-hydroxy acids in the pumpkin puree, resulting in smoother, softer skin instantly.
Of course, you could just save the pumpkin for baking pies and buy our Pumpkin Chai Nourishing Organic Facial Masque instead. Either way, you’ll love the beautiful, soft glow that pumpkin brings to your skin!
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