Why peppermint oil is good for eczema

Why Peppermint Oil Is Good Therapy For Eczema

G.H. Soaps Ingredients: Spearmint Essential Oil | BODYTRUTH brand Soaps, Shea Butter, Toners & Moisturizers by GHSOAPS - Face & Body Complexion Bars | acne, eczema, blemishes, dermatitis | shea butter, shea butter soap, sea salt soap, cocoa butter soap, chocolate soap, exfoliating soap, charcoal soap, clay soap, shaving soap, essential oils, fragrance-oil free, organic

For eczema sufferers, Peppermint Oil provides good natural therapy. It’s soothing, calming (anti-inflammatory), anti-bacterial¹, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial. It also possesses strong antioxidant activity², and constituents proven to prevent cancerous growth. Let’s explore peppermint essential oil for a moment.

Botanical Name: Mentha Arvensis
Plant Part: Herb (edible)
Extraction Method: Steam Distillation

The peppermint oil (Mentha Arvensis) that we use in our therapeutic skin care products, is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves of the fresh plants. Did you know it generally takes at least 50 pounds of plant material to make one pound of essential oil?!

Peppermint happens to be one of the oldest documented medicinal herbs. It is a fragrant perennial herb with spiked purple flowers that is easily accessible and easy to grow at home. Peppermint leaf is a common, multi-tasking herb that can be container planted in your own home garden. The fresh leaves can be added to various beverages, made into a tea or added to meals and condiments. Evidence-based research regarding the bioactivity of this herb suggests that, in vitro, peppermint leaf tea has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and anti-tumor actions, and some anti-allergenic potential.

Chemical Profile:

Menthone is a main constituent in this Peppermint essential oil. Menthone is found in herbs, spices and in some essential oils, e.g. Mentha sachalinensis (mint species). Menthone belongs to the family of p-Menthane Monoterpenes, which are commonly found in the essential oils of many plants including fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Monoterpenes prevent the initiation and progression stages of cancer. In addition, they have been found to be effective in treating early and advanced cancers.

Why We Love It

We infuse peppermint Essential Oil into our hair and body products because of its naturally inherent anti-bacterial¹, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal activities. It also possesses strong antioxidant activity², and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which are useful for eczema and atopic dermatitis.

Peppermint calms and cools inflamed skin; and because of its antimicrobial capabilities, it helps to speed healing and correct skin damage. We love essential oils and the value they bring to so many people’s lives. Much research has been performed demonstrating and supporting the effectiveness of essential oils for therapeutic treatment and natural healing. We believe these therapeutic, highly aromatic oils bring mind, body & spirit into harmony as one.

Try our ECZEMA RECOVERY, PEPPERMINT butter.

Be well!

Resources:

Gould, M N. “Cancer Chemoprevention and Therapy by Monoterpenes.” Environmental Health Perspectives 105.Suppl 4 (1997): 977–979. Print.

Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2003;10:813–829. [PubMed]

Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah, “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3012462, 21 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

Reichling J, Schnitzler P, Suschke U, Saller R, Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview. Complementary Medicine Research 2009;16:79-90

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G.H. Soaps does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We do however, share scientifically researched, documented & published (public) information for your benefit and educational awareness. See our terms of use.

BODYTRUTH BLOG eczema series

Is Acid The Cause of Your Eczema?

Where does excess acidity come from?

We’ve been told that the the typical American diet is nutritionally poor. Well it is. That’s because the Western diet is exceptionally high in acid forming foods (meat, grains, dairy, sugar & processed foods). These are also the food groups that are highly subject to hormone treatments, antibiotics and genetic modification as well as synthetic chemicals. Just read the packaging and you’ll see snippets of controversy.

When nutritionists talk about acid- or alkaline-forming foods, they are referring to the effects of the food once ingested and metabolized by the body. You may not know what that means but in a nutshell, the food we consume is what creates an acidic or alkaline body.

High Protein Intake = Increased Acid

Most proteins contain sulphur, as well as phosphorus, within their chemical structures. When metabolized, these substances are broken down into phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid, which must then be neutralized through various chemical reactions in the body. Another by-product of protein metabolism is uric acid. Uric acid has been found to have a major influence on the development of arthritis; in particular, gout.

Because of these toxic by-products of protein metabolism (phosphoric, sulphuric and uric acids), protein rich foods, and especially animal products, are acid-forming. Most grains and dairy products, also high in protein, are also acid-forming.

The Connection

First off, virtually all diseases including dermatitis, allergies, cancer, candida, heart disease, bowel diseases, arthritis (inflammation), osteoporosis, kidney stones, gall stones, and tooth decay are associated with excess acidity in the body. All forms of inflammation are also associated with excess acidity, including inflammation of the skin and joints.

Did you know that disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment?  

What It Means For Your Health

Since we are constantly supplying acids and alkalis to our bodies through the various foods we eat, it is very important that we consider the balance between these two extremes.

If we consume excessive amounts of acid-forming foods, such as animal and dairy products, the body must dip into its alkaline reserves to maintain the proper pH (alkalinity). The kidneys, lungs and entire physiology is overworked in the process of neutralizing the acids from the body. This strain eventually leads to a depletion of buffer salts and the breakdown in the functions of various organs, including the kidneys.

Any food, drug or beverage that is extremely acidic in nature causes the body to utilize alkaline reserves and this process overworks the various organs. Over a period of time, the body eventually is no longer capable of handling this overload and will slowly begin to break down or malfunction. Various organ malfunctions are referred to as “disease,” while the root cause is “too much acid in the body” (acidosis).

How does this tie into eczema / dermatitis?

The short answer is this, you are dealing with inflammation that likely stems from acidosis or a by-product of. The skin is too a major organ, the largest at that, capable of stress like any other organ. Reducing the acid formation in the body; consuming more alkaline foods; and nurturing the gut all go a long way to reducing the potentiality for outbreaks at the skin level.

What you should do…

The short answer, barring any medications and food allergies that are contradictory, is this: focus on consuming more fresh or freshly prepared (not canned) vegetables and fruits, while reducing the ratio of meats, grains (wheat, corn, oats, white rice), dairy, sugars and other soft drinks.

Add into your diet fresh pressed vegetable juices, salads and plenty of water daily.

Many alternative health experts recommend a diet comprised of more alkaline than acid foods. In the book, Staying Healthy with Nutrition, author Elson Haas, M.D. recommends a diet consisting of 70 – 80 % alkaline foods in spring and summer and 65 to 70% in winter months. If you can do it, great. I feel however, attempting to apply a ratio as such to my diet, as accurate as it may be, just over complicates things. That’s why diets don’t work well for people. If it’s too much work, it’s easily abandoned.

The predominant American diet is that of convenience foods primarily. Our busy schedules have somewhat deprived us of time for food preparation and consumption which is why preparation is so necessary. Consuming a greener diet is the way to go and I can tell you as a single mom of two sons with hearty appetites, it can certainly be done.

What I can tell you that has worked in the space of actual application is this:

  1. PLAN: your meals so that ingredients overlap to save time. If you roast a couple of chickens or buy them already roasted chicken (ok), you can use it for lunch and/or dinner for a couple of days while still pulling off a nutritious meal.  
  2. SHOP: the outer perimeter of the market. It’s where all the fresh foods are located. Buy what you need for the week and get on on to step 3.
  3. PREP: I’ve learned in my experience to prep, prep, prep, especially when my children were young. Wash it, peel it, cut it, chop it and pack it for the next step. This is super helpful if you’re adding salads, stir-frys, frittatas or raw juices to your regular rotation.I’ll admit, I dedicate a good portion of time to kitchen prep because I decided when my sons were young, to make wellness a priority. Twelve years later, we’re still going strong! The point is to create a system that does work! Don’t give up easily, it takes time to get into the rhythm of a lifestyle change. It’s worth it. You’re worth it!

The following chart provides a list of alkaline and acid forming foods that can help you decide how to plan your meals. It is NOT all inclusive but you can use it as a guide. I do hope you find it useful.


Stay tuned for follow up posts on this topic.

 



Disclaimer: The content provided by G.H. Soaps and Willis & Co LLC, and any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you or any other person has a medical concern, it is advised that he or she consult with an appropriately-licensed physician. Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women are advised to consult with a physician before using products containing natural herbs, essential oils or any other ingredients found in and used by Willis & Co LLC (G.H. SOAPS).

 

Preventing Razor Bumps

How To Prevent Razor Bumps From Ruining Your Shave

Razor Bumps, aka Folliculitis, the enemy of man’s desire for a clean shave. You want to know what causes it and how to abolish the assault on your facial hair follicles! That brings us to the what.

Hair Follicles, the sea of tiny sacs that produce individual strands of hair and hopefully a nice, full, shiny coat of man-hair on your face. However, when infected and inflamed, we call that follicu-litis. Now let’s pause for a second because I often hear people complain about the use of medical terms but in some cases it’s necessary. For example, a lot of folk call any and all skin conditions, eczema. But eczema is a form of dermatitis and there are various types with different causes, different effects and require different solutions. See where I’m going here. We cannot lump all skin issues in one box and try to treat them with one solutions. That’s why you hear people say they’ve tried everything and nothing worked! Well, have you tried identifying the actual source of the problem. We call that root cause. Some conditions can be dealt with at the skin level and others must be addressed internally. See. Ok, back to follicu…razor bumps.

Razor Bumps | Folliculitis Classifications

Folliculitis is the group of skin conditions (see how they lump it all together) that identify inflamed hair follicles. It looks a bit like acne or a small boil. The result is a tender red spot, with a surface pustule. It can occur anywhere on the body where there are hairs, including chest, back, buttocks, groin, etc.

Type 1: Folliculitis barbae is a type of folliculitis affecting the beard area due to infection with the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Yep, staph but worry not, there’s all types of staph living on your skin and it occurs whether you shave or not. Deep-seated folliculitis barbae is called sycosis barbae; this type leads to scarring and patchy areas of permanent hair loss. It could be the reason that your beard is thinning out. We’ll come back to this.

Type 2: Pseudofolliculitis barbae is second type of folliculitis. It’s an inflammatory reaction to ingrown facial hairs. This one is also known as shaving rash, barber’s itch, razor bumps and ingrown hair. This type can also occur on any other area of the body where hair is shaved or plucked, including the armpit, pubic area, and legs.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae can be divided into two types of ingrown hairs: (1) hair that has exited the follicle and reentered the skin (extrafollicular) and (2) hair that never exits the follicle (transfollicular), but because of its naturally coarse and curly nature, it grows back into the follicle causing fluid build-up, inflammation and irritation.

Potential Causes of Type 1: Folliculitis barbae

What cause ingrown hair and/or razor bumps?

  • dead skin clogging hair follicles
  • bacteria like Staphylococcus aureuson the skin or tools used to shave (Folliculitis barbae)
  • coarse, dry hair
  • dry shaving
  • reusing disposable razors (hygiene)

Folliculitis Barbae and Pseudofolliculitis can certainly co-exist together. It may not be an either or, you may suffer from both! However, Pseudofolliculitis is most common in individuals with coarse, wiry hair. The reason for this is, coarse hair is often curly and when it grows, it tends to curl into the skin instead of growing straight out the follicle, leading to an inflammatory response. The result is itchy, red and pimpled skin. Acne like pustules can also form if the area becomes infected.

Razor Bump Prevention

Use skin care products that contain bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) fighting essential oil (like ours). I’ve listed a few common oils BODYTRUTH brand essential oilbelow, however, the list is longer for advanced essential oil blenders and users:

  • Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree essential oil)
  • Salvia officinalis (Sage essential oil)
  • Thymus vulgaris (Thyme essential oil)
  • Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli essential oil)
  • Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary essential oil)
  • Foeniculum vulgare dulce (Fennel essential oil)

Exfoliate. Exfoliate your skin by using a gentle organic scrub (sugar does a fine job) or small bristle brush before shaving to help to remove dead skin and loosen coarse hair’s curl pattern. By doing so, both before and between shaves, you can effectively free trapped hair out and away from the skin before the hair has a chance to embed itself.

Consider changing shaving techniques. Since we know that getting too close of a shave can create an ingrown hair problem (sad, I know), you may need to ditch the multi-blade disposable razor. This razor type is designed to lift the hair slightly before cutting, to give a closer, longer lasting shave but for those with coarse hair, it may also be a factor in the ingrown hair problem.

Clean your tools, brushes, rags, razors, especially your electric razor. If you use this type of razor, I’d suggest using drops of tea tree oil on the blades before and after shaving. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) kills a host of staph types. If you’re getting your electric shave at the barbershop, it would be in your best interest to have a conversation with him/her to find out about how he/she maintains the equipment used to shave you. It may seem rude, but your skin is more important than the ‘perceived’ offense of asking.

It may be time to get acquainted with the straight razor! The fact is, if you have coarse curly hair and that hair is cut below the skin’s surface, when that hair begins to grow, it can begin curling slightly before it reaches the surface, missing the original exit point, in an attempt to create a new one. This leads to unsightly hair bumps.

Do not dry-shave, no matter how convenient it is; it isn’t pleasant. Not only are razor bumps a potential but razor burn is almost instant. Properly prep and protect skin with a pre shaving cream, foam or a shaving soap to soften skin and hair, making the shave easier.

Establish a good shaving routine using products with ingredients that protect the skin and not just ease the process of shaving.

Our Solution To Razor Bumps

We have teamed up with Master barber and shop owner, Robert Terry of Crisp Cuts (Lenexa, KS) to bring holistic barbering solutions to you. Our soon-to-be released to the public, 4-step shaving line, branded under STYLES, Fine Hair & Beard Care gives you an amazing shaving experience.

razor bumps prevention | STYLES FINE HAIR & BEARD CARE

STYLES PREMIUM HAIR & BEARD CARE 

(1) prepares the skin with a 100% organic, antibacterial pre-shave oil
(2) provides a smooth, bump-free shave with our house-made therapeutic, organic shaving bars
(3) treats and seals the skin with our aftershave h20 which includes aloe and skin smoothing alpha hydroxy
(4) moisturizes and protects with a bacteria fighting balm.

Our product line features organic ingredients to help your skin look its best!

Our brands are designed to soften skin and hair, helping to minimize re-entry of coarse hairs. They contain bacteria fighting essential oils that help keep skin clear; and protected from damage and discoloration.

Skin is the body’s largest organ and we often advise individuals to eliminate the use of products containing synthetic ingredients and fragrance (parfum) as they: (1) contain cancer causing ingredients, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasers and hormone disruptors; (2) are known to cause irritation; (3) create or exacerbate eczema; (4) and can contribute to unsightly discoloration (darkening). Stick with natural products with ingredients that get as close to the source as possible, preferably a plant-source.

Often people aren’t easily convinced so instead of rehashing information that’s already readily available, I challenge you to (1) investigate the ingredients in your products and (2) do a simple search on fragrance oil and skin-health.

Whatever steps you take, remember to treat your skin kindly with chemical-free products as much as you can.

Resources

Modric, J. (n.d.). Folliculitis Pictures. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from http://www.healthhype.com/folliculitis-pictures.html

Oakley, A., MD, & Gomez, J., MD. (2016, July). Folliculitis barbae and pseudofolliculitis barbae. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/folliculitis-barbae/

Swamy, Mallappa Kumara, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah. “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2016 (2016): 3012462. PMC. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.

What's Causing Your Heat Rash

What’s Causing Your Heat Rash?

As I have discussed before, I learn a great deal of valuable information from interacting with my skin care community; that in large includes my customers.

Recently when I temporarily discontinued my dark chocolate patchouli soap, it was brought to my attention that it had been a customer’s go to for preventing the onset of heat rash. I decided to research it so that I could better understand what it was about the soap that prevented the outbreak. I’m glad I did.

Heat rash is a most uncomfortable thing to deal with and, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society¹ , once it’s triggered, an attack of miliaria profunda commonly lasts 5-6 weeks despite the best treatment that can be offered. It is because the plugs formed in the sweat duct openings can only be expelled by the outward growth of the sweat duct cells, which takes several weeks. Therefore, from that standpoint, the best treatment is prevention.

Armed with the information I received from my customer and that uncovered via research, I set out to discover what it is or was in my soap that helped prevent the outbreak. It’s good to know that something works; but it’s better to understand why it or how it works.

G.H. Soaps Ingredient - Patchouli

Patchouli Plant

G.H. Soaps Ingredient - Cacao (Raw Chocolate)

Cacao – Raw Chocolate

What is Heat Rash

miliaria | heat rash

cause Staphylococcus epidermidis (a pathogen); Staphylococci are common bacterial colonizers of the skin and mucous membranes

Heat Rash, caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis), also termed Miliaria, is a common disorder of the eccrine sweat glands that often occurs in conditions of increased heat and humidity. Miliaria is thought to be caused an increase in certain normal Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria which live on the skin. These bacteria produce a sticky substance (biofilm)which blocks the sweat ducts. Leakage of sweat through the walls of the duct behind the block is then responsible for the outbreak. Unlike acne and other forms of folliculitis (razor bumps), miliaria spots do not arise around the hair follicles.

There are four types of Miliaria:

  • Miliaria crystallina or sudamina: caused by obstruction of the sweat ducts close to the surface of the skin and appears as tiny superficial clear blisters that break easily.
  • Miliaria rubra: or prickly heat occurs deeper in the epidermis (outside layer of skin) and results in very itchy red papules (bumps).
  • Miliaria profunda: is the effect of sweat leaking into the dermis (middle layer of skin) causing deep and intensely uncomfortable, prickling, red lumps.
  • Miliaria pustulosa: pustules caused by inflammation and bacterial infection.

The bacterium can cause serious complications. It is one of the many microorganisms that live on the human skin and are either harmless or beneficial – as long they are in balance with other microorganisms. When the balance between the microorganisms is disrupted, they can cause various skin diseases. They can also enter the bloodstream and cause potentially fatal complications, and Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of those microorganisms of the skin flora that can be very dangerous.

Prevention & Treatment

Prevention and treatment seem incomplete. While there is much research regarding S. epidermidis’, there is a lack of knowledge offered to the public in terms of successful prevention and management (outside of its symptoms). And because S. epidermidis is part of the human normal flora, it has developed resistance to many common antibiotics. It seems however, most treatments are aimed at relieving sufferers from the symptoms after the onset as opposed to effective, sustainable prevention.

It is noted that antimicrobial agents are effective in suppressing experimentally induced miliaria, meaining in vitro or in a controlled environment. However, it is obvious that prevention is attainable in human hosts as well. The search led me to several articles in my favorite database, the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Combing through several articles, medical journals and manuscripts helped me to better understand why the soap was effective at preventing miliaria for my customer.

The soap contained a generous amount of patchouli essential oil. Patchouli’s main constituent is Patchoulol: 32.92%. As noted in another post, the antimicrobial impacts of essential oils and their chemical components have been recognized by several researchers for their efficacy against various human pathogens. Essential oils derived from aromatic medicinal plants have been reported to exhibit exceptionally good antimicrobial effects against bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and viruses. Because of this, essential oils are recognized as having great potential in the field of biomedicine as they effectively destroy several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The presence of different types of aldehydes, phenolics, terpenes, and other antimicrobial compounds means that the essential oils are effective against a diverse range of human pathogens. 

I also landed upon another interesting article by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine², which lists various essential oils and their antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity against human pathogens, including Staphylococcus epidermidis. There is much information reported, but in summary, it identified several, common plant oils that could be very effective at preventing miliaria: garlic oil, tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), clove oil (Eugenia caryophyllata), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) and thyme oil (Thymus kotschyanus). Research in alternative medicine brings hope to those suffering from miliaria. The idea that handmade skin care with powerful essential oils could aid in the fight against outbreaks is even more profound, especially when antibiotics are the only presented alternative.

I was enlightened by this experience as I learned what causes heat rash and why my product worked. I also understand the distress that likely occurs when there is no solution for heat rash at hand, like the temporary discontinuation. Because my customer shared with me her challenge, I was able to learn more about this bacteria. It also helps G.H. Soaps to provide better and continual solutions. This is exactly how our company came to be so thank you for your continued support and for the gift that keeps on giving, knowledge.

Please note that G.H. Soaps does not give medical advice. The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. It is public information, researched, collected, gathered, shared and commented on.

Resources

Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Curr Med Chem. 2003 May;10(10):813-29. Review. PubMed PMID: 12678685.

Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah, “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3012462, 21 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

Reichling J, Schnitzler P, Suschke U, Saller R, Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview. Complement Med Res 2009;16:79-90

Staphylococcus epidermidis: emerging resistance and need for alternative agents. Raad I, Alrahwan A, Rolston K.
Clin Infect Dis. 1998 May;26(5):1182-7. Review.

G.H. Soaps - recommends hibiscus tea

Drink Your Way To Radiant Skin With Herbal Tea

G.H. Soaps and BODYTRUTH brand discusses herbal tea for glowing skin

Herbal tea seems to have taken a back set in our coffee crazed society, but for those seeking to make healthy mind, body changes, tea is a staple. Herbal teas are often naturally decaffeinated, with the exception of some like black and green. Decaffeinated herbal tea blends are made from dried flowers, leaves and roots of anti-oxidant rich, medicinal plants. Beneficial herbal tea blends are often detoxifying and immune boosting which also tends to boost and promote healthy, glowing skin!   

I’m really a lover of a good BOLD roast coffee bean, smooth and rich with hints of chocolate and berries. With that being said, I, like many other Americans, I have been guilty of consuming more than my fair share in a 24-hour period, in part because I’m a hardworking business owner, always a cup-in-hand,  the other is because it’s absolutely delicious! Who can resist it? 

Unfortunately, coffee contains caffeine and while caffeine isn’t all bad, an over-consumption of caffeinated drinks can wreck havoc on your skin, especially if you aren’t consuming the recommended amount of water that your body needs to stay hydrated and flush out toxins.

Caffeine is actually dehydrating and skin needs hydration. Health advisers recommended that for approximately every 100 milligrams of caffeine you consume – for instance, the approximate amount in one cup of coffee or two cups of black tea – you should drink an additional cup of water to compensate for caffeine’s diuretic effect.

Recently, I decided to ditch my morning coffee habit permanently and reach for my favorite earthy teas. Here, I share with you one of my favorite decaffeinated herbal tea blends that you can create at home. It gets skin loving vitamin c from the lemon and hibiscus which lends to glowing, youthful, hydrated skin. Drink this hot or cold. 

*Creating your own loose leaf blends give you more bang for your buck as well.

Hibiscus Tea
BODYTRUTH Skin Tonic

G.H. Soaps - recommends hibiscus tea
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh organic* ginger root
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 TBSP dried hibiscus petals organic* raw honey
  • 6-8 oz hot water

Peel and roughly chop [or grate] the fresh ginger root and add it to your teacup.  

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and flower petals. Cover with hot water and let steep for 8-10 minutes.

Add more lemon & honey to taste if desired. 

Strain (if preferred).

G.H. Soaps & BODYTRUTH branc Skin Food Image : ginger

Ginger Root has many benefits from digestive support to circulation. It is used for stimulating blood circulation through out the body, which helps the skin to detoxify and regenerate.

G.H. Soaps - lemon

Lemon contains vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps in slowing down the free radical damage in body and promotes a healthy glow.

G.H. Soaps - dried hibiscus flower

Hibiscus Flower is a powerhouse in itself. It is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which exfoliate skin, speed up cell turnover, and help to control acne breakouts. On top of the AHA activity are the antioxidants, anthocyanocides. These not only protect the skin from free radical damage, but have astringent properties that help shrink pores. They have an anti-inflammatory effect as well, which soothe inflamed skin and helps calm conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Blue Detox tea

It’s Your Turn

Share your healthy skin tips with the community by commenting below. Also join us on our social media page. When you share, you help the masses!

Overzealous Facial Cleansing

Is Your Facial Cleansing Routine Causing More Harm Than Good?

Facial Cleansing

Overzealous facial cleansing, can actually cause more harm than good. Constant washing with products designed to combat oiliness can strip skin of its own natural oils and compromise its barrier. This can set you up for irritation, redness, burning, and derma-dehydration, especially if those products contain salicylic acid. For some of you who are experience skin that is both oily and flaky, this good be the reason.

What Should You Do?

Avoid cleansers that contain harsh surfactants, which rid skin of too much oil and leave it unnaturally dry. Read the labels. Some common surfactants, also known as detergents, include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).

Instead, look for gentler cleansing agents, which may be derived from coconut oil (Sodium Cocoate), olive oil (Sodium Olivate) and shea butter (Sodium Shea Butterate), among others. The following table lists vegetable oils commonly used in natural and handmade soap. These oils are gentle on the skin. The common name is what we all know them to be. The INCI Term is the scientific name and the Saponified INCI Term is what you’ll likely see on product labels. It is the name given once the vegetable has saponfied (converted to soap when combined with sodium hydroxide).

Gentle Vegetable Oils

Common Name INCI Term Saponified INCI Term
Almond Oil Prunus dulcis Sodium Almondate
Apricot Kernel Oil Prunus Armeniaca Sodium Apricot Kernelate
Avocado Oil Persea Gratissima Sodium Avocadate
Carrot Oil Daucus carota (carrot) root
Castor Oil Ricinus Communis Sodium Ricinoleate
Cocoa Butter Theobroma Cacao Sodium Cocoa Butterate
Coconut Oil Cocos Nucifera Sodium Cocoate
Hemp Seed Oil Cannabis Sativa
Jojoba Seed Oil Simmondsia Chinensis Sodium Jojobate
Mango Butter Mangifera Indica Sodium Mango Butterate
Olive Oil Olea Europaea Fruit Oil Sodium Olivate
Palm Oil Elaeis Guineensis Sodium Palmate
Palm Kernel Oil Elaeis Guineensis Sodium Palm Kernelate
Rice Bran Oil Oryza sativa Sodium Ricate
Rose Hip Seed Oil Rosa rubiginosa
Safflower Oil Carthamus tinctorius Sodium Safflowerate
Sesame Oil Sesamum indicum Sodium Sesamate
Shea Butter Butyrospermum Parkii Sodium Shea Butterate
Soybean Oil Glycine soya Sodium Soybeanate
Sunflower Oil Helianthus annuus Sodium Sunflowerate
Sweet Almond Oil Prunus amygdalus dulcis Sodium Almondate
Walnut Oil Juglans Regia Sodium Walnutate
Wheat Germ Oil Triticum Vulgare Sodium Wheatgermate
Is Scrubbing Necessary?

Fine pumice and apricot shells found in many products, are too abrasive for facial skin; and products with those little blue micro beads are just plain ole useless! Not only that, they are mainly made out of polyethylene (PE) and environmentally unfriendly plastic that is causing serious damage to marine life and creating an imbalance to our eco-system. It matters because it impacts our food chain.

Scrubs are not really necessary if you employ an all-natural skin care routine because natural products lend to soft, youthful skin. According to Sandy Johnson, MD & board-certified dermatologist with Johnson Dermatology Group ,”When you scrub your face, you’re taking off some of the natural protective oils and barriers, which tends to lead to rashes, and even sunburn.” Instead, use a gentle, chemical-free cleanser followed by a natural moisturizer according to your skin’s needs. Facial skin is delicate and it hardly needs scrubbing at all. Save the rough stuff for your feet! When customers ask if we make facial scrub, I tell them, I just don’t believe there is a real need for one.

In fact, here are 3 things you absolutely do not NEED:
Commercial Make Up Remover. Use olive oil or coconut oil. They contain NO chemicals and your skin will be softer and balanced without the use of chemicals and artificial fragrance oil.

Commercial Facial Scrubs. Simply unnecessary but if you must, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with your preferred cleanser (hopefully our soap) and gently scrub into your skin with a thin wash cloth, then rinse. Follow with an alcohol free hydrosol (coming soon) and a light moisturizer. It’s good for balancing your skin, it cleanses, it’s safe, effective, economical and eco-friendly.

Commercial Facial “Washes”. Many of them are too harsh and contain surfactants, synthetic fragrance, micro-beads, artificial colors & other weird ingredients. If you have normal skin, you can actually cleanse your face quite nicely with warm water, a cotton cloth and coconut, olive or castor oil. I personally use soap on my face just once per day in winter (more in summer). To remove stubborn eye make up, I use BODYTRUTH brand Shea butter.

Stay tuned for discussion about how to achieve perfect skin from the inside out! Join the conversation by commenting below. We want you to share your facial routine with the community. What works for some, doesn’t work for all so the more you all share, the more people we can help to achieve happy, healthy skin!

Why I Recommend Essential Oils

Why I Recommend Essential Oils

What is an essential oil? It’s a most remarkable substance extracted from flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, twigs, bark, herbs, wood, fruits and plant roots. The aromatic oil generally possesses a lower density than water and is extracted by hydro-distillation, steam distillation or dry distillation with the exception of citrus fruits. In citrus the oil is extracted (pressed) from the rind by a mechanical process (no heat).


G.H. Soaps Ingredients - Essential Oil


Aromatic

Plants each possess their own unique scent. The aroma of each oil results from the combination of the aromas of all components of the plant material itself. Unlike synthetically derived fragrance oils (parfum), the constituents of essential oils are naturally occurring and their medicinal properties are naturally synergistic.

Essential oils derived from aromatic medicinal plants have been reported to exhibit exceptionally good antimicrobial effects against bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and viruses.

Medicinal Properties

The antimicrobial properties of essential oils have been known for many centuries. In recent years (1987-2001), a large number of essential oils and their constituents have been investigated for their antimicrobial properties against some bacteria and fungi in more than 500 reports. Essential oils of spices and herbs (thyme, oregano(origanum), mint, cinnamon, salvia and clove) were found to possess the strongest antimicrobial properties among many tested.

The antimicrobial impacts of essential oils and their chemical components have been recognized by several researchers in the past. More recently, the prevalence of antimicrobial drug resistance has prompted researchers to discover new ways to treat various human pathogens. Furthermore, studies have shown the synergistic effect of ingredients in essential oils and their effect on various human pathogens. It is believed that essential oils could be useful in the control of epidemic multi-drug resistant pathogenic microorganisms and in combating various infectious diseases.

Today, essential oils are already employed in various applications including aromatherapy, chemotherapy and for the treatment of several diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and various cancers.

Stay tuned and we’ll discuss [synthetically derived] fragrance oil (often listed as parfum), which possesses NO medicinal qualities whatsoever, then you’ll really know why essential oils matter and why you’ll be ready to replace all fragranced product with plant derived.


Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Curr Med Chem. 2003 May;10(10):813-29. Review. PubMed PMID: 12678685.

Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah, “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3012462, 21 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

Reichling J, Schnitzler P, Suschke U, Saller R, Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview. Complement Med Res 2009;16:79-90

Inspired By You!

I’ve been crafting naturally organic soap for over three years now. It started when I sought to use my 1-acre property to jump start an urban farming initiative for the youth and young mothers in my community. It was such a therapeutic and grounding experience; it started me thinking about how ‘whole body health‘ in a new light. I began to consider how much better our health would be if we only put clean ingredients on our skin and not just focus on eating clean.

As I began connecting with more and more people suffering from chronic skin challenges, I started researching everything related to skin, including gut health, medications, stress, ingredients & chemicals in cosmetics as well as diet and nutrition. I wanted to get a better understanding of the synergy between the body’s various systems and the skin. Thus, a business was born.

G.H. Soaps and BODYTRUTH brand soaps are truly inspired by the community of friends, family, and customers who have over the years come to me seeking advice about their health, their skin and their struggles.

Each product was designed with specific challenges and often, specific people in mind. Each ingredient was carefully selected for its healing and supportive, properties. All of our products work in synergy with one another to provide sulfate-free cleansing, alcohol-free toning and junk-free moisturizing.

Our products support:

  • Acne management & natural blemish control
  • Healthy skin detoxing, which works in conjunction with inner whole body detoxing
  • Fragrance-free needs as there are ZERO fragrance oils used
  • Skin toning without stripping away skin’s natural oils
  • Eczema management, as all soaps and Shea butters address target concerns related to eczema including: dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracked & blistered skin, and protection from further damage and moisture loss.

Thank you for your continued support. We are always researching and creating new products to help you feel good in your skin.

Please use the comment section to share your skin journey or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!

Why Black Soap

What’s the Deal with Black Soap?

So often I’ve been asked, “what’s the deal on the black soap? I’ve heard it’s the best kind of soap to use for uneven and problematic skin!” 

G.H. Soaps discusses black soap

Authentic black soap is naturally organic, highly moisturizing soap and has its roots in African tradition.

Originally, the ingredients in authentic black soap provided for a pure & natural vegetable based bar.

Well, let me start by saying all black soap isn’t created equal so it’s easy to assume that all “black” soap is authentic African”black soap.” There is also a general lack of understanding as to why black soap works so well so I decided it was time to do a little digging wherefore, I could provide you with a little insight, to help you to make informed decisions about how and where you spend your beauty dollars…at least as it pertains to this matter at this moment.

Benefits of Black Soap

African black soap is familiar to many for its benefits to the skin. It has been known to soothe skin irritated by dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as fading skin discolorations and evening out the skin tone. People of African decent have used black soap for centuries for bathing and for shampooing the hair, not only to cleanse, but also to alleviate scalp itchiness and irritation. African black soap was also used to relieve oily skin and certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema. Women also used black soap for skin care during and after pregnancy to keep from getting dry skin, stretch marks and other skin conditions caused by hormonal changes. The soap was too used on babies because of its purity and gentleness on sensitive skin.

Uses

Shea butter has many uses. It is generally widely used for the following applications:

  • Eczema Relief
  • Dry Skin Relief
  • Skin Protectant
  • Evens Skin Tone
  • Speeds healing of dry, cracked skin
  • Softens skin
  • Supports moisture retention for hair and skin

History

The handed down story…

African black soap or ose dudu originated with the Yoruban tribe in Nigeria and the Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo. The Yoruba words ose (“soap”) and dudu (“black”) literally translates to “the black soap.” It is believed that this tribe brought their herbal wisdom with them from their original Egyptian homeland. Yoruba women had an important and unique role in agriculture. They were responsible for processing raw farm produce into finished goods for trading; this included harvesting produce from trees and tending the gardens. Village women in western Africa are still handcrafting black soap today. According to Africa Imports there are more than 100 varieties of African black soaps produced and traded.

What is it?

Genuine African black soap is brownish-black in color. It is soft with an organic shape that can be molded in your hands. It has a delicate texture & a natural earthy smell. It is not oily or scented and it melts easily if left in water. Secret black soap formulas are carefully guarded as they are passed down through generation. The soap making technique is based on the ancient art of ash treatment whereby plantain peels are dried under the sun. The skins (and/or palm leaves and cocoa pods) are then roasted in a clay oven to produce ash. Water is added to the ashes and filtered. Then, ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil or cocoa butter are heated and added, and hand stirred by local women for 24 hours. The soap solidifies, is scooped out and the mixture is set out to cure for two weeks. The process is much like that which we call cold-processing soap. It’s how our soaps are made, without the long churning time but with a longer curing time.

Ingredients

TRUE BLACK SOAP originally consisted of roasted plantain skins, cocoa pod, palm oil and/or palm kernel oil, coconut oil and salt. Variations of the recipe include Shea butter and pure cocoa powder.

Cocoa Pod Ash is from the shell of the Cocoa fruit & Plantain Peel Ash is from the skins of the plantain fruit. Both serve as the alkali, lending the same function as sodium hydroxide in handmade bar soap.

Palm Fruit Oil comes from the palm fruit. Black Soap uses Red Palm oil. This oil is dark red in color and contains a high content of beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are the same ones that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols, a powerful form of vitamin E.

Shea butter and Cocoa Butter are excellent skin moisturizers & protectants. Both soften skin, minimize scars, prevent aging skin and stretch marks. Shea butter also speeds skin’s natural healing process, and evens skin tone.

It’s the combination of ingredients that makes black soap an all around beneficial soap. When compared to commercial soaps, its also the lack of synthetic ingredients that make black soap superior to other soaps. Authentic, traditional black soap does not contain dyes, artificial colorants, synthetic extracts nor fragrance oil (which is, by the way, a composition of synthetic constituents protected by trade secret laws and known to irritate skin). It is the omission of these unnecessary ingredients that make authentic black soap (and soap just like it) better for your skin.

How We Compare

BODYTRUTH brand soaps logo

While Black Soap is widely popular and has it’s place in the cosmetic industry, our soaps are made using a similar technique, only technology allows us to produce it faster. We also use much of the very same ingredients. In addition, our bars contain concentrated plant infusions that we create ourselves. Each bar is unique and its ingredients are chosen for the healing, softening and toning properties they naturally possess. Coconut oil, palm oil and Shea butter are just a few. We also use essential oils, from medicinal plants, which contain ingredients with naturally inherent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to help alleviate the various skin issues that people contend with daily.

Our soaps have been successful at promoting healthy skin, speeding healing and minimizing blemishes. Like authentic black soap, our soaps are free of chemicals, dyes, preservatives, stabilizers and synthetic fragrance oils. This allows skin to breathe, to heal and regenerate more quickly, so that your skin can look its best.