Wednesday, November 30, 2011

some testimonials

"WhiteOwl Botanical's Vervain Lemon Soap is a wonderfully refreshing, frothy brew of clean that I am happily giving out for gifts to all my friends this year, as well as using myself on my very sensitive skin. Moisturizing and made with love, it's a lovely way to nurture yourself and your loved ones." -- Lynda, Los Angeles, CA

"It's a lush soap, creamy without being oily. Happily, it doesn't have an overbearing scent that many commercially made soaps have, so it's great for people who avoid perfumes or just don't want their soap to compete with the fragrances they like to use." --Sheila, Colton's Pt, MD

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One reason I use my OWN soap

What they don't want you to know about glycerin:

I believe deeply in using pure and healthy ingredients.  When I read the list of chemicals on what we use on our skin, it just doesn't work for me.
I know that when I used pure "Marseilles" soap, my skin didn't even need the bath of lotion I usually had to apply after washing.  I think French Women have known this, and even in the way they shop for food, they seem to know local, fresh and pure is the best.
It just doesn't make sense to slather chemicals on our skin.

I have found that my dry and sensitive skin just can't tolerate most commercial products.
If you try my soap, you might just find out how good natural moisturizing soap can be!

Monday, November 21, 2011

about the soap

Vervain is a Mediterranean herb and a close relative of new world lemon verbena. It creates a moisturizing and skin-loving exfoliating soap with a very delicate herbal and citrus scent. I have added crushed vervain leaves to give just the right amount of exfoliation in this bar, wonderful for removing dead skin and leaving the face and body silky smooth.
Vervain has been used for centuries in the South of France as a calming and healing infusion, and has been held in high esteem since Classical Antiquity; it has long been associated with divine and other supernatural forces, and it has an equally long-standing use as a medicinal plant. (Folklore even says it is a deterrent to vampires!)

This bar also includes premium oils -- olive oil, coconut oil, fair trade shea butter and lemon oil, all blended together using the "cold process" technique. This makes the soap mild and creamy and it lathers richly. The combination of these oils make for a soap that is great for deep cleansing without drying out your skin.
I handcraft my soaps in small batches with love and intention to create a natural cleansing bar, ready to bless your skin with it's magic, moisturizing and healing properties.
Cold process soap has no fillers, or petroleum products, or glycerine which dry the skin; once you try cold process soap you will NEVER buy commercial or glycerine-based soap again.

Each soap is hand cut to approximately +4 oz bars, very generously sized and long-lasting.

List of ingredients:
Olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, lemon oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, organic vervain.

more soap curing

New blocks of soap, sliced and curing!

My story starts, like many, once upon a time in a land far away. I was an exchange student in France, living in Provence, loving the local market produce, the bread, the shops, the way of life that included slow meals and lots of walking. I lived with a family with 6 boys (not so strange for me since I have 3 brothers) and I got to immerse myself in the language and culture, and endure some amount of daily challenge. One challenge was the food - I always have to watch what I eat very carefully, and I just could not resist the bread. There is just nothing in the world like a crisp crunchy French Baguette.

Here I must digress a bit - I have Celiac disease, allergy to wheat gluten. At that time, I did not know it. So here I was, a stranger in a strange land, eating what was poison to my body unknowingly.

So we come to skin.

Celiac disease often expresses itself in skin problems. I could not get rid of persistent itchy rashes, Wandering in the market in Aix-en-Provence, I found wonderful large blocks of "Marseilles" soap - which by French law must be a minimum of 72% vegetable oils and have no fragrance or color. These bars are made with ancient recipes, cooked for days, and poured directly into molds in the concrete floors, before being lifted and and chopped into chunky bars.  My skin LOVED this pure, natural soap. I bought what I thought was a huge supply when I left (3 large chunky bars or so) but never have found it here in the U.S.

Another amazing health-saving product I discovered while in Aix-en-Provence was Vervain. Even though I am a true coffee addict, I found a digestive infusion/tea that was served in all the cafes was very helpful for my symptoms. I replaced my coffee addiction with the vervain addiction, and it soothed my Celiac symptoms and was very helpful.

Vervain is a member of the Verbena family that is grown in the Mediterranean, used by Druids and Romans as a sacred herb, and one of the original Bach Flower remedies. Vervain is closely related to the new world Lemon Verbena, but the latin names are different and the healing properties of the plants are slightly different. Vervain was another product I never could find here in the states. Our life paths have a funny magical sort of way of unfolding, and I found myself in very dry Colorado 30 years later with a greenhouse, a burning desire to grow Vervain, and the urge to finally make myself some soap that my skin would love. My experiments resulted in these bars. Super moisturizing, full of olive oils and shea butter, no fragrance or dye or any drying chemical additives which commercial soap is made of,  I finally can hold that ancient wisdom of Provence that heals right in my hand in a bar of soap.

Maybe you will, too.