Friday, July 25, 2008

Affordable Ways to Green Your Spa

Going green is one of those things that started out as a fad, but has grown into a movement that has everyone buzzing about how to protect our mother earth. While the spa environment is typically one that focuses on the health and well being of the human race, it’s also one that uses a lot of the world’s resources. So, it’s essential that the spa industry becomes a leader in the fight to reduce environmental waste and to raise awareness, while also being able to remain profitable.There are a lot of easy and affordable ways that your spa can start going green one step at a time.

You might want to start out by scheduling an energy audit by a certified expert who will go through your spa and point out areas that could be easily converted into greener methods.

You can also do a few things on your own, such as replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, installing low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads to reduce water usage, purchasing unbleached paper towels and toilet papers, using environmentally friendly cleaning products and laundry detergents, providing receptacles for clients and employees to place their recycling materials, and making environmentally freindly purchases of products for treatment and retail like our Scandle Body Candle, for instance, that's made with 100% natural ingredients and is safe the skin & the environment!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sustainable Packaging and Beauty Products

Last week, Scandle LLC, had the opportunity to exhibit at in the "New & Emerging Beauty" section at Cosmoprof 2008, an international beauty event for the trade only.

When I had a moment to walk the floor, I was apalled at the number of hair care & cosmetic companies that were still not worrying about the impact their packaging will have on the environment. To a lot of these companies, it was all about who could have the flashiest packaging. Although it may be true that flashy packaging is more eye-appealing and will attract the customers, I think it's time we try to look beyond that and ask ourselves what impact a company's packaging will have on the environment and what their stand is on sustainability.
From a business stand-point, I realize that more companies today are more eco-consious than say 20 years ago, but a lot of companies are holding back due to cost issues. However, doing something as simple as making your packaging re-usable is doing something for the greater cause and that doesn't cost all that much, does it?

For instance, The Scandle Body Candle 7.5oz comes in a porcelain canister that can be reused. After the massage candle is gone, the canister makes a great syrup dispenser, creamer, or vase.
I think that many manufacuturers are torn between doing what is right for the planet and doing what will attract the most customers - which is usually flashy packaging. I think that it is our duty as consumers to help companies realize that it's the planet and the quailty of the product we care about, not the glitz and glam and purchase products from companies that promote sustainability.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Perfect 10 - Natural Nail Care

It's hard enough to keep nails healthy and strong. But in the steamy, active days of summer--when nails are more prone to breakage, ragged cuticles and fungal infections--your digits may end up a disaster. Not to worry. With the right nutrients, proper care and a few good natural products, you can grow nails that are a Perfect 10.

Composed primarily of a hard protein called keratin, nails are more than ornamental. They protect sensitive, nerve-dense fingertips and toes, shielding them from trauma and injury. And their appearance can tell a lot about your overall health. Dry nails with ridges may signal a lack of B vitamins, brittle nails often indicate a vitamin A deficiency and vertical ridges in nails may point to an iron deficiency. If nails split and crack, it may mean the stomach is lacking in hydrochloric acid. Hangnails may indicate a lack of protein, vitamin C or folic acid.
For hands-down great nails, start by eating a balanced, healthy diet with adequate protein and lots of water--at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day--to prevent dry, cracked nails. Then focus on the following nail nutrients:

* Sulfur promotes nail flexibility and makes nails less vulnerable to breakage. Where to find it: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, arugula, hot peppers, egg yolks, turnips, fish and dairy products.

* Biotin has been shown to increase nail hardness and thickness. Where to find it: brewer's yeast, soybeans, brown rice, peanuts, eggs, fish and oats.

* Silicon promotes nail strength and firmness. Where to find it: onions, strawberries, whole wheat, oats, avocados, comfrey, alfalfa, horsetail, rice and nettles.

* Folic acid helps maintain nail flexibility and strength. Where to find it: whole grains, broccoli, spinach, kale, legumes, berries and citrus fruits.

* Essential fatty acids make nails glossier and more flexible. Where to find them: salmon, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil and black currant oil.

In summer, nails are especially sensitive to infections. Fungi thrive on protein and love warm, damp areas, so the skin under your nails is an ideal breeding ground. To prevent infections, keep nails dry and wear flip-flops around pools and in public bathing areas. If you do develop a fungal infection, drinking a few drops of grapefruit seed extract added to a glass of water can help. Tea tree oil also has anti-fungal properties and, applied directly to the nails, can kill fungi and prevent its spread to other nails (try the Scandle Healing Blend candle infused with tea tree oils).

Because nails grow faster in the summer, they require more regular maintenance. Trim them to a manageable length, and keep manicure tools scrupulously clean to prevent infections. Never clip cuticles--they act as barriers against bacteria, and trimming them can lead to dangerous infections like paronychia that may cause nail loss. Beware of mainstream nail products: Most polishes contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene that can cause redness and allergic reactions, and polish removers contain a solvent called acetone that can dry nails and irritate skin. For the most natural summer look, try massaging a drop of vitamin E into cuticles (try all of the Scandle Candles as they are all infused with Vitamin E), then buffing nails to a high gloss.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Debunking a Beauty Myth

I was recently perusing the pages of a beauty magazine and an article about "Debunking Beauty Myths" caught my eye. One of the biggest myths circulating about beauty is that you can get rid of cellulite.

Ah, if only that were true! "This remains one of the holy grails of cosmetic dermatology," says Timothy Flynn, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The truth is, nothing can be done to permanently eliminate it — not even liposuction. Cellulite consists of fat deposits that get trapped between the fibrous bands that connect the skin's tissues. The bands squeeze the fat under the skin, resulting in a lumpy texture. Luck of the gene pool mostly determines who will and won't get cellulite. It doesn't matter whether you're fat or thin, rich or poor, famous or just plain folks. You can, however, temporarily reduce its orange peel-like appearance. Firming creams often contain caffeine to tighten and smooth the skin. But a moisturizer, like our Scandle Lotion Candle, will also work to hydrate and swell the skin, making cellulite a little less obvious. Sunless tanners also do a great job to masque it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Beauty of Epsom Salt

After a long day and 2 hours at the gym weight lifting and boxing, I look forward to my nightly ritual of soaking in a warm tub with epsom salt.

With the creation of new medicines, treatments, tonics, rubs, sprays, soaks and other aids, many people have lost sight of the fact that before all of the fancier products came along, the old-fashioned products were what did the trick for most people. The newer products might come in fancier packages, have added aromas or come with sparkles and colors, but stripping all of that away, you end up with the underlying ingredient which is the one that works. Some of these main ingredients have been around for many years and in their plain form are all but forgotten by most people, but still work very well. Among these products are epsom salts. Did you know, for instance, that soaking a splinter in Epsom salts can release the splinter and help the area to heal? Many people know that Epsom salts work to relax tight muscles, and are found in many bath salt products, but Epsom salts actually have dozens of healthful benefits. Epsom salts - magnesium sulfate - are a natural way to treat skin problems, relax the nervous system, and draw toxins from the body.

Soak aching, tired feet in a pan of water with half a cup of Epsom salts and not only will your feet feel better, but they’ll smell better too. Epsom salts work to neutralize odor and soften skin. Soak feet until they feel better then rinse and dry well. A full bath should contain 2 cups of Epsom salts for relief of tired feet, back muscles, legs or just as a way to have softer skin.

You can also rub Epsom salts all over the body, while wet, then rinse and towel off. Rubbing Epsom salts directly on the body exfoliates skin and leaves it smooth and silky. They make a great gift to give someone when you put them in a nice glass jar with lid and tie on a pretty ribbon. You can add scent to them by sprinkling them with essential oil. Or mix Epsom salts with baby oil and keep by the sink if you wash your hands a lot. The combination can be used on the face, too, to treat dry skin problems. Cleanse your face with Epsom salts mixed with half a teaspoon of salts and your regular cleansing cream.

The salts do wonders for the hair, absorbing oil from problem hair by adding 8 tablespoons of Epsom salts to a half a cup of shampoo that’s formulated for oily hair. Put a tablespoon of the shampoo mixture on dry hair and work it in and around the scalp area, rinsing it out with cold water. To rinse it well, and further treat oily hair, pour a cup of apple cider vinegar over the hair, leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse with cool water. To add fullness to thin hair, combine equal parts of Epsom salts and hair conditioner. Warm the mixture in a pan then work it into hair. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.

For occasional constipation or irregularity, adults can mix 2 to 4 teaspoons into water until dissolved and drink. Kids 6 to 12 take half of that. This can be used twice a day by taking the first treatment, waiting 4 hours and taking the second dosage if necessary.

Bruises, sore or strained muscles and sprained ankles receive relief when soaking in Epsom salts. Epsom salts are safe to use but when applying directly to the skin or hair, rinse well. The next time you’re shopping for bath, health or beauty products, pass by the fancy, expensive stuff and try Epsom salts for a blast from the past.