WTF is…Sugar?!

Oh man, here it is. The big one. The greatest thing or the greatest evil depending on who you ask. Love it or hate it, the fact is we can’t live without sugar in some way, shape or form. There’s a lot of ground to cover here but don’t worry. For you we’ll keep it short and sweet.

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Every modern child’s dream. Every modern adult’s nightmare. Image via en.wikipedia.org.

So let us start with origins. Sugar has been produced in India since ancient times, and we’re talking REALLY ancient. Like 8th century Chinese manuscripts BC ancient. For a while sugar wasn’t really a big deal. People chewed raw sugarcane to get their sweet fix. It wasn’t until the Indian people discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that it really took off. Fun fact: in the local Indian language the crystals were called khanda, which is the source of the word candy.

Now when it comes to sugar in terms of health things get a bit…complicated. To summarize just about everything from both sides of the fence: sugar is kind of good for you and kind of bad for you. Unfortunately modern science is unable to determine sugars effect on the human body since they don’t have a large enough population to run the appropriate tests. Essentially since EVERYONE eats sugar in some way, shape or form we can’t get a definite measure of how it effects the human body when ingested.

Fortunately for us, and you, we DO know it’s effects when applied topically! Sugar is primarily used on our skin as an exfoliant. The nature of the sugar granules make it ideal for scrubbing off layers of dead skin. It is also a humectant and draws moisture into the skin from the air.

We here at The Raw Spa  offer a unique alternative to conventional sugar scrubs that come in jars. For our sugar scrubs come in bars! Namely our Spice Merchant exfoliating sugar bars not only smell great but can be applied with a little water to provide a gentle but deeply exfoliating experience.

Speaking of merchants, if you’d like to try some of our products, come visit us on our store page here!

We’ve also got a patreon! If you become a patron not only will you get monthly product, but you’ll also sleep easy knowing that you’re helping two young adults maintain their coffee induced insomnia. Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

WTF is…Goats Milk?!

On the big long list of things we rub on our skin to make it happy, goats milk is one of the more straightforward ones. I mean, just because it’s sharp doesn’t mean we have to use it as an exfoliant. Oh I’m sorry was that too cheesy for your liking? Alright I’ll stop kidding around. Let’s talk about why goat’s milk is so *bleat*ing good for you.

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Could this goat get any glassier? Eh? Okay I’m done. Photo via sammysmilk.com

Question: How does traditional bar soap clean the body?

Answer: Without getting too technical, the chemicals that are typically used in bars of soap induce an extremely mild chemical burn to cleanse away all the dirt and grime (this is why soap stings when you get it in your eyes). In terms of cleanliness it is great! In terms of hygiene, it is absolute overkill. It’s like mowing your lawn with a flame thrower. Sure you’ll get the job done but in the end you’re left with a dry, barren and damaged surface.

Enter goats milk, the hypothetical lawn mower. Instead of burning off the top layer of skin, goats milk uses it’s alpha hydroxy acid to remove only the dead skin cells when applied topically. It also uses it’s vitamin A content to help repair damaged skin tissue. We could go on about the other bazillion ways goats milk is good for you, like how it is anti inflammatory,  a great source of essential minerals for your skin, yadda yadda yadda but let’s skip to the part where I show you where you can get some!

You’ll find goats milk all through our Cleopatra products from the Jewel of the Nile line! The bars and bath confections are all packed with goats milk, to leave your skin happy and healthy!

If that sounds like something you’d like to have, check out our store page here!

We’ve also got a Patreon! Help keep us happy and healthy (and caffeinated) by becoming a Patron here!

 

 

 

 

WTF is…Coffee?!

Look, let’s just lay it out on the table. The Raw Spa consists of two twenty-somethings who work hard everyday. We. Freaking. Love. Coffee. Look at the first goal of our Patreon and you’ll see just how much we love coffee. But in addition to downing a good old cup of joe, we like putting it in our products. No, we’re not THAT coffee crazy, but you may find the health benefits of coffee to be rather stimulating.

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What coffee is like to people who don’t drink it. Image via wikipedia.org

But first some fun facts. Just under half of the worlds supply of coffee comes from Brazil alone. Now those who REALLY know their coffee know that while Brazil’s coffee is tasty, it doesn’t have quite the punch that African coffee has. That’s because the strain of coffee plant that is exported from Africa has about 40-50% more of that special little chemical we know and love. That’s right! Caffeine!

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What coffee is like to people who DO drink it. Image via Sylvan Migdal.

Anyone who’s ever drank coffee, a coke, or any of the hundreds of energy drinks out there can attest to how caffeine affects the body when ingested. But what about topical application? You might ask if your skin will jump off and run away in a fit of frenzied over exuberance. To which we would reply: No, that’s just silly.

But products that have caffeine do serve as a stimulant and when applied to skin can increase blood circulation as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. Coffee grounds are also rough enough that they can be used as an ingredient in your daily exfoliant.

Now remember when I said we love coffee here at The Raw Spa? Well we love you more, and to prove it we sacrifice our beloved coffee to be added to products like Charlie Tango and Libertine from the Erotica Sensualis line so that your skin can have the stimulation and care it deserves! You can find all of our caffeinated products HERE!

Hey you! Do you like our blogs? If so you’ll love our Patreon! Check us out, we’ve got lots of stretch goals and fantastic rewards for contributers!

Feel free to check out our store here for all the products we mentioned and so much more!

 

WTF is…Coconut Oil?!

Let’s face facts: coconuts are useful. The meat inside the shell is tasty and nutritious, its husk and shells when burned and activated are extremely effective as a carbon filter, and in a pinch it can make an exotic fashion item. The oil derived from its meat is also super good for your skin in just about every way.

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Edible, drinkable, wearable, topical? Perfection. Image via dailynexus.com

 

Just to give you a little background, the origin of coconuts is a subject of much debate but nowadays most of them come from Philippines. Coconuts are woven deep into their economy and culture, with just about every part of the coconut and even parts of the tree being used in some capacity. They even have the Coconut Palace in Manila, a building made almost entirely of coconut as well as some other local materials. Talk about being coo coo for coconuts!

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So many! It’s coconuts! Image via wikipedia.org.

Now when it comes to coconut oil it’s just about as useful as the coconut itself. It’s been used in cooking, as biodiesel, as a repellent for sand fleas and, of course, skin care. As a skin care agent, it’s a great moisturizer for all types of skin. It can even help reduce protein loss when used in hair!

We here in The Raw Spa use coconut oil in our lotions and cream soaps for it’s skin soothing properties. It works well with cucumber in the Egyptian Cucumber Hydration Creme and with cocoa butter in the Oasis Body Butter to give you a powerful and most importantly, natural moisturization. Good news! You can check out our selection of coconut containing products HERE!

Check out our store here for all our other stuff! Exfoliation, moisturization, we’ve got it all!

You can also check out our Patreon here where we have some awesome rewards for our contributers and even better rewards for the planet when we hit certain stretch goals! We’re aiming to be the greenest company in the planet so what are you waiting for?     Drop on by and support us on Patreon!

WTF is…Pearl?!

In keeping with the theme of small shiny things that people go nuts over, this week we’ll be taking a peek at pearls! Pearls are synonymous with purity and radiance but did you know that it’s also good for your skin? Now before you go and break out grandma’s jewelry, there are a few things you should know. So let’s dive in!

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The most familiar usage of pearls. Image via wikipedia.org

 

Naturally occurring pearls are extremely rare. No two ways about it. But the majority of pearls found on the market are either imitation, cultured or farmed from pearl oysters. Cultured pearls are made by implanting a tiny spherical bead into the shell of an oyster, forcing it to coat the irritant in nacre and make a pearl.

What is narce you ask? Take any clam shell souvenir and look at the inside. If in addition to being smooth it is also iridescent then you are looking at narce. Also called mother of pearl, narce is a calcium carbonate coating that mollusks produce to protect themselves from irritants. On the inside of the shell the narce protects the soft interior from the roughness of the shell. And as we’ve discussed, if a bit of sand or anything gets in there…jackpot!

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Imagine opening hundreds of clams and finally finding THIS. Image via ice-epilepsy.org

Now cosmetically pearl powder has been in play for hundreds of years, and still is today. Usually made from pearls that are below jewelry grade, pearl powder is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve the appearance of skin, as an anti-inflammatory and a detoxification agent. Ancient Chinese empress Wu Ze Tian used pearl powder on her skin AND internally, and was famed for her beauty and childlike skin.

We here at The Raw Spa have taken a leaf out of the book of traditional Chinese medicine and use pearl powder in Whips&Kisses from the Erotica Sensualis line to utilize it’s famed skin softening properties. You can find all of our radiant, pearl-packed products HERE!

Hey gang if you like out blogs you should consider supporting us on Patreon! We’ve got all sorts of great rewards for our contributers plus environmentally friendly stretch goals!

Check out our store here for all the products we’ve mentioned and more! 

Reunited and it feels so GOOD!

Hey gang!

So…yeaaaaah we were delayed a LOT longer than we originally anticipated. Our website problem only highlighted a whole bunch of other issues we already had with the store that we sort of brushed under the rug and when they returned they came back with vengeance.

But (mostly) everything is fixed and to show you how much we care and how sorry we are for putting you off for so long we MADE A FREAKING VIDEO!

How’s that for upping our game? A step in the right direction no? In the future we plan on making more silly videos of us making product and fooling around in the kitchen and maybe even footage of us at some live events!  Updates will be sporadic at first while we figure out how to make the moving pictures obey but this is a new thing that’s here to stay. There’s not much up there now but just you wait!

So make sure you check out The Raw Spa YouTube channel in addition to the blogs!

Speaking of new things, we’re currently designing a new booth set up for when we go to conventions and farmers markets. Our previous booth setup was very…well the best way to describe it is “cute”. It was pretty much a card table with a cloth over it and our display on top. Very lemonade stand if you know what I mean.

But NOW we’re transitioning from lemonade stand to full on travelling circus! And while we can gush and wax poetic about how cool it’s going to look for days, we’ll just say that there will be many, many pictures once it’s done.

Last thing, we know we’ve been dipping our toe into the whole Patreon thing. Little tag lines like “Support us on Patreon here“. But seriously, take a look and see what we have to offer. If you’re the kind of person we think you are, you’ll really like our stretch goals. And you’ll REALLY like what you’ll be getting for helping us out.

Thank you for bearing with us and our absenteeism this February. Everything will run smoothly from now on. Blogs are going back up once a week, flash sale notices will be regularly posted.

The Raw Spa is back!

 

 

 

WTF is… Honey?

Honey. What is not to love about honey? It has a pleasingly sweet taste and aroma. We use it in food, drink, and alchohol. Shoot, in america we go so far as to call loved ones by the nickname “Honey”. Honey even has a kind of cult status in the DIY natural health community, supposedly having the ability to help heal wounds and serve as a preservative. While we recommend you comb through the facts yourself, we here at the Raw Spa will give you just a tiny scoop (okay I’ll stop now).

Good old fashioned honey! Image via beesproducts.eu

Good old fashioned honey! Image via beesproducts.eu

To lets start from the basics. Honey is a thick substance created from nectar, mainly by honey bees of the genus Apis. For the sake of simplicity I’m going to call them honey bees… but they are, interestingly enough, not all bees. The honey bees collect nectar from various flora, convert it into honey through a method of partial digestion, and store it in a wax matrix (the honey comb) as a food source. Speaking of food source, honey is NOT especially nutritious all by itself. In fact honey is mainly devoid of essential nutrients, and contains only trace amounts of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Honey: Put a lot on you, not so much in you. Image via www.modachicago.com

Honey: Put a lot on you, not so much in you. Image via http://www.modachicago.com

Now just because it’s not all that great for you inside does not mean it’s bad for you outside. It DOES contain ferulic acid and caffeic acid. Ferulic acid is a wonderful anti-oxidant and helps to moisturize skin, while caffeic acid offers both antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. So it does have skin soothing, anarchist fighting – sorry, totally meant free radicals. What was I thinking?! – free radical fighting properties. As an added bonus, honey also acts a a humuctant, which is fancy-speak for saying that honey helps to draw moisture into the skin, as well as having softening properties.

This guy knows what we're talking about. Image via sfglobe.com and Blake Little

This guy knows what we’re talking about. Image via sfglobe.com and Blake Little

So while it’s no Philosopher’s Stone, it is pretty awesome stuff… and it is incredibly delicious! Did we mention that?

Now we here at the Raw Spa have a few products that use honey, specifically for the soothing properties it has on irritated skin. The Aftercare Skin Parfait, Aftercare Body Frosting from the Erotica Sensualis line and Green Nile Body Balm from the Jewel of the Nile line all pair honey with soothing raw aloe, to make for absolutely fabulous creams to slather all over your body. You can also find honey liberally swirled through all of the Cleopatra products- formulated for sensitive and/or damaged skin.

Check out our store Here! 

Also check out our weekly flash sales Here!

P.S. If you REALLY like honey and a lot of it check out this link here.