WTF is… Rhubarb?!

As a staple in any self-respecting witch doctors garden, rhubarb is a pretty useful plant. And much like old timey shamans, Rhubarb can be both incredibly healing and exceptionally toxic if used in certain ways. Bet you won’t look at a rhubarb pie the same way now! But don’t worry, I’ll tell you how you can safely get your fingers in this pie.

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Delicious? Deadly? Both?!  Picture via Wikipedia.org

Before we get to the pie eating, did you know that back in the day rhubarb was valued on the same scale as rubies, silk, and diamonds? In fact, at one point it was more valuable than opium.  That’s right, the humble rhubarb was more expensive than the great grand daddy of narcotics. So obviously it must have been like super crack or an aphrodisiac or both, right? Like a Supercrackadesiac? Actually, the cost of transportation across Asia made rhubarb expensive in medieval Europe. Don’t get me wrong though, rhubarb is still pretty awesome. It has been and is still used in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as a laxative.

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This much rhubarb in medieval times could probably buy you a whole castle. Image via Wikipedia.org

But is it poisonous? Absolutely. Well actually, just one part of the rhubarb plant contains any toxins: the leaf. While eating rhubarb leaves at first will make you very sick, repeated ingestion can be lethal. So if someone offers you some rhubarb leaf tea, you should politely decline. Again, this is a PSA from The Raw Spa: DO NOT INGEST RHUBARB LEAVES!

Now we here at the Raw Spa recommend that you never eat any of our products (no matter how delicious they smell) but if you absolutely have to eat our soaps and things, you can do it without the worry of dying afterward. We use the root and stalk of the rhubarb plant to get all the good effects. Like the fact that rhubarb is astringent which means it can help to balance the oiliness of skin.

At the Raw Spa we use Rhubarb as part of our seasonal Farm Stand line, in particular our Rhubarb Crumble products! It marks the beginning of our Farm Stand line and can be found in our shop May of every year!

 

 

 

 

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The Raw Spa PSA: We’re going far, far away…

Hey Gang!

So. To say that we’ve been a little bit behind on our once regularly scheduled blog posts is an understatement. I just wanted to take a moment to sit down with you lovely guys, gals, and walruses to explain what’s been going on with The Raw Spa for the past few weeks. Just so you have some context as to why we’ve been so delayed.

As you may or may not know, The Raw Spa is a two person show right now! There’s Guy, who runs all matters electronical (blogs, social medias, email correspondence) in addition to a being a full time Cookie Specialist and a part time Mad Scientist. Here is a picture of Guy!

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Here we have a Guydunicus Computernerdicus in it’s natural habitat. Note the Mackium Wheresmyblogius in the corner preparing to pounce! 

Then there is Mack, the original mind behind The Raw Spa! She started off doing all the things on her own. Now she just does all the important stuff (mixing the things, researching the things, making the new things, designing the website things, designing the business card things, and about a bazillion other things I’m probably not even aware of). Here is a picture of Mack!

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This is Mack’s “Guy why are you taking pictures of me when we have to pack?!” face. 

Contrary to common belief and movies starting a business is really freakin’ hard, but it’s exceptionally rewarding to see how we’re growing every year. In the past year alone, we’ve been vendors at some awesome live events, advanced in little ways every day and generally are having a challenging, but fun, adventure with The Raw Spa!

Now for the longest time The Raw Spa has been based out of Mack’s mom’s house. While its been relatively cheap living there, we always wanted a space of our own. A space where we can mix and make as we please! A space filled with unique and enchanting scents! A space where we don’t have to worry about a two individuals, who will remain nameless, fighting over whether to use valuable stove top space for lotion or chicken stock.

Anyway, a little while ago a friend of ours phones us with the news that they are moving out of their swanky apartment in West Philadelphia!  And let me tell ya, we dang near jumped down her throat to get into that apartment! Now, after many trials, tears, and convoluted plans to rob a bank for the first/last months rent plus security deposit we are finally finally moving into our own space!

And when we signed the lease we were all like:

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Mack had a lot of Will Ferrell in her leap while Guy was working more of the Steve Carell style.

Now, on to what this means for you.  As of today, 8/21/2016, we are going to be shutting down The Raw Spa for a little while while we get moved in. If you place an order via our website, we’ll be more than happy to refund your money since we’ll be too busy packing, moving, setting up utilities…you know, Adult Stuff™.

So do not be alarmed as we do a soft close of our social media and website! We’re just gearing things down on the business so that we have time to focus on moving. Once we have the lotion lab, the office, and the sacrificial circles to the dark gods of skincare moved into the apartment we’ll be sure to let you guys know. We even plan to have a “WE’RE MOVED IN SALE” in early to mid September!

Thank you for bearing with us! You guys rock! Stay crunchy!

Sincerely,

Guy and Mack at The Raw Spa

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…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! 

WTF is… Marshmallow Root?!

Before you say anything, no you have not stepped into candy land. There are no gumball trees or lollipop bushes. The world is not like that scene in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  I know, I know, my dreams are crushed too. But don’t get too down. It may not be what it says on the tin but marshmallow root is actually a pretty sweet plant.

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Why aren’t you candy?! WHY?! Image via en.wikipedia.org

Let’s just get this out of the way first. Yes, marshmallows can, and in some places still do, come from marshmallow root. In fact the use of the marshmallow plant, also known Althaea, to create sweet dates goes as far back as ancient Egypt. But the marshmallow plants use in sweets is not it’s claim to fame. Marshmallow root has been used throughout history as a medicine. It’s even in the name of it’s genus, Althaea, which comes from the Greek word “to heal”.

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Does look like an age old healing agent, amirite? Image via en.wikipedia.org

Medicinally marshmallow root has been used as an anti-inflammatory as well as a herbal remedy for respiratory problems. It’s medicinal properties come from a substance in it’s roots and leaves called mucilage. When mixed with water it forms a slick gel that is used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

We here at The Raw Spa try to take advantage of this age old medicine in our Aftercare bath cupcakes, bath salts and exfoliant bars from the Erotica Sensualis line. Utilizing other naturally soothing ingredients such as mango butter, and oats, our product will care for you skin with sweet and loving tenderness.

You can find all of the products with  marshmallow root HERE!

Hey guys and gals! If you like our posts, our products or just like us in general you should support The Raw Spa on Patreon here!

Feel free to check out our store here!

Keep your eyes peeled for the flash sale coming later this week!