Sunday, June 21, 2015

Relearn Walking and Sitting for a Healthy Spine

My friend shared Esther Gokhale's work with me recently. She is teaching people in this video how to walk by looking at young children, ancient art, and people from non westernized cultures. Her work is well-researched and easy to try. I love her suggestions, because it feels like a more natural way to sit and walk. I have always not felt right about advise along the lines of 'sit up straight,' 'pull your shoulders back,' and 'tuck in your pelvis.' Esther explains why that doesn't work, and she shows you a better way. This video also helped me understand why I hate the bucket seats in sedans so much also.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Plastic Free July Beach Clean Up at Tom Renick Park July 6th

Aquarian Bath will run a “Two Hands” clean up at Tom Renick Park, A1A Ormond by the Sea, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176 on Monday July 6, 2015 at 5:30 P.M. for Plastic Free July 2015. To join the clean up, arrive at Tom Renick Park by 5:30 PM. All you need are some gardening gloves. Get a raffle ticket when you start at 5:30. After the beach clean up we will have a look at what we found, take a photo, talk about what the Plastic Free July event is all about, and plastic alternatives. The raffle drawing will be at 6:30 for one $50 prize and five $10 prizes from Participants can get an extra raffle ticket by bringing a bag of trash they picked up from the roadside on the way to this beach event. You can RSVP to the facebook event page if you like.

Plastic Free July is aimed at raising awareness of the amount of single-use plastic in our everyday lives. You would be amazed how much tiny plastic material can be found along the edge of the beach, and it is not healthy for birds and ocean health.
A “Two Hands” clean up takes the spirit of huge national and international clean up days and brings it back to the individual. The concept is using your two hands for thirty minutes to clean up your world.
Around 20,000 people across the world have completed a two hands clean up which initiated in Fremantle, Western Australia.
To join the Plastic Free July challenge visit

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Do Salt Hair Sprays Work With Shampoo Bars?

Vanilla Lavender Shampoo Bar Soap by Aquarian Bath
Sea Salt Sprays are a trendy product for adding texture without volume to the hair. Similar to ocean swimming they dehydrate the hair somewhat and make it clump together slightly. Do salt hair sprays work with shampoo bars? It depends of the type of shampoo bar. There are two types of shampoo bars. The first is a natural shampoo bar soap, such as Aquarian Bath shampoo bars. These bars contain saponified oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, etc. The second type of shampoo bar is made with surfactants such as SLS. Aquarian Bath does not make this type of shampoo bar. In this blog post you will learn which bars will and will not work with salt hair sprays and why.

Aquarian Bath's hard-water friendly shampoo bar soaps are formulated with saponified oils of Organic coconut, Organic olive oil, shea butter, and castor oil. Usually people with natural hair have very good results with our shampoo bar soaps, so a while back when a customer said their hair was feeling gummy, dull, and lifeless, we suspected that another product was interfering. Usually our natural shampoo bars give hair lots of bounce, volume, and shine. I asked about other other products, and our customer told me that the only other product she used with her hair was a Dead Sea Salt Spray. Ah ha! I knew immediately what the problem was. Dead Sea Salt is mineral rich. Some of these minerals are what is filtered out by using expensive specialty shower filters. These filters prevent soap scum build up in the tub, or ring around the tub, which is a product of natural soaps mixing with hard water. Technically that means Calcium or Magnesium ions mixing with Fatty Acids. The majority of our shampoo bars are formulated carefully to work well with hard water, but adding salt spray to hair freshly washed with natural shampoo bars will gum up the works, so to speak. Soap scum is the last thing you want in your hair! We suggested to the customer who was having problems to try instead to use a diluted vinegar rinse after washing with one of our shampoo bars, or to use a standard surfactant shampoo to clear the salt-soap build up, and to then avoid using salt spray with our shampoo bars for future washes. These were her results: Yay! I mixed up an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)/lavender rinse and sprayed it on my hair after using the neem bar and my hair is finally happy! The bar cured my lifetime scalp itch and the ACV keeps my curls shiny and soft! I will never use synthetic products again!  Great idea!

Some shampoo bars from other companies are not shampoo bar soaps, because they contain a very high concentration (as much as 90%) of surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) instead of saponified oils. Those shampoo bars will work with salt hair sprays because their chemistry is more like a regular shampoo. However, there are two other concerning drawbacks about SLS. First, SLS is often a product of Palm Kernel Oil. This Palm oil is produced in countries where corporations are recklessly destroying rainforest at the expense of endangered species and the climate. The rate of forest destruction is alarming, and it needs to stop. Second, research has shown that people with skin sensitivities may have their skin problems exacerbated from using SLS products. One customer told us that their scalp changed from oily to dry and irritated after using a SLS-based shampoo bars. Another customer with normal scalp said that their scalp itched from the SLS shampoo bar after only one use.

NASA satellite image, Malayasia
In summary, natural shampoo bars made with saponified oils do not work well with salt sprays due to their particular chemistry while surfactant shampoo bars will. Despite not working well with salt sprays, Aquarian Bath shampoo bars have an advantage over shampoo bars made with SLS. Unlike SLS bars, our bars are made from a high concentration of Organic oils, instead of from rainforest decimating palm oil. Second we have a number of dedicated customers who have switched over to our products, because of their sensitive scalps. We think is a good sign that our products do not worsen the problems of those with skin sensitivities. Check out our website to shop for one of our shampoo bars.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Spearmint Inregedient Spotlight

Spearmint, Mentha spicata, is a herbaceous perennial herb. The name 'spear' gives a clue to its pointed leave tips. It grows by spreading rhizomally. It can spread rapidly when it has plenty of water and sunshine.  For this reason, it and other mints are best grown in containers. Because it is a water-loving herb, be sure to have a catch pan for water underneath the pot. Did you know peppermint is actually a hybrid of spearmint? Spearmint crossed with
Mentha aquarica, gives the hybrid Mentha x spicata, or peppermint. Keep spearmint growing in your garden for the flowers which are attractive to beneficial insects.

Spearmint makes a refreshing herbal tea.  It is an ingredient in Mint Julep and Mojitos.  The tea can help settle upset stomaches. Mint tea is a remedy suggesed for digestive problems by Juliette Levy in her Herbal books for Dogs and Cats. Try this mint yogurt dip by Jamie Oliver here.  Chew on fresh spearmint for freshening your breath.

Spearmint essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the leaves and stems.  The scent is uplifting, stimulating and refreshing. It is somewhat more delicate in scent compared to peppermint essential oil, which has a higher menthol content.  We like using Spearmint essential oil in many of our soaps, shampoo bars, herbal pillows and our Spearmint deodorant. The essential oil has some anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties. It also helps repel insects, and for that reason we use it in our mosquito repellent spray.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Feinstein's Cosmetic Bill Jeopardizes Small Businesses, Joba and Entreprenurial Opportunites

Broadview Heights, Ohio; April 21, 2015 - The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance (HCA) representing more than 300,000 small handmade cosmetic companies throughout the U.S., opposes the Personal Care Products Safety Act, S. 1014, introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

The proposed legislation, negotiated by large industry and a single consumer group and affiliate members, imposes burdensome fees, registration requirements and reporting mandates that will jeopardize more than 300,000 small handmade cosmetic companies in the U.S.

“The HCA along with other handmade cosmetic organizations support efforts to make meaningful policy changes to enhance cosmetic safety. However, subjecting small handmade cosmetic companies which operate with less than a handful of employees to onerous regulation is not only unfair and unprecedented, but creates regulatory requirements that will force businesses to close their doors, “ said Debbie May, Executive Director of the HCA.

The handmade cosmetic industry, comprised of largely women-owned and operated businesses, typically manufactures products in batches of 25-100 using largely food grade ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. In the U.S., handmade cosmetic products constitute less than a fraction of one percent of all products in the marketplace yet the quality of these products with food grade oils and ingredients are among the safest in the nation.

Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation sets unprecedented burdens on small businesses, far exceeding current requirements food manufacturers and small farmers. As drafted, the Personal Care Products Safety Act would subject handmade cosmetic companies to “user fees” that are nearly ten times their market share and require each small handmade cosmetic business to file product registrations on several hundred soap, lotion, scrub batches produced in a given month.

The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance and its members will continue to support efforts to enhance cosmetic safety while ensuring that requirements are fair to small handmade cosmetic companies that create main street jobs and economic benefits to communities across the nation.