Sea Salt Acne Soap: Naturally Banish Blemishes

Posted on May 19, 2015 by Kathleen Souder | 0 comments

As someone who has struggled with blemishes and acne her entire life, it's been really gratifying to hear how much our Sea Salt Acne Soap and Himalayan Pink Salt Soap has helped so many of our customers with the same issues (and I wish we had developed this product when I was going through high school!) We've shipped this soap to almost every state in the country, and it's quickly become one of our most popular and re-ordered items and we hear over and over again from people who say it's the only thing that's helped clear up their complexion. For those interested, I thought I'd share a little information on ingredients and natural products that are powerful and effective in balancing and clarifying your complexion. 
  • True Soap (non-detergent): Most facial soaps and cleansers in the market are detergents, which are generally synthetically-derived cleansers that almost always have added foaming enhancers (sulfates) and chemical fragrances. These detergents can be quite harsh, irritating the face and skin, causing inflammation, and stripping the skin of its natural oils and defense barriers. By contrast, a true soap (comprised of natural oils or fats and mixed with an alkaline salt) are typically much gentler on the skin, the molecules of which are ionically charged to attract and attach to dirt or impurities so they can be washed away with water. 
  • Sea Salt: Naturally derived sea salt is rich in minerals and compounds that do wonders for your skin: extracting impurities, reducing redness and inflammation, and naturally and gently balancing the skin's pH to reduce the formation and growth of blemishes. 
  • Natural Toners and Hydrosols: It's super important to note here that we only recommend natural toners and hydrosols without any additions of alcohol or preservatives. A toner can be spritzed on the face just after cleansing and before moisturizing, and hydrosols can sprayed on the face before or after makeup application or really anytime during the day! These products will help further balance the skin's natural pH and while not crucial, can further balance and clarify your skin. 
  • Natural Moisturizers: While we can (and will, soon!) dedicate an entire post to natural body and facial moisturizers, we'll just leave this short and sweet: we're fans of natural oils and serums if you'd like to moisturize your face. You may be surprised that we recommend using oils when trying to prevent breakouts and acne--but the fact that oil does not cause blemishes is a myth we're happy to bust! We make an Illuminating Face Serum that does an amazing job in clarifying complexions and fading any acne scars or discoloration--but regardless of what you use, please make sure its free of petroleum by-products, parabens, and stay away from the word "fragrance" unless that smell is provided by an essential oil. 

Here's to clear and happy skin--and if you have any questions, comments, or tips, please feel free to share them here! 

One quick note about Sea Salt Acne Soap usage: if you experience tiny whiteheads after using the soap, in many instances this is a case of the skin purging impurities and toxins. Of course, everyone's skin is different so use your best judgement if this does not clear up within a few days of use. 

Rainwater Farm + McQueen Pottery

Posted on May 06, 2015 by Kathleen Souder | 0 comments

I was eight years old when Rainwater Farm was founded, and it wasn't long after when I started tagging along with mom to every single craft fair or arts festival. Weekends at these fairs were spent helping out at the booth, but I'd take the chance to escape so I could visit the booths of other craftsmen and artisans: potters, woodworkers, textile artists, jewelry makers. Looking back, I realize I was immersed in the "maker" community long before this term re-entered the hipster vocabulary, and feel lucky to have been exposed to so much beautiful handcrafted work from across the region. 
Now that I'm back in the family business, one of the first things I wanted to do was start a series of limited-edition collaborations between Rainwater Farm and some of our very favorite local artisans. So it goes without saying that I am so excited to announce the launch of our very first with Leanne Moe McQueen of McQueen Pottery. Mom and I have loved Leanne's work for years now, and her pieces grace the cabinets and shelves of our home. Her dishware is simple, organic, and minimal, and has already taken our region by storm.  For our collaboration, Leanne created a limited-edition soap dish in both white and stone ceramic and we've packed it in a handmade, reclaimed wooden box by yet another Maryville craftsperson. We think these sets would make a lovely gift for any occasion, and can be purchased here on our website

It Takes a Thief: Fact vs. Fiction

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Kathleen Souder | 180 comments

In the middle ages, a band of thieves raided and looted the homes of those who were struck down by the Bubonic Plague. They were successful in their plundering because they were protected by a blend of essential oils that they would apply to their bodies and dab in their noses. 

We’ve carried It Takes a Thief products for a few years now, and our unique blend of lemon, clove, rosemary, cinnamon and eucalyptus oils has built up quite a loyal following of customers who swear by it and return year after year to stock up–especially during cold and flu season. And, while we love this story and its many tellings and variations, we know that you probably want to know if it has any basis at all in reality before you buy. The good news? It does!

There are dozens of academic journal articles and abstracts that have shown these essential oils (among others) to be effective antimicrobial agents and antiseptics. These essential oils packed a punch for E. coli and Helicobacter pylori bacterias, as well as fungi like Candida albicans. We rounded up a few of what we found to be the most compelling studies and wanted to share them (here,here, and here) in case you’d like some light bedtime reading.

Or, you could just take the thieves’ word for it.

It Takes a Thief products we carry include:

Natural Antibacterial Bodywash: Use on a washcloth or loofah during daily showers. This also can be used as a foaming liquid soap concentrate for refills.
Natural Antibacterial Bar Soap: Straightforward, for daily use.
Antibacterial, Triclosan-Free Foaming Liquid Soap: A winter sink side staple for all that handwashing–antibacterial hand soap without the chemicals and additives.
Natural Disinfecting Spray: Spritz around your body before you head out, or use as a room spray.

How do you use our It Takes a Thief products? We’d love to hear about your experience!