Why Handmade Soap is Coming Back

Did you know that anti-bacterial soap could be bad for you? The FDA has just banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals. They stated that there is no evidence to suggest that antibacterial soaps are safe for long term use, or that they are even as effective as traditional soap in killing bacteria and preventing disease. Click here to read the FDA’s full report.

Antibacterial soap made its debut in the late ’70s, but the antibacterial properties weren’t really pushed heavily until the late ’80s. It was sold as a healthcare miracle. Many ads touting the benefits of antibacterial soap were aimed at parents. They even cited pediatrician recommendations. This tactic wasn’t without merit at the time because pediatricians were recommending and using these new soaps. Keep in mind is that soap does not need approval from the FDA to be sold. The FDA can, however, remove soaps or certain chemicals from the market if there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate their safety or effectiveness.

Our detergent-free handmade soaps are available in our Renton clinic or online at http://goodliferenton.com/products.html

This is a case where it has become clear that there is no verifiable benefit to using these ingredients, while at the same time, there is some concern (though little in the way of conclusive proof) that these ingredients might actually be causing harm.

That said, it’s still important to wash regularly, especially during cold and flu season. UNICEF estimates that 2.3 million children die every year from diarrhea and pneumonia-related illnesses every year–deaths that in many cases could have been prevented by this simple habit. In fact, UNICEF has also said that hand washing is “more straight-forward and cost-effective than any single vaccine” in preventing illness.

More regular washing can instantly have an impact on your personal health. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in the general population regular hand washing reduces respiratory illnesses, such as colds, by 16 – 21%. It should also be noted that most of the illnesses that hand washing is meant to prevent come not from bacteria, but from viruses. Understanding that washing and hygeine are important, this has lead to a new golden age for handmade soap.

Handmade soap bubbles back to the surface
Before soaps became a mass-produced commodity, soap making was a common handicraft that used chemicals and materials commonly found in most homes and farms–primarily rendered beef fat called tallow. While some soap makers stick to the old methods, most handmade soaps today are┬ásaponified vegetable based oils. The main problem with this uptick in the production and popularity of handmade soaps is variation of quality, and even safety.

Yes, soap is soap. It’s sanitary function is fairly uniform across the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean handmade soaps are all created equal. In terms of how soap works on your skin, there can be a world of difference between bars depending on a number of factors including ingredients, manufacturing methods, and even the climate you’re in.

At The Good Life Massage, we sell handmade soaps made with as many natural ingredients as possible. They contain no detergents, which can cause irritation. To learn more about our soaps and other handmade skin care products, visit our Products page. We also strongly recommend you like the This Side of Paradise Facebook page.

Tom Gunn is a freelance writer and is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. To hire Tom or to see more of his work, visit www.tgunnwriter.com.

How A Little Salt Can Help You Sleep

Get the low-down on one of our most popular products. Peaceful Nights Bath Salts combine a rich blend of essential oils formulated to soothe your nerves and help you sleep.

Now through 10/31/2015, our handmade bath salts are $1 off! Stop in to get yours today.

Special thanks to former intern Byron Benson for writing the script for this video.

Tom Gunn is the Director of Marketing and blog editor for the The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

A Sweet Treat for Hands and Feet: Handmade Sugar Scrubs

It sounds weird.

It sounds delicious.

It’s neither, actually. Our handmade sugar scrubs are a sweet treat for your hands or feet. This product is a gentle exfoliation treatment that’s perfect for the extremities, but can be used anywhere you would like softer, more rejuvenated skin.Peppermint Handmade Sugar Scrub

Where does it come from?
Like most of our products, Handmade Sugar Scrub is made under the same roof as our massage clinic using all-natural ingredients. These ingredients include:

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Pure Vegetable Glycerin
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • All-Natural Fragrance, including essential oils

Our own Amy Gunn formulated this product herself and does most of the manufacturing with her own hands and with the help of our staff. Ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible.

Why sugar?
While salt is often favored for spa products like this, salt can dry out your skin. Sugar has a similarly rough texture to exfoliate without damaging the skin.

How do I use it?

1. Before applying, open the container. The ingredients may have settled, so you’ll need to stir things up before using. Use the scoop (included) to gently stir the product so all the ingredients are well mixed.
2. With the scoop, apply the product to rough or dry skin. Most people use it for hands or feet, but it can be effective anywhere on your body.
3. Gently scrub in a circular motion.
4. Rinse with warm water, moisturize, and enjoy softer, healthier skin.

What does it smell like?
Handmade Sugar Scrub comes in five fragrances, including:

Sweet Pea
We use this fragrance popular fragrance in several of our products. This floral smell manages to gently delight your senses without coming on too strong.

The subtle smell of sweet peas makes this fragrance one of our most popular, for all our products, but especially the sugar scrub.
The subtle smell of sweet peas makes this fragrance one of our most popular, for all our products, but especially the sugar scrub.

This fragrance comes from therapeutic-grade essential

Peppermint essential oils add a crisp and sharp fragrance while feeling cool and soothing on the skin.
Peppermint essential oils add a crisp and sharp fragrance while feeling cool and soothing on the skin.

oils. Not only does it have a crisp, clean scent, it creates a pleasant cooling sensation on the skin.

The natural citrus oils in this fragrance will get you moving. This is perfect if you plan on using it first thing in the morning or any time you feel a lull in your energy.

Citrus Blossom
This is a sweet blend of mostly fruity undertones with the slightest hint of floral and musk. The effect is that it slightly elevates your mood while soothing your senses.

White Grapefruit
This is scented with therapeutic-grade grapefruit essential oil. Sweet and mouthwatering.

Custom Order
If there’s a scent you’re particularly fond of, we may be able to make it for you! Email or call (425-243-7705) for more information.

Where do I get it?
You can stop in at our clinic to pick some up! We’re open 9 AM to 9 PM Monday to Friday and 8 AM to 8 PM on Saturday. We’re located at 200 South Tobin St. in Renton, Washington.

It can also be purchased online from our products page. If you’re from Renton or the greater Seattle area, you can save on shipping and pick up your order directly from our clinic.

Tom Gunn is the official blogger and marketing director at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.