Have you ever picked up a product that claimed to "alcohol free" but when you read the ingredient label you see things like cetyl alcohol? Is that false advertising?
No, not at all! However, we will admit that it's not always easy to decipher an ingredient label. Alcohols actually consist of a variety of different compounds and some are absolutely delightful on your skin!
Read more HERE
Halal products are one of the fastest growing cosmetic categories on the market today.
The U.S. currently has around 3.3 million Muslims which has its own set of Islamic law called Sharia.
Part of Sharia law are the rules given for what may be ingested or use externally on your body. This can make it tricky when trying to determine if food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and even bath and body products are appropriate for a Muslim. The following article tries to help navigating those ingredient & product choices.
1). Our products are fresher. Since we do not supply mass distributors and only a select few brick-and-mortar retail outlets, our products are never in a storage room or sitting on a shelf for weeks on end. We would rather be out of stock for a few days than ship out product which we don't consider to be at its optimal freshness. This also allows us to minimize synthetic preservatives and some products don't require ANY preservative! Yee-haw!
2). We are always open! Unless otherwise stated on our website or FB page, all orders are on their way to you the next business day. We know how much you enjoy opening our boxes of colorful happiness so we hate to keep you waiting! And whether you live in LA or NYC, your shipping is always one low rate of $5.95!!
3). Safe & secure. We probably all heard the news stories of Target (40 million debit/credit cards affected), Home Depot (56 million cards) and other retailers who suffered huge credit card data breaches over the last 3 years. Holy-moly, that's a lot of cards!
German Soap Box's secure shopping cart is Level 1 PCI compliant and uses 256-bit SSL certificates to keep order details secure. Your credit card information comes to us encrypted so we never have direct access to it. Want more options? No problem! We also have PayPal as another safe alternative.
4). GSBonus Points! Open an account and automatically earn discount points. No membership card to fish out of your wallet, no PIN numbers to remember, and use whenever you like. Even non-purchase related activity earns you points such as sharing on FB and your birthday! We just love being able to say to you "Herzliche Glückwünsche zum Geburtstag!" (Yep, all that means "Happy Birthday" in German)
5). Your products are in pristine condition, never touched by another customer! Ever go into a retail bath and body store and watch how people touch everything? Hold bath bombs right up to, and even touching, their noses? Take soaps out of their boxes? Allow small children to get their little hands on EVERYTHING (and we know how "clean" those hands can be)? Customers trying to be sneaky by partially pulling back a tamper proof seal? Sufficiently grossed out?
We love what we do and the products we make! We will continue to grow our product line with the same passion and commitment to excellence - family traditions wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for being part of the growing GSB family and share with a friend!
Lord knows I've been around the block a few times (and around, and around, and around). My point is I have had enough time to expose my skin, hair and body to so many "beauty routines" that I could be an approved FDA laboratory. Or toxic waste dump, whichever.
Fortunately, I learned a few good rules early on that I credit my "you-look-younger-than-your-age" appearance. Beauty trends come and go, mostly dependent on what they're trying to sell you, but avoiding these 5 common mistakes will pay big dividends down the road!
- Exfoliate: Often! Now I don't mean your face should be tomato red after harshly scrubbing it. There's a big difference between scrubbing your skin to the point of scratching & damaging your dermal layer vs removing the excess dead skin layer. I have also heard women say that they don't want to exfoliate because they feel their skin is already too dry. To their surprise they need to exfoliate MORE often! Why? Because as we age our skin does not turn-over as quickly, dead skin cells accumulate and our moisturizers are less able to penetrate to be effective.
- SPF 30+ : Yes, and none of this wimpy SPF 4 or 8 stuff. If you're serious about an anti-aging routine it needs to start with your fight against the #1 wrinkle producer: the sun! AND this needs to be applied every day, preferably reapplying during the day. Reapplying cream or SPF make-up could be time consuming, but there are good SPF powder based formulations that make your touch-ups a snap! There are many sunscreens being sold at SPF 50 or even SPF 70 but there is little additional advantage above SPF 50. I have been using sunscreen daily since I was 26 and I credit that with 80% of my anti-aging success.
- Going to bed without cleansing your face: I can remember doing this in my early twenties but this is simply gross! Your body and skin rejuvenate during sleep and if your keep your pores dirty & clogged you are robbing yourself of your body's natural beauty regimen. Sleeping represents nearly a third of our life so don't underestimate its healing powers. Think of it this way - your night time skin routine provides dermal nourishment, your day time routine targets protection (SPF/sun).
- Applying your products in the wrong order: Beauty companies love to sell you a dozen different products claiming they each do separate, miraculous things. I'm not here to dispute any claims but generally products can be put into four categories and should be applied in this order:
- #1 - cleansers and, if desired, toners
- #2 - nourishing serums which are normally water based for quick absorption & penetration. These products are generally best for anti-oxidant treatments, enzymes, vitamins such as C, A and E, and other active ingredients such as CoQ, polyphenols in green tea extracts, proanthocyanidins found in grape seed extract, and chlorogenic acid found in honey suckle extract.
- #3 - moisturizers in the form of lighter lotions. These are typically thinner in consistency, not thick like body butter. You want this product light enough to allow for proper application while allowing maximum absorption. Less is definitely more in this phase.
- #4 - It's time to seal the deal! By this I mean you want to seal #2 & #3 in to do their magic. This is typically your heavier cream, often sold with descriptive terms such as "night time" cream or has the word butter in it. This layer prevents trans-dermal water loss. Please just be careful with your product selection because many manufacturers use petrolatum based ingredients such as paraffin. If your skin tends to be very oily or blemish prone you may opt to skip #4 because a sealant is more likely to clog pores.
5. Over-Cleansing Your Hair: Having had oily skin and hair for as long as I can remember, I used to wash my hair every day with a standard, over-the-counter shampoo. There are actually two mistakes here - too frequent AND the wrong product. Forget all the sodium laurel sulfate based shampoos! Also known as SLS, this ingredient is added to shampoos because of its ability to create lots of lather. After all, haven't we all been brainwashed to believe that more lather equates to better & cleaner? Well, along with all that lather you're washing away your hair's natural protective sheen, gloss, and strength. A cleanser with milder surfactants applied just at the root is more than sufficient! To the remainder of your hair apply a creamy conditioner that keeps your hair shaft sealed and smooth. Your goal is to protect the hair shaft because once it's split or broken there is no such thing as "hair repair".
There you have it! Not rocket science or advanced chemistry, just simple guidelines that offer a solid foundation to your beauty routine. Keep calm and glam on!
All German Soap Box soaps are free of triclosan. Unfortunately, many manufacturers still add triclosan (a chemical antibacterial agent) especially in liquid soaps, but does it make a soap any better?
Triclosan has been marketed as if it makes the product more effective. After all, aren't you made to feel like an educated and wise consumer, protector of your family and defender of all things germy & gross?
The Nov 2014 issue of UC San Diego Health System online news release stated "Triclosan is already under scrutiny by the FDA, thanks to its widespread use and recent reports that it can disrupt hormones and impair muscle contraction."
Part of this information was originally published in the Nov 17th Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences http://www.pnas.org/content/109/35/14158.abstract
and highlights three big concerns:
- Laboratory tests that also appear to be relevant in humans show that triclosan causes liver fibrosis and cancer.
- Triclosan is so widely used - in toothpaste, shame, soap, etc - and has even been found in 97% of breast milk in lactating women.
- Triclosan has demonstrated that it weakens the contractility of both cardiac and skeletal muscles.
An alarming numbers of other studies suggest that Triclosan is a growing environmental and health concern. In the August 13, 2012 issue of UC Davis News and Information, it states: “The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic,” said Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, professor of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis and a study co-author. “Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.”
The FDA is currently reviewing the use of triclosan in soaps and should release their data results in 2016. In the mean time, Minnesota has passed the first statewide ban on triclosan in consumer soaps starting in 2017.
Is Triclosan worth all the concern? Considering that the American Medical Association doesn't even endorse the use of Triclosan due to the risk of promoting drug-resistant super-bugs, we say no. Besides, simple hand-washing with soap and water is still your best first defense against transmitting germs.
Have you ever noticed that after you purchase a new car you suddenly see that model everywhere? A vehicle that seemed to be rarely seen now appears on every street corner. Where did they all come from?!?
Well, of course, they have been there all a long but now your perspective has changed, and more importantly, you are simply more receptive to the visual cues. It's very similar when it comes to love and giving.
What I mean is that love and joy are always around us; they intrinsically exist in nature if we are receptive to the cues. Do you see them? The heart, the symbol of love, embraces so many things. It's almost as if nature wants to remind us of what's at the "heart" of the matter, that love is ultimately what makes life worthwhile.
Once you realize that the heart symbol is nearly ubiquitous your eye becomes programmed to recognize it. Do you see it in the graceful lines of the green leaf? The smooth edge of the succulent cherry? I love how the tree seals it's bark in the shape of a heart after it has lost a branch. It's as if nature wants to teach us how love conquers all.
Before long love is seen in places where you wouldn't expect it! In other words, love is there if we invite it into our lives. There is such beauty in that eloquent truth. It's a beautiful gift that we can choose to receive or reject. I think the choice is obvious. Love all.