Back to Basics—Why Simple Ingredients Matter

'New' Isn't Always Better When it Comes to Your Skin

Many inventions are wonderful and make our lives infinitely better, like refrigerators or eye glasses or light bulbs. But new isn’t always better. As time passes, we sometimes discover the things we invented weren’t so great after all.

This appears to be the case with many of the chemical ingredients we’ve added to bath products over the years. Back in the ‘50s, discovering new fragrance molecules or lathering and stabilizing agents was all the rage. But the tides have since turned. That’s why the body products you find at your local naturals store have labels like “No parabens” and “No phthalates.” It turns out some of these ingredients are carcinogenic, or not biodegradable, or toxic to wildlife, or…who knows what else!

Makers and consumers alike are now asking themselves: Why fool around with chemicals when nature has already provided us with the optimal ingredients to nourish our bodies? While the cons of chemical ingredients can take years to come to light, nature’s ingredients have been accepted as tried and true for centuries.

For instance, look at Cleopatra, the stunning Egyptian queen – the first true Kardashian! Her most famous beauty secret was a simple, yet luxurious one; she loved to bathe in milk and honey. Not only did the two ingredients leave her skin sweetly scented, but they also left it soft and revitalized.

Centuries later, the straightforward benefits of those kinds of ingredients haven’t changed. And if they were good enough for Cleopatra, a queen renowned for her striking beauty, surely they’re good enough for our skin today.

Let’s take a closer look at honey, for starters.

HONEY

In just about any household, honey already serves a number of purposes, from sweetening tea to calming a harsh cough. Touted for its antioxidant properties, it appears in a range of remedies and recipes for ingestion. But it’s just as useful when applied externally to the body (although it can be a bit sticky all by itself)!

Whether you bathe in it like Cleopatra, comb it through your hair for conditioning, or apply it to a wound, honey has the ability to heal and enhance the body. One secret behind its powerful effects is the fact that it’s a humectant, which means it actually attracts moisture. Take a dish of honey and leave it out, and you’ll find condensation on it.

When used on the skin, it helps to draw and lock in moisture, as well. The French, renowned for their history of fine soap making, blend honey into their triple milled soap because its natural sugars create a rich lather. Honey soaps make for a truly wonderfully moisturizing experience. Want to add some sweetness to your life? Go get that honeypot out of the pantry.

OLIVE OIL

Selena Gomez drinks it to keep her amazing vocal chords in show-ready shape. For Sophia Loren, it’s a facial moisturizer. British rockstar Sting produces it himself at his Tuscan estate because he’s so convinced of its all-around benefits. For all these reasons and more, olive oil is next on our list of swoon-worthy, completely natural ingredients.

Olive oil is packed with nutrients, particularly B vitamins, which help the body produce energy, aid the nervous system in functioning properly, and keep the skin, hair, eyes, and liver healthy. Vitamin E is also found in each little olive, blocking free radicals and slowing the physical signs of aging.

And, of course, olive oil is well-known for its ability to deeply moisturize and soothe the skin. The best part is that it does so without causing irritation, which can sometimes be a problem when things like animal fats are used instead. Need to give your skin a pick-me-up? Try a little  olive-y goodness.

SEAWEED

Let’s be honest—we all avoid seaweed and its squiggly tendrils when we take a dip in the ocean or go strolling along the strand. Though seaweed appears in various textures and shades, it’s always alarming when it brushes up against your leg underwater or gets squished underfoot.

Well, it’s time to put those childish feelings aside and recognize all the reasons we LOVE seaweed when we’re here on dry land! After all, it’s everywhere these days. It’s in that delicious sushi you had for lunch, the daily multi-vitamin you popped this morning, and your favorite toothpaste—all because it’s extremely nutrient dense.

Seaweed contains folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium, just to name a few helpful minerals. With a roster like that, it’s no wonder it’s one of nature’s go-to ingredients. Offering gentle exfoliation without irritation, it’s also become a fabulous addition to a variety of Baudelaire Soaps and easily clears away dead skin cells to make way for healthy ones. Definitely time to revisit your relationship with this jewel of the sea! Your skin will be glad you did!



loofa soap assortment with seaweed and olive oil

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