Five Awesome Butters for Your Body.

I hope everyone had a happy 4th and a fantastic weekend! I’m going to start this week off in an awesome way by spreading some ingredient related knowledge! Woo! Get excited!

Okay, I had a list of ten butters but yikes! There is so much information online that I wanted to make sure I was providing a well-cited and well researched post (some places tend to provide sketchy information which I do my best to avoid). Due to the amount of time this took, I just decided to go with five butters for now and include five more butters sometime later in the future when I have more time. :) This way it is a faster read as well, so win-win!

Natural body  butters are great, simple as that. They have multiple uses from the prevention of stretch marks to burn ointments and moisturizers. Most can even be used as natural personal healing remedies for your skin. I love using body butters when I’m about to lay by the pool and tan, and I even use some butters when I go to the gym to prevent stretch marks from rapid muscle growth or skin stretching. I use a lot of natural butters in my recipes at Ember Cove, so it’s definitely worth checking out. Even if you don’t think it sounds interesting, just give it a few sentences before you make your final decision. You’ll probably change your mind!

One of the most popular and well-known butters is Shea Butter, which I will not be listing in this particular list (mostly because I already wrote about it). The butters I’m writing about in this post are not as well known, but don’t let that fool you. They are just as beneficial, or more. Now, I’m not going to go into FULL depth with these butters (I’ll save that for individual posts!) so instead I’m just going to give a quick summary of the most popular things these butters are known for and their natural benefits. Enjoy!

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa Butter – Yummm. I seriously LOVE The scent of this butter in its unrefined and natural state. You won’t be surprised to hear that this naturally chocolate scented butter is extracted from cacao seeds, also known as cocoa beans. Yes, the very same that make delicious chocolate! One of the most popular and well known skin care uses for this scrumptious butter is used by pregnant women to help reduce and fade stretch marks. They are advised to rub pure, unrefined cocoa butter on their bellies every day so the skin remains moisturized. If you already have existing stretch marks, try applying this butter every day and see if they don’t fade. Cocoa butter is an excellent emollient that is very well absorbed by your skin (even as deep as the dermis!). The high content of vitamin E found in this butter is the reason for so many of its beneficial properties. It is most popular for its skin renewal and repair, from scars all the way to full blown skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis.

Cupuacu Butter

Cupuacu Butter

Cupuacu Butter – This butter is claimed by some to be “the strongest moisturizer for skincare”. It has a softer and creamier consistency than cocoa butter, but shares a lot of the same benefits. It is quickly gaining attention for its remarkable water absorption which makes it a fantastic natural emollient that provides deep, long lasting hydration. It has a slight but pleasant aroma that is kind of hard to describe. Highly recommended for mature, aging or damaged skin, the high level of essential fatty acids within Cupuacu Butter give it the ability to restore elasticity to the skin and treat skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis.

Kokum Butter

Kokum Butter

Kokum Butter – Kokum butter is a solid fat that is obtained from kokum seeds grown from the “Garcinia indicia” tree in India. Pure Kokum Butter is well known for its emollient and regenerative properties making it one of the best choices for damaged skin. I find it completely interesting that because it is rich in fatty acids, it provides cell oxygenation and makes nutrients more readily available for use by skin tissues. It also helps to regenerate skin cells. which you have to admit is pretty cool. Kokum butter has the ability to soften and soothe dry, irritated or burnt skin. It also helps to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles of mature and aging skin. This is one of the absolute best options out there for those of you with sensitive skin. Kokum butter is also used to provide moisture to dry lips, chapped hands and soles of the feet.

Lanolin Butter

Lanolin Butter

Lanolin Butter – This nifty butter has been used all the way back to Greek and Roman times. I have to admit, when I first found out what it was I was kind of turned away from it, but I researched more and this butter is pretty legit. So, what is it? Lanolin, also called Wool Fat or Wool Wax, is a thick, greasy and yellow substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. Yes, you read that correctly. But wait, wait. Stay with me here. Don’t walk away from this just yet. Because it is extracted from freshly shorn wool (the sheep is unharmed, it’s just like a haircut), it undergoes a purification process to remove all impurities, so it’s really not gross at all! Lanolin is actually a fantastic moisturizer, and among my top favorites. It acts as a lubricant and prevents water loss, which helps keep the skin soft and smooth. I use a small amount of this butter in my lotions at Ember Cove, and all feedback I have received claim it’s the best moisturizer they have ever tried!

Mango Butter

Mango Butter

Mango Butter – The kernels of the mango fruit contain an extremely rich butter which has been found to be wonderful for skin. In tropical countries, this butter has been used for its rejuvenating properties in healing skin problems, and its fantastic moisturizing qualities. This butter may be very rich, but it is easily absorbed by your skin. It is often used to maintain a youthful appearance. How? Well, mango butter rejuvenates skin due to the presence of antioxidants. This helps it to neutralize toxins, generate skin cell renewal and prevents wrinkle formation. Mango butter also has a protective effect against UV radiation. As you see, this butter is very versatile with range of wonderful qualities. The ability to hydrate skin for long periods of time, lightening of age and sun damage spots, tightening skin and healing eczema, rashes, irritations and generally, bringing back a healthy tone to your skin. Mango butter is even able to work deeper into the skin, healing muscle aches and tensions. Pretty nifty!

These all sound great, don’t they? The best part about this list is that it helps motivate me to create a butter blend for Ember Cove. A massage sounds pretty good  right now, that’s for sure! I have been thinking of making a massage butter for a while, and a few of these that I listed are really convincing me that I need to get on it right away. :)

If you guys have more ideas about what you’d like me to write about, please feel free to comment on this post or send me an e-mail at sales@embercove.com. I really look forward to hearing any feedback! Also, any “likes” on my Facebook will receive a smile and thank you from me. As a thank you for reading this post, I will give you a free $3 coupon towards any purchase at Ember Cove. To receive the coupon, just include a comment/feedback below and relate it to this post (not the coupon). If you’re shy or don’t feel like giving this post feedback, just send me an e-mail for a $2 coupon instead! :D

A thank you to my sources: Livestrong, eHow, Skincare Naturals, Veria Living, Skin Care Secrets, Nicole-Spa, HubPages, Cupuacu Butter, From Nature With Love, Ingredients to Die For, Health and Beauty, Kokum Butter, Beautiful with Brains, Fresh! Food for your Skin, Africa Imports

Happy Independence Day, America!

It’s July already? Not only that…it’s the fourth! :)

Today is a day for celebrating, so make sure to watch the parade, spend time with family, eat a hot dog, barbeque…just enjoy yourself!

I want to take a little look into the history behind today. I know, I know…you probably covered all of this in school. It’s nice to refresh every now and then though, so here we go!

There is no one event that singularly led to the Revolution. The Americans believed that they were entitled to the full democratic rights of Englishmen. The British believed that the American colonies were just colonies, to be used and exploited in whatever way best suited Great Britain. These two conflicting views made conflict inevitable.

The Revolutionary War broke out on April 19, 1775, at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee of five men to write a Declaration of Independence from British Rule. Those men were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence, the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty, was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.

With our celebrations today, it is nice to keep in mind all the struggles this country went to just to become an independent and free nation. Even after the Declaration was signed, the Revolutionary War didn’t stop until 1783.

Have fun with family, go out and barbeque by the pool and watch the fireworks tonight. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen, or at least some kind of sun protection!  Enjoy “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Happy Birthday, to the United States of America.

Thank you to my sources: USA.gov, Congress for Kids, History.com, Archives.gov, USHistory.org, History Central

Calendula Oil – So many remedies!

Calendula Flower

There is an incredibly great reason I use calendula oil as the main ingredient in my Shaving Oil & Skin Salve at Ember Cove. The wide variety of healing remedies this little herb has to offer the skin are simply amazing. You may recognize “calendula” as its other name, the common flower, Marigold. When the flowers are infused into an oil base, the healing properties flourish. For many cases, calendula oil can be used as an alternative to Neosporin. Time to list a few big words. Calendula naturally contains anti-oxidants and offers antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-fungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties. Wow! This makes it useful for disinfecting and treating minor cuts, wounds, and scratches (hence the “Skin Salve” part of my Shaving Oil). Not enough? It is also anti-inflammatory when applied topically. Because of this, you will more than likely find relief and a speedier recovery when applying it to other irritations as well like burns, rashes, bruises, yeast infections, athlete’s’ foot, bee stings, and dry or chapped/cracked skin. In further addition, it will also benefit those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.

My first experience with calendula oil marked the end of my shaving problems for life. I had won a contest on another blog where the prize was a small sample of calendula. When it arrived in the mail, I set it aside for future use. I had read a few things about the healing remedies it had to offer, but the timing wasn’t right to add it to any of my existing Ember Cove products. Well, a few weeks passed and I was getting sick of the red bumps and irritations that my electric shaver caused me, so I tried to shave with a razor instead. I used regular foaming shaving gel, applied liberally, let it soak in and shaved. It felt great, or so I thought. The next morning, my legs were COVERED with razor burn, ingrown hairs, big splotchy rashes…it was a disaster, I even took pictures because it was so bad. Because I own a bath & beauty company that focuses on healing skin irritations, the first thing that popped in to my mind was to grab some ingredient to slather on my shaving battle wounds. I thought of Shea Butter, but that’s really greasy when applied alone, same with coconut oil. Both of those were great options, but I didn’t want my legs to have that greasy shine. The calendula came to mind and I figured, “why not?”. I applied the oil, completely rubbed it into my skin and waited. The next day, the swelling that the ingrown hairs had caused had gone down, but there were still little scars and a few bumps from the previous irritation. A week went by with daily application, the scars completely healed and the ingrown hairs went away. Since I was due for another shave, I used the calendula and mixed it with sunflower oil to experiment. I used a regular throw-away razor with only three blades. The moment of truth came the next morning. I woke up and looked at my legs, and for the first time in 24 years, my legs had no irritations on them. They were as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I was hooked for life! I immediately started working on a recipe for my business, infused the calendula with olive oil and a few other choice oils, and came up with my Shaving Oil & Skin Salve at Ember Cove.

Speaking of baby bottoms, anyone with a baby in their life will appreciate this. One of the best uses for calendula oil is healing diaper rash. It soothes the area instantly, and helps with a speedy recovery for baby’s little hind end! Bed sores and rug burns can even benefit with an application of calendula oil. For the “older” kids, it contains anti-aging properties and broken or varicose veins will benefit from the healing properties. I have seen it suggested to “apply calendula oil after cosmetic waxing or laser procedures to calm the skin and reduce the inflammation and redness quickly while bringing a sense of relief to the site. As a bonus, it will reduce scarring”.

Calendula Oil

The process of creating calendula oil involves immersing the flower heads in an oil (I use olive oil at Ember Cove), and letting them slowly infuse with each other over a period of weeks. Because of this, individuals who are allergic to ragweed, goldenrod, or any other plant in the Asteraceae/Compositae family will probably not benefit from a calendula application. If you aren’t one of these unlucky people, then go ahead and enjoy the benefits of this medicinal oil all you want! Just be sure not to go absolutely bonkers and when using calendula topically, follow general guidelines for first aid, (aka don’t apply it to gaping or oozing wounds).

Be sure to check out the Shaving Oil & Skin Salve I make at Ember Cove! My business is how I make my living, so know that any purchase you make helps me personally. In return, my products are guaranteed to help you so it’s a great deal for both of us! :D Link this article to your friends and family, maybe even the guy at Starbucks who is always on his laptop! Educate everyone with the healing properties of calendula. Consider sending me a “like” on Facebook as well so that I can reach more people with my information. :)

A thank you to my sources:  Effortless  Eating, The Mountain Rose Blog, Delighted Momma, Ageless, Livestrong, Score Skincare, Langua Vert, List of Birthstones

Food For Thought Friday – My Roller-Coaster of a Life!

IMG_0836Here’s a nice, long, and personal “welcome back” post! :) Hope you guys missed me!

Life sure has a way of making sure you’re always on your toes. The past year has been an absolute roller coaster full of changes, both good and bad. There has been death in the family, moves, celebrations, debt, lessons, struggles, happiness, and so much growing. But, here I am today. I am alive, happy, and thankful for every single moment. Past events have helped me learn the difference between who I am and who I want to be. Ever since I realized that these are two different things, I have been working hard every day to better myself as a person. I have made mistakes, some of them worse than others, but who hasn’t? Every day is a new day to change who you were yesterday. There are constant ups and downs in life, and the key is to just accept everything for what it is. I have learned that being upset has never once solved anything. Being proactive and positive does. There are many situations that I wish I had handled differently, but focusing on thoughts like these only made me frustrated. Instead, I have learned from them. I have forgiven myself on the condition that it will never happen again, and that any future situations will be handled with a clear head and complete understanding.

A couple months ago I moved back to Arizona from Maryland. This was a hard move, and it had a terrible weight and negative effect due to the reason behind it. However, with a little help and motivation from my best friend and personal hero, I applied my new way of thinking immediately which saved me a lot of trouble. Instead of grieving or becoming lost in thoughts, I made myself busy and signed up at a University with a Bachelor’s degree in mind. While unpacking, I researched classes and schedules, using each moment of my free time productively. I went to the gym, I read great books and started to get my life back together again. There were trip ups and mess ups, but my best friend continued to reassure me that I was on the right track and everything would be fine. I kept my chin up and stayed positive, and soon good things began to happen. When you keep a bright outlook on life, life tends to reward your efforts.

I honestly couldn’t have accomplished such an amazing 180 life change without the constant reassurance and motivation of my best friend. He has been there for me since day one, and has never once let me get away with a single negative thought. We kept each other on track and have found amazing benefits to our lives and outlook. Hang on to your loved ones closely, motivate them and encourage them every day because you never know when you may have to let them go. Most of all, appreciate them. The people who have seen you at your worst but still love and support you are those you need to truly hang on to. My experiences have shown me the hard way that the very moment you take something for granted, you lose it…and unfortunately, you’re not likely to get it back no matter what you do. I am extremely thankful for my best friend and I let him know it every day. To say he saved my life is an understatement. He  gave me one, and I am truly grateful.

Ember Cove Soap

Ember Cove Soap

Because of my new outlook on life, I did a complete overhaul of my site, www.embercove.com to reflect the great changes that I have experienced. This is a brand new chapter and it can only lead to great things. Whatever trials life throws at me, I can’t say I’ll be ready…but I can say that I will accept them for what they are and handle them accordingly.

New posts will be flowing in a lot more often, so keep your eye on this blog. :) I have a lot to write about and even more to share. My goal is to keep this blog not only to provide information for my company, but also as motivation to anyone else out there who may be struggling. I just have one more thing to say. Everything gets better, but it also gets worse. You just have to accept that life is going to throw something at you when you least expect it, good or bad. You aren’t the same person who you were yesterday,  and as long as you keep trying to stay positive and make happy changes to your life, things will work out for the best. :D

Food for Thought Friday – Get Out of the House!

Notice the new blog layout? I love it and I hope you do too! :) I needed to brighten it up as things have been getting a bit grey for me due to monotony, and I am a very positive and bubbly person normally. The reason for this? Not getting out of the house like I should be.

state park in AZ

State Park in AZ

I moved to my current apartment on April 6th of this year, but due to the 45-50 minute commute to my significant others work, we are moving again into a new rental on July 1st (this time a house!). This will not only put us closer to his work, but it will also allow me to live a bit closer to society which is what I’ve been craving after moving away from home. I originally moved from Arizona, and although I lived in a small town, there was plenty to do close by. Now that I live on the other side of the states and away from family, things are a bit different for me.

Currently, our residence is in the middle of no-where. The post office is a ten minute drive, and any grocery store is twenty minutes away. Our nearest neighbors are never home during the day so my activities for the past months have been cleaning, working on Ember Cove (my favorite thing!), and walking my dog around the neighborhood. The only time I really “get out of the house” is on weekdays when I make my post office runs, and weekends sometimes to go do grocery shopping.

Although a bit lonely sometimes, I do not mind this quiet life most of the time. I try to “make the best of it” with any situation I find myself in. When I am out of the house I make new friends, but there is a peculiar pattern with everyone I meet from this funny little town. Most have lived here their entire life, and have never been out of the state. I live an hour from D.C., and another good portion of people I meet have never even been there. I have been to D.C. a couple times prior to moving close to it, and I’ve only been there once since moving here and that was at night so there wasn’t much to do. Not even venturing out of the state? This is something I can’t even fathom as my family has traveled every summer since I was born.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior in Duluth, MN

Being cooped up in the house for too long usually makes me a bit anxious which can lead to stress in anyone and that is not good. Even going for walks has me wanting a little more adventure. Without a change of scenery, life becomes sort of monotonous which makes a normally laid back and relaxed person a bit irritable (me). I understand that traveling and getting out of the house equals spending money, which is rough on everyone. We’re on a tight budget ourselves, which is why I decided to go do free things this weekend and only pay for food and travel. This weekend we’re going to the National Zoo and hopefully some Smithsonian Museums, all of which are free. The break from the apartment will be so refreshing and I’m absolutely excited about it.

As everyone knows, I try to live life beautifully no matter what. Everyone should try to do the same, although I know it’s frustrating sometimes. Being cooped up in your house or at work will not help with this though, so I highly encourage everyone to get out this weekend and go do something fun! Rain or shine, try your best to make time to get out and see new scenery. Have a picnic with friends or family, drive somewhere down a road you’ve never been and watch the sunset, pick flowers, wave at cars as they drive by…just make sure you’re out of the house! There are so many free things to do, the possibilities are endless.

Lost in NM

Lost in NM

If you have something fun planned for this weekend, please share it! Getting out of our normal rut is extremely healthy and will encourage us to be a lot more positive in our thoughts. Even though I love my business dearly, I’m not happy when I sit at the computer every single day without change. No one is. Use this weekend to refresh your mood and recharge. Forget about your normal routine and find time to relax away from home. Not sure where to go? When I moved I didn’t know either, so I just did a Google search of what to do in this state. Usually state websites are a great way to find something to do that’s near to you, and there’s sure to be at least one thing that you haven’t done yet! If you get lost on the way there and never make it to your destination, that’s an adventure in itself so don’t use it as an excuse for why you didn’t refresh and recharge this weekend. :)

Palm Oil – From a Fruit, Not Your Hands!

Palm OilSince I include palm oil as an ingredient in all of my soap and lotions at Ember Cove, I felt it was time to explain the many beneficial reasons for doing this! This oil is amazing to use internally and also as a cooking oil and hair care product, but I will be covering the benefits for your skin.

Palm oil is oil collected from the fruit of oil palms, which are now grown in a variety of areas. It is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, and is recommended by dermatologists because of its high concentrations of vitamin E to protect skin cells and improve overall health. Because of saturated fats, palm oil is an amazing moisturizer for your skin. Your skin absorbs everything you put on it, and palm oil is a natural substitute for a chemical-based moisturizer.

Palm oil contains natural antibacterials which make it a great opponent against acne. Including this oil as an ingredient helps your skin maintain moisture, yet remain clearand blemish free. Dryness can actually cause the skin to become irritated and sensitive, which can lead to acne as well as a variety of other irritations. Palm oil is also beneficial to use if you have a cut or scrape on your skin, because the oil will kill germs. Even though it is an oil itself, it actually makes it easy to lift oil and dirt off your skin for an absolutely fresh feeling. Included in my soap and lotions for a reason, palm oil ensures your skin stays soft, supple and blemish free! Because it locks in moisture, this ingredient is essential to help heal and soothe many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and dry skin.

Palm oil fruit

Palm Oil Fruit

Here is an interesting anti-aging fact about palm oil! It is rich in toctrienols, a higher form of vitamin E family which is extremely beneficial to your skin. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E, as I have mentioned in my other blogs is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin to fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Betty Kamen, PhD confirms that as a stronger antioxidant than tocopherols, toctrienols have been proven to be more effective in preventing aging and damage from free radicals. Used topically, as with tocopherol, toctrienols are able to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers to enable healing and protection from the base up. Truly a wonderful addition to my soap and lotions!

These are the reasons I have included this amazing ingredient in my soap and lotions, and I hope this information has helped!

I highly suggest checking out the American Palm Oil Council’s website for more amazing information and a very informative and interesting video!

A thank you to my sources: eHow, Livestrong, B4teaSaranabuSa