One of the things I love about going to markets is that I get to speak directly to my customers. I hear what they like (and don’t!), what they’re looking for and what’s important to them. And I get asked to make products. Something I’ve been asked for quite a lot is a solid moisturising bar, so I’m happy to say that this month I’m introducing the Hemp Skin Bar - a solid moisturising bar based on pure New Zealand cold-pressed hemp seed oil that can be used all over your body.
What is zero-waste moisturiser?
The ingredients are simple - hemp oil, shea butter and top-quality local beeswax. I’ve left it unscented but the hemp (which is more than one third of the total ingredients, so you’re getting a lot of hemp bang for your buck) gives it a delicately herbal, earthy scent which combines beautifully with the naturally sweet honey smell of the beeswax. The hemp also gives the bar a really nice shade of green - like all of my products, there are no artificial colours to be found here. Hemp is a member of the same family as marijuana, but without any narcotic properties. It is becoming more and more widely planted by farmers in New Zealand as people realise the benefits of using both its oil and fibres. So we can now buy locally grown and processed cold pressed hemp seed oil.
Why hemp oil for this bar?
The short answer is that hemp seed oil is an amazing substance which can really help your skin out. This product has the ability to moisturise without clogging pores, but it is also anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and can aid healing by stimulating cell regeneration. And while it may seem counter-intuitive, using a hemp oil-based product may help treat acne.
How does hemp work with your skin?
Hemp contains a range of phytochemicals which are beneficial for skin health, including gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6). It can help to balance oily skin, hydrating it while regulating oil production. GLA also has anti-inflammatory properties and it encourages skin growth and new cell generation. So, while it helps calm inflammation and irritation, it nourishes and moisturises, encouraging healing. This isn’t only beneficial for acne - it may help treat psoriasis and dermatitis too.
Don’t forget to spoil Mum next month with our Mothers’ day gifting guide!
Now, the second important bit of news this month is that Mothers’ Day is coming on Sunday, May 8! The Soap Kitchen has always had a great array of gift boxes to suit every person and occasion, but with the arrival of the Hemp Skin Bar and earlier this year the Savon de Wanaka, we’ve got some new ones and some changes. Do you realise how easy it is to send gifts to your friends and family using the Soap Kitchen? The only thing you need to do is to place your order online. At checkout, there’s an option to add a handwritten note. We will pack your order beautifully and sustainably, handwrite your message for you, wrap your box and ship it wherever it needs to go. How quick and easy is that?
New Soap Kitchen Giftboxes for Mum
So here are the details on the new gift boxes we’ve got available online for Mothers’ Day:
First up, the Allover Pamper Box - it seems a must to add the hemp skin bar in there, so that’s what we’ve done and we’ve also added a sisal soap bag. Allover pampering should definitely be on the agenda for mums!
There’s also a new Special Treat Box. I’ve been talking a lot about our new olive oil-based Savon de Wanaka, so we really needed to put it in a gift box too. The Special Treat Box has a Face Butter with Manuka Honey and a big block of Savon de Wanaka which are sure to make someone feel special (not to mention clean and fresh and hydrated).
There’s also a big daddy version of the Plastic Free Starter Box - the Totally Plastic Free Box. It has everything you - or someone you know - needs for plastic free living. Starting at the kitchen sink with a dish cage and solid detergent bar, moving to the shower with a soap, a shampoo bar and a conditioner bar and then to after shower with a hemp skin bar and a beeswax wrap to keep it in.
Perfecting the art of plastic free + zero waste gifting.
One of the best reasons for giving the Soap Kitchen gift boxes is that as well as being full of naturally beneficial and practical products they are designed to be plastic free and zero waste from the bottom up. Most of our products are packaging free - the bars have a sticker at most. Our body and face butters come in a tin which you can either recycle or re-purpose (they make a great travel case for your shampoo and conditioner bars) and of course the new Hemp Skin Bar only comes in a beeswax wrap if that’s what you want. The gift packaging itself consists only of cardboard and wood shavings - you can recycle or start your fire with them! If you’re gifting one to someone and I’m sending it for you, I’ll wrap it in brown paper to protect it on its journey and even the tape I use is paper rather than plastic based. Ideally, get your Mothers’ Day orders in before the end of April to make sure they arrive in time.
Our new moisturiser bar is a winner for another really obvious reason - it doesn’t require packaging. It does perhaps need some protection though, especially if you’re going to travel with it. Perhaps you have an old tin at home, but if not, you can buy your bar wrapped in its own beeswax wrap. If you’re giving it as a gift, the lucky recipient can either use the wrap for their bar, or, if they don’t need it for that, they can happily transfer it to the kitchen for use there. No fragrance and no nasties mean no reason not to use the wrap for food.
Sustainable gift Wrapping alternatives
If you want to have your gift box shipped to you and hand it over in person, there’s actually no need to wrap it, but you certainly can if you want to extend the surprise. How about using a beautiful piece of fabric or an op-shop silk scarf instead of a throwaway option? A fabulous tea towel is another good option - place your box in one corner, lift the corner over it and roll tightly to the opposite corner. Then take the two long ends and tie them in a double knot. Tuck a fresh flower in and you’re good to go!
Looking to extend the life of your soap bars?
The final addition to the Soap Kitchen product range this month is the Sisal Soap Bag. This is another item that I’ve introduced because customers ask for it. It has a few useful functions, the first one being that it stops the smaller ends of soap going down the drain and being wasted. Secondly, it helps stimulate lather and gives your skin a good scrub. And thirdly - just like we do with the finer bags for shampoo and conditioner - you can hang it on a hook in your shower so it is well out of the way of the water stream and has the chance to dry out between uses. (I spoke about the importance of this last month - when your soap has a chance to dry out, it lasts longer)!