Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shave Yo Face

On our journey to be chemical free, one of my biggest priorities is skin care.  So many cosmetics, toiletries, soaps, lotions, fragrances, and creams contain toxins, and you know whatever you slather on your skin, is going directly IN to your body.

I have started changing things up in the bathroom, and of course I can't neglect my dear hubby's skin care.  I've always used Aveeno shave gel for sensitive skin on myself.  I get razor burn easily, in case you care to know.  But this is what I've always bought and B will use whatever I put in the shower, so this is what he uses too.  While I have quit using it and just started using soap when shaving, I still buy the same brand.  I'm a creature of habit.

A scan of ingredients on the back of the can raises an eyebrow, there's those parabens and laboratory created other "things." Now, I'm going to be honest here, I failed organic chemistry in college (more than once, gag).  It was hard, very, very hard.  So while I can pronounce these ingredients, I just don't know that they mean, more importantly, I don't want them in my loved one's pores.

You might have heard of Environmental Working Group.  This is their homepage statement:
At EWG, our team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers pores over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and our own laboratory tests to expose threats to your health and the environment, and to find solutions. Our research brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know. 

They also have a cosmetics database.  EWG's Skin Deep and they list  Aveeno Positively Smooth Shower Gel as a 6, on a hazard scale of 1-10. That kind of surprises me.

Earlier in the season we received calendula flowers in our CSA basket and I was real excited about using them for....well I didn't know.  But I do know that calendula lotions and creams are good for your skin and are usually a bit on the expensive side.  The bath cream I use on baby O is made with calendula, and it's very gentle.  I finally figured out that I wanted to use them to make some shaving soap for B.  This was his birthday present.  Good?  Here's some calendula info.
local, organically grown calendula flower tops

oh and it's pronounced like this.
Science Lesson:
Calendula contains flavonoids, which are plant based anti-oxidants.
Anti-oxidants protect against free radical damage.
Free radicals are cells, damaged at the molecular level, which then attack and damage other cells which damage/attack other cells and so on, and so on which could lead to serious issues such as cancer and diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease. See WebMD for more details on this.

Calendula is often used in skin care products because of it's soothing and healing properties when used topically.  It is also known for anti-infammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties which makes it good for rashes, insect bites, burns and dermatitus. More info on that hereand here.  It helps heal by delivering oxygen, and increasing blood flow and that in turn aids in tissue regeneration and healing.

Pretty awesome flower, eh?  It's a kind of marigold.  It's a great companion plant in the garden and it attracts beneficial insects.
dehydrating the flowers
I cut the petals off and ran them through a coffee grinder
dried, fresh, organic, local calendula <3

I don't know how to make shaving cream, BUT one of my very awesome friends turned her soap making hobby into a business.  Isn't that awesome? Dreams come true, all the time. I believe it, and see it.  She uses all natural and organic ingredients in her soaps.  When I say natural, I'm not pulling the wool over your eyes like corporate marketing folks.  I mean like lye, dried herbs from her garden, organic oils, and essential oils.  Period.  No sodium lauryl sulfates or methylparabens, or artificial fragrances or colors.  She's even down for making custom soaps. Yay!

Please check her out on the website, green village soap co.  and like her facebook page, show some love and support.  Ask her when her online shop is opening. (wink, wink Liz)

I handed over the dried and ground petals of these beautiful yellow and orange flowers and 2 weeks later I had a whole batch of shaving soap.  (I saved the seeds to plant next year.)  I think it was about 10 big sized bars.  I don't remember what oils she said she used, maybe some castor oil, but it makes a real rich lather.  I had to play with it and take pictures before writing this.
Shave Soap
I bought a cheapo lathering brush at Sally's, I'm on the look out for a quality brush now.  B says this one smells funny, it's totally from China.  But we've done it!  One more small change in our daily life in which we are now using a healthy product instead of a toxic one.

wet and lather

cheapo brush

calendula shave soap

Hubby's review:
The first time he used it, he said he felt like he didn't use enough and had a couple of rough spots. The second time he used it in the shower and used more, lathered it up a lot and the experience was great.  He says his skin feels good and is looking forward to future experiences.  Like most new things, there's a learning curve I'm sure.  Now should I get him a straight razor? You know, so we can ditch the disposable razors.  I'll get a picture of his freshly shaven or sudsy chin soon.


  1. Yay! Glad he's enjoying the new shaw soap! What an awesome gift! ;)

  2. I think this is my favorite post...although I am reminded (almost daily by my own stench) of the stinky arm pit post! You're so creative and talented! XOXO

    1. Thank you, for reading and for the flowers <3 I didn't know all of the benefits of calendula until I started researching for this post. There are even more uses than I listed. Uh, they're good for hemorrhoids too, haha. It's amazing how powerful something so beautiful is, right?! Soft pretty little petals can fight of diseases.

  3. Sounds good I like the idea of all natural soaps. This was a great idea. All natural everything. You must try some soap with lavender in it for late nite showers or bathing to help you relax at night. I suppose you could use any flower to make a fragrant bath soap. Keep up the great work on all your natural products. I love that you share it with all of us. And enjoy reading of your adventures of living a natural and healthy life. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love it! Thanks for the accolades, haha. Hey I was just looking through the pictures again (which I love) and noticed another product there in the back ground (very nice). Thanks for schooling me on the benefits of calendula, I love learning how beneficial the things that surround us are to our bodies. These things are right under our noses, right within our reach.