Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Relief

In the grim aftermath of what happened last Friday in Japan I sit here feeling like such a little person in this very big world wondering if anything I do to help would make a dent.  Well I am going to do something anyway.  We have lots of soaps from seasons past here at Soapsmiths that look really beautiful but let's face it, no one is buying flip flop shaped soaps in March.  So we are sending them across the pond to the Japan relief effort.

Why send soap you may ask?  While we know that many MANY items are needed soap is also important to keeping an environment sanitary and helping to prevent health problems such as diarrhea, infections from cuts, colds, flu, lower respiratory infections, impetigo and more.  These problems will affect mainly young children.  Something as simple as having access to a bar of soap to wash their hands can prevent a plethora of illnesses.  Some studies project a 42-47% reduction in these health risks with proper sanitation.

So yes, we the little Soapsmiths will be sending our soaps to Japan and other countries to help reduce health risks for the children and people who need it most.  If everyone does something, even if they feel they are too small to make a difference, it will make a difference in the end and people will be thankful, even if we never cross paths with the person we helped, know that it will make a difference in their lives.  I don't know about you but that's all I need to know.

For more information on donations please check out these links:
http://www.habitat.org/  < although it may be some time until they can start to rebuild, they are international.

There are tons of sites, please take a minute to search the web, if you find a great one, let me know and I will list it here so everyone can see it.

Be generous my friends
~Your Soapsmith

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cleanin' out our closets

So you may have heard already but the Soapsmiths are relocating up to wild wonderful Vermont.  Burlington, Vermont to be exact.  As I am here at my own house cleaning and packing I was sorting through a bunch of old lotions, soaps, make-up and whatever else I managed to just throw into the drawer "for later use."  It is good to go through your products at least yearly and THROW AWAY OLD PRODUCTS!!!  

The reason for this is for many products with active ingredients the ingredients will not stay active indefinitely, they may become weaker over time or just simply be ineffective.  For other products such as lotions, face creams, serums etc.  They are not meant to last forever.  Even those with preservatives have a life span, preservatives can give a product a longer and safer shelf life but it does not make it indefinite.  My rule of thumb for my bathroom is that if it is more than one year old it gets tossed and that's it.

On some products you may notice a little picture of a container with the lid propped open and a number and letter next to it, this indicates that the product is good for XX time frame once opened.  Usually the letter designation is M which stands for Months, I find that to be very helpful when I can actually remember when I bought and opened that item.

Another thing to remember is that the ingredients themselves have a lifespan let alone the mixture.  Certain oils have longer shelf lives than others.  Jojoba for instance can last for a year or slightly longer, but if that same product has an ingredient with a super short life span such as hemp oil then the product may not last for one year and may not smell so pleasant after awhile.  I have also found that certain fragrances and essential oils tend to fade over time, leaving me with a non-scented item or just the sad reminder of how great it once smelled.

The moral to this story is to purchase things in quantities that you know you can use in a reasonable amount of time.  If you are slow to use a certain something or like to have multiple scents around buy small so you don't have to throw your dollars out.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

Happy spring cleaning!

~Your friendly neighborhood Soapsmith