Monday, March 31, 2008

Read this before you light your next candle!

Each time you light a soy candle, you not only create a beautiful atmosphere, you also light a candle that is better for you and the environment.

In the candle industry, paraffin candles have been around a very long time and are a byproduct of crude oil. Did you know that burning a paraffin candle creates the same air quality as sitting behind a diesel truck inhaling exhaust fumes?

A few chemicals normally found in paraffin candles include formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, ethanol, and acetone. Add petroleum based fragrances and you got a toxic cocktail burning in your home.

High levels of indoor pollutants are a major problem considering that airborne soot can penetrate the deepest areas of the lungs and the lower respiratory tract. Emissions in the home are estimated to stay around for up to 10 hours after extinguishing a paraffin candle.

Paraffin candles also burn more quickly and much hotter than soy wax candles which increases a concern for fire hazards. Environmentally, paraffin is a non-renewable resource, where soy can be grown easily by US farmers and is a renewable source.

Have you ever notices black soot around your candle when it burns? Do you have soot on your walls or drapery near candles that have burned? Pure Soy wax candles do not create soot.

EclipseSpa candles are hand-poured and made from 100% soybean wax. They are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and contain no lead or petroleum.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lavender to Calm and Soothe Your Soul

Lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia is better known for its aromatherapy benefits, soothing, calming, relaxing, and stimulating. Medicinally, Lavender is an antitumoral, an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory and prevents the build-up of sebum, a skin oil that bacteria feed on. The French Scientist Rene Gatefosse was the first to discover lavender’s ability to promote tissue regeneration and speed wound healing when he severely burned his arm in a laboratory accident. Today, Lavender is still one of the few essential oils to still be listed in the British Pharmacopeia. Lavender is one of the few floras that is the least allergenic, yet so versatile that it can be used in body moisturizers, candles, and soaps. It is most certainly a spa favorite and commonly used during aromatherapy massages.

Lavender angustifolia is also known as Lavender, English Lavender, or True Lavender. It is a small, herbaceous to semi-woody, semi-evergreen perennial or perennial herb that you might see along walkways, raised walls, or borders. It is also often referred to as the “queen of herbs” for gardens.

Lavandula translates as “to wash” referring to an extract of Lavender being used as an oil in the bath. Angustifolia translates as “narrow-leaved”.

In the kitchen, Lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking. English Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) has the sweetest fragrance of all the lavenders and is one most commonly used in cooking. For salads, the lavender flowers add a beautiful color. The spikes and leaves of lavender can be used in most dishes in place of rosemary in most recipes. Use the spikes or stems for making fruit or shrimp kabobs. Just place your favorite fruit on the stems and grill.

Take a look at our selection of Lavender products, and our featured spa recipe this month which is Seared Scallops with Lavender, Lime and Champagne. Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Doing it Green

As a business owner I had to decide philosophically how to run my business, making choices not only about what is important to me, but also to what my customers, and prospective customers, need and expect from a company. With the heightened media coverage on Global Warming, the Live Earth Day Concert, and everyone making adjustments, on both a corporate level as well as individuals committing to sustainable practices everyday at home, I feel that we can no longer deny that there is a long-term problem. If each person doesn’t do their part, we will experience devastating consequences. With this in mind, I made the decision that EclipseSpa would be a green company, one that people could trust to have high regard for both its customers and the planet.

Committing to being a green company was a full-time job. In addition to creating a compelling product line that’s made from natural ingredients that are free from known toxins, I had to source materials such as recyclable containers, business cards, stationary and gift packaging made from environmentally friendly materials. I spent hours of research online in order to make good, sustainable choices for every aspect of my business. Initially, I was worried about the quality of my stationary when considering green printers for my brochure and business cards. Would they look cheap if I had them printed on recyclable material? I haven’t seen a quality difference at all. In fact, they look better than the chemical based products. And the process of using recycled paper and soy-vegetable inks is much less harmful to the environment than their petroleum based counterparts. My stationary is made from tree-less materials, which I find far more interesting than stationary printed on ordinary paper.

The decision to invest a considerable amount of money on environmentally friendly gift packaging was a hard, but necessary decision. I could have stayed with ordinary white gift boxes, which would have been a lot less expensive, but I felt I would be cheating my customers if I did so. So with careful research and the help of a great green business organization called Coop America I found the most amazing gift packaging for my organic bath & body products. They have become the gateway to my products, adding drama and elegance to every package. And the purchase of the gift packaging was made using Fair Trade Practices, with the money going back to help provide livelihood and education to economically disadvantaged artisans.

It’s going to take a global effort to sustain our planet, and if each one of us can do our part personally and professionally, I believe we can make a difference. Giving a “green” gifts this year may be your first step in going “green”.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

49 million people can't sleep!

I was stunned to find out that doctors wrote prescriptions to 49 million people last year who complained that they couldn't sleep. That is 1 out of every 7 people with a sleep disorder.

Whether it is stress from work, home, finances, or whatever else is bothering you, lets look at some more natural ways to improve your sleep:

1. Avoid caffeine, especially in the afternoon. Get your decaf on at Starbucks instead!

2. Do not work out 2 hours before going to bed

3. Avoid a heavy meal 2 hours before going to bed

4. Try taking a hot bath using lavender scented products such as our organic sugar, soy & tea bubble bath, lavender bath salts, lavender & vanilla massage oil which can be used as a bath oil and body moisturizer too. While in your bath, imagine being somewhere happy, perhaps Hawaii, or Mexico on a deserted beach with someone you love. Fantasize about something you want to do..............

5. Turn off the TV when you are in bed so you won't be tempted to stay up and watch a TV show

6. Do not check your work email before going to bed. Leave work-related thoughts out of the bedroom.

7. Drink warm milk before bedtime

8. Have Sex!

9. Treat yourself to some really luxurious pillows

10. If you are a light sleeper then you might need to invest in ear plugs or a "white noise" maker

Sleep is necessary to function properly, allowing the brain and body to recover from the day's events. The ideal amount of sleep needed per researchers is between 7-8 hour of sleep every night. The more rested you are the better you will function.

Remember our core message at EclipseSpa...Spa at Home Tonight. Taking a hot bath or shower before bed will make a difference in your sleep.