We get asked all the time, "Why the Narwhal?"
Well...let me tell you!
All kidding aside, Narwhals are amazing creatures. Yes, they are real (we get asked that a lot!). And we love that this large, lumpy, mysterious animal has such a beautiful place in our world. They swim in arctic waters, often under the ice.
Cool Fact: They can breed with beluga whales! And have! They've created a sub-species! They are the only to animals on earth that are part of the Monodontidae family and you can find their little offspring off the coast of Greenland.
COME ON. That is cool.
So why did we choose it for our brand? Well, when paired with a Manatee, they kinda cover all waters. They are ying and yang. They balance. That's what the Narwhal and the Manatee is all about: Balance.
Finding well-sourced ingredients to take care of the Earth. Making high quality product to help people balance their skin's health and glow. Making products available that are affordable and still good for the body and the environment. Balance.
Narwhals are truly fascinating creatures and you can read more about them here: https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/unicorn-of-the-sea-narwhal-facts
Everyone! I am so excited to announce that we are utilizing a new, awesome, wonderful Shea Butter! Friends, it is so soft. So good. So responsible.
I just love it.
I found this wonderful company, Baraka Shea Butter (barakasheabutter.com) from the soap maker's guild and I am so happy to now be using their certified fair trade and environmentally sustainable Shea Butter.
This company, located in Ghana and help to support the community where the Shea Butter is harvested. They also work with Sustainable Development Goals:
(which is amazing! http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/),
So why did I choose this Shea Butter? Well I believe in EVERYTHING this company is doing to make our world a stronger place. They support their people (providing jobs, paying fair wages, employing women) and they support a healthy Earth.
I ordered some, just to see, and I could tell just from opening the box that this was the BEST Shea Butter I have ever seen (and I've seen a lot of Shea Butter). It is smooth, creamy and super moisturizing. Upon utilizing it in production, it makes our products stronger, giving you, the customer, an even better, high-quality skin-care experience.
I truly hope you've enjoyed our products and that you enjoy them even more now. I know I do, and I really believe this Shea Butter will wow you. It sure did me!
It's November. The month for beards. Why? Well, No Shave November, of course!
No Shave November is this fun (and in our opinion sexy) movement for men to help raise cancer research awareness. You can find out the details here: https://no-shave.org/
Now. You have a beard. Or you want to have a beard. It's important to take care of your whiskers...AND the skin underneath (keep those cheeks sweet!).
Our beard balm is both moisturizing for skin and nourishing for beards. Our use of shea butter is the main reason (it keeps whiskers from getting wild, while still moisturizing), but we also use Rice Bran Oil, Argan Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, and Benzoin Resin, which are all wonderful oils to help enrich whiskers.
We have two varieties:
Skovhugger smells like a campfire (we add birch tar oil...for that lovely, smoky scent).
Burchereon smells like vanilla and cedarwood, warm and comforting.
You can grab them both in the store and online (make sure to leave a note about which one you want if you order online!). One stick lasts...a really long time (my husband uses it every single day, and he just opened his second tube after a year!).
So keep those whiskers growing...but keep them healthy!
Lips. We love them. We especially love to keep them healthy. That's why we paired our moisturizing lip balm with healing herb blends for an ultimate lip experience. Let's outline the differences:
Heaven: This lip balm is made with a scarlet rooibos tea. Rooibos teas are naturally full of calcium and manganese, both really excellent for teeth (and lets face it, your lips are really close to your teeth). It also contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc, both of which are excellent for your skin. We named it "Heaven" because it glides on so smoothly, has a faint berry essence and makes lips silky soft.
Peppermint Rose: First of all, let me point out that we raise our own mint AND roses. We dry them and then infuse them into our lip balm. Why this combo? Well peppermint is naturally cooling, which makes this an excellent choice if you have chronic chapped lips (especially in the winter). Rose draws blood to the surface of the skin, which creates faster healing. This is the perfect cold-weather lip balm (and doubling as a cuticle balm makes this a favorite!)
Chai: Well, lets be honest, chai is delicious. Beyond that, chai is naturally anti-inflammatory and is full of anti-oxidants. This is a perfect choice to keep your lips healthy and soft, and even better if you're post sunburn or a super chapped episode.
Zen Shuay (not pictured): Made with green tea, this lip balm is full of caffeine. Caffeine increases circulation, which promotes healing and prevents dry skin. It also helps to clear acne (it helps prevent the production of sebum), so it's also a good choice if you have breakouts (because a zit on the edge of the lip is super-ouchy).
These aren't just your typical lip balms. They are super balms. All of them double as a cuticle balm, and I even use it on my elbows or knuckles in really dry weather. It's amazing. We sell it in two sizes: A tube for $5 or a tin for $8.
And if you're not convinced you need to keep those lips moisturized, check out this article from She Knows with some excellent reasons why: http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1013495/benefits-of-hydrated-lips
Keepin' the skin baby soft.
When the Narwhal and the Manatee was still just a baby bean of an idea, there was no doubt that babies shouldn't be ignored. After all, Agatha, the owner's daughter, was the inspiration for creating healthy skin care in the first place. Thus we created our Polliwog Baby line!
Baby skin is different from kid skin, which is different from adult skin. Hence, our kid and baby products, featuring well thought out ingredients to keep littles healthy.
For babies, we have three special products.
1. Baby Bum Balm
Made with zinc oxide, this provides that wonderful bum barrier that will keep your baby's butt skin happy. No more diaper rash! Hooray! We also use rose and chamomile infused olive oil to calm skin and mango butter for some serious moisturizing.
2. Baby Powder
Most baby powders use baking soda. Not ours. We rely on arrowroot powder and kaolin clay for absorbing power. Tapioca powder and colloidal oats offer a gentle element to keep skin supple and soft.
3. Baby Bath Fizzies
These little nuggets are the perfect size for a baby bath. Also made with colloidal oats, they offer a special softness. We add in local honey to help build skin's immunities (plus, honey is naturally antibacterial!) and just a touch of lemon and frankincense for that special fresh baby scent.
We also partnered with Finn's Door, a local (and amazing) seamstress. She creates the best baby wash cloths, hoodie towels and cloth boxes for the perfect grab-and-go baby gift. You can see more of Finn's Door here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FinnsDoor
Several years ago there were these awesome little tabs for your shower that smelled like eucalyptus. They were so perfect when I had a cold, but still had to function. I'd throw one in, take my shower and suddenly (even if only for a short time) I could breathe. Magic.
Of course, I can't find those anymore. In which I thought, "Hmm...can I make them?" Sure enough! I can. So I did. Then it dawned on me that I could make them smell however I wanted! So I did! (Bonus: they look like a tiny scoop of ice cream!)
Here's how they work: Place the Shower Refresher on your shower floor. Take your shower. The fragrances will effervesce into the air, filling your entire bathroom with good-smelling yum. It's that easy.
There are a lot of things I love about our Shower Refreshers. First, they are totally affordable. At 3 for $5 or 7 for $10, they make it an easy "splurge" for your shower every day. And we always have nine fragrances to choose from. We have some that rotate seasonally, but we have staples as well. We always keep eucalyptus and lemon, lavender & peppermint. And our lime mint is a favorite, so it's not going away anytime soon.
In addition to those, yuzu and lilac are very popular. Right now, our seasonal fragrance is Punkin Spice (shocker, I know). And for the holidays we are introducing Wassail and Vanilla Bean. Mmmm. Warm and yummy.
Welcome to Feature Friday, our new weekly blog that will go in-depth with the products we make by hand. This week's focus is on soap.
Here's the thing: all soap is not created equal. There's, of course, the debate of liquid soap vs. bar soap. Are you a shower gel person or a bar soap person? So let's talk about that...
We don't make shower gel. Why? Simply put: it doesn't match with our business model of simply packaging and simple ingredients. To make shower gel, you need additional ingredients to keep it from getting all sorts of ick. We don't like dealing with ick, so we stick with soap. Plus, we would need additional bottles and packaging, which have an upfront cost, which does you (the customer) no favors. Now, I'm not saying that we'll never make shower gel, but right now it's not on the radar.
Why is our soap so great? First of all, our recipes were designed by the amazing Micki, our Production Master. She made SO MANY batches of soap until she refined two unique recipes, perfect for skin and matching with our business model.
Soap 1: Fun Shapes!
Any soaps that you see that are amazing shapes are an olive and coconut oil based soap. It's so soft and creamy an appropriate for even the most sensitive skin. We use mica powder to add color and our wonderful essential and fragrance oils for the scent. This recipe is what we use for most of our custom orders, as it is so versatile and we can use it in any mold. We love it.
Soap 2: Classic Bar
Our bar and circle soaps are made with a lard-base. We hand-render our own lard and (sometimes) mix in goodies like orange peel powder, coffee grounds and turmeric. A lard-based soap lasts a long time in the shower or tub, creates a nice, thick lather and, with added olive oil, keeps skin healthy and clean. Plus, we create a variety of scents that are appropriate for men, women and children. Because everyone takes a shower or bath (I hope!).
If you're not sure about lard and tallow based soaps, this article outlines quite nicely some of the benefits: http://www.humblebeeandme.com/why-i-use-lard-or-tallow-in-my-soap-and-why-you-should-too/
And if you're interested in how it's done, check out this super low-budget (meaning we did this with my phone) video of us making some soap!