Five myths about handmade soap

Image: honeyandwellness.com

Q1: Is soap made of coconut oil the most moisturizing?

A:Coconut oil is the major ingredient for any types of soap making. However, it is not used to contribute to moisturizing property. During the process of soap making, coconut oil is used to create foaming function, meaning more coconut oil added to soap making results in making a bar of soap with more foaming property. So is its cleaning property. But it makes the soap more drying, which is not good for the skin.

Q2: Why handmade soap is less moisturizing than liquid soap?

A: People might experience dry skin condition when they first switch from liquid soap to handmade soap. It is due to the simple and natural formula of soap making, without any artificial additives added. So it takes time for your skin to accommodate to using handmade soap. In fact, one of the properties of handmade soap is to leave your skin with glycerin after washing. Glycerin is a pure and natural agent that brings a hydrating property to your skin. It keeps your skin hydrated throughout the day and in the long run, it softens skin.

Q3: What is the major difference between handmade soap and those manufactured soap bought in health stores?

A: Handmade soaps are made with a process called cold process soap making. During the process, glycerin is produced naturally and it brings a hydrating property to your skin. For those manufactured soaps bought in health stores or supermarkets, they are made under large-scale manufacturing. Either glycerin produced during the process would be extracted to make other skin care products, or the soaps are made with a synthetic combination of a bunch of chemicals, which are harmful to your skin in a long run.

Q4: How can one tell a soap is of good quality?

A: Looking at the ingredients as it always an indicator to show the quality of soap. A high-quality soap is made without any chemical additives while the major ingredients include natural plant oil made with natural handmade processes, such as avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil and almond oil, which are used together to create mild with smooth lather. The rich content of natural nutrients is easily absorbed by the skin and make healthier skin following long-term usage.

Q5: Handmade soap is always described as mild to skin. Does it mean it is neutral PH value?

A: When handmade soaps are initially made, it possesses a PH value at around 11 to 13. It takes at least one month of ageing to let the PH value decrease to PH 8 to 9 which is regarded as weakly alkaline which is good to be used on the skin. This weak alkaline property is most ideal for skin because this is the best PH value to clean skin and boost metabolism, while skin is able to neutralize this weak alkaline after washing. It is not possible to have a handmade soap with neutral PH value unless it is neutralized with chemicals.

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Five benefits of honeycomb

It was quite popular that people love to eat yogurt with a tiny piece of honeycomb added to the top. It’s really a fantastic treat to your tastebuds.

In recent years, honeycomb is more and more popular. Why?

#1 Low chance of adulterated honey

Honeycomb is directly cut from bee hives and it’s never pressed, filtered or heated. When you are ready to serve it, you just cut a small slice, chew it and then swallow the waxy residue or spit it out. When compared to those bottled honey, honeycomb has not undergone and processing and this lowers the odds of adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to the honey by honey manufacturers

#2 More enzymes More antioxidants

As honeycomb does not go through any heating process, it retains the raw enzymes such as glucose oxidase. That’s why honeycomb possesses stronger antibacterial functions.

#3 No filtering More nutrients

It’s not possible that a comb of honey is added with artificial sweeteners or sugar, so all goodness of honey is still intact without being damaged, such as bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly, which are high beneficial to health.

#4 Good for cardiovascular health

The hexagonal shape of honeycomb cells is made of beeswax. After chewing a piece of honeycomb for a while, the gum-like residue is beeswax. Beeswax contains fatty acid and esters, which have been scientifically proven to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. (Caution: Do not swallow excessive amount of beeswax as it might cause digestive issues. )

#5 Satisfying mouthfeel

Cut a small slice. Put it into mouth. Chew it to extract the honey out. The mouthfeel is extremely satisfying and you cannot stop chewing until the last drop of honey is squeezed out. What an enjoyable journey for your mouth and tastebuds! If you want to feel it now, you could visit social media by searching hastags like #honeycombs.

Click here to shop honeycomb

食蜂巢蜜 (honeycomb)五大好處

有一段時間很多人都愛上吃乳酪,於上面再放一小片的蜂巢蜜(honeycomb),的確是十分滋味的組合。

近年,愈來愈多人愛吃蜂巢蜜。究竟原因何在?

#1 絕無攙糖可能

蜂巢蜜其實就是就是直接從蜂巢(hive)割取的部份,不經搾取、過濾或加熱,而當吃的時候,切出一小片蜂巢放入口,咀嚼後可以將渣滓吐出或吞下。跟食用一瓶瓶的蜂蜜最大的分別是,蜂巢蜜沒有經過加工,因止可以減去被生產商在製作過程中攙入糖漿的可能性。

#2 更多酵素 更強抗氧化

蜂巢蜜由於不經加熱過程,所以蜂蜜能保留了原有的酵素(glucose oxidase),因此蜂蜜的抗菌功效得以保留。

#3 不經過濾 更多營養

買回來完完整整的蜂巢蜜 ,當然不可能經過一般蜂蜜會進行的過濾工序。這個好處是不會濾走了蜂蜜中一些珍貴養份,例如花粉(bee pollen)、蜂膠(propolis) 和 蜂皇漿(royal jelly),因此對健康更有益處。

#4 心臟更健康

六角型的蜂巢是以蜜蠟造成的,當我們咀嚼蜂巢蜜時,口中剩下像香口膠的渣滓正是蜜蠟。蜜蠟含有微量的脂肪酸(fatty acid)和酯(esters),研究證明兩樣都是對心臟健康有益處。(注意:不建議吞下過量蜜蠟,或引致消化不良。)

#5 更有口感

切下一小片蜂巢蜜放入口中,咬下充滿蜂蜜的巢穴,口中爆出蜂蜜的感覺,令人很有滿足感,然後不斷咀嚼,將一點一滴的蜂蜜也吸取出來,整個美食享用過程十分有治癒感。不妨在社交媒體搜尋 #honeycombs,你就可以感受一下。

按此購買蜂巢蜜。

破解手工皂五大迷思

Q1: 以椰子油製作的手工皂是最滋潤的嗎?

A: 椰子油是製作手工皂必需的材料,但它並不是為了提供滋潤作用。在手工皂製作過程中,椰子油會轉化成為起泡的功能,即是手工皂成份中越多椰子油,泡沬會越多,清潔力也越高和相對令皮膚較為乾燥。

Q2: 為何使用手工皂好像比沐浴露乾燥呢?

A: 很多人在初期轉用手工皂也有這種感覺,因為手工皂的成份簡單天然,沒有添加的人造護膚成份,皮膚需要時間適應。而手工皂在用後會於肌膚上留有甘油(glycerin),這是純天然的保濕元素,可以整天為皮膚提供保濕效果,長期使用可使肌膚變得幼嫩。

Q3: 一般市面上的肥皂跟手工皂最大的分別是甚麼呢?

A: 手工皂是以冷製方式製作,過程中會產生甘油(glycerin),能為肌膚帶來保濕作用。一般市面上的肥皂是經由大型工業生產,在生產中甘油會被抽走(用來製作護膚品)或以非天然的原料合成方式生產,因此用後皮膚會較繃緊乾燥,長期使用對皮膚亦無益。

Q4: 怎樣分辨優質的手工皂呢?

A: 還是要看成份。優質的手工皂絕無化學添加成份,主要以天然植物油經手工製作而成,例如牛油果油、乳木果脂、可可脂、橄欖油、椰子油和甜杏仁油等等,溫和及泡沫細膩,含豐富的天然養分,皮膚易於吸收,長期使用讓肌膚變得更健康。

Q5: 說手工皂溫和,是中性酸鹼度的意思嗎?

A: 天然手工皂剛製作完成屬強鹼性PH11~13,必須經熟成最少一個月以上當酸鹼度轉為PH8~9才可使用,因此手工皂是屬於弱鹼性。而這種弱鹼性是最理想,因為具有效的清潔力及加速身陳代謝的同時,也讓肌膚在潔膚後有能力自動中和這種弱鹼性。天然手工皂是不可能屬中性,除非是添加化學物來中和它。

選購麥蘆卡蜂蜜的三大竅門

近十年愈來愈多人愛食用麥蘆卡蜂蜜,但確實了解麥蘆卡蜂蜜的人還是不多。

雖然一般蜂蜜都具有抗菌功效,但是麥蘆卡蜂蜜抗菌功效較一般蜂蜜多達四倍,而且裡頭的抗菌因子十分活躍,甚至可被稱做天然抗生素。因此麥蘆卡蜂蜜的用途很廣泛,包括幫助紓緩牙肉腫痛、喉嚨發炎、消化系統不良、皮膚灼傷、傷口、暗瘡問題、皮膚潰瘍、傷風感冒、長期胃部問題、口腔潰瘍等問題。所以麥蘆卡蜂蜜的價格比一般蜂蜜高,那絕對是有原因的。

麥蘆卡蜂蜜縱使在全球有售,事實上麥蘆卡蜂蜜採自一種名為Manuka Bush (又名Leptospermum tree ) 的植物,而這植物不是世界各地也能生長,只在澳洲東南岸及紐西蘭生長得最茂盛,所以每年產量也有限定。

那麼究竟如何選購優質的麥蘆卡蜂蜜呢?

# 1 了解自己的需要

麥蘆卡蜂蜜的用途廣泛,相信無論想要保健或想針對某些健康問題,都可選購麥蘆卡蜂蜜,或者預先準備在家中,以備不時之需。如果只需要保健或用來增強免疫力,指數較低的麥蘆卡蜂蜜已經可以做到 (UMF 10+以下),而且價錢亦較實惠; 若想要針對傷口或長期胃部問題,便要用到指數較高的麥蘆卡蜂蜜(UMF 10+或以上)。更仔細的指數分類可參考這網頁

#2 讀懂指數

麥蘆卡蜂蜜瓶上標示的指數,五花八門,的確會令人感到困擾。其實分類是十分簡單。MGO、UMF、ULF和NPA 四個都是全球被認可的麥蘆卡蜂蜜抗菌因子活躍度測試指標。雖然四個指標的指數不是劃一,但他們都可以互相比較各自的抗菌強度。例如當你手上拿起一瓶麥蘆卡蜂蜜MGO 400+ 和一瓶麥蘆卡蜂蜜UMF10+, 你知道究竟哪個的強度高一些呢?答案是麥蘆卡蜂蜜MGO 400+ ,因為將它轉換成UMF指數的話,大約是UMF13+,所以強度較高,詳情可參考這個換算表

#3 品牌背後

選好了自己所需要的麥蘆卡蜂蜜抗菌強度,最後是要看一看所選的品牌質素如何。你可以先查看品牌的歷史是否長久,盡量避免一些新推出的麥蘆卡蜂蜜品牌; 採收的蜂蜜或整個養蜂作業有沒有有機認證,或相關的品質保證; 然後可以的話再查看一下該品牌的養蜂作業規模,太小的規模有可能是新手,太大的話亦有可能是一家公司從大量不同的蜂農那裡收集麥蘆卡蜂蜜回來,因此質素有參差。中等規模的就比較理想,例如Biosota® Organics 是由1950年代開始在澳洲養蜂,1999年品牌正式成立,現在仍然是以家族式經營,而其養蜂作業也得到國家的有機認證,因此出品的麥蘆卡蜂蜜也贏得消費者的信心。