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。

如何讀懂麥蘆卡蜂蜜上的指數?

麥蘆卡蜂蜜來自一種名為Leptospermum的茶樹,生長於紐西蘭及澳洲的東南部。由於麥盧卡蜂蜜被發現具高度抗菌特性,所以被採收後會送往獨立的實驗室作檢驗,以證實它的麥蘆卡強度及天然純度,方便消費者購買時作出適當選擇。

所以緊記看看每瓶麥蘆卡蜂蜜上有沒有任何一個以下四款標籤,因為它們都是國際認可的麥蘆卡強度標準:

01 MGO

MGO 是一個很受廣泛使用的標準,以量度天然物質甲基乙二酸(Methylglyoxal )的多少,來反映該麥蘆卡蜂蜜的抗菌力度。

02 UMF

UMF 意思是Unique Manuka Factor ,是紐西蘭一項註冊商標及專利用字,是以量度蜂蜜多種非過氧化物的活性(non-peroxide activity) 來決定該麥蘆卡蜂蜜的強度,例如獨麥素 (Leptosperin),二羥基丙酮(DHA) 和 甲基乙二醛(Methylglyoxal)​

03 ULF

ULF即Unique Leptospermum Factor, 是另一個澳洲的檢測標準,做法跟UMF 大致相似。

04 NPA

NPA 是量度蜂蜜的某一種非過氧化物活性(Non-Peroxide Activity),而這種活性是在澳洲的麥蘆卡蜂蜜裡發現。


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。