Sunday, April 21, 2013

Got a Secret, Can You Keep it?

It has been a while since my last blog post, but I went to a home party recently that has me in an uproar! I will not name the products, or the company, that was advertising to me (because that would be tacky) but I was SHOCKED by the "mis"-information that was being told to the audience. This company makes products ranging from vitamins, to shampoo, to soap, to household cleaners.

The beginning of the presentation was very heavy with the company's mission and ingredient usage in their products. That they were all about being "green" and using only natural ingredients. That sounded great, right? I thought so! Oh boy, read on!

I'll only tell you what I think you should know...
The first ingredient discussed that is used in most commercial cosmetics was mineral oil. Mineral oil is bad news, I agree. It is a distillate of petroleum, suffocating the skin with a barrier that is impenetrable by air. It can cause cell death and skin irritation. The rep then passed around samples of the company's lotion, which contained petrolatum, which is what mineral oil is derived from! Petrolatum has the same side effects as mineral oil, not allowing the skin to breathe, causing premature aging and cell death.

The second ingredient that was discussed was soap. I WAS EXCITED TO HEAR THIS ONE! I figured since they claimed to only use natural ingredients, that maybe they would get this one right. I was wrong. The soap was talked about in a "superior to other soaps" way, because it didn't "contain lye." I had to raise my info sheet to cover my face at this point. I was LIVID! I know lye has a bad rap, and it shouldn't, but if lye was not used to create the soap, then it isn't soap. Period. I liken it to using baking soda or eggs when baking. Baking soda and raw eggs aren't very safe ingredients by themselves, but they sure are nice when making a great batch of cookies. In the finished product,the dangers of those individual ingredients have been diminished. Same with lye. Lye is necessary to create a great batch of soap, and when the soap is made, the lye is gone, the pH is neutralized, and you have an amazing finished product. I think that the main reason lye has a bad reputation is because lye soap that was made in the early centuries was very harsh. That was because it was used in excess and not with the knowledge we have of it now with regard to how it works with oils. To turn an oil into soap, different amounts of lye are required for different oils. If too much lye is used, you have a harsh soap. Use the right amount, and you have a gentle and beneficial soap.
*In regards to this companies soap, they didn't have an ingredient listing for their soaps (RED FLAG) so I came home and looked up the company's website. Here is the soap ingredient listing: Sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, aqua (water/eau), glycerin, parfum, sodium chloride, tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, titanium dioxide, yellow 10, red 4
HERE IS WHAT THAT MEANS:
Sodium Palmate- saponified palm oil (LYE used to turn palm oil into soap)
Sodium Palm Kernelate- saponified palm kernel oil (LYE used to turn palm kernel oil into soap)
Aqua (water/eau)- purified water
Glycerin- naturally occurring when soap is made, moisturizing on all types of skin
Parfum- essential oils and synthetic scents
Sodium Chloride- salt
Tetrasodium EDTA- synthetically produced water softener and preservative: possible skin irritant
Tetrasodium Etidronate- synthetically produced water softener, included among swimming pool chemicals, possible skin irritant
Titanium Dioxide- mineral whitener
Yellow 10- a synthetic dye produced from petroleum or coal tar substances
Red 4- a synthetic dye not permitted in the US as a food additive and may only be used in externally applied drugs and cosmetics. An exception was added to allow the coloring of maraschino cherries, which are considered mainly decorative and not a foodstuff.
Scared? I was too!! And I would love to know if their palm oil is sustainably resourced......ours is!
No hidden ingredients here!!
What's in our soap? I'm glad you asked! They vary slightly in oils and scents, but our most commonly used recipe is purified water,
olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter, and sodium hydroxide (lye). We use natural colorants called micas and oxides. Those are mined from the earth and purified to be 100% safe. The above company uses FD&C colorants. Not safe and not natural. 

Next is their lotions. Here is their ingredients listing right from their website: Deionized water, glycerin USP, Petrolatum USP, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Allantoin, T36-C5 Melaleuca Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance
HERE IS WHAT THAT MEANS:
Deionized water- purified water
glycerin USP- naturally occurring when soap is made, moisturizing on all types of skin. USP means food grade
Petrolatum USP- an ‘oil rig’ by-product. Causes suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne. Mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum
Distearyldimonium Chloride- a synthetically created surfactant, common allergen
Isopropyl Palmitate- is a palm oil based emollient, moisturizer, thickening agent, and anti-static
Cetyl alcohol- Extracted from coconut oil, it is an emollient that is included in skin care products to stabilize the formulations or to alter their consistencies, or to increase their foaming capacity. Skin irritant for some
Dimethicone- silicone derived. Works as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and skin & hair conditioner
Allantoin- a chemical compound that comes from the extracts of a comfrey plant
T36-C5 Melaleuca Oil- tea tree oil. Anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial
Benzyl Alcohol- known as a “bad” alcohol, can be extremely drying and irritating to skin, may be cytotoxic (toxic to cells)
Fragrance- synthetically produced scent

What's in our lotion? Glad you asked!! Purified water, shea butter, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, stearic acid (not scary like it sounds, it is a fat from vegetables that helps the lotion be fluffy), emulsifying wax (another vegetable derived ingredient that keeps the oils and water from separating), phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol and fragrance oil. What is Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol? That is a preservative that is paraben and formaldehyde free. Why do we use a preservative in our lotion? Read that here. "Fragrance oil?" You might ask why we use that as well. Read that here. 

We have nothing to hide. We won't LIE about using LYE. See what I did there? Clever, right? For every ingredient we use, we research like crazy to make sure that it IS natural, that it IS beneficial, and that it IS necessary. Please ask questions, please be an informed consumer. Since this blog post is plenty long enough, I won't get into their household products too much, but here is how one of the products list ingredients:
Biodegradable cleaning agents (citric acid and detergents), solvent, solubilizer, water-softening agent, fragrance, and T 36-C5 Melaleuca oil
HERE IS WHAT THAT MEANS:
Biodegradable cleaning agents (citric acid and detergents)- the isn’t even definable as it doesn’t list what the ‘biodegradable’ agents are that are being used
Solvent- General health hazards associated with solvent exposure include toxicity to the nervous system, reproductive damage, liver and kidney damage, respiratory impairment, cancer, and dermatitis
Solubilizer- again, indefinable as it doesn’t say what type of solubilizer is being used. However, most solubilizers are used in cosmetics and skin care products as a surfactant, emulsifier, and fragrance ingredient
Water-softening agent- again, indefinable as it doesn’t say what agent is being ised. However, borax and sodium carbonate are two commonly used water-softening agents which are skin irritants and allergens
Fragrance- synthetically produced scent
T 36-C5 Melaleuca oil- tea tree oil. Anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial

When a company won't tell you what they use. RUN! There is a reason they won't be forthcoming with you. It isn't right to treat the consumer like that. It makes my blood boil, can you tell? ;)

I appreciate all our customers and ALL of your questions. I make these products because I think an honest company is hard to find who is not driven by solely making money, but is primarily driven by actually helping people looking for quality products for themselves and their families. Made locally and with sustainable ingredients. Looking for that kind of company? Click here!

As always, mahalo and hang loose ;)
~Jess



Monday, March 11, 2013

It's giveaway time again!!

We have reached over 1,000 likes on our Facebook page!! To celebrate, we are having another giveaway for some of our amazing Shaka products. It is pretty simple to enter, here is what you have to do.

1. Leave a comment on this blog post stating that you 'like' us on Facebook and 'follow' us on Twitter. (we'll be checking, too!)
2. Then head over to our Facebook page and write a post on our wall of what your favorite Shaka product is with a link from our website and why you love it or why you would like to try it! That's it!
3. On March 18th, we will announce our winner.
Hope it's you!! Good luck =)

Mahalo for helping us reach over 1,000 likes. What a milestone for us!

~jess


Friday, March 8, 2013

Getting so close to our re-opening!

You may have noticed that we have re-stocked our website recently! It feels so good to be creating again, I really missed it. We will have an "official" re-opening in April to celebrate being at our first fair here in Bend, Oregon.
We have been working with a graphic designer to make our logo, branding, and packaging look awesome. We plan to show these to you for the big 2014 launch of our Shaka products!
The response from our customers has been overwhelming. I want to say thank you so much for your well wishes and loyalty. It truly has kept us going! Please check out our website to see your favorite products back in stock. And as always, if you have a custom order or special request, don't hesitate to ask. This is truly my passion!!

Mahalo and hang loose ;)
~jess

Friday, January 18, 2013

And we're back!!

Well, sort of. We have officially survived our journey across the great Pacific, and are unpacking and organizing as fast as we can! I miss soaping and creating so much that I have taken over our family room until the shop is complete. (Not a storefront "shop", just a shop for me to create on our property.)

Pololu Valley on the Big island

I have some questions I would like to ask my Shaka Soap ohana. Our lotion scents that we carry right now are mainly:
1. Island Coconut
2. Tahitian Mint
3. Hawaiian Fusion
4. Jasmine Bloom
5. Sweet Plumeria
6. Crisp Bamboo

I would like to change up the scents we carry to be even more authentic in their Hawaiian flair. The new scents would be
1. Papaya Coconut
2. Crisp Bamboo
3. Lilikoi Rose (we carry this in a lip balm and it is a hot seller)
4. Pikake Jasmine (Pikake is the Hawaiian Jasmine flower)
5. Sweet Plumeria  
6. Waimea Rain (a fresh blend that reminds me of where we started the company: Waimea, Hawaii)

So what do you think about our new scent ideas? They wouldn't be introduced until 2014, and we will keep what we have been carrying throughout this year. I wanted to add that each season (winter, spring, etc) we will have 2 limited edition scents available for that season only. Still working on those!

We hope to have the storefront open by April, but May is the latest I can wait. I must create! This is truly my passion =)

Let me know what you think of our new lotion scent ideas! These scents will also be available in soaps and scrubs for matching gift sets for the holidays or other events. 

Mahalo and hang loose ;)

~jess

Friday, November 9, 2012

Aloha Oe Shaka Soap Ohana

Aloha Shaka Soap Ohana,
It is with a heavy heart and wet eyes that I am writing this blog post. It will be the last blog post for a little while as we embark on our newest adventure. I began this business in Hawaii with a desire to emulate the beauty, culture, and deep rooted sacredness of this land that I have felt since arriving here. Making bath and body products may not seems to fit this aspiration, but the ability to learn of natural oils and the healing mana (power) that comes from this land was a perfect fit for me.
I have met many amazing and beautiful people who have made me see the true reason why Hawaii is such a spiritually charged land. The culture and history here makes my soul quiver. Watching the men perform the haka for the first time made me feel like I had been brought here for my own spiritual awakening. It is truly a life changing and powerful demonstration to watch, so historical and strong that I am unable to look away every time I see it. I am truly grateful for being able to experience Hawaii.

                                  Video of bruddah Iz singing "Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World"
                                                                (and showing his 'shaka' =)

So for many reasons, my family is moving back to Oregon. Many options were weighed and that is what is best for our family as a whole. This will put Shaka Soap on hold while we wait for our things to arrive from their journey across the pacific. This takes about a month. Then we need to redesign labels and change our tagline since we will not be making the products in Hawaii. However, none of the ingredients will change and everything will be made the same. Only the location of where I will be making the products will change.

I am not going to disappear, either! I will remain active on our Facebook page and continue to answer any ingredient, affliction, or random questions that may come my way. The website still be around, but there will be no products for the 6 month period.

So mahalo nui loa to everyone. A hui hou and aloha 'oe

Hang loose my friends
~jess

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shaka Soap is going on an adventure!!

Aloha Shaka Soap ohana,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Shaka Soap is moving to the mainland. What does this mean? Simply that Shaka Soap will be shut down for about 6 months to re-establish and re-group. We will continue to use the same ingredients, the same suppliers, and the same packaging, everything will be the same except where the products will be created. Being on the mainland, it may be possible to offer even more products as many companies won't ship to Hawaii!

Shaka Soap continues to journey
So how does this affect you amazing people? I need to have my final orders placed by the end of this week (by November 9th) so I can pack everything up for the journey across the Pacific Ocean.

We will remain active on our Facebook page, continuing to interact with you, share Hawaiian culture and language, and discuss the latest in skincare ingredients and controversy. This will be a great adventure and I can't wait to share it with you.

Now I would like to ask your opinion! Since we can no longer say "Made In Hawaii" what should our slogan read as? "Inspired By Hawaii" or "Originated in Hawaii" or "A Hawaiian Original" or something else? I would love your feedback!

As always- Mahalo for all of your support and well wishes. You have made my dreams come true.
Mahalo and hang loose ;)
~Jess

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Show Your Shaka" results

We sent off the prize to the "Show Us Your Shaka" contest on Monday. It was a lot of fun to see the different entries! Here are the folks who participated:
Trying out our Lemongrass soap

Julia from Washington

Amber from California

Madi from Germany

Robert from Oahu
Our winner was Amber from California with 30 likes on her photo! Mahalo so much for all of the entries and votes! Can't wait to do another contest. Giving away things makes me happy =)

Mahalo and hang loose ;)
~jess

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Want to win?? Show me your SHAKA!

We have reached over 900 "likes" on Facebook, so what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway?

The giveaway is pretty simple, email a picture to shakasoap@yahoo.com of yourself, or your family, or your friends, giving the shaka! Please include your name and the name of those in the photo. Then the photos will be put in an album on our Facebook page and will be voted on. The winner will receive $25 worth of Shaka Soap products and the "Best Shaka" title that comes with bragging rights ;)

Here is President Obama giving the shaka with plenty of aloha. Before you take your picture, here is a little back story on the history of the shaka:


President Obama giving the shaka on his inauguration day
There are a few theories about how the shaka originated.

1. The most common story I've heard about where the shaka came from, involves an accident at a sugar mill. The story claims that a worker there lost his three middle fingers on his right hand, leaving only his thumb and pinky. Since he was unable to continue his tasks with his three fingers gone, he was moved to work as a guard, watching the sugar train. If he was suspected of being near, the shaka was waved from one guy to the other to wordlessly warn each other of him coming and catching them stealing sugar cane.
2. Another idea I've heard is that when playing marbles, your hand makes the shaka sign after your have shot an accurate shot.
3. The last idea I've heard is that the word "shaka" was actually "shark-eye" with the hand gesture accompanying it.

So what does the shaka mean today??
The shaka sign is a powerful, effortless, but very meaningful gesture to remind locals and tourists that people should always keep an eye out for one other. It is also a reminder to try to share the aloha spirit every day.

So take those pictures and email them to us at shakasoap@yahoo.com. Please put Shaka Giveaway in the subject line.

BE AWARE (rules and such): emailing us your photos gives us the right to put them on our Facebook page and blog. The images will NOT be used for marketing, only for this contest. There will be voting taking place on the best shaka photo, so get creative. Keep it G rated, as we are a family company. We will accept photos from September 19-September 30. Voting will begin October  1 and will end October 12. The winner will be announced October 15.

If you have any questions, please email us shakasoap@yahoo.com or send us a message on Facebook

Mahalo and let's have fun with this!

~jess

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Countdown to the Emmys!



The Primetime Emmys are this Sunday September 23rd, and we are STOKED that Shaka Soap products will be at the GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge!
Here is the gift guide that the attending presenters and nominees will be receiving when they stop by The Artisan Group's table:
The Artisan Group, an elite art promotions group, will be a platinum sponsor in GBK’s upcoming Luxury Gift Lounge held on September 21-22, 2012 in Hollywood, California, in honor of the Nominees and Presenters of the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards


If you click on the image of the gift guide, you will be taken to a digital version of the guide, illustrating all of the talent that The Artisan Group has to offer. We are on page13! So exciting!!

Here is an image of all the amazing swag that the celebs will be receiving from The Artisan Group at the event, see our sugar scrub gift set?!


Here is a little behind the scenes of what the pandemonium is when prepping for events like this. We needed 100 jute bags, 100 gift cards, 100, 2 ounce jars of sugar scrub, and 100 lip balms. Let me tell you, 100 of ANYTHING is a lot, but we got though it!

Piles of everything in sets of "100"

All 100 bags ready for lucky recipients at the event!
If you would like your own jute bag set with our amazing sugar scrub like the celebrities get, click here!
 
Once again! Mahalo for everyone's support and well wishes. We are set back by about 6 months on our shampoo development, so I haven't forgotten about the willing testers! It will just take a little longer for this one woman show =) Mahalo for your patience and kindness! It is very much appreciated

Mahalo and Hang Loose ;)
~Jess

Monday, August 27, 2012

What does that smell like??

Aloha Shaka Soap fans!

Owning a bath and body company is extremely fun. I love that my house has a different smell almost daily, and it always smells amazing. The biggest problem, however, is that it is difficult for my customers to 'smell' the products before they  purchase them. I thought I would make a list of our most popular scents and what they smell like. Not like smelling them in person, no. But at least it will give you an idea of what to expect! ;)

Crisp Bamboo- A fresh scent of wild bamboo stalks, crisp aloe and jasmine petals, touched with vetivert and a soft musk

Island Coconut- Hawaiian coconut, reminiscent of the sandy beaches and swaying palms of beautiful Hawaii

Sweet Plumeria- A sweet floral of tropical plumeria, more like the pink plumeria, a flower often made into a fragrant Hawaiian lei or worn as a single blossom

Jasmine Bloom- Rich and floral, a sweet jasmine touched lightly with added flowers, and a light, powdery finish

Hawaiian Fusion- A tropical blend with fresh melons, pineapple, and acai berry, amid ripe nectarine and sweet guava

Pacific Shores- A rich, fresh cream of tropical rain mingled with lily of the valley, jasmine, leafy greens, pine and musk

Tahitian Mint- A tropical vanilla with a subtle hint of refreshing spearmint, peppermint and corn mint, with just a touch of black tea

Unsure of what you would like? Our most popular are Bamboo, Coconut, and Plumeria. Bamboo is really fresh and very unisex. Coconut is a perfect Hawaiian scent. My personal favorite is our plumeria scent. It is so true to the real scent, because it is make with extracts of the plumeria flower. It really is nice.  

Have any questions about our scents or what we will be coming up with soon? Ask away!

Mahalo and Hang loose ;)

~Jess 

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