Inspired by Nature, Made with Love

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's Been Heavenly Hempy here at Masquerade Market!

It's been Heavenly Hemp-y in my kitchen!

Yesterday I whipped up the lightest whipped hemp lotion AND hemp lotion bars!  Truly Heavenly!

This lotion by far is my hands down absolute favorite to use after the shower for ALL over!  (I still love my balms on my feet tho)..

The bar is perfect to throw in a tin and take it with you for that quick re-moisturizing while on the go!

Look for them coming to my Etsy shortly!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will hemp soap give me the munchies?

When I write Hemp what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
I am going to bet my bottom dollar your going to say either:  Pot or Marijuana
Am I right?  That is the general consensus. The cannabis plant, it is possibly the most misunderstood plant.

Here's another test:  what do you see?

I bet the first thing that comes to mind are:  late 1960's draft dodgers, hippies, dirty, lazy, druggies, low life's of society, the wrong crowd, criminals, losers.  
Did I hit the nail on the head again?  That image unfortunately has been one of the downfalls of this great plant because the misuse of the medicinal properties of the plant. It has been a sign of rebellion against "square society." 

BUT.... what if I showed you this?

Shines a different light on the image now doesn't it?  Society has been taught that cannibis is bad. It's a drug.  It's illegal. It's evil. It's leaves are the devil's horns.  Really? I honestly read it all when I read that last one.
But wait.. go back almost 330+ years ago (1787).  For Americans, the United States Constitution was written on hemp paper.  Henry Ford even created a plastic prototype car consisting of 10% hemp.

But did ever wonder WHY industrial hemp became illegal?  (warning mini history lesson cliff note version)

Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the two great publishing giants of their day, were fearful of hemp.   Hearst lobbied against hemp cultivation and agriculture.  Why?  Because he was heavily invested in deforestation for paper processing.  Since hemp is environmentally friendly, needs less processing to create paper, and creates three times more fiber per square acre than cotton, Hearst didn't want the "tree" paper industry to compete with the hemp industry.

So what did he do?  He lobbied that Hemp and Marijuana were the same thing.

All the while, the medical community was unaware. Since the medical industry knew hemp as "cannabis" and used it medicinally, they didn't fight against the "Mihuana Tax Act."  The history of the fight against the marijuana plant was not due to it's hallucinogenic properties, it was because of the fear of industry heads, like Hearst, DuPont and Mellon who were threatened by the vast uses of this amazing plant use in industry.

But what does all of this have to do with Masquerade Market?

Unfortunately, Masquerade Market's products get mixed up in all the legalities and public confusion between cannibis sativa indica and cannibis sativa sativa.
Why? Because I use hemp seed oil in my products.

The burning questions:  Will my hemp soap give me the munchies? Will I test positive for marijuana use?  Can I be arrested for having your hemp seed product in my possession? The answer is NO.

They are many different types of the cannibis plant.  One is the medicinal plant with THC levels ranging from 3%-20% (cannibis sativa indica) and the industrial hemp (cannibis sativa saliva)  which has a TCH level of less than 1%.   Masquerade Market uses hemp seed oil derived from the cannibis sativa sativa plant which is industrial hemp.

For more in-depth reading,  Vote Hemp and Arizona Industrial Hemp Council

I'm going to end this post by sharing how important and positive industrial hemp is not only to the environment as a whole, but to the United States revenue. Our products do not have to be made out of plastics. Our foods don't have to have artificial ingredients for nutrition or "fillers". We can have natural fibers with minimal processing (cotton and bamboo's has the highest chemical usage for processing into fiber and energy usage.)  We can become a self sufficient energy and industry sustaining country.

Here are a few graphics that will hopefully give you a new perspective on the very misunderstood Industrial Hemp plant.

Currently the United States Government is making strides to overturn the "Mirihuana Tax Act" of 1937 to exclude Industrial Hemp.

You can read more about it here:
House Bill H.R. 525
Vote Hemp
Hemp Industries Association

I hope that I have helped put some misunderstandings to rest about this amazing plant and have enlightened you with the knowledge that hemp is beneficial in all aspects of everyday life.

Oh and even though I have my own political views, I wanted to share this. In July 2012, President Obama even used a hemp scarf as a fundraiser for his campaign:

Stay Tuned:  Part 2: The Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

As always, my gratitude to you for your continued support on my new road of adventure!
=) Kristina

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Launch Time!! Our deodorants are GOING .. GOING.... GOING but NOT gone..

(click on pictures to enlarge them)

Masquerade Market takes pride in conducting an extensive tester program before selling our products. I take pride in having a high quality control expectation for my products. You can rest assured that my deodorant recipes have been in testing with rave results for over 3 months.

The testers have raved about my deodorant to their friends and I'm getting countless requests to offer it for sale. Even though I know my product is above and beyond anything else I have ever tried from a handmade, natural and/or organic vendor, I was still trepidatious. But.. the coaxing broke me and I'm finally just jumping in.  "No time like the present, life is to short to wait till tomorrow" as my Grandfather used to say.

So I took the leap of faith, along with the rave reviews backed by my extensive knowledge of the ingredients of my products and personal experiences and offered up the best of the best!

Things I have learned from using handmade, organic and/or natural deodorant over the past 25+ years..handmade deodorant does not have to be grainy with hard undissolved balls of powder, it does not need to have any paraben based preservative or additives, oil does not have to seep from the container and the deodorant doesn't have to be so solid that it breaks the container.

Masquerade Market's deodorant is silky smooth with the perfect combination of naturally sourced organic ingredients, easy to apply and works too!  (after working 7 hours in the Louisiana Swampy heat doing landscaping.. I walked away with dirt under my pits but they were still smellin' fresh!)

You don't have to settle on sub par products for a healthy alternative and the pictures  of my products is proof.  In fact.. prove it to yourself.. give it a try!

Launch Product Pricing:
2.5oz dispenser: $7.00 + shipping
4.0oz jar: $12.00 + shipping

Interested in ordering?  PM me at MM's FB Page and I'll send you the EO and FO scent list.

=) Kristina

Ingredients in deodorants pictured: *Aluminum Free Baking Soda Deodorant *
Naturally sourced powders & organic unrefined oils & butters of:
arrowroot powder, aluminum free baking soda, magnesium hydroxide, kaolin clay, beeswax, organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, vitamin e and essential oils for fragrance. 

Deodorant not pictured:
* Baking Soda Free Deodorant * 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sharing our Franken-soap Zebra Love..

I was going to wait until Thursday to share, but I simply couldn't contain myself any longer.

Every soap batch is like waiting for Christmas morning.. sometimes waiting to unmold the soap (usually 24 hours) is like opening up a gift ... sometimes you just never know what your going to get.

Back in May I was creating another batch of soap using activated bamboo charcoal.  At first I was going to do the swirl affect, but I wanted to try something different.  Not really unsure of what I was going to do, I just started pouring.  Instead of swirling,  I just poured the next color slowly.

Hoping that I wasn't creating a bland grey looking bar - I just continued layering.  I basically just kissed it and gave it to God and thought to myself and silently prayed.."what will be, will be.. but PLEASE God, don't let it just be grey!"

The next 24 hours was full of curiosity as to how this batch would turn out. I worried if the height would have a negative impact on the layering effect. Would it all just work it's way to the bottom?

Keep in mind, these bars are not the standard shallow 2 1/4"- 2 3/4" 3oz-5oz bars that you usually see that have all the pretty swirls and decorations.. these are hefty bars 3 1/2"-3 3/4" tall bars weighing a whopping 7oz-7.5oz's!!  So I have the weight and thickness of the bar to take into consideration. These are NOT your average sized bars.  These are like mini blocks.

Tick.. Tock.. Tick.. Tock.... DING DING!!!!!!!  24 hours has passed...

I can say that as soon as I pulled it out of the mold, my heart skipped a beat with excitement, I probably even squealed a bit..  I was so pleased and I distinctly remember exclaiming .. "Thank You JESUS!" ..

The first thing I thought of was one of my favorite safari animals: a Zebra

SO.. Zebra quickly became one of my favorite looking soaps AND the name.

BUT wait.. there's more than just good looks... it has to work too... so here's testimony...

My son has very rough textured skin, his hair follicle is like a small bump which dries into a little hard white dried piece of skin at the hair base and it feels a rough. (not only does the white dot look unsightly against his darker skin, it creates rough bumps - which he dislikes immensely)

We have tried body loofah's, scrunchies, and scrubs and left his skin dry, ashy and sore.  BUT.. after using Zebra directly on his skin while showering his skin is baby smooth.  He is not ashy, itchy, dry or experiencing sensitive skin afterwards. Which leaves him a very happy boy (and me a happy mama!)

This soap is nothing short of magical.  The organic Jojoba base, mixed with the activated charcoal, finely ground pumice and intoxicating scent of Egyptian must is the absolute perfect combination and can't be outdone... Or so I thought.

I make Will a scent that I named "Mystique"  it's is a spellbinding fragrance. Not too masculine, not too feminine.. It's not a sweet, floral scent by any means, more of a sultry, woody, musky scent.  Perfection.

I usually make it with a 100% Castille (extra virgin olive oil) base, but I wanted to offer him some of this indulgence, so I made the Zebra with it.  Holy Soap Bubbles, I love the outcome of this one too... and you can see for yourself what a masculine looking bar this is.  I didn't add any colorant, the oils I used to scent the bar has a natural darkening effect..

(pictured above:  Organic Golden Jojoba, Activated Bamboo Charcoal, Finely Ground Pumice, scented with "Mystique")

And in case if your want to see the original Zebra to compare... here she is...

(pictured above:  Organic Golden Jojoba, Activated Bamboo Charcoal, Finely Ground Pumice, scented with "Egyptian Musk")

The soap bases are the exact same, nothing about them has changed other than the scent.  Isn't that cool?

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

=) Kristina

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Movie Recommendation: Hungry for Change..

The family and I watch good health focused movies all the time... our latest viewing: Hungry For Change.

WOW... this is eye opening even if you do know some of the information from your own research or past movies viewed.  Many of topics I was familiar with and some blew my mind... i.e..  over 200 chemicals were found in newborn's umbilical cord blood.  O.M.G.. THAT is scary!

This is NOT only about food and our bodies. What really perked my ears was they do a 10 minute or so blurb about the skin care industry and the chemicals in skin care products.  One perfume alone had over 50 toxic chemicals that have proven to be carcinogenic. (at that moment, I was happy that I quit wearing perfume YEARS ago!)

Check out the trailer:

If you get the chance, view it. it's free on Netflix and the whole movie can be found for free on YouTube.

If you do watch it or have seen it.. I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Happy Sunday!
=) Kristina

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It's Giveaway Time!

I'm sensing a giveaway! I simply LOVE giveaway's!!

SO.. how do you get in on this?  Super easy.. Check out Masquerade Market on FB!

As soon as our member LIKES reach 250 I will use a computer generated program to choose the winner of a custom spa basket with a retail value of $50.00!

 So spread the word and Good Luck!

oh.. and while your at it.. check out some of my new pics on Etsy...   (these are some of the products that are going to the terminally ill children fundraiser!)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Testing, Testing, has been complete!

I have worn natural deodorant for over 25 years.  I have tried everything, the "magic crystal",  other mama made recipe's and the "naturally organic" deodorants available in the big box stores.  While they worked to an extent, I was never really 100% happy with them.

They would work fabulously at first, then after a week or two they either stopped working, wouldn't come out of the tubes, was dry and clumpy, or the other extreme oil seeped from them or the scent would alter from first use.  But what I knew most and did NOT like was that I just plain ole smelled after a couple hours outside in the Louisiana Swampy South heat. Um.. no thank you!

So, I have researched and researched, tested and tested and I'm finally excited to announce that our testing phases of our deodorant is now complete. It's been a long 3 month process that is for sure! (I have testers to prove it!!!!)

I have gotten rave reviews of my deodorant recipes from "works fantastic, even after 3 weeks" to "it even cleared up my daughter's skin under her arms.. no more red bumps."

The first phase our recipe's passed with flying colors, but the application process needed a bit tweaking.  I am fine with applying my deodorant with my fingers out of a jar, but I wanted to make it available in a dispenser as well.

After tweaking my recipe a bit.. conducting more testing phases, I am confident that I hit the nail on the head.

Masquerade Market now offers (2) different types of Deodorant available in (2) different applications.
* Aluminum Free Baking Soda *     &   * Baking Soda Free *
both available in a Jar and a Dispenser.

It's a beautiful day when....

I have been working behind the scenes on many fantastic opportunities and all of them is about giving....  I have (3) major events lined up and I've been a busy bee in the kitchen.

I am excited to be working with a Christian organization and preparing baskets full of my soaps, lotions and balms as door prizes for terminally ill children and their families.

I'm so excited to be a part of such a wonderful experience.  I'll be there in spirit that is for sure.

I am working with another fundraiser in September creating a silent auction basket which I will be presenting myself.  Which makes me even the more excited to share in the fundraiser.

I'm so excited to be able to give and have the opportunity to share.

I have been working with a representative of an organization that specializes in brain cancer and I am giving them a % of every one of my sales.

It makes my heart happy to make other's heart happy. Life is simply too short not to.

Until tomorrow!
=) Kristina

Monday, July 8, 2013

The 'Skin'ny of Soap.. Pt.2

STOP!!!!  Before you put that on your skin, read the label!!!!

(Please grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, get comfy and open your mind.. this is a lengthy informative post. ) 

Now keep in mind, this post is not to scare you, no not at all, this post is to educate you. Why? Because even though I may be a stranger to you and your family,  I still care.  I care enough to take the time to give you information that could potentially change your way of life and how you purchase items for your family, which could possibly, be guiding you away from potential health concerns later.

In Part 1 of "The 'Skin'ny of Soap", I shared with you a quick study of our skin and it's basic levels and how it connects to our blood stream.  We learned that what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies. So it's safe to say that if the ingredients in a product are not safe to consume, then they are not safe to put on our skin either.  In fact, what we put on our skin is even more dangerous than what we put into our bodies. When we eat something, the enzymes in our saliva and the acid in our stomach help to break down and wash out these harmful chemicals.  When we apply these harmful chemicals onto our skin, they are taken directly into our blood stream and without any filtering process, so there is no defense against these toxins.

There are many medications that are administered directly to the skin. Nicotine patches, birth control patches and medicinal creams are applied to the skin. These medications are more easily absorbed into our bloodstream through our skin.  Therefore, putting these harmful chemicals on our skin is essentially more dangerous that consuming products with harmful chemicals.

It is very important to know what you are putting on your skin. Synthetic chemicals are linked to skin irritation, inflammation, even cancer and tumor growth. Many products that are labeled as being "natural" and "organic" contain dangerous ingredients.  Several "organic" beauty products contain a very small percentage of organic ingredients.  That's why it's so important to know what ingredients are in the skin care products that we put on our skin.   

Today I'm going to share with you what the FDA & CPSC has sealed with their stamps of safety approval and permits companies to put into our products.  Baby lotions that you feel you are lovingly putting on your new babe, can potentially be breaking down their immune system.  Shampoos that you are applying to your child that could possibly be causing allergies that after tests have been proven "unconfirmed allergy sources."  Lotions and creams that you are putting on your own skin.  

Now that I have driven the point of my message, below you will find what I have been researching.

There are primarily eight categories of chemicals that are deemed to be harmful and toxic to your body over prolonged use.  Unfortunately, it is because of this prolonged use that you most likely will not recognize the compromised condition that your body is gravitated toward until it is too late.  

So grab one of your favorite famous box store, named brand body products and let's get a checklist of ingredients that are listed on your product. 

* Alcohol (Isopropyl) - This is a solvent that is found in hair colorants, body lotions, after shave, perfume and fragrance.  It is also used as an anti-freeze.  It has been linked to causing depression, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and liver toxicity.  The fatal dose if taken internally in only one ounce.

* BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) - chemically derived of phenol, this is an additive to embalming fluid, hydraulic fluids,  jet fuels and gear oils.  This cam affect you as you breathe, it may damage a developing fetus, it can irritate eyes and skin, can cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion and passing out and my cause damage to the liver. 

* Fragrances: most beauty products contain fragrance and this includes shampoos, conditioners, facial skin care products, soap and bath products, as well as sunscreen. In fact, the list is endless and up to 4,000 chemicals can be involved. Many of the properties in fragrance are potentially carcinogenic and toxic and can affect the central nervous system causing dizziness, vomiting and nauseas amongst other symptoms.  Fragrances are also linked to immune toxcity which can cause health problems that are noticeable as allergic reactions or a weakened ability to fight disease and restore damaged body tissue. Fragrances are also linked to irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs. 

* Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / Sodium Laureth (SLS) - this dangerous additive is in over 90 percent of all shampoos, liquid soaps and that doctor recommended "safe" bar soap and anything that foams up.  It is a surfactant and also used in detergents.  Research has shown that it is damaging to the immune system, the eyes and skin and when combined with other chemicals in products it can be carcinogenic.  SLS is a very drying and caustic chemical that is likely to cause infection. SLS has been linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity.  SLS, and SLES are very dangerous ingredients. 

* Polyehelene glycol (PEG) - is a polyether compound compound with many uses in the industrial manufacturing of medicines.  PEG's contains toxic impurities and is nephrotoxic if applied to the skin.  This caustic chemical is found in facial cleansers and is added to dissolve the oil and grease on our skin.  It also thickens the product to make it creamy.  This is used very effectively as an oven cleaner.  PEG disrupts the immune system stripping our skin of it's natural moisture and is potentially a carcinogenic. 

* Proplylene Glycol (PG) -  is found in hair care products, cosmetics, after shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste and is also used in processing our food. It is the active ingredient in anti freeze and industrial workers handling this product must wear gloves and eye protection because of its toxicity to out skin, yet it is high in concentration in products that most people are using on their skin daily and even putting in their mouths. It is also used to dispose of hazardous waste and was used in the BP Oil Spill to disperse the oil from the water.  It's other uses are airlines anti-icing agents, The FDA also approved this agent to be put in our food and dog food as an additive, but not cat food because it causes Heinz body anemia. This dangerous additive is linked to organ system toxicity. Although Propylene Glycol has been established to aggravate skin irritation and sensitization in people in as low as a 2% concentration, the industry review panel advocates that cosmetics (beauty products - which does include soap, shampoo, etc) can contain up to a 50% concentration of this harmful chemical.  

* Mineral Oil- Sounds safe, but it is NOT.  It acts like a seal over our skin and stops the skin from breathing, disrupting our natural immune barrier.  It stops the skin from eliminating toxins naturally causing them to bio-acculate in the body.  Besides the increase toxic burden, this can cause acne and premature skin again. 

* Methylparaben and Propylparaben-  these are dangerous... period.  Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics and there are four main parabens in use:  Metylparaben, Tylparaben, Propylparaben and butylparaben.  But they can also be listed as: Ethyl paraben, Isobutyl Paraben, Isopropyl Paraben and Benzyl Paraben. They are also osteogenic, which means that they can mimic estrogen in the female body.  Parabens have been found in most breast tumors and they have also been shown to escalate the progression of a tumor.  Parabens are also found in a lot of prepared foods such as: mayonnaise, salad dressings and candy.  Studies have revealed that parabens can affect our bodies comparable in ways that estrogens do. This can lead to reduced muscle mass, weight gain and breast growth in men.  Parabens are linked to cancer and developmental and reproductive toxicity. They are also linked to irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs. 

* Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl Urea -  These are most commonly used as preservatives after parabens. They have been known to cause contact dermatitis and release formaldehyde which is both very toxic and carcinogenic. This is also used to create some polymers. 

* Triethanolamine (TEA) - is used primarily as an emulsifyer and surfactant.  It is used in the base of a product to adjust the PH.  TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of the hair and skin and can be toxic if absorbed into the body over time. Some common products TEA is used in is: liquid laundry detergents, dishwashing liquids, cleaning agents, polishes, metal working fluids, paints, shaving cream and printing inks. A 2001 study proved that once TEA was put into a sunscreen base, it caused an allergic dermatitis reaction. Reports in a 2004 study indicated that TEA increases the cause and growth rate of tumors in the liver.  Also in a 2009 study, TEA was proven to be chronically toxic to aquatic species.  (our water drains out somewhere doesn't it?  now think outside water sources - rivers, ponds, lakes, our beautiful oceans) 

* Phthalates - Very harmful chemicals that are not easily identified in a product.  Phthlalates are linked to cancer and developmental and reproductive toxicity.  They are also linked to immunotoxicity (harm to the immune system), which can cause health troubles that ware noticeable as allergic reactions or a weakened ability to fight disease and restore damaged body tissue.  Phthalates are linked to endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity.  They are also linked to irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs.  Most labels do not list phthlates as an ingredient.  Although very seldom, you may see "phthalate-free" on a label.  Phthlates are not only in personal care products, they are also in our car and floor cleaners, PVC plastics and insect repellants and pesticides. Certain phthlates have been found in people's urine from exposure to skin care products.  There have been (2) independent studies linking phthalate exposure and breast cancer,  endocrine disruption and metabolic disruption.. so in fact this also leads to obesity in some people.  

Ladies and Gentleman, the list of dangerous chemicals in our food and body products is astounding. I have spent weeks studying and choosing which ones to write about.  Honestly, I am truly sickened and saddened that our governments allow such chemicals in our products.  

I can not urge you enough to educate yourself on what you are putting on your skin and in your body.   I know.. I know.. everything is bad right?  Well no,  eat healthy, eat in moderation, control what you put onto your skin, what chemicals you allow in your home (including candles, air fresheners, laundry additives, cleaners etc).  You have control of your environment in your home.  We can avoid the poisoning of ourselves and loved ones...  read labels and remember " if we are careful about what we put INTO our bodies, we should be equally as careful with what we put ON our bodies" 

 Soon to follow:  Part 3 of "The 'Skin'ny on Skin" 

With Heartfelt Hugs,
=) Kristina

OH.. and here's a fun experiment:  go pull out one of my product labels and/or check out my product's list of ingredients  on my website..  I promise that I do not use any of the above additives.. (other than customer requested fragrance oils) ..that is why my motto is:  Inspired by Nature, Made with Love......