Truly. I'm obsessed here. Rosewater is my everything these days. Why? Because when you combine pure organic rose with alkaline water and my favorite oils and essential oils, it creates utter magic for your skin and hair. There's a reason rose has been sought since ancient times. Rose has always been a symbol of love, beauty, and health. Rose is one of only three flowers mentioned in the Bible. Cleopatra herself reveled in its cosmetic and healing powers. In ancient Indian cultures, it was thought to bring luck and sophistication to welcome royal guests where it is now used in ceremonies as well as religious festivals. In fact, it is even mentioned in medical textbooks written by Ottaman Physicians from the 14th century. Rosewater is also used in Turkish baths to deep cleanse the body. It is described as the flower of heaven which symbolizes the reminiscence of the prophet Mohammed. Rose is certainly revered by many cultures and many people, and today, it's making a comeback to the cosmetic world. Yay!
iTo be a little honest, I've had my dried roses sitting in my cabinet of goodies for awhile now, a little intimidated by the possibilities. And so they sat just waiting for me to stop being a baby and finally put them to good use. It wasn't until I released our newest haircare line that inspiration truly hit. Ooooooh, how quickly the creative juices can flow when you know the time time is right and everything just aligns. So here I am, just looking for more reasons to use my rosewater. Right now, it's the star ingredient in our hair mist and rosewater toner, and soon to be in so many more (did someone say healing aftershave?)
The best part is that thanks to our yucky local tap water, we invested in a water filtration system that now filters, alkalizes, and ionizes our water, so the pH levels reach an alkaline level of almost a 9+, which is considered to add even extra healing benefits like anti-ageing, hydrating, balancing, and moisturizing properties. When our roses are then steeped with the alkaline water, it is pure magic what it does for the skin and hair. Add our hydrating oils and then our essential oils that our proven to boost hair and skin health, well, you'll just have to see for yourself why my obsession is real.
If you're on a natural haircare and skincare journey, rosewater is a must on your regimen. Take a look at just a few things rosewater can do for you:
I've been sitting on this one for awhile now. Not because it's a big secret, but more so because sometimes I get swept up in the passion for sharing fun things about our ingredients, I forget to mention the most important component of maintaining a healthy glow, regardless of what products you're using. And it's so simple, and sadly, the least talked about!
Recently I've been working on infographics for Bee Farmee's haircare line. Once I finished, I realized I forgot one of the most important instructions; DRINK AAAALLLL THE WATER!!!
It is such a simple thing, so basic, yet oh-so essential! If the world is composited of mostly water, our bodies composited of mostly water, what happens when our bodies don't get enough? We feel run down, our bodies start conserving its stores, and our hair, skin, and nails start getting a little crispy. Why? Because lack of water can cause skin to lose its plumpness and elasticity—leading to dryness and flakiness. Worse yet, that leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Dark undereye circles are also more visible when water intake is low. When your body is thirsty, your hair may become thin, brittle, dry, and break off easily—leading to the appearance of thinning hair. Just as eating properly and getting the right nutrients is key for the health of your hair and skin, so is drinking enough water.
I like to think of it like a houseplant. I have my favorite houseplant that always tells me when I need to pay him more attention (He's my favorite. Straight to the point and he doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to telling me he needs more water.). When not cared for, he droops, deflates, loses his luster, and his ends start to brown and crisp. He's always my reminder that I should probably grab a glass of water for myself after I water him. And we have to think about ourselves in the same way. How do plants grow, gardens thrive, and flowers produce? With adequate water. Drinking plenty of water is SO vital to our skin and hair health, and I hate that the health and beauty industry isn't talking more about it. I know we've all been guilty of not drinking enough here and there, myself very much so included. I can honestly say I can tell a difference on my good water days versus bad water days. Kind of like my houseplant.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups of fluids a day for men and 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women. Obvious benefits of getting enough water is pertinent and fantastic for our overall health. Yay!, of course, but we're here to talk about our skin and hair, right? So let's take a look at what we'll notice when our body is fully hydrated!
When we drink enough water, our body is in perfect working condition to flush out harmful toxins and do its thing, and our face and skin reap those benefits. You're also essentially giving your skin a healthier pH balance to be a revived, healthier-looking version of yourself. Your skin will glow, your hair will shine and be primed to flourish and grow. Drinking a healthy amount of water will ultimately:
-Carrie Beth/Bee Farmee
International Women's Day
Happy International Women's Day to every single person out there. A day to celebrate the women in our lives, their accomplishments, the progression they've made, and the monumental challenges they've overcome throughout history. Today is a global day celebrating the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women. Today is a day of action in support of taking action against gender inequality around the world. This one goes out to men and women alike. This year's Women's Day theme is "Choose to Challenge," so I challenge you to open your minds and hearts to this change in writing today and hear a quick message. Before I dig in, I want to first say, nothing I'm about to write negates my gratitude for the men and their accomplishments in our lives, past and present. It takes both to make the world go 'round, and that's what today is all about. We know history, we know inequality is a very real issue, and bringing about balance is (my perceived) target in celebration of recognition.
Choose to Challenge
To all the women out there, here's my challenge to you: celebrate what and who you are. Throughout your life, you've accomplished and overcome so much. You know you have. Be proud of it and be proud of things your sisters have done as well. Know that you are worth so much, you're allowed to take as much or as little space on this earth as you want or need, and that your voice matters and is SO important.
To all the men out there: Do you know a woman in your life? She's pretty awesome, right? Just like you, she's accomplished and overcome a lot in her life, and sometimes she's been made to believe she's not enough and that her voice is small. Reach out to her and let her know how important she is.
To everyone: Go out there and support the women in your lives today. Do you know a woman-owned business? That's no easy feat. Go support them! How about a lawyer, a doctor, a plumber, or construction worker? Support her and tell her she's pretty kick-@ss for doing what she's doing. Let's celebrate today and remember how far we've come and how far we can go. Happy Women's Day, everyone!
Essential Oil. Our Favorite and Only Fragrance.
If you know Bee Farmee then you know we're aaallll about nature. Why? Nature feeds us, sustains us, and misses us! Check out our past titles right here to see what we mean: NATURE.
When we batch our products for you we have you and nature in mind, which means we steer clear of synthetics. Long before those man-made fragrances ever existed, essential oils were there for us. Did you know that essential oils were mentioned in the Bible and even pre-dates that? In recorded history, the Egyptians used essential oils as far back as 4500BC. Our ancestors appreciated essential oil's value, using them for perfumes, aromatherapy, and medicinal purposes. While technologies have changed and knowledge and possibilities grows, one thing remains the same: they continue to serve a big purpose in our lives. And very much so in my own little world as well. I've learned so much in this Bee Farmee journey. I learned I'm surrounded by more essential oils than sense sometimes. I love learning, combining, and concocting just to see what else can create with them. With that comes a lot of things that I get to share with you, so there's a great bright side!
Lavender and lemongrass were two of my first essential oils to get to know. Both are also two of my very personal favorites. Lemongrass, however, has always spoken to my soul on such a deep level. With our very first meeting it was love at first sniff. It's just naturally so rejuvenating and cheery. I hope you're ready to learn some fun things about lemongrass with me. Here we go!
Today we're taking a slight break from discussing our ingredients and delving straight into some personal candor. But first, I need to give you just a little backstory:
As some of you know, my husband Ash and I fully operate Bee Farmee, which started as a small kitchen operation on our spare time just barely over three years ago. We'd spend late hours preparing for shows and markets, setting up for weekend events all over the state, and it really was a lot of fun! Though, it didn't take long for growing pains to creep in. We were so very blessed for the growth, all of the orders, shows, support from friends and family, and new partnerships with other stores. We met so many amazing folks like us and made great connections with other small business owners along the way. Ash and I had jokingly mentioned starting a famers market in the town we love so dearly here in Collinsville. We usually just laughed it off knowing it was just a "one of these days" pipedream. We both had full time jobs on top of our homesteading and parenting our six teenagers between us (and we all know that's a full job in itself!), but those words just continued to speak to us until we could no longer deny it was time to take action. And if you know us, you know how the rest of this story unfolds. If not, again, condensed story, it was the birth of Farm Hippie and Bee Farmee Headquarters. We listened to our instincts, followed our gut, and with all of the faith and tenacity we had, we celebrated our grand opening just over a year and a half ago. We retired from our day jobs, gathered up all those connections and friendships we made along the way and brought them with us, and settled in to Bee Farmee's official production station inside Farm Hippie.
Doing what we did was no easy feat. Small business alone, along with operating the way Farm Hippie does, trailblazing our way through the dark it seemed, left Bee Farmee operations... a little left behind. I dare say, even neglected at times. Every bit of our time and attention was poured into our mission at Farm Hippie. Without a doubt, it certainly deserved our attention, love, and devotion to what we're trying to accomplish, and it's nice to step back and see how all of the hard work is starting to pay off--and it is. Bee Farmee never really went away during all of that, but when I was able to really reflect on all that Bee Farmee had done in the meantime, it broke my heart. No more shows or markets, interaction was minimal, Facebook, website, and social media was almost non-existent, and production seemed to be just enough to stock the shelves. If you're familiar with small business, well, that's just not how it works. It felt a lot like the movie Toy Story where Buzz gets all the attention and Woody just sits longingly on the bed with nothing but devotion waiting to be picked up again.
The momentum was never gone, Bee Farmee just got stuck in a slight depression. I was watching and cheering on all the amazing accomplishments of other vendors inside Farm Hippie, and forgot to pour that love back into our entire beginning. One of the things Ash and I have always said is, "Where you put your energy is where you will see growth." I 100% urge you to practice that so you can see the truth in that, too. It wasn't until this revelation that I realized something had to give. Balance was certainly warranted in this situation. It was time to practice that as well.
The reason I say all of this so openly to all of you, is that this is my apology and my gratitude. Bee Farmee is alive and well and we're actively working on balance. 2021 is our year for that. We now have a little extra help in the production room and in Farm Hippie, which has been a tremendous blessing to us. So, Heather, if you're reading this, you're a rock star and we love you! And we are so grateful for you. To all of our original customers, if you're still here, thanks for not giving up on us. For all of our new customers, thank you and we're so glad you're here! And to everyone, there's many great things to come and we appreciate your support more than you'll ever know.
The last few weeks we've discussing the powerhouse ingredients Bee Farmee uses in all of our solid lotion bars. It's truly (and nerdily) been a blast for me to sit and take the time to type out why I love all of them so much and why they're all so important in our bars and for your skin. First of all, thanks for letting me do so, and secondly, I'm kind of sad that we're wrapping it up after this. I have a feeling I'll be doing this again with our liquid products and some of our other favorites, so keep an eye out for that in the future. Until then, let's talk about... COCONUT OIL! My favorite versatile oil to exist.
Before we go there, if you haven't read our past weeks' blogs, I highly recommend doing so, so you understand the full scope of what we're doing here. Here's a very condensed recap:
So what part does it play in our Bee Farmee solid lotion bars? A HUGE one. Remember last week when I told you that it's the trifecta of ingredients that makes the product as a whole work? They have to work together. The beeswax is the glue, the shea butter is the healer, and the coconut oil is the one who ensures both healing properties and an easy glide as a solid lotion. Let's talk about the healing properties of coconut oil:
Before we wrap up, there's one last mention and something I feel strongly about as well. We only use the purest of essential oils in all of our products and lotion bars. Synthetic fragrance is not something we're on board with, and it irks me to death when something is labeled and/or marketed as "fragranced with essential oils," when it's obvious (to me, I guess, since I'm working with them all the time) that's untrue or misleading. As conscious consumers, we always need to be doing our own investigating, asking questions, and knowing the full source of the products we're putting on our bodies. If ever there's any questions about ingredients we use here at Bee Farmee, please, and always reach out to us. We love talking with you.
So I guess that wraps up this round of ingredients! Thanks so much again for taking the time to learn about what we're doing here at Bee Farmee. We're super easy to reach over at our Facebook if you ever have any questions!
We'll talk soon!
Raw African Shea Butter: An ancient ingredient with amazing powers. It's one of my absolute favorites, and there's good reason why we're sure to include it in all of Bee Farmee's solid products. We've been talking a lot about the importance of natural ingredients...well, because natural ingredients are important. Last week we barely skimmed the surface of beeswax. Trust me, we could write page after page about bees and their byproducts, but for now we'll keep it pretty simple and delve a little deeper another time. Hopefully you're seeing a trend here. If you need a quick recap, check it out here: beeswax-natures-super-ingredient.html.
One of my favorite compliments we receive from our customers is how well Bee Farmee's solid lotion bars effortlessly glide over the skin. We've had several people tell us that some bars from other makers they've tried in the past just feel like a solid block of wax. No one wants that. And truthfully, before releasing our first lotion bars into the world, it took a lot of playing around with the recipe to find that perfect balance of beeswax versus emollient. Before we talk about what a pivotal part shea butter plays in our products, I first need to touch on how the blend of the three ingredients works: the trifecta of awesomeness.
Remember the amazing benefits of beeswax and all it can do for your skin? Now imagine that only being the glue that holds the rest of the ingredients together, because that's exactly what it does. Not only is it nourishing and healing, but it's only physical job is to be the support system for the solid oils. Not a bad gig, right? Coincidentally both the support and leading star of the show, BUT, like I mentioned before. it's the trio that makes the magic happen, and that can't be done without my favorite solid oil, Raw African Shea butter.
A lot of research, and a lot of trial and error went into the final product. The outcome was what we use today. So why Raw African Shea butter? The simple answer is that it's just all-around superior to its counterparts. No offense to jojoba, cocoa, or any of the others. Really, they're all great and a better alternative to commercial options, it's just (in my humble opinion)…the best!
First of all, it's known for its fatty acids. Like, REALLY fatty acids, which are unremovable because its so densely rich with them. It's also PACKED with vitamins that directly feed your skin. What that translates to is that it stimulates our cellular activity, which if you're treating eczema, psoriasis, or other skin illnesses, it's there to jump into action where your body is not. Shea butter just wants to repair damaged skin. And that goes for all skin types and almost any problem you can think of. Here's just a few examples:
See what I mean? I wasn't fooling around and neither is shea. I hope it's not TMI, but before I created Bee Farmee, I suffered from severe cystic acne. I could always count on a flareup once a month, if you know what I mean. If you're familiar with cystic acne, it's painful, sightly, and to me it was embarrassing. They left behind terrible marks, redness, and some scars. A lot of our new customer's frequent concerns is that because our products feel "heavy," due to the richness of the shea butter, they question if it can be used on the face. My answer is always YES, YES, YES! Please use it on your face. Your face has been craving it more than you know. As if shea butter can't get any better, it is naturally non-comedogenic: It absorbs so easily into your skin and it won't block your pores. In fact, it helps cleanse them. The best part? It restores your skin's natural elasticity, so worrying about wrinkles and finding the perfect wrinkle cream will be something of the past. And personal update? I get an occasional pimple once a month, but cystic acne is something of MY past and all of my scars are faded and gone.
Before we wrap up, just a quick clarification between refined and unrefined butters. Bee Farmee only uses Raw African Shea butter, meaning 100% unrefined and raw. The difference is that refined/processed shea butter is bleached and/or has color added and has fragrance added to remove/cover the natural scent of the butter. If you ever notice a color change in our solid lotion bars, it's one of two things: the beeswax harvest date (fall is darker, spring is lighter), and some shea trees produce darker nuts than others, dependent on environmental factors as well.
I hope you all are having fun learning something new about what we're doing here at Bee Farmee. I'm certainly having fun sharing all of this with you! We'll be back soon for the final of our solid ingredients.
As always, we love to hear what you think and love your feedback! Feel free to comment here or find us on Facebook!
'Beeswax: Nature's Super Ingredient. No, really. And seriously. I hope you have a minute or two to really enjoy what I'm about to share with you, because there is seriously so many amazing benefits of beeswax that it's hard to cram it all in just a couple of paragraphs. The last few times we talked, we discussed the revolution of the natural skincare world and why we here at Bee Farmee feel it so important to be a part of the movement and share that with you. We also promised to take a deeper look into the base and powerhouse ingredients we use here in our production room.
Right now, we're going to stick to our baseline solid lotion bar and other solid ingredient products, which is: Beeswax, Raw African Shea Butter, pure coconut oil, and pure essential oils.
Sit down, grab a glass of wine or coffee. You're about to fall in serious love with bees and their byproducts.
A quick overview: The female worker bees hold eight little wax-producing glands from their hard-earned collected nectar. Those glands are secreted through tiny pores as wax droplets, which then harden when exposed to the air. After being chewed and processed by the bee's saliva, the wax scales turn into the white-ish, pliable construction material they use to store honey and raise their young.
Beeswax has ancient roots in the medicinal world. Beeswax is a well-known antiseptic, holding anti-microbial powers like nothing that could ever be synthetically recreated. In fact, in Ancient Rome, doctors were known to apply a cream known as "cold cream" (beeswax, rose water, and olive oil) used to treat burns, cuts, bruises, and even fractures. Ancient Egyptians appreciated the value of honey and beeswax in both their religious and practical living. And today? Even the University of Iowa College of Veterinary Medicine recognizes the true value of their byproduct. Honey and beeswax both are used widely as an alternative treatment to treat wounds. As a widely known anti-inflammatory, even been studied in the use of relieving pain. A 2014 study published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine reports that it was used to helped relieve inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. All randomized patients completed the study, and 23 experienced a reduction in pain, joint stiffness and physical function. These reductions were significant beginning in the second week and became enhanced during the trial.
So beeswax is healing, holds anti-microbial AND anti-fungal properties, and is a proven anti-inflammatory, but what other known benefits does it hold? Hold your horses, because I've compiled the most ridiculously long list.
So why the heck are we using it on our skin? Because it not only repairs, but protects from needing repair. If you've used our Bee Farmee products then you know it helps protect and repair rough, dry or chapped skin because it has the ability to lock in moisture. In the book “How to Use Beeswax and Honey to Cure Skin Problems,” author Gene Ashburner explains that this wax has rich vitamin A content and emollient properties, which soften and rehydrate the skin as well as aiding in the healthy development of cellular reconstruction.www.facebook.com/beefarmee
The best part? (Really, could there be another best part?!) Beeswax is noncomedogenic! Which means it won’t clog pores!
One last thing before we wrap up here. We have had a few customers ask if using the beeswax destroys or harms our bees or hives. The answer is: harvesting honey and wax should never harm a hive if done so sustainably. Beekeepers know to only take a little and leave a lot for their bees to winter over. After all, the bees are the ones who put all of their hard work and love into their hives.
There is even more I could have written about bees and their wax, but I'll spare you all and save it for another time. I promised to only write on the benefits of Bee Farmee's lotion bar ingredients, so for now we'll come back next week to talk about my next favorite ingredient we use for your Bee Farmee products. I hope you all learned lots and have just a little more appreciation for bees and their wax. We certainly love them.
As always, we love to hear your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment, message us on Facebook, or email us! See you next week!
Is it just me, or did 2020 pass by in both slow-mo AND super warp speed? I don't know about you, but when the clock struck 12:00 almost a year ago, I had NO idea the roller coaster we were jumping on. And what a wild ride it has been.
Yes, I recovered and survived the virus, though at the time it didn't feel like I was going to. Ash fell ill too with much milder symptoms. All the kids scathed by without, and we attribute that to opting for virtual learning this year and safe quarantining protocol. Many close family and friends tested positive in the second wave, and sadly, I've heard too many stories of losses from those who did not make it.
In the beginning when businesses were forced to close, we saw fellow businesses indefinitely unable to re-open. We closed our doors in the spring when we were ill and had no idea what the future held or what doing business would even look like after that. But here's what we also saw: Humanity, perseverance, strength, and sheer will. Small businesses held together with a will to survive the economic downfall. It took some flexibility and changes for a lot of these businesses, but look how that worked in their favor. What's even better, is that the communities supported these local businesses like never before. Overall, humanity rose to the occasion, supported, helped, and loved their fellow man. And that's the takeaway from this year I will cherish, both personally and in this Bee Farmee career of ours.
In the not very far future when all the dust as settled and 2020 is nothing more than a dirty word, I hope you all walk away from it with something to cherish, something learned, and something to look forward to. I hadn't planned on writing or posting this week but I felt it in my heart to share that with you. We have so much planned for 2021. New releases are rolling out later this month, in fact, with much more in the works. We're just getting started.
I'll be back next week with the planned discussion about the benefits of natural ingredients. Until then, as we close 2020 and look forward to 2021, may you all have a safe, thoughtful, and joyous new years.
Cheers to 2021!
Skincare: The Bad, The Ugly, And The Good
Last week we touched on the reality of most skincare products on the market today. To recap, it wasn't pretty. The reality is that the market is inundated with harmful petroleum disguised as unassuming ingredients listed on our skincare labels. An educated consumer knows the risks involved when not knowing the source and ingredients of the products going on their skin while so many others just...don't know. And that's the scariest part of all.
Have no fear. As dismal as all of this sounds, we're about to see a good balance brought back to the skincare world, and that's thanks to conscious consumers making conscious decisions when it comes to their health. In 2018, A study by global consulting and research firm Kline & Company reported that the growth of the natural personal care market in the U.S. recorded its strongest growth in the last five years. Even major consumer brands are jumping in to create their own natural lines (However, buyer beware. Just because it lists a few natural ingredients, that doesn't mean they're not using all the synthetics previously mentioned in last week's blog). Things are really starting to optimistically shift in the right direction for consumers and natural brands alike.
The strange thing is, we never created Bee Farmee with the intention of being a part of this natural movement, when, in fact, it couldn't have been better timing on our part. When our first honey harvest of 2018 was complete and we were left with pounds of heaping pounds of excess beeswax, it was my instinctive "Reduce, reuse, recycle!" mentality that led us right into the path of this shift. I just didn't want the wax to go to waste. I just wanted a quick and simple answer as to how I could turn it into a hand cream since my Hergins (I won't ever mention names, but it's a good rhyme if you catch my drift. And at the time I thought this was a pretty trustworthy brand.) was almost out. I had no idea it was going to lead me down the Googling rabbit hole. Needless to say, I learned a lot more than I wanted to know, and it was inspiring. Not in a "Wow! Synthetic store-brand stuff is amazing!" kind of way, but more of a "I can't believe this is legal and that a majority of my fellow human beings are being duped into slathering cancer-causing chemicals into their super absorbent skin." It wasn't long thereafter that I got my master herbalism certification to do my part to make a real change. The desire was very real, and in my heart and soul, very necessary.
So that's where we are. Unintentionally and proudly a part of the "natural movement," and we couldn't be more proud of that. Bee Farmee is much more than a catchy name. From what we've learned along our own personal journey, we felt it important to share that with you. Not just the knowledge about the importance of using natural ingredients, but even more so the knowledge to make conscious choices when it comes to skincare. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey with us.
We'll be taking a little holiday hiatus, but we'll be back to talk about how each of the four ingredients we use in our products can holistically benefit you! As always, let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below! Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season.
-Carrie Beth Winfield