Friday, July 11, 2014

Back to Basics ~ Less IS More!

As a physician,  I am often asked about skin concerns.  What can I do for my kids acne?  What are these tender skin bumps I have on the backs of my arms?  What product would you consider best for my dry skin? How do I avoid the tight feeling after washing my face with cleanser?

I had a dermatologist tell me once in my training that alpha hydroxy acid based cleansers and moisturizers can acutally create a vicious cycle with your skin.  You begin using them because of the promised blessing of smoother, younger looking skin, less visible lines. Here is the real scoop.  Alpha hydroxy acids create inflammation by exfoliating the dead skin layer on top of your skin.  By exposing the "under belly" of your complextion your skin will appear renewed and pinker/brighter.  What is actually happening is inflamation leads to swelling which leads to less appearance of fine lines and a happy customer.  If you continue to use these products on a daily basis trying to make up for lost time of not taking care of your skin (or you have a class reunion coming up and you want to erase as much time as possible) you will notice initial improvement.  Then the dreaded reality comes into play and as you begin to wane in your routine those lines become more visible, the skin appears less pink ie... inflammed.  If you have acne or dry skin this is when you will begin to notice the rebound effect of drier skin or worsening of acne and you are now hooked into paying too high of a price for glowing skin.  You do not need alpha hydroxy acids for your skin to look radiant.  Save your money... consider our castile soap based sugar Face & Body Scrub fortified with glycerin, vitamin E, almond oil, essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, sage, really is amazing and simple to use.  Not to mention one jar lasts a long time. 

Healthy skin is as much about what you DO NOT put on it as what you put on it.  I fell into this cycle of believing that as a woman in my early forties I had better start with these creams in order to prevent wrinkles and preserve my youthful appearance.  They can sting and I thought...Dang!  if it burns a bit it must be working!  I began to notice red flaky patches, tender small red bumps on my face and thought I must have had some really bad damage to repair because I am getting older. I then went back to talk to my friendly sales person at the local cosmetic counter and they sold me another product to "help"  that was full of perfumes, preservatives, texture improving chemicals that gave a nice skin feel and $100 later I felt like I was now on my way to recovery!  Ever been there before?

I then started doing nothing for my skin and noticed it calmed down, felt better, didn't burn, and those tender red bumps went away.  I was not having an allergic skin was being acted upon by all of these chemicals and was it really necessary?

Skin care does not have to be complicated, or expensive.  I developed our soaps with wonderful skin loving oils in an amount that is superfatted to a percentage that cleanses just enough and leaves a lot of wonderful moisture behind.  All of our soaps are great for a head to toe clean but we do formulate many of our soaps with a purpose in mind and then fortify them with more of the good stuff for a specific area of your body like face, shave, baby, feet, sun-damaged get the idea. 

Our Facial Bar is perfect for tender face skin of all types and here is why... It is a goat milk soap with a more neutral pH and loaded with fatty acids. Why does that matter to your face?  Goat milk contains fatty acids that will never become saponified (changed) into soap.  They just hang around and wait to land on your skin so when you cleanse your face, this yumminess stays behind and face never feels stripped and tight.  We super-fatten up our soaps even more which means you will notice less moiturizer is needed after cleansing.  The Facial Bar contains lemon peel for very gentle scrubbing and kaolin clay for a smooth detoxifying clean. Our essential oil of choice is Sage, which is good for all skin types and aids in healing sun-damaged skin, inflammation caused by acne, eczema and psoriasis.  

So then the question comes up about having oily skin and not wanting to put more oils on oily skin.  Here is the answer for that dilemma.  If you have oily skin, it traps dirt that then creates not only a shine, but a vehicle for dirt and debris to settle into your pours, making them more visible and potentially create pimples or occluded skin pours.  Oil and Oil mix well!  The added fats in our soaps capture the oils on the surface of your skin, taking the debris with it and washes it away with the gentle cleansing of the soap.  Tad-ah!  Acne improves.  Oily skin improves.  It really is that easy. 

Our soaps are a win win for all skin types.  

Let's look at our shaving soap, 'Roc Your Shave.  Why do so many people notice less shave rash and a closer more balmy shave with 'Roc Your Shave?  It has as much to do with eliminating the artificial lathering agents in shaving cream and detergent shave gels, eliminating preservatives, eliminating the chemical fragrance and adding ingredients that benefit your skin and your shave!  'Roc Your Shave is rich in natural vegetable glycerin that forms from the soap making process.  We then pack it to the point where it can take no more with Moroccan Clay which allows the razor glide and slip on your face, head or legs in a way that allows you to use a less expensive razor with fewer blades for a closer shave.  We finish our shaving soap with a blend of essential oils that open up the hair follicles and make the hair within it stand up away from the skin, making shaving easier.  Result?  Closer shave, less razor burn, balmy finish.  

Simplify your skin care routine.  Start loving our skin! Less is more!  You can check out our products here and begin loving your skin simply by eliminating the bad and using Lume Soapworks products. 

Physician Formulated.  Nature Inspired~

Just my thoughts today,
Shannon Klingman, M.D.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

We are a Father and Daughter started Company!

Happy Father's Day!  Did you know I once read a statistic that said the presence of a father in a child's life is more important than a mother's?  As a mother I found that statistic surprising.  As a daughter.... I totally get it.  A mother's love is unconditional, this source said, and it's the father that makes a daughter or son feel really valued.  I have experienced the absence of a father in my very early life and then when I was 9 years old, my mom married the man who would then be my father, love me unconditionally and celebrate me just as I am.  Everyone loves my dad.  He has taught me that the most important part of business is the relationship you build with people.  What a wonderful example he is to me.  My dad and I make all of our soap.  It is like a dance that seems awkward with anyone else!  I celebrate him this Father's Day!

                                                 My Dad and business partner, Ace.

We have some great deals going on this month in honor of Father's Day.  Every order that is place over $40 before shipping receives a FREE full sized Grapefruit and Lavender Bees Wax Lotion.  We know that it is the women in the lives of these wonderful men placing orders with Lume and we recognize our appreciation for you with a FREE gift with purchase.

Also, we are offering many of our Men's Favorites at a special price of $3 a bar.  That is a wholesale price being shared with you for this occasion.  $3 a bar is unheard of and people think we are crazy for doing it, but we are thrilled to have you try and fall in love with Lume Soapworks. We know you will:)

Some exciting news that has come our way .... We are now doing private label for our original retailer that gave us our start in the business of selling soap.  Lakewinds Food Coop has partnered with us in creating custom private lable scents.  Our products meet the Natural Product Association standards {set by those in the know}and we are so very excited to be creating private label soaps for such a loved and trusted Coop in the Twin Cites.. It's an honor!  
Minnesota Summer!

Look for our great deals this Father's Day to help you honor the men in your life that love and nurture the children we love!  
                                                       Men's Face & Body Kit! $53.00

                                                              Men's Shaving Kit $30.99

                                       Our Free Soap Sample of the Month...Barber Shop! 
                                             Spicy and earthy- created with men in mind! 

                                                   All of the Best to you this Father's Day!


Friday, May 16, 2014

We are building a new studio!

This week we finalized the plans for our new studio!  We move this fall.  Lume Soapworks brand launched almost a year ago and it has been such a fun ride!  This is what I do for fun.  When I first started making soap 3 years ago, I made soap with every oil I could get my hands on.  I started with Crisco and olive oil and every single container became a soap mold. Crisco actually makes a great bar of soap!  We thought about calling it, "The Help" and quickly realized that the hydrogenation process of the palm oil was not widely accepted among natural beauty product lovers.  I was more concerned about the petrochemicals in the "bathing bars" that actually meant they were detergents.  Detergents are a great way to clean your floors or scrub your patio, but stripped your skin of it's natural protective oils and made it more susceptible to the harmful synthesized fragrances and additives.  Even though cleansing bars are a rinse off product, as a physician I knew our skin is our largest organ and it can absorb chemicals quite quickly.  I am not opposed to Crisco and Olive Oil for a sodium lauryl sulfate free soaping experience, but have moved on to ingredients that offer a more indulgent and premium benefits.

With that endeavor comes a lot of homework!  Essential oils are very expensive and not all are created equally!  Did I mention they are expensive?? Would we go through 450 pounds each of coconut, palm and castor oil, shea butter, cocoa butter before it went rancid?  I had to try!  It was like breathing to me.  The soap must be made.  I love cooking and those of you who know me know how much I love the culinary arts and I love soaping more.  It's the instant gratification that comes like making the perfect dish.  After a day of soaping, I anxiously await the process of cutting the soap!  It is like Christmas in a way because each batch is a bit different from the next and it is so exciting to lift the lid.

We scent our soaps with 100% pure essential oils and some do not give us the time to create the beautiful swirls just the way I want every time.  We color our soaps with only mineral pigments like natural clays, micas and botanicals and some batches of parsley powder are a beautiful green and then the next seems more gray!  The temperature of the room, how many batches of soap we made a particular day all affect the way the soap gels and firms up which in turn affects the colors.  I love the unpredictable predictable nature of soaping.  It makes me happy.

My dad and I started this company and we continue to make every bit of our products in small batches. Small batches (30 pounds) means we have the freshest products to offer our customers and they notice the difference.  Our soaps are super-fatted 7% which means we focus on the moisture our soaps deliver to your skin.  Sometimes with increased fatting of soaps you sacrifice bubbles.  So....we use rich, thick castor oil in a very good amount to allow Lume Soaps to deliver the bubbles and lather too.
Ace at Whole Foods in St. Paul, Minnesota

So as we approach the one year mark of Lume Soapworks and look back ...we have come a long way.  As you climb a mountain the surroundings look the same, and it's not until you look down and see how far you have come up the hill.  We have added 20 stores, established a great website for our customers to order from, began doing private label for a store to be announced next month (very excited), wedding favor custom soaps:), big trunk show events at 3M and Best Buy here in Minnesota and created and added many new products that compliment our soap and mission of Bathing Well.  We celebrate our progress and lessons learned looking forward to the adventures to come (Costco Roadshow-fingers crossed).
                                                          Custom Wedding Soaps

We have a great team (Ace, Garin, Kerry, Randy and me) and as we have progressed in this small business adventure I know now that the  smallest part of formulating and swirling soap is the fun part.  The rest ...the business the part that tries you as a business owner and makes you understand why so many small businesses fail.  We wont give up!

Just keep swimming, doing what we feel passionate about.  Stay true to our mission and it will all be okay.  We have a long way to go, but are super excited about the challenges ahead knowing we make great premium soap that sets us apart from the pack... Mr. Wonderful do read this blog?

Bathe Well,

Friday, April 25, 2014

Celebrating Moms, Naturally!

Hi Everyone!  April is winding down and it's time to think of our new soap of the month as well as our up coming holiday...Mother's Day!

I love Mother's Day.  I remember as a little girl going to Kentucky Fried Chicken and heading to a park for a picnic on more than one Mother's Day.  It was a big deal for us to eat out as kids.  It was how I spent my very first Mother's Day 13 years ago!   It seemed a little less than I remembered and I think it is because my mom was not there with me.  I was living in Michigan at the time and she was in Minnesota.  Celebrate your mom however you see fit, but let her know how much you appreciate the sacrifices motherhood requires.  This is me and my beautiful mom (and biggest fan:) )

At Lume Soapworks we have 2 special ideas for your mom.  We are featuring our "Yellow Kit" and our "Purple Kit" with a special discount code starting Monday, April 28, 2014.  We have been making kits for all of our lovely mothers and cannot wait for you to see them!

                                                                   "Yellow Kit"

"Purple Kit"

Both kits contain our sugar "Face and Body Sugar Scrub", "Loofah Magic" Soap, a bar of Cold Process Shea Butter soap on a natural handmade soap dish, a "Bees Wax Lotion" and "Lip Service" shea butter lip balm.  

We will have a coupon code ...LumeMom for $5 off from the Yellow and Purple Kit prices on our website activated on April 28th, .... Oh!  and Free Shipping too until Mother's Day!  

Soap of the Month for May...Orange Blossom
It's a 20% Shea Butter Soap  scented with orange and vanilla.  We give a generous sample with every online order in May.  It has a nice clay foundation so it is perfect for shaving as well!
So grateful for Lume's success and the difference you feel is worth it! No better time to try Lume.  We also have gift certificates available on our website.  Just purchase and the recipient chooses exactly what they would like.  How great is that?  I would love that as a gift.  Natural Products to bring out the natural beauty in all of us.  


Thursday, April 10, 2014

When Life Hands You Lemons, Lume Makes Pink Lemonade!

Here is our newest beauty!  Hand-Milled Orange Blossom.  Making soap is a lot like baking bread.  You can follow the same formula, method and each time it has a life of it's own.  The factors that go into making the perfect batch of soap are temperature, mixing method...the perfect amount of time and knowing when to say "when!" It is not an exact science when you throw colors, essential oils, clays and micas and hand swirling into the mix.  Each element behaves differently and some play nicer with others!  Like children~ Sometimes soap doesn't behave!  Here is one of those soaps.  Nothing lost however and a great product came from it!  We had to hand-mill it into submission!  It will be on our website in 3 wks.
Hand-Milled Orange Blossom Soap

Pink Lemonade!  It sounds so whimsical and happy.  I love the thought of lemonade and this bar screams summer!  So pretty.   

My dad and I make all of the soap here at Lume Soapworks (for's getting close to needing another soap team) with an occasional pitch hitting by someone else on our team.  It is like a dance.  We have our roles and play our part and it is so nice to know that my dad has my back!  He washes the dishes after I make a mess creating the next scent combination.   He always credits me with the beauty of the bars even though it's clear when I make soap without him it doesn't sing nearly as much as when we make it together.

Check out our website, place an order and for the month of April we will send along a free sample bar of Buttermilk & Honey.  Mention the blog and we will give you free shipping on $35 order or more.

Thank you for reading!  Shannon

Friday, April 4, 2014

Snow is Falling but it is SPRING at Lume Soapworks!

We got 9 inches of snow last night and now its 50 degrees!

Today in the soap studio we created a new soap (my Favorite thing to do in the studio) that really shouts Spring!  It is called Neroli and Poppy.  Neroli essential oil is a scent all it's own and the best way I can describe it is ....Coppertone Sun Tan Lotion circa 1975.  It is fresh and light and like no other essential oil.  Here she is! Packed with gently exfoliating Purple Poppy Seeds.  It will be ready in 3 weeks on our website and retail stores carrying our Bulk Soap.  My dad and I make all of the soap and today was like a well oiled machine.  He has been wintering in Texas and this was our first day soaping together in 10 wks!  It was a slow moving soap which makes for a very calm soaping day.

It is a coconut oil soap super fatted 7%.  What does that mean?  It means we add more skin loving oils to our formula that will never become soap because we discounted the lye to make it more luscious.  What does that mean for your skin?  Have you ever used a skin oil our oil based salt scrub and then hopped in the shower and you felt the residue loveliness on your skin?  That is what Lume's soap will do too.  It leaves a bit of hydrating oil behind to cap off skin after taking in the warm water and steam.  You will notice a difference in your skin after one use.  

We now added Almond Bliss to the Bulk Family...officially.   It sells so well we had to.  Almond is an essential oil everyone loves but it's more about the soap than the scent.  I hop in the shower and lather up 4 times when using Almond Bliss.  You cannot get enough of it.  Her it is! We make our soap the old fashioned way in small, 33 pound batches.  It behaves best in small batches but we have our share of Lucy and Ethel from the I Love Lucy Show too.  Today was a good day.  The soap behaved and all is well at Lume Soapworks!  Check out our website here and place an order today.  If you mention this blog in the notes Lume will give you free shipping on an order over $35.  Thank you for reading:) Have a great weekend. You can email me any questions you may have here!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lume Soapworks made it's debut under the Captiva Island Sun!  

Hey Everybody I am starting to blog this week! Our great happenings are too fun not to share so stay tuned for some real "Day in the life of Lume!" moments.  

We were vacationing in Captiva, Florida this week while doing a little research on the hot sun.  Sun Up, our solid sunscreen stick with an SPF of 30 really performed well!  It was perfect for the kids to reapply after swimming.  It goes on white and blends out to clear.  I loved using it straight up solid white under tender eyes that have goggles coming on and off and on and off.  We loved the water resisitant nature of it as well.  Never ashy and always nurishing with shea butter, cocoa butter and all natural micronized zinc oxide.  Chemical Free.  Sun Down is a nice after sun skin care aloe lotion too!