Why We Use Frankincense and Myrrh in Our Skincare Products

We get kidded a lot when we tell folks we use frankincense and myrrh in several of our skincare products – the first question is “where’s the gold?!” These two historical oils are most commonly known as two of the gifts (gold was the third) that the three Wise Men brought to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew (2:11). As the traditional story goes, these gifts implied honor and status, but it’s also possible they were included as a practical matter since research shows the two ingredients were used as herbal remedies for a variety of ailments and to bring about good health.   What is Frankincense Good For? If you grew up in the 70’s (like me), then you may remember the scent of frankincense wafting from your incense as you listened Jethro Tull or Pink Floyd. Today, I love it because of its versatility to help protect skin cells, reduce acne blemishes and scars, help lift and tighten skin to naturally slow signs of aging, and help soothe eczema and other rashes. There’s even been research showing that frankincense may be beneficial in the fight against certain cancers. I love the deep, complex aroma of wood and spice, which is deeply relaxing and spiritual. Many folks use it to calm their breath while meditating. We use 100% pure frankincense essential oil in Action Wipes and in our Face Wash Powder & Body Wash Powder for its antibacterial properties. We also use it in our Healing Honey Stick for its anti-inflammatory properties (it soothes rashes, cuts and burns).    What is Myrrh Good For? Historically, myrrh was used to treat wounds and prevent infections. Because of its natural antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used on minor skin irritations, such as athlete’s foot, ring worm, eczema, acne and even in tooth paste and mouthwashes.   The Chinese frequently used myrrh as a medicine and it remains a part of traditional Chinese medicine to this day. Ancient Egyptians also used it to prevent aging and maintain healthy skin.  Today, myrrh is commonly added to skin care products to help with moisturizing and also for fragrance.  We use myrrh in our Healing Honey Stick for all its properties – that’s why I believe we’ve received so many tear-inducing testimonials from hundreds of users. The stick is a miracle worker.  We strongly believe in the health and beauty benefits of 100% pure essential oils. There are a lot on the market today that can be purchased at any health food store or pharmacy. We invite you to explore all the wonderful benefits and aromas. However, we caution you to NEVER apply undiluted essential oils to your skin as it may cause inflammation, irritation, or burning.    

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Why We Use Frankincense and Myrrh in Our Skincare Products

We get kidded a lot when we tell folks we use frankincense and myrrh in several of our skincare ...

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Q&A: Eric Fisher of Inside Line Equipment

We are super excited to announce the collaboration with Inside Line Equipment (ILE). As we were looking for partners that could make a custom, high quality bag for our Bundle Kits, we found a lot of companies that make amazing products. We chose ILE because everything is handmade in Berkeley, California with USA-sourced materials, and designed with strength and simplicity in mind. Check out this interview with Eric Fisher, the founder and owner of ILE to get a sense of the passion, pride and quality he infuses into his bags.   Why do you make your product here in the USA? We focus on designing good products, and we like having control over the production, including the sourcing of the materials because it ensures that they are the best quality. We enjoy building relationships with our suppliers. This seems to work well for us on a small scale, and we are excited to grow with this commitment to quality and local production.   What are you most proud of as the founder and owner of Inside Line Equipment? I really take pride in making all our products in-house.  It makes prototyping and product development seamlessly transition into small-batch production. We are a small team and we all enjoy taking part in the R+D. Having everything under one roof – sewing, photography, shipping, wholesale and retail ensures efficiency, cohesiveness and pride in making good products.   As a small business, you must have had some hurdles. What have been some of your biggest challenges? Cash flow is the hardest part for any self-funded business. But having the freedom to make quick decisions and not having a bank on your shoulders keeps it fun. In the beginning, it was more difficult to source materials, but as we have networked and established good relationships with suppliers and textile mills, we are gaining access to some really cool fabrics, trims and high-quality materials.   What inspires the design of your products? Do they come from customer input, other industries or just making stuff you want to use? Most design influence comes from friends that use our products – sometimes it’s a direct suggestion, and sometimes it's as simple as seeing someone use their bag differently than what it was intended for.   You must put in brutal hours and mindshare as the owner, so what do you do to clear your head to stay fresh? Riding my bike in the morning or after work keeps my head clear. Another favorite is sitting down with a beer and a notebook, sketching designs and details that are bouncing around in my head.   We asked and you said “yes” to collaborate with us on a custom Dopp Kit. What was interesting to you about this project? I find dealing with other small business owners always informative. How they make decisions. How they project their brand. Where they invest their time and resources. It's fun to work for someone who appreciates quality and thoughtful design. It’s great that Life Elements makes their products in California, and helps people get outdoors and enjoy the wonderful place we live.    

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Q&A: Eric Fisher of Inside Line Equipment

We are super excited to announce the collaboration with Inside Line Equipment (ILE). As we were...

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Why We Love Rosemary: Health, Cooking & Landscaping Benefits

As a beekeeper, cook and skincare formulist, one of my favorite herbs is rosemary, due to its versatile properties. I think we’ve all used rosemary in a recipe or two at some point, but I came to love it even more after moving to California’s Central Coast. (Our office and warehouse is based in Atascadero). There is *so* much rosemary in our landscape. The entire entrance to our new home was surrounded by hedges of rosemary and lavender, as were the properties of our neighbors. When we asked our real estate agent why this was, he advised us that deer dislike both of these herbs, so they wouldn’t eat it.  Sure enough, they’ve pretty much mowed down everything else we’ve tried to grow, but rosemary and lavender continue to flourish. Who would have thought?! It wasn’t long thereafter I’d grab our sheers and start cutting both the rosemary and lavender to add their amazing herbaceous and floral scents to flower arrangements and recipes. Not only is rosemary a recognizable scent, it also has a beautiful purple flower that our bees love. It brings us such happiness to watch them buzzing around the rosemary hedge when it’s in full bloom – you can literally hear them singing with joy as they fill their pollen pockets after rolling around on the flower (the pollen adds a touch of rosemary flavor to the honey, which is so yummy). Aside from being bee food, a cooking staple and a landscape saver, rosemary also has a history of medicinal and skincare properties. It’s been said that rosemary offered protection from the bubonic plague. It’s also known to help oily skin without drying and clogging pores. This incredible herb also helps soothe muscle aches and pains. And it makes a great addition to an end-of-day cocktail – our favorite is this Pear Rosemary Cocktail.   We use rosemary in our Healing Honey Body Scrub for its delicious scent, antioxidant properties and as a natural preservative.  And, you can expect to see more of this versatile essential oil in our future products!

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Why We Love Rosemary: Health, Cooking & Landscaping Benefits

As a beekeeper, cook and skincare formulist, one of my favorite herbs is rosemary, due to its ve...

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23 Liquid Castile Soap Uses

Liquid castile soap is the queen of versatility. You can use it to wash your clothes, car and children. It’s an essential for both traveling the world and making a house a home. Because it’s biodegradable, you can take it backpacking, bikepacking and road tripping.  For being so utilitarian, the origins of castile soap are quite romantic. Castile soap – meaning soap created with vegetable oils – was first developed in the Mediterranean countries of Spain and Italy. Here at Life Elements, we recently introduced a castile soap that we call the Daily Liquid Soap. Much like the merchants of yore, we also use olive oil as the base of our liquid castile soap. Now on to the list of 23 uses for liquid castile soap ... Make it your daily showering soap Hand wash your clothes with it Use it on dishes Suds up your pets to get rid of mud (or worse ... pets get into the darndest things) Clean your car with it Keep a bottle by your bathroom sink for hand washing Let the gentle formula remove oil and dirt from your facial pores Use it to make your bike (mountain, road, gravel or cross) sparkle and shine ... and run smooth Safely wash babies and young children (it’s made with all natural ingredients!) Use it for shaving ... legs or beards! Take the 2 ounce bottle of our Daily Liquid Soap backpacking or bikepacking ... to wash yourself, your dishes and your clothes (it’s biodegradable!) Take this multi-purpose soap with you to music festivals Live in a van or tiny home? This is your all-in-one, space-saving soap. Traveling the world on a few bucks of day? Use it to clean your clothes in the hostel’s utility sink. Dilute it with water to wash your fruits and vegetables Mop your floors with it Clean your kitchen counters with it Give your bathroom a once over with it Freshen up after yoga, a gym workout or lunchtime run with a splash of cold water and a few drops of this soap Keep our 2 ounce bottle of the Daily Liquid Soap in your purse or glove compartment for unexpected messes (talking to all you parents out there!) Use it as a stocking stuffer Give it out as a bridal or bridesmaid gift (along with our Healing Honey Body Scrub and Healing Honey Body Oil) Slip it in the desk drawer of your smelly co-worker ... ya know, as a subtle hint

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23 Liquid Castile Soap Uses

Liquid castile soap is the queen of versatility. You can use it to wash your clothes, car and chi...

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Videos that Pay Homage to Wildlands Firefighters

Wildland fires can dominate the news feed and this summer was no exception, especially here in California where Action Wipes calls home. Those who risk their own wellbeing for the environment and other people’s lives deserve our respect. In a nod of gratitude, we’ve compiled a list of videos that pay homage to the long, hard hours that wildlands firefighters put in and the sacrifices they make. Check out these documentaries, YouTube features and even a Netflix series that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the on-the-ground realities for these men and women. Filson created this video to honor the Forest Service’s stewardship of our 193 million acres of national forests through the “management of fire.” While the news cycles often focus on images of destruction, 98 percent of the 50,000 wildland fires every year are contained within 24 hours of detection. Their beautiful video highlights the dedication it takes to help manage our national forests. Only the Brave | The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots is coming to the big screen this October. It tells the tragic story of an elite crew of firemen who in June of 2013 battled a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona that that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. http://www.onlythebrave-movie.com/site/ Also, check out the video documentary and written account that Outside Magazine put together about the Yarnell Hill Fire.https://www.outsideonline.com/1866211/documentary-granite-mountain-hotshots-and-yarnell-hill-fire https://www.outsideonline.com/1926426/19-true-story-yarnell-hill-fire Netflix just released a series called Fire Chasers, which follows several groups of wildland firefighters across California. Made by the same team that produced Deadliest Catch, this show is worth watching. https://www.netflix.com/title/80117902  Vice tagged along with a squad of wilderness firefighters from the Oregonian boonies as they worked to prevent their hometown from being torched to ashes like the super flammable tinderbox that surrounds them on all sides. We are proud that many fire departments across the country give Action Wipes to their wildlands teams. These men and women use our multi-purpose, natural wipes for carcinogen decontamination and basic hygiene, as they often go days or weeks without a shower. They also come in handy when needing to care for wounds or remove urushiol oils from poison oak and ivy. *If you are a firefighter or in charge of a fire department, be sure to sign up for our special purchase program.

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Videos that Pay Homage to Wildlands Firefighters

Wildland fires can dominate the news feed and this summer was no exception, especially here in Ca...

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