Feb 15

View From My Window – March 2015


Snow and lots of it. Not as bad as some other areas of the northeast, but still it’s plenty. Caddy doesn’t mind it so much, but he doesn’t go all that far from the barn.

The goats really seem to hate it. I watch them from my window and they step outside the barn only if the sun is shining. I finally decided to shovel a path for them to see if they would venture out a little further. I made a loop out to their hutch. The loop was just in case Caddy was following them they would still have an escape route back to the barn.

Well I am happy to report that all the goats approve. Ruth is especially fond of hanging out in the hutch. Now I only wish I had thought of it sooner, but it is hard to think at 10 below!

Aug 14

View From My Window – September 2014

We have been thinking of going solar for sometime and now we are happy to say we have finally done it. In 1986 we built a tiny passive solar home. It worked well  and was a very comfortable home. Family emergencies moved us north to live with Dean’s father and we missed our little home.

After a few years we were on our own again and we dreamed of building another passive solar home but doing a full passive solar house just didn’t work out. We did incorporate many passive solar designs to take advantage of as much of the sun’s energy as we could afford at the time. Since we have a large south facing roof, it is a perfect set up for a solar photvolactic system. So now in addition to our super insulated house and solar gain through the windows, we have a 10kW photovoltaic-solar system on the roof to making electricity.  This will supply all of our electrical needs with a capacity to convert our hot water over to electric which we plan to do in the near future.  We use a lot of hot water here at Alabu

Dec 12

What About My Face? – 12 Simple Tips for Sensitive Skin

Since we have a large number of customers with sensitive skin, we get asked a lot of questions on the best way to care for sensitive skin, especially your face.

Alabu Baby Me Goat Milk Soap

Just like a fingerprint, everyone’s individual’s skin care needs are a little different, but here are a few simple tips for sensitive skin care.   This is mostly about your face but holds true with all areas of your skin.

If you have any specific questions, please contact us and we will be glad try to answer them.

  1. Avoid common irritants.  Take a look at the ingredient labels of your skin care products.  Here is a list of some of the more common irritants.
  2. Avoid washing with hot water, warm is better for your skin.  Hot water drys your skin out.
  3. Avoid microdermabrasion.  Instead, opt for mild exfoliates that are designed for sensitive skin.  Use no more than twice a week.  See my earlier post on exfoliants.  This homemade facial post also has some good ideas.
  4. Keep your skin care products cold.  In the summer or warm environments, the increase of blood flow naturally increases sensitivity in the skin.  Cleansing, toning and moisturizing with cool temperature products will constrict the capillaries and ease the redness and irritation.
  5. Use gentle skin cleansers.  Use a natural soap.  Soaps containing chemicals and a high content of glycerin are often irritating and drying.
  6. Use a high quality soap with few ingredients.  Soap made from simple, natural moisturizing oils and milk is best.
  7. Drink plenty of water each day.  Water has many benefits one of which is clearing and cleansing your skin naturally.  Capped lips can be a sign that you are not drinking enough water.
  8. Test before you use new products.  It is a good idea to test a new product on the skin under your arm and wait and see if you will react to it before applying to your face to be sure you will not react to it.
  9. If you use a toner, do not use one containing alcohol.  I did a post on homemade skin toner also. They are easy and fun to make. Alabu Replenish Facial Mositurizer
  10. Moisturize with chemical free skin moisturizing oil or lotion after you cleanse your face, morning and before bed in the evening.

 Alabu products that may interest you


Dec 12

Facial Exfoliants – Do I really need to buy them?

So, there you are….. Looking at an overwhelming array of facial exfoliants.  All of them promise to brighten, microfoliate, peal, enhance, scrub, and the list goes on. In today’s tough economic times, you think about your credit card bill and bank balance and wonder…… “Do I really need to pay $57.98 for 2.6 oz of a microfoliant?”  I suspect not.

Yes, part of a good skin care routine is to exfoliate.  However, with just a few minutes in the kitchen and many dollars less than the $57.98 needed for a commercial product, you can make your own and tune it over time to meet your specific skin needs.  There is a lot of information out there on exfoliation.  Here is an easy read article on exfoliation.

Oat and Honey

Often, if you choose a mild exfoliating soap, you do not need a separate exfoliating product.  Or, if you do, you can use a less aggressive exfoliant and exfoliate less often.

So, the next time you are looking for an exfoliant, try to make your own.  You will be pleasantly surprised how well it works.  This will be both fun and economical to “do it yourself”.

Here are a few simple exfoliants that you can make your self:

  • Yogurt – this seems to be the gentlest of all the natural skin recipes. Simply apply a tablespoon of, full fat plain yogurt to your face. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse off. The lactic acid provides gentle exfoliation leaving your skin radiant and refreshed.
  • Ground oatmeal – grind up some rolled oats in your blender or coffee grinder, mix with a little water or Replenish Facial Moisturizer and apply and gently rub on your face. Very nice and gentle.
  • Combine the two – blend your ground oatmeal with yogurt or milk.  That will add a gentle, soothing cleansing action to the exfoliation process.

For a more aggressive exfoliant, give these a try.  Please note though that these give a much more “mechanical” abrasion so you will want to go slowly.  Also, be sure to test first on your inner arm or behind your ear.

  • Ground almonds – good for dry skin, but be careful and go slowly and be sure they are ground up really fine. Simple to make by grinding almonds in your blender or coffee grinder. The almond oil provides moisture for dry skin.
  • Ground Sunflower seeds – very similar to almonds.  This produces a really nice, soft, buttery scrub.
  • Ground barley – grind and mix with avocado oil.  Go slowly and test before applying to your face.
  • Sugar Scrub – simply add a little granulated sugar to cold pressed oil (olive oil is good). Has a nice brightening effect. Some people like using brown sugar because they like the smell.
  • Sea salt body scrub – Not recommended for your face.  Use on your body.  Apply with some olive oil or a good moisturizer -Alabu Body Lotion is good :).  Go very slowly and gently, use for 30 seconds to one minute at the most. Use a finely ground salt. Salt can be irritating if you scrub too hard or leave on too long, however, it feels refreshing and energizing.
  • Coconut oil and cornmeal – A good body scrub. Mix together and rub slowly and gently on the skin.

Alabu Exfoliating Soaps

  • Oat &  Honey goat milk soap – A very gentle exfoliating soap made with our own ground oat flour.  We know that the flour provides the exfoliation action, but what about the honey?  Honey moisturizes, and protects your skin along with many other benefits.  Here is a great article on the benefits of honey.
  • Lemon Scrub goat milk soap – This is NOT a face soap.  This is an exfoliant that you would use on your body.  It has corn meal.  So rub gently.  The lemon essential oil acts as an exfoliant as well.  For some information this, take a look at the benefits of lemon on your skin.

Nov 12

Don’t Get Irritated

I was talking with a customer recently, and it didn’t take too long before we found ourselves on the subject of skin irritation—specifically skin care ingredients that cause skin irritation. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to shed some light on this topic.

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of irritating skin ingredients, but rather a guide that will hopefully allow you to figure out what ingredients do and don’t work for you.

There are literally hundreds of ingredients being used in skin care products, and what one person finds irritating, another person has no problem. There are, however, some ingredients that are generally irritating, and it’s worth your time to learn about them.

The first thing I want to discuss is alcohol. There’s a common misconception that alcohol in a skin care product is bad. This is true some of the time, but there’s more than one type of alcohol. The two that you need to know about are volatile alcohols, and fatty alcohols.

Volatile alcohols are what you’d typically think of when someone says alcohol:

  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Ethanol
  • Isopropyl Alcohol

These—as you might already know—have a tendency to dry your skin out and cause irritation. So we like to avoid them unless it’s part of a specific skin care regimen, and you intend to use a moisturizing product as a part of the regimen.

The other kind of alcohols—fatty alcohols—are found in many places. Sometimes the names look “bad” and sometimes they look innocent, but in general they are pretty beneficial.

  • Retinol (Vitamin A molecule to discourage wrinkles)
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E, a free radical fighting antioxidant)
  • Cetyl Alcohol (product thickener)
  • Stearyl Alcohol (Emollient)
There are many different types of ingredients in skin care products.  Some are actually good for your skin and a lot of them are not.  The list below represents a few of the more common ingredients that may be irritating or drying to your skin.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – a detergent found in cleansing gels.  It may dry out your skin or irritate it.  Read a bit more on this and the ingredients contained in Dove for Sensitive Skin Bar
  • Sodium Trideceth Sulfate – same as above
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate – same as above
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – a harsh detergent found in cleansing gels and can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate – same as above
  • Fragrance – the #1 cause of allergic reactions to skin care products. If you’re sensitive to fragrance, avoid products containing the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the ingredient listing.  Most people can use products made with high quality Essential Oils.  Here is a great explanation of Essential Oils and their benefits.
  • Dyes and colorants – An unnecessary chemical used to give a product its color and can be a skin irritant. Commonly listed as the very last ingredient with the words FD&C

At Alabu Skin Care we always encourage you to read the labels on your skin care products and learn about the ingredients that you’re applying to your skin. If you have a question on any ingredient in any of your skin care products, just contact us and we will be glad to try to answer it.

You might like to know:

  • Alabu products do not contain any synthetic chemicals or ingredients.
  • At Alabu we do not use ANY water in our products.
  • Alabu’s primary ingredients are beneficial to your skin.