How to use a candle?

Many of us enjoy the use candles. Ever had a candle melt a hole in the middle and not melt down completely flat? This can be prevented. When you first light up a candle, ensure that you leave it on long enough to form a full pool of liquid wax on the surface. This is especially important during the first light up. Of course, if this can be done for subsequent light ups, you will maximise the use of your candle and get your full money’s worth.

Remember to apply all the necessary precautions. You can see them listed on our candles.

How to prevent a smoky candle?

We love candles. You might too. Have you seen your candle give off lots off black smoke? The function of the wick of a candle is to absorb liquid wax and transport it up to be used as fuel for the flame. So why black smoke? This usually happens when the wick is too long. A long wick creates too much wax-covered surface area relative to the heat and oxygen available in the vicinity of the lit wick. This results in incomplete combustion of the fuel (the wax), and hence, black smoke. So, keep the wick trimmed to a reasonable length and enjoy a smoke free candle. Another factor would be if the candle is placed in a draughty (breezy) environment. The draught will cause the flame to flicker, causing incomplete combustion, and smokiness. Place the candle in a place where the flame flickers minimally.

Remember to apply all the necessary precautions. You can see them listed on our candles.

Where to place a candle?

Just bought a nice candle? Now you would want to enjoy it, and show it off a bit. Me too. Placement of a candle is very important. A good manufacturer (like SHEA) will list a set of precautions on their use and placement. Do not ignore them. And use common sense. You know your environment best, and being so, you are the best judge of the precautions needed. Here are some important ones.  A candle should be placed

where it cannot be knocked over (either by kids, pets, curtains etc), well away from flammable items, on an insulating material and in a location where it is always visible; never leave an unattended flame. Also, if there is a risk of falling asleep while the candle is lit, don’t light it up.

Remember to apply all the necessary precautions. You can see them listed on our candles.

How to choose (buy) a candle?

Going to buy a candle. Here are some pointers. Buy a SHEA Candle 😊 … just kidding. There are a lot of manufacturers and fragrances and shapes and types of candles to choose from. How do you pick one? This short article will focus on containerised candles. If it is a fragranced candle, it should be made using a phthalate free fragrance. Paraffin wax candles are usually cheaper but don’t give as clean a burn as soy wax candles. They do have a great scent throw though. We like soy wax as these usually burn cleaner. We use a special soy wax blend that has a great cold and hot scent throw. Another point is the container. Our glass jars are made specifically for hot use. We like glass because you see the flame. That’s the whole point of lighting a candle isn’t it? However, they do come in small metal tins. These could be good for travel use. One critical but often overlooked factor is the lid. We specifically ensured that our lids were screw on lids. We have seen many candles shatter on the floor when someone inadvertently pics it up from the lid and the lid slips off. ALWAYS get a candle with a screw on lid. It’s safer. So, there you have it. The type of fragrance used, the type of wax used, the container used, the type of lid and, made by a responsible manufacturer (like SHEA) who makes your safety a priority.

Remember to apply all the necessary precautions. You can see them listed on our candles.

A good way to use a bar of soap?

Surprisingly, even this simple task has a “best way” of usage. Our soaps are top quality as you know. They are not as cheap as the common, chemical laden stuff you normally find. So, you do want to make sure you get the best value for your money by making them last as long as possible. Here’s a possible way. When you take a shower, thoroughly wet your mwili (meili = body in Swahili …just showing off), wet the soap, turn the water off and then soap yourself. Once properly soaped, rinse the soap bar and put the soap bar back in the soap dish (we have an excellent soap dish by the way) and proceed to rub your mwili using either your hands, wet bath towel or wet sponge. Then, wash yourself down and you will note that your body feels great and smells wonderful. A small variant is to wet your body in the shower, then rub the soap onto the wet bath towel or sponge and proceed to soap your mwili. The key take-away here is to never soap yourself while the shower is running, you waste water and dissolve your soap too quickly. So, now you save you soap and water, and, get the best value of your lovely SHEA soap bar.

How to choose (buy) a bar of soap?

The right way is to buy a bar of soap from SHEA 😊 (just being cheeky). No, but seriously. Which soap to buy?  Of course, we are led by brand and fragrance. But, do you read the ingredients? Big names have big advertising budgets. And yet, the soap is so cheap. And yet they make a profit. How?

Yes. The quality of the ingredients. You can’t check that can you? Go ahead. Read the ingredient list. Full of harsh nasty chemicals. You see, people have been led to believe that the beautiful models used to brainwash you actually use the stuff they advertise. They seldom do. But that’s advertising. People have been led to believe that a thick, rich foamy lather means a good soap. WRONG. A thick foamy lather usually means a DETERGENT has been used. A good foam usually means a chelation agent has been used. A hard bar that does not absorb water easily means the good stuff has been taken OUT of the bar. A neutral pH means an ACID has been used to adjust the pH. Don’t fall for the advertisement that says no sulphates. It just means they have put in an alternative detergent. Be wary of marketing jargon.

So, what is a good soap? It is usually a soap that is made with a blend of nutritious oils as a base, pure essential oils (or certified, phthalate free, body safe fragrance oils) for aroma, does not contain sulphates, parabens, phthalates, EDTA, and other harsh chemicals. It washes off easily (ie, does not leave a slimy feel), leaves your skin feeling great and does not leave your skin feeling tight, dry and itchy.  SHEA soaps are made with the utmost of care. Try a bar and you will understand what we mean.

A good way to maximise the life of your SHEA soap?

This is an easy one. SHEA soaps are 100% handmade with carefully sourced ingredients. Our soaps are very gentle on the skin and have a high glycerine content. Glycerine is a humectant, i.e., it absorbs moisture. This is great as it is super gentle and moisturising on the skin. But, this also means it will absorb moisture if it is left in a poorly drained soap dish. So, always place our soap in a well-drained soap dish (like those we have) to ensure that your precious soaps last as long as possible. Also, it is not a bad idea to have three or four bars running at the same time like I do. It allows the soaps to dry properly, and, make your bathroom smell heavenly.

How to prevent wasting your SHEA soap bar?

This is a cute one. Quite clever, and simple. All you have to do is to stick’em together. When the soap bar becomes very thin, stick it onto the new bar. Let it dry and VOILA! The tiny bit will not get lost, or fall down the drain. Like I said, simple.

How to select (buy) Argan Oil?

You have to be careful when buying Argan Oil. There are so many cheap knock-offs out there. Hand pressed Saadia Organics Argan Oil that SHEA retails is the real deal. Read this in detail in our Knowledge base. A lot of Argan Oil is completely fake, diluted or over-processed and machine pressed.  So here are a few ways to decide if a particular brand is worth investing in or not. It’s your money, and you want the best value for your spend.

The IngredientsThe ingredients list should be very short.  It should just say 100% Argan Oil or 100% Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil.  If it has anything else listed you don’t want it.

The bottleIt should be a dark coloured glass bottle. Light breaks down the oil’s best properties and keeping it inside something dark is the best way to protect and store Argan Oil.

The priceGood hand pressed Argan Oil is very difficult to make.  It takes hours of manual labour and that comes at a price.  There is no such thing as cheap Argan Oil.  $10 for 100 ml may seem like a bargain, but if it’s just vegetable oil in that bottle, you’ve just thrown away your money.

The scentGenuine, raw, cosmetic-grade Argan Oil can smell unique to the uninitiated nose.  Most say it smells ‘nutty’.  Some say it smells like popcorn. It should have a mild aroma that is not unpleasant. As it is a natural and pure product, the aroma will vary slightly from batch to batch.

The textureArgan Oil should be smooth and silky and absorbs into your skin fairly quickly.  It should not feel slimy, sticky or watery.  It should not sting.  On uncomfortable skin conditions, Argan Oil should bring a soothing effect, not a painful one.

The sedimentAuthentic hand pressed Argan Oil often has a tiny bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle and it may appear a bit “cloudy”.  The highly refined or fake oil will not have this sediment and will look very clear.  Saadia Organics Argan Oil does have a few traces of sediment in some of our bottles.  Just let it settle and enjoy knowing that you have the real thing. As it is a natural and pure product, appearance will vary slightly from batch to batch.

The resultsAs they say, “the proof is in the pudding”. Every single day we get people telling us how much they love our product, and telling us that they have thrown away their chemical laden skin care products and switched to this natural hand pressed marvel of nature.

How to choose (buy) African black soap?

This is easy. Real African Black Soap IS NOT BLACK. It looks like fruit cake. Just have a look at our website. Be suspicious of any African Black Soap that is very very dark or black. It should also be soft to the touch. When it gets wet, it should form a firm gel like blob. Also, if it is THE REAL DEAL, you will occasionally find tiny bits of burnt wood in it. You see, SHEA African Black Soap is made by hand, cooking over a charcoal fire. No lye is used. The burnt wood bits are from burnt cocoa shells and plantain skins. Yes. This is how real black soap is made.