Wednesday, July 6, 2011
They really could not care less if I don't have my workout for the morning. But I don't have any idea if I end up smelling the office like sweat-socks. Fortunately for me, I found another cool product in my fight for social etiquette. After every workout, I have been bathing with Bath Buzz Caffeine soap. Not only does it give me a nice morning rush, but I know for a fact I at least start the day smelling herbal and minty.
he Fine folks at Bath Buzz sent me over a care package the other day, full of cool caffeine body lotion and lovely smelling (I find myself inhaling and using my taste buds as a sort of olfactory braille) bar of soap - light grey with a touch of green, using a pour-and-mold soap base to get this lovely bar made. The bar of soap was pretty plain, having a sealed plastic wrap around it and a printed label wrapped around that - with a nice-enough on the front.
For what you can make in your living room, this is about as good as you can get it. You can tell these people are in the business of making soap - not in the graphic design or packaging business, as this package is not really their strong suit. The graphics are a little spartan, the design a little weak, and it is obviously printed on a home printer - or one very close to it. There is no listing of the amount of caffeine in the soap, or kind of soap base. Really, for hitting sucvh a niche market, this is one area that could use an improvement.
The smell after opening the plastic is just heavenly. The soap made the shower smell all nice and clean. I am hit with a big burst of mint, as well as a note of something earthy. The deeper notes and the sharper mint made the bar a whole lot more like regular peppermint herb than a peppermint chewing gum or candy. This actually smells of peppermint leaves, not just peppermint scent. The earthiness works well, as I did not feel at all girly or flowery after. It also works very well too! I have tried this under some pretty smelly conditions, and it did pretty well making me smell all nice again.
There is 2.4grams of caffeine in a bar - with about a dozen soaps in a bar. The bar is pretty big - at four ounces in them. OK, it is not that big, but it is if you try to use them up in only a dozen showers. I ended up spending more than I like in the shower getting clean, with a full wash and rinse cycle a couple times to try to use up the bar. I got REAL clean for the couple weeks it took for me to work my way through a bar - and every time I got a nice buzz from it. Maybe it was that during this trial I really tried to use up the bar, but it seemed like there was more buzz in this than in the other caffeine soaps I have tried.
The buzz is different in soaps - as I have mentioned before. This is not like being coffee-awake. The buzz is very gradual, and it is all over. Every time this helped me make it to wherever I needed to go without my morning dose of coffee. I don't think I really got a full 200mg of caffeine with every shower, but it was enough that I did not have my morning crave of caffeine.
Not to mention, There are studies that caffeine is great for your skin too. It is supposed to tighten your skin, help with the presence of cellulite, and can even help gett rid of damaged skin cells over-exposed to sunlight. For all sorts of reasons, getting your Jitter on with Bath Buzz just makes good clean sense.
Labels: caffeinated skin products
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sure, I could have downed an energy shot - but stocking the house full of energy drinks can get very pricey. I thank the Furry friendly crafty community for Con*Tact Caffeine soap - a new awesome soap company started by a couple of ingenious crafters who knew about soapmaking. Why Furry Friendly? Well, not only do they make all their soap from vegetable bases and not use animal products, but it is also in the shape of a dog paw, and have anthropomorphic animals drawn on the front by artists chosen from the Furry Fandom.
For those of you unfamiliar with furries, I suggest occasionally using this device called the internet. Being even a casual intrnet user and not knowing about the furry world at least a little is like not knowing Rebecca Black's Friday Song. For those who don't know, it is too late for you. DON'T look it up now, or you will have your eyes most likely seared off from images in 4chan and Dan Savage posts. Basically - it is taking Carlos Casteneda's spirit animal to another level, choosing to really get down with their more animalistic natures, many times even donning an animal tail in public, wearing cat ears to class, getting a tattoo of a wolf creature or if you are really nutty, occasionally donning a full mascot costume (during my tenure teaching art colleges I have run into all the examples above).
The reason this comes into play is because their packaging is specially tailored to this market. The paw print these soaps work for this community, and their art on each package is popular in Furry Fandom. The whole gimmick behind this product does not make any sense if it were just caffeine friendly, but like my X Box soap I tried, this has a built in audience that wants to buy their wares.
That being said, the idea of making their label into a collectible sticker is genius. I have an old student that used to make decent money selling her art of anthropomorphic (and anatomically incorrect) foxes and cougars to the community too - What better way to honor your inner Sex Panther than to bathe with its essence!
The one thing I might do differently with their whole package is to actually design the sticker so it is collectible. Right now, the whole label is the sticker, so you get all the stuff you need on the package (the bar size, the ingredients, etc) on the sticker too. It would be perfect if they made this label into an actual sticker people would want to collect - making it a 3/4 circle sticker so people could peel off the bottom words and just be left with their favorite artwork.
The buzzed feeling you get from using a long scrub from this soap comes on slow, but you can feel it working throughout your body very shortly after taking the shower. The soap builds up a great foamy lather, and some of them coat you with sparkles or colored powder before washing you clean.
The secret is a long sudsy shower - letting the soap stay on your skin for a while after applying. You won't get an immediate rush - but you can feel it working on you by the time you towel off. Their website claims that each bar of soap contains the caffeine equivalent to a strong cup of coffee in each usage, and I am inclined to agree.
In terms of ingredients, they use a cold process to make their soap - which all the caffeine soaps I have seen are using. Basically, they use a soap base and mix in what they want to, pour it in their mold, and Voila! Soap!
When talking with these people however, they do know their soaps (unlike other people I have talk with who make caffeine soaps), and would love to make hot process soap (thanks to a friend I have become a bit of a soap purist, and can really tell the difference between real soap made with lye and fat and melt-and- pour soaps, such as this) but they just don't have the room to make it yet. Real lye soap making can be a bit like making meth - it is a delicate and sometimes deadly process. However, Con*tact uses a very nice soap base - one that is quite pure and free from additives such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and use Shea butter - so things get very foamy and sudsy.
I was sent six of their over 30 flavors to sample out and see what I thought. All six came in different colors and with very unique packages that go along with the smell. All use great artists for the package too - and the smell tends to linger on the skin very subtly after you get out of the shower too.
The six flavors I got to sample were:
This was a bright orange soap and had gold mica dust on the top - which gave a great Ravey shimmery glow on the skin. I know this is supposed to be a bunch of citrus fruit smells, but in reality this ends up with you smelling like you just bathed in Fruit Strip e gum - Yum!
The artwork was done by Erin Middendorf - a very talented artist and has some mad 2d amination skillz to boot.
Almost minty - but not quite. Almost herbal, but not quite. While this does not smell like Absynthe, it smelled really really nice. Its a lovely shade of green, and the art is a cute vampire bat, drawn nicely by furry artist Ferality.
Smells like - you guessed it - green tea. I was a little saddened to learn there was not extra caffeine from the tea - but just the extract. It had the color of tea too - this was probably the tamest of the bunch. Meditative Fox Art by Jill C, an artist and costumer
Love the masculine smell and fun packaging. Unfortunately, I felt nothing like Ron Burgundy after bathing, but loved the Savannah Horrocks, a woman who makes great concept art as well as creepy-as-hell puppets that warm my heart.
Another tame version - and one that you could smell well after you wre out of the shower. If you are unsure of trying out caffeinated soap, this is a safe first flavor to choose. The cool bull on the front is drawn by Kelly Lenza, another super talented friend of furry fandom.
Grapefruity and citrusy, this one smells like clean should smell. Everything about you will smell like you have just stepped out of an grapefruity orange-lemon steam bath. If Sex Panther made me feel more manly, this one made me feel Turbo-Zestfully clean. On top of that, there is a little bit of sparkly yellow mica to make you look tingly when you are done too. The art is cutely drawn by Miss Mayhem,
To join in the nice clean fun, you can pick up your own flavors at http://www.contactcaffeine.com.
http://www.caffeineaholic.net/2011/04/contact-caffeine-soap.html. I still have hard mornings, but at least now I have the caffeine to make it 'til the afternoon.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This is thanks to the wildly innovative people at Bath Buzz. These folks make a whole line of beauty products, all infused with that wonderful ingredient that we all crave. While some might be skeptical, I can tell you of four great reasons to have this be your only lotion in your collection.
It smells really good.
- It firms up the skin, although just for a little while
- As a lotion, it is lovely - without grit grease or clumps.
- The caffeine gets massaged into your skin, and you can absolutely feel the buzz!
Bath Buzz was kind enough to send a couple bottles ( a large and a sample size) so I was able to share with a few coworkers who also enjoy lotion. My wife and I tried the big bottle out for a couple weeks. Of everyone who had given this a try, the verdict was unanimous on the smell of this lotion - that it is absolutely fantastic! The strong rosemary mint lotion was a little girly for me, but not by much. This was just an awesome healthy smell, and gave the skin a very faint hint of rosemary for hours. While some might balk at adding fragrances to lotions, this is some pretty delicious stuff.
Caffeine has an interesting property when added to the skin. While we all know what happens when ingesting it, when it is applied dermally, it can do a great number of cool things. It can reduce the appearance of cellulite in women. It can firm and tighten skin. It also smakes the skin smoother. Mind you, these effects are short lived, but for a time they can really add that tight smooth glow that so many people are craving. So of course, the idea of adding this to lotion is a no brainer.
The first one of its kind I have seen is made by the wonderful folk at Bath Buzz. They also make soap too, though this is definitely their breakaway product. This lotion is all kinds of worderful - the feel, the smell, altogether one of the best lotions I have every used. Mind you, I don't really use lotion. But, my wife is a regular lotion user, and I have no doubt we will be buying this stuff by the caseload now.
Think of everything you would like this lotion to be - and this seems to pass the test. It is completely non-greasy. It massages into the skin and leaves your body smooth. The lotion comes out creamy, and easily could be a massage lotion as well as a regular body lotion.
After you rub it into whatever part of skin you are massaging, the area turns cool, and a little tingly. This is not an unpleasant sensation at all, as the tingle comes from the mint and the rosemary essential oil used, not really the caffeine. The cool tingle invigorates that part of the skin - and I can attest that even during a vigorous massaging it does not feel oily or burning. It never gets beyond a nice light tingle.
It also works - caffeinewise. It definitely tightens the skin - and I found it completely relieves SUNBURN! (WHO'DA THUNK IT?) Of course, it also has aloe vera, silk protein and Vitamin E A and D, which are good for sunburned skin anyways. You won't really feel the caffeine if you just use a teaspoon on your elbow. This being said, I rubbed quite a lot on my legs and feet - and definitely felt the rush! It was almost enough to be jittery. I don't know how much caffeine I actually had - and the only drawback I found was they did not list the caffeine amount in the lotion. The bottle was pretty old fashioned, but who cares when it holds something so amazing inside.
Other than that, I am totally impressed.
Buzz:10 Aroma:10 Packaging:8
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I should not have a problem with wearing pantyhose - especially as a serious blogger. After all, hose were totally manly until pants came around in the 19th century. Hell, even the military used them as leech protectors in Vietnam. I have done some internet research (next time, I will leave that google moderation filer ON...) and men wearing tights outside of community theatre has gained some acceptance, and even a kind of movement. There is even a Mens Legwear Examiner who promotes wearing support hose for all sorts of reasons, like low blood circulation and support while running. Well now, my legs constantly hurt - as I am training for running a 10k and powerlift a couple times a week. So something I could use to help my legs not be in pain all the time was something to look forward to! Still, be glad I did not take any pictures. You really don’t want to see me in black sheer tights. I am hobbit hairy - and you dont wanna see my flattened sexy swirls of leg hair. I promise.
This leads to the second question - Why would people want caffeinated legs? It turns out, energy is just part of the reason. This process can reduce the circumference of thighs, burn fat, boost metabolism, and improve the appearance of cellulite. They say that with continued use, it makes legs smoother, softer and tighter. Skinkiss' inventors found in their clinical trials, the caffeine tights made people less tired! According to their data, this can help ease leg circulation problems and the beginnings of varicose veins. The tights can be washed up to five times each before you wash out the caffeine, and they say it will take two to four weeks before you’ll see the results on your leg size. I am lifting to make my legs larger, and have about as much fat on them as I have fat on my eyeballs. So as much as I might want tight smooth hairy legs, I am really the most curious about the boost of energy I can get from them.
The tights come foil-packed, just like coffee, with each pack containing three pairs of tights. I was expecting them to be rough and scratchy, but instead they are soft, silky. I found them easy enough to slip on, although I got a run in them the first time I slipped one on. I know they make more rough and rugged kinds of hose for big guys These caffeine tights are built just for girls for now. and yes, you can feel the difference. It would be very nice if there was a men's version, maybe with a fly and different... contours. Not to give too much information - I am not John Holmes or anything, but I should not feel like I have pressed flowers on glass.
And, the buzz kept going. Forget sleeping - I managed to get hours of energy from this - and wearing it all day kept my legs from pain during a muscle workout too! Yeah, I have to give up some bravado - but in the gym they are really something special. The only thing is - be careful wearing them in the evenings. I did a late night workout and took them off around 8. Sleep did not even enter into a possibility until well past 3am.
I found there are a few other problems with MANtyhose for the idea to really catch on.
- I mentioned this before, but these are just not built for guys. A little more stretch, and maybe even a fly would be nice.
- Women have purses or handbags. Men have pockets. Men keep all their stuff in there - and it feels very weird to all of a sudden not feel them. I found myself constantly checking that no one pickpocketed me as I went out shopping.
- I can do tights. I did Macbeth, Hamlet, and acted in enough period pieces to feel OK about showing off my bulgy calf muscles. But these are really delicate and rip easily. They really can't take a whole lot of abuse before shredding.
- I am not particularly Manly, in that I hate Judd Apatow movies, gave up my subscription to dude magazines at 13 and wear my Brightly colored Powerpuff T-shirt with great happiness. Still, I can not help connecting men in pantyhose with fetishwear.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
From the same place that created Caffeinated X Box Controller Soaps, she now makes Mountain Dew Shampoo, her own special blend of Mountain Dewy fragrances, hair cleaning ingredients along with 530mg of pure sweet caffeine. It even comes in a 12 ounce Mountain Dew bottle!
You can find the product for sale through digitalsoap's Etsy site.
Firstly, this smells like real Mountain Dew. It is one of the most awesome smells you could have for a shampoo, and can kick that Old Spice guy squarely in his beautifully sculpted jaw. This is great because it not only makes you have that special Mountain Dew smell, it could be that one thing to get your smelly teenage boy excited enough to take a dang shower once and a while!
Of course the big question is "Does it really work?" and it seems like it is absolutely possible. Some German scientists did a study and found that you really can absorb caffeine through the scalp! This study found that you can start feeling the good stuff after about two minutes on the hair. They also found out something even more cool for men.
This study found that, for men, caffeine promotes hair growth. It has even been proven to slow down hereditary hair loss - even if it sits on your hair for just just a couple minutes. Past two minutes and the caffeine gets to work absorbing into your scalp. It can stay in your follicles for up to a day too, so you can wash your hair every day and help keep what hair you got left sticking to your head.
The reason this works for men is that caffeine fights the harmful effects of testosterone on men's hair. Testosterone was shown to significantly weaken the skin's natural protective function and makes it more sensitive to irritation e.g. through hair washing, shaving and environmental impacts. Testosterone also has a negative effect on the skin's regenerative cells – the skin is slower in its recovery.
Unfortunately, this seems to only work through direct application, so drinking coffee won't do it. Adolf Klenk of Kurt Wolff cosmetic research said: "One would have to drink between 60 and 80 cups of coffee a day for the necessary amount of caffeine to reach the roots." This means that it would be better for your head to soak it in soda than drink it - and if it is actually a hair cleaning soda meant for your hair, even better.
I have two small problems with the actual follow through for this product. Because the caffeine dose is so small (25 - 30 or so doses in a bottle) This is only 20 or so milligrams of caffeine per application. I tried this leaving it on my hair for a good 15 minutes a number of times - with little result other than very clean and good smelling hair. Also, if this product catches on, there is going to be an issue with the packaging, as I am sure Mountain Dew will take issue with you using their packaging to sell your product. If she did a knock off label and tripled or even quadrupled the caffeine in each bottle, thisd product would be absolutely unstoppable.
Study of caffeine absorbtion and effects for hair loss:
Friday, September 24, 2010
My Favorite part of her whole venture is her combination of that other Gamer Geek staple - caffeine! She now has a shampoo (more on that later) and a X-Box soap controller loaded with the good stuff. Thankfully, Crystal was kind enough to share one for a review. This intricately designed bar of soap looked just like an X-Box controller - except this one actually fit in my hand.
This was such a cool design, I felt bad using it. A Little. That is the problem with decorative soaps - that once you use them, they become less awesome. Fortunately, The buttons and knobs stayed more or less intact for about 7 full showers! So if you are using this as a hand soap in the bathroom, this can last you quite a long time. The buttons did not just fall off either. The sticky-out bits melted into the rest of the bar of soap - so it held its X box shape for a long time. IT took about 10 full washes for the little multicolored buttons to completely disappear - and even longer for the rest of the pieces.
I was actually a little dissapointed that the smell of this soap was not better. It wasn't bad, but it just smelled like soap. Ordinary decorative bathroom smell. Being all about the X-Box, I was expecting something more fitting with the item. I would have loved for this to smell like Masterchief's Gun Metal weaponry. Or Maybe it could have smelled like cocaine and bullets of Vice City. I mean, how cool would it be to smell like you just got out of Red Dead Revolver?
The texture of the soap was nice though. It was not completely smooth, like if it were just poured, and the caffeine left little crystals in the bar. It was not rough and scratchy though, but just had a little edge to help get those bubbles to start scrubbing. While it might get you clean, you are not going to woken up like Irish Spring.
I was so happy that there was a caffeinated version, but you have to be an extra clean and hard scrubber to really feel anything from this. Each 6-ounce bar has about 530 mg of caffeine, and I got about 14 nice lathery showers in. It is best to work up a good foam, and let the lather hang out on your skin. This gives the caffeine a chance to absorb into your skin. There is not that much caffeine in every use, so you gotta get what you can out of it. With only 35-40mg of caffeine per shower, getting any real buzz out of this is pretty difficult to do.
I did like the ingredients of the soap were not as caustic as the store bought crap. This is all vegan soap, as well as only using Kosher ingredients. There is no Kosher certification, but this is a small one-woman business after all. It is also not tested on Animals, Zombies, Alien Hordes, Sith Lords or menacing wasps - so you don't have to feel bad while you get yourself all sudsed up!
Head to Digitalsoaps.net to check out all of her awesome soap craft creations.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Wouldn't it be nice if you could start out your morning bathroom routine and just end up fully caffeinated before breakfast? Jeff Costic has been making this dream a reality for a long time, since he created shower shock soap, also called Costic Caffeine soap. Through experiments in skin permeation and lots of trial tests with crushed Vivarin they found their ideal soap - something with a boatload of caffeine, and a really refreshing scent of peppermint. Thanks goes out to http://www.kingofcaffeine.com for providing me samples.
Whether or not it works or is just a placebo is still up for grabs. The packaging is certainly unassuming enough, with just a few words and a sprig of peppermint on the front. I would not really assume that this bar was packed full of wakeful caffeine. In fact, the 'energy' touted was really not in the design of the product in any way. People have been studying caffeinated soap for some time, and whether or not it will perk you up is still up for some debate. Many people cite a study where they documented caffeine's poor ability to be absorbed transdermally. Many studies find that the ability to get caffeinated soap past your layer of dead skin with soap molecules is shady at best. One study found that you needed hours of sudsing up before you got enough caffeine to equal a cup of coffee. That all being said, I can also tell you this.
Blind, I can feel the difference between using regular glycerin soap and Costics Caffeinated Soap. More than the smell or the bar shape, I have been able to guess the caffeinated soap from the non caffeinated variety five times in a row. I just feel more awake afterward, like the pull to the coffee or energy drinks is not as great as it usually is. I would not expect miracles, or even to be kept full of jittery energy like you just downed a triple shot of espresso. What I did feel is a marked difference of the basic addiction to the caffeine, that I could mosey to the energy drink fridge, instead of making a bee-line.
Not to mention, just as soap goes it is eye-awakening too. Stronger smelling than the Clearly Natural brand they sell in most supermarkets, this has a powerful scent. I have a very poor ability to smell ( thanks stupid allergies), but even I could enjoy the aroma of this on my skin after a healthy scrubbing. One bar lasted me at least a dozen showers, and did not separate or get flakey - even at the end of the bar. Now, when I don't shower with my caffeine soap, I feel let down - somehow unfulfilled in my cleaning experience. It's like trying to shampoo your hair with body wash. Sure, it works in a pinch, but it forms a rainy cloud of sad over your head. I think my skin is going through withdrawls... While I rarely buy any caffeinated stuff more than once or twice, I have a feeling this could be my toiletry for a very very long time.
Buzz:7 Packaging:5 Aroma:10
Monday, February 15, 2010
From the creators of Burner Balm is another exciting product, Energy-X Lip Balm, a specially designed lip protector with a dose of caffeine and energy ingredients supposed to make your mouth safe from the elements and your body movin and groovin. It is made from pure soy oils, and combines Natural Caffeine and Green Tea Extract to get your lips happy. That's not all - as it also is supposed to help your food cravings with both Hoodia and Chromium Picolinate. Both of these are heavily spammed nutritional supplements that are rumored to suppresses appetite and lead to weight loss.
Overall, this is not such a bad idea, as caffeine works faster when it does not have to be digested first. That is why caffeine gum or spray works faster - as it gets absorbed subcutaneously though the skin. Since Energy-X is applied directly on the lips, it should get sucked faster into the bloodstream and starts working immediately.
Now when I tried their Burner Balm, I was pretty disappointed. I Felt absolutely nothing except un-chapped lips from Burner balm - including the whole Burner thing. I still got hungry, ate a normal portion, and did not lose any weight at all.
So for Energy-X, I did the MOST one can do for a lip balm review. I applied Energy-X every hour for 3 days. and then a week later I applied it once a day for a week. What I found was that you can actually get your caffeine buzz from this stuff - you just have to work at it. If you just take it every once in a while - you will feel nothing. I even let my 7 year old daughter try it out a couple times to no effect. However, when I used it over a dozen times in one day, I began to feel the effect. My lips turned kind of burning, but it is possible that was just a suggested fake response to it. I think that the double dose of caffeine and green tea can actually lead to caffeine in your bloodstream if you keep working at it.
While I was not totally impressed with this stuff, I can certainly see getting this as a gag for a caffeine lover, or a fun office gift. It is harmless enough to not do much to someone, and the green packaging looks like it belongs more on a marijuana product than anything caffeinated.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Caffeine is in everything these days, from your gummy bears to beauty products. I came across a product that was both healthy for your lips, and was supposed to give you that added energy boost you need too! Designed for serious athletes, Performance-X lip balm provides the extra benefit of L-Carnitine, a supplement known to support muscle growth and prevent muscle fatigue.
I really enjoy the idea of this product - as it has lots of good stuff, tasted decent and is very unique - if it worked. Which is doesn't - I don't think.
L-Carnitine is something found in tons of musclebound milkshakes, and in supplement houses everywhere. It is an essential nutrient that transports fatty acids into cells enabling the body to convert the fat into energy and muscle. This lip balm was made to support athletes "currently on a supplement program," and not meant for those who just work out once a day like me. While it is supposed to curb your appetite, increase your energy level and burn fat and carbohydrates, the main thing it is designed for is building extra muscle - and after weeks of trying - my muscles are about where they have always been.
Well, not only did I not see a difference, but I could chalk up the differences my other testers had as placebic as well. Some said it made their lips numb ( I doubt that is from this lip balm, seriously I do) and others said it made them feel all jittery and wigged out too. Which means either their processes for creation don't make a standard blend of all ingredients, so some are stronger than others, or people see CAFFEINE LIP BALM and think they have been poisoned. Too bad I did not find a real musclehead to try this out - but after 2 months of applying 3 times a day, I felt no real difference in my 40 minute cardio routines.
That being said, it did make my lips shiny and less chapped which is a very good thing. The balm tastes VERY nice, with amellow orange flavor. It is made from pure Soy Oils and Shea Butter, and combines Natural Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, Chromium Picolinate, Hoodia Extract and L-Carnitine.So even though it might give me my needed burst of energy, it did not NOT give me those things, and might have just been minute enough to affect me without me knowing it affected me. I certainly still felt as hungry after using, even with the hoodia, and needed my morning caffeine to get me moving without an early afternoon headache.
Maybe I just need to apply this more like 20-30 times a day, rather than 2-3.