Uncle Jon's Blog...
...where we discuss all things related to Handmade products, our business, and everything in between!
Just when we thought things were getting back to normal... It turns out that many supply chains are still all mucked up and way behind on filling their orders. Which, in turn, means that we get behind. Unfortunately, we can only order so much ahead of time. Between limited space and limited budget, we generally try to order as needed or just slightly before that. But, our ballet-like routine has been thrown into utter chaos. Think, clown car instead of ballet.
We're doing our best to keep things in stock that are live on the site. But, sometimes things just get away from us. We are a very small shop. If something is ordered and it looks like it's going to be a while, we'll try to send out an email letting you know. Sorry... we just can't compete with Amazon shipping times.
We want to thank you for your continued patience while we sort this all out and get caught up on outstanding orders. Feel free to email with any questions or concerns. Hopefully, we'll get back into a groove and things will be much better this spring and summer.
Women: You’ve probably heard of dermaplaning, but why not just shave your face?
Women from all walks of life have discovered Dermaplaning to help repair acne prone skin and smooth their complexion. But, do you really need to spend a lot of money on a procedure to get the same results?
Dermaplaning is the process of taking a 10-gauge scalpel (no.. it’s not really surgery) and using it to scrape layers of dead skin off of the surface of your face. This procedure should be performed by a professional to avoid any nasty accidents and irreversible damage to the skin. It works great for renewing the facial skin and possibly helps to get rid of any previous signs of facial acne.
BUT… what if I told you that you can get similar results at home with just a small amount of equipment and very little time investment? It’s simple! Just shave your face! I know there are many of you who are yelling at the monitor right now, “you mean shave my face.. like a guy?!?”. Yes! With a good razor and a little time, every couple days to once per week, you can get almost the same results without the hassle of making appointments and spending a bunch of money.
You can make it as simple or as complex as you like. To start out simple, just use what you already have on hand. You can use the same style razor that you currently use on your legs and other parts. Just be sure to set aside a blade that will be used just for your face. Also, if you use regular bath soap for your legs, you might want to try something a little different for your face so it doesn’t get dried out. You can use a plain vegetable oil to shave with or maybe try hair conditioner. It really doesn’t have to be any more difficult than that. At the end of this article, I’ll give my own opinion on equipment and “software” (shave soaps, etc..).
Here are a few reasons to try shaving your face instead of paying top dollar to have a practitioner do it for you.
1. It's a great Way To Exfoliate Your Skin
While there are endless amounts of products that help with exfoliation, there are only a few that will (in my opinion) provide the many benefits of actually shaving your face. Why buy more products than you actually need to exfoliate?
2. It Helps To Reduce Visible Signs of Aging
Face shaving helps to even the texture of your skin. Exfoliating with a blade will encourage your skin to increase the production of collagen and elastin while repairing the surface of your skin. This, in theory, will help to reduce dark spots and wrinkles while just spending a few minutes a week at the bathroom sink.
3. It Immediately Evens Your Skin
As we age, our skin tone tends to get more splotchy and uneven in color. Face shaving helps to even out the tone of your skin as well! While shaving helps in the production of proteins that help repair skin texture, it also helps to increase melanin production which will, in turn, make the color of your skin more even.
4. It Helps With Acne
."Hyperkeratosis" is a buildup of the top layer of your skin, which causes dull complexion and acne. Face shaving reduces the thickness of this layer which helps correct these conditions. While you won’t be taking off really thick layers of skin when using a razor, there seems to be just enough to help keep the skin clear and acne free. While this method won’t cure all cases of acne, I do believe that it does reduce the symptoms. It also helps the fresh layer of skin more receptive to topical remedies and creams.
5. It Gets Rid Of Peach Fuzz
Not only will you have fresher, younger looking skin, but you’ll also have hairless skin! Applying any type of makeup is already a chore for most women and facial hair only makes it more difficult to get that smooth, even look that you’re going for. But don’t worry… shaving your facial fuzz isn’t going to make you look like a primate even if you stop all together. It’s a myth that facial hair grows back darker and thicker just because it was shaved off. While, I find that it might, occasionally grow back a tiny bit faster, that can also be caused by diet, time of year, testosterone / estrogen production, and a few other non-related reasons, there really isn’t any noticeable difference in hair amount or texture.
6. It Helps Makeup Go On More Smoothly and Stay On Longer
Removing the dead skin cells from your face makes a completely new palette for your makeup to adhere to. This makes the application easier to get smooth the first time and also provides a surface that isn’t flaking off along with all your hard work from that morning.
7. It’s completely safe and painless
There’s no need to go get waxed (another big expense) to get rid of the peach fuzz. Unless you’re being completely reckless, shaving your face is safe and totally under your control. Men have been doing it for a long time with very few nicks and scrapes. Most of the time, these unfortunate little mishaps occur because we are either in too much of a hurry or haven’t achieved the proper techniques.
Now, for equipment…
Like I said earlier in this article, you can make shaving as easy or intricate as you like. Many men these days are starting to appreciate, and try, the old school way of shaving.. Wet Shaving! That’s right.. the canned goo and 5, 6, or 8 blade cartridge razors just don’t do it for them anymore. Now, they can shave just like their great grandfathers did once upon a time. And, so can you!
A simple, double edge razor is reasonably priced and blades are cheap! So cheap in fact that you can buy 100 double edge blades for less than $20.00 shipped! Compare that to the average cost of roughly $4.00-$6.00 per cartridge blade that you use now. You can spend well over $60.00 or $70.00 for a nice double edge razor but there really is no need. A nice razor can be had for less than $40.00 in many cases.
Then, there’s a matter of “software”. Shave soaps and creams. Again, there are many options on the market these days. You can get some older style shave creams in a tube or shave soaps that come in a hard puck form or a softer soap in a jar. Many of these options work much better with a good shave brush.
Shave brushes are another tool of shaving that can be had fairly inexpensively. There are hair options like boar hair, badger, synthetic, and horse hair. Each type comes down to personal preference. I highly suggest finding a mom & pop shave shop near where you are so you can actually put your hands on the equipment and see for yourself.
I know.. I’ve just mentioned a bunch of things that cost money. Money that you could have used to just go and get waxed or dermaplaned. But, think of these tools as an investment. They are tools that will last a long time with proper care. AND.. you can also use them on any other parts you shave already! See? Now you can save money on blades for your legs and pits too!
Please feel free to contact me with any other questions you might have or contacts to women who currently use this type of equipment to shave with.
The dream has become reality!
On May 1, 2015, we officially opened our new soap shop! It's too early to tell if this part of our adventure in business will be a success or not, but if the warm welcome from the people of Berlin is any sign.. then we are sure to be a success! Thanks to Heather Layton from Bungalow Love for moving to her new location on Main St. and giving me a heads up that her shop was available. I would also like to thank Ivy Wells from the Berlin Visitors Center for being such a cheerleader for me and the shop. I would also like to thank my family for being supportive and willing to help get dirty while we blitzed the shop to get ready in a week!
I'm going to keep this post short and just throw some pictures up for now. The pics are chronological, starting with the patching & painting and ending with a few shots of the finished shop and some of our products on display. Enjoy!
Let's face it... we all just grow our beards because everyone else is doing it, right? I mean, it was the cool thing to do for a while. But, now, it's time to face reality and be a grown up. After all.. it's almost Summer time and that thing will be hot and itchy any way.
While there are some guys who grow their beard in order to fit in or follow the latest trends, there are far more of us that grow for the enjoyment of growing a beard. It's not about being a biker, a hipster, or even a lumber jack. It's about doing what you want to do for your own reasons. Be a real man and make your own decisions based on your own heart and head.. not what other's tell you is in or out, ugly or handsome.
For too long, we've been inundated with negative images of beards with razor commercials and the news outlet. I'll let you in on a little secret.. BEARDS ARE NATURAL! It's shaving that goes against what we are genetically supposed to look like. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't care if you shave.. for the right reason. Maybe you can't grow a beard; maybe your job makes it impossible to keep a beard; maybe you just get tired of having one (blasphemy!).
The bottom line is to do what you want to do without being a sheep!
It's a dogs life!
In the entrepreneurial world, I consider myself a mutt. You read correctly.. I'm a mutt. Now, I don't see this as a bad thing, but some explanation may be in order.
When I use the term "mutt" to describe myself, I am referring to the varied interests and skill sets that I have and am trying to incorporate into my business model.
As you might have guessed, I started Uncle Jon's as a handmade soap company. We offered skin-loving soaps along with some scrubs, balms, and even our own laundry soap! We are always striving to improve our products to be the best they can for you. But, before the soap, I had a different occupation...
For years, I worked as a finish carpenter and cabinet installer. I have always loved working with my hands and being able to create things, from raw materials. After being away from the carpentry field for a time, I began to get the urge to start working with wood again. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what I could make that would go with our soaps and other bath products. I came up empty time and time again. That's when I had a crazy thought... why choose?
In my mind, there's nothing wrong with mixing and matching the products you create. In a world where everything always seems to have to match, it's refreshing to just let go and create for the sake of creating. And so it began..
Since I work close to the beach, I decided skateboards and handplanes would be a great way to incorporate wood into my existing business. And guess what... people loved it!
After I started with the skate and surf stuff, I started growing that killer beard in the opening picture above. Well, I couldn't just stand by and let that opportunity go by. With a little bit of reading and a whole lot of experimentation, Uncle Jon's Beard Balm was born. Since then, we have created a beard oil and mustache wax to go along with our "guy line".
Now, instead of worrying about making things match, I can just create awesome products for you to enjoy before, during, and after the beach!
So, the next time you feel like you have to do something just to "fit in", ignore those feelings and just make something! Don't be afraid to follow your heart and your gut. It won't always work, but more often than not, other people will be just as excited as you are.
Feel free to hang around the site and check out the cool stuff we offer in our store. Also, please take a moment to come say hi on our Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you!
Why We're Here:
Here at Uncle Jon's soap we believe that education is the key to natural living. Our customers recognize the value in reliable natural products because they understand all of the benefits of using natural skin and hair hair products.