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The History of Bathing and Balneotherapy

As we are in the middle of winter here in Rotorua, we thought to shine our light a little on Balneotherapy (the medical term used for treatments using mineral water) and the history of bathing in mineral waters

Our interest of course comes strongly from living in New Zealand’s most famous Spa town – Rotorua. People have been travelling to our beautiful town for over 100 years to ‘take the waters’, often for their perceived healing purposes and often just to relax in their warm depths.

Balneotherapy has a very long history, it is said that as early as the 5th century BC scientists were looking at the beneficial properties of sulphurous springs, especially to heal skin diseases and relieve muscular and joint pains.

History also tells us that Cleopatra (69-30 B.C.) visited the Dead Sea to soak in its mineral-rich waters and it is since then that the Dead Sea is famous for its healing properties.

Around the middle 1500’s, researchers and medics started again talking about the health benefits of taking a bath and drinking water and more research and analyzing of  the mineral component of waters was done. They were looking at the quality of each mineral and what effect it had on the body.  

During the 19th century the bathing culture only grew. Further analyses of mineral waters were conducted, and the belief that natural thermal waters had a cure to many illnesses only grew. Historic research showed it was very important to people’s treatments to have comfortable surroundings with good food and wine!

Dr Kneipp became very famous by further developing the principles of Balneotherapy.  A range of treatments were developed, such as hot & cold baths, herbal baths, mud packs, massages and more. Dr Kneipp’s bath salts are still being sold in pharmacies and health shops all around the world.

Europe really took on the use of mineral waters and Grand Spa hotels were built at every spring, the Belgium town of Spa being one of the most famous ones.   The concept of a ‘Spa resort’ was born and these resorts attracted a wide range of people, especially the wealthy as these Spa hotels were definitely ‘the place’ to be seen!

Rotorua has its own famous springs such as the Rachel Spring and, our beautiful Bath house (one of the most photographed buildings in New Zealand) is directly related to these European traditions of Balneotherapy and building grand buildings around springs.

We even had our own Balneologist, Dr Arthur Wohlmann, and these are his words:

“In the first place, the spas must not only be places where one can bathe in mineral water, but they must be fitted with the most expensive apparatus of modern balneological methods; and there must be not only decent comfort, but a certain amount of luxury.”

Tourists started to arrive in Rotorua in the 1870s and 1880s to see the famous Pink and White Terraces of Rotomahana and to bathe in our many thermal pools around Rotorua, that were nestled amongst sulphur deposits and manuka bushes.

 Rotorua has two types of mineral waters that were recommended for health purposes; one being the alkaline ‘Rachel’ spring and the ‘Priest’ spring with water that is slightly different, being mildly acidic. These two springs were recommended for a range of treatments, such as arthritis, rheumatism and even nervous disorders – the waters were regarded as soothing and could help relieve  pains and swellings in the joints.

Our Pure Source Thermal Bath Salts are mirrored on the water of the Rachel Springs.

Even in modern times and either as treatment or just relaxing – bathing is utter bliss!

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Your skin loves Manuka Honey and here is why

New Zealand’s Manuka Honey is a star ingredient in many skincare products, and rightfully so we believe. It is famous and sought after around the world for its amazing healing abilities.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka Honey is a mono-floral honey sourced from the Manuka Tea Tree (Leptospermum Scoparium) which is only found in New Zealand. The Manuka Tea Tree, grows widely around the country and produces small pink and white flowers. Honey bees love to feed on these flowers and produce the popular Manuka Honey.

The Manuka Tree has been valued for its healing properties for centuries by Maori and later European. Modern research show that Manuka Honey contains very strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that don’t break down over time or when heated. For this reason, Manuka Honey is used in hospitals, especially in wound care. Research has found that Manuka Honey also can help to stimulate the immune system, provide nutrients for cell metabolism, reduce inflammation and support tissue repair.

Why is Manuka Honey used in skincare?

Manuka Honey not only is full of anti-bacterial properties but contains a range of anti-oxidants, amino acids and minerals, all said to be very powerful in combating a range of skin problems.

But there is more… Manuka Honey is also said to work as a humectant, which is the ability to reduce the loss of  moisture from our skin. It gently  soothes and nourishes the skin and restores its natural glow. There is not much it doesn’t do!

How do we know if we get good honey?

As mentioned earlier, Manuka Honey contains very powerful anti-bacterial compounds, much more than any other honey.

To measure this there are 2 main grading systems used to define the quality of Manuka Honey, assessing its unique properties and components: MG and UMF. The higher the MG or UMF rating the stronger the anti-bacterial power.

Every batch of Manuka Honey is tested and certified for natural MG (Methylglyoxal) content. The MG or UMF number tells you how much MG is in that batch of honey:

We use a MG300 (UMF12+) grade honey in our Manuka Honey range. We blend it with a light carrier cream, your skin will love it!

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Explaining the difference between our four Rotorua Thermal Mud face masks

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is: ‘ what is the difference between the four different face masks’ so here is a little explanation.

Rotorua Thermal Mud Mask:

A face mask for all skin types. This mask is the mask we base all our others on and is our best seller. It highlights Rotorua Thermal Mud’s ability to deep cleanse the skin and leave the skin with a beautiful healthy glow.

Rotorua Thermal Mud Mask with Manuka Honey:

A face mask for all skin types but in particular suited for drier and more sensitive skin. The added Manuka Honey helps support the Rotorua Thermal Mud’s ability to deeply cleanse the skin while being gentle and soothing. Our key ingredient, New Zealand Manuka Honey, is well known to be soothing and healing and when included in this mask it creates a perfect combination to use on dry and sensitive skin.

Rotorua Thermal Mud Mask with Kiwifruit

A face mask for all skin types but in particular suited for younger and more oily skin. The added Kiwifruit helps support the Rotorua Thermal Mud’s ability to deeply cleanse the skin focusing on problem areas in young skin. Our key ingredient in this mask, New Zealand Green Kiwifruit, is well known to be rich in vitamin C and E and when included in this mask it creates a perfect combination to use on younger and problematic skin.

Rotorua Thermal Mud Mask with Colostrum

A face mask for all skin types but in particular suited for mature and lack lustre skin. The added Colostrum helps support the Rotorua Thermal Mud’s ability to deeply cleanse the skin while looking after our mature skin. Our key ingredient in this mask, Colostrum, is well known to be full of extra nutrients and when included in this mask it creates a perfect combination to use on lack lustre skin.

Use your Rotorua Thermal Mud mask once a week for deep clean, healthy and glowing skin.

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Thermal Mud – ‘Magic of the Earth’

When we talk about mud we all have memories pop up about those crazy wonderful childhood days when we were slipping and sliding and covering ourselves with glorious mud.

Mud is historically believed to deliver magic to our skin and body.  But why?  And is all mud the same?

Firstly, no, all mud is not created equal.  The composition of the mud used in beauty therapies and skincare is built up of a completely different mineral component than the mud we used to play in as kids.

Mud for Therapies:

The mud used by therapists is specially selected for its therapeutic properties and they all differ in their mineral contents, based on where it is sourced from.  Mud from Korea, or from Turkey, has different mineral levels than our Thermal Mud here in Rotorua.  For instance, Rotorua Thermal Mud has a high level of sulphur and silicon.

This therapeutic use of mud is called “pelotherapy” from Pelos, the Greek word for mud.  There is a record that shows that nearly 2,000 years ago mud was already recommended for clear skin, arthritis and rheumatism.

Mud therapies have been popular for thousands of years and Spa’s are still offering body wraps, face masks and mud baths, based around the properties of that specific mud.

Rotorua Thermal Mud:

Our Rotorua Mud stems from its natural, thermal surroundings.  It is unique and only present in a small part of the world where the perfect amount of thermal activity connects with the surrounding native environment.

Thermal Mud is considered to be the magic of the earth’: thermal water from deep within the earth forces itself up, mixes with soil that is filled with native organic matter (and young volcanic soil in our case) and voilà, therapeutic Thermal Mud is born!

Rotorua, with its numerous hot thermal springs, thermal geysers and boiling Thermal Mud has been known for over a century to be THE place for healing and revitalising.  People travelled form all over the world to take to the waters – looking for great skin and relief from aches and pains.

  How does Thermal Mud work:

By applying Thermal Mud onto the skin, it dries and creates an active barrier.  An occlusive system is formed, increasing the skin’s temperature and improving the micro-circulation throughout the body.  The increased blood flow flushes the body’s toxins to the small veins near the surface of the skin.  The mud draws the toxins out the skin and releases its minerals, resulting in healthy, clean, rosy and glowing skin.

We believe Rotorua Thermal Mud to be the ultimate detox; it cleanses, detoxifies and relaxes – true MAGIC!

 

Pure Source

The History of Face Masking

The wonderful beauty ritual of applying face masks has been celebrated throughout historic times. Strong evidence of face masking and other beauty rituals are found in places like Egypt, Asia and India, amongst many others.

The beautiful Cleopatra (69BC – 30 BC) is still referred to as the queen of masks and skin care, she was known to be forever searching for natural ingredients to maintain her youthful looking skin. She prepared masks to cleanse, nourish and rejuvenate her skin and her favourites were  Dead Sea  mud masks as well as honey and milk baths.

These early beauty treatments were all based on natural resources, often locally sourced, face masks, scrubs and creamy pastes were prepared from what was collected and gathered nearby.

History tells us that in historic times many Egyptians and Indians covered themselves with mud and clay to cleanse their skin and relax their bodies.  These wise people already knew the amazing cleansing and healing properties of mud. They also knew how full this mud was with skin-friendly minerals and trace elements, with natural detoxifying and absorbing qualities.

Asia and in particular ancient China  share  many old stories too  about women and their special beauty routines. Face masking records go right back to the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), where imperial consorts used ingredients like white jade, pearls and ginseng to brighten and tighten their skin.

Toxic lead facials where very popular in the Victorian times, an era where women where striving for light, almost translucent skin as that was considered the most beautiful at the  time. Toxic lead would be added to honey and olive oil in the hope of a bright and pale complexion.

And Marie Antoinette‘s signature face mask was said to be based on egg whites as she had a fear of large pores.

Masking stood it’s place throughout history and today it is still as much a beauty routine ‘must –do’ as it ever was . And women, right around the world, are still searching for products based on natural ingredients, because, as we all know:

‘nature knows best’

Pure Source

We’ve redesigned our web experience.

We’ve built a brand new website designed with you in mind, featuring enhanced design, security, and it’s also full of useful product information. Don’t worry, you’ll find all the same great Pure Source products – and some new product releases just in time for the website launch!

We’re really excited about the new website and we hope you have a great user experience.  If you have any feedback drop us a line at sales@puresource.co.nz.

Intro offer when you spend over $50

For a limited time when you spend over $50 on any products in store you’ll receive a FREE Manuka Honey Lip Balm.  Find out more and how to redeem this offer.

Getting started – setting up an account

You can shop online as a guest but setting up an account will make your shopping experience even better.  You’ll be able to save your billing and shipping information and we’ll keep a record of your order history.  Setting up an account only takes a few minutes, get started here.

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Global express shipping

Remember, regardless of what part of the world you call home, we can deliver your next order quickly and cost effectively. Plus, if you live in New Zealand we offer great flat rate shipping rates regardless of what’s in your basket.  Find out more about our express delivery services.