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Archives for January 2013

The #SyrinxZA Story Part 2

Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar: all natural dry skin soapLooking down the list of ingredients for the Therapy Bar you soon spot ‘Zander (Phragmites communis: natural extract)’.

This exotic sounding item has a wonderful, romantic history that starts with the Ice Age in Eastern Europe some 15,000 years ago. If you can imagine the heaving bergs and glaciers of the present day Antarctic being transposed to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, then you have a picture of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) as they must have appeared during the first Ice Age.

Click here if you missed part 1 of the Syrinx ZA Story

The science bit

Ice is not static but moves inexorably with tremendous strength as a response to gravity. As it moves it grinds the underlying bedrock, creating shallow depressions. After the ice melted these depressions became lakes and these in turn were quickly colonised by algae, reeds and fish.

Even today the Baltic States suffer from pretty severe winters when the lakes freeze over for several months. They are not fed, as Scottish lakes are, by fast flowing, well oxygenated rivers but by the sluggish aquifers that are associated with flat land. This means that the amount of dissolved oxygen that ends up in the lake is limited and is quickly used up by lake dwelling organisms.

Now the reeds growing around the margin of the lake are vigorous and lush. They are also herbaceous, which means that dead leaves and stems are going to fall into the water regularly. In a well oxygenated environment the organic debris would be quickly oxidised by organisms to carbon dioxide and water.

When oxygen is scarce

However when oxygen is scarce, this cannot happen and you end up with an anaerobic jelly. Over many thousands of years and at a deposition rate of 1 mm per year, this jelly has built up. Even allowing for surface oxygenation, many lakes may contain a thickness of some 9 metres of this material.

In Latvia you can see some truly beautiful lakes. If you were to jump in for a swim you’d be surprised that the water barely passed your knees! But then you are standing on a lot of jelly. So the water gets displaced, as do the fish. The creature of economic importance out there is the pike-perch, much sort after for its creamy sweet flesh but increasingly displaced by the accumulating reed jelly.

It’s been a long and slow process but now the jelly or ‘Zander’ is being carefully dredged. The ecological balance is being redressed and before long the pike-perch will recolonize the lakes.

Everything we do is engineered to be ethical, natural and sustainable and critically help and protect our environment.

We’d welcome your questions or comments in the space provided below.


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Hand Made Soap – The #SyrinxZA Story

Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar: all natural dry skin soapThe Syrinx ZA Story starts over 15,000 years ago during the last Ice Age when Mother Nature began the process or creating the conditions which eventually led to the current day harvesting of the natural ingredients we use to manufacture our natural skincare products.

We’ve named our primary ingredient Zander. More about Zander later but for now let’s talk about saponification and the manufacturing process which helps to make Syrinx Za products so unique and beneficial.

To saponify or not to saponify? What really is best?

Printed on the packaging of every cosmetic product you buy these days is a list of the ingredients. The ingredients lists are generally quite long and complicated. The Syrinx Ingredients lists are mercifully short but there are surprises.

If you take the Syrinx Deep Cleansing Natural Therapy Bar for instance, you will notice that the first four ingredients of this traditionally handmade soap are all oils, which is far the norm. If you look close you will see the majority of commercial soaps will only use the salts of the oils such as ‘sodium olivate’ or ‘sodium cocoate’ rather than the oils themselves.

The difference is that these commercial soaps are made from pre-saponified oils, which are purchased as ‘noodles’ (so called because they are extruded through a huge mincer called a plodder) by the soap maker who then adds other ingredients, including fragrances and colourings to make the soap distinctive.

Why commercial soaps are slightly hydrophilic

On the other hand many handmade soaps start with the oils themselves and the reaction with lye that results in the production of a salt also yields glycerine – a well-known and important moisturiser.

However glycerine is salted out of the majority of commercial soaps before the noodles are forwarded to manufacturers. This explains why commercial soaps are slightly hydrophilic – tending to absorb moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and potentially irritable.

Avoid Soreness – use hand-made soap.

The result can be soreness, particularly around the face and neck. In handmade soaps glycerine remains an intrinsic part of the soap matrix and is fixed there through a process of curing. Such soaps will remain hard and dry providing they are kept out of water. The advantage of this ‘cold batch’ method of soap making is that the soaps retain a key moisturising property and do not cause the skin to dry or be irritable.

Of course commercial imperatives favour the pre-saponified noodle system. Glycerine derived from vegetable oils is very pure and has value in a wide range of technology. Moreover you can’t push glycerine and soap through a plodder so the cold batch system is always going to be labour intensive and therefore more expensive.

Syrinx ZA – Perfected the method producing natural soap

At Syrinx we have perfected a method of producing our round soap bars using a series of insulated tubes as moulds. Once the product is set it is pushed out of the mould with compressed air before cutting. Not an easy job but a very effective one.

In the early days I lost control of the air compressor and the soap shot out of the tube like a torpedo. It hit the opposite wall and reformed as a short fat lump of soap. I still possess it- it has the word ‘Damn!’ etched into the side.

Syrinx ZA – More than just soap

Syrinx Za manufactures a range of Natural Skincare Products based around Zander and other natural ingredients. Watch out for the next instalment of the Syrinx Story or Sign up to receive our posts by email so that you never miss a copy and keep up to date with our skincare news.


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Psoriasis and Diet

Psoriasis and DietPsoriasis is not an easy condition to live with so sufferers are usually very keen to find whatever they can to alleviate their symptoms. But what if this could be achieved by something as simple as what you eat?

There are very few studies that show a medical link between Psoriasis and Diet but there have been vast amounts of claims from sufferers that there is. So where are these claims coming from?

I recently tried your soap and was amazed at the improvement it made to my psoriasis. Redness and soreness was much reduced and my whole skin felt better overall. My nephew suffers terribly with eczema so I will be buying your products for him too.
Many, many thanks!
Christine Jones

What foods aggravate Psoriasis?

Many have insisted that eliminating certain foods from their diet has undoubtedly reduced or actually completely relieved their Psoriasis altogether.

Although there is no confirmed connection between a person’s Psoriasis and Diet, there is absolutely no harm in exploring whether it makes a difference to your condition.

List of suspected Psoriasis food triggers

  • Gluten and Yeast: A sensitivity to gluten or yeast could mean a gluten-free or yeast-free diet could potentially rapidly reduce Psoriasis symptoms in some.
  • Dairy: Dairy is commonly associated with inflammatory conditions so eliminating this food group from your diet could also reduce Psoriasis symptoms.
  • Red Meat: Red Meat is also associated with inflammatory conditions but, even more importantly, cardiovascular diseases. Psoriasis causes a sufferer to also have a higher susceptibility to heart problems so it is certainly wise to stay away from the further risks red meat brings.
  • Alcohol: A very high amount of Psoriasis sufferers claim that consuming high levels of alcohol significantly worsens their symptoms. No research has confirmed this link either but it may be due to dehydration of the skin or the alcohol’s ability to give white blood cells easier access to the skin, which in turn can inflame the skin. It is definitely worth trying a completely alcohol-free diet for a while (as hard as it may be!) to see if there is any improvement to your Psoriasis.

So what foods are GOOD for Psoriasis?

  • Fish and Omega 3: Fish contains anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce symptoms of Psoriasis.
  • Herbs: Herbs are thought to boost the skin’s own immune system and reduce any inflammation.
  • Vitamin-rich Foods: Vitamin A rich foods could encourage healthy skin and reduce conditions such as Psoriasis thanks to their nourishing properties. Such foods include carrots, lettuce, paprika and sweet potatoes.
  • Antioxidant-rich Foods: Antioxidants nourish the body and are very effective in fighting off diseases that Psoriasis increases your risk of such as cancer and heart disease. Such foods include fruits, nuts, whole grain and vegetables.
Elimination Diets

While trying out elimination diets is useful when finding out if there is indeed a connection between your Psoriasis and Diet, it is important you do not carry out any significant eliminations for any extended periods of times as it could prevent your body receiving the nutrients it needs.

Try to remain healthy at all times by having a low in fat and high in fruit/veg diet to avoid any other health issues arising. Further reading on Psoriasis Treatments.


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I have suffered from psoriasis all my life and have tried many skin care products but have not had much luck until now, I have just started using the therapy cream for only two weeks, and my family have already noticed a significant improvement in my psoriasis. The condition is on my scalp so it is difficult for me to see but feels loads better and now I feel more confident to wear my hair up, I have already started recommending the product to my friends. I would hope to see a shampoo and conditioner range in the near future if this is possible as this would be an added benefit for myself as I have found many existing hair products flare up and irritate my psoriasis.

Thank you
Joanne Hampshire.

What is the best treatment for eczema?

What is the best treatment for eczema?Eczema can be an incredibly difficult skin condition to live with, regardless of what age you are at. This is why it is particularly important eczema sufferers find effective yet safe treatment to alleviate the symptoms as productively as possible, despite there being no direct cure for the condition.

Effective eczema treatment should heal the affected area, hydrate the skin and prevent flare ups. It should be a long term solution to the condition and it is strongly recommended you choose products with the lowest risk of side effects.

I have found Syrinx Za excellent and in particular my son who has chronic eczema has been using it and has had very good results. As a general practitioner I feel sure that the wider use of products such as this could well form part of the management of dry skin conditions. I have no hesitation recommending it to others. Dr S Blake
Read the Full Testimonial

Eczema Treatment Options

There are a few routes you can take when choosing how to treat your eczema and it’s important that you have a full awareness of the available treatments and what risks some may have.

The most used treatments for eczema are steroid-based. There are two types of steroid treatments for eczema; topical applications (creams, ointments) and injectable steroids. Injectable steroids are only ever available on prescription but topical steroid treatments are very easy to get hold of as they can be bought over the counter. Steroid based treatments can be fast working and effective but certainly comes with some very big downsides.

Steroid injections, as you can imagine, can cause real problems for the immune system, and can only be used just twice a year. Topical steroid treatments are also generally a very short term solution. Steroid treatments can often irritate sensitive skin because they tend to thin out the skin making it more vulnerable than it already is.

Then artificial colours and alcohol additives they contain can damage the skin with prolonged use. In other words, steroid treatments may actually cause eczema to be worse than it was to begin with!

There are a number of other treatments that can be chosen to treat eczema. Anti-itch drugs such as antihistamine can be used to prevent scratching but this does not address the problem, is only temporary, and often comes with side-effects such as extreme drowsiness. Light therapy has also been used to treat eczema using ultra-violet light. However this treatment has been found by many to be quite ineffective and over-exposure to ultra-violet lights can cause a greater risk of skin cancer.

Our recommendations

It may be frustrating for there to be so many side effects when it comes to eczema treatment, so the best thing to do is go with the lowest risk option that still gives the best results.

Natural skin care treatment is often overlooked with many thinking it is not as effective as steroid based treatments but this is not necessarily true at all.

Natural Emollient Eczema Cream

The Syrinx Za Emollient Eczema Cream is completely natural, which means it is also completely risk-free. It has been proven to be just as effective as steroid based treatments with most claiming it is actually provides much better results. It soothes the skin and is completely irritant-free. It is natural relief for the skin and reduces symptoms such as redness, irritation and inflammation.

This is because the emollient is able to naturally draw away toxins and rehydrate the skin using a unique, highly moisturising ingredient called Zander.

Deep Cleansing, Natural Skin Therapy Bar

The Syrinx Skin Therapy Bar is a 100% natural, cold processed soap specifically designed for skin conditions such as eczema and does not irritate or dry out the skin at all. Instead it soothes the affected areas, deeply cleansing and removing impurities that aggravate eczema prone skin.

Combination of Cleansing and Normalising Eczema

For eczema sufferers we have a one click combination of our best selling natural eczema treatment products containing both the eczema emollient cream and the deep cleansing therapy bar. It’s our conviction that this combination is the best treatment for eczema. Please contact us if you have any questions.


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Early Morning Dry SKin

Emma Bunton Dry SkinDo you have dry skin when you wake up?
I noticed a tweet from Emma Bunton this morning and was inspired to write this post.
Emma Bunton on Twitter
You can follow Emma Bunton on Twitter @EmmaBunton
To listen to Emma’s #HeartLondon radio show find the link here: @HeartLondon

Time Consuming Facial vs. Daily Skin Care

Some would say that a facial in the beauty salon is therapeutic as well as being beneficial for dry skin. OK, so I’m a bloke and I have to admit, although I am sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve never had a facial, however I don’t need one because I’m lucky enough to work for a skin care company that provides me with the products I need to maintain healthy hydrated skin.

So which is the best; a time consuming, not to mention expensive facial or just regular daily skin care with soap and a little moisturiser ?

A Facial at home or in the Beauty Salon
A good home facial mask from reputable store it’s going to cost you around £20.00 and you’ll still need to precede your facial with an equally high quality face skin cleanser, and then find the time to apply and let the facial mask do its work before removing it. So a facial is expensive and time consuming – That’s no bad thing if you’ve got the time and the budget to spend £20.00 every time you’re skin becomes dehydrated. Even more expensive and time consuming if you go to the beauty salon.

Home Skin Care Regime using Syrinx Za Products
Using our skin care regime you need the Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar and our Ultra-Sensitive Therapy Cream. You’ll use the Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar (like a bar of soap) wash the skin and remove all impurities simply by washing the face. Then apply the Ultra-Sensitive Therapy Cream, working the cream in firmly. Do this each morning and evening, and when you remove makeup and also immediately after swimming, bathing or exposure to the wind or sun.

The above face skin care regime is not going to take up any more time because we all wash our face every morning and evening. As a major bonus both products are 100% natural – no chemicals.

So, which is the best, a facial or a simple skin care regime?

OK, so I’m a little biased because I work for Syrinx Za, but our products really will help Emma Bunton and you and me to avoid Early Morning Dry Skin. So My vote is for adopting a daily skin care regime rather wasting time with expensive facials.

What do think? –


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