Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Sale!! 20% Off Everything!

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying some warmer temperatures. We are in the thick of spring planting here. And busy blending and conjuring for summer scents. It will be here before we know it. And we need to clear out the shelves to make room. 

So for 1 week only we are having a website wide 20% off sale!! Starting today and ending next Saturday (April 6th). Everything, even items found on the Specials page!

On the Checkout page, under ' SUBTOTAL ', click on the ' + ' to the right of ' ADD COUPON ' . A box will appear for you to add the coupon code. Type in the code: OSTARA13 , your discount will be taken before you checkout. 

We wish you all a Blessed Holiday weekend, whichever holiday you and your family celebrate. 
Blessed Be,
Donna & Matt

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Good, Bad & Ugly of All Natural Skin Care

So, it seems there's a new kid in town and I just have to say….

Desperate Much?? So much that you have to blatantly imitate LUSH??!! AND claim to NOT use any preservatives??
Sadly, the lack of originality of some soapmakers (and in this case I use that term VERY loosely) never ceases to astound me. But this one has to be about the most ballsy case of plagiarism I've ever seen. As someone who has been a victim of plagiarism many times, this kind of blatant disregard for another colleagues ingenuity and skill aggravates the hell out of me. All one has to do is bring up the LUSH USA website and compare the two and you will see the blatant similarities all the way down to the two companies Values/Mission Statements. Can you say "copy & paste"? And those "product photos"….really?? I've seen some wild Photoshopped stuff but these are really bad. Looks as if they've taken LUSH'S products photos and photoshopped right over the top of them. ::THUD:: *head desk*

Of course they also claim, "No yucky preservatives". I suspect that they actually ARE using a preservative and just aren't being truthful about it. Otherwise, how are they reaching this "global market" they claim to be reaching without a jar of their food laden lotion growing mold in it? Seriously? It can take up to 10 weeks for package to reach some out lying areas in the UK or Australia. And if they are not using a preservative then they're asking for disaster! Because those nifty little food laden lotions and creams are little traveling incubators for staph infection delivered "fresh" right to your door! Isn't that special!

Now, I know that there are consumers that will flock to imitators like this. But to me, it just shows how pathetic someone is that they can't or won't do the work themselves to come up with their own ideas and designs. They are just lazy leeches riding along on the success and hard work of another company. And worse they have no regard for the safety of their customer. And any savvy consumer would notice this and never purchase anything from them.

Ordinarily I wouldn't give my time to a new bath & body company. However, companies like this one and the claims they make hurt this industry and other companies such as myself. They give consumers false impressions regarding cosmetic ingredient safety with claims of "no yucky preservatives". Implying they have a safer product, when in fact these products are a walking time bomb. Lotions have WATER in them, and with this company FOOD. Then you stick your dirty hands into a JAR to scoop some out. WATER, FOOD and HANDS are DIRTY folks!!! Sorry to burst your sparkly bubble. But they all contain microorganisms that produce nasty and dangerous germs like Staph which can get into a teeny tiny cut or scratch and turn into an infection of epic proportions causing you to loose your entire freaking arm/leg what have you!! If you don't like parabens, then find a company that uses paraben and/or formaldehyde free preservatives. But do NOT take the risk of playing Russian Roulette with companies like these. I assure you, Staph is allot worse than .5% of a paraben free preservative in your lotion.

Above all else, be an educated consumer! Don't believe everything you read on the label. If it looks too good to be true, it's probably NOT true. Example: There is no such thing as NATURAL Strawberry Essential Oil. Or any other fruity or bakery smelling "natural" essential oil for that matter. And bright, neon colors can NOT be achieved NATURALLY! They can only be created in a lab, synthetically. And most have to be preserved with a paraben based preservative.

Don't fall for the marketing hype! According to the FDA, there is no actual definition of the term "natural" in application to skin care. So the term "all natural" is thrown around the skin care industry with wild abandon and no consequence. In the United States, any product that contains only 70% organic ingredients can be labeled as "made with organic ingredients". No matter that the other 30% of the ingredients might be surfactants, animal based emulsifiers, synthetic, paraben preserved dyes, hexane extracted or phthalate laced fragrances, etc.!

One of my biggest pet peeves is "organic honey". Now please tell me how you keep bees from visiting a non-organically grown flower. Think about that for minute…….You just can't do it!! It's almost comical to even try and visualize it. Little leaches on an entire colony of bees. Or a farmers standing around the hive grounding each bee that went outside "the zone". The point is that unscrupulous cosmetic, bath & body manufacturers, including handmade, are taking advantage of consumers by using buz words like "natural", "organic", preservative-free", because they know the consumer is rarely savvy about the regulations regarding these things. And the truth is, the FDA doesn't have the man power or the funds to go around checking the falsified labels of all these crooked companies.

Conversely, there are good and honest handmade skin care companies that take great pride and passion in their products. These artisans are educated in the latest industry standards and manufacturing practices. As well as being very knowledgeable in the use of natural ingredients in skin care. If your buying handmade, know your vendor (the company you buy from). Know their manufacturing practices. If they have a Youtube channel, watch their videos. You can learn allot from a video. Are they manufacturing in a clean environment? Are they wearing gloves while manufacturing? Are they "double-dipping" (using the same utensil to scoop from different containers thus cross contaminating those ingredients)? Is their hair contained/pulled back. Is food present? It shouldn't be. Are pets removed from the area? They should be. Google them. Search for reviews on their products, search Youtube for reviews. Do your homework. The public has set high standards for the food industry. Why should you as a consumer of Bath, Body and Cosmetics not set just as high if not higher of a standard for the manufacturing of products that will be used on the largest organ of your body? Love Yourself, Love Your Skin!

Copyright © 2013 by Donna R. Dimick