Raw, Organic & Natural – first
I choose raw and unrefined products where I safely can (such as fair-trade African and butters). I buy them in small quantities and carefully refine the raw ones myself at low temperatures, to preserve their natural goodness. I only use high quality, pure essential oils and base oils. Not all of my ingredients are organic, but when I can (or more importantly, when I think that I should, based on current common growing and manufacturing processes) source things organically, I do so.
I infuse organic vera juice with many organic botanicals myself and use those mixtures in place of water wherever it is beneficial to do so. I prioritize quality and health first and foremost, at all times, and produce all of my products to professional standards.
I encourage you to Google product ingredients found on the labels of the my products (as well as any other products that you use regularly – ESPECIALLY the other labels!), and to then make more informed choices about what you are/are not willing to introduce into your body and bloodstream on an ongoing basis. (Look for some useful links to do that right from here, labelled ‘Other Resources’.)
Remember – your skin is the largest organ in your whole body! It works really well, which means that most of whatever you put on it goes right into your bloodstream.
“Additives” – sometimes
aka CocaBetaine is a derivative of cocamide and glycine betaine. In other (more normal) words, it is made from oil. It gently cleanses skin/hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed off. Its pH range contributes a mild germicidal effect and loads of lather, so I consider it a beneficial additive to my shampoos and liquid soaps. It is called out as “all natural” by many, but I won’t go that far myself since it is a highly processed DERIVATIVE of coconuts, at best. There are some concerns, mostly regarding possible contaminants. I choose my suppliers carefully, to mitigate that risk.
There are some other things I use that are only “derived” from natural products, but worth using. My favorites in this category are (also known as Pro-Vitamin B5), aka Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey (honey with the sticky removed), , and (from empty silkworm cocoons). I will share more about these and other ingredients in another post, on another day. Suffice it to say that I have had a great time refining my choices in the products that I proudly offer you now.
Preservatives – only as needed
All-natural sounds lovely until you realize that flesh-eating bacteria is “natural”, too … EEK! Preservatives are a necessary component in water (or , etc.) based formulas (creamy lotions, body sprays, shampoos and conditioners, etc.). Most companies that loudly proclaim “No Preservatives” simply do not offer these types of products, which I consider a cop-out. I am just not ready to do without a pumpable lotion or creamy hair conditioner, so I do use preservatives in these products. In oil-based formulas (such as body butters, salves. lip balms) and in products like soap with a very high PH value, preservatives can be safely omitted.
I use the following (carefully chosen) preservatives in a combined form known in the industry as “Optiphen Plus” when necessary.
can be found naturally in , but the commercial ingredient is synthetically produced in a laboratory creating what’s termed a “nature identical” chemical. is one of a very few preservatives available that fights bacteria effectively while being both paraben and formaldehyde-free. is included in The Handbook of Green Chemicals and is Whole Foods Premium Body Care approved.
is a synthetically made but nature-identical alcohol derived from caprylic acid, a natural fatty acid found in the milk of some mammals, as well as palm and oils. is an effective conditioner and moisturizer that also helps increase the shelf life of a product by increasing the antimicrobial activity of other preservatives. The form of conditioning agent I use is plant-based only.
is a natural, organic preservative (an unsaturated fatty acid) used to maintain the freshness of a variety of human foods, drugs, and cosmetic products. Potassium sorbate (sorbate acid) possesses antifungal, and to a lesser extent antibacterial, properties. Studies published by the CIR (The Cosmetic Ingredient Review) found to be practically nontoxic in acute oral toxicity studies