Friday, June 1, 2012

What is IN our products? AND WHY!?!

Ready for a very infomational blog post? I have been wanting to do this one for a while, but we have been gearing up for the MTV Movie Awards event (which is TODAY!) and now I finally have time.

Have you ever looked at the back of any bath and body product label and wondered "what is that for?" in the ingredient list? The very reason I began doing this in the first place. Some ingredients have really long, chemical names and sound scary, and ARE scary. However, some ingredients like Cocus Nucifera, sound scary, but that is just a fancy way of wording coconut oil! ;)

I have done countless hours of research on ingredients to use, oils, preservatives (both natural and not), butters, waxes, colorants, scents (essential and not), etc. Here is some of the information I have compiled and I actually bring this list with me to every fair I do. This info is meant to be informative only, not used as medicinal or doctor replacement.

Avocado Butter- easily penetrated into the skin, contains some natural sunscreen properties along with Vitamins A, B, G and E
Cocoa Butter- Vitamin E to promote the skin’s elasticity, is beneficial for psoriasis and dermatitis. Solid at room temperature, but reacts to skin’s body heat, helping it to penetrate deeply under the skin’s surface
Mango Butter- emollient properties, wound healing, and regenerative activity protective effect against UV radiation and used for treatment of wrinkles
Shea Butter- anti-inflammatory, an emollient, a humectant, and a natural sun block
Avocado Oil- rich in lecithin, proteins and vitamins like A, B, D, E; moisturizes the skin, keeps it soft and hydrated. Has higher regenerative properties
Castor Oil- rich anti oxidant, deep conditions skin, used to treat eczema and other skin ailments
Coconut Oil- skin-smoothing, a humectant, high in Vitamin E, and is rich in skin nourishing proteins
Jojoba Oil- anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and has antioxidant properties. Is very easily absorbed by outer skin
Olive Oil- a natural antioxidant, absorbs harmful UV rays, is soothing and healing
Palm Oil- has Vitamin E, provides deep moisturizing properties and restores skins natural oils
Rice Bran Oil- rich in Vitamin E, high in antioxidant, and is a skin moisturizer and protector. Also used for treating dry and mature skin.
Sweet Almond Oil- excellent moisturizer and lubricant, a rich source of Vitamin E, and absorbs well into skin without greasy residue
Beeswax- works as an emollient (softens and soothes), a humectant, is high in Vitamin A, and is a natural works as an emollient (softens and soothes), a humectant, is high in Vitamin A, and is a natural antioxidant
Goat’s Milk- has many vitamins and other essential elements to help nourish skin. These include vitamins A, E, C, some B vitamins, amino and citric acids, unsaturated fatty acids and zinc
Calendula- anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and is high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E
Glycerin- often considered one of the most indulgent and moisturizing soaps available, is both effective and moisturizing on all types of skin
Hawaiian Sea Salt- 100% natural food, providing a balance of minerals and trace elements (such as zinc, calcium and magnesium)
Oatmeal- natural skin protector and remedy for sunburn, diaper rash, eczema, chicken pox, insect bites, shingles and other dry, itchy skin afflictions.

I would like to point out that we only purchase Palm Oil from members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization that supports sustainable palm oil production. =)

Why does lotion need a preservative? GOOD QUESTION!
Lotions and creams are a blend of oil and liquid, just like mayonnaise. But unlike refrigerated mayonnaise, personal care products that are going to have a shelf life longer than a week need to be preserved. It’s just as simple as that. Without a preservative, your lovely blend of rich organic oils and liquid would turn into a toxic soup that is a perfect culture medium for bacteria, mold and yeast – not a good thing to be putting on yourself or your family.
The reason you don’t see a preservative on the label of oil-based balms and salves is because they are made without water and they don’t need one. Bacteria need oxygen to grow and flourish, so salves or balms that aren’t made with water don’t need a preservative. No water=no bacteria. If you’re looking for a moisturizer for your or your baby’s skin and want a product with no preservatives, try our soothing salve.

So when we do need a preservative, which one do we use? We were using phenonip (formaldehyde-free) since day one. Phenonip consists of Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben and Propylparaben. WHAT?? Parabens??? Do not freak out. Parabens are not a scary as the general public has made them out to be. This blog post is extremely informative on parabens. The bottom line. Parabens are in food (blueberries for example) and all things in moderation. Please educate yourself with the right materials. Parabens are only dangerous if used in large quantites. In lotions, preservatives are used at .5% of the entire batch. A very, very small amount.

Because some people still are afraid of parabens (I am not now that I know the facts), we have recently switched to using Optiphen as a preservative. This preservative is formaldehyde-free and paraben-free.

Too much information? NEVER! Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope this post answers some of the ones you began with.

Mahalo and hang loose ;)


  1. Excellent, educational posts. I'd actually like to ask you more about fragrance oils and why I find some handmade soaps irritating, if the fact they are not using "natural" oils is not the reason.

    1. Hey Jean! So many handmade soaps are made so differently. It is UBER important that the person you are buying your handmade products from knows ALL of the ingredients they use and possible side effects. Some fragrance oils are completely synthetic, and you can usually tell by how 'fakey' they smell ;) Not a good sign. It is also important that the creator is honest. I can't tell you how many labels I have seen that list an essential oil that does not even exist! (strawberries, coconut, etc) Some glycerin soap is made with detergents and SLS that can contribute to irritations or skin reactions. Hope this is enough info. If not, bring on the questions!!!

  2. It is most likely due to the use of detergents or sodium laurel sulfate. It could also by dyes or the kind of fragrance oil being used. Not all handmade soaps are created equally.

  3. wow.. such an abundance of information.. very enlightening.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...