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<br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: Non-static method BP_Options::get() should not be called statically in <b>/home1/lotusnhc/public_html/community.poppyswap.com/forum/bb-includes/backpress/functions.bp-options.php</b> on line <b>9</b><br /> Let's be real.....in our ingredients! « Poppy Swap Forum

Poppy Swap Forum (Home) » Product Making-How to get the job done!

Let's be real.....in our ingredients!

  • admin

Hi Swappers,

I really want to create a guideline for Poppy Swap around what ingredients we need to keep off the site. There are issues around essential oils vs. potentially dangerous perfume oils etc. and other commonly used products that we need to be informed about.

I don't want the site to be overly restrictive but we need to set standards to preserve the integrity of our mission. I'd like it to be as comprehensive as possible so please pipe-in/sound-off with any knowledge or opinions you may have.

Much appreciated!

Kiki
~bring people herbs~
poppyswap.com

Replies to this topic

  • AquarianBath
  • AquarianBath

I'm really not a fan of fragrance (synthetic) oils in herbal products, but I'm not sure how restrictive you want to be.

  • admin
  • kiki

I'm with you Cory, but I really want to hear from other people on these issues so that our guidelines speak for the community as a whole.

  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Although I don't want to sound restrictive or biased, one of the main reasons I started making my lotions and potions was to get away from the synthetic fragrances and ingredients that were causing my skin sensitivities and also those that were not kind to the earth. I came to Poppy Swap for that exact same reason - I found a place that had the same ideals as me! And even though I know that everything natural is not safe and everything synthetic is not bad, I know natural ingredients are better for our skin, our health and the health of the planet. So, if we want to stay as a place that is "different" than the "anything goes" online markets, I think keeping true to the "Plants and Herbs" mission is a good and noble one. It's so often easier to produce for the masses, but it's so much more rewarding to produce products that have purpose and integrity. Just my very humble opinion!

For gardens and gardeners, nature lovers and earth sustainers ~ http://www.gardeningfornature.com
Dragonfly Dew at Poppy Swap ~ http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/DragonflyDew

grr, I had a whole post written and lost it! So I will try and remember what I wrote, but I know I said it more eloquently the first time! Lol

Herbs and Essential oils in the hands of the uneducated are just as, if not even more dangerous than synthetic fragrances. Too many (usually newbies)  think "natural" and just pick them up and throw some into their soap pot or lotion or whatever, without knowing the potential interactions with medications and diseases, or even the skin safe levels for proper use. To me, well thought out ingredients used by informed,  knowledgeable creators are more important than completely natural products. 

Then there are those that purchase bases and melt and pour soap mixes and do not even know what the ingredients are, let alone how to properly label them. While I have no issue with bases or melt and pour soaps being sold, I do have issues with any misleading or inaccurate advertsing that accompany said products. To my way of thinking, I came to this site to sell primarily herbal products with people wanting to do the same. However, some synthetics are needed, and they are not all bad and destructive.

I want to see proper preseratives in hydrous products, for the health and safety of customers, which means a synthetic is required, as there are no all natural preservatives. Antioxidants are not preservatives, and no natural has proven efficacy tests against molds, yeast and bacterias, although they are working on one that looks promising!   Anyway, there is also customer preferences. Some sythetics are desired, even if not necessarily needed. For instance, you will never get an all natural vanilla, rose or coffee scented soap that isn't cost prohibitive, unless you use a synthetic fragrance. In fact, if someone has a coffee, rose, or vanilla scented soap (you can probably say lotion here too and be just as accurate), and that soap is in your price range,  I guarantee you, it is a synthetic fragrance. Absolutes of many fragrances are simply way too much money to price a product reasonably, and some are not available, even if you had all the money in the world. Mother nature simply does not produce a natural "oatmeal, milk and honey" flower that can be made into an essential oil.  Then there are the colorants. While I use all herbs and clays to color, many use micas, pigments and lab colors. Those are not all natural, but they are certainly pretty, and many like/want pretty. Should they be excluded from here? Just how natural do you want to enforce?

The government regulates the word "organic" and allows for 25% of the end product to be of non-organic ingredients. What about doing something like that here? Either allowing a certain percentage of the product to be of non-natural ingredients, or allowing a certain portion of the shop to be of non-100% natural products. That way,  lotions and other hydrous products could be sold while the public's safety is  maintained.  

My main issue aside from safety, is truth in labeling and descriptions. I want to know that the sellers are honest about their products and the ingredients in those products. So whatever your decision about what products can be sold here, I would like it clearly defined and enforced. And, even if you do go with "all natural", I would request that you make an exception for preservatives in products containing water. The alternative is just too nasty to consider! 

 

Tammy,

Unique Garden

  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Hi Tammy!

I would just like to clarify a few things that you mentioned in your post - Vanilla and Coffee scents do not have to be synthetic to be affordable and natural - I infuse Organic Vanilla Beans in Jojoba Oil to use in my products, and infuse Organic Coffee in various oils to produce a coffee smell that is 100% natural. It doesn't cost an arm or a leg, but fills a gap between the synthetic fragrances and the absolute essential oils that are very expensive. You also get the benefits of the oils that the beans are infused in. I am not a soap maker so can't vouch for those fragrances in soaps, but they are fantastic in lotions, butters, balms, etc. As to the use of essential oils, I would argue that most (not all) creators of natural based products work very hard to ensure that what they are using has been well researched, documented and tested. The same can be said of course for synthetic fragrances created in a lab, however the makers of fragrances do not have to disclose what's in them, we really never know their contents, so how can we research them to know if they will cause sensitivities in individuals?  And finally, I very much agree that lotions and other products containing water need a preservative and just ask that the preservative be as friendly to my body and the earth as possible!

Kathy

  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Hi, me again :-)

I would like to add one other request with regard to the ingredients on our shop pages and our products: I firmly believe that each product listed should be required to show the full ingredients list on the product page. Not necessarily listed by weight since that might make some creators leery of someone replicating their formulas, but all ingredients should be listed. That way a shopper on our site sees that we believe in full disclosure, and can also see for themselves that they are buying a product they can trust as far as allergies, sensitivities, etc are concerned. I think we have an obligation to our visitors to do this, as we are promoting our site to be earth friendly, plant friendly, ingredient friendly, people friendly!

Kathy

  • Danika
  • Danika

Hello lovely Poppy Swappers,

I have researched for hours, days, weeks even in my effort to create a line of truly natural herbal skin care and have come to great dissapointments as well as triumphs.

First up, I whole heartedly agree in full ingredient disclosure! I look for ingredient lists myself when shopping online for anything I will use in or on my body and I feel most others like me want the same transparencey. There is a great organization called the Natural Ingredient Resource Center and they have some excellent guidelines for folks like us. They also have a Truth in Labelling Pledge you can take, as I have, and great logos for your business or website that say you have taken the pledge. Here is their web address: http://www.naturalingredient.org

Secondly, take heart! For there ARE natural preserving systems that have excellent efficacy in aqueous blends. They are produced in sterile labs but they are also truly natural options for lotion makers. Go green chemistry! First up is Tinosan SDC, there is limitations such as pH and salt, also cationic blends cannot use Tinosan. It is Silver Citrate (and) Citric acid by it's INCI name. I use it in my facial mist blends and it proves highly effective in my experience.

Next up is Biovert, used by high end New Zealand natural cosmetic companies Living Nature and Carol Preist Natural Cosmetics. It is a synergetic blend, INCI name is: Glucose & Lactoperoxidase & Glucose Oxidase. The Glucose is the substrate that 'feeds' the enzymes until activated by contamination. Very cool. Very effective. Again, not able to be created outside of a lab but it satisfies my needs for natural source preserving systems that really work. I am still playing around with creating a line of emulsion type products and will be challenge testing samples with Biovert as the preserving system.

Until then I choose to offer only anhydrous blends for the most part and I have to say I like the raw, pureness of it!

I want to write more but have been called into my 'day job' for a few hours and I have to run!

Let's keep talking about this most interesting and neccesary topic...

With love,

Danika.

  • Danika
  • Danika

I'm back, function over, people fed and happy...

Back to my thoughts on natural ingredients and preservatives.... As far as effective preserving systems go, Tinosan SDC and Biovert are excellent options for us micro manufacturers of natural cosmetics. They are safe, effective and they are not petrochemicals. Very important in my case as I market my products as containing only natural ingredients and it clearly states on my labels 'No Petrochemicals'!

Now most understand a preservative protects from bacterial and fungal contamination in regards to cosmetics. They do not protect the oils in a blend from rancidity. For this you need antioxidants. You don't need to use BHT!! For goodness sake. Find and use non GMO natural vitamin E, it is available in a concentrated form from good natural cosmetic ingredient suppliers. Or use a high quality rosemary extract, check out Mountain Rose Herbs for that one. :) Again, preservatives and antioxidants serve different roles and are not interchangable but most crafters understand this, I only mention it for new lotion crafters in their research stage. :)

It's important to remember your packaging plays a leading role in product preservation. It is the point of entry for contaminants and sunlight. Choosing dark coloured glass or plastic if you must and dispensing systems that remove the need for fingers in jars is a great way to further protect your product.

I really want to bring up some seemingly and so called natural preservatives that many natural skin care makers are using much to my dismay... I kinda hate to do so but since I have given the heads up on great options I think I will share my feelings and opinions on two commonly used preservatives- phenoxyethanol and (I so hate to say it) grapefruit seed extract.

I breaks my heart that such an innocent sounding thing like grapefruit seed extract is not what it seems. And that is a major reason I refuse time and again to use it. It is misleading, it is not what it seems and is marketed as something it is not. Just that is enough to make my hackles rise. I hate dishonesty and to me my word is my everything, when I say my products are all natural I friggen mean it! Grapefruit seed extract, even if from organically grown grapefruit is extracted via major chemical process using chemical catalysts and extreme pressure, changing its very chemical make up into something far removed from it's orginal innocent fruit. Nearly all GSE is preserved with chemicals and that is why it works, if it is not preserved it does not work! However I won't write all about it here as the folks at Terressentials have done excellent research and have a great article about it on their website with links to USDA studies. Here is a link for your interest: http://www.terressentials.com/truthaboutgse.html  ; I recommend being higly suspicous of any GSE.

Then there is phenoxyethanol. Sigh. Does that even sound natural to you? Umm, no. But it is used in many natural cosmetics and skin care products. A glycol ether, it breaks down into phenol and acetaldehyde which converts to acetate... Yum. It is a known irritant, allergen and  immune system disruptor and yet it is used in vaccines, cosmetics, skin care and even baby products! The list of concerns and valid data describing issues of safety goes on. Sure, it is only used at concentrations of 1% but that's far too much for me, thank you very much! Compared to Tinosan that becomes inert on contact with your skins natural salts it is a no brainer for me.

Well I must get off the computer and spend some time with my hubby watching the darkness overcome the day and the stars coming out in the Okangan. But that is my input on the topic of ingredients and appropriate options for the all natural Poppy Swap market place. Take it or leave, I would love to discuss it some more with you all.

With love,

Danika.

  • Danika
  • Danika

PS: I did not state any references to my claims concerning phenoxyethanol. I will find some links to data sheets and studies if I can still find them online and post for your interest, tomorrow. I also did not mention my feelings on fragrance oils vs essential oils as Kathy from DragonFly Dew took the words out of my mouth ;)

  • admin
  • kiki

This is so excellent ladies!! Danika you rock and I so appreciate everyone's time and efforts on this. I am working on an email that will go out to every new store as they sign-up and so I need to be able to fully educate them with this type of knowledge.

FYI there is a note at the top of every product listing page that states that a fully disclosed ingredient list be provided with each product. We check regularly and it seems people are doing it. 

We will keep evolving....this helps A LOT!! 

  • Danika
  • Danika

That's great! I'm so glad and if there is one thing I can talk about for hours its natural skin care and herbs! Ok, so that's two things. I just wanted to mention a great place for natural source ingredients like the Tinosan and a great emulsifying wax called Natramulse, as emulsifiers can be icky, but this one is a good one and I have had great success using it in a reduced ratio and adding organic beeswax. That way I don't have to use borax, a water polluter, in my beewax emulsions.

The supplier is called The Herbarie, it is in the US, North Carolina I think but don't quote me on that! Here is the link: http://www.theherbarie.com

Also, I wanted to post a link to the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, an excellent resource for researching your ingredients: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Have a great day beautiful Poppy Swappers!

Danika.

  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Hi Danika,

Thanks for the info on The Herbarie, I will look at some of the preservatives there. I was under the impression that Tinosan contains citric acid, of which some people have sensitivities to when used in things like bath bombs, etc. Maybe it is only in a larger percentage than what would be in the preservative so may not be a problem. Have you ever come across reactions to Tinosan?

As far as the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, I will have to part ways with you there - I believe they have way too much misinformation, conflicting ratings and data gaps to be very helpful at all.

Have a wonderful, nature-filled day!

Kathy

 

 

  • Danika
  • Danika

That's very interesting, thanks Kathy! I have noticed the data gaps and definitely hear you! It certainly has been useful to me, however, in prompting further research of my own to reach my own conclusions on ingredients. I just don't like to rely on only data produced by the manufacturers of cosmetic ingredients if you know what I mean. And EWG is independant as far as I know. But anyways, I like to be aware of these things so I thank you for your response, this is great! I rarely get to discuss things like this with other herbal skin care artisans.

Yes indeed, Tinosan contains citric acid. It is used I believe, in the process of creating the silver citrate. Much like how a jeweller electroplates silver onto other metals. Or at least, that is my understanding. So as for how much citric acid is left after processing, I'm not sure. The MSDS states the pH of the undiluted product is 1.4-1.6. I would not recommend using it neat. It is not known to be a skin or eye irritant nor a skin sensitizer. It is rendered inert upon conact with the natural salts of your skin, so does not pose the risk of accumulation as colloidial silver does. It is used at a rate of 0.03% of the total volume of a blend so it's presence is very minimal. In my personal experience, I have not come across reactions.

It is a bummer there is no raw and natural preserving systems yet but there is some great green chemistry going on creating good things that are gentle on us and our planet. But the fact that if you make hydrous products you need emulsifiers and preservatives is really what keeps me from going down the emulsion road with my products. I am totally hooked on using plant oils, plants, butters and hydrosols for now. Once you get over the whole putting oils on your skin thing, it's fantastic. :)

These are just my opinions and thoughts, formed by my own research. I try to inform myself as much as I can before making a decision to use an ingredient. But please, use your own discretion, do your own research, make your own decisions. And share what you have learned! They don't teach you this stuff in school eh?

This is awesome, let's keep discussing these great topics! You guys rock!

With love,

Danika.

  • Jadeswan
  • Jadeswan

This may have less to do with Poppy Swap guidelines and more to do with sellers self-regulating but I would like to see more information on the plants used in the products. I've been looking at infused oils of some plants I haven't had luck growing yet and in the product descriptions it doesn't say whether the plants were wildcrafted, grown by the seller or even commercial, dried plants. I find this rather frustrating as it makes a difference to me.

---Jenny
  • edensong
  • edensong

Very interesting discussion and it's great that views can be shared without squabbles!

I personally won't use Tinosan, because of some negative research.  (Don't have my fingers on it at the moment.)  I've found Leucidal (radish root extract) to be an excellent natural source preservative that The Herbarie offers.  Also, with research you can find many essential oils that have antimicrobial properties.

As others have stated, natural or synthetics can have negative effects.  Each person must take responsibility in finding what works for them.  For example, some folks can't handle virgin coconut oil, yet we all know it has wonderful properties.  It's just the way it is.  Personally, I don't object to some synthetics, but I simply choose to avoid them and use only natural, organic ingredients.

I would like to see the guidelines lean more towards natural, wildcrafted and organic.

  • Danika
  • Danika

Hi Jadeswan and Edensong :)

Jadeswan, I really like the point you brought up and since then I have begun changing my labels so they say if a plant was wildcrafted, homegrown or certified organic. It does make a difference, you are so right.

Edensong, I'm very interested in this radish root extract you speak of. I shall look into it. Gosh cosmetic making can get so complicated eh? I, like you, decided a while back to keep my products as raw and natural as possible and I can't see that changing anytime soon. If you happen to come across that info on Tinosan I would love if you could post a link to it or something like that. It's so good to share stuff like that as you really can't rely on the manufacturer to do the studies that are truly meaningful. It can be hard to find solid research if there is no financial benefit for the producer.

I've been having good conversations with a local lady who makes organic cleaning and personal care products here where I live. She has done extensive research on cosmetic additives so I love getting the chance to chat with her. She believes in the philosophy of 'co-opetition' which she describes as "a combination of the two words competition and co-operation. When business's in similar fields, support eachother, rather than compete with eachother, our local economy can prosper." And that is, I feel, exactly what we are doing right here, discussing and sharing without ego, for the benefit of us all. I like it!

  • DragonflyDew
  • DragonflyDew

Hi Ladies!

Thanks so much for all the information, I too would like to know more about alternative preservative systems, not just the various ones but also how they might interact with essential oils themselves and how complete they are (ie bacterial, fungus, etc). Most of what I make to sell has no water, aloe, or hydrosols in it, but what I make to test on myself sometimes does.

As far as "co-opetition" I couldn't agree more!

Kathy

  • admin
  • kiki

I want to jump in and say thank you to everyone for how friendly and wonderful the community spirit has been. The whole purpose of this site is to expand gentle healing to the world and I think the lovely nature that everyone brings to this forum is a huge testimony to our shared mission.

Its really touching and I am so grateful to everyone for their sincerity and humility! 

Luckily, I only make a product with dried herbs so the preservative issues is not keeping me up at nigh!

Let's keep learning and sharing!

Love, Kiki

  • edensong
  • edensong

I echo Kiki's sentiment.  It's very refreshing.

Danika, when I get a chance I'll look into it.  You might just google something like "negative Tinosan".

The natural preservative systems and use of EOs for that purpose are something I've been researching for a number of years, and there are many reputable individuals that support their use.

For the Leudical Liquid, hop over to The Herbarie to read about it.  Angie is very helpful if you have any questions.

Thanks for everyone's input -- love the sharing!

  • Danika
  • Danika

Thanks, Edensong.

I'm very excited to order a sample of the Leudical liquid. It's very much what I have been seeking to preserve things like local hydrosols. I did check out the Herbarie for it as soon as I read your earlier posting :) Very cool and right up my alley as it is from an edible source! I, like you, believe if you wouldn't eat it, why would you put it on your skin? But finding a way to preserve delicate ingredients naturally is a challenge. Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

Big hugs to you in thanks, :)

Danika.

  • edensong
  • edensong

Absolutely, Danika!  I've had great success with it, as has Angie from The Herbarie.

I am going to add that I think it's perfectly acceptable to not use a "proper preservation system" in aqueous emulsions. Personally I seek out and make natural products because that's what I want and that is what other people want. I think as long as there is transparency (ie this product does not have synthetic preservatives and therefore does not have indefinite shelf life) that we need to give customers a choice and give them the respect to make an intelligent, independent choice based on transparency. I really think this demonstrates a greater societal need for 100% sure guarantee, insurance at all times that is contradictory in the nature of herbalism and being close to the Earth.

http://www.wildly-natural-skin-care.com
~Learn about naturally caring for your skin with the wild flair and passion of the green Earth~
  • RosaArtemisia
  • gwendolyn ♥

Thank you, VioletHerbs, for so eloquantly making this important point.  I have not put a lot of effort into preservatives of any kind, including the so-called green preservatives because I always knew that I didn't want chemical preservatives in my products or on my skin.  I started making herbal skincare because I couldn't afford to buy it, and because no matter how hard I tried I never could find anything that was just pure and fresh for my sensitive, troubled skin.  Over time I have learned to use vinegar extractions in my toners and plant-infused honey in my masks... both excellent natural preservatives.  And good for the skin, too.  I think that going all-natural means accepting... nature.  Life eventually expires.  That's just the way it goes, and it is the very life essence of the plants that we so love to put on our skin.  These all natural herbal products are precious and should be highly regarded as such.  My skin care products are as close to food as possible, made to order or in small batches.  I keep my small batches in the fridge if they are fragile.  I sell them in small sizes to make them affordable and to make sure they can be used in a timely manner.   I think I would really like to encourage people to accept the truth of all-natural.  In the two years I have been selling skin care I never had a single customer complain about spoilage... but I have had a lot of people thanking me for making pure products that sooth and pamper their skin and make them feel beautiful.

Gwendolyn Rose Botanicals ~ ♥
http://www.GwendolynForever.etsy.com
  • admin
  • kiki

What's the verdict on "Phthalate Free"fragrance oils??

Good morning, all! What a beautiful morning here in Skagit County. Everything's still quiet and dawn is just...well, dawning! Just me and my computer, reading customer and students' emails and contemplating processing ceanothus root, arrowleaf balsamroot and generally getting ready for farmers market this weekend. 20 something years ago, I came across the news that 60% of what we put on our skin goes into our bloodstream. That hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks and I began to look at the labels of the products I used on my skin and the skin of my family. From that one bit of news boomed an herbal business that keeps the roof over my  head, fills me with passion, stirs my soul, AND, it keeps me honest with my products' ingredient lists. During my research way back when, I found out that synthetic scents or fragrances as they are commonly called, are frequently made with petrochemicals. Hmmmm. Since petrochemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic and cancer runs in my family, I cut them out of my personal usage and made the decision to never use them in any of my products. Since I use the products myself and since I sell my products to people I care about, whether I know them or not, I choose not to use any petrochemicals, preservatives, synthetic scents or colors in any of my products. Preservatives. You will never see things like Germaben, Germal, Optiphen, Phenonip or any other chemical preservative in  my products. I do not use chemical emulsifiers, either.  That being said, I do use preservatives and emulsifiers of the natural variety. Some essential oils are naturally antibacterial and antifungal, keep my products safe for long lasting use and "bug" free. Examples are: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Patchouli. Some of the herbs themselves in my formulas are antibacterial and antifungal and I use them not only for their medicinal importance, but also for the preservative qualities. Oregon Grape root, Cedar tips, Balm of Gilead are just a few examples of these types of herbs. There are many more in our forests and fields. When I started making creams way back, I didn't particularly like the results I was getting with using aloe vera gel or juice, so I switched to using my herbal witch hazels instead. And yes, I made my own witch  hazel with witch hazel bark I harvested and 151 alcohol. With this natural witch hazel, I can soak other herbs and get their beneficial properties as well. I love what I do and am always refining my formulas with inspiration I get from the plants themselves when I'm up in the mountains harvesting and teaching my wonderful apprentices. Have a great day, everyone!

"Step over to the Wild Side, where the plants have always been 'Green.'" S. Jordan
http://www.cedarmountainherbs.com

Short addition:

St. John's Botanicals has vanilla EO. I've been using it for years. I get the 5x food grade. If you call them and request a wholesale catalog (if you have a biz license), you'll find the price is very reasonable.

http://www.stjohnsbotanicals.com/

  • RosaArtemisia
  • gwendolyn ♥

Cedar Mountain Herb School:  I appreciate your insight, especially in light of your success and experience.  Thank you also for sharing your joy.  I am inspired to give creams another go after reading this post.

My interest in natural skin and hair care started about 10 years ago.  I remember when I thought Pantene was the "nice" shampoo, LOL!!  Someone gave me a sample sized bottle of Aubrey's Organics shampoos; it was the first time I'd ever read the back of a shampoo bottle and could easily recognize every ingredient as natural.  Aubrey was great- he published miniature pamphlets explaining the chemicals and preservatives in products.  Eventually, I also learned about our skin and how it absorbs what is put on it.  Skin and scalp issues that I had for years started to go away when I made the transition to natural products, though it wouldn't be complete until my diet changed with it.  Now, I won't use anything synthetic on my skin or in my house.  I just feel too good to go back.

My favorite thing about PoppySwap is the purity I find in most of the products listed here.  I find comfort in that.  It feels like "coming home".  Even though I have loved my experience on etsy, there is no standard for "natural" and many items listed as natural are not what I would consider as natural.  I think that if PoppySwap is a site for herbies and their goods, then that's exactly what it should be.  Otherwise, what is the point of switching over from etsy.  I don't know... just my two cents.

Also, as for mica... I read that most mica is mined by children and that it has a tendency to cover their lungs... not so pretty when seen from that point of view.  Not to say that I am perfect.  I have purchased shimmery eye shadows and lipsticks in the past when I didn't know any different.  But once you know, is pretty justification enough?

So basically, in general my feeling is Live and Let Live, but not at the expense of others.  If I were to have things my way, I would want PoppySwap to have slightly more stringent standards when it comes to "natural".  I won't put fragrance oils of any kind on my skin or in any of my household products, including candles.  For me, it simply isn't worth it.  Besides, now that I've been frangrance oil free, synthetic frangrances make me feel nauseous!  And they make my eyes water and my nose itch!! :)

  • RosaArtemisia
  • gwendolyn ♥

Also, I have managed to achieve the Vanilla scent by using ground Vanilla... just a pinch goes a long way.

  • smlowry
  • smlowry

Thanks to Kiki for directing me to this topic when I asked about natural preservatives for some gel ideas I have that I want to offer for sale this year!

I've been making my creams for about 7 or more years, salves much longer, and selling them for just about a year now, and in all those years I've never had anyone gifted with them or who purchased them complain about something going bad or moldy. I have had some of my salves get rancid, but that's because they sat in the medicine cabinet for 5 or more years. I've learned that salves generally last for 3 years, maybe more depending on where they are stored. Creams won't last that long, but then they are created to be used differently, slathered on sometimes, but definitely used daily and therefore a 2 ounce jar isn't going to outlast its shelf life. (Unless it's stored in the sun or in a hot, humid environment).

I will not use synthetic fragrances at all. And though my Rose Cream is a reasonable price, it does contain both Rose Otto and Rose Absolute from Ananda Apothecary. These are among the most expensive EOs in my collection at this point. Figuring out how much to add to the cost of ingredients for essential oils is a learning experience for me and thus my offerings that contain more expensive EOs like the roses, German chamomile, etc. may need to increase in price at some point. But for now I'm satisfied with the pricing structure. But I'm quite curious how others figure out these kinds of costs. Things like ounces of oils, jars, etc. are fairly straightforward. EOs not so much. My goal is to offer the highest quality products at affordable prices thereby bring more people to the awareness of how wonderful all-natural, homemade skin care products can be.

I am going to check out the offerings at The Herbarie, to see what might be good to experiment with for the gels I'm wanting to make this year.

Cedar Mountain School - I have a question about the witch hazel you use. Do you just add it to the product straight and how much? Generally I haven't added tinctures to my products because of the alcohol. I imagine in a gel, esp. one designed to heal itchy rashes, the alcohol won't be an issue, but in a cream? I like the idea of adding other herbs to it as well, esp. organic dried purchased herbs (since herbs I grow or harvest I can easily infuse in oils, but my sense is that dried herbs don't impart as many of their healing qualities in oil as fresh - which is why I swapped Tulsi Tincture for Arnica extract made with fresh arnica flowers here on Poppy Swap for my new "Pain Ease" cream).

In general I chose the EOs (as well as Vit. E) in each product based on specific qualities I want the cream to have. Many of those qualities also aid in preservation. I'm finding myself very drawn to EOs and want to learn as much about them as I can. But I don't have a scientific/chemist mind. I'm more intuitive. So I read, take notes, let recipe ideas simmer below the surface, then suddenly one day it's time to create. I just know I've figured out what I want to put into the next creation and though my previous knowledge and new knowledge absolutely play a part, it comes down to the creating when I make the final choices. There are certain things I know I want to include, but when it comes to the fine-tuning, that happens on the spot. (Of course I write everything down as I'm going along). I cook the same way, using recipes as general guidelines rather than blueprints.

I love the sharing and learning that come with being an herbalist!

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