I got so good at keeping up with my blog last summer, then the holidays hit and by January I felt like I didn’t have another word in me! Between Instagram, Facebook and my blog, social media can feel like a never ending conversation. For those of you who are introverted like me, you get when I say that interaction can be draining, even if I’m talking to people I love (you guys) about things that I care about (my awesome products). So, in January, I took a break, and here it is 5 months later, I’m ready to get back out there.
My inspiration for returning to writing has actually been the unbelievable amount of misinformation I’ve been stumbling across while researching for new products. There are a lot of trends out there in skin care and hair care. Trends are okay. Trends in coconut oil and aloe vera come from a place of good intentions – these ingredients have wonderful benefits. Lifestyle choices like going organic or going vegan are deeply personal, based on things like your medical history, your personal choices and beliefs. I went into skin care because it’s so personal, it’s a way to connect with other people and gives us a chance to share in our deeply held convictions – like wanting to protect animals, protect your own body and protect the environment.
It’s important to remember that your choices are your own. Like your diet, your religion and your politics, what works for you doesn’t necessarily work for your neighbor. The choices you make for yourself are not the same choices made by your friends and family. And, here’s the important part, your neighbor’s choices are not up for your judgement and they aren’t better or worse than your choices. I see too much judgement in this industry,
I try to make products that suit a range of these lifestyles. I’m going to be frank here – my organic and vegan products lines are intended for men and women who have money to spare. I, personally, do not fall into this category. I’m able to use my organic lines because I make them – I would never be able to afford them if I wasn’t the owner of a skin care business where I happen to make the products. Many of my loved ones fit into this same category, which is why I’ve kept the Rare Bath and Body Original Collection. This collection includes skin care products like my White Tea Moisturizer, my Kaolin + Flax Clay Mask, my Clay Soaps. These products are more affordable because while they are made with natural ingredients and awesome ingredients, they are not 100% organic. It’s no secret that non-organic is more affordable. That does not mean that non-organic = terrible. Again, it comes down to your lifestyle choices.
A sidenote on this topic. If you are living a vegan lifestyle, you must be your own advocate. Vegan is not a trend, it’s truly a personal decision. If you are living the vegan life, ask questions. Buy local, shop small, talk to the makers of your skin care products, your food and your clothing. Ask questions and make sure to let them know that you are vegan before ordering your products. Unless a product specifically identifies itself as a vegan-friendly product, don’t assume that it is because of a shop’s branding. Natural doesn’t always equal vegan.
I make products that are vegan-friendly, but my shop is not a vegan shop and not every product is vegan-friendly. Ask questions, I’ll never mislead you into purchasing a product that doesn’t work for you. I’ll always respect your lifestyle. I would rather deter you from purchasing something that has no place in your life than putting your through the unnecessary chore of returning a product to me after you purchase it.
The point is that I make products in a variety of price points for a variety of people and a variety of lifestyles. I want to make things that make people happy. There are lots of different people, so I have lots of different options. If you have questions, you can always reach out to me for detailed ingredient information and honest answers. I’m available via Etsy Convos (my shop is RareBathandBody) or directly at Savannah@RareBathandBody.com.
Part 2 of my comment about misinformation is the ingredients themselves. Trends work both ways. Coconut Oil became a widely used ingredients because of its many skin and hair benefits. People with their finger on the pulse of the bath and body industry know to look for products with coconut oil if they need moisture without evaporation, greasiness or residue. The word “paraben” also became popular, but in a very negative way. Though there has been no scientific evidence to support it, preservatives with any type of paraben may as well be banned in the United States because of the overwhelming assumption that parabens cause cancer. Paula’s Choice Skincare – a website and brand dedicated to researching ingredients and backing it up with a little science, says it best: “As it turns out, according to published research and global cosmetics regulatory organizations, from the United States and Canada to Europe and Asia, parabens, especially in the small amounts present in personal-care products, are not a problem. It’s that simple.” You can read the full article, which includes 4 other common beauty myths, here.
Paula’s Choice is an excellent quick reference tool. Search ingredients to see how they rate and why.
I like to check in Paula’s Choice to get a once-over on an ingredient, but I’m not satisfied until I check int on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This site rates ingredients on a scale of 1-10, from lease hazardous to most hazardous. For every ingredient, information is provided on the overall hazard, the likelihood that the ingredient is cancerous or dangerous to reproductive health and how likely the ingredient is to cause allergies. It provides alternate names for each ingredient, so you can check the INCI name or the more common usage. Next, it breaks down each section and explains where the research originated. For example, if an ingredient is marked as a moderate cause of cancer, you can scroll down to see what the evidence is and which lab, research agency or program did the study and if there was a limit on the data they could collect at the time of the study. Not only does this site cover how ingredients affect people, but they go over the possibility of environmental toxicity as well. At the end of each ingredients listing is a bibliography where you can look into the sources of the data collected. I do love to see sources on my science.
I don’t expect you guys to go nuts and start combing the database with all of your cosmetics in hand, searching for cancer and allergies. At the very least, you can feel good knowing that I go nuts combing it when I design new products, and I check in on those ingredients regularly just in case there’s new research.
In the coming months, I’ll be publishings a series of posts that pick apart ingredients, whether I use them or not, so that you have a much more fun quick reference to the ingredients in your products. My posts will be much prettier and easier to understand than the Cosmetics Database.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back again soon!