Archive for January, 2012

My 3 year old daughter sprayed some perfume into her eye the other day and screamed in pain for at least 5 minutes. This reminded me of all the animals that have to endure this pain x100 in the name of beauty.

I’ve seen the photos of cosmetic animal testing. Rabbits lined up in contraptions that hold their necks so they can’t break away while they have harmful chemicals dropped into their eyes. They scream in pain and writhe so strongly that some of them break their neck or backs trying to flee. Rabbits are a favorite for eye testing because they don’t have the physiology to flush out the chemicals.

Another very common form of cosmetic testing is called the LD50 (abbreviation for “Lethal Dose, 50%”) where a group of animals (100+) are exposed to a substance until 50% die.

L’Oreal is the worst offender because not only do they still test on animals prolifically but they also fought legislation to ban animal testing in Europe. They lost. The European Union has banned animal testing as of 2009.

If you’re against this frivolous use of animals, please vote with your dollar and refrain buying products from the companies that test. See full list here.

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First of all, I would like to say that I have lost three people to cancer in the last month – my uncle, my friend and my stepfather’s sister. All of them far too young to be leaving their spouses and children behind.  With every death, I became more frustrated with the fact that they died and no one knows why. How do we not have any definitive answers to the cause of cancer? We know carcinogens exist but there seems to be such a political battle over what to be concerned about – especially in the cosmetic and skin care industry.

Case in point, parabens, the cosmetic preservative that is used rampantly by many of the large cosmetic companies.  On January 12 of this year, a report was published by the Journal of Applied Toxicology that measured the amount of parabens in different sections of the breast by testing tissue samples from the mastectomies of 40 different patients. Of the 160 tissue samples tested, 158 had parabens in them. That’s 99%. Also, the levels of parabens were found to be significantly higher in the region closest to the armpit which contributes to the suspicion that they are originating from antiperspirants (although 7 of the 40 patients had never used underarm products). This propelled a slew of media about the subject including an article by The Sun in the UK.  In response to this article, three breast cancer charities have published a letter rebutting this article and the study behind it. As they put it, “This research has serious flaws and provides no proof to suggest that women should be concerned about parabens”. I was puzzled by this letter. Why would the people that are paid to find the causes of breast cancer make statements of this nature … who are they protecting? I really got suspicious when I read this line, “Despite the fact that Professor Sharpe comments, ‘The study does not address whether parabens contribute to risk of breast cancer’, we feel by the nature of the rest of the article the damage to concerned women will already have been done.”  What damage? The only damage I can think of would be to the companies that still formulate with parabens. This got me digging and lo and behold I found what I suspected – a corporate sponsorship by Avon, the maker of cosmetics with parabens galore. See what I mean by politics?

I know that I’ve said this before, but until we get some answers about what is causing people to develop this life-threatening disease, everything is suspect – especially a chemical that is found in the breast tissue of mastectomy patients! These are people’s lives we are talking about and they are a lot more important than the profits of companies that don’t have the ethics to formulate responsibly.

If you are concerned about this chemical, look for the following on your cosmetic and skin care labels – butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben; methylparaben and propylparaben.

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I am not a cosmetic chemist but I do formulate products. I don’t have a degree in microbiology but I have deep respect for microbes and what they can do to enhance or destroy my formulas. I am an artist, a crafter and an alchemist. I procure botanicals then I melt them, mix them, and bottle them. In this process, I must adhere to strict sanitation codes, ingredient safety knowledge and the very serious and challenging issue of preserving the products.


I’ve noticed some talk on the net that I find very offensive from cosmetic chemists. I’ve run into it several times and I have even had a heated argument on Linked In (I know, lame). Some chemists feel that natural products are a joke and that small artisans have no right to exist. They paint us as snake oil salespeople with dirty dungeons filled with cauldrons and cobwebs (double double  toil and trouble).

Listen nerds, if you didn’t make crappy petroleum laden products and test on billions of animals, I suppose you wouldn’t be feeling so threatened right now.

The truth is that skin care, body care, cosmetics and perfume have always been made by artisans – for thousands of years. It was only in the last century that industrial age of petrochemicals took over and everything became about patents and profits (while poisoning everyone and everything). Fortunately, just like the food industry is veering away from processed junk in favor of whole foods, the beauty industry is becoming reacquainted with ingredients we have always used…and big beauty is not part of this. It would be impossible to swap their ultra cheap petroleum byproducts that they buy from BF Goodrich for botanicals from farms around the world. It would be a financial disaster so they keep pumping out new science (with animal testing), old generic formulas and HUGE marketing campaigns.

You have break it down to this – your skin is a living, breathing organ that can be nourished into looking great for a very long time. How do you nourish the rest of your body? By eating mineral oil tinkered with by scientists. Do you get your food from a lab? It’s the same thing. If you are serious about having beautiful, healthy skin, you’ll feed it what it craves – botanical oils, extracts, butters and waters.

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We are pleased to introduce our new skin care product, Ancient Mud Facial Mask. It is a combination of Dead Sea mud and BC marine glacial clay with the essential oils of rose and neroli. It took us many years of research to finally develop this formula and we are very happy with the results. It goes on smoothly, smells lovely and produces AMAZING RESULTS.

Dead Sea mud, known throughout the world for its healing powers, was chosen because it has an exceptionally high mineral and saline content. It provides vital nourishment and re-mineralization to the skin while purifying and detoxing pores. It helps with circulation, tightens pores and exfoliates dead skin cells.

BC glacial marine clay from west coast of Canada is a colloidal clay with super fine grains that allow for deep skin penetration and intense detoxification. Clay has the special ability to attract toxins and has been used traditionally to combat infections and purify water systems.

The essential oils of rose and neroli were chosen because they are gentle and contain potent antioxidants that travel deep into the layers of your skin.

It should only be used once per week. Apply it to face, avoiding eye area, and allow to dry. Remove with water.The first time you use Ancient Mud, it may feel a bit stingy depending on the amount of work it has to do. You will notice that this goes away when you repeat the next week.

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