My quest for all natural beauty products began in elementary school. Let me explain. I made a candle out of a Pringles can, paraffin, string and melted crayons (following a craft teacher’s instructions, of course) and I got excited.
I could turn random things into a functional yet beautiful househould item. As I got older I learned more crafty things – sewing, embroidery, crossstitch, decoupage, tin punch, crochet. I sewed a Barbie doll dress. I embroidered a pillowcase. I made crossstitch wall hangings. I decoupaged a trivet tile. I made tin punch Christmas tree ornaments. I crocheted an afghan for my Aunt.
Bath Bombs / Fizzies
I met my friend Jo when she and her parents were visiting my grandmother. They are from the Isle of Wight. She was young and reckless like me. We would go out in the evenings and generally make nuisances of ourselves. It was great fun. She asked me if I knew where I could find “Lush” bath fizzies. I had no idea what she was talking about. There was nothing like that in Walmart. Several years later I was walking through an airport and I saw a “Lush” catalog laying on a bench. Aha!
Now that my husband has spoiled me with bath bombs from Bed, Bath & Beyond I started to look at other stores. No others compared in size or value. The ingredients list is fairly simple and I’ve seen some kits out there to make your own. My current favorites are “Chamomile and Lavender Tonic Bath Bomb” and “Violet Blossom” both by Soaptheory
As a housewarming gift, my daughter sent us a variety of natural bath and beauty products from a local company – well, local to her. Here’s the website. She has the most beautiful soaps. She sells other products but we were smitten with the gentle clean and mild fragrance. When it was all used up my husband began a search for locally-crafted/sourced soaps that were comparable. We attended every farmer’s market and art fair we could find. We have found a local boutique and sniffed all of the soaps. There are some that are close but nothing beats A Girl & A Goat. This led me to thinking about making my own soap. Back in the original days of Foxfire (an Appalachian heritage site) soap was made from fat boiled with ashes. They have since refined their processes and now soap is made with essential oils, healthy oils and biodegradable ingredients.
Another gift from my daughter was a set of handmade shampoo, coinditioner and bath oil. She made them in a local shop in England. .They were elegant and luxurious and I was sad when they were empty. I kept one of the bottles. It’s cobalt blue and reminds me of her every time I look at it. Did I mention she’s already a hippie? She’s my role model.
I remember selling Amway products and doing a sales pitch where I would compare a hair (or a bunch of hairs) with both commercially available shampoo and Amway’s version. The first time I demonstrated it I wasn’t sure what I would see. After just a few minutes the commercial shampoo (Suave or VO5 or some such) dissolved the hair! The Amway shampoo just pooled and you could see that hair(s) was/were undamaged. It was a powerful example and I have been eager to return to less toxic hair products.
I used to subscribe to several different magazines but two of my favorite were Herb Quarterly and Herb Companion. Inside there were often recipes for beauty and spa products. I may still have some back issues. I’m tempted to pull them out and try my hand at making my own products – hair masks, toner, night creams. There’s something satisfying about creating a product that is both useful and beautiful and treats me in the manner to which I have become accustomed.
Now the Education Begins
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr..
Progress cannot happen if I don’t do something about it. Research is definitely important but if I don’t try I won’t know what I can do. Perhaps the natural products I craft will make someone else’s life better. Let’s move forward!