Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Have you ever wondered what was in your health and beauty products?

It’s astonishing to believe some of the ingredients that are included and what they can do to us.
I admit it. Until I joined the Sud Sisters team I never had much thought to what was in my soap or cosmetic products.  My bathroom cabinets are literally overflowing with toiletries and cosmetics, and I have no idea what's in most of them, let alone how those ingredients may or may not impact my health ... or that of my children.  Let’s face it for most of us the sale is based on smell and what they say it will do for you.  Not the ingredient list. 
Of course, many products--boast "natural" ingredients on their label.  "Natural" doesn't always equal "innocuous." In fact some beauty products contain arsenic.  Which according to Wikipedia arsenic is natural; it is a natural component of the Earth’s crust.  
A Canadian environmental group recently had 49 popular beauty products tested for heavy metals, and was surprised to find just how many traditional beauty products (ie: chemically formulated ones) contained these “unintentional” ingredients.  In fact, your best-selling Sephora lip gloss looks to be loaded with arsenic and other known toxins.  
Some beauty products of yesteryear contained high concentrations of lead, mercury, arsenic, even radiation, thanks to ignorance, indifference and narcissism.
“The exposure would eventually lead to irritability, insomnia and mental decrease,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a dermatologist in Omaha, Neb. “The ocular skin is most likely to absorb materials due to its thin, nearly transparent qualities. Couple this with the mucous membranes being a hop, skip and a jump away from the area where cosmetics are applied and you have a potentially serious problem.”
What I love about cold process soap making, is that you can achieve a luxurious and SAFE bar of soap without the use of known toxins or elaborate (expensive) processes.
In researching what may be in our products to achieve the look of beauty, it has made us at Sud Sisters want to find a “natural and safer” cleanser.
When you make your own soap product you can determine what the ingredients will or will not do.  Plus natural ingredients are effective when used with knowledge.  Just knowing that you are using natural ingredients makes your skin look and feel better.  Plus you’ll feel gorgeous inside and out!
Are my bathroom products harming me and my family;
The truth is: I don't really know. But the more I read I wonder.
We are concerned with what we injest orally with food and water, but really cosmetics aren't all that different. Did you know that years ago cosmetics like Lash Lure, an aniline; organic compound eyelash dye introduced in the 1930s caused 16 cases of blindness and one death, there was also cream sold that contained rat poison.
So are we really greening up our lives? In the grand scheme of things, I don't think so. In fact, I think we're getting more toxic. It seems like if the word “organic” or “natural” is attached to a label we are more apt to stop reading the label.  I know personally I don’t know what a lot of the ingredients on a label mean.  I guess that is when we need to decide what is important to us, health or appearance?  That is why we’ve decided that you shouldn’t have to choose.  With our products you can have both.
I think we should empower ourselves with knowledge about what we put in and on our bodies, and our children's bodies. The more we know the easier we can make healthier choices and at the same time, continue to enjoy the good things in life. Even if it takes a little more effort.
Shouldn’t our health be worth it? 
Here's an excerpt from a landmark study by the Environmental Working Group. Hopefully this will help us all become more aware of what we are putting into our bodies.  As we are only given one life; let’s use it the best we can.  
"In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
This study represents the first reported cord blood tests for 261 of the targeted chemicals and the first reported detections in cord blood for 209 compounds. Among them are eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellants in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles — including the Teflon chemical PFOA, recently characterized as a likely human carcinogen by the EPA's Science Advisory Board — dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants and their toxic by-products; and numerous pesticides.
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied."

I’ll leave you with a quote that was sent to me in an email.  I think it should be something that we all keep at the forefront of our minds.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets....So love the people who treat you right....
Forget about the ones who don’t.  Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.  If it changes your life, let it.  Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Changes are in the Air

The leaves are changing, the season is changing, and we are changing! This year has turned out to be one of the busiest I have ever experienced.  With the last group of my friends getting married off, me doing soap wedding favours for 3 weddings, looking at buying our house with my better half, my day job as a manager of a very busy Animal Nutrition business and finding the time to plug away at our ever expanding Soap Company.....it's been crazy.
So as you know Sud Sisters Soap Company has consisted of myself and my little sister Kirbie (who was one of the friends who got married this year :D) and now will include my older sister Kiley.  Kiley has easily been our biggest fan.  She is a neat freak from way back and has always been very conscious of natural ingredients and products.  She also leads a busy life, what with 3 very busy children and her need to always be involved in their activities and volunteering her services out to charities and events.  She is an amazing woman and I envy her dedication to order in her life (something that has clearly not been my strong point).  So when she approached me and asked if the Sud Sisters would like an addition to the Company, I gladly said yes!  She is a marketing guru and we will definitely benefit from all her pearls of wisdom.
She is also a slave driver (:P) and has been cracking the whip on me.  From day one she has given me reviews and suggestions on our products (as she has been one of our guinea pigs from day one).  She has always told me that we need to solidify a product line and run with it. "People need structure" she tells me and I couldn't agree more.  The only problem being, I have no structure in my life and I always try to do a million different projects at once (as I'm sure all you other crafters can sympathize with).  But something you may not know about me (as sometimes it's not very obvious) is that I'm a perfectionist.  Especially when it comes to our company and the products we create.  If I don't like the product, I don't expect you to.  So over the years I have experimented with different recipes, trying to tweak them to my approval.  I don't believe in putting out a half ass product.   I like to think we've hit the nail on the head with our products.  And I think our customers agree because they keep coming back for more.
But enough rambling, here are the Changes in the Air.
We are coming out with a new product line (with some new items and some of our old favorites).  We will be offering 5 signature bars as well as a line of bath bombs, lip balms, solid perfumes and we're branching off into a Baby line and expectant Mother line. With the addition of our 5 signature bars we will also have a Soap of the Month.  Every month we'll come out with a new bar that will only be sold in that particular month (and will usually reflect the seasons and trends at the time).
On top of all of this, we are doing a monthly newsletter to keep all our customers and potential customers up to date on what we have available and what we're currently working on in our labs (yes I said labs, as in more than one, we are that busy).  I will be taking care of the soap side of things at my house, Kirbie will be doing bath bombs and whatever else we make her do (hehe sorry Kirb, I couldn't resist) and Kiley will be doing the marketing from her house.  I like to refer to them as labs because as you know soap is a science and soaping has definitely appealed to the science nerd in me.
So if you'd like to sign up for our newsletter you can leave a comment here with your email address, or send me an email at sudsisters@gmail.com and we'll add you to the list.
We're also going to including Coupon Codes in our newsletter for mad deals on our products.
So as you can tell, I'm pretty excited about all the Changes in the Air, and I hope you are too!