Beauty Products Are Still the Gorilla in the Corner

Two of the biggest issues in skincare are two of the most uncomfortable to discuss, and it’s because for both the news is seldom good. The first of these issues is palm oil, an issue we updated just this week. Palm oil plantations in Indonesia are at the heart of massive deforestation, animal habitat destruction, and human rights violations. There is a committed effort to sustainability in palm oil, but the news isn’t often uplifting. We have yet to turn a significant corner on the disaster of Read more […]

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Private Label Insight – Don't Give Your Secret Away

We run across the evidence pretty frequently, customers using product photos and descriptions verbatim from our website. If they ever ask, we advise against it. Strongly. Not that we don’t understand the reasoning behind using what we have. It makes perfect sense to use our pictures, our descriptions, and our viewpoints. Content development is time consuming, labor intensive, and it’s second nature to very few. On the other hand, Botanie content – photos and words – is all right there. There’s Read more […]

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Organic Was Never Just a Trend

Two years ago was the first time we saw the phrase: “Organic Is the New Black.” It appeared on the web site for Mukti Organics, an Australian organic skincare maker. It was catchy. And it was right. But given the popularity of the “new black” phrase, the implication for many was that organic was trendy, but nothing more. As it turns out, “trendy” was mostly wishful thinking by non-organic producers and lobbyists – “wishful” considering that sales of organic products had already experienced Read more […]

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Why We Don't Use Olive Oil

Olive oil and soap have a long history. From Aleppo to Italy to the Castile region of Spain, they have long been connected to each other and to a tradition of quality. So strong is the connection that marketers of commercial skin detergents have discovered their own label value. Featuring the words “olive oil” on the label means they can continue making cheap, irritating soap and still gain positive perceptual value. Olive oil carries considerable weight when it comes to judging high-quality Read more […]

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People Who Should Be Using Organic Soap and Aren't

To be honest, anyone who has a restroom, kitchen, or work room with a sink, shower, or tub should be using organic soap. Anyone who washes their hands, especially anyone who has dry skin, should be using organic soap. That last group (those with dry skin) might be smaller than the first two (everyone), but based on numbers for people who currently use organic soap, it’s not much smaller. Anyone using commercial skin detergents – more commonly known as beauty bars, cleansing bars, and deodorant Read more […]

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Looking Organic Isn't So Easy Anymore

The sales of organic products – from beef to produce to soap – have been growing by double-digit percentages every year for over a decade. Projections have that trend continuing globally at least until 2020. Which is why so many producers who don’t actually make organic products want to look like they do. When asked by customers about using the word organic on their labeling, we’ve always had a fairly simple response. If you’re playing by the rules – as we do – there are all kinds of Read more […]

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What It Means to Be Organic – USDA Organic Standards Explained

Sometime in the last few years, organic became the new black. Growth rates for organic sales average over 20% annually. In the clamor for sales dollars, certain important questions get lost. What does it mean for a product to be organic? How do organic standards apply to soap and skincare products, and how do consumers distinguish true organic from organic claims? Three Levels of Organic Certification The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has set the global standard for what makes a product Read more […]

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The Truth About SLS and the FDA

If you’ve been keeping up on skincare controversies the last few years, you’ve seen sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) in the news. For nearly all the wrong reasons. First, there were the unsubstantiated SLS cancer charges from one side of the fence, and then complete dismissiveness from the other. Neither side was right. But the cancer charges were at least rooted in concern for other people. The same can’t be said for the dismissiveness, especially from industry apologists. Why Read more […]

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How to Be Part of Palm Oil's Sustainable Future

It’s been in the news for years. We’ve written several blogs, including one explaining why we use it and the most recent explaining why it’s no longer enough to “just say no” to palm oil produced on Indonesia and Malaysian plantations. We’ve worked with international NGO’s, including the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), to establish connections between issue-oriented groups and small companies working toward the same goal. Concern from Beyond Borders  For America and Western Europe, Read more […]

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Tracking the Source of Vitamin E

Some products don’t have a lot of luck. Despite its healthful properties, and its longevity of use, Vitamin E has experienced a lot of public relations problems. Just over 10 years ago, news sources were reporting that Vitamin E did nothing positive, and in fact, “increased the risk of dying.” After the increased heart attack rumors were disproven, the next major report declared Vitamin E to be of no positive value – if not harmful still generally useless. A later report, also disproved, said Read more […]

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