What’s In Your Scented Products?

What You Didn’t Know About Scents

What allergens are hiding in your scented products?  Some fragrances can be made up of more than 100 chemicals.  Natural products contain no chemicals. Check out this infographic provided by safecosmetics.org on how these secret scents can effect you.

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Information Provided By: http://safecosmetics.org/


Walk the Talk (natural soap?)

There is a time to say good-bye and move on.  Whether it be a job, relationship, your current home–anything in life big or small.  In this particular instance it was small but something that had been in my life for many years.  It was my liquid soap.  But trust me, I fought and I fought hard.

After I learned how to make natural soap, I kept up my trial and error process from batch to batch.  How could I not?  When I bought the supplies to start making the soap I bought 50# containers of the oils.  We won’t go into my line of thinking on these slightly large choices.  With over 200# of oils sitting in my basement I either started crafting or deep frying.   My supply of Perch in the freezer was kind of low, so I started making soap.  And boy did I make soap.

Everywhere I looked I had soap bars laying around curing and drying.  It looked good.  It looked like I knew what I was doing.  Every time people came over to visit I would give them a few bars. ‘Here, try this.  It is all natural and great for your skin.’  It was my favorite tag line and I used it so much that I think people started avoiding me.  I imagined that people were saying, ‘Oh look, there’s Tina.  Hurry, go the other way before she tries to push more soap on to us.’OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What was a girl to do?  I was making the soap for the pure fact that I could.  Now, what to do with it?  I kept giving it away and finally, for the first time, someone asked me if I use it.  I stood there and stared at them.

‘Of course I use the soap I make.  I have a bar sitting by my kitchen sink,’ I replied.

‘Well, do you use it for bathing?  Washing your face?’ she asked.

Wow.  I didn’t know how to answer so I just kept looking at her.  My uncomfortable non-answer was saved by her phone ringing.  Whew!

But I wasn’t really saved.  Her question was legit and I was afraid to tell her the truth:  ‘no, I do not use the soap I make unless for hand washing’.  The reason why is pretty pathetic.  The mess!   I don’t want the mess.

I like the cute soap bottle with the cucumber pear smell—it even has little blue action beads in it to help scrub my hands.  And the shower?  A bottle of gel that does the same.  There are no soap holders, no soap mess.  Just a nice and neat soap bottle sitting there waiting for use.

What an absolute lame excuse why I don’t use my own soap.

The next day I brought my soaps with me into the shower.  And I used them daily.  I replaced the soap by all the sinks with my bars.  Damn it, I make soap!   This will be the only soap that I use.

The shower gel was still sitting there waiting patiently though.  I was no longer using it but I was hesitant to throw it away.

A few noticeable things happened after I started using my own soap.  For one, I noticed that the soap mess I was concerned about was not all that big.  This was in my head.   And my skin was doing amazing things!  The mysterious red dry blotches on my face disappeared and overall, my whole body was noticeably less dry!  I started using less lotion as my skin did not need it.

It was a few months after I started using my soaps that I walked into the bathroom and stopped dead in my tracks.  There was an odd uncomfortable smell in there–and not the kind you are thinking.  I slowly walked further into the room, sniffing as I went.  Ahh, there it is.  The culprit.  Someone put a bar of regular store bought soap in the shower.

I find it amazing that I picked up on the smell about 6 feet from the shower.  It was a smell that was familiar but now made me uneasy.  After not being exposed to soaps with fragrance and various other chemicals for a few months, my senses were now offended by them.  It now absolutely stunk and made me feel as though I was sniffing in fumes.  Which in an essence, I was.

I did not have to think twice.  It was at this moment that I said good-bye to my liquid shower gel, toxic action beads and all.  And I have not looked back since that day.

I now Walk the Talk.





Are you kidding me? natural soap making?

It’s not like I woke one morning and decided to make soap.  I mean really, in this day and age, who actually makes their own soap?  I had no inclination or curiosity to even follow this path.

So, imagine my surprise when my friend Jody mentioned, ‘There is a natural soap making class I think we should take.’

‘Why would we want this?’  I ask her.

‘Because it will be fun.  We can make our own soaps,’ she stated in a tone of voice that said, ‘duh’!

‘Jody, I have never wanted to make my own soaps.  Who would?  Are you kidding me?’

‘No, I am not kidding.  It will be fun.  Let’s do it.’


One week later I find myself sitting in a soap making class.  I study the faces of the others as the instructor discusses such things as carrier, base and essential oils.  Everyone looks so engrossed in the words being spoken and a question/answer session develops.

Really?  I think to myself.  There is such interest in all of this?  Can’t we all just make the soap and move on?

As if in response to my thoughts, the instructor continues the class and next thing I know I am mixing a vat of soap.   Ingredients such as poppy seeds, peppermint leaves and essential oils are added to the mix.  Wow, this is just like cooking.  This is actually kind of fun.

We are sent home with our own little soap molds and I  pick them up every few days and think to myself, ‘wow, I made this!  How cool is that?’

A few days  later, Jody calls and we talk about the equipment to buy to make our own soaps at home.  I can’t believe I am doing this but I start jumping in full blown.  It is November and I figure I can get all the materials in and get the soap ready for holiday gifts.  It is important this is planned correctly because the soap takes weeks to cure.  I am fully aware that I have done a complete turnaround in my thoughts on soap making.  If all the others can do it, I can do it.  My level of excitement may not be as high as Jody’s or the others in the class, but I am going to make these Christmas gifts and everyone is going to ooh and aah over them.

Oohing and aahing is correct, but I was the one oohing and aahing and not out of excitement but more like pain.  What the heck am I thinking?  Making soap and choosing to make four different kinds like I am some expert?  In class this was so easy–measure this, blend this, mix that and pour.  Easy!!  I got this.

What I got was a batch that was so dark green that it was almost black–what happened to that light sea foamy color I was going for?  Another batch seized up in the pan and I couldn’t even pour it into the cute little soap molds that I purchased.  It became a doorstop, pan and all.  I figure I could walk by it and remind myself on a daily basis of my bright idea.

The third batch was coming along smooth and I poured it into the big wooden soap mold I purchased.  Perfect!!  Ok, this works.  Yay!  I can do this, I only need practice.  I turned my back only for a few seconds.  Maybe 5.  As I turned around to look at my first successful batch, poured and ready to cure, I watched in horror as the soap was bubbling up and oozing over the sides of the mold.  Oh my!  What is this?  I grab a spoon and try to put it back in but it keeps oozing and oozing over the side.

This is when I say ‘Ooh, darn it!  and aaahhhh, oh my gosh!’  The words were something like that, I am sure a few of them were different.

As I stared at this fiasco, I thought about crying in frustration.  I thought about chucking everything into the garbage.  I also thought about all the money I had in the equipment, the supplies and the little baskets I was going to gift them in.  How cute.

Then I straightened my posture and thought, ‘Get your act together!  You can do this. Are you going to let soap get the better of you?’  I proceeded to chuck the batches into the garbage–and I chucked them with authority.  They aren’t going to get the better of me!

And I promptly started over.

I would like to say that the second time around went smooth.  But it didn’t.  I am not a quitter though.  I have made many more mistakes since then and I am still learning along the way.  What started out as something I considered a waste of my time has turned into a full blown passionate hobby.

It was a few weeks before Christmas that I called Jody and said, ‘Hey, there is a class on lotions and lip balms that I think we should take.’

Without missing a beat, she replied, ‘Are you kidding me?’