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Recently I’ve received a few questions from worried customers about our use of palm oil in our organic soaps. Upon the heels of the good news this week that Procter & Gamble have bowed to global pressure and have vowed to begin using traceably sustainable palm and palm kernel oils in their products, I thought this was a timely opportunity to educate and address those very valid concerns.
I share that concern; it is my passion for a sustainable and socially responsible Earth that drove me to start WoodSprite nearly 15 years ago, and it is that same passion that dictates our choices and practices as a company every single day, from every one of the ingredients we choose, to the recycled papers and materials we use in our daily business and product packaging, to our energy and water conservation, to our practices of composting and recycling.
Organic Palm Oil is highly valued in soapmaking because it replaces animal lard in the formula, lending hardness and stability to our all-vegetable soaps, allowing them to last longer. We feel very strongly that using vegetable or mineral ingredients is a far more sustainable and morally responsible choice over using animal ingredients, but we are also looking for those sources to be grown in accordance with our purpose and environmental values. While there certainly is a problem with devastating habitat loss and unfair trade/labor practices with the growing global demand for palm fruit oil, not all palm oil is grown or harvested equally. At WoodSprite, we use and have always used, certified organic palm oil that is grown sustainably and responsibly with third party verification. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit this site by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: http://www.betterpalmoil.org/about or read this article about EcoSocial’s certification programs: http://newhope360.com/supply-news-amp-analysis/ciranda-launches-first-ecosocial-certified-sustainable-palm-products
To learn more about WoodSprite’s daily environmental policies and practices, please visit this link on our website: http://www.woodspriteorganicbody.com/Being-Green_ep_38-1.html or here: http://www.woodspriteorganicbody.com/why-organic-woodsprite-organic-body
I love these questions from customers and appreciate the opportunity to share knowledge. It is education and information that allow us all to make conscientious, informed decisions that better our lives and our planet. So, if you have a question, please feel free to stop by our website and reach out.
WoodSprite Organic Body was honored with the first annual Award for Best Skin Care Company by EcoBold (EcoBold.com), a leading provider of online video reviews of various green and eco-friendly products.
“The contributions made by these green companies makes a tremendous difference in how people produce, consume, and think about the environment,” said Steffany Boldrini, EcoBold CEO and Founder. “Their level of commitment and dedication to making a difference with sustainable and eco-friendly products are reflections of company-wide green initiatives towards a greener future.” Companies were mainly judged by the greenness of their products compared to other contestants, and were furthermore judged on their Above and Beyond efforts in having company-wide green practices, on top of making a green product.
According to the EcoBold website, WoodSprite Organic Body was named “Best Skin Care” for the following points:
Best Skin Care: WoodSprite Organic Body
– 100% natural
– 70% to 100% organic ingredients, depending on product
– Not tested on animals
Above and Beyond:
– Company has an organic garden
– Cleaning done with 100% natural products
– Company produces one bag of trash per month
– Composts all food, botanical and biodegradable waste
– Labels printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper
– Gift sets have natural raffia fiber or hemp twine
– Shipping on non-bleached, recycled paperboard or reusable organza bags
Here in Michigan, the lilacs are in full bloom, tender young leaves are filling the trees and the scent of honeysuckle blossom fills the air. Soon, it’ll be time for shorts, breezy blouses, and of course, those sassy, strappy sandals. After a long winter of neglect, a wonderful way to celebrate the rites of spring is to give your feet a little extra attention. Even if you aren’t able to get to the spa for a regular pedicure, you can treat your feet to some spa-worthy pampering in the comforts of your own home in just a few simple steps.
You’ll need the following equipment and products:
- Basin or Small Tub with Comfortably Warm Water
- Clean Towels
- Small Bowl of Hot Water for Washcloth
- Foot Soak
- Foot Scrub
- Foot Butter or Cream
- Nail Clippers, Emery Board, Pumice Stone, Orange Wood Stick
- Nail Polish (optional)
First, find a suitable place to work; ideally, with a soft, comfy spot to sit and a low stool or bench to prop up your feet. Remove any polish from your toenails. Fill a basin or small tub with comfortably hot water, then measure out and add your foot soak, giving it a swirl to dissolve. Of course, we recommend our Cool Your Heels Soothing Spa Foot Soak, because it contains natural epsom salts, soothing herbs and fizzing minerals that help to deodorize and cleanse. Ease your feet into the water, sit back, and relax for about 15 minutes as the soak softens your skin.
Next, remove one foot from the soak and gently dry with towel. Trim with clippers, buff and shape using a nail file or emery board, then clean beneath nails, and take care to gently push back cuticles using an orange wood stick. Smooth over especially tough calluses with your pumice stone or file. Return foot to soak, and then repeat procedure with the other foot. Add a bit more hot water to basin if you like, to keep temperatures comfortable.
Gently remove first foot from soak, prop up onto the side of basin or tub. Apply about ½ ounce (1 Tablespoon) of WoodSprite Organic Body Tea Tree & Peppermint Foot Scrub (or other foot polish) between palms, and then massage onto your feet, ankles, calves and lower legs, paying special attention to rough spots and calluses. Use even, smooth pressure, but don’t be rough. This important step stimulates nerve endings and encourages increased blood flow (and therefore oxygen) while natural black walnut shells exfoliate and smooth the skin. Return foot to basin and rinse off Scrub. Repeat for other foot.
Now, remove first foot from basin, and wrap in a hot, damp towel or washcloth. Apply gentle pressure, and slowly slide towel off of foot, wiping away any remaining foot scrub. Melt a small amount (about 1/2 teaspoon) of Overnight Sensation Organic Foot Butter (or another foot cream) between palms, and then massage onto foot, ankles and lower legs, concentrating on any rough spots such as calluses and the heels. Use more Overnight Sensation if needed, though this rich, conditioning butter is quite concentrated and a little goes a long way.
Now, this part is purely optional, but is an integral part of our Signature Spa Pedicure treatment and elevates the entire experience to true bliss! Gently wrap right foot in a fresh hot, damp towel (or place feet in plastic baggies first, then hot towel) and prop up in a comfortable position. Repeat with other foot, taking a few minutes to relax and allow the Butter to deeply infuse the skin with nourishing emollience. Unwrap, and continue to next step.
Finally, gently pat away any excess Overnight Sensation with towel. If applying polish, rub nail surfaces with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to remove any Butter residue, then paint nails with preferred color.
Voila! Your toes will be pretty as shiny new pennies and better yet, your feet will feel tingly, refreshed and rejuvenated. Repeat this procedure every few weeks to maintain healthy, happy feet all year long.
By: Natalie Rios
Is washing your face with a bar of soap bad for your skin? We’ve got the answers.
For years, women relied on simple bars of soap to wash their faces, but with the arrival of liquid, foam, and cream cleansers came the idea that bars dry the skin and clog pores.
It turns out that some soaps got a bum rap. “In general, they’re not bad,” says Jennifer Reichel, M.D., director of Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center in Seattle. “Some bar soaps can be very gentle and moisturizing and do not necessarily trap oils and chemicals.”
The soaps that deserve the negative attention are those that contain synthetic detergents or surfactants (like alkyl benzene sulfonate). “Synthetic detergents can be drying, which makes them a poor choice for many skin types,”says Angela L. Bowman Wales, president and CEO of Lillian Skincare, a manufacturer of organic skincare products.
But liquid cleansers can cause problems as well, according to Julia Hunter, M.D., founder of Skin Fitness Plus, a cosmetic spa in Los Angeles. Detergents (often sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate), preservatives (such as parabens), and antimicrobials (triclosan, for example) can cause inflammation and disrupt hormones. Instead, opt for soap with coconut oil, shea butter, glycerin, or olive oil. Although these emollients are often thought to cause breakouts, there is generally not enough in soaps to have such an effect. “Personally, I would choose emollients over inflammatory chemicals,” says Hunter.
Spa’s Favorite Soaps:
Arcona Berry Fruit Bar Cranberry and raspberry extracts neutralize free radicals. ($38)
Sisley Paris Soapless Facial Cleansing Bar Calendula and tropical resins remove excess sebum and tighten pores. ($65)
Suki Sensitive Cleansing Bar Organic shea butter and lemon grass extract moisturize and soften skin. ($11)
December 1, 2009–Holly Days are here again! Instead of fighting your way through crowded malls, toting around heavy packages and splashing your way through slushy parking lots, may we suggest pouring a lovely cup of herbal tea and shopping from the comforts of home instead? Today through December 12, receive FREE SHIPPING for domestic orders of $35 or more on our website at www.WoodSpriteOrganicBody.com! You can gift green, and save some green at the same time!
Well, the release of our new Pumpkin Chai Collection of organic skin and body care has been an overwhelming success! We’ve never experienced such a demand for any single product line in such a short time before, in ten full years of business, and all of us here at WoodSprite are very excited and grateful.
With pumpkin season full upon us and the dry autumn air well on its way, I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce a new ongoing column in the WoodSprite Organic Body Blog. This has actually been something I’ve been wanting to do for some years, now, but the daily demands of running my own business always managed to bump it off my List of Things to Do. Finally, the stars have smiled upon me and some recent really great questions from our customers prompted me to make it a priority. Welcome to Notes from a Natural Formulator; I sincerely hope you’ll find what is offered helpful, informative and interesting!
Proof is in the Pumpkin: Why pumpkin is so good for you, inside and out.
Though we tend to think of pumpkins only for carving or baking pie once or twice a year, this humble squash has a lot more to offer us year round than we might first realize. Pumpkins are nutrition-packed powerhouses; rich in the antioxidants Beta Carotene, Vitamins A, C & E, as well as such other cancer-fighting carotenoids as Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Pumpkin also boasts B Vitamins, Niacin, Riboflavin, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium and Enzymes, while pumpkin seeds are especially laden with Zinc, a natural sunblock and antioxidant. Furthermore, the oil obtained by cold-pressing the seeds contains emollient Omega Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), Proteins and Polyunsaturated Fats which protect, moisturize, soothe and help the skin’s own ability to regulate and balance sebum production (the natural oil our skin manufactures to protect and moisturize).
In skin and body care, Pumpkin pulp is wonderfully useful for exfoliating, nourishing and soothing the skin. Its high Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) content along with active digestive enzymes makes pumpkin particularly valuable in skin care treatments or facials, being gentler than glycolic peels yet just as effective at doing away with dead skin cells, bringing out a smoother, softer complexion after just one treatment.
You can give yourself a fresh pumpkin facial treatment in the comfort of your own kitchen with only a few ingredients:
- 3-4 Tablespoons Organic Pumpkin Puree (use small pie or sugar pumpkins, halve and remove seeds, bake cut-side down for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until tender, cool, scoop out from skins and puree pulp in blender or food processor until smooth) or Canned Organic Pumpkin Puree.
- 1 Tablespoon Organic Whole Milk or Greek Yogurt (Vegans, Use Soy Milk)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Organic Honey (Vegans, Use Maple Syrup)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Organic Raw Cane Sugar (Optional–For Making Exfoliating Scrub)
Instructions: Combine Pumpkin Puree, Milk or Yogurt and Honey until smooth. Warm gently over low heat or briefly pop into microwave for best results. Smooth over face, carefully avoiding eye area, then recline and relax for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, then follow with your favorite moisturizer if needed. For exfoliating scrub, add Organic Sugar and gently massage onto skin in circular patterns. Let set for a few minutes, rinse and moisturize as needed. Seal and refrigerate any leftovers; compost after 2 days.
How it works: The pumpkin puree nourishes and soothes the skin while active digestive enzymes work to dissolve dead skin cells. The milk or yogurt also contains natural lactic acids, which also dissolve dead cells. The honey is a natural antibacterial and humectant (meaning that it pulls moisture from the air), moisturizing and imparting valuable vitamins to the skin. If you opt for the sugar version, you’ll gain extra exfoliation while the sugar boosts the natural mild alpha-hydroxy acids in the pumpkin puree, resulting in smoother, softer skin instantly.
Of course, you could just save the pumpkin for baking pies and buy our Pumpkin Chai Nourishing Organic Facial Masque instead. Either way, you’ll love the beautiful, soft glow that pumpkin brings to your skin!
©2009 WoodSprite Organic Body – All Rights Reserved
August 25, 2009–WoodSprite Organic Body has been selected to be included in the Official 36th Annual Daytime Emmy Swag Bags! The awards will be held in Los Angeles, California on August 30th and broadcast on NBC. This year’s bags offer a slightly different flavor from the typical gift bag, featuring products made by independent artists and small companies with something unique and special to offer. Check back at our website for more details as they unfold! You can also visit our Facebook page to see photos of the gift sets we made for the Swag Bags.