I think it is time to begin writing about Packaging, Labels and Certification, as they are an essential part of soap and skincare products. All three serve important purposes, but unfortunately they have become big business. I would love to be able to sell our products simply without any sort of packaging whatsoever, keeping down cost and waste. I even imagine a world where you go to the shop or supermarket with your basket and fill up your own containers you bring… how we could cut down on just about everything, how brilliant it would be for the environment! For now, packaging is a necessary and required part of our products.
We do our best to package in line with our 4 main values: Enjoy what we do. Use only natural ingredients, as local as possible. Support the local community and economy. Respect the Environment.
From a practical point of view, soap should be protected or covered. In our early soap packaging, we kept it open at the sides but found that leaving areas exposed affected both colour and scent, and we also wanted it protected from handling. Not fans at ALL of plastic, we ruled that out. We began packaging in paper, hand wrapping each and every bar, which became too tedious as our soap quantities increased, so we brainstormed solutions based on our core values. It had to be simplified so that we could enjoy packaging again, natural, support the local economy and environmentally friendly…. We came up with a cloth bag!! Simple for us to package. Natural cloth purchased from our local market. Sewn by a local seamstress. Stamped with our logo by a local t-shirt company. Bag tag printed locally. And as for the environment? We expect people to reuse these bags!
As for the rest of our products, we use glass and skin-care safe aluminum tins. The tins are lightweight for carrying and for shipping. They are not plastic, which we avoid as much as possible. They protect and conserve the product well and they are recyclable. Glass is my favourite however it adds weight, protects the product less from sunlight and for bathroom products, breakage can be dangerous. We use tinted glass for some of the smaller products.
So, basically, packaging is a necessary requirement, and offers protection from light, and other environmental factors like humidity and temperatures.
When purchasing skincare products, I encourage people to choose products packaged in keeping with their own values.
I will continue in another post about Labelling in skincare as it is very important to be able to understand what goes into your product.
If you use natural skincare products, you may notice a slight difference sometimes, even in the same product. Well, if you appreciate natural products and ingredients, I am sure you will understand why.
Just as you accept that each orange or tomato that you eat is unique, or as we appreciate that wine from year to year varies even with the same variety of grapes, recipe and process, it is similar in natural skincare. We use the same recipes and production process but the end product may vary slightly.
Think of the difference from crop to crop! Imagine all the factors involved such as rainfall, hours of sunlight, temperature, time of year. Even though it is the same variety from the same supplier, the extra-virgin organic olive oil that we use varies from year to year – density, taste, aroma, colour and all of this affects the products we make with it. As the oil ages it changes as well. What about honey or beeswax? Different flowers, different bees! Even in essential oils, we can smell slight differences from batch to batch as the plants were different. Also oils like patchouli and vetiver smell different with age.
So, if you notice that your natural soap or lip balm or moisturizer looks, smells or feels slightly different from the last time you purchased it, don’t be alarmed. It is actually a wonderful part of all-natural.
Not only do we make everything by hand but we also package all of the products by hand.
Growing up with a very naturally focused mother has had its influence on me. She almost never used plastic. I was the kid with the paper bag lunch. My chocolate chip cookies had sunflower seeds and nuts in them. She also never used Teflon… she stuck with cast iron pans. She left her hair grey, never died it. She always looked so beautifully natural… and still does. She didn’t believe in unnecessary surgery so when I was 12 and doctors told me I had to get my adenoids and tonsils removed, she took me to a naturopath and they put me on a special diet with no dairy, sugar or wheat for a year… pretty difficult for a 12 year old. But it worked.
So, my mother passed on her passion for natural foods, skincare and remedies to me. And also the understanding that our health comes from within, with how we treat ourselves, our bodies, our hearts, our skin. Getting to the root of things instead of just masking them. When you have a headache, do you simply take a pain-killer? Or do you work on the reasons why and what you can do so it won’t happen again?
We need to treat our skin holistically as well.
- Instead of waiting until your lips crack and then patching them up with a moisturizing lip balm, make lip balm part of your routine, so they don’t get dry.
- Drink more water
- Use natural olive oil soap, either bar or liquid. My favourite is bar soap but a good natural olive oil liquid soap can also be wonderful for your skin. If you start looking after your skin by washing with well-made, natural soap, you will probably find that you won’t need as much moisturizing cream.
- Eat less processed food and more fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Use a natural moisturizing facial serum at night before bed and you will also find your face won’t need as much moisturizing cream.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Get regular exercise! A special cream or scrub may help cellulite for example, but nothing probably works as well as regular exercise, improving circulation and good diet.
This is how we make our Orange Poppyseed Scrub. thanks to Marian form” http://eldiariodemarian75.blogspot.com.es/ ”