Borrowing from Caroline Casey, host-creator and weaver of context for “The Visionary Activist Show” on Pacifica radio station KPFA, “The world is on fire, so let’s bee the balm!”.
The idea of bee-ing the balm is why I started gardening with medicinal herbs. Besides being medicine for me, they’re also medicine for bees and other insects, animals, other plant communities, and the earth itself. Gardening (like veganism) is direct action.
I take it literally too, as I make vegan skin balms. I’ve been in that place where you try to be blind to an ingredient you don’t want that’s in a product you need. Using that product leaves you feeling, you know, not great.
That’s why I became such a stickler. It’s why I had to give up making water-based creams. They really require synthetic preservatives and I couldn’t continue to compromise my values, which in turn compromises any value I might give to my community and the planet. It stressed me out.
The gift in that was I had to learn my craft in a whole new way, to get more creative. Which led me to where I am now, making *plantastic* salves and balms that soothe the mind as much as the skin. I never hide ingredients behind a “proprietary blend” label. I’m proud to share everything I use and it’s all listed on my website and on the label because I want you to feel good too.
Gathering together some of the herbs used in my salve and balm (pictured left to right: Lemongrass, Green Tea, Chickweed).
Aren’t they beautiful? I love all the different shades of green. The aroma is pretty plantastic too!
Seems obvious, doesn’t it, that Paradise would be plant-based and full of herbs.
If you’re a compulsive label-reader like me, you know a good label is hard to find! Even natural brands succumb to the necessity of synthetic preservatives to protect their water-based products from contamination.
Most annoying though is when ingredients aren’t fully disclosed. (Hiding preservatives under the name ‘parfum’ is low, and hiding essential oils under the term ‘proprietary blend’ is not much better. I get that makers are worried their special essential oil blend will be copied. I just think it’s more important for the user of that product to know *everything* that’s in it in case of allergies or other sensitivities.)
And what about ingredients that weren’t grown organically, harvested ethically, or traded fairly?
These are the things I worry about, and I know you do to. It’s why I take extra care when sourcing ingredients for our farm-made skincare, working with a few select suppliers and growing many herbs myself.
You’ll always get the full monty here. When the skincare is natural, handmade, full of herbs, and 100% vegan, it’s a label that makes for good reading.
Bursting with fresh energy and new ideas, I’m ready to dig in and get busy. Hiatus was exactly what I needed. My vegan skincare line has been redesigned and refined, focusing on a few select herbs and oils that have proven themselves indispensable in helping skin be at its best.
So much of what I see used in the market is filler (added for the “feel” of the product, for label appeal, or worse to unnaturally prolong shelf-life) that doesn’t really have a benefit for your skin. Who needs fluff? Keeping real is where it’s at.
And I’m excited to announce I’ll be working from a new studio that has space for retail as well as for friends gathering over a cup of tea.
The seeds for the relaunch of Paradise Skin Co. have been planted- Can’t wait for Spring!
Final testing has started on the new no-preservative moisturizers… Specially formulated to regenerate city-stressed, aging, and environmentally-damaged skin; using only natural ingredients that are organic, cruelty-free, and actually pronounceable.
Because what’s in your skincare shouldn’t be on the list of things you have to worry about.
Taking a break at the Florence Wednesday Farmers Market to pose with my herbal skincare display. Do I look happy or what?
Farmers Markets are just the nicest place to be 🙂