Category Archives Health
Have you heard of Horst Rechelbacher? You may be unfamiliar with his name, but you no doubt have heard of the company he founded in 1978, Aveda. Mr. Rechelbacher lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last week. He was 72.
Today I’d like to talk about Mr. Rechelbacher’s legacy–and to speak to you about why he has been called the “father of safe cosmetics.” Mr. Rechelbacher’s passion and determination inspired me back when I started questioning ingredients. I did so much reading up on the hows and whys of his passion for safe cosmetics ingredients. In doing so, I considered him (and still do) one of my role models.
In 1978, he dared to try something different. No other companies in the US were talking about herbs and plant extracts. Mr. Rechelbacher’s mother was an herbalist in Austria and he became fascinated by nature and our planet. While he never finished school–in fact, he didn’t go beyond fourth grade–he had passion and a true belief in causes he championed. At the age of 14, he was working as an apprentice at a hair salon and later went on to become a stylist in Rome.
He later settled in Wisconsin and would be injured in a car accident. After the accident, he became interested in Ayurvedic medicine. That is when he renewed his passion for herbs. He began experimenting with ingredients and started crafting hair care products in his kitchen sink. He continued to utilitze nature’s gifts of food, plants, and herbs in his creations which eventually catapulted into Aveda– which began as a two employee company and ultimately sold to Estee Lauder in 1997 for $300 million.
Mr. Rechelbacher was very concerned about the ingredients being put in our personal care products and he set out to raise awareness. When he was formulating his own products, he would actually drink a small amount in front of people so they would see that that were safe enough to put in your body.
In 2004, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics was born and Mr. Rechelbacher helped to finance it. Janet Nudleman, director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund says, “Horst was in many ways the father of safe cosmetics. He took action to address the problem long before most of us knew there was anything to even worry about.”
I think that anyone who has a passion for healthy ingredients and safe cosmetics really owes much of this widespread awareness to the efforts of Mr. Rechelbacher. Here at (seed), we talk about the concept of “looking for better” when it comes to ingredients in body care products. I can’t help but to think Mr. Rechelbacher was looking for better years ago–and that he truly has inspired company owners and natural products enthusiasts across the globe to demand better.
We have four fabulous body oils in the (seed) Body Care line-up and we are so sure you will love them that we are giving 2 (seed) fans a chance to win Body Oil of your choice.
Head over to our Facebook page to enter our giveaway!
1. Most body oils on the market contain fillers, artificial preservatives and lots of chemicals. What you will find on our ingredients listing? Grape seed oil is the first ingredient, followed by coconut, sunflower, jojoba, apricot kernel, olive, and vitamin E. Nothing more, unless you choose one of our blends and then those oils will contain essential oils as well to help you relax, soothe, and decongest. When we say we are committed to giving you the best in natural body care, we mean it!
2. No petrochemicals! Our oil does not contain mineral oil. This is a petrochemical, meaning it is derived from crude oil. You won’t find synthetic oils like that in (seed) Body Oil!
3. Have you ever tried a body oil only to have it leaving your skin with a slippery and greasy feel? While our oils are very nourishing, they do not leave behind a residue. Our natural oils absorb into your skin, leaving it soft and silky.
4. I don’t know about you, but I have accidentally knocked over body oil bottles by my tub before, leaving a drippy mess (and potentially dangerous, too)! What is unique about (seed), is that our oils spritz on to your skin with a handy spray top. You won’t pour too much out either — just spray it right on!
5. The #1 reason to choose our body oil — it will make your skin feel AMAZING! Our deeply moisturizing formula pampers you skin, treats it with natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids & makes a lovely gift!
You deserve a better body oil! Head over to our Facebook page to enter to win yours for Valentine’s Day!
You may have noticed our new Facebook and website graphics. This is not just something catchy–it’s something that I am quite sure means a great deal to our founders, Rebecca and Benjamin.
You see, they are hardworking people. And they appreciate that you are, too.
Aren’t you tired of gimmicks? Are you bothered by ingredients listings 50 hard to pronounce ingredients long? Are you tired of spending money on the latest product only to realize that it was all about packaging or slick ads and not quality?
Are you tired of being swayed into believing product names with “Natural” or “Organic” only to look at the labels and see they contain a plethora of toxins and artificial ingredients?
Have you been duped by catchy wording and buzzwords and have just had enough of spending you hard-earned money on things that are too good to be true?
You are not alone in your frustration. Looking for better?
I am here to tell you that you deserve better.
We believe in transparency. We do not have fancy packaging or advertising. We don’t produce chemical-laden products and promote them as natural. What you see is what you get — (seed) products are TRULY all-natural, wholesome, good for your skin body care products that work.
I’ve been thinking about this subject a great deal lately due to personal experience. I have two facial products I bought in December. They are from a company which makes all-natural facial care items. I have been using the eye cream and the face cream. One day, I grabbed the wrong tube. I mistakenly rubbed the eye cream all over my face. When I noticed my mistake, I was hoping there was nothing to clog my pores since I slathered it on. Truth be told, I didn’t even know that the product was different at first until I saw the tube since it felt the same going on.
Out of curiosity, I turned both products over only to discover that the ingredients were EXACTLY the same. Exactly. When I squeezed them out onto a hard surface, they looked exactly the same. Same consitency, texture, and look when applied side by side. I had been duped. I have been writing about skin care ingredients and consumer issues for years. I would consider myself VERY savvy about ingredients. And I was completely duped. These products marketed as having different uses, called different names, sold at different prizes with one being much more per ounce than the other are one in the same. And I fell for it.
This is not an isolated practice. I have found many items on store shelves that are identical from the same brands. For example, there is a brand out there selling a small bottle of hand cream that is EXACTLY the same as the company’s body cream. The body cream is in a larger tube, while the hand cream contains about 60% less product. Same fragrance. Same exact ingredients. They count on customers to buy both, though–one for the body and another for the hands.
You deserve better. Better practices, better philosophies, better concern for you!
I suppose it is easier for companies to make one giant vat of product and pour it into different containers and label it with different product names. It’s not uncommon. But you deserve better.
If you’ve ever taken a look at the ingredients listings for (seed) Body Care products, you will see that while we use many of the same seed-based ingredients (afterall, it’s all about seedology®!), each product has a different purpose. Therefore, ingredients and formulas are adjusted to make a product do what it should.
For example, our body cream contains different ingredients than the lotion because the lotion is lighter weight and the cream is thick and rich. They both do their jobs, but they are different.
It really is a simple way of looking at it. You work hard. You deserve to have your hard earned money spent on something that does what it says it will do. You deserve to know that the company you are supporting appreciates you and values you.
It’s not just about a better way of relating to our customers — it is about providing you with better ingredients. Anyone can fill a bottle or jar with petrochemicals, fillers, and synthethics. They are more easily accessible and they are cheap. You deserve better, though.
You deserve safe products– products formulated with natural butters and oils. We believe in providing you with gentle, effective products that are vegan, dairy free, soy free, and gluten free.
At the end of the day, you–our customers–are what matters. We want you to have the best and to be able to afford it.
Looking for better? Find the best in (seed) Body Care.
We’ve talked about the questions surrounding artificial fragrance before here on the (seed) blog. I’ve also shared my own thoughts on fragrance and how the chemicals in artificial fragrance have affected my allergies and contributed to my own headaches.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics just came out with an article today concerning the hazards of artificial fragrance, as well as what you can do as a consumer to help change things and demand changes. There is so much fragrance confusion out there. Let’s clear it up.
First, take a look at that article from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Why does this matter so much? Like other harmful and potentially harmful ingredients such as formaldehyde releasers, parabens, and harsh cleansing agents, fragrance oils have very questionable ingredients. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be as much awareness or concern for the effects of fragrance.
We all like pretty aromas. I for one love to smell freshly baked apple pies and chocolate chip cookies. I think we all do. These smell comforting and do not cause us to sneeze, weeze, or feel lightheaded. Why? Because these are natural scents.
The problem arises when we attempt to recreate some of the scents in a lab with synthetic chemicals.
Here at (seed), we offer products scents ONLY with natural essential oils (not artificial fragrance) and truly fragrance free products. You will never find artificial fragrance in any products we offer. Since this is a topic with lots of buzz and one we have talked about before, I have compiled our posts on this matter so you can learn more:
Reminder– we recently launched our Fragrance Free Body Cream. Right now it is ONLY available in the (seed) Market. You can purchase it on its own or as part of our Loving Fragrance Free Variety Pack, which is just $28!
What makes your hand scrubs “scrubby” to begin with? The scrubby feeling can come from many things — sugar, salt, jojoba bead, even plastic.
Plastic in your skin care? Yes, unfortunately. I don’t know about you, but when I am slathering on products that have a good chance of being absorbed into my bloodstream, plastic isn’t something I want sinking in. Take a look at some of your scrubbing body products that you may have on hand. Look for “Polyethylene” on the ingredients label. It may say Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), or Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Packaging often will just say “Microbeads” on the front. This is just another name for polyethylene.
Polyethylene is found in several very popular brands of antibacterial hand soaps, foot scrubs, hand scrubs, body scrubs, and facial scrubs.
This ingredient can be irritating to the skin. And it may just be damaging not just your skin, but the eco-system as well. Studies show that these little microbeads may, in fact, be contaminating our waterways.
They are so tiny that the water filtration systems cannot skim them out, so they end up in the water. Please read more about this study by clicking HERE.
Can you get that scrubbing sensation without plastics? YES!
I have an aquaintance who is an independent consultant for a skin care line. She looooves the company’s hand scrub and no matter what, there is no convincing her that another product could be more effective, healthier, and more affordably priced.
When I looked at the back of the tube for the hand scrub, here are some of the most troubling ingredients I saw: Polyethylene, Triethanolamine, Fragrance, and DMDM Hydantoin.
The Polyethylene is right near the top of the ingredients list. This is the name of on the label that refers to those scrubbing “beads” or particles we mentioned earlier. There is NO need for this junk in your skin care.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients in (seed) Therapeutic Hand Scrub. No petrochemicals, no “iffy” ingredients in terms of health & safety, and no ingredients to hurt fish or contaminate our rivers, lakes, and oceans:
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Glycerin, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Powder, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice (Organic), Sorbitol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Xanthan Gum, Pectin, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate
We are able to give you the “scrubby” effect that helps soften your hands and eliminate dead skin cells by using apricot seed powder & grape seed powder. These are much healthier alternatives to plastics!
A very Happy New Year to all of you from your friends at (seed) Body Care!
We have big news to share with you, and that is the launch of our Grape Seed Enriched Body Cream in Fragrance Free. This helps to round out our wonderful assortment of Fragrance Free products, which also includes our Body Oil, Hand Cream, and Body Lotion.
I am so excited about this launch because I really, really am passionate about having a fragrance free option. Of course (seed) does not use artificial fragrances in any of our products. We use only natural essential oils to provide our lavender and citrus scents because that is the healthiest option.
Why I am selfishly excited about the Fragrance Free Body Cream–
*My husband will use it. He has dry skin and after year, I got him hooked on our Healthy Hand Cream in the fragrance free option. It took time, but he uses it daily now. I am hoping he will use it on his arms and legs. I cannot get him to use the lotion since it’s “the kids’ lotion”, but I am hoping to maybe convince him the cream is just right for him!
*My children use the Fragrance Free Body Lotion. Their skin is SO dry in the winter and Nick (10) has eczema, so the cream will really be great for those patches on his knees.
*I like to wear a natural vanilla-based fragrance and the fragrance free will not compete with that.
There are more pressing healthy living reasons for me to be so excited! There are so few fragrance free body creams on the market and none are like ours. For example, I found a boutique brand body cream that promotes itself as being fragrance free. It is, but the other ingredients are terrible:
Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Gluconolactone, Stearyl Alcohol, Cera Alba (Beeswax), PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Arginine, Ammonium Hydroxide, Maltobionic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Bisulfite, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI17200 (Red 33)
Number 2 on the ingredients list is harmful propylene glycol. There are two petrochemicals following that. We also have PEG ingredients, ammonium hydroxide (AKA Ammonia water), silicone, aluminum, 2 types of parabens, and artificial dyes.
Aside from the horrible ingredients, this product sells for $40 for a 3.4 ounce jar!
What is in our 8 ounce jar of Fragrance Free Grape Seed Enriched Body Cream?
Why does “Fragrance Free” matter?
In addition to the health benefits of going fragrance free, I’d love to tell you about the skin benefits of our Grape Seed Enriched Body Cream:
Fragrance free lotions surely all must be the same, right? Since they don’t contain fragrance, a lotion is “just” a lotion. Not so fast! I would like to take a look at three fragrance free body lotions and give you an eye-opening look at how different body lotions can truly be.
Our first lotion to look at is a very popular drugstore body lotion. Many years ago before I knew any better about harmful toxins in skin care, my dermatologist told me about this one for my sensitive skin. I am so happy to know what I do about ingredients now. I don’t know about you, but it is hard to get excited about applying Hydrogentated Polyisobutene to my arms and legs!
Now, I am sharing a department store body moisturizer. It is fragrance free and is promoted as hypoallergenic, which as we talked about before, is nothing more than a buzz word.
This brand has a particular image of lab coats and purity. The ingredients, however, show otherwise. Take a look at the artificial colorants, dozens of chemicals, fillers, and artificial preservatives present in this lotion.
Now let’s take a look at what is in our body lotion, (seed) Fragrance Free Body Lotion. Our product is all-natural and safe for your entire family. It contains wholesome ingredients to truly nourish your skin.
Before you see “fragrance free” on a label and assume the rest of the ingredients are healthy and beneficial, read the whole label! What you find may surprise you.
Our fragrance free lotion contains just what your skin needs and leaves out what it doesn’t!
Today, I would like to discuss the use of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy to treat stress. We spoke about Lavender before and today I would like to discuss this remarkable gift from nature even more.
Everyone from time to time goes through stressful times. We have all been there. Whether it is something temporary–such as worrying about a car repair or an upcoming test, or longer lasting such as an unhappy relationship, financial troubles, etc.–stress affects our bodies on so many levels. Holiday time, while a time of happiness, can also be a stress-inducer.
If I were to ask you what the main symptom of stress is in terms of health, you might say “a headache.” Tension headaches are a very common sign. Other signs, though, is a rapid heart rate, an increase in blood sugar levels, decreased energy, skin troubles ranging from paleness to breakouts, insomnia, and depression.
When I am stressed out, my skin just looks tired. My heart will race. My shoulders will tense up and have knots. I think we’ve all experiences these symptoms before. Then there’s insomnia. If I am stressed, I go to bed and then my mind starts zooming from issue to issue and I cannot relax. Then I worry that I’ll be tired the next day for not sleeping well. It’s quite a cycle. It’s at that time when I experience those symptoms that I realize I really need to get more in touch with my tranquil side once again.
Using Essential Oils can help relieve the symptoms of stress and find our way back to that peaceful and relaxed state. Ideally, you’ll also be using exercise, meditation, and healthy eating to help things along as well.
The most well known oil for relaxation and stress relief is Lavender.
It is, perhaps, the most well known of the Essential Oils.
Lavender, or Lavandula Angustifolia, is commonly grown throughout Europe, particularly in Bulgaria, France, and England. It can be grown here, though. I live in New York and our climate really isn’t the best for growing an abundance of beautiful lavender. That is not to say it cannot be done, though. This fragrant herb is just lovely. It works well on its own or can be used in blends to enchance its effects. I actually have some in my summer garden.
Lavender, though, does much more than smell nice. A scientific research team at Texas A & M University conducted a study to measure a human’s response to odor. Study participants were asleep and given EEG tests. This study was conducted in 1992 and had interesting results. It showed that Lavender Essential Oil essentially lulled the participants to sleep sooner.
Lavender, though, isn’t the only beneficial Essential Oil when it comes to relaxation.
Chamomile is another. Chamomile, or Anthemis Nobilis, is distilled from dried flowers of the chamomile plant. Its usage dates back to ancient Egypt. Chamomile usually is found in England, North America and in most southern parts of Europe. You often hear people saying to have some chamomile tea if you need to relax a bit. Why? This Essential Oil has been shown to calm nervous personalities, anger and irritability, and anxiety. It is very soothing. I’ll talk more about this another week, but just as it calms the mood, it calms even troubled skin.
Lemon Essential Oil is another relaxing oil. This is surprising to many people, as Lemon (Citrus Limonum) can also be energizing. When combined with other Essential Oils, it can be wonderfully stress-relieving. It improves mental clarity and can even “lift” heavy emotions when used in conjunction with oils in a blend. Lemon calm help relieve the symptoms of tension and migraine headaches as well. Lemon Essential Oil originated in India.
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is said to have originated in India. It also comes from the West Indies, Africa, and China. This warming oil is often used to treat muscle aches and pains and I have personally found it helpful to me when I had knots in my shoulder blades and back and need to relax and de-stress. I have found it to be particularly helpful in a recipe I am going to share with you today down below.
Cedarwood is another beneficial oil, but isn’t talked about as much as the others. Cedarwood, or Cedrus Atlantica, is commonly grown in Morocco, among other countries in the area. While it is woodsy and not something you’d think of as a relaxing oil, it actually is known by aromatherapists as a gentle sedative and can help to calm symptoms of anxiety.
How can you reap the benefits of the Essential Oils I have mentioned?
You can gently and carefully add some of them to a handkerchief and take a small sniff. You can put some in a carrier oil and apply a dab or two to the skin. Personally, I like an aromatherapy spray.
*Today I would like to share a recipe with you. It is a relatively simply do it yourself project with a handful of ingredients. This is a pillow mist and body spray. It’s one I came up with using stress-relieving essential oils combined into a synergistic blend and will provide the great benefits of aromatherapy.
You can spray this right on your linens. I spray it on my pillowcases, sheets, and curtains. I spray it on unscented dryer sheets and even place it underneath my mattress pad. This recipe is gentle, so you can even spritz a bit on (spot test for sensitivity first, please) and enjoy its effects.
One of my favorite relaxation ideas is to spray this on my towels, pop them in the dryer while I am in the tub, and then when I come out I have warm towels and aromatherapy.
Here is the recipe:
2 ounces of distilled water
2 ounces of witch hazel
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops ginger essential oil
4-5 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
Combine in a bottle. This makes just over 4 ounces. You can divide it into 1 ounce or 2 ounce bottles with misting spray tops.
*Another favorite means of relaxation: add some lavender sprigs to a small sauce pan of honey and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then pour into airtight canning jars. I actually made a bunch of jars and will give some in Christmas baskets full of handmade goodies. I like Buckwheat honey, but there are so many other lovely varieties. It takes hardly and time and VOILA! — lavender infused honey. It tastes particularly delicious in Chamomile tea. If you recall from above, this herb is great for R & R, too!
*Make sure you’re using your favorite (seed) products infused with lavender as well to help unwind and de-stress. In addition, why not make a little R & R basket for your gift recipients? Body products from (seed) are affordably priced, high quality gifts! Put our lavender products in a gift basket with some herbal tea and maybe a pair of slippers and you’ll have a fabulous gift to give someone who needs some stress reduction!
Enjoy…and be well rested!
Last week on the (seed) blog, we talked about how our body oil is truly different from other body oils on the market. I received a question from a reader about mineral oil (commonly found in body oils other than our own) and I thought I would answer it right here for you.
This comes from Anne: “I keep hearing bad things about mineral oil. I looked at the back of my body oil and it is the #1 ingredient. Can you tell me why it’s bad?”
Mineral oil is a synthetic, petrochemical-based ingredient. Animal studies have revealed that mineral oil can cause anemia, spinal cord damage, as well as damage to the kidneys and nerves. Petrochemicals have also been linked to cancer. And why is it in so many body care products? Because it is DIRT CHEAP. It costs pennies on the dollar compared to healthful, natural oils to create products with petrochemicals such as mineral oil.
From the Organic Consumers Association:
“Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly, and mineral oil causes a lot of problems when used on the skin photosensitivity (i.e., promotes sun damage), and it tends to interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping. You are being sold a product that creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.”
Here is another helpful resource from the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services. It is a fact sheet about mineral oil. Hazards of mineral oil exposure included in this guide: skin rashes and irritation, lung irritation, coughing, shortness of breath, and more.
If your body lotions and oils contain mineral oil, it is not because mineral oil is of benefit to the skin, but rather because it makes it cost less for companies to formulate.
Natural oils are far better than synthetic. In (seed) Body Oil, we use oils that truly provide a clear benefit to your skin.
Oils used in (seed) Body Oil include grape seed, coconut, sunflower seed, jojoba, apricot kernel, and olive. No petrochemicals here!
Shop the (seed) Market for our full selection of body oils and remember to check your labels!
Body oil. This is a product designed to make your skin feel silky and soft. There are so many body oils on the market these days that it’s easy to be confused when you are staring at 10 different ones at the drugstore or grocery store.
Oils are all the same, right? You might as well just pick the one you have a coupon for since they’re all created equal.
Not by a long shot.
I think it might surprise you to learn what is REALLY in some of the mass market’s most popular body oils–the one you see advertised in slick magazine ads.
I scoured the ingredients listings of the most popular body oils sold right in my local grocery store. What I saw on the labels surprised even me! Let’s take a look, (seed) friends.
Let’s take a look at the difference. Unlike the other oils, which contain many harmful ingredients, crude oil, and evem formaldehyde-releasers, (seed) Body Oil is TRULY 100% natural.
We only use wholesome, healthy oils used to nourish the skin. We don’t add fillers, silicones, mineral oil, or harmful artificial colors and scents.
Our body oils — all 4 — are safe and natural and spritz right on without leaving a greasy residue.
Find (seed) Body Oils in the (seed) Market or art your favorite retailer.