Shop Name: Rare Earth Bath & Body
Shop Link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RareEarthBathAndBody?ref=si_shop
Shop Owner: Ashley Helmetag
Well, I've always had a thing for it. If you remember any gifts I've given to you in the past, it was probably bath and body works stuff! I can never get enough of it! I'm a label reader-- especially with food. I recently started doing it with body products a few years ago too, and it's amazing how much stuff is in products that we don't even know what it is or sometimes have never even heard of. Think of bath products like homemade ice cream (because store bought ice cream had a long list of ingredients and additives vs. homemade, which is about 4 or 5 natural ingredients)-- it should have enough ingredients in it to count on one hand. And besides knowing exactly what's in it, I'm now able to contour products that suit what I need it for. Got an extra dry patch of skin on my face after a day of cold wind while snowboarding? Then I can kick a little more cocoa butter and vitamin E into the mix to sooth and moisten my skin back up in a hurry. I first tried growing my own herbs and infusing them into bath products last year but the things I made did not turn out that well and I gave up on it. Then you sent me a homemade scrub for Christmas and all of the sudden everything clicked. I got a couple of E-books, combed the web for info, and now I'm a bath product making fool! :)
There are a lot of generic bath and body products out there, what makes these unique?
What makes this different than stuff at Walmart? I kind of touched on this above, but you know exactly what you're getting in this product. Nature provides what we need for our bodies, much like the food we intake, so stick with ingredients that are all natural like butters-- a lot of the popular ones good for your skin are shea, cocoa, mango, and avacado butter. And oils, like almond, grapeseed, palm, coconut, jajoba. Just the combination of the oils and butters alone create something all natural and good for your skin, but then by adding things like vitamin E or green tea extract, you'll get an added boost from more natural ingredients. The scents that are in my products are pure essential oils. Most of the stuff you buy at walmart probably has chemically synthesized scents, which do nothing for your skin health. For example, you use pure essential rosemary oil in a lipbalm, or infuse real rosemary from my garden into the carrier oil used in the balm, you take on the medicinal properties of rosemary, which can act as an antifungal and antiseptic. Instead you'll get additives and parfumes that just smell like rosemary in your walmart stuff. There is a large movement over the past few years to push people away from processed foods-- same should be done for some of the stuff we put on our bodies!
What types of scents and products are you currently making? And what do you hope to eventually make in addition to your current products and scents?
I’m currently limited with the number of scents since we're in a starting out phase, but I have tons of plans in my head for more additions in the future. Right now I can do anything straight up or combined with rosemary, peppermint, coconut, lavender, chamomile neroli, cardamom, and I have lemon and pumpkin spice on order right now. I would love to get into aromatherapy blends in the near future diving more into scents with patchouli, ylang ylang, sandalwood, etc. I can also utilize fresh ingredients to give scents, like using fresh ground coffee and cocoa butter in a mocha java scrub, or green tea extract and powder in a green tea scrub. Mostly dabbling in scrubs and lip balms at the moment, which I'm having a ton of fun with, but in the very near future I'll have a cuticle or hand salve out, more lip balms, scented massage oil, and not too far down the road after that I would love to have a good lotion and/or body butter as well as hard soaps done through cold process soap making. Oh, and I forgot about face wash. I definitely want to concentrate on products specifically for the face too!
Is there anything else I need to know about homemade bath and body products?
The products, since they are all natural with zero preservatives (outside of natural preservative like vitamin E or grapeseed extract), do have a shelf life. Texts I've read on the subject suggest about 60 days, and maybe longer if you do a few things to extend the life of your product like reaching into the jar with clean hands or even using a little scoop to get the scrub out so you're not introducing bacteria into it. Also, if you're using it in the shower, try not to get too much water in it since water will encourage bacteria growth as well. And if you really want to go for it, you can always refrigerate an all natural product and you'll get some more miles out of it that way. The scrubs will settle a little, so you can give it a stir if you'd like. The whipped scrubs will regain a little bit of firmness between leaving my mixer and arriving at your door step (it's made with butters that at room temperature have a firmness to them), but they are still perfect to use in that state, getting a feeling of putting on lotion yet exfoliating and getting the scrub at the same time. I also remind people that oil based products will make your tub floor slippery, so watch out. And another warning for pregnant or nursing mothers-- consult with a physician about using products with pure natural oils in it. Some sources and texts claim that some essential oils are not good for expecting or breast feeding mothers.
Thanks Ashley for sharing some info about your shop and creative process!
Now just let me change out of my interview hat and into my product reviewer hat….tada!
Okay, I first stumbled across Rare Earth on facebook when Ashley posted about her new shop. She had also posted a coupon code for facebook friends to use. As an old friend I immediately checked out the shop and, with the discount code, I couldn’t help buying a few things. Here are the listings I ended up purchasing: