We are so
fortunate to have you on our site, Sharon. Your web site (BotanicalSkinWorks.com) is
filled with so many beautiful all-natural products. It's amazing
how in-depth your products are. You have everything from baby
products to products for men, with so many different varieties
of every product in between. Why did you first get involved with
the field of all-natural beauty?
another company that has been in existence for 6 years. It
deals with networking and supporting computer infrastructures.
It is a VERY stressful business and I needed something to help
me relax. I was introduced to aromatherapy and fell in love. I
was so intrigued by this centuries old yet new age phenomenon
that I started studying quite diligently about 4 years ago. I
continue to study to this day and imagine that I will always
do so. There is so much to learn.
One day I came home from work and sat down on the sofa.
I told my husband that I was going to make some soap. He asked
me if I knew how. I said no but I was sure that I could figure
it out. I fell in love with making soap. I made soap all the
time. I fell into a groove and gave everybody soap.
it has led me to a full line of products. I decided that the
only way to really do this would have to be as natural as
humanly possible. There is so much “stuff” out there for us to
use on our bodies that is killing us. If I was going to make
something to use then it had to be better than anything I
could get on the market. My motto was “everything you need,
nothing you don’t”. So I had to justify to myself why I would
use one ingredient over the next and what benefits was I
expecting to receive from using the ingredient. Also did it
compliment the next ingredient – in other words was it a good
marriage between ingredients for results, texture and aroma.
It all had to fit.
Every product in my line is because I needed it or
someone I know needed it. All of my products have been tested
on friends and family. In the beginning they would run the
other way. Now, everyone begs to be a tester.
You have turned into our resident expert on ingredients since
reading your wonderful article "Natural Preservatives". What
inspired you to study the topic of all-natural ingredients?
is a passion of mine. It’s like being a detective and you are
trying to get all the facts for defending your case. Every
essential oil, carrier oil, exotic oil, etc., all have good
properties and bad properties. Let’ take Sweet Orange
Essential Oil. By now everyone in America who has a TV knows
the cleaning power of Orange. They also know that it smells
good and psychologically will leave you feeling upbeat. It
also has a downside of being phototoxic. (Can make you
sensitive to sunlight – but that’s another subject). So, now
knowing all of this, how do we safely incorporate it into
lotions, creams, soaps and spa products? It is these types of
questions that lead to a better understanding of the power of
what we as natural handcrafters have in our hands. If you are
going to handcraft something whether its for yourself or the
public you need to KNOW EVERYTHING about not only the
ingredients but side effects, reactions and why those
reactions might occur.
What are some of the typical mistakes or misunderstandings that
you see consumers making when it comes to their beauty care?
In today’s market
there is a big push for ‘natural’ and/or ‘organic’ beauty
care. I think that’s great because that cuts down some of my
advertising dollars. At least they have heard the words
before. Now the hard part is really educating the consumer.
Most people have now heard of shea butter in some fashion or
other. There is a very popular company that makes a shea
butter body cream that is really hot. It is smooth, creamy and
smells divine. It also has only 2% shea butter and there is a
very good chance that the 2% has been extracted with Hexane.
(Hexane is a solvent used to dissolve the shea butter from the
nut. Large manufacturers use this because 1) they can get more
shea from the nut 2) its quicker, easier and cheaper than
going the hand-crushed method. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts113.html
for more information on hexane.)
Even considering the fact that it is probably extracted
with hexane, it is listed 3rd item from the bottom from a list
of 12 ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order of
prominence. To call this Shea Butter anything is a joke.
Blindly following Madison Avenue for your beauty and
health needs will get you killed. Consumers are going to have
to take some time to read the labels and start asking
There is also the matter changing lifestyles which is
not easy. There will need to be some consistency in choices
you make. For instance,
you shop at Whole Foods because of the quality of goods, but
your lunch is a McDonald’s hamburger. You purchase a natural
handcrafted bar of soap and your lotion of choice is a
It’s helping people to make the connection.
When your visitors go to your web site, they will see many very
nice gift baskets to choose from. I especially like the
all-natural baby gift basket. Not only is it the perfect gift
for the new mother, it's one of the most loving ways that you
could ever welcome a new baby into this world!
If you were to receive a gift basket from someone else, what
would you like it to include?
If I were to receive a gift basket I would love to have one of
everything. My favorites are:
Shea Butter Face & Body Lotion
Brown Sugar Body Polish
Herbal Foot Soak
Herbal Foot Scrub
Herbal Foot Cream
Luxurious Hand Cream
Shea Butter Body Cream
A selection of the bath salts... (they’re all wonderful :)
With winter coming, turning on the heat will dry out my skin and
I want to remain soft and silky with beautiful feet all winter
B a b
y G i f t B a s k e t
What do you see for the future of the all-natural beauty
I see wonderful days ahead with some bumps in the road. More
and more people are taking charge of their health and
accepting aging gracefully. Women are deciding that aging
gracefully is a wonderful alternative to the scalpel and
unnaturally peeling off a layer of your skin. The industry
itself is starting to go through a change and it is a
wonderful thing to see. When you hear commercials making jokes
about essential oils and soap companies comparing their soap
to handcrafted soap – oh yeah, they’re listening and taking
note – as they should.
What changes have you seen happen in the field since you
started your business?
I receive 3-4 calls per week from spas looking for a natural
alternative to some of their current lines. Once again I think
that the driving force behind this is women who have decided
that aging gracefully and naturally is a beautiful thing.
What would be your advice to those that are starting an
all-natural beauty business?
It’s easy to get into this business. It takes an investment to
stay in this business. The investment is not only money, but
time, time and some more time. There must be lab time,
research time, quiet time, reading the periodicals of the
industry just to name a few.
The most important thing is deciding which side of the fence
you are really on and drawing your line in the sand. Everyone
has to have a no cross point.
What you do affects people’s lives. That is a powerful thing.
It may only be a cream. It may be just a lipstick. But these
are items people use with a purpose whether to soften skin,
put on their ‘day face’ or to relax in a bath, they trust you
to ensure that what they purchased is really what it said it
is. That it has exactly what you said it has – no more no
less. That it does exactly what you said it will do.
Make sure to visit
Sharon's web site:
Botanical Skin Works
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