O u r  S p o t l i g h t  i s  o n :

-   T h i s  M a n u f a c t u r e r   -

Lynda Parkhurst

Every month we choose a different manufacturer of "all-natural beauty" products.  Our criteria for this position is simple.  It's someone that we feel has contributed to the business in a positive way, and brings wonderful products to the market for your enjoyment and good health. 

 Q  &  A :

 

Welcome Lynda, please tell us a bit about where you grew up and what your inspiration was for going all-natural?

     I was born and raised in Detroit Mi, but was fortunate enough to have a cottage/summer home where I spent weekends and entire summers.  As a teenager, I was the ultimate "make up junkie", spending any extra cash on cosmetics, whether it was the newest cleanser or eyeshadow.  I couldn't wait for Christmas, because I knew I would get the Estee Lauder Special Holiday Set!  I met my husband "at the lake", and married at the age of 19.  After a couple of years of adjusting to country living, I found that I had a passion for nature.  Our home was built by my husband on 10 acres given to him by his parents.  There was unlimited space to grow!

      What started as a way to save money by starting garden seeds early indoors, eventually turned into a retail greenhouse.  The bulk of sales were geraniums, but my specialty was herbs and unusual perennials. That's when I bought every book I could find on growing herbs and their uses.  When the business either needed to go "big", or close, I chose the latter...something I still regret.

      I then went to cosmetology school to get my manicurist/nail tech license, and thought I would go into natural nail care with the knowledge I had with herbs.  Wrong - It was the age of long acrylic nails, and there was no interest at the time for natural.  I stuck with that for a couple of years, but couldn't stand the chemicals.

     While still pursuing herbs and organic gardening on a personal level, I held the position of Live Nursery Specialist at Lowe's for seven years. Having 3 daughters all finding their own way to personal style and beauty sparked my interest in creating skin care and make up for them.  At first I was amazed at how close I could get to the big companies formulas and scents!  I joined quite a few soap making and toiletry groups, and found Botanical Elements Trade Association.  It was a group that was pro natural, and it sparked my interest.  I then began studying the synthetics' side effects, the fact that so many of these were petrochemicals-by products of oil refinery, what were they doing to our bodies and the environment?  I went back to the beginning.  Starting with herbs, and working my way up to learning the properties and benefits of essential and carrier oils.  I began to formulate skin care products that are effective, have a purpose, and are even luxurious!

 

Can you give some advice to those that are starting into the all-natural beauty business?

     Make sure you have a true passion for all-natural products.  This is not a fast, easy money business.  While the trend is going towards "natural" in the beauty field, I still find that most customers at shows and salons are looking for fruity or flowery scents not available in natural products.  They tend to balk at prices for a natural bar of soap versus a detergent bar available at the grocery store.  Consumer education is the most important part of this business - teaching people why they should use products made with virgin, unrefined oils, herbs and scents that can be beneficial to the skin, besides just smelling good.  And why they should not use synthetics in personal care products is just as important.  Another piece of advise- always give your products to as many friends and family as you can before sending them to the public.  Make sure you have positive feedback, and make sure your products do what they say.
 

 

Where do you see the future of all-natural beauty heading?

     It is my greatest hope that consumers will become more aware of the hazards of synthetics in skin care, and that the cosmetics industry evolves into one that is more interested in one's health and well being than the color of money.  Being a Baby Boomer myself, I see everyone's infatuation with youth. While Botox and cosmetic surgery are the rage, I do see a trend of more people trying to find a healthier way of living, both inside and out.  I also believe that with the studies of harmful phalates in synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, and parabens in preservatives, there will be a phase out of products made with these.  And that will force the big companies to do something better for the consumer!

 

How do you see your business and products being unique from other beauty products out there?

     In 2003 I made the commitment to create products that would contain no petro chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no genetically modified oils or grains, and no chemical preservatives.  After years of researching and trials, I finally developed a basic natural skin care line that Im thrilled with.  Ive recently perfected liquid castile soap, and have modified it with botanical extracts and essential oils to compliment different skin types.  Were now ready to introduce our sugar scrubs. They are a cleansing scrub rich with shea butter, and rich unrefined oils, raw turbinado sugar, natural exfoliants, and essential oils. They create no heavy greasy after feel, just really soft skin!

I enjoy the fact that I grow, infuse, and tincture most of the herbs I use.  I focus on making products fresh.  Because I'm not big on preservatives, I carry only two products that require one, our Sugar Scrubs and the Self Tanning Lotion.  For that I use Biopein, which is a natural preservative using plant extracts and essential oil isolates.  The herbal skin care line is made fresh to order, and I am always willing to change a formula to better serve a client.  When someone places an order for skin care, I will usually e-mail them to find out if there is a special need, or an allergy to anything. After all, skin care is so very individual, isn't it?

     This is a business that is just full of personal rewards, and a continuing learning experience.  With the concerns of global warming, chemicals linked to cancer, and the issues with genetically modified plants, I am thrilled to be part of an important and rising industry dedicated to personal care the natural way. 

Make sure to check out Nature's Infusions' Chocolate Macadamia Nut Crunch Soap.  True Decadence!

 

Please visit Lynda's web site:

 

 

If you know of someone, or if you yourself deserve to be in our spotlight, please let us know.  Send us the name of the manufacturer and a brief note telling us why this person or company deserves this position.  Send us an   e-mail at:  comments@allnaturalbeauty.us

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