We avoid synthetic ingredients ~ these include all of the usual suspects like parabens, synthetics, harmful preservatives, and fillers. We currently don't even formulate a lotion or a cream as we've been loving using our propriety blends of premium, performing oils in small amounts rather than having it in a carrier with waxes or creams.
There are two harmful oil culprits in the oil family that are used in other skin and food brands regularly. However, the harvesting and production of these oils is wreaking havoc on our environment. Any guesses? Mineral oil (not a new oil to be shamed) and palm oil. Mineral oil actually pulls moisture out of the skin and doesn't benefit it, but is an inexpensive substance. Palm oil is eating up the forests and is threatening the now endangered orangutan. Alternatives are available (almond, olive, safflower, grape) and cause less harm to the ecosystem.
We're serious about working with clean ingredients that are safe for our surroundings and for us; we use neither of these oils. My husband and I happened to stumble on a documentary presented by National Geographic featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, called Before the Flood. In Leo's two- to three-year journey around the globe looking at the changes we as people are making to our environment, this documentary revealed images of stories I had only heard about before.
Take a quick trip with me.
This reminded me of a vacation we took as a family to Costa Rica. The country is peaceful, healthy, and alive with flora and fauna that we don't get in many parts of the world. We love to hike, eat, and travel our way through our destinations, and this one was filled with rich jungles, flowing rivers, and quiet areas of the country where we had to stop and listen in awe to the song birds and monkeys. I distinctly remember driving through an area where the palm trees were thick, lush, and beautiful. Then I remember the strong smell of something almost sour lingering in the air. It was the plant where they were harvesting the fruit from the palm trees to make the palm oil. According to WorldWildlife.org, palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, and it is in about half of all packaged products sold in the supermarket and can be found in many cosmetics and skincare products. The devastation happening from the production of this oil is eating up the forests and the natural habitat of many animals.
There are always two sides to every story, but this story is revealed in the documentary Before the Flood. This story has visual imagery and non-fictional characters in it ~ mainly of our earth. It's something we should be aware of at the very least, and if we can make a difference in any small way, then we shall.
I snapped this image while our family traveled through Costa Rica. We saw wild red mccaws, toucans, howler and capuchin monkeys, sloths, alligators, walking-on-the-water-lizards (funny!), blue morpho butterflies, tasted the bark from the cinnamon trees, and loves the dense forests of teak trees and bamboo. We were driving by rows and rows of these beautiful palm trees. I didn't notice the poles with the electricity at first, and then I smelled the strong odor. Then we happened on a plantation where they were making palm oil with the electricity leading up to it. What an abrupt change to the environment.