Lotion Lost Highway

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

I was so excited when I learned that BooMama shared her loving lavender testimony with all her “Internets!” I just love to hear stories about our products. As a result of BooMama’s great, unexpected testimonial, I got a lot of e-mail inquiries, and there was one consistent question: What inspired you to develop a line of bath & body products?

I thought I would just go ahead and lay it all out right here. I get asked this question a lot, and now is as good a time as any to tell my story. Now, I HAVE to reiterate once again: I had NO IDEA that BooMama was going to enlighten all of you about our products, but I’m sure glad she did! I’m happy to tell my story, and hope I satisfy all your inquiring minds:

My quest for the perfect moisturizing lotion and soap was due to my own unmet need for a good lotion that would stay with me. I grew up in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas. Believe me, I know what it is like to suffer from dry skin. Let me clarify y’all. When I say dry skin, I don’t mean a feeling of dryness, I’m talking flaky fish scale with red irritated bumps kind of dry skin. I have spent a small fortune over the years trying to manage this miserable situation. And I’m not the only person with this flaky fish skin. There are lots of other lizards just like me out there.

I’m sure the fact that I’m addicted to hot baths never helped with the problem. I am a bathing connoisseur, yes I am. I can spend hours in the tub and I put bathing right up there on the top of my list of hobbies. It’s not unusual for me to be on the phone with one of my girlfriends and for them to say, “Sorry, I can’t hear you very well, I hear some static or something... Is that water running? Are you taking a bath again?” I’m usually guilty as charged. The bathtub is the best place to get caught up on phone calls...

There’s not a bath product I haven’t tried. I have stepped out of the tub smelling like everything from a cinnamon bun, to a sore jock that just got a rub down before the last quarter.

Back to my pursuit for the perfect lotion: Over the years, I have found lotions I liked, but there was always a problem: smelled great, but moisturized miserably; moisturized well, but too greasy, too watery, gone in 3 minutes, or just too perfumey. Occasionally, I did find some pretty good moisturizing lotions, but as soon as I washed my hands, any moisture the lotion had provided was completely stripped by the soap. I was on the lotion lost highway.

Then my little brain got to cranking, the light bulb turned on and the idea was born: I need soap and lotion that works together, not against each other, to stay moisturized. Even more so, I need this for my whole scaly, dried up body, not just my hands. But, is it even possible? I need a lotion that will stay me without feeling greasy, and a soap that moisturizes. The quest began, and as my husband knows, when I'm on a mission, just stand back....

I used my girlfriends and sisters as my guinea pigs, and of course, I was Queen Guinea Pig. Keep in mind that my sisters and many of my girlfriends are my fellow "lizards" from the Chihuahuan Desert. If our dry, cracked, damaged skin can be healed, then I guarantee there’s hope for you.

What’s my secret? I don’t put any synthetic fragrances in my products. Why do I not use synthetic fragrance? One reason is because you can smell real nice the natural way, using natural botanicals, plus I have a lavender farm and all the essential oil I want. But mainly because synthetic fragrance is a chemical created in a lab, and fragrance chemicals will dry you out like a tadpole on concrete in July.

Natural botanicals and essential oils offer other therapeutic benefits, not just smell-good benefits. How do you think Cleopatra snagged all those men? She certainly wasn’t wearing perfume from the Neiman’s counter. But she did use lavender oil, which is a great stress reliever, a good anti-septic and anti-fungal, and was once used as an aphrodisiac. Those men were thinking, “Wow! That Cleopatra chick is laid back, she’s clean, she smells good, and she’s h*r#y!”

So, you ask: If natural botanicals are so great, why do most products use synthetic fragrance rather than natural essential oils for fragrance? Because chemicals are dirt-cheap ya'll, that’s why. Believe me, I could bottle our products a whole lot cheaper if I watered them down and loaded them up with synthetic fragrance and replaced plant ingredients with chemicals.

Our products contain no added water. Rather than using water as the first ingredient, which is the case with 90% of products out there, we use aloe as our base. Even our body wash and hand soap is aloe-based, not water-based, so that moisture will penetrate into your skin, not sit on top of it. I’m not saying I don’t have any lab created anything in our products. I do have to abide by some FDA regulations, and I also have to put some preservatives in the products. Otherwise, we would be dealing with a shelf life like a loaf of bread. But, we do our best to use plant ingredients where we can, and are always seeking out better ways to improve upon the use of any chemicals that may be used, and we NEVER use parabens . A lot of things changed for me after I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 38. I became much more aware of my environment - what I was putting in my body and on my body. I began immersing myself in knowledge about common cosmetic ingredients. What I found was concerning, and it was at this time that I got on the bandwagon and dedicated myself to developing my own natural product line.

And one last thing y’all: I have actually had people tell me that my lotion doesn’t smell like lavender. I used to think they just must to be crazy, perhaps confused. But, what I’ve now realized is that these poor lost souls have never actually smelled true lavender. They have only smelled some synthetic, lab created fragrance that someone decided to call “lavender”.

I’m a recovered lizard from the Chihuahuan Desert, and I’m here to say that you, too, can live a life of natural moisturized bliss!

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