As a teenager and young adult, I was addicted to body care products. I was constantly slathering cream or face masks all over me in an effort to beautify myself. I adored foot care, too. I invested reguarly in scrubs and balms specially formulated to give you the feet of a goddess.
One of my favorite places to go in the mall while shopping was Bath and Body Works. It lured me closer with it’s loud and intoxicating scents you could smell ten shops away. I could spend an hour in the shop sampling soaps, creams, and perfumes leaving completely wreaking of plumeria, vanilla and fig. My favorite scent by far was their warm and spicy vanilla–the body splash and body cream were essentials in my beauty routine. I actually became known by friends in college for the vanilla scent I wore religiously. I may not have showered that morning but I smelled like heaven.
Over the years my obsession with body care hasn’t really changed. I am still terribly interested in face, hand, foot and other skin treatments that pamper the skin and leave it feeling silky smooth. However something shifted over the last five years. Through different sources–friends, books, blogs–I began to learn more about the toxins, chemicals really, in many products and equally jarring, the unjust sourcing of many ingredients used in body care. From Shea butter to sugar, those growing and gathering the goods are often not paid a fair wage and many of the workers are children slaving away in the fields, their childhood robbed and their sweet hands bleeding from constant work. How could I justify contributing to that reality by choosing to use products that came at the expense of another human being and whose ingredients were actually harmful?
This lead me to consider alternatives to the conventional body care products out there from head to toe. With a friend who had similar concerns and interests and more experience doing so, we began crafting some of our own body care products for our families, both pampering and practical products. We made sugar scrubs, deodorants, and hard lotions. Collectively we made some sugar scrub to hand out as gifts for Christmas. I gave one to every female in my family for Christmas. Can you believe none of them tried it for almost a year?!?
When my family moved to Denver for my husband to pursue law school full time, I began trying to think of some practical ways I could contribute financially to our family in this unique time. My helpful mother-in-love, after trying the sugar scrub I gave her a year later and LOVING it, suggested that I sell sugar scrub. It sounded fun and immediately profitable since she was eager to buy a batch or two to give as gifts to her friends. I said “yes” and Commonsensical Spa was born!
In creating my business, there were a few distinctives that were non-negotiable. I wanted my products to be completely safe to use and that meant they needed to be as organic (free of harmful pesticides) and natural (derived from nature) as could be found. I also vowed to use fair trade certified and sourced ingredients as I could find them. I wanted to combine those qualities into my products while still making them affordable to someone on a seriously limited budget. AND I wanted them to ultra-pampering yet completely practical (read: a totally justifiable expense! ) As a result, I have a whole line of products from sugar scrub to lotions to a developing line of face care. Like me and follow me on facebook to stay abreast of giveaways and the unveiling of new products!
Whether you become a Commonsensical Spa loyal customer or not (although I hope you do!), I would encourage you to research carefully the products you do use. Buying ethically sourced and wholesome body care products for your family might seem more expensive now, but you can pay now or pay later. Paying later will probably be paying doctor bills to combat cancer and/or other health issues. I personally would rather do all I can to avoid that physical and financial expense. If you haven’t heard of it, The Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database is a fantastic resource in helping you determine the safety of many conventional cosmetic products.
And, equally important, choose companies that are choosing ingredients that are fairly sourced. One of my main suppliers, Mountain Rose Herbs, is certified Fair For Life–their overarching aim in all their business practices is to operate fairly with their sources. That is exemplary and I am so proud to use them!