Wednesday, October 26, 2016

For more than a decade, I have wanted to include a comprehensive line of soaps to the Absolutely Natural family. Not just any soap but rather the highest quality, tallow free products each with unique features and benefits.
 Have you ever gotten out of the shower and though you feel “clean”, your skin is taut and dry? Or, have you ever had that sticky feeling almost like a residue left on your body?
 Welcome to the world of mass produced soaps. Most people don’t know, but the key ingredient in most mass produced soaps is tallow. Here is the definition of tallow from Wikipedia:
 Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature. Tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.
In industry, tallow is not strictly defined as beef or mutton fat. In this context, tallow is animal fat that conforms to certain technical criteria, including its melting point. It is common for commercial tallow to contain fat derived from other animals, such as lard from pigs. Common uses are in bath soaps and shaving soaps.
Hmmmm. I don’t think I want to use rendered animal fat in my shower and most people agree. In fact, it is one reason our shower gels are so popular …you get superior cleansing and skin hydration.
 Our new soap line, of course, has no tallow. They are hand crafted in small batches and hand cut and wrapped before being shipped to you. All of our ingredients are natural and the very best quality.
 After much study and debate about the best offerings, the following is our 2016 line up of soaps!
Nourishing Soap: Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, Glycerin, Rose Hips Seed Oil, Jasmine & Rosehip Flower Powder/Extracts combine to form this highly nourishing cleaner. Jasmine and Rose Hips highlight the fragrance while the benefits include hydration, nourishment, gentle cleansing and a mild exfoliant.
Balancing Soap: Coconut milk, Mango Extract and Ground Coconut Husk are features of this balancing soap. The mango and coconut give it that tropical smell as if straight from the islands. Benefits include super hydration and moisturizing for dry, dull skin. A gentle exfoliator as well as a preferred fatty acid profile that helps with smoothing of skin. Finally, it has antiseptic properties for infections and blemishes.
 Deep Cleansing Soap: Aloe Vera, Coconut Oils, Australian Tea Tree Oil, Essential Oils of Eucalyptus & Mint, African Black Soap, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter & Mango Butter, Eucalyptus & Peppermint Leaves/Extracts are the key ingredients in this exotic deep cleansing soap. This unique blend of materials provides important benefits including Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial properties as well as assistance in healing skin Irritations, razor burns and bumps. Fragrances of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Mint give this soap a distinct scent which is uplifting and energizing.
 Clarifying Soap: Glycerin, Coconut and Argan Oil, Essential Oils of Grapefruit, Tangerine, Mint and Citrus Peel Extracts make this a great clarifying soap. This formula is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, (Vitamins A, C & E), Omega 6 and Phenols. This results in smoothing and brightening properties as well as detoxifying. Can help with skin infections and healing of dry, cracked skin and rashes. Citrus from the Grapefruit and Tangerine spiked with a bit of mint make this soap refreshing and energizing.
Blemish Control Soap: Organic Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Glycerin, Oat Protein and Activated Charcoal from Coconut Shells makes this the ultimate soap for blemish control. Detoxifies and decongests skin irritations with Anti-Inflammatory properties and Deep Pore Cleansing to aid problem skin, (Acne & Photo-Aging). Provides a gentle exfoliator and is fragrance free.
 Detoxifying Soap: Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter and Activated (Coconut) Charcoal from Coconut Shells, Black Amber and Lavender helps detoxify skin from stress, environmental pollutants, skin irritations, razor bumps and rashes. Deep cleansing with gentle exfoliation, this one of a kind formula also has anti-oxidant properties. The combination of Black Amber and Lavender are relaxing and soothing.
 Revitalizing Soap: Coconut Milk, Tea Tree, Coconut Oil, Australian Tea Tree, Lime Essential Oil/Extract, and Coconut Husk Powder. Benefits include Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral and Anti-Fungal as well as relieving skin rashes and chapping. High Content of Lauric Acid and essential nutrients helps overall reparation of skin, promoting softness and smoothness. Has a great Tropical fragrance with the lime and the coconut.
 Exfoliating Soap: Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Peppermint and Watermint Essential Oils, Papaya Powder/Extracts, Pumice & Peppermint Leaves makes this the ultimate exfoliator all the while refreshing with a hint of mint. In addition to exfoliating, rich butters in the formula will hydrate fresh, new skin. Also has anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.
One of the great benefits of working at Absolutely Natural is serving as a tester for our new products. And, I can’t remember more excitement over a line as we have had with the new soap. Try several and let me know what you think.
 Best regards,


Fairly recently, researchers have deemed that Kukui Nut Oil is good for your skin.
Hmm, they are just almost a couple of centuries late to the party as ancient Polynesians landed in Hawaii more than 1600 years ago bringing Kukui Seeds to the islands.
Ancient Hawaiians used the oil to dye and waterproof their canoes and as a fuel to burn in lamps, while the tree was utilized as fuelwood, sap for tapa cloth, bark infusion for fishing nets and different parts of the tree for medicine, tattoo dye and animal fodder.
The Kukui Tree is so important to the culture and history of the islands that today it is the official tree of Hawaii.
A single tree can produce up to 200 pounds of nuts a year and the precious oil is derived by roasting those nuts and hard pressing the kernels. From that process you would get approximately 40 pounds of oil.
Absolutely Natural uses only wildcrafted Kukui oil. Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural or “wild” habitat making it the purest, eco-friendly sources possible. The oil is pure as no artificial farming methods are ever used.
The oil itself has a long history as well. In ancient Hawaii, babies were anointed with the oil as protection from sun, salt, wind and other elements. Royalty used the oil in their marathon massage sessions that lasted up to seven hours!
Kukui Nut Oil has antioxidant properties that helps prevent free radical cell damage. It is high in essential fatty acids, both Omega-6 (linoleic acid) and Omega-3 (linolenic acid. These important features makes it extremely hydrating andante-inflammatory as well.
Other benefit of Kukui Nut Oil:
  • Penetrates deeply into the stratum corneum
  • Slows trans-epidermal water loss (excellent moisturizer)
  • Helps heal sunburn, chemical burns and radiation burns (hospitals in Hawaii use it on radiation patents)
  • Can help reduce acne
  • Plumps and firms the skin to diminish appearance of wrinkles
  • Excellent exfoliator, getting rid of dead skin cells and regenerating new ones
  • Can help reduce scarring when applied to abrasions
You can search long and hard and not find an oil that compares to Kukui for benefits to the skin. Ancient Hawaiians knew this hundreds of years ago!
Best regards,


Friday, July 1, 2016

People still want to get tan.  Most of us look better with a golden tan.  Through the 40 plus years I have been involved in this industry, I have heard countless stories of people who say the feel better with a tan, have more confidence and are just generally happier.
For almost 25 years with Absolutely Natural and with 44 years of experience, I have helped thousand and thousands of people get a golden, safe tan.  There would be some that would argue that there is no such thing as a safe tan, but in my experience it is how you go about it.
Let’s face it … despite being told to avoid the sun at all costs by many, sun exposure is still our best source of Vitamin D.  And, a suntan is nature’s only natural defense against UV exposure.
We have developed over the years an excellent system to help get and maintain that perfect tan called the 3-P’s.  Everyone, despite their skin type, has three needs with sun exposure.  A protector (SPF) for sun sensitive areas anywhere the bone is close to the skin), a promoter (moderate SPF or a tanning oil) for the rest of your body and prolongers (our two aloe products for use at night.
This blog is going to concentrate on our Absolutely Natural tanning oils to be used as promoters.  It is paramount during sun exposure to keep your skin hydrated and our oils do a superb job of that.
We have two different oils we suggest for use in the sun, our ultra-rich Platinum Oil and our nut free Professional tanning oil.  The Platinum Oil is a blend of nature’s finest nutrient oils each carefully selected for its benefits to the skin.  These include Fractionated Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Squalane, Rose Hips Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Cherry Kernel, Macadamia Nut Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Camellia Oil, Green Tea, White Tea, Ginkgo Biloba, Tocopherol Acetate(Vitamin E) & Fragrance.
The result is an oil that keeps you hydrated and has anti-oxidant, anti-aging and free radical scavenging properties.  This is a spa quality oil actually used by resorts all over the world as a massage oil, our Platinum Oil is the ultimate in luxury.
For those of our customers who have a nut allergy, we have put together a plant based tanning oil both safe and effective. Sunflower Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Passionflower Extract, Rose Hips Oil, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E) & Fragrance keeps skin hydrated and provides nutrients such as a high quality Vitamin C found in Rose Hips Oil.
Both oils are as friendly and beneficial to the skin as they are to the environment.  Since they are natural with no silicones, petro-chemicals, mineral oils, lanolin or other cheap fillers, there is no adverse effect on our precious coral reef.
I’m often asked if our more expensive Platinum Oil will give you a darker tan than our Pro Oil and the answer is an emphatic, No!  Both will assist you with obtaining that deep, dark tan but the difference is in the nutrient benefit to your skin.  After 24 years, we have a good handle on how our product sells and the Platinum Oil is the winner by a 20-1 margin!
Always remember to use a sunscreen on sun sensitive areas and the aloes at night.  You can expect a long lasting tan and healthy, vibrant skin.
Best regards,


Thursday, June 30, 2016

There are exciting new changes coming to Absolutely Natural products with particular attention to our labels.
In an attempt to make cosmetic labels consistent worldwide, the Personal Care Product Council has been lobbying for INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) names to be a requirement on labels for personal care, body care, skin care and spa products.  It is already a law that suncare ingredients have to be labeled with INCI names.
What is an INCI name?  This is an explanation from the council: The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, abbreviated INCI, is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.
Personally, I don’t like the INCI names.  I don’t think they give the average consumer any better understanding of what is in a product; on the contrary, with scientific names and Latin derivations, I believe it causes confusion.
For example:
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is the INCI name for Vitamin C
  • Butyrospermum Parkii Butter is the INCI name for Shea Butter
  • Persea Gratissima oil is the INCI name Avocado Oil
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is the INCI name for fractionated Coconut Oil
But we will comply, of course, and are now making the necessary changes to INCI names on our labels.
There has also been a great ongoing debate about what is “100% natural.”  The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t been able to define it.  Absolutely Natural has always purchased natural raw materials with the best grades available.  Our formulas are based from natural ingredients and produce better results than the typical chemical-based formulas.  We have eliminated harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates as well as cheap fillers such as mineral oil and lanolin.  Our slogan is “Healthy Skin, Healthy Lifestyles” and we truly believe our products promote that.
However, without a concrete definition some are now questioning what really is natural in the industry.  For example, some ingredients such as Benzyl Alcohol can be found in many plants and fruits, but can also be synthetically made. Additionally, some raw, natural materials such as aloe may have a small amount of a natural preservative in it to extend its effectiveness and reduce spoilage, but the origin of that preservative is most likely not offered.
There are also ingredients like oils and extracts which can be extracted naturally or chemically, with extraction processes not always described. With many raw ingredients, the provenance is difficult, if not impossible, to trace.  If at any time, there was a method used in planting, harvesting, extracting or processing that may be questioned as truly natural, then that might cast aspersions as to whether the finished product is natural.  I know it sounds a bit ambiguous but that is the state of the industry right now.
Taking all this into consideration, one of the changes that will take place will start with labels.  We have made the decision to eliminate our “100% natural” claim on the labels. Our confidence remains 100% behind the safety and efficacy of our products. This is always our first priority.
You can also expect exciting new changes coming to Absolutely Natural products.  There are more and better choices with natural raw materials than there were 24 years ago.  We are constantly researching for better ingredients and upgrading our formulas to strive for the best products to provide to our customers. We are also continuing to work on finding more organic, renewable and sustainable ingredients out of our respect for the environment.
We are currently working with some new materials and products such as exotic butters and oils, clay masks and hair repair products.
The bottom line is that we have tens of thousands of extremely satisfied customers, some of whom that have been with us since 1992! And, just as they have trusted us for 24 years, we pledge to continue to make no compromises in our never ending search for superior products.

Best regards,

Dry, Cracked Winter Feet - What to do?

Monday, November 9, 2015

The average person walks 10,000 steps per day. Even a sedentary personal manages 3000-4000 steps daily. And, when you consider the force of each step can be 520 pounds to 800 pounds, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the feet.
We won’t get into all the conditions that can adversely affect your feet (that’s best left to a doctor) but will address one of the more prominent problems and one that we have a solution to.
Dry Feet: The skin on our feet is naturally dry, unlike the skin on the rest of the body. The skin on our feet has no oil glands, so it relies on hundreds of thousands (250,000 per foot) of sweat glands to keep our feet moisturized.
This can be problematic for people who do not properly moisturize their feet on a regular basis.
Dry feet can range in severity from mild, temporary dry skin to severe dry skin that causes additional problems.
Skin can become dry for a number of reasons, but there are ways to prevent it, such as keeping your feet moisturized and avoiding rubbing or scratching the skin.
Dry feet are generally a symptom of another problem, and if you have dry feet you may experience additional symptoms such as:
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Cracks in the feet (fissures)
  • Rough skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Rash (usually brought on by itching)
  • Problem worsens in winter months
Dry feet are caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. There are several common factors that can lead to dry feet, including:
  • Excessively hot showers or baths
  • A skin condition that dries the skin (eczema, psoriasis, etc.)
  • Soaps that are non-moisturizing
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disease
  • Cold weather
  • Low humidity levels in home, office, etc. (heating systems are known to dry the air)
  • Aging (we naturally lose moisture in our skin as we age)
  • Long periods spent in the sun
Absolutely Natural has a wonderful solution. Our peppermint foot crème contains hydrators and other nutrients combined with cooling peppermint. It is like a spa treatment at home.
Daily use will help keep skin hydrated and you totally refreshed.

Best regards,

Importance of Exoliation

If you are not regularly exfoliating your body and especially your face, you need to add it to your regimen.
In essence, exfoliating removes dead skin cells. This improves the texture and appearance of your skin, reduces breakouts, and can improve absorption of other skincare products you’re using.
There are benefits to scrubs and other products that exfoliate in the ‘normal’ way, also known as physical or manual exfoliators. They can help remove dirt and dead skin from the surface of your skin. However, most scrubs use micro beads, which are tiny balls of plastic. They can take years to biodegrade which is bad for our environment and are not as effective as Absolutely Natural’s natural alternatives.
Facial Exfoliation
Exfoliation is essential for healthy and younger-looking skin. Why? During our day to day lives, dead skin cells build up on the surface of our faces. If we neglect to clean our skin well, old makeup, dirt, and oil can also join the mix. This causes pores to become clogged and the condition of the skin to worsen over time. The best way to get rid of this build-up is to exfoliate exfoliate.
AN’s Bamboo Exfoliator is a gentle exfoliant made expressly for your face.  Bamboo’s properties make it perfect for this. Bamboo is comprised of solidified organic silica extracted from the nodes of specific bamboo stems.  It remains hard, does not change color and gives a very effective yet gentle exfoliation. Bamboo Exfoliator removes corneus cells accumulating on the skin surface. It helps to refine skin texture and brighten skin tone.
Other Absolutely Natural Alternatives
A.N. Sugar Scrub: First, sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. So when you apply products with sugar or sugar derivatives, they'll actually help hydrate your skin and keep moisture within.
Secondly, sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down the "glue" that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. Glycolic acid is typically used to treat sun-damaged and aging skin.  AN sugar scrub (and salt scrub) is effective and can be used wet or for a more aggressive exfoliation, used without water. Sugar's small particles make an excellent product to exfoliate dead surface skin cells and reveal the glowing, healthy-looking skin underneath.

Pumice: Pumice is the end product of an amazing natural force – the volcano.
As a natural ingredient it has some unique properties including low density, lightness and abrasiveness which make it ideal in exfoliating products.

No matter which AN exfoliator you choose, there are some significant benefits to our product compared to standard fare.  All of our exfoliants are in a super rehydrating base with exotic butters as the base for our sugar and salt scrubs and hydrating lotion with peppermint and ylang ylang in our facial exfoliant.

Give it a try.  You will be amazed at the effect on your skin.

Best regards