Is it Really All Natural? or even ANY Natural?

“I found a recipe for a great organic weed killer.”

“I make my own natural flea treatment for my dog.”

These are just two comments we have heard recently by people who stopped by our booth at local farmer’s markets….and they aren’t the only two!  It happens quite regularly.  We love natural products  and we ALWAYS love to learn tricks, tips, and hints we can share. Therefore, our natural first question is “what’s in it?” We have noticed that they all have one thing in common.  Any guesses (banging desk in a very bad drumroll)?

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

We try not to roll our eyes. We attempt a little education. Because it’s a huge pet peeve of mine to hear people throw around all these organic or all natural recipes for flea control, weed killer, kitchen cleaner, stain remover, etc that include Dawn, because there is nothing organic or all natural about it.  Tweet this.

The Truth about Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

First, look at the color.  There is nothing in nature (that I can think of) that is that neon blue color (aside from maybe some tropical fish in the Caribbean – I said maybe). There is some chemical additive that makes it that distinct color that everyone associates with Dawn.  And they don’t have to disclose what it is because it’s proprietary information.  So, by law, they don’t have to tell us.

And second, how about those ingredients?  They aren’t listed on the bottle which would make it easy for us to read them.  A quick internet search gives us these as the main ingredients –  The full list is quite long, and you can find it here - but here are a few of the “natural” things in Dawn:

  • alkyl dimethyl amine oxide – a synthetically manufactured surfactant that allows the detergent to remove grease. Because oil and water do not mix something needs to be included in the ingredients that bridges that gap between the oil and water and get rid of the grease.
  • sodium lauryl sulfate – another chemically manufactured ingredient that removes grease, scientists are concerned that continued skin contact can cause liver, lungs and brain damage.
  • potassium carbonate – a buffering agent that controls the pH of the liquid.  It has no real known hazards except it can irritate your skin.
  • fragrance and color – an unknown group of chemicals that gives Dawn it’s distinct color and odor

And don’t be fooled by those who call it soap.  

It can’t be called soap, because technically, it isn’t.  You’ll notice on the bottle that it says “dishwashing liquid”.  Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is not soap.  And because it’s not soap, chemicals need to be added to make it act like soap. Tweet: Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is not soap, because it's not soap, chemicals are  added to make it act like soap. http://ctt.ec/0amUd+ #beNatural tweet this

When we question people about this “organic” weed killer the response we get is “Well, it’s all over Facebook”  Because you know, they couldn’t say it on the internet if it wasn’t true!

Now, don’t get me wrong,  I use Dawn.  It works great on my dishes, and mixed half and half with hydrogen peroxide makes a great stain remover for clothes.  However, I’m under no illusion that it is organic or all natural.  No matter what people say on Facebook!

Glynne’s Soaps is committed to providing all natural products for people and their pets.  Truly all natural products – with the ingredient list to prove it.

And if you are looking for all natural flea treatment, put down the blue bottle and look here.

 

 

 

 

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How to Get Rid of Fire Ants – Reader Question

Welcome to our new feature “Reader Questions”  In it, we will answer question posed by our customers about living an all natural life.  Our first question was posed by a customer at a farmer’s market.

“How do I remove fire ants from the yard all naturally?”

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How many times have you been in the yard and discovered that tell-tale mound filled with the nightmare that is fire ants?  They are painful, destroy your yard and seem impossible to get rid of, especially without using pesticides that might harm your pets or kids.

After some research, I have discovered three natural ways that will get rid of those pesky insects.

1.  Orange Oil – mix 1 ½ teaspoons of orange essential oil with a gallon of water and pour it down the mound.  The oil will coat the ants and kill them.

2.  Boiling water – carefully pour 3 gallons of boiling water down into the mound to kill the ants.  This method works best first thing in the morning or just after a rain when the ants are nearer the surface.  It has been shown to be 60% effective, so it might have to be repeated to kill all the fire ants.

3.  Diatomaceous earth – A few tablespoons of food grade diatomaceous earth placed right at the entrance to the mound will kill the ants.  Since diatomaceous earth works by piercing the insect’s exoskeleton and drying them out, this method works best in areas of low humidity.

These are the three, most reliable methods for removing fire ants from your yard without using dangerous chemicals.  Have you had success with these methods or any others?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

Do you have a question about living all naturally?  Let us know and we will do our best to answer it.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Earth Day – 6 Ways to Celebrate Today

Today is Earth Day, a day in which we all celebrate this great planet we live on, and commit to doing something that will protect and preserve it’s resources.  This year, the global focus of Earth Day is on our cities and how to make them more environmentally resilient and sustainable.

According to the Earth Day Network, over a billion people in 190 countries celebrate Earth Day every year.  Here are 6 ways you can celebrate Earth Day today.

  • Take a Global Selfie – This year, NASA is asking people to take a selfie somewhere outdoor and share it on social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.  The aim is to encourage environmental awareness.  NASA is also planning to use the pictures to create a photo mosaic of Earth.
  • Eat Lunch Outside – Spend some time outside enjoying the area where you live or work.  Reconnecting with nature is one of the best ways to remember why we are working so hard to save it.
  • Download an App – OK, I can see you shaking your head, wondering what on earth this has to do with saving the planet, but there are a lot of good apps out there that can help you in the quest to “go green”.   Here are the top 10 green apps to help get you started.
  • Eat Local – Did you know that if everyone ate one meal a week from only locally sourced foods,  we can reduce our national oil consumption by more than 1.1 million barrels of oil — every single week. That’s more than 57.2 million barrels of oil saved per year!*  Download the Locavore App to help you find local in-season foods.
  • Buy Smart – When making purchases, choose those that have the smallest environmental impact.  Less packaging, recycled materials, natural ingredients; all are ways to reduce your environmental footprint.  Glynne’s Soaps prides itself on it’s use of all natural ingredients in it’s products.
  • Set a Good Example – The next generation will learn how to treat things by watching us.  It is so important to set a good example by showing respect for the planet and doing as much as we can to preserve our resources.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day today?  Leave a comment and let us know your plans!

 

*(From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver)

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Why We Preach All Natural and What does it Mean?

No matter where you look, you are bombarded with the phrase “all natural” or “natural”.  But what does this word mean?  What do you think of when you hear or see the word natural?  I’m betting that every person reading this blog has a different picture in their mind’s eye right now.

Unfortunately, there is very little government regulation on using the word.  So when you see it, you can’t be certain that it means what you think it means.  In fact, much of the time, it doesn’t mean anything at all except a way to make money.  Which brings up an important question -

How can you determine if a product is truly natural?

There are a few things you can look for that will help you choose wisely.

  • Read the ingredient list.  Most unfamiliar long scientific sounding words are probably describing heavily processed ingredients or chemicals.
  • Do your research.  The Environmental Working Group is a great place to start.  They have information on a multitude of products and ingredients.
  • Avoid products that contain dyes and fragrances.  Companies don’t have to define them and they are full of toxins.  The worst offenders are the words “parfum” or “parfume”.
  • Stay far away from parabens, formaldehyde, dimethicone, dioxins and pthalates.  These are the main toxic chemicals found in skin care and have been linked to all sorts of health issues.

You might be asking yourself, why is this important?  Why should I care?

Well, let me tell you….

From a scientific standpoint, you should care because there are ingredients out there that are toxic and harmful.  Even if it’s not immediately dangerous, a buildup of these chemicals can cause all sorts of health problems – things like kidney failure, cancer, asthma, migraines and a host of other problems.

Why We Preach All Natural

From a personal standpoint, don’t you want your family to be healthy?  I know I do.  And avoiding toxic chemicals is one way we can do that.  It’s a lesson we learned the hard way.  Which is why we preach the importance of using truly all natural ingredients whenever possible.  And why you will find nothing but the best most natural ingredients in all our products.

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Is Your Shower Killing You?

A recent study by the Center for Environmental Health discovered a cancer causing chemical in at least 98 soaps and shampoos, some of which are labeled organic.

The Culprit

Is this worth your health?

Cocomide DEA is a chemically modified form of coconut oil that is used as a foaming agent.  Cocmide DEA is a Group  2B carcinogen, which means it is possibly carcinogenic to humans.  It also has a high irritation potential.  All this means is that the cocomide DEA in your soaps and shampoos has the potential to cause cancer and also severely irritate your skin.

To see the list of products found to contain cocomide DEA, follow this link.  You can also look at the list of ingredients on your soaps and shampoos for “cocomide DEA”.

What is the Alternative? 

The best alternative for you and your family is to choose soaps and shampoos that truly are all natural!

Completely Natural Soap (even the scent)

Here at Glynne’s Soaps we refuse to make a soap we wouldn’t use on us our our beloved pets!  We use only the finest all natural ingredients that are safe for you and your family.

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We Survived Our First Four Years

Yesterday the Glynne’s Soaps crew celebrated our fourth anniversary. We shared our feelings in our latest newsletter, but I wanted to share them again here.

I just want to reiterate, we couldn’t have reached this milestone without the love and support of so many people!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!

GLYNNE’S SOAPS TURNED FOUR YESTERDAY!

We now understand why most businesses fail within five years….getting to year four is really hard! There is no doubt the word quit has been used more this past year than it has in probably either of our lives. But we made it!

Being able to say we’ve successfully survived four years makes the long hours and putting every extra penny back into the business to help it grow worth it.

We’re already looking forward to celebrating year five!

Jenn has lots of ideas for new products. We are evaluating how to capture more of a market share online. In other words, we’re still working :)

Where We’ve Been

As often happens with birthdays or anniversaries, we are spending some time today looking back at where we’ve been.  At our first festival we had 3 different varieties of soaps, all of them for dogs.  Now we carry almost 30 different types of soaps, along with lotions, sprays, bath soaks, candles and other skin care items.  Our products can be found if over 20 stores in 4 states.  We ship products all over the United Statesand even overseas.

Through it all, we have remained true to our mission and passion – we want to provide people with the best natural skin care using no artificial ingredients or fragrances.  There is so much out there that is bad for you, your family and your pets.  We provide safe alternatives to many of the dangerous chemicals that can be found in commercial products.

We are very proud of the fact that we have not compromised on our ingredients even though it would be less expensive and often easier.  However, we will always remain committed to providing you with the safest products available for you and your family.

It feels great to be four!

And we’d like to share that feeling with you.

So we’re giving you the chance to get four bars for $14.44! (Regularly $24.00) Just go to our website, pick your four bars (you can get more but only 4 at the super low price) and enter coupon code 1444 at check out. This offer ends October 28th so do not delay. The offer is good for any bar soaps (dog or human).

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The Health Risks of Hand Sanitizers

Image courtesy of Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

You have heard us say many times that the use of commercial anti-bacterial products that contain triclosan are dangerous to your health.  Well, scientists have discovered yet another reason to rethink these products, especially around your kids.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a link between the levels of triclosan in the urine and the presence of antibodies in the blood that are found in people with  allergies.

What this means, in a nutshell, is that kids with high levels of triclosan in their bodies are also the kids who have the most allergies. The children with high levels had over twice the risk of food allergies and almost twice the risk of environmental allergies as those with low levels .

Triclosan can be found in many soaps, mouthwashes and toothpastes, but is most commonly found in hand sanitizer.  It has been shown to affect hormone production and also contributes to antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Over time, it does accumulate in the body and this most recent study shows that the accumulation can have dangerous effects on children.

This information should cause you to think twice about picking up that hand sanitizer over and over throughout the day.  Glynne’s Soaps does offer an all natural alternative to hand sanitizer containing triclosan.  Our All Natural Lavender or Lemon Hand Sanitizer is now available on our website and will soon be available at the Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market, The Poplar Grove Farmers Market, The Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace and any of the other events Glynne’s Soaps attends.  Get yours today!

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5 Reasons to Pass on Anti-Bacterial Soap

The student government at the University of Texas recently placed a resolution calling for a ban on the use of anti-bacterial soaps on campus.  They realized something that many people don’t get.  Not only is anti-bacterial soap ineffective, it can be dangerous.  But don’t take my word for it (or the student government at Texas, for that matter).  Look at these facts:

1.  The FDA has discovered that anti-bacterial soaps provide no benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

2.  The FDA is also currently researching the effect that triclosan (the main ingredient in anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, deodorants and other products) has on our bodies.  Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and can remain in body tissue for an extremely long time.  This can allow it to build up in your body after prolonged use and cause extensive damage.

3.  Anti-bacterial soaps also lead to the growth of resistant bacteria that become harder and harder to kill.

4.  Wastewater treatment plants can not remove triclosan from the water.  This dangerous chemical moves into rivers and streams where is kills algae and destroys ecosystems.

5.  Scientists at the University of Minnesota have found that when exposed to sunlight, triclosan degrades to form dioxins – one of the most toxic chemicals known to science.

If you are concerned about dangerous chemicals in the products you use, stay away from anti-bacterial products.  The all  natural alternatives are much better.

 

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Fall Skin Care

As summer transitions into fall there are changes all around.  And whether you enjoy the changes or not, they will happen.  It’s probably best to just go with the flow and accept that summer is leaving and winter is on it’s way.

You don’t have to feel like a dry scaly alligator as the weather changes.  Just a few simple steps and you can keep your skin looking and feeling silky soft.

You might not realize it, but your skin care should change with the seasons as well.  Your skin has different needs as the weather gets cooler.  Here are some things you should make sure to do to keep your skin looking great through the fall season.

1. Drink plenty of water.  It is essential to keep your skin hydrated throughout the year.  This is easier to remember in the summer, but is just as important as the weather cools.

2. Don’t forget your feet.  Just because they are covered, doesn’t mean they are gone.  They still need TLC. Glynne’s Soaps Flip Flop Balm is the perfect addition to any fall skin care regime.  This lotion will keep your feet soft all winter.
3. Choose a soap that will keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.  An all natural soap is better for your skin and won’t dry you out like the detergent bars you can buy at the grocery store.
4. Sunscreen is still important.  Even though the temperatures are cooler and the sun is lower in the sky, your skin can still be damaged by it’s rays.  You should be wearing a sunscreen everyday.
5. Keep your lips soft and smooth with an all natural lip balm.  Glynne’s Soaps lip balms are great at keeping your lips hydrated and protected from the cold wind.  Choose one with zinc oxide for added safety.
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An All Natural Riddle

What do you get when you cross a bar of all natural soap, hair from a llama, some elbow grease and a little ingenuity?

Give up?

A llama loofah!

Glynne’s Soaps is proud to unveil one of it’s latest creations – the Llama Loofah.  A Llama Loofah is a bar of all natural soap that has been felted with llama fibers.  The fibers shrink and form a tight weave around the soap.  This creates a loofah with soap inside.  When you use it, you have the exfoliating scrubbiness of a loofah combined with the benefits of all natural soap from Glynne’s Soaps.

Just use the Llama Loofah like a regular bar of soap.  The lather will work it’s way through the felted llama fibers as you scrub, cleaning your skin while exfoliating away the dead skin cells.  As the soap is used, the llama fibers will continue to shrink until the soap is gone.  You can then use the llama fibers as a loofah all on it’s own, or throw it away.

Glynne’s Soaps All Natural Llama Loofah comes in two scents - Hipp”E” (made with patchouli and clove oil) and Citrus Zing (made with orange and ginger oils).  The Llama Loofah makes a great gift.  Get one for everyone on your Christmas list.

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