Saturday, August 30, 2014

What's in a Name?

I have been thinking lately about names.  For example, what to call Lice Repellant Detangling Hairspray?  That's a bit of an unattractive mouthful!  But seriously - well, actually that is quite serious...any suggestions for that conundrum?

When I started, Barefoot Body wasn't my first brainstorm (but it is my favorite).  No Mo B.O., Elle's Smell, and Zschunke Funk seemed...interesting.  Again, I'm glad I went with Barefoot Body.  It makes me happy.  And the logo can take on two meanings.  It can be read Bare Body as in just what you need and I do so enjoy being barefoot and really feeling the earth beneath me.  Feeling grounded (literally) but also free.  And maybe one day there will be a product that relates more closely to feet.  Not yet, but someday.

When it came to naming the deodorant and bug spray, I also knocked around cute and catchy names, but I felt that the "Less is More" concept kept things simple.  If it's deodorant, call it deodorant.  If it's bug spray, call it bug spray.  I even planned to call Sandalwood "MANdalwood".  Get it?!  No?  That's why I just stuck with Sandalwood.  Getting creative can be fun but it can also get confusing.

My first go round with mixing deodorant rendered what is now the "Bee Free" formula.  I created the "Summer Bee Here" version based on feedback that the fridge wasn't feasible for everyone.  Summer WAS about to be here and, in theory, that version would only be needed in the summer.  Well, as August draws to a close, Fall is about to "Bee Here."  And what then?  Does the name add to confusion?  So, here's what I've been thinking.  Moving forward, "Sunmer Bee Here" = Deodorant.  Labels that are already printed or used on containers will still be used until they run out.  Some of you can live an endless summer vicariously through your deodorant.  "Bee Free" will remain to distinguish it from the version with beeswax.  Bee free is a good option for vegans, and those who may experience a reaction from bees.  Or anyone who really wants to refrigerate their deodorant.  Comments and questions are always welcome.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lice Repellant Hair Spray

Speaking of back to school...

You guys.  I looked for a picture to include with this post and they all skeeved me out, so I'm going to do us all a favor and make this a picture-less post.

Over the summer, a friend proposed I look into making lice repellant hair spray.  I looked into it and it seems very do-able.

Now, testing it is a different scenario.

Testing deodorant = adults, worst case scenario, you smell bad (actually worst case scenario, you have a skin reaction)

Testing bug spray = adults...and some kids, worst case scenario, you get bit by bugs, like mosquitoes, not lice.

Testing Lice Repellant Hair Spray = kids...or adults, worst case scenario, you get lice.  But seriously, I'm not asking anyone to expose themselves to lice intentionally.  I'm also not sure about actual kids being the first in line as testers.  So...any teacher friends interested in testing it out?  Mostly looking to see if there is any issue with scalp irritation?

The friend who suggested this has taken her daughter to our local Lice Lifters and uses the Nit Nanny hairspray daily.  This would be (hopefully) a similarly preventative measure.  Here is Nit Nanny's ingredient list:
Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Ceteth-10, Laureth-4, Quaternium 91, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium, Chloride, Myristyl Myristate, Phenoxyethyanol, Potassium Sorbate, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil.

I don't know about you but I still spy a bunch of tricky vocab in that list.

I have read of tea tree oil being used solely to prevent lice but after some "research" (thanks, Pinterest!) I have come up with a blend of 7 oils to mix into what could also be used as a detangling spray.

And, similarly to the bug spray, I would suggest this have a shelf life of one "school season" or "camp season" as your needs determine.

So...any takers?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to Business

As a new school year approaches (quickly), I will be headed back to my library of a classroom.  Have no fear, Barefoot Body will continue to look for opportunities to get out in the community as well as fill and deliver orders as they come.  Does the Back to School season make you sweat?

I first dabbled with natural deodorant while I was home on maternity leave after my daughter was born.  At the time, I wasn't all that concerned if I smelled...and was lucky if I showered.  When I returned to work after that year, I planned to continue using natural deodorant.  I was starting a new job teaching in the library and I was NERVOUS.  And I sweat.  And since it was the store bought variety which I may have mentioned did NOT work for me, that meant I also stank.  Do you remember any smelly teachers from growing up?  Or sweaty ones?  I did.  And I refused to be THAT teacher.  At that time, in 2010, I resolved that I would simply have to use aluminum laden anti-perspirant during the school day and could revert to more natural alternatives when I was home.  Over time, I was able to phase aluminum out altogether.  But I found myself reapplying deodorant through the day to compensate.  I can say that I am fully confident to start this year sweat and smell free with an all natural alternative.  If I survived the last few days of meetings, the kids on Tuesday will be no sweat.  Get it?!

A few teacher friends have been asking me about this endeavor.  And I've found myself talking more and more about the science involved.  So, to review:

1) Sweat does not smell.  What does smell is bacteria on the skin of the armpits which is activated by sweat.  Address the bacteria (which coconut oil does) and the associated smell never comes to pass.

2) We are supposed to sweat.  BUT arrowroot powder helps to absorb some of the moisture associated with sweat.  Aluminum blocks the pores from making sweat.  You don't want to intentionally block your body's systems.

Any questions?

And just like that, I'm back in school mode.  I'll try not to lecture.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Man Scents

In the process of testing the deodorant with men, I (and they) have realized that the Sandalwood is very faint. I attempted to make a stronger smelling batch by doubling the oil.  It didn't do much to increase the potency of the smell.  Then I smelled the oil alone and it was pretty faint to start with so, just be forewarned that Sandalwood is...subtle.  But, if you (or someone you know) is a man who would prefer to start the day smelling more manly (and by manly, I don't actually mean like B.O.) we now have another option: Balsam Fir.  You too can smell like a lumberjack!  It is not nearly as subtle, but in a good way so you know you put something on your armpits.  At any upcoming
farmer's markets or parties, I will plan to bring all of my raw materials including the essential oil blends so if you would like to get a whiff of the oil, you can get a feel for our scent options.

Friday, August 8, 2014

JR's Tester Feedback

This was too good not to share in its entirety!  When I inquired on Facebook, JR posted the following:

 "Yo E, I use a great deodorant I got from Whole Foods.  I can't remember the brand, but that's not important here.  I don't stink; even after toiling in the garden and kickboxing.  My problem is I still perspire a lot which leads to chafing/ irritation and then bad burning from the salt from my sweat which dries on my skin.  I know the aluminum that makes "anti-perspirant" ain't no good so what's a boy to do?"

I was curious about his current product's ingredient list and if it had a drying agent such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder.  It did not.  Here are the ingredients:

"Every Man Jack: Cedarwood Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Sodium Stearate, Witch Hazel Distillate, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Extract, Calendula Extract*, Myrrh Gum Extract, Alpine Lichen Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Chamomile Extract*, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Juniperus Virginiana Wood Extract, Fragrance/Parfum. *Certified Organic"

That seems like a lot to me.  Some questions that I thought of and so I looked for the answers...
What is Propanediol?
What is Sodium Stearate?
What is the Fragrance/Parfum coming from?

Only Every Man Jack knows...

I took this on as a challenge.  I was hoping that JR might find Barefoot Body's ingredients to be up to his standards and maybe help with excess perspiration.  After a testing period, here is what he wrote:

"1.  Not once during the duration of testing did I have body odor that I noticed (and I usually notice it - case in point, I've stunk each day since I ran out of yours and went back to my other deodorant.)
2.  On several occasions, with only normal, post-shower application, the deodorant survived 2 hours of intense kickboxing.  On two occasions it held through 2 hours of kickboxing, followed by an hour of jiujitsu, and then 45 minutes of power-lifting.
3.  My standard application was 5 "laps" (up+down = 1 lap) under each arm.  In the next round of tests I'd like to determine a "minimum" number of laps to maintain efficacy.
4.  At one point, for two days, my underarms became very irritated and red and stung pretty bad.  I have no proof either way if this was caused by the deodorant but I felt it was worth mentioning.

5.  Qualitatively, I would personally like the scent to be a little bit stronger.  I actually, couldn't smell the deodorant at all, which really isn't a big deal, but I do like "smelling like a man" sometimes!
I sweat a lot and generally push the limits of deodorants, so I was thoroughly impressed."

So, a few follow up notes.
1. Awesome
2. Amazing
3. Lovin' the data
4. Eek.  That doesn't sound great at all, BUT did go away...on the lady front, I've had many a day post shave when conventional deodorant stung under my arms but this wouldn't be the case (generally speaking) for our men so I want to look into this further.
5.  I completely agree!  I found the Sandalwood to be ridiculously close to Fragrance Free to the point where I questioned if I perhaps forgot to include it.  So I made a batch where I doubled the ratio of Essential Oil blend and noticed no difference in scent.  Then I smelled the oil itself and realized it was quite faint, so if you're interested in a more manly scent, may I recommend our newest scent option: Balsam Fir (more on that in the next post).

Overall, I am super pleased with this feedback and looking further into options that decrease irritation, for example our bee free option (not always practical for everyone but possibly less irritating) and still trying out the No BS version.  A big thank you to JR and all our testers for their feedback!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Recycling: Packing Peanuts

I wrote earlier about a commitment to sustainable practices when it comes to the materials we use and reuse as well as shipping and reusing materials.  I've since learned I can likely ship out to others without much packaging material, but in a recent shipment to Maine, I did utilize both a box sent to me and some peanuts.

But I have received a LOT of packing peanuts!  In reading the book, Zero Waste Home, I learned something I had never known before UPS Stores will take your packing peanuts.  And, in theory, reuse them for packaging material or sell them in their store for others to use for packaging material.  I've also since learned that if I have enough, there is a market for selling packing peanuts online as well.  And I'm sure they would be a welcome item to post on Freecycle or Facebook for someone else to get good use out of them.  All good things to know!  When I arrived at the UPS Store to donate my packing peanuts, the manager looked at me like I had two heads so I assume this isn't something he is asked about on a regular basis but let's change that up!  Don't throw away styrofoam!  It will never go away.  At least if it is reused, then less "needs" (IMO it is never actually needed but that is a matter of personal opinion) to be manufactured new.  Read more here about "greening" your supply chain.  And check out the comments, they confirm my fear that perhaps the store managers are not aware of the policy to accept packaging material for reuse.  Be ready with the article on a handheld device in the event that you are questioned!  In a less amusing story, I was traveling with three large boxes of peanuts and the windows were open in our car.  At one point, one of the boxes opened and it felt like the scene from Twister with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton when the weather sensors successfully release.  Only, not quite so dramatic, as I was in a car on Street Road with no tornado approaching at all, just two small children delighted in the whirlwind of packing peanuts swirling above their heads.  Don't worry, I got every last one back in the box!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Detour to D-Town


I posted about a detour last week and that I would write more once I had news on our new destination, well...I do!  I was hoping to be a vendor at my local farmer's market, but as it turns out, there is already a vendor of similar products there.  While I was bummed this didn't work out, I had also built up an inventory to bring there and I wanted to still bring it somewhere!  A friend had offered her store front during a different local farmer's market in Doylestown.  So,  I'm very excited to announce that we will have a table of deodorant in all currently available varieties and bug spray in front of Olive Oil, Etc. this Saturday, August 9th from 10:00 - 12:00 (hopefully this can be a regular thing!).  If you would like to place an order to pick up there, you can email in advance and then I can be sure to have exactly what you would like on hand and saved for you!

Many thanks to Christina for making the space available to me!  Make sure to like their
Facebook page and show some love!  I will be out front once the shop is open - be sure to check out the olive oil selection, it is amazing!  Read more here about how she and her husband got started in the olive oil business!  One important note, Olive Oil Etc. is located at 22 South Main Street in Doylestown INSIDE Main Street Marketplace, so rain or shine, we will have a roof over our heads (bonus!).

 The rest of the Doylestown Farmer's Market is right out back and begins at 7:00 AM.  Looks like we will be in good company - lots of exciting vendors to check out!

I will be equipped to accept cash or credit cards at the table.  Please feel free to spread the word and share this post, especially with all of your Doylestonoan friends!  Thank you all for your support as we take the next leap on this journey!

Also, please do consider coming out to the Hatboro Farmers Market this Friday evening, August 8th as my husband's band will be providing musical entertainment all evening long!  You can like their band's page on Facebook too!  Since I will be there, if you need a pickup location close by, please let me know if this is more convenient :)