Friday, January 09, 2009

Comments FAQ: vegan melt and pour base, a nice comment, rose essential oil

I am bad at answering comments :( (I have been super busy with my thesis and starting my business, etc, and my health has been on the fritz, more so than usual, the last couple months). It is really better to email me; you'll get a faster response most of the time, though recently I have been slow on answering emails too. Honestly if you want an answer on the same or next day, it is best to post on one of the blogs I frequent, for eco questions or natural skin care lines and aromatherapy/herbal questions, crafting, etc, probably best to ask on all natural beauty's forum. I apologize for the long wait for answers.

So I've decided to start posting my answers to comments as blog entries (in addition to answering them in the comments) to make the answers easier to find, and also increase the chances of the person who asked about it, seeing their answer since some of them were posted a couple months old, and I am only now answering them :( Still have several to go through, will get them done soon.

Anne asked on the "How to make your own herbal soaps” post:
"Can anyone tell me if the glycerin base used for melt and pour soups is vegan (no animals products)?"


Sorry for the very late response (been super busy with my thesis, business, etc).

It depends on which company and which base, since some companies make soap with animal tallow (though most I've seen use vegetable/nut oils), while others may add honey or goats milk to their bases. Was there a particular base that you were interested in? (most companies should post the ingredients on their website, but if they don't I recommend contacting them for a complete ingredient list).

Small Footprints posted a very nice post on the current blog update about liking my blog.

Thank you! I feel very bad as you posted your very nice comment months ago (been super busy so have not been blogging much; very sorry to get back to you so late).
I will be sure to check out your blog soon too!

Genevieve asked about where to get organic rose essential oil (and about the differences in quality and prices).
Hi Genevieve

I apologize for the long wait in response (not much time to blog anymore; thesis and starting a business, etc, have been overwhelming me as of late).

People debate on whether Bulgarian or Turkey is the best damask rose with most people saying that Bulgarian damask rose is the best. A lot of factors goes into scent, especially how they are distilled (some distillers are better than others) and also weather/climate, etc (rose crops around the world in the last couple years haven't been doing well in some areas).

Personally I love both Bulgarian and Turkey damask rose; I don't think one is superior over the other but they are both lovely in their own right. Actually the best smelling rose I've ever tried (and I have sampled from several companies and several different species of roses) is an organic damask rose from Turkey from AV-AT. Butch claims his rose is the best on the market and I have to agree with him; all of his essential oils are superior quality. Both his rose essential oil and absolute are so rich and intense (that distiller in Turkey who he's been getting his rose from for many years, knows what they are doing). They are organic but not certified organic (many farmers in Turkey can't afford the organic process but Butch is originally from Turkey and I believe has seen the places where the crops are grown).

I also like the roses from Mountain Rose Herb (excellent quality). They have a sampler kit of Bulgarian, Turkey, and Chinese (the Chinese is a different species of rose, and not the damask rose but still lovely). I think only the Bulgarian is certified organic though but most of MRH's essential oils that are not organic are tested to be free of pesticides etc.

Be sure to dilute the essential oil well (to 1-2% concentration; a small bottle should last you a very long time :) )

Rose essential oil is very expensive (it costs $300-400 or more for 1 ounce, wholesale price; about $1-2 a drop) so most places will cost a lot (once business costs are factored into the retail price). It is also commonly adulterated (people add other essential oils or synthetics to it to stretch it as it is so expensive). Sometimes the different in price is due to quality of the product, though there are many who charge too much for an inferior product.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Eco Living: Li's New Years' Eco Tips (Eco Living article series)

My newest Eco Living article is up on anb (all natural beauty) Mall's website! It is filled with many of my favorite simple green living tips, perfect for implementing in your life during the New Year :) One reason I am writing this article series is to show that living more eco-conscious doesn't have to be time consuming, expensive, or difficult to do; I hope you find it helpful! Happy New Year! Xinnian kuai le!