Saturday, April 26, 2008

Buying locally - Heirloom Herbals

Just this week on the Going Green blog, 'Burban Mom posted about her switch to local soaps and I had this incredible "duh" moment. Not only is there is a local soap vendor at our farmers market (Heirloom Herbals). I TALK TO HER EVERY WEEK! I have, in fact, bought some of her soaps and salves even (see photo), but the idea was that they would make nice gifts. It never dawned on me to actually use them. Duh! Here I am with this great resource right in front of my eyes. Thanks 'Burban Mom for waking me up!

So although I love scents in general, I prefer something very subtle.  The more subtle of the two was the Eucalyptus. Alright. Here we go.  Let's try the salve first: Eucalyptus-Mint Gardeners' Salve. The ingredient list includes: Olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax and essential oils. I don't think I've ever used a salve so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I opened up the little metal disk. It has the same color of Blistex, actually, but how does it feel? For whatever reason, I was afraid it would be too goopy (is that a word?), well - you know when you leave your Chapstick in the car and it gets all melty and makes a mess? - that.  But it wasn't!  It had this beautiful, sheer feel which absorbed quickly and made my skin amazingly soft. And the fragrance was just as subtle as I'd hoped. 

So far so good.  Now, for real test - the soap. It's called Eucalyptus Coconut.  Ingredients include: Palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, water, sodium hydroxide (I looked this up and it's lye), and essential oils.  Ok. Little blue bar, what can you do for me?  

I took the slip off (totally recyclable - although, you know, it's still nice, I'll have to ask Heirloom Herbals. if she wants it back).  There's  a little turtle embossed on the top (not important, but SUPER cute!), I put a little water in my hands and turned the soap over a few times.  The bar lathered up immediately and had a nice clean feel to it.  I scrubbed my face up and it rinsed off. It had left absolutely no residue. Next, I tried it in the shower and it was perfect on my little shower puff.  Wow, I'm so clean and fresh!  That was actually really nice!  

I wonder, why I was so skeptical?  Why would I trust a store-bought, chemical-ly product over something I can get that's handmade right here in town?  Why would I trust commercial soaps when I don't trust commercial food?  But maybe that's what life is - a series of "duh" moments. We learn and we grow in a process of endless transformation.  Little by little, I'm seeing it and truly believing that the things we do right here at home are truly the best. (Oh, and I'm sorry to the person who was supposed to get that as a gift. I'll just get another one and you probably won't even notice, right?)

Well, it's Saturday morning so I'd better be off to the farmers market. I'll have to tell Heirloom Herbals how much I love her stuff. If you have a chance, stop by and pick some up for yourself (8AM-12PM in the Brazos Health Department Parking lot)!  Have a great Saturday!

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