Most of you know that I am obsessed with Soapwalla’s deodorant cream, I mean, I talk about it all the time. If you haven’t heard, check out the post I wrote about it a while back here. Well, Soapwalla is not only the makers of the most amazing natural deodorant, they (or shall I say “she”) make a host of wonderful, luxurious, all-natural products. I had the pleasure of interviewing Soapwalla’s founder and master chef, Rachel Winard. Not only does she give some great advice of what ingredients to steer clear of when purchasing beauty products, but she has graciously offered The Daily Tonic readers a 10% discount on all Soapwalla products until July 7th!! Check out our interview below and the discount code at the bottom of this post.
Me: What inspired you to start Soapwalla?
Rachel: Out of sheer necessity! I have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune illness that can manifest itself in a number of ways. Like others who suffer from lupus, I get terrible skin rashes, hives, and irritated skin patches. When it was at its worst, I could barely use water on my skin without irritation. Soapwalla was born one late night in early 2002, after months of unsuccessfully hunting for face and body products that wouldn’t aggravate my skin. I tried everything on the market I could find, without luck, and finally decided to start making my own products that were as healthy and wholesome as possible. The product line grew from there.
Me: What are your three favorite Soapwalla products and why?
Rachel: (1) Deodorant cream, because it works! (I also love the smell and application method.) (2) My restorative face serum, it’s the only thing I’ve tried that doesn’t exacerbate my lupus-related skin sensitivities. (3) My luxurious body oil because it’s my favorite scent on the planet, feels like liquid velvet, and instantly absorbs into the skin!
Me: What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about conventional beauty products?
Rachel: Ooh, great question! This fact always sticks in my mind: Of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products, 89% have never been evaluated for safety. And of the measly 1,150 (11%) that have been tested, the US National Institute of Occupational Safety lists 884 of them as toxic – classified as possible human carcinogens. That’s insane to me.
Me: What is the number one ingredient that you think consumers should avoid?
Rachel: Petrochemical byproducts (mineral oil, ingredients ending in ‘myreth,’ ‘oleth,’ ‘laureth,” etc, PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, and several others). Mineral oil, for example, is a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. It’s a hydrocarbon, abundant and very cheap to produce. Petrochemical byproducts can also be highly toxic to not only the environment but our bodies as well, and at least one industrial process – ethoxylation, a cheap short-cut companies use to create surfactants found in soap, detergents and even medications – requires the use of the cancer-causing petrochemical ethylene oxide, which generates 1,4-dioxane as a by-product. Fun stuff!
Me: If you could give women one piece of advice regarding skin care, what would it be?
Rachel: Less is more! Our skin is incredibly intuitive. When we bombard our bodies with dozens of products on a daily basis, we create confusion and imbalance. When in doubt, or when your skin seems to be acting up, pare down your skin care regimen. When my skin is particularly reactive, I use finely ground oats to cleanse, my hydrating toning mist to hydrate and prep, and restorative face serum for moisturizer. That’s it.
Me: What do you think the biggest misconception of natural beauty products is?
Rachel: That they aren’t as effective or as beautiful as conventional products.
Me: Some companies claim to be “all natural” but still contain harmful ingredients. How can one be sure that they are really buying something that is non toxic?
Rachel: This shouldn’t be the consumer’s responsibility, but unfortunately it’s on us to read every label carefully, and to do due diligence to ensure we know what every ingredient means.
Me: Some women can’t afford to buy all natural products (shampoo, cleanser, moisturizer, make up, etc). If they could only afford one in their beauty routine, which do you think is most important?
Rachel: Whatever you use the most of – for me, that’s body oil. I cover myself head to toe in body oil (I even use it as a hair texturizer!). Whatever you expose yourself most to, whether it be sunscreen, lotion, perfume — that’s what I’d recommend changing first.
Me: Fill in the blanks: Your skin is __________, treat it with __________.
Rachel: Your skin is your largest organ, treat it with love and respect.