One of my themes for 2016, is living with intention– making sure the things I do are done for a reason. One of the ways I’m working to do this is to make smarter product selections. Using glass containers to store my food instead of plastic. Selecting water and natural drinks over soda (let me tell you this is a daily struggle – I love me some soda – but know it’s terrible!) For my body, it’s been weighing heavy on me to look at the products I’m putting on my skin.
Let’s be honest, I’m a self proclaimed beauty product junkie- I love nothing more than wondering around Ulta Beauty looking at all the newest lotions and potions. But I realize that skin is our largest organ, so shouldn’t we be conscious about what kind of chemicals we are slathering on or sudsing up with and the impact they have on our bodies?
I have one woman to thank for planting this seed in my mind, Linda, owner of Scenter of the Mind– a small business right here in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago! On a warm day last fall, we sat together and she pulled back the curtain and gave me the inside scoop on her products and how hand made, natural soaps are vastly different from the mass market soaps sold in most stores. Before we sat down, I had honestly never thought about the products I was putting on my body; I selected my body wash based on the packaging, or the scent, but never the ingredients, or how it was created. Since meeting with Linda, I’ve become a bit of a soap snob!
As we sat together, Linda walked me through how she creates each and every bar of soap. The magic starts with all natural essential and high quality vitamin enriched oils that are thoroughly mixed, then carefully poured into molds, and left for a day to solidify. After the mixture solidifies, you are left with loaves of soap, which are then removed from the molds and cut into bars.
Fresh loaf of Lavender Rosemary ready for cutting
I just love how pretty that loaf of soap is, the marbling at the top is so neat! After the bars of soap are cut, they must cure for three to six weeks before they can be wrapped. Let that soak in, three to six weeks! Linda is a much more patient woman than I am 🙂 We joked about how her house always smells good with soaps curing.
This batch of Lemongrass soap is curing after being cut
After the soap has cured, Linda wraps, boxes, and distributes the soaps. This process is truly a labor of love! Linda’s enthusiasm and passion for producing high quality, all natural soaps is seriously so inspiring, you can tell she really loves what she does.
I learned so much in just a few hours with Linda. We talked about the chemicals and additives that are put into main stream body washes and soaps, and what they could do to our bodies – and also the environment. I also learned the body washes I had been using contain detergents that dry out skin, whereas quality soaps contain glycerine which draws moisture to the skin, it also forms a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. In fact, glycerine is a by-product of the natural soap making process so of course Linda’s soaps contain it, which helps to make them so mild & moisturizing!
Linda also took the time to walk me through her product line, which was awesome. When she pulled out her tote of soaps, I was like a kid in a candy store. I wish I could smell-o-blog, because these soaps smell amazing and the coolest thing is they aren’t manufactured scents, they’re natural!
Citrus Ginger is one of Scenter of the Mind’s newest scents. The idea was born while Linda was doing a detox, which included ginger. Ginger is highly valued for its medicinal properties and fresh, distinctive scent. This coupled with orange and other citrus oils to create an extremely energizing, and invigorating soap- perfect to get you going in the morning!
Earl Grey was hands-down my favorite soap of the day; it was love at first sniff! Once Linda began telling me what essential oils went into this bar, it all made sense- this includes one of my all time favorite scents, bergamot! This bar has a fresh, slightly masculine scent – perfect for women or men.
Lavender Goat Milk is Scenter of the Mind’s top selling soap, and it’s easy to see why. Lavender is known for its calming and relaxing properties and when mixed with ultra moisturizing goat milk a dreamy, fresh, clean scent is born. This is a great bar of soap to use when winding down after a long, stressful day.
Almond Mocha is one of Scenter of the Mind’s newest soaps, I didn’t get the chance to smell this one but just from reading the description it sounds divine “The rich, comforting fragrance of Christmas cookies along with the pick-me-up of a warm cup of coffee all inside this luscious bar of soap.” Christmas cookies? Yes please!
After all of these months, Linda’s message and passion has really stuck with me. Are we as consumers being intentional about the products we put onto our bodies? Do we look for the products made with the highest quality, all natural ingredients? As I sat with Linda, I learned that you do not have to sacrifice scent for quality, in fact you can get both.
Scenter of the Mind soaps can be found at a variety of Whole Foods, Mariano’s, and other natural retailers around Chicagoland- click here for a complete list! And if you are like me and you want to cut out the middle man, you can order direct from Linda, on her website!
Scenter of the Mind on display at Whole Foods
Linda and I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway of five soaps so you guys could give them a try for yourselves! Enter using the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win, winners will be selected and notified on Monday, February 1st.
a Rafflecopter giveaway