Why do you refuse to use man-made chemicals, petroleum and alcohol in your products?
Since the skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs what you put on it, chemicals in creams and salves can (and regularly do) cause problems such as allergic reactions and a variety of related difficulties. Petroleum products like mineral oil and vaseline simply coat your skin, adding no nutients at all. It’s like wrapping yourself in saran wrap. And alcohol, although it makes a moisturizer disappear into your skin quickly, dries it out, so that you will need to apply more in a few hours.
I’ m a Vegan. Do you use animal products in your skin care line?
The only ingredient that might cause Vegans concern is beeswax, which we use in our moisturizing creams, salves and lip balm.
What kind of oils are in your creams, salves and balms?
Plant oils are the obvious choice because they so closely match the oils the skin produces to moisturize and protect itself. We use an assortment of plant oils from all over the world. (Check out “little extras” for a list and what each is good for.)
I’m allergic to everything. Can I use your products?
More and more people are becoming allergic these days, triggered in many cases by exposure to environmental toxins and daily use of chemicals. Our products, chemical free and free of common allergens such as animal oils, are tolerated by folks who can use nothing else. We make a soap, Cocoa Cream, and a moisturizing cream, Sunbutter, without added essential oils. These two products are often safe for even our most allergic customers. HOWEVER, if you think you might be allergic to any product, check by applying a small amount to your wrist or inside elbow area. Wait about 12 hours to see if there is a reaction.
Are Sugarhill moisturizing creams safe to use on my face?
Our creams are gentle enough for use on your face. We add essential oil blends with a light hand, keeping them to a level safe for the tenderest skin on your face. Of course, it’s great for use on the rest of your body as well.
What makes Extracare Moisurizing Cream extra-good?
Extracare Cream has oils and other ingredients from all over the world that not only nourish your skin, but add vitamins, minerals, and proteins essential to skin health. Customers tell us that they have been able to use this cream to reduce the discomfort of eczema and psoriasis, to heal scrapes and small cuts, and to soothe allergic skin reactions.
Does a hand-made moisturizing cream need special care?
There are a few differences in how our creams behave since we use no chemical stabilizers or alcohol:
1)They may separate slightly — simply stir gently back together;
2)If your cream is exposed to temperature changes, it may become grainy. This in no way affects the quality;
3)You need to use smaller amounts of these creams since we don’t add alcohol to force the skin to uptake more than it needs at a given time. If you feel greasy after use, you have applied too much.
How do you make salves?
We start with extra-virgin olive oil to which we add large quanities of herb blends designed to heal specific problems. The mixtures steep for at least 3 months while the herbs transfer their active ingredients to the oil. Then we strain, add other ingredients and bottle.
What does it mean to “mill” soap?
Our soapmaking involves two steps. First we make a batch of basic soap, just olive oil, pure water, and lye. We let that harden, then begin the milling process by grating it into slivers. We melt the mix again, this time adding essential oils and natural pigments. The bars are molded and allowed to dry for 4 to 5 weeks before they’re ready for use. Milled soaps are harder, last longer, and have a finer texture. The essential oils, since they haven’t been exposed to active lye, are more potent and retain their healing characteristics.
Is castile soap as good for my skin as glycerin soap?
Yes. Actually, it’s even better. Our soap contains glycerin as does almost every handmade soap. It is a naturally occuring ingredient that remains in the soap when temperatures don’t rise too high during the soap-making process. Store-bought soaps don’t have natural glycerin since they are made at very high temperatures. Sugarhill soaps combine the soothing qualities of glycerin with the gentleness of olive oil to create the mildest soap around.
What is champagne vinegar?
It’s made from champagne that continues the fermentation process into the vinegar state. There is no alcohol left; it’s used up during the change-over. We’ve tested a number of white wine vinegars along with this champagne vinegar and there is no contest. It’s milder and sweeter, complementing our herbal blends perfectly.
Why don’t I see lots of herbs in the vinegar bottles?
There are two ways to make herbal vinegars: pack each bottle with some herbs and pour in hot vinegar OR our way. We add large amounts of fresh herbs (raised with the organic method) to champagne vinegar. The blends steep for at least 16 weeks before they are double filtered and bottled. We use this method because we want our vinegars to develop more intense herbal flavors than is possible with the alternate method.
How can I use herbal vinegars?
Check out our recipes in “little extras” for some easy, gourmet ideas. In addition to those obvious uses, here’s a few less common ones:
1)Add vinegar to sauces, salads, and vegetables to reduce the need for salt, something we all need to cut back on;
2)for general health and as a possible aid to weight loss, make a tea with 1 to 2 tablespoons herbal vinegar and honey added to taste. Drink 1 to 2 cups daily;
3)use vinegar on sunburns to relieve pain (our Tarragon is especially good for this); and
4) make a chemical free hair rinse by adding 1 to 2 tablesoons of vinegar to a quart of water and pour through hair, massaging in thoroughly. Rinse with clear water.