Welcome to SoapNuts!
This is the monthly companion publication to the much beloved Soapnuts mailing list (subscribe at onelist.com). It was just about a month ago that List Mom Becky allowed and encouraged me to try my hand at this project. We feature Becky Erisch as our first "Soapnut of the Month" in an interview by Sue Frelick.
Lisa Hawkins has written a fascinating article introducing us to the world of federal cosmetic regulations. Holli McCarty reviews Sweet Cakes fragrances and Country Living's Handmade Soap book. Also, be sure not to miss our regular columns--Nicolle Field's Swaps, Co-ops, and Sales list; and Camille Pratt's monthly list round-up, "Camille's Spiel."
As though it were not obvious from the daily banter on the Soapnuts mailing list, the writers contributing to this issue are all talented, knowledgeable, and charming. I hope you enjoy reading their work as much as I've enjoyed working with them.
I invite you to contribute to SoapNuts.
Submit articles, ideas, and letters to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A customer walks up to your booth, picks up a bar of your wonderfully hand-crafted soap and inhales the delightful floral scent. You step up and say "Isn't it nice, and this bar is so moisturizing". The astounded woman replies, "Whoa, stand back! Did you say moisturizing? By golly, this is no ordinary bar of soap you have here, it's a cosmetic"!
Yes, that's right, a cosmetic. Welcome to the world of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). First, understand that "soap" is exempt from FDA regulation, but it must be just that, soap. To qualify as soap, the vast majority of ingredients must be fatty acids and an alkali. In addition, it must be labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap. Lastly, its purpose is to clean the human body. You cannot state that it moisturizes the skin, exfoliates, cures, or any other such claims. To say it moisturizes, makes your soap a cosmetic; to say it relives itchy skin, makes it a drug. All drugs must be approved by the FDA. This is a costly project, to obtain FDA drug approval. It takes years of testing, and lots of money.
This month, Holli reviews:
Our visit this month is to a lovely five acre farm in beautiful St. Clair, Michigan. Nestled among greenhouses and gardens, filled to overflowing with calendula, sweet annie, herbs, and countless other flora you will find a one and a half story, 115 year old home. It is a brown and white "gingerbread" house occupied by Rebecca Ann Erisch (Becky).
Tucked safely under her mothering wings
are her two sons: Eric (10) and Aaron (6), and her daughter Megan (8).
Becky (email@example.com), and her partner of twelve years, Brian Erisch,
are co-creators of this enchanting scene. Next to their home, delightfully
surrounded by indigo shrubs, is their business, The Country Petaler (http://www.angelfire.com/mi/countrypetaler/index.html).
This months soap swap was a huge success...never again will I sit in a corner and "wait until I get better" at making soap! Get into one, ladies, it will stretch your mind without tearing it! I enjoyed the descriptions of all the soaps and was inspired to become even more creative, and to take more "chances."