Loving and commenting on the world of aromas, essential oils and aromatherapy.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Taking the Cottage out of Cottage Industry Aromatherapy products.
The term cottage industry conjures up quaint images of country lanes, white washed houses and charming barns. Photographs of products festooned with gingham ribbons, hand written labels and distressed bottles reinforce the back road country image.
Cottage industry aromatherapy products can also be packaged in sleek, high tech packaging, boosting therapuetic quality oils and the latest and greatest in lotions.
Both scenarios sound great, one cozy, the other glitzy, but how much do you really know about who is making those products?
I'm going to puncture your bubble with some cold, hard facts about cottage industry aromatherapy. Don't forget we are in uncharted territory. Aromatherapy and essential oils are largely unregulated. There are many claims made about the efficacy of the oils and products and some products are blended by folks that enjoy the scents but really don't understand how oils work and work together.
In the first place there is no such thing as therapuetic grade oils. There are good quality oils, and not so good quality oils. There are precious oils and jojoba oils that are seeped with precious oils.
And then there is process. The cute country kitchen may actually be a cute little kitchen, and the sleek lab may also be a sleek lab, however are the country crafter or the laboratory formulator steralizing their bottles before filling them with lotions, creams and gels?
As far as the recipes our country hobbiest and our laboratory researcher are using do they make sense? Are they safe? are these formulators educated to understand that there can be side effects to use of essential oils. Do they know what essential oils do?
How about labeling? are ingredient decks listed on the labels? Something you might want to consider
Finally, are our friendly, cottage formulators insured? do they carry product liability insurance? We do.
Do the little country crafter and the laboratory formulator know and understand the skin? We do. We have years of experience educating estheticians, cosmetic therapists, doctors, nurses and even dentists about the skin and how it acts, ages and repairs itself.
While there is not governing board, or licensure for aromatherapists, the next best thing is the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists (NAHA). NAHA sets standards which to practice by. Members have agreed to abide by NAHS's rules As a member of NAHA, we and our products are accountable to someone.
Sure those products look cute or sleek but other than to smell nice was there an intent behind their production?
Why not find out?
It is easy to be seduced by romantic images we see on the web. So think carefully prior to ordering hand crafted aromatherapy products. Ask if the formulator is insured, ask if they are members of NAHA and ask about their knowledge and education. This way you will get the best value for your money.