Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why I oppose the 'Safe Cosmetics Act' of 2010

This was originally written by a friend, Tina Glenn of Faerie Made Soaps. She so eloquently put the words together and we soap and bath and body product makers are spreading the word about what the 'Safe Cosmetics Act' really is, and why it, as it is now written, could put many of us out of business.

Why I oppose the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

Going before the House Of Representatives is H.R. 5786: The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (SCA or H.R. 5786). What this is is a poorly thought out and poorly written bill created by a coalition of people including the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group claiming to have the interests of the consumer and also businesses like mine represented.
However, this bill would put provisions in place which would make it impossible for businesses such as mine to continue making body products and soap!
We are linking to a petition: Oppose HR 5786
which offers a great examination of this bill.
Here are a few of the points from the petition (and i am quoting them)that show this bill to be unneccsary and also detrimental to all of us:
Point 1.
1. HR 5786 is unnecessary. Small cosmetics companies have a history of producing safe cosmetics pursuant to current laws that require companies to clearly identify the products they sell, provide all manufacturer contact information and truthfully label products with ingredients.
Point 2.
2. HR 5786 contains onerous registration requirements. HR 5786 contains intrusive and unnecessary requirements that would force small companies to disclose to the federal government information that the government does not need, which is unduly burdensome for small companies to provide and which does nothing to protect consumers from unsafe cosmetics. Specifically, in addition to having to register their company name and location, small companies would also have to file with the federal government product descriptions, product ingredients, trace ingredient in products, gross sales numbers, the name and contact information of the suppliers of the ingredients used in their cosmetics and their number of employees.
Point 3.
3. HR 5786 contains unnecessary labeling requirements. Current cosmetics laws already require small companies to list ingredients on labels. HR 5786 expands labeling requirements to include trace elements found inside those ingredients. For example, a product containing water (or any other natural ingredient), would have to contain a label listing the water and also every other trace element inside that water. (Water contains a number of chemicals, including nickel, lead, copper, silver and dozens more — depending on the water source.) Requiring small companies to include such a list on each label is onerous and unnecessary.
Point 4.
4. HR 5786 requires small companies to conduct unnecessary scientific testing. Under the bill as drafted, small companies would be required to test all of the products they make, and be in a position to produce data to the federal government about the ingredients, components of ingredients, and also, components that may be produced when known ingredients are combined. Those are impossible (and unnecessary) standards.
Point 5.
5. HR 5786 is anti-American. At a time when our Congressional representatives should be seeking to revitalize the American economy, especially where manufacturing is concerned, HR 5786 would eliminate it in cites and towns in every state across this nation.
Point 6.
6. HR 5786 specifically allows all 50 states to pass stricter requirements. Even with the sweeping nature of HR 5786, it specifically states that each state can pass additional laws as it sees fit. This provision is Congressional permission for each state to pass whatever laws it wants, creating a patchwork quilt of laws that no small company can comply with. If Texas adds labeling or manufacturing requirements that are different from HR 5786, and also different from other states, then no company will be able to sell so much as a quarter-ounce tube of lip balm without first checking to make sure they are not in violation of 51 separate cosmetics laws. No small company can do that (and most large ones can’t either).
Point 7.
7. HR 5786 does not contain an exemption for small business owners. Many laws in this country exempt small companies because compliance would put them out of business without any real benefit to society. The same is true in this case. HR 5786 treats the smallest company making 50 products a day the same way it treats our nation’s multi-million dollar companies. While there is an exemption from the annual payment of fees, the testing and paperwork requirements in this bill place burdens on very small businesses that are unfair, overreaching, unnecessary, offensive and intrusive.
America’s Small Businesses
Our nation’s small cosmetics companies are in large part launched by men and women who want to create alternatives to products that can be purchased at “Big Box” stores. They use a high proportion of naturally occurring ingredients when compared to larger companies, and they are not producing cosmetics on a large scale at all. And that’s why their customers love their products, and that’s why Congress must make sure that it passes no law that puts them out of business without any benefit to consumers. This is one such law.

Please consider clicking that link. Signing the petition and then helping out ... contact your congress person, let them know that we all want clean and non toxic cosmetics, but we don’t want this particular bill.
Thank You!

End of Summer?

Today will be at least 85 to 90, Tuesday was in the 70's! The leaves are already falling off of our maple trees and the cicadas are still singing...I think Mother Nature is all mixed up.

An order came in for me yesterday, a load of lotion bottles (the newer flat style with the I began using early in 2009) and some new fragrances! I will begin testing these this week, to determine which will be the winners, and list them here and on the website as soon as I'm ready. I'm getting the soap studio ready for another soap-making marathon, and working on a few new products. Busy and happy to be!

There are just a few weeks left of the Downtown Mason City Saturday Market, and almost two months left of the N. IA Farmer's Market. At the end of October it will be mighty chilly out there, but I'll stick it out as long as I can! Shop hours are normalizing here, now that school has started again. Those changes will be posted on the website and on Facebook, as well as on the front door of the candle studio.

So- is it Summer or Autumn?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Coffee and scone

Well, it's really latte and scone. That's what I bought a block away from my shop at a local coffee stop. I forgot my lunch today, so now I will gain five pounds from the simple double-shot non-fat latte with 1/2 vanilla paired with an apple scone that probably has 12 ounces of sugar in it. Don't get me wrong, it was great and I'll bet that I burned off that many calories on the 1 block walk back to the shop while observing the screaming, playing children in the park. Maybe they were screaming, "Don't eat that!", but I couldn't hear them clearly because of the sugar high.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer scents, I gotta think

It seems that coconut fragrances are in vogue this spring/summer. I have several in my scent arsenal, ranging from the bake-yourself-in-the-sun H. Tropics type, to a fruity coconut remini(scent) of a beach somewhere sunful. (That's 'sinful' but with sun. Oh never mind.) So, me thinks that maybe a sunful coconut soap is in order, as are several coconutty candles and maybe even shampoo bars again. I am sitting here typing with a 3 year old 'Fresh Coconut' shampoo bar stuck under my nose. I made them in my first attempts at a non-soap shampoo bar, made with mild surfactants and light conditioners. After reading up on ingredients and the chemistry again, it turns out that I will not be changing anything with regards to ingredients, and will make them look less like lumpy cupcakes and more like something I meant to do. I think coconut will make a reappearance, but there will be at least two other fragrances or combinations of fragrances. Three is a good number, unless it's three cats, and that's two too many.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's been a long time!

In the spirit of blogging, I have returned. Many things at Soyphisticated Candles have changed, while others are very much the same. I have ten new fragrances this Spring, and will be adding them to this blog in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, please check out my website at You will find something new that was added in July- Laundry Soap! Read all about it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pet Show

This afternoon was the much-anticipated second grade pet show at our son's school. After thinking of the worst case scenarios, such as 1. Kitty runs away 2. Kitty tears my face off 3. Kitty relieves herself in my car 4. Kitty attacks a pit bull- I bravely chose to attach her collar and a makeshift leash, put her in the car, drive to the school and hope for the best.

We were the first to arrive, so we hung out on the playground equipment until other pet parents began to appear. The first dog was very large, clearly outweighing it's owner, so we hung back for awhile. The eventual menagerie included an assortment of canines, six felines, and a koi. The main cacophany came from the dogs, and an occasional meow by a cat. The koi was very quiet.

Things were well under control until the kids were released from the school, spilling out onto the sidewalks and running towards us. Kiwi the kitty took one look, climbed my sweater, and buried her face in my neck. She did eventually peek out and relax when our son appeared, and then his friends were able to pet her. She actually did a very good job of controlling herself in a stressful situation, and was a bit reluctant to go back into the house at the end of our adventure. She went straight to the water dish, and I went straight to the lint brush.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Markets and Gas

Our local farmer's market began two weeks ago. Because of a big concert the following day, I didn't want to risk being outside in the wind and cold and then having no voice to sing. (The website for the choir is The concert went wonderfully, as my director-husband would agree. We couldn't have asked for better.

Last Friday's market was very good, although all of our vendors are not attending yet- they will start showing up in a couple of weeks with flowering plants, more vegetable plant starters, more baked goods. It is a bit funny and a bit sad when people show up already in May looking for sweet corn and green beans....they have lost the link between their food and it's origins. The food at our market is grown and produced by the vendors, and most of the corn and beans have just been planted. I just find it mildly amusing. Soap and candles, organic lotions and balms continue to be a big hit, the new packaging and display are fresh for the season, with more of a 'natural' tilt with color and fabrics. That coincides with my using mostly organic ingredients, selecting recyclable and recycled packaging and bags, and everything the business stands for in general. New this season are aromatherapy inhalers utilizing special synergy blends of essential oils. Lavender pillow mist is the new addition for the market next week!

School is out late next week, and mom here isn't quite sure how to juggle things! It generally requires a couple of weeks of chaos to get into a groove. We wanted to drive to Seattle this summer, to get back to the old stomping grounds of 13 years ago, and so our oldest could see where he was born. With gas prices climbing exponentially, that just may not happen. We may be finding interesting areas within our own state and in Minnesota instead. I'm looking at buying a new car soon, one that gets better gas mileage than my '96 Caravan (a whopping 14.7 mpg.) Leaning towards a Prius..........I wish I could find a lavender one, like my old '71 VW Super Beetle LOL!