Q: What are the products shelf life?
OUR PRODUCTS ARE PRESERVATIVE FREE!
They do NOT contain petroleum based chemicals (Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin), chemical emulsifiers (DEA, MEA, TEA), chemical preservatives (Parabens, Urea), Propylene Glycol, artificial colors, stabilizers, or synthetic fragrances.
Our products are not made to sit on store shelves for years and years. Although there are many natural preservatives that exist within the chemical structure of a natural product, they are nowhere near as potent as the synthetic preservatives.
TEMPERATURE CHANGES CAN AFFECT CONSISTENCY, POTENCY AND LONGEVITY.
As scented products age, some of the natural essential oil scent may be lost. Pure essential oils just do not have the staying power of synthetic fragrance oils. Over time, natural colors may also fade.
Each time you place your warm fingers into a tin or jar, you melt some of the butter which can change the consistency of the product, and introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the product. To have preserve freshness as long as possible, we highly recommend using an applicator (like a small spoon or a wooden stick)
Since we manufacture all of our own products in small batches to ensure freshness, suggested "use by dates" are based on date of purchase.
Our salves are made with botanical infused oil which can lose potency over time. An unopened salve stored at a cool temperature should be good for 6 to 8 months after purchase. Once opened use within 3 - 4 months to ensure effectiveness.
Our teas are made from organic dried herbs and botanical. As natural plant materials, herbs are vulnerable to air, light, humidity, and temperature. Herbs will lose their color with age and should always be stored in cool place and out of direct contact with light. To achieve the best potency please use our “teas” within one year of purchase.
Most botanical oils oxidize over time and eventually become rancid. When an oil becomes rancid it has a sharp, bitter, unpleasant aroma. Since some oils have a naturally sharp, distinctive or odd odor even when fresh (like Neem, Elderberry and others), take time to educate your nose by smelling the oils when they are fresh. To achieve the best potency please use our oils within 6 months of purchase or 4 months after opening.
SHOULD I REFRIGERATE MY PRODUCTS?
Refrigerating some of our products will prolong shelf life. Products like the bath, hair and face oils can easily be refrigerated, but some of the oils may become thick or even solid when very cold. If this happens, simply place the aluminum bottle under some warm water.
As mentioned above temperature changes can affect consistency. We don't necessarily recommend that you refrigerate your moisturizers, especially the whipped butters.
If you live in a warm, humid climate, make sure to keep your natural products in a cool, dry place. Do not leave in a hot environment. Keep away from direct sunlight, heaters, and the inside of your vehicle during warm and sunny weather.
DO SOAP AND SHAMPOO BARS HAVE A DEFINITE SHELF LIFE?
The answer is yes and no. Just like fine wine, our Handcrafted Soaps get better with age. Left to cure for several months, moisture will evaporate out of your bar of handmade soap and the soap will become slightly smaller, harder, longer lasting. The harder (older) the soap, the longer it lasts and the better lather it produces. We allow our soaps and shampoos to cure for 8 to 10 weeks. This resting process assures a fine quality product.
Our Handcrafted Soaps contain all natural fresh ingredients and no artificial preservatives. We do not use synthetic stabilizers or preservatives to prolong shelf life. These materials can be skin irritants and are usually found in commercial soaps to extend their shelf life for years. We use natural antioxidants, such as rosemary oil extract, to help prolong the shelf life of our soaps.
Store your natural handmade soaps in a dry, cool place away from excessive heat and humidity.
As all natural soaps age, some of the natural essential oil scent may be lost over time, especially from the surface. But it will be there when you lather up! Over time, natural color may also fade.
Q: Are Blue Monarch products safe for women and children?
There is nothing in our all natural basic soap or other products that could cause a problem in pregnancy. Topically applying the herbs present in many of our soaps, is also not a problem. Your skin will absorb much less herb from the soap than if you would sprinkle them on your food.
Read the label on a bar of commercial soap. Read the label on your jar of moisturizer. Now read the ingredients in a Blue Monarch product. We use quality natural and Organic ingredients. No synthetic additives, colorants, fragrances, preservatives or chemical derivatives are used.
We recommend that expectant mothers check with their midwife or physician before changing a skin care routine with our products, or any other line of products.
The issue that seems to be of most concern is the use of essential oils during pregnancy. There is an awful lot of confusion and inaccurate information concerning the use of essential oils in pregnancy. The question of safety and safety testing has a lot to do with the actual “dose” of herb/essential oils. Most of the clinical research on essential oil safety is based on information for internal (actually ingesting) large doses of herbs, essential oils, or herbal "medicines." Obviously there have been no tests done on pregnant women.
The concentration of essential oils that are absorbed through inhalation, as in aromatherapy, and massage is much lower than if you were actually ingesting the oil.
Also aromatherapy and massage therapy use much higher concentrations of essential oils than you find in soap or even in eating the herb. With aromatherapy you are inhaling the high concentrations which get absorbed via the lungs and in the massage therapy the essential oils remain on your skin and are absorbed.
Soap does not remain on your skin very long and the percentage of essential oils used in our products is low.
Some essential oils that are normally quite safe have hormone-like effects and some even stimulate uterine muscles, both of which would be contraindicated during pregnancy.
When there is a growing baby to consider, if you are at all uncertain as to the safety of an essential-oil containing product, or any ingredient, please consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional!
Please do your own research for the most up-to-date information.
SENSITIVE SKIN CAN STRIKE DURING PREGNANCY
Even if you have never had sensitive skin in the past, you may notice that a product you have been using for several years now irritates your skin. The stretching belly is often the most sensitive spot. Other potential problem areas include the hips, thighs and bottom where the skin may become dry and flaky.
Although the exact cause is not known, raging hormones do make you more sensitive to a wide range of things and also your skin is thinning and stretching as you, and your baby, grow.
These changes can behave in unpredictable ways. For example, if you have eczema you may suffer from major flare-ups or complete remission during pregnancy.
Keep your body well moisturized and avoid products that contain synthetic additives, colorants, fragrance or preservatives. Any of these can exacerbate sensitive skin problems.
Before trying a new product, you can always do a patch test for sensitivity.
We often receive questions as to whether our soaps, shampoos, and other items are safe to use for young children. A baby’s skin, so thin and delicate, is no place for harmful synthetic chemicals. Sadly, even some of the most trusted baby brands add nasty chemicals to their products.
Read the label on a bar of commercial baby soap or shampoo. Read the label on a bottle of commercial baby oil. Now read the ingredients in Blue Monarch products.
We recommend starting with our Goat Milk Soaps or Olive Soap. They contain no artificial colors or fragrances. They also make a great baby shampoo--just keep the soap away from their eyes, we do not add any chemicals that anesthetize your baby's eyes.
If your child has sensitive skin, you can always do a patch test to test for sensitivity. It is best to add only one new soap at a time and use it for a while before switching to a new soap.
Q: Sustainable Palm Oil?
Palm oil has been used in soap making for thousands of years.
Palm oil creates a long lasting, great cleansing, moisturizing bar of soap with a fluffy lather. Despite its great attributes in soap and other products, palm oil has become a highly debated topic.
Worldwide concerns regarding the effect of the growing number of palm oil plantations on the rights of indigenous peoples and the destruction of wildlife and biodiversity must be addressed.
At Blue Monarch we treasure our planet and its inhabitants. We know that although we play a very small part, we must always make choices that are ecologically and socially responsible. So we use fair-trade, certified sustainable palm oil.
As more and more companies, large and small, support and encourage the development of “sustainable” palm oil, we can make a difference.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
The palm oil industry plays a very important role in the economy of many developing countries and supports some of the world's poorest communities. Developing nations also rely on palm oil as a source of nutrition providing easy to obtain and much needed calories. In addition to providing food, the palm oil industry provides many jobs and much needed revenue.
Those of us that have had the advantages of living in a developed country need to recognize the right of other communities to develop. The people of many developing countries are simply attempting to survive. For them, preservation of native forests and conservation of biological diversity is not a priority over life.