How Do We Obsess About Our Products? Let Us Count the Ways...

by Sarah Villafranco, MD /

Our Soaps

Osmia soaps are made with the highest-quality organic oils, organic and natural plant butters, organic and wildcrafted herbs, organic milks, and organic or wildcrafted essential oils. We never, ever use artificial colors or fragrances -  we'll leave the rainbow-colored, "jasmine garden" soaps to someone else. All soap is made with lye, and we would love to explain more about why you don't have to worry about that for one little second – read our article about organic soap here! And definitely follow us on Instagram for some gorgeous soap-making videos. 

Our Skin Care

 

Osmia skin care products are made using the highest-quality organic and natural ingredients, again without synthetic colors or scents. Certain ingredients, while natural and plant-derived, are made in a laboratory, such as emulsifiers like cetearyl alcohol and glyceryl stearate. Other ingredients are certified organic by European certifying bodies, but we do not mark those (with an asterisk) as organic. We use sodium benzoate as part of our preservative system, but never in combination with Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid: that combination can result in benzoic acid turning into benzene, which is something we avoid. We are always on the lookout for new and improved natural preservation systems, but, in the meantime, we also want to ensure that your products are safe and free of microorganisms! Want to know more about what you won't find in our products? Read about the new Osmia Tox Screen on our packaging.

Our Perfumes

Osmia perfumes are made in a base of organic oils or organic grape alcohol. Each scent comprises a unique combination of absolutes, CO2 extracts, concretes, and essential oils. While I will not use absolutes or concretes in our skin care products, I do use them in perfumes. They are solvent-extracted, and I would not want to put them over a large area of my skin. However, used in tiny quantities of perfume applied to tiny pieces of skin, I do not object. It is nearly impossible to make a truly unique and exquisite scent without absolutes – the most precious florals, like rose, tuberose, and jasmine, are often extracted this way in order not to destroy the petals with steam. We can live without those complex scents in our skincare products, but using the absolutes makes for a fuller palate when it comes to creating perfumes.

Our Packaging

Once we have combined these beautiful ingredients into our final products, we have to package them. Let me start by saying that the term "environmentally-friendly packaging" is a complete oxymoron. The only environmentally-friendly packaging is no packaging at all. Pull an apple from a tree and take a sweet, crunchy bite. That's environmentally-friendly packaging.

I have researched packaging more than I studied in medical school. I considered how the packaging was made, the efficacy for the product it would contain, and the life it would have after it was empty. The unfortunate truth is that even plastic - a petroleum product, in case you didn't know - is sometimes the best answer. Here is the breakdown on our packaging, and probably more than you ever wanted to know (but there is no point in telling only part of the truth):

  • Paper tubes: these are the 100% recycled paper tubes that we use for our bath products. They may be reused, recycled again, or composted. The metal caps may be recycled.
  • Paper boxes: our facial soap boxes and perfume boxes are made with 100% recycled, 30% post-consumer paper.
  • Muslin bags: unbleached cotton muslin bags for the tea bath. They may be rinsed and reused as tea bags, or composted.
  • Plastic bags: used in the milk and salt bath products, these bags may be recycled or washed with soap and water and reused.
  • Airless pumps: our airless pumps are chosen to protect the products inside them. They are recyclable plastic, without any metal springs that could prevent them from entering the recycling stream. The airless pumps protect the products from dipping fingers and from exposure to oxygen, both of which could compromise the products. They are EcoCert compliant.
  • Glass pumps: used for facial serums and body oils, this acid frosted glass is fully recyclable. The pumps are not recyclable.
  • Glass jars: fully recyclable jars, non-recyclable caps.
  • Glass bottles: our perfumes are packaged in glass bottles with polypropylene and polyethylene rollerball assemblies. The plastic pieces are recyclable, the silver caps are not.
  • Lip balm tubes: these white tubes are fully recyclable.
  • Soap packaging: soaps are wrapped in partially-recycled, watercolor paper and hemp twine. It is all biodegradable and compostable.
  • Labels: Osmia labels, except for the clear perfume labels, are made from Terraskin. It is a tree-free, water-free material made from rock and resin. It is both biodegradable and recyclable. The adhesive for the Terraskin labels is water based and biodegradable as well.

Our Shipping Materials

Our shipping boxes are 100% recycled cardboard. Our gift boxes are partially-recycled paper. All of our crinkle paper is 100% recycled as well. Our padding material is 100% recycled and recyclable. We reuse peanuts and other packing materials from our suppliers, including any bubble wrap that we use. Any packing material that we don't repurpose, we recycle. And our shipping tape is biodegradable cellulose tape or paper tape. Any paper tape we use is partially recycled or fully recyclable and FSC-certified. And our printed materials are 100% post-consumer, recycled paper stock. 

So, we've thought it all through, and we promise we always will - we want this planet to get healthier going forward, and we plan to be part of creating a sustainable future for all of its creatures. 

With love and recycled hugs and kisses from us to you, 

 

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