While shopping for organic personal care products has become easier in
recent years, a consumer’s understanding of what exactly merits an organic
label (and what does not) has become more challenging with every new item
on the market. While one can carefully read through a product’s ingredients
to determine for themselves the extent of its organic contents, that is not
always feasible or possible, given time constraints. It is also difficult for those
who are new to natural products and need a clear indicator of just what it is
We at Desert Essence have long supported a comprehensive yet easily applied organic standard for personal
care products. Several of our products already adhere to the USDA Certified Organic standard. However, it is
important to know that the USDA organic standard was designed and intended as a food standard and
doesn’t always make a great personal care product standard. This is where the NSF International comes in.
Established in 1944, the NSF is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that helps develop standards
for public health and safety. Recognizing that no simplified standard for organic personal care products
existed, the NSF brought together trade associations, organic growers, organic care retailers and
manufacturers, who in 2009 created the “Contains Organic Ingredients” labeling standard. Personal care
products meriting NSF labeling must now contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients and must
adhere to strict processing standards. It’s that simple.
And now the NSF is the standard by which Desert Essence defines its own personal care products. We want
to make things better for our customers. Although we’ve had to change a few labels and regroup a few product
lines, we've also improved on favorite formulas with the purest organic ingredients possible. In doing so,
Desert Essence intends to stay at the forefront of the organic personal care market as it continues to grow
and change. Our customers can rest assured that our Desert Essence Organics products follow and have
merited the NSF organic certification.
We wanted to share some of our favorite products with some tips and
tricks that you may find useful. Let us know some of the interesting
ways you use our products.
Eco-Harvest® Tea Tree Oil
“I am a huge fan. I add a capful to laundry for a fresher clean or dilute
it with water and use it to clean my kitchen and bathroom countertops.
I also put it on minor scrapes.”
Parul, Marketing Manager
Blemish Touch Stick Concealer
“I use the Light color in the winter and the Medium color in
the summer, when my skin is tan. This concealer truly camouflages any
breakouts I may have and treats them with tea tree oil. I also use it
when my nose gets chapped when I have a cold—it soothes the
redness and covers! I love a product that has a dual purpose and
is a money-saver!”
Melissa, Graphic Designer
Jojoba Oil“I use our Jojoba as a pre-shave and for shaving. I apply it to my face before I take a shower. After showering, I apply a little more just to my beard area before shaving—and with it, there’s no need for shaving cream! I get a great close shave and my entire face ends up moisturized.”
Jorge, East and Key Accounts Manager
“I always keep them in my car, briefcase and backpack for all business and pleasure travel and life on the go.“
Anne, National Sales Manager
Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser
“I love knowing this cleanser is USDA certified. I use it to wash my face and to remove makeup and over time, it has given my skin a renewed radiance. I also use it as a body wash on my 3 and 5 year-olds. They love the yummy smell. And we also use it as a hand wash!”
Wendy, General Manager
We’d love to know what’s your favorite product and some of the interesting ways you use it. Share it in the Comments section below!
Congratulations to Shanon Quinn of Moscow, Idaho for her winning
story on how switching to natural products has changed her life.
Before becoming a wife, mother and journalism major at the
University of Idaho, Shanon Quinn grew up on 8 rural acres of the
Pacific Northwest, a timberman’s daughter and no stranger to all
things natural. But not until she visited a health food store to buy the
essential oils she needed for making her own soap did she ever
consider a natural skin care product to help address her 20-year
struggle with acne.
How Desert Essence Changed Two Lives
by Shanon Quinn
I have suffered from acne since age eleven, and have grown accustomed to experimenting with new
products several times per year, applying creams, gels, foams and scrubs with crossed fingers, only to be
disappointed. My search ended just a few months ago, when I discovered Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash. As a 31-year-old student, wife and mother of two, I don't have time or money for costly and
complex skin care regimens, so this product was a true miracle for me. My skin is fresh, clear, soft and
healthy, for the first time in twenty years.
That, however, is not why I entered this contest. My 4-year-old niece, Lexus Nykole, was diagnosed last year
with Plaque Psoriasis, caused by the treatment of Scarlet Fever. This beautiful little girl was stricken with
horrible white plaques all over her body, which traditional medical treatments did not begin to heal. The
children at her preschool shunned her, as did their parents, who were convinced her condition was
contagious. Lexus began to withdraw, and cried regularly because she did not feel she was pretty anymore.
Our family was distressed and understandably concerned, both for her developing sense of self-esteem,
and from the worry that this was a condition she would have for her entire life.
Any use of chemicals, artificial fragrances or colors only exacerbated her condition. Even hypoallergenic
products produced more plaques and more heartache. After doing some research, I found that tea tree oil
was a natural remedy for Psoriasis, and so, for Lexus’ Easter present, I ordered Desert Essence Therapeutic Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner, plus a large bottle of your liquid Castile Soap (so she can have bubble
baths again!). She used these products for only five days before I received an email message and photo from
my sister-in-law, showing that all of the white plaques have vanished from Lexus' skin, not only on her scalp,
but her face, neck and chest as well. In addition, the red lesions beneath were fading fast. I immediately called
Lexus on the phone and she told me, "Auntie, my spots are away. I want to use this stuff forever and ever."
Thank you, Desert Essence, for creating these wonderful products! You have most certainly improved the
quality of two lives, and have my beloved niece on her way to recovery and being just as beautiful on the
outside as she is within.
Does Shanon’s winning story sound all too familiar? Share your own success story about going natural in the Comments section below!
Once a year, Earth Day inspires us to recommit ourselves to the health
and welfare of our planet. Events and rallies are scheduled around the
globe and millions of people turn out to speak in a shared voice of
environmental interest and concern. With so much activity happening
the world over, it can be little overwhelming to consider how you
yourself can join in to make that earth-friendly difference to the
community where you live.
We at Desert Essence encourage you to play a part in this year’s
Earth Day, and suggest that whether you’re interested in organizing a
town hall meeting or lending a hand to a local clean-up effort, a
great source for ideas and inspiration is the environmental service
campaign called A Billion Acts of Green. Launched this year by the Earth Day Network, this worldwide
initiative builds environmental awareness through one green act at a time. Over 70 million people have
already pledged to take personal action in improving the health of their communities. From eating local or
using less water to writing elected officials—the pledge is yours to make, and to inspire others to make.
A Billion Acts of Green features a leaderboard where you can post your promised action and see what others
have pledged to do. You can also learn about ongoing events happening around the world and other ways you
can support the over 22,000 organizations that are part of the Earth Day Network.
The goal is to register one billion actions in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012. With your
involvement, let’s make sure to get there.
The healthy and beautiful outward appearance we all want—whether it’s
a fresh, glowing complexion, or silky, soft hair—is ultimately determined by
the inward care we devote to our minds and to our bodies. This is the
holistic approach to beauty.
What are the foods we eat or the personal care products we use? Do
we exercise regularly? Do we balance work and family with enough
time for personal reflection? Holistic beauty takes all these factors into
consideration and reminds us that looking good and living well go
hand-in-hand. The day-to-day choices we each make for ourselves
can—and do—make a difference. Here are 4 simple suggestions to
get you on track:
Know What’s Going in Your Body
The ingredients in the personal care products you use every day can impact your body as much as the food
you eat. Organic, chemical-free skin and hair care products have the same beneficial effect on your system as
organic foods. Take the time to learn about things to avoid, such as parabens or PEGs, and then be sure to
carefully read the label before purchasing any product.
Eat Right, Exercise Better
A balanced diet and drinking 8 glasses of water daily gives your body the proper nutrition and hydration it
needs to support healthy skin. Exercise also tends to promote better sleeping habits, and a good night’s rest
is nature’s best way to revive your skin—9 hours of sleep works better than any concealer!
Soothe Your Heart
Anyone who has ever had a bad day knows well how your emotions can affect the way you look. So remember
to make time for your family and friends—and for yourself. The joy you get when spending time with those your
care about is as important to your health as it is to your smile. How we feel on the inside directly affects how
we see ourselves on the outside—and how others see us as well.
Feed Your Mind
If the words “stuck in a rut” sound all too familiar, than you’re probably also wondering why it is that lately you
look and feel “blah”. Igniting your curiosity with a visit to a new place, a new hobby, or even simply reading a
good book can do wonders to bringing out that inner glow you’ve been missing when you look in the mirror.
The choice between traditional beauty products and their
natural alternatives is not simply a matter of preference. Going
natural can lead to any number of beneficial results, from
healthier skin to a healthier home and community. It’s a ripple
effect that impacts all of us, as any who has already made the
switch can tell you.
What’s your story? How has switching to natural products
changed your life? Which Desert Essence product has had
the most positive impact on your health and wellbeing?
Share your comments below and you could win a year’s supply
of the product you write about! The winning entry will also be
featured in an upcoming blog post.
To indigenous cultures around the world, beautiful, healthy skin is
nothing new under the sun. The Berbers of North Africa, Native
Americans of the Sonora Desert, and Australian Aborigines have
each known for centuries that the plants most common to their arid
environments actually offer them a treasure trove of skin care uses and
benefits. This especially includes plant oils, derived from either leaves
or extracted from nuts, and long coveted for nurturing and healing
properties that help support a healthier life in an otherwise difficult
place to live.
The argan tree is common to Morocco, and it doesn’t grow anywhere
else; the aromatic oil extracted from its fruit kernels is considered so
rare and precious, it is known as “liquid gold”. Prized for its nutritive,
medicinal, and cosmetic powers, argan oil is used to treat skin
conditions, as well as to restore the radiance of skin and hair.
It contains twice the amount of tocopherols (vitamin E) as found in olive oil, and is loaded with essential
fatty acids like linoleic acid, well-known for their moisturizing and anti-oxidant properties. These powerful
anti-oxidants help neutralize free-radical damage in the skin.
Smaller than an argan tree, jojoba is a perennial woody shrub native to the Sonora Desert of the American
Southwest. The oil extracted from jojoba seeds boasts a wide spectrum of beneficial properties due to the
fact that it matches the molecular structure of hair and skin sebum. As a result, this desert ingredient can
quickly penetrate the skin and scalp without leaving an oily residue, even as it supplies hair and skin with
nutrient-rich, restorative hydration.
The benefits of Australia’s tea tree oil are no less amazing. Waters infused with the fallen leaves of
surrounding Melaleuca Alternifolia trees offered antiseptic healing powers that Aborigines once considered
magical. For the last half century, medicinal research has come to see why. Testing has revealed tea tree oil
to contain over 100 different chemical compounds, making this singular leaf-derived oil an effective
anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and detoxifying agent. The New York Times Health Blog recently detailed how tea
tree oil can be particularly effective in treating skin conditions like burns and acne.
There are plants celebrated the world over for the sheer number of benefits
they have to offer. Bamboo, for example, is used for everything from building
houses to working up appetites in Asian cuisine. The great American
botanist George Washington Carver developed hundreds of uses—
culinary, cosmetic, and industrial—from the simple peanut. But particularly
impressive are the plants that thrive in the world’s most arid climates, such
as jojoba and aloe vera. Even as these drab-looking succulents eke out a
life rooted in dry, desert soil, the resources they provide basically enable
survival in an otherwise unlivable landscape.
Jojoba is believed to have originated in the American southwest, aloe vera
in the arid regions of North Africa. Both are climates where prolonged
exposure to the sun and the elements can damage the skin. But natives in
both regions learned centuries ago that the landscape that gave them the
conditions responsible for their skins’ burns and cuts also offered them
their remedy. The oil extracted from jojoba seeds can both treat wounds and supply restorative hydration to
skin and hair. Jojoba oil’s beneficial properties come from the fact that it matches the molecular structure of
hair and skin sebum. As a result, it can quickly penetrate the skin and scalp without leaving an oily residue.
Moisturizing aloe vera extract is equally effective, especially in treating sunburn, and with its anti-bacterial
properties, it can also be used in the treatment of other minor skin infections.
Of course, the super benefits of jojoba and aloe vera extend way beyond the extreme conditions of desert
survival, and today’s marketplace thankfully offers any number of personal care products formulated with
either. What’s amazing to consider is how these simple plants bring such tremendous benefits to our daily
lives, providing us with a pure and natural alternative to maintain our health and the beauty of our skin.
We at Desert Essence believe that everyone can make a difference.
We know that everyone making small changes can lead to even
bigger changes that benefit our planet and all living beings on it.
We would like to share with you some of our favorite and simplest
ways to help the environment. And we look forward to you sharing
yours with us.
“We heat our home with wood, not just oil. And of course, I turn off
the lights whenever I go into another room or part of house”
Jessica, Marketing Coordinator
“I avoid using hot water when doing laundry and I use a cool dryer. Also, we use energy efficient bulbs
in our apartment.”
Sandie, VP, Human Resources
“I use reusable shopping bags”
Melissa, Graphic Designer
“I avoid killing spiders and other bugs.”
Michelle, Marketing Manager
“At work, I turn off the lights when I’m not using them in the office.”
Cathy, Director, Customer Service
“I don’t let water run when brushing my teeth.”
Angela, Graphic Designer
“I recycle whenever I can.”
Carol, Regulatory Affairs Assistant
“I carpool to work.”
Mary, Asst. Regulatory Affairs Manager
I use a composter.”
Wendy, VP, Sales and Marketing
“I take quick showers to save water. And for my kids, I have them draw and color on both sides of paper
and limit the amount of paper they can use.”
Parul, Marketing Manager
Have your own easy way to be eco-friendly? Share it in the comments section below.
We at Desert Essence are proud to welcome you to The Blooming
Sage, our new blog committed to bringing you the latest in natural
beauty and living well. Especially for those living in snowy climates,
during these winter months, we could all use a little advice on how
to keep our spirits high when the temperature is low, or how to keep
our bodies in tune when all we hear outside are blizzard winds.
Winter can be a challenge for a number of reasons, physically
Of all the cold weather hazards, the most treacherous can simply
be inactivity and feeling disengaged from everyday life. Even with the
dropping temperatures, a brisk walk outdoors is the easiest way to
invigorate any seasonal slump, and put you back in touch with the
natural world around you. If you are not able to take that walk outside,
no problem. Exercise indoors. Picking up your heart rate with a little
workout will pick up your spirits better than a cup of coffee.
Winter is also a great time to discover the nurturing benefits of natural herbs and botanicals. From
lavender to peppermint, you can find a range of simple, healthful ingredients to offer your mind and body
both soothing therapy and restoring energy. Whether you’re trying out aromatherapy or a relaxing soak, or
even a hot cup of herbal tea, you will find that stimulating your senses can help cure the winter blahs faster
than you can say brrrr.
When you do get stuck inside, spend some quality time with loved ones. Talk, laugh, play. Pull out some
board games. Call someone you haven't spoken with in awhile. Reconnecting can also do wonders for
Share your favorite cure for winter in the comments section below.