Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seems like forever...

WOW! Talk about neglecting my blog...and the rest of the social media sources I belong to. :-)  Especially when there are so many new followers.  So happy you found Simply Rustic.  Thank you for following and as I begin again, I hope you find something enjoyable and interesting to read.

Simply Rustic had an overwhelming holiday season and words can not express how thankful I am for all the wonderful customers, new and repeat.  I love that people chose to buy handcrafted items, some local and as a bonus a healthy skin care product either for themselves or as a gift for someone they care about. Feeling very blessed...

One of the most popular items...

I did not know what to expect going into the holiday shopping season, wanted to be prepared but not too prepared.  Products went out of stock last weekend, a week before I planned on.  I learned a lot and will hopefully be more organized and prepared for next year.
Comes in a decorated, recycled kraft box.

There are a few more giveaway events that will be shipped and then products will be back in stock after the first of the year.  A few new products will be available too.

There is still time to sign up for giveaways...
Sweet Greens is hosting 12 Days of Etsy which is handmade, eco-friendly items from Jennie's favorite Etsy shops.  The giveaways will be going on from December 5th-20th!  Plus, check out the Sweet Greens blog while you are's wonderful!
Made in USA Challenge still has giveaways going on from Sarah's American Made Holiday Gift Buying Guide.  Made in USA Challenge is a great blog too!

A testimonial the Revive Body Butter received...made me feel good.
"After Burt's discontinued my fave carrot lotion, I've been searching for carrot lotion and coming up disappointed. Then I found Simply Rustic - yay!!! My seriously dry skin thanks you! I've used it just twice so far with super soft results. You've gained a repeat customer." Megs, Seattle

I have a project that I'm working on and will be during the next few weeks, hopefully after Christmas I can tell you a little more about it. :-)
Until then, wishing you a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Joyous New Year!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's going on?

There is a lot going on!  Do you love a scavenger hunt?  The Etsy Scavenger Hunt is going on this week.  Check it out...great prizes to be won and good deals going on at the Etsy shops involved.

The American Made Gift Buying Guide 2011 from made in usa challenge is live now through January 1, 2012.  Weekly give-a-ways and again, great shops to do some holiday shopping from.

Simply Rustic is part of the prizes and give-a-ways of both events. :-)

There are a few local events Simply Rustic will be a part of.  Ladies Night Out at Advanced Health-Natural Health Improvement Center in Rhinelander, WI.  Tuesday, November 15 from 6-8pm you can sign up for a massage, reflexology, and/or yoga, Nutrition Response Testing, get a back scan, sample healthy snacks and organic coffees, browse vendors and register at each station to win a prize, and enter the drawing for the Grand Prize; an Alternative Health Pampering Package!  And YES, it is FREE!

Saturday, November 19 from 8:30-3:00pm the 28th Annual Show & Sell Craft Show will be held at JW Middle School in Rhinelander, WI.  So if you love handmade items, this will be the place to be.
Simply Rustic has received the Seal of Approval from Green America which puts Simply Rustic in their National Green Pages - Green America's Directory of Products and Services for People and the Planet.  Also, Simply Rustic was approved for inclusion in the Leaping Bunny Program

Other than that, I'm getting ready for holiday orders.  I will gift wrap and ship to where you need them to go.  I will email and post on Facebook and Twitter when holiday orders will start being accepted.  For everything else, please email

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skin Benefits of Simply Rustic's Ingredients

Simply-Seven Ingredients or Less; Rustic-Raw, Unrefined, Handmade, Natural is Simply Rustic's "motto".
Simply Rustic's ingredients are unrefined, wildcrafted and/or organic.  The products are 100% natural because no water is used so there is not a need for synthetic preservatives.  Simply Rustic's products are made in small batches from scratch, not a do-it-yourself kit.   
Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub

Body Scrubs are full of natural exfoliating ingredients with a little unrefined oils and butters, so you get the benefit of exfoliation first but leaves your skin nice and moisturized when you are done.

Body Butter

Body Butters are concentrated and little goes a long way.
100% pure and natural essential oils are used to scent body butters and scrubs - for those that are scented.  I also have done extensive research on essential oils and only use the ones that are considered safe for all skin types - even during pregnancy.

Below are some of the ingredients Simply Rustic uses in its products.  

What are some benefits of Shea Butter?
Shea Butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A, E, and F, as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and E help to soothe, hydrate and balance the skin. Vitamin F contains essential fatty acids and helps protect and revitalize damage skin and hair.  Shea Butter absorbs quickly.  It is also beneficial for the treatment of many different conditions, such as:
· Dry Skin
· Stretch Marks
· Itchy Skin, Skin Rashes, Eczema and Dermatitis
· Sunburn
· Small Skin Wounds and Damaged/Rough Skin
· Insect Bites/Skin Allergies
· Muscle Aches, Fatigue and Tension
· Wrinkles and Signs of Aging
· Diaper Rash
What are some skin benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil?
Pumpkin Seed Oil is known as "green gold". Pumpkin Seed Oil is one of the most nutritious oils available. It contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamins A, C, E, and Zinc and minerals phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and calcium. Pumpkin Seed Oil posses high levels of natural antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cell structure and health by neutralizing “free radicals”, which are unstable molecules generated from sources like radiation and air pollution. Left unchecked, free radicals can attack the skin’s structure, leaving it vulnerable to wrinkling, infection and other damage.
Pumpkin Seed Oil may help with minor skin irritations, such as redness and acne. Because of its anti aging properties, Pumpkin Seed Oil can help the skin retain moisture, maintain normal cell structure and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
Pumpkin Seed Oil does not smell like pumpkins. :-) It is a very green oil (unrefined version) that has a slight nutty aroma.
What are some skin benefits of Castor Oil?
Castor oil, which is derived from the castor bean plant, is valuable because of its myriad uses. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which delivers anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. It provides treatment for minor cuts, burns, abrasions, sunburn and prevents skin disorders such as acne and eczema. Aside from these, one of the benefits of castor oil is in skin conditioning. It serves as a natural emollient, which stimulates the production of collagen and elastin that hydrates and moisturizes the skin. It treats wrinkles, repairing and rejuvenating the skin to make it look flawless and smoother. When applied regularly, castor oil also helps diminish dark circles under your eyes.
Castor Oil is also a cleansing oil and can be found in the Body Scrubs. When using the Body Scrubs, you really don't need to use a body wash or a mositurizer afterwards because the Castor Oil will cleanse your skin, while the salts and sugars exfoliate and the shea butter or mango butter will moisturize.
A new product is in the works that will use Castor Oil
What are the skin benefits of Red Raspberry Seed Oil?
Red Raspberry Seed Oil is cold pressed virgin oil and contains a high 83% of Essential Fatty Acids or EFA's, the most abundant of which are linoleic, alpha linolenic and oleic acids. The composition of these Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids has been shown to reduce the effects of oxidative stress in skin.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil is an excellent free radical scavenger and antioxidant, and a rich source of alpha and gamma tocopherol as well as y-tocopherol, along with carotenoides (Vitamin A). With a reported use for the prevention of rash, eczema and other skin lesions, it also has superior anti-inflammatory properties as compared to other well-known oils such as virgin avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil and wheat germ oil (Oomah, et al 2000).
Notably, the Oomah study indicates red raspberry seed oil may act as a broad-spectrum UV-A and UV-B shield.
What are some skin benefits of Green Tea?
Green tea contains a cocktail of potent antioxidants called catechins, which help fight damage caused by free radicals. In several scientific studies, green tea extract was shown to neutralize the damage done by exposure to UV rays. Green tea’s antioxidant effects may help prevent skin cancer. Green tea also has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. If your skin is very sensitive and often red, products containing green tea extract may help soothe it. In addition, green tea catechins are anti-bacterial and can decrease hormone activity. Which means green tea can be an effective way to control acne, without the unpleasant side effects of benzoyl peroxide-based creams.
What are skin benefits of Cranberry Seed Oil?
Cranberry Seed Oil is relatively new to the skin care industry but has received a lot recognition for its unique natural balance of Omega 3, 6 & 9 not found in any other oil and high content of natural antioxidants. This exceptional oil aids in the absorption and utilization of essential fatty acids in the skin and is said to moisturize the skin like no other oil.
Cranberry Seed Oil is rich in tocotrienols and tocopherols which are the two groups of molecules that make up Vitamin E. Studies have found that this oil contains the highest amount of tocotrienols than that found in any other vegetable oil. Tocotrienols have also been found to effectively protect the harmful effects of sunlight. It is also rich in Vitamin A.
Because Cranberry Seed Oil penetrates the skin easily, it is highly nourishing and moisturizing choice, leaving a light, non-greasy feeling.
Cranberry Seed Oil is widely used in anti-aging beauty products.
If you’re suffering from itchy, irritated skin, Cranberry Seed Oil is a great remedy. It also helps relieve blemish complexions.
What are skin benefits of Carrot Seed Oil?
This essential oil is widely appreciated for its ability to help heal dry and dehydrated skin. Carrot seed essential oil has a high carotol content, which provides good skin-rejuvenating properties. It also contains beta-carotine and it is rich in vitamins A & E. It does not smell like carrots, it has an earthy scent
What are the skin benefits of Grape Seed Oil?
Grapeseed oil is pressed from the pips of grapes, as a by-product of wine-making. Grapeseed oil is extremely high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it light-textured and easy for the skin to absorb. It also has skin-softening properties. Grapeseed oil leaves no residue and creates a smooth finish. Grapeseed oil softens normal, oily and combination skins.
Grapeseed oil is safe for all skin types and is often used as a safe carrier oil for those people who suffer from nut allergies.
What are skin benefits of Pomegranate Seed Oil?
Pomegranate seed oil is an extremely rich and nutritious oil. Pomegranate seed extract and juice have been popular lately for their anti-oxidant properties, and pomegranate seed oil is proving to be even more beneficial. Not only does pomegranate seed oil contain high levels of anti-oxidants that fight free radicals and skin aging, but the oil is also a potent source of punicic and ellagic acids. Because of these properties, pomegranate seed oil is used to heal, protect, and moisturize dry, cracked, mature, and irritated skin, bring elasticity back to the skin, and for eczema and other skin problems.
Pomegranate seed oil is commonly used in cosmetic products to revitalize dull or mature skin, assist with wrinkles, and to soothe minor skin irritations. Pomegranate seed oil adds moisture, has natural estrogenic properties, anti-oxidants, is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, improves skin elasticity, and protects the skin. It provides relief from minor skin irritations and inflammation, including dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and sunburned skin. The conjugated fatty acids give it strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce swelling and ease muscular aches and pains.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ingredients Part Two

I have read several books on the cosmetics industry and the first shocking bit of information I had known little about was that many companies we buy our make up, facial cleansing and moisturizing products, body products, etc from actually produce two different formulas - the product they sell here in the United States and the product (a much safer product) in European countries.  The European Union came up with a Cosmetics Directive which they have banned 1000+ chemicals that are not allowed in products sold in European countries...the United States - 11.  There are many wonderful people and organizations working on getting the Safe Cosmetics Act passed here in the United States that would hopefully get our number up a little higher.
Anyway, I was shocked that companies bother to have two different formulas because to me that seems expensive but when asked why they did that instead of selling the safer formula in both was stated in one of the books - "Because they can."  Basically, American women will still buy the formula that is not safe.  And yes ladies, we do want the latest and greatest on what is going to make us thinner, younger, prettier, perfect skin, etc. but at what cost, eventually?  I would like to change that - the more information I put on there a long with many others will hopefully cause a few women to buy the safer alternatives and make these companies that have bad ingredients realize we are no longer going to allow them to essentially ruin our health!
There is a lot of information out there on these subjects and you wonder what you should believe/not believe, what is true, not true, etc.  I decided to think out side the box a little because I don't think we will know the extent of what some of these chemicals are capable of doing.  There is not a big list of studies and research done on the health risks associated on ingredients in our products because it would be extensive and expensive and once someone knows the possible risks, who would want to sign up for that study?  The research would also have to be done over years - we are just seeing effects now from the last 20 years or so.  Think about this - the numbers are out there, cancer rates are sky rocketing – in a much younger age group than you should see certain cancers, reproduction problems in baby boys, birth defects, earlier puberty that could result in earlier cancer diagnosis, skin problems, asthma, etc…the list could go on. Yes, I do think the way we eat doesn’t help this either but that is another issue.  Also, do you think that maybe the research and studies aren’t done because the information they would find out could cause the $50 billion dollar industry to go bankrupt? Who would want to fund a study or do one on their products that will put their company out of business?
Our skin is the biggest organ and yes it does have the ability to get rid of toxins. And the argument is that many of the bad ingredients in our products we use can't cause much harm because the chemicals and toxins in the product are in small doses – well the skin, liver, kidneys, etc. has a heck of a time filtering these toxins and chemicals because we are using these products every day and sometimes several times a day.  I understand that the idea of switching products and making healthier choices can be overwhelming and expensive.  You do not have to go throw everything out at once and replace it.  Start small.  What do you use the most daily?  Look at that product and check the ingredient list, if you are not comfortable with what you see, replace that one first and go on from there to the next product you use the most.  Also think about how much you are using and the size of area you are using it on. 

Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


By now you have probably heard of what ingredients in products to stay away from or the ones that over time can cause health problems.  Or you have been using Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database at to check health concerns on ingredients in your products.  This is my favorite website to check on ingredients in products because it is easy to use, the explanations are simple to understand - though maybe a little scary and it is reliable, factual information.
Here is a list that is being called the "Dirty 30":
active ingredient in nail polish remover
Artificial colors (synthetic): labeled FD&C or D&C with a color and then number
Benzalkonium chloride: a preservative
Benzene: used in aftershave and is an additive in skin care products
Benzoyl peroxide: used to treat acne
Coal tar: primarily in products used to treat psoriasis and dandruff
Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA): used as emulsifiers and foaming agents
Ethylenediamine: used in moisturizers, sunscreens, and deodorant
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): a common preservative
Formaldehyde: created when other synthetic ingredients are used including quanternium-15, DMDM, and ureas
Fragrances (synthetic): made up of thousands of different chemicals to create one compound
Isopropyl alcohol: most dangerous in skin care cleansers
Lanolin: only the pure form should be used
Mineral oil: derived from petroleum
Monoethanolamine (MEA): adjusts skin pH
Nitrosamines: toxic impurities formed when chemicals such as DEA and TEA are used in cosmetics and skin care products
Octyl dimethyl PABA (also known as padimate-0 or p-aminobenzoic acid): often used in sunscreens
Parabens (methyl-, propyl, butyl-, and ethyl-): most common preservatives used in skin care
Petrolatum (petroleum jelly): suffocates the skin
Phenylenediamine (PPD): used in hair dyes
Phthalates: simply labeled as “fragrances” or used in nail polish, hair spray, and perfumes
Polyethylene glycol (PEG): a chemical used to make things thicker or stickier
Propylene glycol (PG): commonly found in moisturizers
Quaternium 15: a preservative that also creates toxic by-products such as formaldehyde
Sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate: often disguised in “natural” products as a coconut derivative, extracted using harmful petroleum solvents
Sodium cyanide: toxin used create EDTA
Stearalkonium chloride: often used in hair conditioners and creams
Talc/talcum powder: proven to cause respiratory problems
Triclosan: often used in antibacterial cleansers and toothpaste
Ureas (imidazolidinyl, diazolidinyl, and/or DMDM): most commonly used preservatives after parabens
These ingredients are used in almost all our skin care products that aren't considered natural and organic.  Please watch the labeling and advertising of some products.  They may advertise their products as natural or derived from botanical ingredients, please read the ingredient list - there may be natural and botanical ingredients listed but many on the above list will be listed too. 

If the company is labeling right - the first ingredient will be the main ingredient in the product and so on and the INCI name should be used (some of these can be hard to pronounce, but they will become familiar).  The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, or INCI, is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, personal care products, etc. based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.  Ingredients in the United States are not regulated on how they are labeled.  For example, 1,4-dioxane (found in baby/kid soaps, bubble baths, etc.) is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, so the FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels. Very hard to avoid a chemical and toxin when you don't know it is in the product.
You can always use the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to check on ingredients you are unsure about.  As far as those ingredients or byproducts that are not listed on the label, do your research.  I'm still behind on technology, especially when it comes to cell phones and their capabilities but their is an App for the database too.
Ingredients Part 2 will be coming soon...

Thank You!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Benefits of Dry Body Brushing

It is getting to be that time of year again - dry, flaky skin.  Cooler, dryer weather, spent too much time in the sun over the summer or you might deal with dry, flaky skin all year depending on where you live.  This technique is also great to do before shaving.  Dry body brushing is done before a shower, while your body is still dry.  I recommend standing in your shower-not on, while you dry body brush.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and also a big eliminator of toxins and waste in our body.  Buy a body brush made of natural plant fiber, a course bath glove, a loofah, or a course body scrub.  The amount of pressure you can use depends on skin sensitivity.  Brush vigorously making circular motions and massage every part of your body.  Start with feet and legs, then hands and arms, then back, abdomen, chest and neck.  Once finished, shower to clean off exfoliated skin cells.  5-10 minutes of brushing is ideal.

The benefits of dry body brushing:
  • It exfoliates the outer layer of the skin.
  • Stimulates blood flow to the skin, allowing the skin to breathe better.
  • Helps eliminate wastes and toxins carried in the blood stream.
  • Stimulates blood circulation in underlying organs.
  • Stimulates hormone and oil-producing glands of the skin.
  • Contributes to a healthier muscle tone and better distribution of fats.
  • Rejuvenates the complexion which helps with aging.
Sounds a little crazy, maybe?  You will love it and your skin will thank you for it.  If you can handle using more pressure it is almost like giving yourself a deep tissue massage.

The information herein provided throughout this website on various natural products and alternative health principles is for general information only.  Please do not use this information to diagnose, prevent and/or cure any illness or health condition.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scare Tactics

I don't like to use them.  I would rather have customers like my products for what they are without having to scare them into using them.  Scare tactics work, people hear the message, the fear sets in and we fall for it - we automatically go do what the message is saying to prevent what would happen if we don't.  Will I share information that makes you think and possibly research to see what is out there, what is in the products we use everyday and hope you make healthier choices with personal care products and other products you use daily?  Sure, my idea of obtaining healthier people and a healthier world is to provide and share information that will help others make those choices.
It doesn't always have to be a negative thing but playing on people's fears has been going on for decades and we are starting to see consequences of giving into the fear.  Please do your research  - new products anywhere from laundry detergent to personal care products that promise this and that but what they aren't telling you is what you need to find out.  We tend to buy products for the convenience of them.  Doesn't have to include new products, could be ones you have used for years that could be causing problems.
When I started on this journey of becoming more green and eco-friendly 10 years ago, I focused more on protecting the environment.  Recycling, using laundry, dish detergent, shampoos, etc. that didn't have toxins and other chemicals in it that would harm our water systems, the soil around them and all the animals that relied on them.  I quit buying paper plates and plastic utensils even for the convenience and started purchasing cloth napkins.  I will go into this at a later date.
But then my oldest daughter was diagnosed at 12 with a chronic leukemia that you don't see until 50-70 years of age...I had to find out why and researched endlessly and then had to pick for now what mattered most and that was taking care of my family, getting rid of all the bad stuff so it would not happen again.
There is plenty of scary information out there and reading everything at once can cause information overload.  Pick somehwere you would like to start...what matters most to you?  I recently read Not Just a Pretty Face - The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry by Stacy Malkan.  It was a wonderful book and I thought I knew a lot and this one was an eye opener to me.  May not be one you want to start with because the information is unbelievable but definitely one to read on your journey to making healthier choices.
Thank you for reading.  I'm new to this so hang with me until I get it figured out and what I actually want to write about...have so many thoughts but don't want to be negative with information. :-)  Suggestions, comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

About Simply Rustic

We have been discovering how to live more simply, naturally and environmentally friendly for about 10 years now and still learning.  We are not perfect. We always try to feed our kids healthy foods and our bath and beauty products, cleaning and laundry products are natural and/or organic and we are very conscious of our environment and the need to protect it and improve our use of it.

Then, almost three years ago our oldest daughter was diagnosed with a form of chronic leukemia…it was quite a scare for us, and one way of coping with all the unknowns was to research endlessly. It was through this that made us realize how much our environment has been altered, and how much harmful stuff is out there in our environment that is almost impossible to avoid. Essentially, for ourselves and our children we’ve tried to reduce as many of the harmful things we’re exposed to in our daily lives, as well as reducing our footprint on the world. We try to buy natural and/or organic foods, and we love our big garden. We don’t use chemicals and plant organic and heirloom plants and seeds.

One of the offshoots of this awareness was the desire to see what I could create on my own; simply, naturally, safely and eco-friendly. It was through this desire that Simply Rustic was born. The body butters and lip balms became the starting point because that is what we use most in our home.  With a family of six, buying natural and/or organic products can be expensive. After some time to experiment and perfect, I had something I enjoyed making and loved to use. Before long I was sharing with family and friends and the logical next step was to try and share it with others who might be searching for a simple, healthy and all natural product that is both affordable and easy on the environment. Simply Rustic’s packaging is recyclable, even the labels are made from recycled material; most are 100%. Today, my creative wandering has expanded, and now there are body scrubs and lip scrubs too…who knows where I’ll go from here.  My small bit of caring for my family and the environment. Oh, and my skin—it loves me for it!