I’ve been on a quest to phase out my chemical-laden beauty products, and replace them with natural, cruelty-free brands. Recently I visited a shop, called Lavish, located in Mission Hills, San Diego. Lavish is an aromatherapy health and body care company, which specializes in natural plant-based products. One of the owners, Carly, was nice enough to answer some of my burning questions about her products, their ingredients, and a great cause they donate to!
-I understand you created a brand that donates 10% of profits to help fight against malaria. What inspired you to get involved in this cause? How do the proceeds actually help fight malaria?
Last year we launched a new brand called Botanical Me. It’s a collection of vibrant aromatherapy products made with exotic and healing plants from Africa. We source amazing ingredients like shea butter from Ghana, frankincense from Ethiopia, and lavender from South Africa to make the most effective, beautiful and healthy skincare products you’ll ever use.
These products are very close to our hearts because we donate back 10% to our partner charity, Malaria No More. Sadly, one child in Africa dies every minute from malaria. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Our mission with the Botanical Me products is to give back to Africa in the form of life-saving medical treatments, mosquito nets, and malaria prevention programs.
The idea came from a touching conversation between Jill (co-owner) and her husband, a Nigeria native and malaria survivor himself. During this conversation she realized that we could do something to help this very serious problem and save lives.
-Why is it important to switch to nontoxic, more natural products? In your opinion, what chemicals are the most important to avoid?
Jill and I both feel very strongly that what you put on your skin, and the products you use in your home greatly impact your health and well-being. Look, everybody uses products. Some people use A LOT of products, some use just a few. Regardless of the quantity, using clean, natural and healthy products is one of the simplest ways to reduce the amount of toxins that your body is exposed to on a daily basis. Give yourself a break! Don’t make your organs work harder or put more stress on your system by smothering, breathing, bathing, and “beautifying” yourself in chemicals!
We think it’s VERY important to avoid synthetic fragrances (perfumes) in products. We are aromatherapists and the foundation of our companies (Lavish and Botanical Me) is essential oil fragrances. Essential oils have health-giving properties; perfumes do not. Not only do synthetic fragrances lend absolutely no beneficial purpose to products, they are bad for your lungs, skin, and immune system. Save yourself a headache and use products that are scented with 100% essential oils. Also, ditch products that are full of dyes, multiple chemical preservatives, and petroleum. These synthetic “plastic” like ingredients won’t do your body any good.
-Do you think it’s important to use organic ingredients? If so, why?
Yes! Using organic is important and we do use organic and wild crafted ingredients as much as we can. If a plant was grown organically then it didn’t encounter any pesticides along the way, and this will make for a cleaner, more pure final product.
-Are your products animal cruelty free?
Yes! Our products are never tested on animals. We are definitely the human testers. Nothing goes onto the shelf until it is Jill and Carly approved!
-What are your favorite natural ingredients and their benefits?
We love using rich, creamy and exotic butters. Our lip balm for example (Madagascar Mint) is packed with organic shea butter. It is so moisturizing and so divine for your lips and skin. We also pack our creams with mango butter and organic virgin coconut. Amazing!
-Are natural products as effective as commercial products containing more chemicals?
Natural IS better. No ifs, ands, or butts about it. That’s sort of like asking… Are Cheetos better for you than organic, farm fresh asparagus? People aren’t made out of chemicals. I think our skin and our bodies respond to plant-based and earth ingredients. Even though chemical products might make your skin look good (key word, might) what are they doing to your cells and your organs that have to filter them out? We’ve had thousands of customers over the ten years we’ve been open tell us that our products are the best they’ve ever used. And that their skin has never looked so healthy.
-What product is your beauty routine staple?
Lip balm, lip balm, lip balm. We make the best on earth and I gotta have it. Also, good face creme. Our Vital Moisture from our Lavish line is one top notch creme. It’s full of pumpkin seed oil, honey, cocoa butter, rose oil, and collagen.
-What is Lavish’s best selling item?
We’ve sold a pillow and linen spray called Nighty Night for years now. People absolutely adore it and it literally flies off our shelf. Its a blend of 20 pure essential oils that are naturally relaxing, anti-depressant, and have a sedative effect on your system. It smells beautiful… like lavender, flowers, and herbs. Also, our Namaste Yoga Mat Spray in the Botanical Me line. It cleans your yoga mat and provides a relaxing aromatherapy experience. It sells like crazy at our store!
-What advice would you give to someone interested in switching to more natural products?
We love teaching people how to be healthier, because to us being healthier means being happier. When was the last time you were in an awesome mood because you were sick? We also think that today, people are craving a more natural lifestyle. What was once more uncommon is becoming more trendy and normal– but in a great way. We think people are finally starting to understand the value and importance of a healthy lifestyle, and we’re super happy to be a part of that. It’s a trend that NEEDS to stay!
Check out Lavish to learn more about natural beauty products, and to browse their lovely collections.