I write a blog for the company. It’s called ‘Going Green with a Bronner Mum’, that helps anyone who’s busy and doesn’t have time to search through all the information; to help them transition to a healthier lifestyle.
What’s your favourite product in the range?
The product I use the most by volume, is a toss up between the citrus castille soap and the coconut oil
What Dr Bronner product would you recommend for sensitive skin?
Well there are two. If it’s sensitive skin that is sensitive to a scent, I would recommend our unscented, baby mild, castille soap. We say baby mild… it’s not a baby soap, although it’s certainly excellent for babies; but it has double the amount of olive oil, so it’s very soothing for problem skin. Our tea tree castille soap, is excellent for helping to remedy any skin imbalances, such as: redness, rosacea, acne, eczema. We’ve had a lot of customer feedback on them, that they just seem to help the skin heal itself.
I’ve recently had a stubble rash/reaction; what would you recommend for others who’ve been kissing bearded men?
I married one of those bearded men, so I understand. At night time, I would recommend a coconut oil mask. Our coconut oil is coming later this year to the UK. It may be too much for daytime use, but I find that a once a week application of it at night time, really working it in; and maybe layer a damp cloth over it for a few moments, to help the skin open up and take it in.
You know our skin like healthy oils. If it’s the right kind of oil… and coconut oil, is very very soothing to the skin. So I do that. And if my skin is raw, from enjoying my husband, or being in the sun too much, or a windy condition, it just really mellows it out.
What product would you recommend for dry skin?
A weekly application of coconut oil at night time is a good thing, but sometimes you need something a little more regularly. Our lavender coconut lotion is a very light lotion. It’s light enough that it absorbs quickly and can be used head to toe, but it’s light enough, that it can be used on the face. Use a little pea sized amount, let it soak in and your makeup can be applied right over it. It’s really amazing, not too heavy at all.
What products would you recommend for newbies to the brand?
Well you have to start with the liquid castille soap. It’s just amazing. There’s a scent for everyone. We have 9 different scents. Citrus is my go to, but our sales indicate that the peppermint is by far the favourite. It’s the original and it outsells everything else, by multiple amounts.
The peppermint is excellent because people think they know the smell of peppermint, but our peppermint, just blows it all out of the water. It’s so refreshing, it opens you up. It alerts you, if you’re not one for caffeine and are looking for that pick me up; or are coming in from a sweaty workout. It’s just completely rejuvenating and men and women alike love it.
However, if the peppermint is too intense, the lavender is a good place to start. Lavender has the reputation of being very female, however our lavender is a little bit spicy. Even though it comes in a purple bottle, it’s actually quite popular with men, as well as being not quite as intense as the peppermint.
With the rise of many other environmentally aware brands, what innovations do you think we can expect in the future?
For Dr Bronner’s, we’re just kicking off a campaign and a field of activism called ‘regenerative agriculture’. We’re looking at the issue that the farming practices that are supplying America’s food, and the world’s food, are very destructive to the environment, and until we figure out how to raise and grow our food, in ways that are environmentally sustainable, and replenishing to the soil; eventually we are going to run out. The ground’s become thirstier and we’re on this chemical treadmill, where it needs more and more nasty chemicals, that are creating run off and contaminating our water supply; and it’s just tearing down the soil. So at Dr Bronner’s, we are realising that as a member of the global community, and a member of our national community; we need to find ways to raise our food that is a) humane for the animals involved, and b) regenerative to the soil, and put nutrients back in it.
Recently we have been partnering with farmers that are working on ways they can raise a quantity of sustainable agriculture, that is enough to feed the animals, and enough to feed America. Starting there and moving on as a model for the rest of the world.
We’re still being active specifically on the treatment of farmed animals: supporting organisations such as ‘compassion in world farming’, that’s looking at more humane ways to raise our meat.
Away from KFOs, which are the feeding operations, where the animals never see a lick of green, and are only fed on corn; which is not their natural diet. They’re raised in filthy slums, and it’s just horrible. I think if meat eaters knew the story of where their meat came from, they would turn away.
So a lot of that really is consumer education, because if people start buying differently, then animals would be raised differently.
And why do you think the farmers choose to raise animals in those environments? Is it cheaper?
I think it’s really a desire to control nature, which is a foolish ambition. We have seen over and over, that we can’t control nature. We need to work with nature. And so to think that we can confine these animals- it might be cheaper in the short term, but in the long term, it creates even bigger problems.
And also, in the US, government subsidies of corn and crops, has really created a monster.
The story is, that farmers were growing more corn than was required, and they were going to lose a lot of money. So in order for the farmers to not be out of money, the government subsidised them and bought their corn and soy, at a higher than market value. So what did they do? They kept on planting more corn, which was unneeded corn.
The government needed a use for all of this corn, so began feeding it to ruminate animals, (who should be eating grass,) by trying to turn it into a fuel source, which is a very inefficient process. Rather than looking at additional crops, and rotational farming; and these farming practices that have been known for centuries as being effective. i.e rotating crops, and letting land rest. So it got us on this treadmill of corn corn soy soy, that wasn’t needed, and now we have this surplus. So it’s hard to jump off of that cycle.
So interesting. Now, I’m going to get into some frivolous topics! Where do you buy your beauty bits?
Well I live in bit of a cowboy town, and we are out in the country. I’m 30 minutes from a grocery store, so I buy most things online. And of course, I get my steady supply of Dr Bronner’s.
What product are you loving at the moment?
Well I have been on the search for an effective and safe deodorant (if we don’t mind getting into the nitty gritty here). There are a lot of problems with traditional and conventional antiperspirants. For one thing, they’re trying to stop the body from doing something it really wants to do which is sweat. and anyway where we once again try to control nature, ends up backfiring on us. So I was on the search for a deodorant that worked and was gentle. I even have made my own. But I’ve just discovered a product, called primal pit paste. It’s a little unconventional, in that it’s not in a stick, but in a little tub. However it works fantastically, and has excellent ingredients. It’s a small company- one woman with a vision. But it is available in the UK.
Which Spa or Salon do you have on speed dial?
I don’t really frequent spas, but we have a hot tub at our house. I live so far out of the city, that it’s nice and dark; so at night we turn off all the lights, turn it on and look up at the stars.
What do you love about London?
Oh my goodness. I love how easy it is to get from place to place! There’s so much to see and my eyes have just been full. I’m also an English teacher by education, so I’ve read so much English literature, so to be walking around and remembering references, from this book or that book: to the Thames, or the Tube, I just have this commentary running through my head. I’m totally geeking out on it. So much history.
What would you say is signature to your look And how do you achieve it?
So speed and efficiency, are often a top concern, and a priority to me. I guess if I had a goal as to how I put myself together, it’s to not to look tired. I mean even if I am tired, I don’t want to look tired! So I do go for that.. emphasis on the eyes, but of course the most important thing in not looking tired, is to smile.
Everyone looks better with a smile.
What do you think defines the London look?
My goodness. Well I have been looking around, and feel like I need to dress a little snazzier. I think I’m a little bit boho. I would say it’s a very sleek look; it’s a well put together look, and well tailored. I’m not seeing a lot of flowing things. I’m seeing much more tailored looks. Definitely in footwear: a lot of heels and ankle boots. I do have a pair… I really think I should put them on.
What last made you blush?
My husband loves to make me blush, because as much as we’re out there as a company, I’m rather quiet in comparison. Am I blushing now?
I’m very passionate about helping other mums. They’re my people, I understand them, I have come through the marathon years of early childhood. So I really have a passion for helping young mums, reminding them that they’re going to survive, and this is a season, and it’s not going to last forever.
No they don’t need to enjoy, every moment, because some of them really aren’t that enjoyable. Recently I was reminding some mums, that at some point, their love life will resume and their relationship with their husband will become closer to top priority. So as I was giving that advice, it was a little bit, blush worthy. And now I’m blushing again!
For more information, visit: drbronner.co.uk