Here are the answers to many of the questions frequently asked about our products.
General product questions
Q: Can you send me some free samples of your products?
A: We are a small company competing in a market dominated by industry giants. We know we can't possibly afford to compete head to head with these companies. While they have high prices and multi-million dollar marketing budgets, our marketing strategy is just the opposite. We keep our marketing costs low and put all our effort into product development, high quality ingredients and customer service. This is how we can offer high quality products at very competitive prices. However, this also means that we don't have a marketing budget for advertising, free samples, and printed catalogs.
We know that it's difficult to evaluate products over the Internet, which is why we introduced our heart guest soaps and sample sizes of our creams and lotions. These items are priced very low so you can try out a variety of our products and scents with an order under $20 including shipping.
Q: Do you have a catalog?
A: We do not have a printed catalog. Our web site is our catalog! Because our product line is constantly evolving, if we printed a catalog it would quickly be out of date. Also, catalogs are expensive to print and distribute, and we would have to raise our prices to cover those costs.
Q: Do you wholesale your products?
A: Yes, we wholesale our products to retailers. If you have a retail store or website and you would like to carry our products, this page answers the most frequently asked questions about our wholesale program.
Questions about our ingredients
Q: Do your products contain alcohol?
A: None of our products contain alcohol, because alcohol is very irritating to the skin.
Q: Do your soaps contain lye?
A: The answer is yes and no. All soaps are made by combining an alkali base like sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide with a fat like olive oil, coconut oil or palm oil. So, since the soap was made with lye you could say it contains lye. But that could be a misleading statement – let us explain why.
If you were to ask us “does your salad dressing contain lemon juice?” and we answered yes, you could conclude that this explains why the salad dressing has the tart taste of lemons. This is because a salad dressing is a mixture of ingredients, and in a mixture each ingredient retains its original properties, so the salad dressing has the combined taste of its ingredients. In other words, the complete answer to your question about our salad dressing is “YES, the salad dressing was made with lemon juice, and YES, the salad dressing contains lemon juice.”
However, what is true for mixtures of ingredients does not hold true for compounds made by combining components in a chemical reaction. For example, you know that water (H2O) is made by combining two parts hydrogen with one part oxygen in a chemical reaction. When the reaction is finished, the hydrogen and oxygen are gone, and you are left with water. However, the properties of water are very different from the properties of the components it is made from. While hydrogen and oxygen are gasses at room temperature, water is a liquid. While oxygen supports fire, water puts fires out. So, although water was made with oxygen, it doesn’t really contain oxygen in the familiar sense of a mixture.
Likewise, since the alkali and fat are combined in a chemical reaction to make soap, the complete answer to your question is “YES, our soap is made with lye, but since the lye is used up in the chemical reaction, NO our soap does not contain lye.”
Q: What is the controversy regarding Diethanolamine (dea), Cocamide dea, Lauramide dea, and other similar ingredients?
A: Diethanolamine (dea) and various ingredients that commonly contain diethanolamine, such as cocamide dea and lauramide dea, are used as emulsifiers (which allows one ingredient to mix with another ingredient) or foaming agents. They are commonly used in creams to enhance their consistency, and in shampoos for their ability to produce a rich lather. While dea on its own has not proven to be dangerous in the quantities typically used in cosmetic products, industry watchers like the Cancer Prevention Coalition and the Pollution Information Site are afraid that it could react with other ingredients to produce known carcinogenic chemicals such as nitrosodiethanolamine (ndea). On the other hand, while the US FDA states that dea is safe for use in cosmetics, it also acknowledges that an independent panel of experts has recommended that the FDA should limit the amount of dea that can be used in cosmetic products.
None of the products made at Lotus Blossom contain dea.
Q: What is the difference between sodium lauryl sulphate (sls) and sodium laureth sulphate (sles), and what is the controversy surrounding these ingredients?
A: Sodium lauryl sulphate (sls) is a degreaser and a powerful wetting and foaming agent. Because of these properties it is commonly used in shampoos, hair conditioners, toothpaste, body washes, bubble baths, etc. However, because it is also a skin irritant in its concentrated form, there is concern amongst some industry watchers over the possible long term side effects of exposure to this irritant, especially to the eyes. The cosmetic industry has responded that sls is safe in the small quantities present in their products, to which the industry watchers reply that while each individual product may be safe, what about the safety of the combined exposure to many products, each containing a small amount of sls?
Sodium laureth sulphate (sles, but sometimes mistakenly abbreviated as sls) is made from sodium laurel sulphate through the process of ethoxylation, which makes sles less abrasive and gives it enhanced foaming properties. While there is less concern about the abrasiveness of sles, there is a different concern about the possible contamination by 1,4-dioxane that may be created during the ethoxylation process. Industry watchers warn that 1,4-dioxane is thought to increase the chances of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, stress related illnesses and lower sperm counts. The cosmetic industry counters that neither sls nor sles are known carcinogens, and that.sles produced by reputable manufacturers does not contain 1,4-dioxane. Although a few manufacturers were guilty of producing contaminated product, this does not mean that all manufacturers have poor quality control and unsafe manufacturing practices.
At present, none of Lotus Blossom's products contain sls or sles.
Q: How can I find out which of your products contain a particular ingredient?
A: We don't list all of our ingredients on every product description, but we do try to list all the important ones. To find out which products contain a particular ingredient, look for that ingredient using the product search page in our store. If you are allergic to a specific ingredient, let us know in the Special Instructions when you place your order, and we will make sure that none of the items you ordered contain that ingredient.
Questions about specific products
Q: Do you use sls, sles or dea in your shampoo?
A: Our shampoo does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate (sls), sodium laureth sulphate (sles), lauramide dea, nor cocamide dea.
Q: Do you use sls, sles or dea in your shower gel?
A: Our shower gel does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate (sls), sodium laureth sulphate (sles), lauramide dea, nor cocamide dea.
Q: Why has my cream turned pink, orange or brown. Is it still OK to use?
A: Scents containing vanilla will turn creams pink, orange or brown over a period of three to six months. The change in color does not affect the cream's efficacy. There is a stabilizer available to prevent this discoloration, but in keeping with our philosophy of all natural ingredients, we do not use this additive in our creams.
Questions about skin sensitivity
Q: Do you guarantee that your products will not irritate sensitive skin?
A: We do our best to make our products as natural and as gentle as possible. That is why all our products are available without a scent, so that even people with the most sensitive of skins can use them. However, we cannot guarantee that our products will not cause irritation. No company can guarantee that. Everyone's skin is different, and some people have sensitivities or allergies to specific ingredients that are normally non-irritating. This is not unique to skin care ingredients. It also applies to foods, drugs and other products. This is why it is a good idea to do a patch test before using any new skin care product.
Q: I have particularly sensitive skin. Are there any products I shouldn't use?
A: People with particularly sensitive skin should not use our glycolic shea butter (this item is not available in our on-line store). Glycolic acid (AHA) is a skin irritant. Even for people with normal skin, we do not recommend that they apply AHA more that two or three times a week.
If you have particularly sensitive skin, we suggest that you avoid our scents that have a caution regarding skin sensitivity.
We recommend that everyone does a patch test when trying a product that has an ingredient they haven't tried before. This is particularly important for people with sensitive skin.
Q: How do I do a patch test?
A: Apply a small amount of the product to the inside of your wrist or elbow and leave uncovered for twenty four hours. This area must not be washed for this period of time, so the best time to start a patch test is right after you take your daily shower. If there are any signs of itching, redness or swelling during the 24 hour period, then you shouldn't use the product.
Q: Do you make any products especially useful to people with rosacea?
A: According to the the National Rosacea Society, the primary treatment for this condition is with antibiotics, and by managing your lifestyle to avoid factors that can trigger flare-ups, such as sun exposure, emotional stress, hot or cold weather, wind, alcohol, spicy foods, heavy exercise, hot baths, heated beverages and certain skin-care products.
Since we do not sell medicinal products, by law we cannot make any claims that our products are effective for this condition. We can, however, say that most of our creams and lotions do not contain the ingredients listed on the National Rosacea Society's list of skin care tripwires - a list of ingredients that could cause rosacea flare-ups.
One of our products that we suggest you try is our Emu and Aloe Cream. Emu oil and aloe vera are well-known for their healing properties, and kukui nut oil is frequently recommended to help heal rosacea. Like most of our products, this cream is available unscented (scents are a tripwire for rosacea).
Q: What if I have a question that is not answered on this page?
A: We have tried to answer every question on our website, so the first step is to use our search page to see if you can find another page on our site that might have the answer to your question. If that doesn't work, please e-mail your question to us. Actually, we look forward to receiving your questions. This is how we know what is important to our customers, and how we can find out what information is missing on our web site. This FAQ is based on questions that were e-mailed to us by customers like you!