June 1, 2010 Written by TaylorH
We have seven new goats who will be gabbing it up on our blog (AKA cutesy names for our different blog columns)
To get to know them better, we asked each of them, “Which Chivas soap best describes you?”
- Gourmet Goat: She is our in-house chef. She is fascinated with creating and trying new recipes with goat milk – from homemade cheese to raw milk shakes. “The best soap that describes me would have to be Herb Garden goat milk soap. When I am not in the kitchen, I’m in my garden picking fresh herbs for my next recipe. This soap uses some of my favorite herbs – basil, rosemary & fennel.”
- Gifting Goat: Consider her your personal shopper. She will offer you gift advice for your family and friends for all occasions. (And you might find a little something for yourself too!) “If you’re giving a gift, your best bet is the Starter Kit which let’s someone new to Chivas try a little of everything – a goat milk soap, facial creme, lip balm and bath salt! ”
- Green Goat: He is focused on making the world a better place. He will update you on green living tips, ways to give back in your community and how to reduce your carbon footprint. “All the soaps are eco-friendly but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d say the Lemongrass goat milk soap. I love the outdoors and the tea tree and citronella essential oils in this soap naturally deter insects to keep me bug- free!”
- Gossip Goat: She loves to talk… and talk… and talk. She will update you on the latest Chivas news from the farm, newest trends and any other goat gossip. “Since I’m always out talking with everyone, I have to look my best. I rely on the Clear Complexion goat milk facial soap to keep my skin blemish free and red carpet ready.”
- Granny Goat: Every family has their matriarch and Granny Goat is ours! She will provide that motherly advice and wisdom we all need in our lives. “My favorite soap is Orange Spice goat milk soap. It is so rich with the cocoa butter and it smells so wonderful. It always reminds me of Thanksgiving and spending time with my family.”
- GTD Goat: He is obsessed with GTD – “getting things done” – and wants to share everything he’s read up about or tried himself to get more organized, productive and efficient. “I’m a minimalist so I like that all Chivas soaps are three-in-one; they’re good for body, hands and face. For example, the Lavender Oatmeal goat milk soap has oatmeal (which is a gentle exfoliant for the face), lavender essential oil (which is a natural anti-septic for the hands) and fair trade shea butter (which keeps your body silky smooth).”
- Guru Goat: She is our natural skin care guru. She knows everything about natural ingredients, DIY skin care recipes and beauty tips. “So many people ask me for advice about how to treat their sensitive skin and I always recommend the Fragrance Free goat milk soap because it is the most gentle and nourishing.”
October 1, 2009 Written by LaurenJ
Do you have the tendency of going to a website to buy 1 or 2 items and then end up with an on-line shopping cart that is overflowing? Well I do! (But I also have a solution…) Last week I visited www.MountainRoseHerbs.com to buy comfrey root powder for our Herb Garden goat milk soap, witch hazel for our Clear Complexion goat milk soap, and a few new ingredients to test like vanilla bean powder, hazelnut extract and chlorella powder.
But then I remembered that Mountain Rose Herbs (which specializes in organic, fair trade, and sustainable herbs, spices and teas) also sells bulk Maca Root & Lecithin powders which I like to use in my morning goat milk-based shakes. So “click, click” those got added to my cart. Soon followed by…
- vanilla bean (because I had just gone to Cafe Flourish where I had an amazing vegan shake made with coconut water, dates, and vanilla beans)
- kelp and dulse powder (because a friend and I had recently taken a cooking class, which focused on macrobiotic & vegan Japanese recipes, many of which include kelp, dulse and other seaweeds)
- psyllium husk (because a friend told me it would help my brother’s irritable bowel syndrome)
- club moss, also known as Lycopodium clavatum (because someone at Whole Foods told me it would help my Dad’s high cholesterol)
- hibiscus flowers (because I had tried citrus rose tea and loved it)
- cacao nib powder (just because it can be hard to find in powder form at a reasonable price)
… see at least I had really good reasons! HAH! Well, needless to say it felt like Christmas when the shipment arrived! And not just because I was receiving but also because I would be giving. I had a plan to divvy up a number of the bulk items into smaller jars and bags to share with friends. Here’s how I did it…
1. Grab your supplies: Mason canning jars (so cheap and easy to find at your local supermarket), labeler (a nerdy must in my book), and any other cutesy decorations like cards, stamps and ribbons. You can find resealable bags, for example, from www.PaperMart.com and specialty jars from www.uline.com.
2. Separate each bulk item into smaller jars or bags (depending on the size of the product and/or how much you like the person)
Above is the lecithin powder in a small Mason jar. This one I’m actually taking home to my apartment for myself and leaving the big bag at my parent’s home (my Mom loves when I make her shakes with it!)
Above is the Vanilla Bean Powder that I poured into three little bags, which I’m just sending in an envelope with a note to my friends Amy and Tracy who shared that yummy shake with me at Cafe Flourish made with Vanilla Bean. Now they can try their own re-creation at home.
3. Decorate the jar or bag per your energy level: Hand-write on cap with Sharpie if you’re in a rush, print a label if you’re feeling organized, or stamp a tag and tie on with a ribbon if you’re feeling super-Martha!
4. Print up the product descriptions for each item and put in a gift bag for your friends and family.
Ta Dah! You get a good deal on bulk items and you get to show your friends you care with a small gift. Everyone is happy In fact, the Chivas Skin Care team was particularly happy this evening when I tried my hand at a new smoothie recipe made with many of the ingredients above.
September 21, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Used as preservatives, parabens are a class of chemicals that appear on ingredient labels as Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben and Propylparaben, among others. The next time you’re in the drugstore, take a look at the labels on sunscreen, skin care, hair care, and cosmetics, and you’ll notice that many contain parabens.
Although still used in thousands of personal care products, studies suggest that parabens disrupt the endocrine system, affecting fertility and hormone levels. Another study, published in the 2004 Journal of Applied Toxicology, found parabens in 18 of 20 samples of breast tumors.
Though the full effects of parabens are still unknown, we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks to your health. Adhering to the precautionary principle, every one of our products is proudly paraben-free.
Curious to learn more? We suggest reading up! To start, you can check out The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, an excellent resource for learning more about what’s really in the products you use. Our co-founder Lauren discusses other dangers of commercial skin care here.
August 13, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Want to learn more about the process of making our goat milk soap? Check out this podcast, produced by the team at Lime. The video includes interviews with Chivas Skin Care co-founders Donna and Lauren Johanson, plus a tour of our farm and factory.
June 25, 2009 Written by LaurenJ
When I found myself ‘addicted’ to my many brands of medicated lip balm, I realized I needed an intervention. And so my mom and I formulated Chivas Vegan Lip Balm using high-quality ingredients, quite different from many of the ‘other’ lip balms on the market. The result? I’ve officially kicked my must-reapply habit. And so can you!
What makes our lip balms different? And what exactly is a Vegan lip balm? And what are some of those ingredients in the ‘other’ lip balms anyway? You asked; we answer.
Q: I often see lanolin as an ingredient in lip balm. What is it? Why doesn’t Chivas use it?
A: Lanolin is a greasy yellow substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool bearing animals, usually sheep. Different forms of lanolin can be found in shoe polish, printing ink, and hairspray.
For some people, using cosmetic products that contain impure lanolin can result in an allergic reaction.
That certainly doesn’t sound too appealing to us! Unlike many others on the market, our lip balm is proudly lanolin-free.
Q: What does it mean when you say your lip balm is vegan?
A: A vegan product is a product that does not contain any kind of animal product. That said, you won’t find animal products like lanolin and beeswax in our lip balm. Instead of beeswax we use plant-derived candelilla wax, which serves as the hardening agent in the balm. We also add coconut oil and Shea Butter, which at room temperature are hard oils. This combination keeps our lip balm firm yet smooth.
Q: What other ingredients are unique to Chivas’ lip balm?
A: The other oils contained in our lip balm are not often found in lip balms. Why? Because they are of such high quality.
These high quality oils set our Chivas Original Vegan Lip Balm ahead of the rest:
- Jojoba Oil: Made from the seed of the jojoba plant, and is an exceptional moisturizer.
- Rosehip Oil: Has a high vitamin-C content and is often found in anti-aging products. The fatty acids in rosehip oil are good at regenerating the skin and smoothing out wrinkles.
- Vitamin E: Nourishes the skin and leaves it soft.
- Neem Oil: A vegetable oil made from the fruits and seeds of Neem trees. Also said to be very therapeutic.
May 15, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
We’ve had several customers express interest in learning more about our goats. For the curious, we’ve prepared some FAQs related to the goats and their birthing process.
Q: Who is in charge of the goats?
A: Donna is certainly our resident expert on our French Alpine goats. She’s been raising farm animals for years, and this photo of her with Lauren and her eldest son John speaks to her experience.
Q: Will you keep all the baby goats (aka kids) that are born this year?
A: Most of the kids that were just born will stay on our farm. We already have demand for any kids we can’t keep from people who are interested in starting to raise their own goats.
Q: Is a veterinarian involved in the birthing process?
A: Our vet handles check-ups, but Donna takes care of the day-to-day issues that may arrive. If we have a problem, then we certainly involve our vet. The way a goat handles her pregnancy is different for each mother, just like with humans.
Q. How much milk do your goats produce? Do you still milk your goats before and after they give birth?
A. Depending on the season, our goats produce between 1-2 gallons of milk each day. Donna hand-milks the goats twice a day and enjoys this time as a reflective, relaxing part of her day. Our goats aren’t milked during the last few months of their pregnancies and until after about three months after they give birth, when we wean the kids. We miss having fresh milk for our morning coffee and other goodies, but we think it’s important for the kids to have this nourishment from their mothers. This practice goes against industrial farming practices where kids are taken off their mother immediately and fed a powdered milk replacer.
Q. If you’re not milking the goats, then where do you get milk for your soaps?
A: To plan ahead for being without milk for a few months, we store surplus milk in our industrial freezers and use this in our soaps while the goats prepare for their kids.