Did you know that on average a woman uses 12 cosmetic products in the morning before leaving home? For men, it is closer to six or seven. Do you know what you are putting on your body? We have had our consciousness raised when it comes to what we put into our bodies—the campaign to buy fresh, local produce and groceries continues to gain momentum. By and large though, the cosmetic and beauty product industry is not regulated by the FDA, and purchasing cosmetics labeled “natural” or sold in a health food store does not guarantee that the ingredients are safe to put on your skin.
As consumers we need to educate ourselves and make the best choices possible. Fortunately, residents of Gardiner have a sensible option and an informed advocate for safe skin care close to home.
Meet Gardiner native, Michele Tomasicchio, local entrepreneur of Made with Love Products. Several years ago, in response to her own troublesome reactions to over the counter lotions and shampoos, Michele took a course in herbalism which served to jump start her down the road of research into alternative, safe ingredients as well as methods of hand crafting satisfying products in her own kitchen. When a lingering running injury set her back, Michele researched oils and herbs that would heal the body without subjecting it to harsh chemicals.
On her website, www.madewithloveskincare.com, Michele offers an array of her products, but she also spells out quite simply the hidden dangers of the chemical ingredients commonly found in products we all use every day. What’s in your toothpaste? Here’s an informative site to go check that out on: www.ewg.org/skindeep, where the Environmental Working Group maintains the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for consumers to do their own research on products from deodorants to baby shampoo.
What do the giant cosmetic producers hide when you see “fragrance” on their labels? The unfortunate answer: everything they do not want you to know they have put in the bottle. Not sure about all those glycols and sodium lauryl sulfates in your moisturizer? Visit www.safecosmetics.org to learn how much of all those unknowns are absorbed into our bodies over our lifetime.
Increase your awareness of synthetic, laboratory-produced stabilizers and fragrances on Michele’s website and you will also find her products for sale there. You can also catch her at local craft fairs and most informative of all attend a home party for a first -hand demonstration of her scrubs, salts, salves and sprays. Michele’s Succulent Body Crème is a best seller and has helped people with not only dry skin, but eczema, sun burn and the after effects of radiation for cancer treatments.
Michele’s goals include using simple, natural ingredients that she tries to obtain locally as much as possible. In the over 10 years that she has been preparing washes, butters, crèmes and therapeutic oils, Michele has developed her own recipe book and finds that working in small batches gives her the best results. In this way, quality and safety are promoted by her careful, time-tested methods. “I want to grow the company to be large, but keep it handcrafted in a facility out of my home,” she says. She envisions a building of some sort with gas ranges where she can teach others how to make her products and be able to reach a large audience. The goal is to get out of the kitchen, but to keep the products truly handmade, bottled and labeled with love.