My guest Cory Trusty is President of the family owned business Aquarian Bath. She is an herbalist, organic gardener, and mother of two active girls. Cory and her husband are both concerned about the environment and take care in making their products. Their soaps and other products are free of chemical fragrances, SLS-free, Non-GMO, dye-free, and palm-oil free, with no animal testing. Most products are vegan. Plastic-free shipping materials include paper, starch, and biodegradable cello bags. Cory’s background is in Cell and Molecular Biology study at the University of Washington as well as Masters study at a Traditional Chinese Medicine Institute. Cory and her family enjoy nature biking and the beach in their free time. She is also Vice-President of SolarNetOne Inc, an innovative solar computing company. We’ll be talking about toxic chemicals in bodycare products and why and how they package their products without plastic. www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/aquarian-bath
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Organic Body & Bath Products in Plastic-Free Packaging
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Cory Trusty
Date of Broadcast: August 15, 2013
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world because it is a toxic world out there. There are toxic chemicals all around, but if we know how to recognize them, and we know what the alternatives are, we can choose wisely to choose toxic-free products for our own homes, we can choose to remove toxic chemicals that can make us sick from our bodies, and we can choose to, together, create a toxic-free world because it really all comes down to our choice.
So what this show is about is about learning what’s toxic and what’s not, and finding out what you can choose from to make your own toxic-free life.
Today is Thursday, August 15, 2013. And today, we’re going to be talking about organic body and bath products in plastic-free packaging.
Before I introduce my guest, I want to read a quote to you, and this is from William Morris. William Morris, you may not recognize his name, but you’ve probably seen his art, which was made in the form of patterns for fabrics and wallpapers back at the end of the 1800s. And it has a very distinct style, it has lots of flowers and birds and things in it. And you would probably look at that and say, “Oh, yes, I recognize that.”
But it was at the time, actually, in England, when industrialism was taking over art and that prior to making things in factories, things were made by artisans. And William Morris had one of the last artisan workshops before industrialism took over, and he was fighting for beauty and art.
And I went to his house in England, and I remember—I don’t have the quote right here, but I’ll find it. And it was a woman who had visited his place of work, where they were making the materials and the housewares that he was designing. And she was talking about how beautiful it was, and how the breezes flowed, and that she could smell the scent of flowers, and that they were using all these herbs and things to dye the fabrics.
And it was just a really beautiful description, not anything like the dusty, dirty, toxic factory.
And William Morris said, “Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
And this is one of my guiding statements in my life, it’s that I want things to be both useful and beautiful. And so in my house, if I’m buying a product, I’m always looking for, well, what’s the most beautiful, useful thing that I could buy?
For example, I went to a Shaker Village some years ago, and they had carved measuring spoons out of wood. And so my measuring spoons have been hand-carved out of wood because I thought those were the most beautiful measuring spoons that I had ever seen and toxic-free as well and made by hand.
And I chose this quote today because my guest makes some products that are truly useful and I believe them to be beautiful, that she has both that element of making something organic, making something that’s toxic-free, and making something that’s beautiful.
Hi, Cory. This is Cory Trusty. She’s the president of the small family-owned business, Aquarian Bath. Hi, Cory. Thanks for being with me.
CORY TRUSTY: Hi, Debra. Thank you so much for inviting me to be on your show. I appreciate it.
DEBRA: Good! So Cory, I see from your bio that you studied molecular biology. And now, you’re making bath and body products out of organic ingredients. How did you become interested in making things that are toxic-free, and why specifically bath and body products?
CORY TRUSTY: Well, actually, I was studying Chinese medicine after I studied the cell and molecular biology because I was interested in a larger perspective on the human body and holistic medicine. And I found that I was interested more in topical application of herbs, so I started out making herbal salves for my family. And then, from there, we expanded towards soaps and shampoos because everybody needs soap. So that helped expand the business.
And then, I was also interested in really having products that were not going to create pollution for my customers. The shampoo of ours, they’re really an exciting product because it’s a solid soap-type product, but there’s no bottle, no plastic bottle required. So that’s exciting.
I’m interested in biodegradable ingredients, so that goes hand in hand with using the essential oils and other botanical ingredients, rather than chemical fragrances and dyes, and things like that.
DEBRA: Did you always feel this way about wanting to use natural things, or were you just a regular American consumer?
Was there was a point in your life where you changed your mind?
CORY TRUSTY: I was always interested in environmental things. I studied biology in college at University of Washington. And so a lot of the classes I took were more environmental-minded. I was interested in conservation and things like that.
Also, I’ve been helping my husband with his company during purchasing and receiving. And when you do that type of work, the plastic waste from the packaging can really build up quickly. And that was disturbing to me, so that narrowed my focus on wanting to make sure that I wasn’t contributing that type of waste to customers when creating products and shipping products.
DEBRA: I had a similar experience actually, not too long ago, several years ago, where, in my household, for years, my ex-husband used to empty the garbage. And so I would go to the store, and I’d buy something, and then I would just throw the packaging in the garbage. And even though I was aware of plastics and I knew the toxicity of them, still, there are things that you think that you just can’t buy unless you buy it in plastic.
And then I went and I lived in San Francisco for three months just on a temporary basis. And suddenly, I had to empty my own garbage. I had to take my garbage out to the garbage can. And I started looking at what was in my garbage.
And one of the things that really made a difference to me was that I was eating ricotta cheese at the time. And I was buying ricotta cheese in these plastic containers like you buy yoghurt in a plastic container. And I kept having these ricotta containers.
And finally I said, “Well, wait a minute. Isn’t there a way that I could buy ricotta cheese without a plastic container?”
And I ended up learning how to make ricotta cheese. And it was so much more delicious than the ricotta cheese in a plastic container. It doesn’t take that long.
At that point, I was walking everywhere because I was living in Downtown San Francisco. And I just walked to the little corner organic food store, and I bought organic milk in a glass bottle. I bring it back to my little apartment, and make my ricotta cheese. And then I’d take the bottle back, and exchange it for another bottle of organic milk. And then I’d make another batch of ricotta cheese.
And it’s a wonderful experience when you start thinking outside that little plastic.
We’ll be right back after the commercial break. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. My guest is Cory Trusty.
She’s the president of Aquarian Bath, and after the break, we’re going to be talking about bath and body products.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and today, we’re talking about organic body and bath products in plastic-free packaging. My guest is Cory Trusty, president of the family-owned business, Aquarian Bath. And her website is AquarianBath.com.
And you can also find a link on my website—well, you can go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, and it’s on that page, in the description of the show. And you can also find it on DebrasList.com where I have hundreds of links to websites like this—a lot of small producers, family-owned businesses that are making toxic-free products.
So that’s a place you can always find her as well.
Cory, why would somebody want to use organic body and bath products? What kind of toxic chemicals are found in them?
CORY TRUSTY: Well, some products have chemical fragrances in them. And a lot of those fragrances have phthalates, which have been associated with hormone disruption and cancers. Also, the thing about chemical synthetic fragrances is that, like the plastics, they’re proprietary. So you don’t necessarily know what the ingredients are inside.
DEBRA: Actually, I would make a stronger statement than that and say you don’t know what the ingredients are.
CORY TRUSTY: Pretty much, yes. The lab processing is quite expensive.
DEBRA: Yes, if it says perfume or fragrance on the label, then it could have thousands of ingredients that are available that could be in there. And each one of those is made up of at least a hundred ingredients. And you really don’t know what they are, or where they’ve come from, and it’s completely secret, which is, you can’t even find out.
CORY TRUSTY: And they get into the water supply also because they’re going down into the ground. So if you’re not thinking—just about the immediate consequences, you can think about the chemicals going down into the ground water, and consequences down the line.
DEBRA: Probably, the first don’t like perfume ingredients
CORY TRUSTY: Yes, I doubt it. What else?
DEBRA: What are some other ingredients that people might find?
CORY TRUSTY: Dyes, which are made from oil-based ingredients like petrochemical ingredients—so not necessarily biodegradable. SLS, which is a foaming agent, which can cause skin irritations for some people. What else? Some of these “glycerin soaps” like the clear soaps, those melt and pour soaps, a lot of those have been clarified with high concentration of alcohol to clarify it, so it’s more dying on the skin, compared to handmade soaps.
Also, other types of soaps that you get at the store might have the glycerin extracted from them. And the glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap reaction. When the oil reacts with the sodium hydroxide, it creates the soap, and it also creates the glycerin. The glycerin is naturally moisturizing.
The glycerin isn’t extracted like it is from the soaps that you buy at the store.
DEBRA: I think that’s a really important point because I’m always talking about the wholeness of things. A whole food, for example, has all its nutrients and fiber and it’s the whole thing that your body needs to have all those elements. And I think that most people don’t know that when you’re buying soap, soap is, as you said, the natural reaction between sodium hydroxide and the fat or oil, and it makes its own natural thing, which I would call a whole soap that includes the glycerin and everything that comes out of that reaction between those two substances.
And then if you go buy most soaps that are on the shelf in a big supermarket or something, they have now taken that apart, like industrial likes to do, and they sell the glycerin separate from the soap. And so you don’t have those moisturizing factors, and I think that that’s one of the big differences between an industrially-made soap and a handmade soap, is that you get those nourishing factors.
CORY TRUSTY: And the other thing about—actually, not just those soaps available from the store, but a lot of other handmade soaps, they add the chemical fragrances which doesn’t necessarily—they might smell good, but they might make you have an allergic attack.
One of the reasons why I avoid the chemical fragrances is from a young age, I’ve had allergies and asthma. I don’t anymore. I have allergies, but not asthma. But if I go through the grocery aisle that has the detergents and things, it can really set me off from just smelling all of that.
DEBRA: I understand. That’s true for a lot of people.
We need to take a break fairly soon, and when we come back, let’s talk more about soaps, your soap in particular. I want to encourage people to go to your website, AquarianBath.com, because these soaps are just so beautiful. Actually, all the products are beautiful.
There’s one, as you see the little strip go by on the top of the images in it, there’s one, I think you told me it was a salve that is shaped like a little sun inside the can.
And everything that Cory has done is just beautiful, as well as effective.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and we’ll be back to talk more with Cory Trusty from Aquarian Bath.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Cory Trusty, president of Aquarian Bath. And she’s got some really beautiful, effective and different sorts of body and bath products on the site. And we’re going to talk about some of those because they’re so interesting.
Cory, I’m looking at your unscented soap page. Let’s start there because I know that a lot of people that are listening are very sensitive to fragrances, and they’re always looking for unscented products. And you have so many of them, and they’re unique.
Let’s just go through and talk about some of them.
The first one on your list is the sea salt soap, and I’ve been using that and I totally love it. It’s completely different than any other kind of soap I’ve ever used. And as you say in the description, it’s harder than other soaps because it’s got so much sea salt in it. And I really find that it exfoliates my whole body, and it stimulates.
There’s enough resistance there that it stimulates that my skin and I just feel very, very clean.
CORY TRUSTY: Good. I’m glad you like it. I really love to use that one during the winter, if I’m having any type of eczema patch crop up, and I like to use it if I have any acne crop up or anything like that. It’s really nice for taking the itch out of the skin. Generally speaking, it’s good to smooth and polish the skin.
DEBRA: And I haven’t seen a soap like that. Is that something that you created yourself?
CORY TRUSTY: I can’t remember the name of the person who invented that type of soap, but I modified their formula. I never got their formula, but it’s basically our own formula, and there are other people who make that similar type of soap.
Mine is formulated to be a little more gentle, and it’s unscented.
DEBRA: It’s just perfect. It’s just got the right amount of—what’s the term for that? A texture to it.
CORY TRUSTY: Exfoliation?
DEBRA: Exfoliation, yes.
CORY TRUSTY: That blue unscented one is actually my personal favorite, and that’s the original version. And then I have a vegan version of it also for people who are sensitive to having a vegetarian type of formula.
DEBRA: So tell us what are the oils that you use. You have a regular set of oils, and then you have a vegan formula?
CORY TRUSTY: For this particular soap, it’s coconut oil, lard and castor oil. And for the vegan version, I use coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, and castor oil. And then about half of both of those recipes is sea salt. And there’s a bit of isatis, which is woad, or indigo powder. There are a bunch of different names for it, but the blue comes from an herb that I use.
DEBRA: It looks beautiful in the picture.
Here’s another one that is unusual, but I imagine a lot of people do it. You have a soap made with extra stout beer. Does that have a benefit to it, or it just makes it smell like beer for guys?
CORY TRUSTY: It’s more of a novelty type soap, but it’s also natural. It was made with beer in the water phase, Guinness extra stout beer in the water phase instead of water. And other than that, it’s just basically a regular soap.
The sugars from the beer make a little bit extra lather, but overall, it’s just a regular soap.
DEBRA: Okay, good. I think that’s a great idea. I could see that that would be a great gift for any man in somebody’s life. And just so that the listeners know how you think, the tag for this particular soap is upcycled from the Guinness beer pack.
So she’s using all these materials.
And I really like the way you stamp, instead of putting a label on it, that you stamp things into the soap. I have a local soap maker here where they stamp the size. They just break them up and weigh them, and then they stamp the weight in it. And I just think that that’s wonderful, so that it eliminates that packaging layer.
So tell us about your shampoo bars.
CORY TRUSTY: Shampoo bars, my original shampoo bars were the neem shampoo bar, and the sesame aloe shampoo bar.
And I designed them initially thinking about people with sensitive scalp type, these types of things because I was really initially interested in the herbs.
And then they got very popular, so we expanded that line, and now, we have a lot that are scented with different popular scents like our rose shampoo bar is very popular. We also have a patchouli shampoo bar that’s very popular.
And these are all scented with essential oils or botanical resins or waxes. Some of the other ones that we have right now are tea tree with eucalyptus, coffee butter, lavender orange, key lime and bay rum.
So we have, all in all, I’ve counted, I think we have 15 shampoo bar types now. There’s quite a variety and for different hair types. I have a couple for oily hair types and a couple for standard dry hair types. But most of them are formulated for normal scalp and hair. There are a couple like the sesame aloe and the neem shampoo bars that are more for people with sensitive scalp types—sensitive scalp types basically.
DEBRA: I really like that you have different ones for different hair types because I haven’t tried your specific ones, but I have tried shampoo bars in the past where they only just had one type. And because it wasn’t the right type for my hair, then I didn’t have a good experience with it. So I’m really looking forward to trying your shampoo bar for my type of hair because I do want to get away from those plastic bottles.
We have another break here. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio, and my guest today is Cory Trusty, president of the family-owned business, Aquarian Bath, and we’re talking about her wonderful organic body and bath products that are with plastic-free packaging. We’ll be back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and I’m here with Cory Trusty, who is president of the family-owned business, Aquarian Bath. That’s AquarianBath.com. And during the break, I was just reading about your zeolite detox soap with activated charcoal and bentonite clay.
I didn’t see that the first time when I was looking through your website. But it’s very interesting. I clicked through to your blog post about avoiding radiation in daily life.
So tell us about why you put together this bar of soap.
CORY TRUSTY: Well, we were concerned about radioactive fallout from Fukushima. My husband has been following the accidents since the beginning in 2011, and we have a Geiger counter going here. And we take it out with a—if it’s raining, we take in the car, or if it starts to rain, we basically check to see if the clicks start to go up.
DEBRA: Are you still monitoring?
CORY TRUSTY: Pardon?
DEBRA: Are you still monitoring today? And are we still having radioactive particles?
CORY TRUSTY: Yes. It’s ongoing because of the tropopause. Every time there’s a cold front, we see a spike in radiation levels. And also, we took a trip up north. We’re in Florida, and we took the Geiger counter with us on a trip to Washington DC for 4th of July. And basically, there was a gradient as we went further north. The rad levels went up.
And we wanted to have the soap for cases when we go out, if we get caught in the rain, that we want to come home and be able to use the soap that has extra scrubbing power. So we use the zeolite and the scrub, as in, absorption power. The zeolite is specific for radioactive cesium.
And the activated charcoal and bentonite clay are also good for binding radioactive particles.
I talk more about that in the blog post. You saw the one on avoiding radiation in daily life. But I also have a blog post about avoiding radiation in the garden, which—
DEBRA: Yes, I saw that. I think this is amazing and something that’s very, very necessary. And I appreciate knowing that you’re accounting this because if we’re not looking at these meters individually, then you don’t know. There’s no place. You just would have to trust what they’re telling you or not telling you.
Also, you may or may not be aware that I’m promoting, and take myself a product called Pure Body Liquid Zeolite, which removes heavy metals, toxic chemicals and radiation from your body. And I’ve been taking that regularly since even before the accident.
And so that’s what I’ve been doing for that.
But zeolite is the thing for radiation, so I think you’ve got it right on.
We only have a few minutes left, so I want to make sure that we talk about your plastic-free packaging. So tell us more about that. What made you decide to be plastic-free and how do you do plastic-free packaging?
CORY TRUSTY: I don’t like bubble wrap and other types of plastic packaging coming in to my home, Styrofoam and things like. And so I don’t want my customers to experience that from our company.
I use crafts, paper-padded mailers instead of plastic bubble wrap mailers. And I use cardboard boxes with paper tape. For filler, I use either paper or cornstarch peanuts that are biodegradable. And I encourage everyone who has a small business that ships to go to Uline.com and you can find all these packing materials. And you can ask them to leave a note in your account that you only want your products shipped with paper padding when they send you a box of mailers, instead of plastic, their mailers, it will have paper—just bulk, round, recycled paper type thing.
DEBRA: You sell other products, in addition to soaps. I want to make sure that we don’t miss those. Can you tell us what the other products are, and how they’re packaged?
CORY TRUSTY: I sell deodorants in glass jars or tins. And I sell tooth powders in tins or in biodegradable cellophane bags. A lot of people will call a plastic bag cellophane bag now. These are actually real—it’s a wood product, it’s a real cellophane bag, so you can choose to have tooth powder in a cellophane bag, or in a tin.
I sell cedar soap decks that are handmade for your soaps. I also sell lotion bars, which are—they’re like chapstick consistency.
They’re hard that you can rub on your hands or skin.
DEBRA: Those are the ones that look like sands.
CORY TRUSTY: Yes, they’re like snowflakes.
DEBRA: They’re just so pretty in the tin. Every time I look at that, I just go, “Oh, how beautiful.”
CORY TRUSTY: Okay, cool. It took me a long time to find the right mold for that product. Some other things I sell are herbal salves and balms, perfumes that are scented with botanical ingredients, not chemical fragrances. I sell flaxseed, microwaveable pillows, or facial masks for TMJ that cover your jaw and forehead.
Those are all made with certified organic flax. And for the neck pillows, you can choose scented certified organic herbs like lavender or spearmint or rose or chamomile. And we basically make those to order. They make great Christmas gifts.
And those can come in a bag or without a bag. It’s your choice.
I sell gift sets for Christmas, and different holidays. We had a nice holiday gift set last year that we’ll bring back again. It was a shampoo bar and a soap of your choice with two cedar soap decks and a lip balm. So it’s a nice gift for someone who might have sensitivity or they’re trying to reduce plastic in their life. It’s a thoughtful gift.
I think those are the main things. Lip balms in tins, in slide tins.
DEBRA: I’ve tried the toothpaste too, as well as your soap. And I liked it very much. It has a wonderful licorice taste, and it really got my teeth very clean. I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate your deep level of integrity about what you’re doing. And just your overall viewpoint about wanting to be safe for all life, safe for your customers and safe for the environment, and I see that in everything that you do.
CORY TRUSTY: I’m really glad you like the product, and I appreciate the compliment.
DEBRA: Thank you very much for being with me today. And good luck in everything that you’re doing. I’ll certainly do what I can do to let people know about it.
CORY TRUSTY: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Have a great day.
DEBRA: You too. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. We’re here every day, Monday through Friday. You can go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, and find out about all the shows, future and past—well, not all the shows in the future, but you can find out who’s coming up for the week. You can find out all the people I’ve already interviewed. You can listen to all the past shows, and see who’s been on. All of these shows are so interesting. I’m learning so much. I’m meeting so many wonderful people. And we really are talking about the crème de la crème of people who are doing the least toxic things on the planet.
Some of these people have been working in this field for decades, like I had. Some people are new to it. But everything is about how we can remove toxic chemicals from our lives.
In addition to listening to the shows, if you go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, you can also look across the top of the page, and there are many other parts to my website. The first link goes to the Q&A, where you can leave a question, and I will answer it, and my readers will answer it too. And some of my readers are very experienced in this topic.
You can also go to Debra’s List, which lists hundreds of businesses like Aquarian Bath that are selling toxic-free products.
Some of them are very individual. They’re very specific types of products, and some of them have hundreds of products just on one site that they’ve chosen very carefully.
You can also go to the next link. It’s called Body Detox. And that tells you how you can remove toxic chemicals from your body.
And we’ll talk about more tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow, you can call in with your question. It’s Free for All Friday, where I take your questions on the air.
I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio.