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claudia-cusaniMy guest today is Claudia Cusani, Founder of Sage Canyon Botanicals. She makes bodycare products from organic botanical ingredients and her signature blends of real aromatherapy using essential oils—”curative plant essences that gently promote wellness.” We’ll be talking about how natural fragrances can be healing, unlike synthetic scents, which can be harmful to health. Claudia was a professional singer until fifteen years ago, when she took a detour from her music career to follow an avid interest in alternative medicine and the study of therapeutic massage. She obtained her license, set up shop, and built a practice where the use of soothing botanicals and essential oils became an important adjunct to hands-on therapy. She found they clearly enhanced her clients’ well-being and overall treatment results. The profound beauty of essential oils was a siren call for Claudia. Enchanted by their fragrances and intrigued by their vast clinical applications, she delved more deeply into the study and practice of aromatherapy and began to create her own essential oil blends. To someone like her, with allergic sensitivities who could not tolerate commercial skin preparations, candles or room sprays, these beguiling essences offered a fresh new world of possibilities. She decided to share her passion with others by handcrafting 100% natural and organic products using her favorite personal aromatherapy blends. And Sage Canyon Botanicals was born.




SELF-PORTRAIT 159 X 250 (3) cinerama -- yesteryeartranscript

Safe Scents: It’s Okay to Use Real Aromatherapy Products

Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Claudia Cusani

Date of Broadcast: February 04, 2015

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 and live toxic-free.

It’s Wednesday, February 4th, 2015. And today we’re going to be talking about fragrances and scents, and what’s good and what’s not good.

I know we talk a lot about synthetic fragrances and scented products and how they can cause a variety of problems and there are some people who, I know, are listening today are extremely sensitive to fragrances and there are other people who are wearing really strong fragrances and are probably making them sick and they don’t even know it.

Synthetic fragrances are something that we need to stay away from. But on the other hand, natural fragrances are something that can actually be beneficial to us. But on the other hand –

I remember many, many years ago when I first started learning about the dangers of synthetic fragrances and I started trying to avoid them (which was difficult, it’s a lot easier now than it was then), but at that time, I remember going to a little shop in San Francisco – I don’t think it’s there anymore – but what they did in that shop is they sold unscented products and then put custom fragrances in them for you and they were all natural essential oils.

I could make up any fragrance that I wanted. I was so excited because I knew what I was trying to avoid was this synthetic fragrance, and here are all these natural lovely natural things to choose from.

And so what I came up with my shampoo was a combination of vanilla and mint and it was so wonderful! So wonderful! I’ve never seen that in a commercial product that they made it for me and I just loved it. I realize that there were many fragrances that I could enjoy as natural fragrances and they didn’t make me sick.

Some people I know who are sensitive to fragrances do react to even in natural fragrances, but that’s their own, individual reaction. And I want to make sure that in a world where we need to watch out for synthetic fragrances, that we also aren’t throwing the baby out with the bath water and thinking that natural fragrances are harmful as well because they aren’t and in fact they can be healing. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

My guest is Claudia Cusani. She’s the founder of Sage Canyon and she makes body products from organic botanical ingredients. She has her own blends of real aromatherapy essential oils, curative plant essences that gently promote wellness.

Hi Claudia!

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Hi Debra! How are you?

DEBRA: I’m very good. How are you?

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Fine, thanks. And thank you for having me on your show today.

DEBRA: You’re welcome.

Tell us something about yourself. How you got interested in working with aromatherapy?

CITRUS BLISS VIGNETTE SITE IMAGE, 400 x 300 PIXELSCLAUDIA CUSANI:  Well, my story is sort of twofold. I started my life as a professional singer and music was my first love. After graduating from high school, I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and then moved to New York City, which was my home base for several years while I gigged at various points on the map.

I enjoyed it very much. The music world is fascinating; the business, not so much. The ability to express myself musically and bring joy to others was wonderful, but there was a subtext to the story that was eventually to become one of the main factors in my journey to Sage Canyon.

And that is that I have always been a physically very sensitive person. I was a sickly child. I was constantly unwell with respiratory and ear infections, fatigue and intestinal problems.

I grew up in a home like a lot of people do where people smoked cigarettes and ate processed food. We had a wonderful dog that I couldn’t get near because he’d make me sneeze. The bed sheets were washed in Tide because that’s what everybody said made them clean, but all they did was make me itch; and on and on and on.

These problems carried on into adulthood with constant manifestations of what I eventually came to understand where reactions to unhealthy aspects of my environment. During my childhood, I had loving parents, but I was a child during a time when nobody was really connecting those dots, as you have mentioned, between our environment and what we ate and the state of our health. There was very little guidance as to the root of these ailments.


CLAUDIA CUSANI:  So in my early 20s, just on my own, as a way to try to heal myself, I started to try to connect the dots for myself and I began to utilize holistic medical approaches like acupuncture and massage therapy, and I made efforts to eat more healthily and tried hard to avoid environmental allergens to whatever extent that was possible.

But it was like a full-time job; it wasn’t easy for lots of reasons. We’re all surrounded by them.  And especially then, at a time when there was less consciousness about it, you just felt silly talking about it.

And this was a time in my life during which I was singing in nightclubs all the time. It was just a challenging space for a singer with multiple allergies. People’s perfumes gave me a sore throat, cigarette smoke would drift up on the stage during performances, and the smell of the chemically-treated carpet would stuff me up before we even got started.

It was really sort of a landscape of unwellness for me, not just in those nightclubs, but in the world at large because there are so many toxic components in the environment.

So anyway, my passion for singing and songwriting carried me through to the year 2000. Then I finally decided that I’d had enough of the craziness of life in the music business, and decided to plant some new roots and began to study something that I had been fascinated by for many years, which was therapeutic massage.

So I sort of felt a calling to understand more about it, how massage therapy works beyond just the relaxation aspect, and how I could help others with it. And also there was an element of how could I perhaps help myself within the practice of massage. And you know what they say, you teach what you need to learn. It was a time for me to perhaps do some healing of my own and to set aside my lifelong occupation with music and let something else into my life that I felt might be very valuable.

So I enrolled in a massage school here in Los Angeles, where I had moved from New York in 1990. I studied lots of different therapeutic massage techniques, as well as aromatherapy and topical anatomy.

And after graduation I set up shop. I set up a small day spa. I built a practice where the use of pure botanical ingredients became a very important adjunct to the massages. It was in that context that I began to work with essential oils.

Discovering essential oils was for me like stepping into a wonderful, fragrant wonderland which I didn’t know had existed previously.

DEBRA: Yes. I have [inaudible 00:08:21]

CLAUDIA CUSANI: I’m like, “Really? I can smell these things?” And that’s because as a person with lifelong allergies, I couldn’t get anyone near scented candles, room sprays, moisturizers, body lotions, perfumes. Scented anything would just make me run headlong in the opposite direction.

And likewise my skin has always been very sensitive. I wasted more money over the years than I’d like to recall on face and body products that I had to toss immediately because they caused negative reactions.

And since it is estimated that 60% to 80% of what we put on our skin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, I had to wonder exactly what was transpiring beneath the surface when these things were applied, and I felt defenseless. I didn’t know at that point prior to my discovery of essential oils what my alternatives were. So I didn’t use make-up, I rarely used body lotion, et cetera.

So the recognition of Mother Nature’s healing plant essences — essentials oils — and on the flipside of that, the realization that most of the scented products that I’d encountered previously were really unhealthful and unworthy imitations, this was truly life changing for me.

DEBRA: I could imagine that.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah! And these were things I could actually inhale without fear of reprisal, and things that my body not only tolerated well, but actually benefitted from.

So that’s how it happened. I was really inspired by this discovery and also, by the use of other botanicals like pure carrier oils, et cetera. And the remarkable healing benefits of essential oils and these botanical ingredients and the fragrances, this just really turned me on so I began to seriously explore their uses within the context of my massage practice.

And I began to observe very consistently that the essences, the essential oils and the pure botanicals really enhanced my clients’ treatment results and even enhanced my own health. I was able to do a treatment without walking way going “Oh, now I’m all itchy and stuffed up from handling something…”

DEBRA: Yeah. We need to go to break. Hold on. Hold on, Claudia. We need to go to break.


DEBRA: We’ll talk more when we come back.

You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Claudia Cusani. She’s the founder of Sage Canyon and she’s made some wonderful aromatherapy products that have safe fragrances in them. We’ll talk more about that when we come back.


DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Claudia Cusani. She’s the founder of Sage Canyon and she’s made some wonderful body care products with safe fragrances as opposed to the toxic synthetic fragrances.

Claudia, I’ve read a lot of your website and so I know that you did some research in the past about these synthetic fragrances and that you make a very clear statement on your website that your product has contained absolutely no synthetic artificial or petroleum-based ingredients.

Can you tell us some other things that you found about fragrances, scented products that made you so adamant about not using them?

LAVENDER EMBRACE VIGNETTE, 400 x 289 PIXELSCLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah. Well, one of the things that I found out is that these synthetic fragrances – let me back up here. There’s a lot of what they call ‘greenwashing’ that goes on in the health and beauty industry, where they say, “Oh, this is all natural… it has pure fragrance.” The bottom line is that there are no hard and fast regulations from the FDA that prevent companies from writing copy that is misleading in that industry, and a lot of that happens.

What it is is that a lot of times, people are buying these things that are called aromatherapy or aromatherapeutic, and they’re anything but. If they actually read the ingredients, they’ll see that they’re not made with pure essential oils. They’re made with catch phrases. They’ll use terms like ‘parfum’ or ‘fragrance’. And what these are, are synthetic fragrance molecules, which are basically chemicals concocted in a lab somewhere.

They’ll make one saying, “Oh, this one we want to smell like French Lavender… this one we want to smell like Himalayan Cedarwood.” They just make tons of these things, but they’re basically synthetic chemicals and lots of them have been tested and found to have suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors. And some have never even been evaluated for safety. And that goes not just for the synthetic fragrance molecules that are used in these products, but lots of the other ingredients too.

Basically, these types of synthetic fragrance molecules have been known to cause the kinds of allergic reactions that people, they then think, “Oh, this is because I’m allergic to roses or I’m allergic to lavender.” But, they’re not…

DEBRA: Right. And they’re not allergic to those things. They’re allergic to the synthetic.

I just want to explain this word, ‘synthetic’. I think one of the things that happen is that a lot of words get used and people don’t really know what they mean. So whenever you hear the word, ‘synthetic’, what that really means is that this is made from basically, crude oil, the stuff they make gasoline out of the oil that they put in your car.

This petrochemical stuff that gets made into all these other products, what they do is they get that crude oil and they separate it out into different carts at different temperatures. And so some of it is very light and what is called as solvent. It’s very light and that they can make it into all kind of things. They’re just taking those molecules and combining them in different ways to make these things and they are things that our bodies don’t recognize. They’re man-made molecules. You put them in your body and your body goes, “What is this?”

Whereas our bodies have been designed and have the experience of millennia being around roses and lavender and all those things in nature and it’s designed by – I will just call it – ‘nature’s wisdom’ for lack of a better term as opposed to man-made industrial molecule that your body just can’t recognize. And so it thinks it’s a foreign invader. It causes all kinds of problems.

Some synthetic chemicals actually substitute themselves for other substances we actually need. Like fluoride for example will substitute for iodine I think it is (I would have to work that up) in your thyroid. So instead of getting the nutrition of the iodine, what you get is this synthetic fluoride molecule.

Things like these are happening with these chemicals all over our bodies all the time and so it’s really, really important. Anything that is synthetic. That’s what’s going on with this. That’s why it’s so important to know where the synthetic chemicals are and avoid them and know what the natural things are and use those because nature has very powerful human qualities. And if we bring those elements into our vibes, it helps our bodies.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Absolutely! And this goes to the issue that people are being led down the primrose path – no pun intended – with the term ‘aromatherapy.’ Although aromatherapy can literally be said to mean therapy through aroma or scent, in true practice, aromatherapy utilizes only pure essential oils. And today, there are about 300 different essential oils in general use.

So authentic aromatherapy for instance, it goes beyond the ephemeral effects of a pleasant scent. Thanks to the remarkable curative powers of those essential oils, aromatherapy yields a bounty of physical, mental and emotional benefits.

That is not happening if you’re picking up a bottle of lotion from the shelf that says, “Hey, aromatherapy!” and it’s just basically synthetic fragrance molecules. In fact, you’re really harming yourself even more as opposed to helping yourself. It’s very devious. It really makes me quite angry when I think about it.

So I say buyer beware, read labels, avoid synthetic ingredients. If it says ‘parfum’, or ‘fragrance’ or ‘natural essence’, none of those things are valid if you’re looking for true aromatherapy. And these are the things…

DEBRA: So what should people look for on a label that is valid?

CLAUDIA CUSANI: In terms of fragrances and scents, the only thing that’s valid is if it says, ‘100% pure essential oil’ or ‘therapeutic-grade essential oil.’ The point is, if it doesn’t say pure essential oil, if it says anything else, any other similar type terms, it’s not essential oil. And it happens all the time.

They now have this thing called ‘nature identical’ oils, which is another bunch of synthetic fragrance molecules that people are buying and putting in their products. I mean, it’s really insidious.

DEBRA: I really think one of the most difficult parts of my job over the years has been the difficulty in labeling and the terminology that people are using. And I just think that we should have the truth in labeling. Truth in labeling is what we need so that we can…

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Oh, I agree. I totally agree, and it’s not happening right now in this industry.

DEBRA: No, it certainly isn’t. We need to go to break but we’ll be right back.

This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Claudia Cusani. She’s the founder of Sage Canyon and we’re talking about safe scent versus toxic scent. We’ll be right back.

DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Claudia Cusani from Sage Canyon  and that’s It’s very easy to remember,

Claudia, tell us, your line of products, you have bath and body products and then you have things for the home like aromatic sprays and then you have skin care and remedies. All of these are based around your signature scents that are all aromatherapy.

So first, tell us about the scent part, so that people can understand why a signature scents. What difference does it makes which fragrance they choose?

CLAUDIA CUSANI: First, let me say that most of the products are based around our 10 signature scents. A couple of them are not, like the Rosewater Toner, the Natural 10 Pain Relief Balm, the Full Circle Soap. Now these are all aromatherapeutic and they use essential oils, but they’re not part of the signature scents schema. But most of the products are — the oils, the butters, the soaps, the scrubs, the sprays.

The thing about our signature scents, basically – you know I’m an artist. I come from a place of liking to create aesthetically pleasing things, composing music. One thing I found when I started playing with essential oils, this was like a whole new avenue for me to express my compositional self, make these nice compositions.

And what it grew into for me was because I have both the side of me that wants to really help facilitate wellness in the world and the artistic part, the signature scents became the forum where I could deliver optimal healing synergy in a beautiful aromatic bouquet. We want to operate on both levels. We want people to be really pleased and go, “Wow! That smells amazing.” And also say, “Gee, and it really works too.”

The signature scents we have (there are 10), they’re more than just captivating fragrances because they each contain up to 15 different powerhouse essential oils, between 10 and 15. So they are synergistic aromatherapy blends.

And why that’s different is that most aromatherapy products – even when they’re using real essential oils – the blends are typically 3 to 6 different essential oils, more simplistic. We use higher numbers of essential oils and that does create a synergistic effect. The sum is greater than the whole of its part in terms of what it does. It creates a more compelling aromatic complexity and also enhances therapeutic value.

Then when you get to the actual scents, they break down into different emotional and physiological effects. The simplest way I could think of to describe it in our literature and on the website is in terms of what I call “mind/body benefits.”

Each signature scent has corresponding mind and body benefits. So let’s say, for instance, the Lavender Embrace, this has about 15 different essential oils. The main ones are lavender, neroli and rosewood, and the mind/body benefits there are calming, uplifting, and balancing.

And that applies both on emotional and mental levels as well as physiological, although that’s a big topic and really too much to get into. I could document that for anyone who’s interested in more information. I could go into detail about what that means.

And each one, let’s say the Mystic Rose, the mind/body benefits there are pacifying, heartening, and sensual; the After the Rain, stimulating, balancing and focusing. And again, each of these blends has between 10 and 15 essential oils. And they each have distinctly different scents from each other.

So it’s a really interesting collection of scents that have a lot of depth and have a lot of value therapeutically.

DEBRA: Are there any therapeutic oils that help your body detox?

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah. There are many. When you say detox, you mean in terms of a mineral bath soak? For what type?

DEBRA: No, to help your body eliminate toxic chemicals.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Well, the reason I ask is because some aromatherapists (and mostly European ones) would say, “Hey, it’s okay to ingest essential oils.” I don’t recommend that. I’m not a proponent of that. Basically, the detox would come through application through the skin or inhalation.

So for instance, juniper berry is very clearing, very detoxifying. Patchouli is very purifying, basil is very purifying, bergamot, on and on. Lavender is probably the most therapeutic essential oil there is.

So let me ask you. What specific type of detox method are you referring to or do you have in mind?

DEBRA: Actually, there’s a lot of different ways to detox and we talked about different things about that and a lot of different things that could be detoxing your body.

There’s like metabolic detox where the waste produced by your cells in your body could get some support, but there’s also specifically, the way toxic chemicals get removed from your body that some toxic chemicals need very specific things. Other ways that you can support your body to detox toxic chemicals would be to support the organs and the system functions that help remove the toxic chemicals like for example, the liver.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: The liver, yeah.

DEBRA: Anything that you do to help the liver helps detox. Anything you do to help the kidneys helps detox. Anything that you use to help the lymphatic system helps detox. And so I was just wondering if there were aromatherapy scents that would help those things.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah, there are. It’s a large topic, but of the top of my head, I would say that cardamom is really good for relieving indigestion, so therefore that might help the health of bile and therefore, the health of the liver. So there are a lot different things that could happen.

Carrot seed is also known as what they call a hepatic. That’s the type of oil that supports the liver function. Carrot seed does that.

These things are really very much put together in blends that aren’t necessarily – I don’t have a blend at this point, let’s say, that says, “Hey, you have a liver congesting problem, so use this above all others,” because these blends are a little less specific – a little less specific meaning, they’re not remedies, except for the Natural 10 Pain Relief Balm.

What I have coming down the pipeline soon, what we’re going to be releasing are more remedies and they are going to be much more condition-specific. They’re going to be basically roll-on remedies, a formulation of essential oils in a base of jojoba oil and they will address different conditions like liver congestion, insomnia, sinus problems, et cetera.

The signature scents themselves have various effects, but to the extent that there are lots of different oils in there, it’s sort of an overall effect of the type that is listed in the mind/body benefits as opposed to the remedy effect, which requires a higher level, a higher concentration of essential oils in the product. You know what I mean?

DEBRA: I do. And we’re going to go on break and when we comeback, we’ll talk more about this. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Claudia Cusani. She’s the founder of Sage Canyon and that’s  We’ll be right back.


DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Claudia Cusani. She’s the Founder of Sage Canyon and that’s where she has this delightful products with these wonder little fragrances.Claudia, I’ve been looking at your website. I read a lot of it before, but I also look at websites during the break. I’m looking at your Full Circle soap and it says that it’s made from recycled botanical ingredients. What are recycled botanical ingredients?

SANCTUARY VIGNETTE--SITE IMAGE, 400 X 300 PIXELSCLAUDIA CUSANI: This is an interesting story, and a true story. My significant other, my partner of 17 years, is a real ‘do-it-yourselfer,’ among other things. He makes his own biofuel to power his diesel car.

DEBRA: Claudia, I just need to say that you are so much like me because – I just can’t believe it – because we both come from being professional musicians, we both had sensitivities to chemicals and my husband and I had a bio fuel. He converted a Mercedes and ran it on vegetable oil. And then he took several trips across the United States in this car just stopping and collecting vegetable oil and then driving on to that as far as we could go and then fill up with more vegetable oil.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Oh, my God! That’s so funny! And we do have a lot in common. That’s really funny. Brian also has a…

DEBRA: And I sing and you sing and we both sing, you know.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah! It’s great! I’m really glad that we connected. So Brian has, he has a Mercedes and he actually collects the oil from an organic café nearby where we live.

DEBRA: Oh, that’s wonderful! Organic vegetable oil.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah! And they save it for him. He has a big, huge 55 gallon tub over there. They save it for him, he picks it up. He has a still. And I guess you know the routine since your husband did it.

DEBRA: I know it, yeah.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: It’s great! And so as you probably know then, the actual natural distillate that’s produced through that biofuel process is glycerin, and in this case, it’s 100% pure vegetable glycerin because it comes from vegetable oil that this café used. And then…

DEBRA: Oh, this is so cool! Wait, wait. Let me interrupt you for a second because this is so funny.

Remember earlier we were talking about what synthetic is and how they take the crude oil and they distill and it makes all this different parts of it.


DEBRA: Now, what we did is we just took straight vegetable oil and put it in the car, but what you’re doing is you’re actually making bio fuel. And so in the same way that that industry takes crude oil and distills these things out, you’re taking the organic vegetable oil that’s left over from French bars and stuff and he’s distilling it and purifying It and all that and then you’re using it to make soap. How brilliant was that?

CLAUDIA CUSANI: It’s so cool! I mean, it’s great! He filters it several times. And so it’s purified. And then what happens is that the glycerin goes into a separate container. It‘s like this big block of gelatinous brown stuff. It looks like brown Jell-O.

And with that, he adds distilled water, we eventually add essential oils. We do have to add potassium hydroxide because you can’t have soap without potassium hydroxide, but it’s okay because none remains after the soap saponifies. It’s saponified for 12 weeks.

The bottom line is that it is so amazing, this soap. Because it has such a very high glycerin content – glycerin, as you know is a humectant, so it actually draws moisture from the air to the surface and it leaves your hands really super clean, but yet utterly soft, hydrated.

I use this soap all the time. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I need to use any lotion or body butter afterwards. It’s 100 % biodegradable. It’s 100 % synthetic-free. It contains no detergent, foaming agents, dyes, artificial colors or fragrances. It’s great for sensitive skin. It has no fillers.

I mean, it’s really amazing stuff. It’s really, really effective.

DEBRA: I love this! I love this story. I just love this. I wish you would put this on your website because it’s so cool.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: I’m going to do that. I’m going to do that in the form of a blog post. I have a blog page which right now is a little too hidden. It’s on the bottom left.

DEBRA: It’s hidden. I had a hard time finding it.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Yeah. I’m going to have the site redone a bit so that things are a little more accessible. I’m going to put that story on it, because I know it just sounds very mysterious from the little blurb that’s on the product page.

DEBRA: And make that you put a link to that blog post right here where you’re selling the Full Circle soap.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Oh, yes! I will, I will. That’s a great Idea. It’s really amazing stuff.

You probably can relate to this. Sometimes I tell this story to people and women might go – especially women, I hate to sound sexist, but they go, “Eeew, how is that good? It comes from gas.” Well, it’s not gas, but it’s hard to understand. A lot of this stuff like everything else about this topic is about education. It’s about educating people.

DEBRA: It is, it is. And that’s why we’re here. That’s why I do this show, to have education and to show all the different ways where you can be toxic free. It takes a while to learn this stuff.

I remember when I first started learning it more than 30 years ago, I just sat down with a chemical dictionary. That’s where I started.


DEBRA: I would look up some chemical that I knew like formaldehyde and then it would tell me that formaldehyde was made from blah-blah-blah, and then I can look up those chemicals. I’d look on product labels and I would say,”What’s this? What’s this? What’s this?” That’s how I came to know all this stuff after 30 years. It’s just because I can’t stop saying “What’s this?”

CLAUDIA CUSANI: That is a huge undertaking, but we’re so glad that your did undertake it and work with it because we need people like you out there who are advocates and willing to bring this stuff to everyone’s attention on a very consistent basis.

DEBRA: Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

So we only have about five minutes left. The shows always go by so fast. I want to make sure that if there’s anything that you haven’t said then, that you got the time to say it.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: One of my favorite taglines for our company is, “Satisfy your mind as well as your senses.” What that means is that, yeah, you want a good smell, you want a good skin feel, you want to feel nice after you use the product or after you smell it, but you also want to know that what you’re actually using is helpful and not destructive.

And to that end, read labels, educate yourself and try to raise other people’s awareness whenever possible also, and make informed choices. Basically, if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t spray it in the air. Essential oils notwithstanding — I don’t recommend eating those.

The point is, everything else that you use, it should be like whole food in a way. It should not be a list of unpronounceable ingredients that are really not doing any good. They’re doing more harm than good.

So I would say read labels, educate yourself, make informed choices because this is really a serious problem. The level of toxicity in the world is a problem for each and every one of us as individuals, it’s a problem for the planet and we need to raise our consciousness together to make a dent and get this down to a manageable level. Hopefully one day, we won’t be living in a toxic world.

DEBRA: That’s my goal. So let me ask you one last question about your products. This question actually came up.

I have People, my readers and listeners ask questions about products. And one of the questions that came up was, “Should you use body oil or a body lotion or body butter? How do each of those affect your skin in different ways?”

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Well, here’s from my point of view in term of our products. We have two products right now, a bath and body oil and a body butter.

The body butter is a more concentrated skin treatment for really dry skin areas. It can be used on any dry skin area. It provides a barrier. It’s incredibly nutritive and emollient and it works beautifully. But that’s something you don’t necessarily need all over, more for the areas that you identify as being dry skin on your body.

Bath and body oil, on the other hand, here’s why I make the body oil, which can either be used in a bath (and I know a lot of people aren’t bath takers), but you can also use it when you get out of the shower. while your skin is slightly damp. You put the oil on, very little. A little goes a long way. Because there are no fillers, it’s fairly concentrated.

The difference is that, when you’re using our product, the body oil, it’s just a few, very pure, very high grade botanical oils – avocado, jojoba, sweet almond, there’s some natural vitamin E in there. And these are extremely highly nutritive oils that are absorbed really, really well, so you don’t get that sense of oil just sitting on your skin.

I don’t recommend using any lotion or any oil that contains mineral oil because it’s just occlusive. It just sits on your skin and your skin doesn’t breath. It’s not all bad, but it’s not bringing any benefit to your skin. So all the ingredients we use are actually beneficial in various ways.

Now the only other thing I’ll say about lotion versus oil is that we’re currently developing a lotion, but it will be what’s called anhydrous. All of our formulas are anhydrous. That means we don’t mix oil with water in any of our formulas. The reason we don’t do that is because we don’t believe in using artificial preservative systems, which are just another collection of chemicals that are added to products.

DEBRA: Claudia, I need to interrupt you. I’m sorry because we’re coming to the very, very end of the show and I just wanted the time to say thank you so much.

CLAUDIA CUSANI: Oh, Thank you.

DEBRA: Claudia’s website is

You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. You can go to to find out about another shows, listen to past shows, listen to the show again and read the transcripts. So, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. Be well.


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