top of page

Who doesn't like to learn

With 2020's interruptions to face to face opportunities to take classes almost non-existent, I have toyed with the idea of doing zoom classes as well as face to face classes that follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC. But for now - Blogging is my way to get information to you.

For me - I have enrolled and am taking more classes. Awaiting patiently for the resumption of in person classes where I can see, discuss, touch and smell the products that I am learning about. As an Occupational Therapist, I have to get 24 CEU's annually for West Virginia Birth to Three, scheduling opportunities that are relevant to my caseload. The beauty of that is those CEU's if coordinated correctly, also will serve as the requirements for the NBCOT (every 5 years) and the biannual WV BOT.

In regard to Good Horse Scents, LLC - my desire for more education is a must. I love to formulate, understand the ins and outs of manufacturing, learning to use Adobe Illustrator to create different print labels, reading the FDAs requirements on labeling, developing the herbal supplement line of Good Horse Scents, LLC. Plus to learn an new technique - oh my it gets the creative juices flowing.

I have set goals for this year, and despite Covid 19 entering our world and turning it upside down, the 2020 goals were met. That's pretty fabulous. This year, I want to learn more about the making of herbal supplements, for health, skin and hair. I want to know better ways to utilize the apothecary here at the farm for everyday functioning. From planting seeds, managing their growth, harvesting, processing and utilizing the herbs that grown here in Appalachia! My amazing friend, Dr. Rebecca Linger and her colleague wrote this book.

Becky is a medical chemist, that teaches in the Pharmacy Department of the University of Charleston. She is pretty amazing, kind, generous, and honestly is one of the best additions to my Tribe of woman who want the world to be a better place. She sells this book not only on Amazon, but in person when we have the Putnam Farmers Market, when we have winter events, and on our website too.

Together we have collaborated to teach soap making to the students of UC. It is important that we educate folks about the beauty of nature, without adding synthetic chemicals (detergents) to products - I am not saying that that is wrong, bad or negligent - I am saying that if we go back to keeping our skin clean, moisturized and healthy we are going to be better off.

Educate your selves on the ingredients that are in the products that you use. Read the labels! True soap is! Whether a product is a “soap” in the traditional sense, or is really a synthetic detergent, helps determine how the product is regulated. So, let’s take a look at how “soap” is defined in FDA’s regulations;

To meet the definition of soap in FDA’s regulations, a product has to meet three conditions:

  1. What it’s made of: To be regulated as “soap,” the product must be composed mainly of the “alkali salts of fatty acids,” that is, the material you get when you combine fats or oils with an alkali, such as lye.

  2. What ingredients cause its cleaning action: To be regulated as “soap,” those “alkali salts of fatty acids” must be the only material that results in the product’s cleaning action. If the product contains synthetic detergents, it’s a cosmetic, not a soap. You still can use the word “soap” on the label.

  3. How it's intended to be used: To be regulated as soap, it must be labeled and marketed only for use as soap. If it is intended for purposes such as moisturizing the skin, making the user smell nice, or deodorizing the user’s body, it’s a cosmetic. Or, if the product is intended to treat or prevent disease, such as by killing germs, or treating skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, it’s a drug. You still can use the word “soap” on the label.

You can read the entire regulation at 21 CFR 701.20.

Labels provide the consumer with the added benefit of knowing what exactly is in the product that they are using on their body. Its my opinion that "Fragrance" is also a pollutant - essential oils also are not for everyone, I get that. But I want to know that if something says "Oatmeal, Honey and Coconut Milk" that the ingredients are just that. If the package says "fragrance" what the heck is that? I can tell you that living on the farm - the smell of honeysuckle is amazing - but I can't get that naturally in soap. If you purchase a product just for the scent - educate yourself on where it is created? A lab or nature!

This beautiful plant is Calendula (Calendula officinalis) it is an annual herb bearing an edible orange or yellow daisy-like flower. It is a member of the Asteraceae family (such as feverfew, chamomile, or Echinacea species) if you have allergies to those plants - you should exercise caution with calendula, as allergic cross-reactivity to Asteraceae plants is common. I love to use this plant - and have it several places on the farm. So that I can harvest and use it for our products. In many parts of the world it is naturalized, calendula flower is a cheerful ornamental plant employed by many herbalists for its beneficial properties. Calendula flowers can be infused in oils and incorporated into lotions, creams, and balms. The scent is mild - but there is nothing to replace the goodness of it synthetically.

A long-time friend came to the farm to get some soap, he said that his dermatologist recommended Cerave brand soap, lotion and more for his face. He said - he couldn't use it every day because it dried his skin out . . . hum, lets look deeper. What is in it?

This is a copy of the ingredient list from Amazon, if you click on the picture it will take you directly to the product. So let us go through each ingredient. I google searched each separate ingredient - you can too - and I am not citing the references.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate: Commonly known as Baby Foam due to its exceptional mildness, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Raw Material is a surfactant that is comprised of a type of sulphonic acid called Isethionic Acid as well as the fatty acid – or sodium salt ester – obtained from Coconut Oil. It is a traditional substitute for sodium salts that are derived from animals, namely sheep and cattle. It is naturally derived.

Stearic Acid: Stearic Acid is a waxy, colorless or white solid that exudes a mild odor. It is soluble in oil but only slightly dissolves in water, thus it floats. Stearic Acid is a long-chain fatty acid that, due to its 18-carbon chain, is also referred to as Octadecanoic Acid. This valuable saturated fatty acid is the main constituent of both Cocoa and Shea butter. The name “stear” is a Greek word meaning “tallow,” as it was often derived from the natural animal by-products and fats that were obtained during the processing of meats; however, Stearic Acid may also be obtained from the fatty parts of plant sources, which makes it ideal for use in natural formulations. NDA’s Stearic Acid is obtained from Palm Oil, its natural source making it a safer substitute for chemicals that may be found in cosmetic products.

Sodium Isethionate: A colorless, syrupy, strongly acidic liquid that can form detergents with oleic acid.

Ci 77891 is the color code of titanium dioxide. It's a white pigment with great color consistency and dispersibility.

Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine: Mild amphoteric surfactant derived from coconut oil. Clear liquid, mild characteristic odor. pH 6.5-8 (5% aqueous solution), 50% active substances.

Potassium Phosphate: Phosphates in detergent refers to the use of phosphates as an ingredient in a detergent product. The advantage of using phosphates in a consumer laundry detergent or dishwashing detergent is that they make detergents more efficient by chelating calcium and magnesium ions. The disadvantage of using phosphates is that they remain in wastewater and eventually make their way to a natural body of water.[1] While phosphates are low toxicity, they instead cause nutrient pollution and feed the algae. This leads to eutrophication and harmful algal bloom. (Wikipedia, 2021)

Ceramide NP: One of several types of ceramides, which are naturally occurring, long chains of lipids (fats) that are major components of skin’s outer layers. Research shows moisturizers containing ceramide NP can improve the look and feel of dry skin.

Ceramide AP: Ceramides are necessary for their water-retention capacity and adding them to a skincare product helps provide replenishing and restoring benefits.

Nine different ceramides have been identified in skin, some of which are used in skincare products. On a skincare product ingredient label, you’ll see those listed as ceramide AP, ceramide EOP, ceramide NG, ceramide NP, ceramide NS, phytosphingosine, and sphingosine.

The ceramides used in skincare products typically are derived from plants (wheat germ is a common source) or are synthetic; there’s no research showing that either form is preferred over the other.

Carbomer: Carbomer is a term used for a series of polymers primarily made from acrylic acid. The Carbomers are white, fluffy powders but are frequently used as gels in cosmetics and personal care products. Carbomers can be found in a wide variety of product types including skin, hair, nail, and makeup products, as well as dentifrices.

Glycerine: Glycerin is a humectant, a type of moisturizing agent that pulls water into the outer layer of your skin from deeper levels of your skin and the air. In skin care products, glycerin is commonly used with occlusives, another type of moisturizing agent, to trap the moisture that it draws into the skin.

Ceterayl Alcohol: Cetearyl alcohol is a chemical found in cosmetic products. It’s a white, waxy substance made from cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, both fatty alcohols. They’re found in animals and plants, like coconut and palm oil. They can also be made in a laboratory.

Ceteareth-20: Ceteareth-20 functions as an emollient and emulsifier. It's usually used in conjunction with other alcohols and fatty acids, working to thicken a solution and help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent. It also functions as a nonionic stabilizer in oil in water emulsions.

Dimethicone: Dimethicone contributes to the "slip" or "glide" felt upon the application of skincare products, making them spread easily onto the skin. In addition, dimethicone coats the skin, helping to moisturize it by reducing water loss and providing the skin with softness and coverage—without feeling heavy.

Behentrimonium methosulfate: The scientific definition of Behentrimonium Methosulfate, also known as BMS, is a quaternary ammonium compound synthetically derived from the oil that comes from rapeseed. Used in conditioners, shampoos, and lotions it also aids in providing extra slip in these products.

Sodium Chloride: Sodium Chloride is commonly used to thicken liquid soap and hair care products, which is not good if you have sensitive skin because salt offers no goodness or benefits to the skin, in fact it dries the skin.

Sodium laurel lactylate: Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is a unique, all natural emulsifier and surfactant derived from the lauric acid ester of lactyl lactate. Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, SLL, offers formulators good foaming, good skin moisturizing, and leaves a smooth feel on application. It is the emulsifier, of choice for natural products.

It is well suited for formulating all natural cleansing products since it is a great foamer, and is gentle to the skin. Lactylates penetrate deeper in to the dermis' dead layers of skin to give really good moisturizing, plus enhanced delivery of actives.

Sodium hyaluraonate: Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. It is a glycosaminoglycan and long-chain polymer of disaccharide units of Na-glucuronate-N-acetylglucosamine. It can bind to specific receptors for which it has a high affinity.


Pheonoxyethanol: Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in many cosmetics and personal care products. You may have a cabinet full of products containing this ingredient in your home, whether you know it or not. Chemically, phenoxyethanol is known as a glycol ether, or in other words, a solvent.

Disodium EDTA: Disodium EDTA and the related ingredients bind to metal ions which inactivates them. The binding of metal ions helps prevent the deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products. It also helps to maintain clarity, protect fragrance compounds, and prevent rancidity.

Dipotassium phosphate: Disodium EDTA and the related ingredients bind to metal ions which inactivates them. The binding of metal ions helps prevent the deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products. It also helps to maintain clarity, protect fragrance compounds, and prevent rancidity.

tocopherol: Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a natural and powerful antioxidant. It is also used in soaps, lotions & creams, body butters, massage oils, and lip balms to help protect skin cells, regulate Vitamin A, and assist in combating the effects of aging.

caprylic/capric triglyceride: Caprylic triglyceride is an ingredient used in soaps and cosmetics. It's usually made from combining coconut oil with glycerin. This ingredient is sometimes called capric triglyceride. ... A chemical process separates the oily liquid so that a “pure” version of it can be added to products.

Petrolatum: Petrolatum is a byproduct of petroleum refining.[1] With a melting point close to body temperature, petrolatum softens upon application and forms a water-repellant film around the applied area, creating an effective barrier against the evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture and foreign particles or microorganisms that may cause infection.[2] Petrolatum is odorless and colorless, and it has an inherently long shelf life. These qualities make petrolatum a popular ingredient in skincare products and cosmetics.

When properly refined, petrolatum has no known health concerns. However, with an incomplete refining history, petrolatum could potentially be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. PAHs are byproducts of organic material combustion, commonly stored in fats upon exposure due to its lipophilic properties.[3] There is no way to confirm proper refinement unless a complete refining history is provided.

Phytosphingosine is a phospholipid, a fat that’s naturally found in the outermost layer of the skin.

xanthan gum: Xanthan Gum is a natural gum polysaccharide created through fermentation of sugar (glucose or sucrose) by Xanthomonas campestris bacteria. Xanthan Gum is used in cosmetics as a thickener or rheology modifier and emulsion stabilizer. Our Xanthan Gum Clear is a higher purity, cosmetic grade made without hydration retardants for quicker thickening. It produces the clearest gels.

ethylene brassylate: Musk, powdery, sweet, floral, ambrette-like with woody, spicy and vanilla nuances. Ethylene brassylate is a macrocyclic musk, like most of those found in nature, it is exceptionally tenacious and a good fixative. It plays well with other musks and is probably best used in combination. One of the cheaper musks but don’t despise it for that it is the essentail workhorse of the musks but no less beautiful for it. See also Zenolide for an alternative macrocyclic musk that is also very well priced.

Cetyl alcohol: Cetyl alcohol, also known as 1-hexadecanol and palmityl alcohol, is a common ingredient in a variety of personal care products and cosmetics. It is derived from vegetable oils such as palm or coconut oil.

Ethylhexylglycerine: Ethylhexylglycerin has three jobs in our products: prevent the product from spoiling, keep the product from separating, and soften your skin. It does this by breaking the surface tension in liquids — allowing them to mix together and “soak in” better. The emollient aspect of the ingredient’s vegetable glycerin source also makes our products feel creamier and softer on skin, and its antimicrobial qualities help fight germs and bacteria.

What is is Good Horse Scents: Simple Soap? Ingredients: Lard, Coconut Oil, and Castor Oil, Water and Lye. Simple Soap. Getting back to our Appalachian roots - this was the first soap I made for my family. Biochemically - Lard is the closest fat to the human. It is a wonderful soap for folks with allergies - simply because it is the closest to our own biochemical makeup. It imakes the bars beautifully white, has good leather, and good moisturizing.

So here are you lessons for the day!!! Look up ingredients - understand how and why they are used - but why on earth would you use petroleum on your skin? it just doesn't seem right to me . . . and it doesn't make good horse sense!


13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page