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  • Connie Sue Boggess

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.