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The Suds Report Newsletter
January 2002

Hello and Happy New Year!

I know I am officially old now; I am actually relieved that the holiday season is behind us. I had a wonderful time with family and friends, but am happy to say goodbye to the frantic pace and excesses of the past couple months. In the spirit of welcoming a new year, here are a few of my thoughts about 2001 and 2002:

Noteworthy Bath and Body Trends / Events of 2001

• Products with dessert scents appear everywhere.
• fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish hits $58 mark; many more reasonably priced sugar scrubs appear.
• More and more "cottage industry" bath and body makers begin selling online, creating a much more interesting selection for consumers.
• At least a few of the major online beauty retailers really get their act together, combining speedy service, great selection and user-friendly online features (the leader, in my opinion, is and its sister site, They have been recognized for their lightning-fast order processing, they have a great selection and do a good job of keeping items in stock.)
• Shea butter takes moisturizing's center stage.
• Not Soap Radio becomes an instant sensation with its shower / bath gel.
• Men's products begin to come into their own, with appealing, effective products at reasonable prices. Two noteworthy companies: Anthony Logistics and Zirh.

My Wish List for 2002 and Beyond

• No more glass in the bathtub
• Lower shipping charges
• Water-resistant labels on all bath products
• More soaps / shower gels that are REALLY gentle and moisturizing
• More from Not Soap, Radio
• More independent beauty makers selling online
• Better descriptions of fragrances for products sold online
• Aveda, Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop start selling online

And the Winner Isn't...

That's right, we still don’t have a winner for December's giveaway: a fabulous gift basket from Chelmsford Herbal Soap Company. I randomly selected a first and second winner, but neither has responded. I assume that the holidays have something to do with this; I'll keep trying until I have a winner!

On January 15, we'll be awarding one of our best giveaways yet: a $50 gift certificate from This Chicago boutique was featured in the current issue of Allure, which describes it as "a spacious, sun-filled beauty emporium with row after row of hard-to-find cosmetics and skin-and body-care lines."

New at

We've added two new articles this month: Daryn takes us "To Gel and Back" with his look at men's shower gels and I offer some ideas for combating dry winter skin in "Bye-Bye Dry".

Soap Rolls: What Fun!

In last month's newsletter, I suggested "Soap Rolls" from as great stocking-stuffers. These are glycerin soaps shaped like old-fashioned sticks of hard candy. Well, I tried two of them: Cinnamon and Gingerbread, at a holiday party. The fragrances were strong and very festive. They were definitely noticed. Almost everyone who used the powder room came out saying something like "Are those soaps in there?", which made me wonder if they had washed their hands...but that’s another story.

Makes Scents to Me

A reader recently suggested to me that we rate bath and body products on the basis of amount of fragrance, saying that heavily-fragranced products give her headaches. I think she has an excellent point. I'm sure there are many others like her who are bothered by heavy fragrance, as well as people who feel cheated if a product's scent is too light. So, we will make an effort to mention fragrance intensity in future articles.

By coincidence, I was checking out recently, and noticed that they now offer their bath and body products in a choice of 3 scent intensities. What a great idea!

A Shikai Postscript

In my recent article on ShiKai products, I mentioned Shikai's Borage Therapy Lotions. After reading the article, a representative from ShiKai e-mailed me to clarify a couple points about the line. Here are his comments:

"The Borage oil in the Borage Therapy normally takes 2 to 3 weeks to penetrate below the strata cornea (top layer of skin) where the oil can help skin cells retain moisture (because that is what GLA does). Normally when you ingest other fatty acids like olive oil (linolenic acid), an enzyme in your body called D6D will then convert the linolenic acid to Gamma linolenic acid and your skin cells can retain moisture.

People with eczema, diabetes, atopic dermatitis, smokers, drug and alcohol abusers, or just people with advanced age will be lacking sufficient D6D enzymes (very fragile) and thus they can not produce GLA and intern their skin cells will not retain enough moisture to be smooth.

The difference between the 50+ (now adult formula) and the regular (now pediatric formula) are only two ingredients and there should be no difference in feel. The Pediatric formula lacks: stabilized vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) and L-Ergothioneine (basically a transport vehicle for the borage oil). These were left out because the vitamin C can irritate young skin and the L-Ergothioneine isn’t needed because borage oil moves very well in young skin."

The bottom line: Because I did not use the Borage Therapy products consistently for 2 or 3 weeks, I probably did not give them a fair chance to perform as promised. Also, note that the new suggested "cut-off" age for using the "Adult Formula" is 25 years, rather than 50 years. For more about this line, visit

In the Works

In the next few weeks, we'll welcome a new contributor, Melissa Miller, who offers a look at goat milk bath products. Also keep your eyes open for our article on chocolate-scented products. Later, we'll have articles on honey bath and body products, Kalianas vibraceutical products and novelty soaps.

Well, that's about it for now. As always, please e-mail us with any comments or suggestions.

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