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The Suds Report Newsletter
May 2002

Hello All:

First off, it's our birthday! is officially one-year old today. I want to take this opportunity to thank our tireless, creative contributors for all their wonderful work. Thanks to them, I think we have assembled a nice collection of articles over the past year. Thanks also to all of you for giving us an audience, and for all your encouraging feedback.

It's kind of funny, when I first considered creating the site, I wondered if I would have trouble finding enough new material for such a narrowly-focused topic. Well, I continue to be astounded at how much there is to explore on this topic, and so I see no end in sight to fresh material for the site.

New at

We've added two new articles this month. First, get the scoop on some clever novelty soaps in The Real Dope on Cool Soap.

Then, discover how to liven up kids' baths in Run! Daddy's Givin' Baths! For a refreshing change, this article is written by a father. That's right, guys, it is possible for you to bathe your kids.

Bath, Body and Mother's Day

Bath and body products can make wonderful Mother's Day presents, but, like any other personal item, they can be a little tricky to select for someone else. I've come up with a list of guidelines that I think can help find something that will be appreciated. Of course, you know your mom best, so feel free to bend or completely ignore these guidelines!

• It's spring, so go with fresh, spring-like scents. Florals, fruity scents or fresh herbal scents can all be nice for warmer weather.

• Don't make her feel old. Now that I've joined the club, "Mothers" don't seem as old as they used to. Please, no "old lady" products.  Ask yourself this question:  "Would my grandmother use this?"

• Go for the pretty package. When I'm buying products for myself, I don't care so much about fancy packaging. For gifts, though, I think it makes a difference.  Gift sets and gift baskets are always good.

Here are a few selections I like:

• Essentiel Elements has a nice assortment of gift sets, elegant but reasonably priced.  Plus, they offer fresh, appealing scents including lavender, rosemary and citrus.

• Crabtree and Evelyn also has some nice gift sets, including Lavender Hatbox and  crabtree and evelyn lavender hatbox Aloe Vera Essentials.  Find them at

• Another fun option: blisslabs' Packed Fresh Bliss Gift, with citrus and eucalyptus scented products, including a candle.

• For elegant packaging and creative fragrance, it's hard to beat They have a nice selection of gift packages (a little pricey).

• has a nice selection of gift sets: fresh, natural and reasonably-priced.

Happy Mothers Day!

Butter Me Not?

Shea butter seems to be the moisturizer of choice these days. Many companies proudly claim high percentages of shea butter in their products: 15%, 30%, etc. So, my reasoning went something like this: If 15% is good and 30% is better, wouldn't 100% be the best?

Well, not necessarily. One reader described her experience this way: "I recently ordered 100% shea butter...and was disappointed with the product. It was grainy and gritty in texture. I called the company and was told this sometimes happens and to microwave the product to soften it. I did this and it did soften, however it immediately returned to the grainy texture when it cooled."

I had a very similar experience with 100% shea butter, and with another product containing a high percentage of cocoa butter.  The moral: Shea and other butters are fabulous moisturizers, but choose the level that's right for you. If you're looking for a creamy all-over moisturizer, a lower percentage may work well.  If, however, you want something really intense for elbows, feet or knees, 100% may be your answer. When in doubt, ask questions before you buy.

THE Sunless Tanning Source

You can't open a magazine these days without seeing an article about sunless tanning products and procedures. 'Tis the season, after all. In my opinion, though, the single best resource for information on sunless tanning is right online: This site truly contains everything you could ever need to know about sunless tanning. Take a look and see what I mean (and, if you get the chance, tell them Suds Report sent you).

Scents of the Future

I'm pretty sure about two things when it comes to bath and body products: First, fragrance is very important; and second, consumers are fickle. Combining those two points begs the question: What is next as far as fragrances?

One pretty good guess comes from Barbie Smith of After all, fragrance is her business. Here are her predictions: "This next year or two will see a heavy international presence. Asian scents, in particular, will stand out...[for example] Bamboo and Jasmine, Indian Chai Tea, Japanese Lotus Flower and Thai Lemongrass... Citrus scents will also remain wildly popular. Lastly, "green" scents are making a comeback: fresh scents that reflect nature."

These predictions make sense to me. Recently, super-sweet dessert-type scents have been very popular, but I think the tide will eventually turn and we'll see more light, fresh scents. The popularity of green tea scented products seems to signal an early foray into Asian fragrances. But only time will tell.

And the Winner Is

Congratulations to our April giveaway winner: Mary Viviyal from Sugarland, Texas.  Mary won an assortment of honey products from bath and body line.

For May, we're giving away an assortment of goodies from Kiwi Energy line. Just right for spring!

In the Works

In the next few months, we'll have a series of articles profiling small online bath and beauty merchants who have carved out their niches in cyberspace.

We'll also have an article on foot-care products to get your feet ready for sandals.  Also in the works: green tea bath products, hand made soaps, Rachel Perry products, dessert-scented products and more!

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

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