Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Our Valentine’s Day Cocoa Love Gift Set is the perfect pairing. It keeps your hands soft for holding hands on those long, romantic walks, and keeps your lips glossy and velvety smooth for those long kisses. And if you don’t want the caloric consequences of eating Valentine’s Day chocolates, then you can indulge in these chocolate-y balms guilt-free. With their high cocoa butter content, they smell divine. Our Cocoa Love Lip Balm has an extra chocolate punch – it’s made with organic, fair trade theobroma cacao powder! Finally, both these products are vegan (no beeswax).

We want to show our love for our fabulous customers and fans by offering a Valentine’s Day giveaway! We want you to share your stories about when you looked and felt the most beautiful. The winner will receive one of our Cocoa Love Gift Sets (Cocoa Love Lip Balm and Cocoa Love Hand & Body Balm).

We’re looking for great stories of true beauty – preferably stories in which you are not wearing a ton of makeup. We want to know when you felt the most beautiful, from the inside out. Please keep it to 350 or less. We’d love for you to submit a picture, as well! Click here for the complete terms.

You can submit any way you’d like: Here, as a comment, on our Facebook fan page (if you don’t exceed their word limit), or our email, five5seed@gmail.com. (Please take careful note of our email address – it includes the WORD five, as well as the NUMBER five.)

Our “panel” here at 5 Seed will judge the entries and pick the one that we find the most…well, beautiful.

Cocoa Love Giveaway Terms

1. Please keep your entry to less than 350 words.

2. By entering, you give 5 Seed permission to use your story and photograph (if submitted) in our promotional materials.

3. If you win our giveaway, your name will appear in our promotional material. If you do not wish your whole name to be used, please indicate how you wish to be announced in our promotional material (your initials, for instance).

4. 5 Seed reserves the right to discard any submissions considered inappropriate by our panel.

5. The winner will be chosen and announced on Sunday, February 7, 2010. The winner has 24 hours to email a shipping address to 5 Seed in order to receive their prize. If they do not respond within 24 hours of the announcement, the prize will be considered forfeited, and another winner will be chosen.

6. The prize will be mailed out within 24 hours of receiving the address of the chosen winner. There is no guarantee that the prize will reach you by February 14, 2010.

7. 5 Seed is not responsible for any damage incurred during shipping, or any delay caused by the postal service.

8. Only residents of the United States and Canada are eligible to participate in this giveaway.

9. You must 18 or older to participate.

New Product: Cocoa Love Balms

We mean “cocoa love” here, because we LOVE cocoa butter. But “love balm” works, too.

Our Cocoa Love Hand and Body Balm is pure perfection. It is a deeply moisturizing blend of cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. It has a strong scent of chocolate, thanks to the heavy cocoa butter content.

Meanwhile, the Cocoa Love Lip Balm pampers the lips with cocoa butter and coconut oil. Castor oil gives the lips a beautiful, subtle sheen. And for all you chocolate lovers, we added real, theobroma cacao powder! (Organic and fair trade, of course.)

These items are great for your purse, travel case, or for keeping in your desk at work. And they are the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat. Chocolate kisses (not the ones with those pesky calories)…a sensuous chocolate massage… You might want to skip dinner and go straight for dessert. ;)

Both these items are vegan (a great way to show love for your fellow creatures). Our lip balm comes in tins, which are not only much more environmentally-friendly than plastic tubes, but contain over TWICE as much lip balm as those tubes. Further, our hand and body balm is so rich that you only need a dab. In other words, both these items show your love for the environment, and are extremely friendly to your pocketbook.

Now through February 14, 2010, we are offering this gift set at a reduced price: $11.95. (Normally, it sells for $12.95, or $13.90 if you buy each item separately.) Take advantage of the savings and pick one up for yourself or your special someone.

Essential Info on Essential Oils

Image from moonhaven.com.au

Essential oils are serious natural mojo packed into a tiny bottle. These plant essences are potent, powerful, and volatile.

Like any good natural beauty business, we love essential oils and use them in many products. What does that mean to you?

As a consumer, it is important for you to know a few things:

::Know your allergies! Some people have allergic reactions to essential oils, and this can largely be prevented by simply avoiding certain essential oils when you know your body finds them to be allergens. If you aren’t sure and decide to take a chance, make sure to use the product only on a small patch of skin at first, and slowly build up from there over the course of a few days.

::Most importantly, if you are pregnant, talk to your physician before using any products that contain essential oils. This is a warning found on every bottle of essential oil, and the safest route is to simply clear it with your doctor, first.

Most natural beauty product lines (from large companies to small businesses) use essential oils in their products, and the warnings are the same for all of them. Be wary if you buy products from someone who tells you that all essential oils are perfectly safe for pregnant women, or that they never cause allergic reactions. Essential oils are, for the most part, safe, and have been used for decades in beauty products, aromatherapy, and other natural healing/wellness venues. But it is important to be fully aware of what you are putting on your body.

When in doubt, ask your health care provider.

New Product: Lime Cocoa Lip Balm

We have been working very hard to perfect our lip balm formulas, and we are thrilled with our new Lime Cocoa Lip Balms! The all-natural scent is sunny, fresh, and will put a smile on your face.

It is as rich as our other formulas, with a heavy dose of organic and fair trade cocoa butter. The organic sweet almond oil adds yet more moisture to your lips, while the beeswax seals it all in.

This is an absolute perfect cure for the winter blues. It not only gives your lips much-needed moisture, but smells so sweet and sunny that you will forget all about the snow outside your window! In aromatherapy, lime gives you a mental boost, refreshes the mind, and inspires happy thoughts.

If you want to read more about why we use tins, and our commitment to reduce (and ultimately eliminate) our use of plastic, click here.

*Please beware of prolonged exposure to the sun when using this product. Some essential oils from the citrus family can cause photo-sensitivity in some individuals. Additionally, if you are pregnant, it is best to consult with your physician before using essential oils of any kind.

Why tins and not tubes?

Most lip balms come in plastic tubes. Ours come in tins. We realize that plastic tubes are more marketable. People tend to like the easy application offered by the tube. However…we chose tins for a multitude of reasons:

::Our tins are made from recycled materials.

::Lip balm tubes are almost always made from #5 plastic, which is not recyclable in most US recycling centers. Here’s what Preserve has to say about it:

If you’re serious about recycling, you know that most communities don’t accept these common containers for recycling. There’s not enough money in it for them to make it work. And those communities that do accept #5s almost always bundle those with other low value plastics and sell them to someone else who burns them for energy. Yuck!

Preserve runs a program called Gimme 5, which offers a mail-in program for your #5 plastics, and also provides drop-off locations in some states. But realistically, we believe that if you don’t live near a drop-off location (and we don’t), will you really have time to save and mail in those #5′s? Even the greenest among us are extremely busy, and we don’t want to add to your to-do list. Nor do we want to be responsible for those tubes that might make their way to the landfill. Further…

::Plastic never degrades. We simply don’t want to contribute to its proliferation in the environment. Right now, we have two plastic challenges to overcome – the caps on our moisturizer, and the tape on our boxes. We’re working on phasing those out. When it came to the lip balm, however, it was easy to decide to keep the plastic OUT.

::Our lip balms will last a long, long time. Most plastic lip balm tubes contain only .15 ounces of product. Our tins contain 1/2 ounce of lip balm. That’s over TWICE as much as a tube! At our current price of $3.95 per tin, that’s quite a bargain, considering other natural brands, like Burt’s Bees and Terressentials, sell their .15 oz. tubes for $3-$4. A mere .30 ounces of their lip balms would cost you $6 or more – and that’s still not as much as our half-ounce! We want to be able to offer you a great product at a great price, while also offering containers that will last you a long time so that you don’t end up with loads of wasteful packaging.

::Our tins are reusable (and in some areas, recyclable – but please check with your local recycling center before tossing them into the co-mingle bins). When you are done with your lip balm, you can easily wash out the tin and use it for those odds and ends around the house (paper clips, brads, guitar picks, small buttons). You can even use it to transport items in your purse, like vitamins or hair bands.

We hope you understand why we say no to traditional plastic lip balm tubes, and why we love our tins. We hope you love them, too!

Earth-friendly Envelopes

As our customers know, we strive to keep plastic out of our products and shipping materials whenever possible. We ship all our orders in reused cardboard boxes, and cushion the items with newspaper – both are recyclable items.

However, when shipping small orders of only lip balms, we did not want to use the plastic bubble-wrap lined envelopes that are so common today. Those end up right in the trash, and thus, more plastic ends up in the landfills, in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, in the food chain.

We are pleased to announce that we have found the solution: Caremail envelopes! These envelopes are:

-made from 95% recycled content, 55% post-consumer

-plastic-free

-made with old newspapers

-made in the USA

-RECYCLABLE!!

Yes, you can tear into these envelopes guilt-free, then toss them into your mixed paper recycling bin!

So come on over and pick up some lip balm! Next week, we’ll be launching two more flavors, and a thick hand balm to get you through the last few months of winter.

What is true beauty?

I’m sorry to say that I still hear young women (pretty young women) tell me that they think they are ugly. When I ask why they think so, they usually answer with one of the following two answers:

-I don’t look like so-and-so-celebrity.

OR

-The kids at school make fun of my nose/butt/eyebrows/hair, etc.

snagwiremedia.com

Recently, the headlines have been squawking about Heidi Montag’s ten plastic surgeries in one day. Hearing her story struck a chord for us here at 5 Seed.

According to the news stories, Heidi said she was teased for her “Jay Leno chin,” and her “big ears.” Hence the chin reduction and pinning back of her ears. She also related a story about not filling out a bra during a Playboy shoot and having to have her image digitally altered. Hence the double D breast implants.

It is troublesome that we, as women, often allow the outside world to define our beauty (and, in turn, our self-worth). We all have fantasies about what life would be like if that “one thing” about our appearance could be improved. But, like any good human, as soon as we get what we want, we find something else that needs to be changed before we can allow ourselves to be happy.

Do you struggle with your own appearance? What influences your feelings about how you look? Would you ever get plastic surgery? Does our society’s superficial obsession with beauty trouble you? What makes a woman TRULY beautiful?

Please note that we at 5 Seed in no way mean to disrespect Heidi Montag. This news story is simply a springboard for discussion.We are not making any judgments about Ms. Montag, or plastic surgery, in general. The following videos do not necessarily express the opinions of 5 Seed. Please leave a comment and tell us your respectful, compassionate opinions.

Getting to Know Natural Moisturizers

If you have never used natural, homemade moisturizers before, you might be surprised by how different – and how amazing – they are. When you buy a commercial moisturizer from the store, it is filled with preservatives. These preservatives keep commercial moisturizers “fresh” sometimes for years at a time! These moisturizers also typically contain artificial dyes and fragrances, which are suspected of causing a multitude of health problems.

If you visit Skin Deep, you will find that an unsettling amount of moisturizers, lotions, and body powders rate a 7 or higher (meaning “high hazard” to your health). This includes moisturizers by popular companies like Lubriderm, Neutrogena, and Jergens.

The safest thing to do is to ditch all those chemicals and use natural moisturizers. Right now, we offer Orange Cocoa Moisturizer, and you can get a variety of different moisturizers from one of our favorite natural bath and body companies:  Terressentials. What makes them different from commercial brands?

First, natural moisturizers are better for you, plain and simple. They do not include toxic ingredients, they are not filled with preservatives, nor do they negatively affect the earth, as they are not made with petro-chemicals.

These creams and lotions are typically much richer than commercial brands, as well, and yes, a bit greasier. This is because they are made with oils and butters, and they do not contain alcohol (yes, commercial brands often contain alcohol, which seems counter-intuitive to the idea of moisturizing!). You will find that you don’t need much – a little goes a LONG way. If your hands are still a bit greasy after applying, simply rub them onto any exposed skin – your legs, wrists, forearms, elbows, decolletage, and neck are some areas that typically are ignored. Wiping the excess cream from your hands onto these areas will “de-grease” your palms while hydrated the rest of you!

Natural creams and lotions are made from emulsifying water and oil – two ingredients that don’t like to be mixed. Just think of how often you shake your Italian salad dressing before pouring. Because of this, it is very common to find large drops of water forming on the surface of your moisturizer, and to find them forming on your hands when you scoop some out and apply it. This is completely normal and doesn’t affect the quality of your moisturizer in any way. You can drain any excess water from your jar when you find it, if you like, but it is visible proof of the moisturizer’s hydrating capabilities.

Temperature plays a role in natural moisturizers, as well. The ingredients each have different melting points, making them sensitive to temperature changes. Further, there are no stabilizers, thickeners, or any other synthetic ingredients that keep these moisturizers at a fixed level of viscosity. So when it’s warm, your moisturizer will be softer. When it’s cold, it will harden.

Finally, it is important to remember that natural moisturizers have a shorter shelf life. Most stay fresh for about six months. Doesn’t it feel good to apply a moisturizer that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for a year previous to your purchase?

For some, it takes a while to get used to natural moisturizers. We are so used to instantaneous (and chemically-aided) absorption, synthetic fragrances, and homogenized formulas that it can be a challenge to leave our comfort zone and try something new. But at 5 Seed, we challenge you to take baby steps into “greenifying” your skin care routine. And if you can get softer skin from natural, non-toxic products, then why not give it a try?