Stop, drop and sniff for lavender in your bathroom. Go ahead, I’ll wait……… Whether you use more traditional products, or those with fewer and all natural ingredients, you’ll discover that lots of them contain lavender. Women are naturally drawn to the scent of lavender, it almost universally makes us take in a deep breath and smile. If you’re a label reader like me, you’ve probably noticed that there isn’t even one of the tiny little lavender flower petal in our products. So, where’s the lavender ma’am? Here’s the thing, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. We know that it would have sold lots of products based on the scent alone, because lavender is naturally appealing to most women. We left it out on purpose. We also left out the much beloved tea tree oil for similar reasons.
We use lots of familiar ingredients, you can find them all straight out of nature without man-made fillers and preservatives. Lots of cute but powerfully healing flower petals like calendula (a little marigold), sunflowers, orange blossoms and geraniums. Even some yummy cocoa butter and gluten free oats made it into our formulations.
The reason we left out lavender and tea tree is a study out of the research triangle area (Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh) where some leading scientists found a correlation in the use of lavender with abnormal hormone development (breast development) in young boys. All of the boys were using personal care products containing lavender and/or lavender with tea tree oil during the study. When asked to stop using these products, all of the boys were relieved of the Gynecomastia. (Report from NIH here.) “The results of our laboratory studies confirm that pure lavender and tea tree oils can mimic the actions of estrogens and inhibit the effects of androgens,” said Korach. “This combinatorial activity makes them somewhat unique as endocrine disruptors.” -NIH
So why are these ingredients in your baby products? Because, they’ve been used for a very long time; their estrogen containing properties make them naturally attractive to moms (who mostly purchase baby products); and once an ingredient is used in a certain way for many years, it tends to keep getting used. So why was it okay for your great-grandmother to use lavender on you grandma? Times have changed and she probably used just a little if any lavender on you. She probably didn’t use it on you every day and consistently over time. There were also fewer environmental toxins and fewer antibiotics in our food supply. Who really knows how all of these things work together to contribute to abnormal hormone development. But take a look around our playgrounds and in schools and you’ll notice what pediatricians have said for at least the past decade: our children are going through puberty much earlier. Long before they are emotionally and socially ready.
We are constantly watching and reading the latest research on the plants that we use to make Sweet Knee. We promise to change and grow as a company as knowledge and research change. We pride ourselves on using the ingredients that your great-grandmother would have used and would recognize if she were reading our labels. But, we promise that we won’t use something that might have worked in her generation when we have knowledge that it may do harm.
Please let us know your thoughts on this subject, and keep comments relevant to the subject of this post. Ready to become a Sweet Knee Contributor? Submit your idea to us on our contact page and your ideas could show up here for the world to see! -Kristy