This is a continuation of the blog I wrote earlier on my awesome experience at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. In this piece I am singing the laurels of the natural body products section of this vast show. While there were also an amazing number of supplement and vitamin exhibitors, I find these products daunting and didn’t give this area more than a cursory look. I met many nice people in the natural body products area, but one person in particular stood out in the crowd.
Shannon Graham and her husband Goeff started their company Grahams Natural Alternatives as a response to their son Ryan suffering from eczema at 14 months of age and the lack of available natural treatment options. Based in Australia’s Gold Coast region, Shannon is a native of Canada and as such has a unique and delightful hybrid Aussie/Canadian accent. I was attracted to Grahams Natural Alternatives not only thanks to Shannon’s considerable charm, but because this product line has helped many children and adults with eczema and psoriasis. I visited this booth several times and chatted with Shannon about their products and how Jeff and I have suffered from dry skin and bouts of an eczema-related condition. She generously gave me several full-size eczema products and Sooth-it Balm, advanced therapy ointment for dry, cracked skin to use at home.
My award for the most creative body product marketing goes to the British lads who founded Bulldog Natural Skincare. While waiting in line the first day, I spotted these guys wearing really cool shirts with the slogan on the back, “Don’t be a Wrinkly Old Beast.” Always on the lookout for clever PR, this aroused the curiosity in me. I happened upon their booth and it was hard not to be charmed by their lovely British accents and sense of humor. I kiddingly asked whether they came up with their witty product copy in the shower.
Here are just a few creative statements from the Bulldog Natural Skincare product line brochure. “The Bulldog may not be nature’s prettiest beast, nor its most athletic, but he is loyal and trustworthy. When push comes to shove, he’s always by your side.” “Unless you’re a geography teacher or a communist revolutionary, you’ll have to shave sometime. Our Original Shave Gel was formulated to deliver an incredibly smooth shave whatever the strength of your political will.”
Any natural body product that arises from a company’s food line gets my attention, in particular when it includes ginger or honey. I knew about the Ginger People’s delightful zingy, zesty Ginger Chews, but wasn’t aware that they had launched a skin care collection called GO. I liked the subtle ginger scent and non-greasy, smooth feeling of the face moisturizer and eye cream. Products that are easily absorbed by the skin are my preference – I don’t like the heavy residue left by so many skin products. Unfortunately I see from their website that these products are not yet distributed in Illinois.
Goat has become the new chic both as a food – cheeses, yogurts, butters, and meat – and in natural body products. I was amazed by the Canus Goat’s Milk Skin Care booth with more products on display than I have ever seen in retail stores. For the last 6 months I have been using the Lil’ Goat’s Milk Petite Chèvre baby/toddlers lotion which I picked up by chance. While it is a very nice lotion for adults, I feel that it is far too perfumed for babies. I brought home a few full-size bars of their soap which I have yet to use.
Always on the look out for better dry-mouth products than Biotene, I stopped at several booths that had mouthwashes and gum containing Xylitol. I have been using Rain Spry Oral Mist Spray for over a year and in my opinion it is the best product on the market. I mentioned this to the Xlear Inc. VP Sales Rep and he gave me a test gel not yet on the market to compare to the spray. The jury is still out, but the spray has a more distinctive taste and is easier to use than the gel.
This show inspired me to take better care of myself – from a nutritional standpoint as well as switching to natural body products that are paraben-free. If only there was a natural hair dye on the market that actually worked – I have yet to find this but I am sure somebody will invent it.