our process

our process

the artful blend of plants + science + love

handcrafted, sensorial, ecologically-minded, cruelty-free + safe

We love what we do and are committed to using natural, wildcrafted, organic, naturally sourced, minimally processed, and body-compatible lab-made ingredients that are safe for our bodies AND our planet. Our goal is to create highly effective and beautiful small-batch products that are stability tested in the lab, approval-tested on willing family and friends (never on animals), and thoughtfully packaged for safety and minimal environmental impact. Each bottle and jar you bring home is inspired, formulated, handcrafted, and filled in our Whidbey Island studio.

I am a constant student and believe it’s my personal responsibility to continually study and learn about the ingredients I use in order to provide products that are safe and effective (and smell and feel lovely) for my friends, family and beloved customers, like you!

I am a constant student and believe it’s my personal responsibility to continually study and learn about the ingredients I use in order to provide products that are safe and effective (and smell and feel lovely) for my friends, family and beloved customers, like you!

what makes handcrafted products so special?

There is a qualitative and “felt” difference between handmade and large-scale machine-produced products. Your health, vitality, and sense of well being are our highest priority, and this intention is stirred into every bottle and jar you bring home. There is a universe of difference between a cream made by thoughtful, caring hands with quality ingredients, and one that is mass-produced with profit as the goal.

All of our artisan creations are hand stirred, hand-poured, and hand packaged to give you beautiful and functional products that you will love to use every day. We even hand-cut and apply our labels because it, too, affects the feel and energy of our work.  Our attention to detail assures that everything we make meets these artistic and aesthetic standards. And know that instead of spending our resources on expensive advertising, superfluous packaging, and machine production, your dollars are spent on the ingredients IN the bottles. We strive to make artful creations that are simple, beautiful, functional, safe, energetic, and effective. We think you’ll feel the positive handcrafted difference!

And knowing the thought, care, and effort that goes into small-batch skin and hair care may make you all the more inclined to take pleasure in your self-care:)

Our senses serve as a path to our inner selves.

In addition to the ingredients absorbed through the skin, we also “absorb” what we see, feel, and smell. Plant-made colors, luscious hand-blended textures, and natural aromas positively affect us on so many levels. Beauty nourishes, and sensual textures enliven us. And our sense of smell gives us pleasure, as well as acts as a protection to avoid situations and substances that are unhealthy for us.

It’s important that the scents we apply to our bodies are “deep” and “true” ones that contain real plant essences. True scents reach deeply into the limbic regions of our brain, connecting us with our feelings and emotions, as well as providing an opportunity to connect with the part of ourselves beyond thought. Plant essences enliven our whole body, sparking memories as well as reducing stress, heightening joy, opening our hearts, and stilling our minds (if just for a moment). These experiences go beyond merely smelling with our noses… plants speak an ancient language that resonates deep into our beings. Some people notice after experiencing a scent that they ‘feel’ it in a particular place in their body, or remember a particular situation or emotion. True scents offer us pleasure, and add a delicious and sensual quality to the products we use, positively affecting us in so many ways.

We give you “true scents” from nature, from potent essential oils, to ground powders, and fresh herbal infusions.

When we let go of artificial scents, our innate protective “smell sense” returns to us, and we become attuned to what truly nourishes us. If we listen closely to what our bodies tell us, we will be able to appreciate the sights, textures and scents of natural products that truly serve our best health.

It’s also important to us that our products have a therapeutic value as well as an aromatic one, so we are careful about the way in which our sourced aromas are grown, harvested and distilled, and choose plant essences that support your skin’s health as well as your sense of well being!

peppermint and chamomile

We feel an intimate connection to our natural world and take seriously our responsibility to preserve it.

In order to reduce the amount of waste we generate, we chose our cushion packing material, not only for its ability to keep your products safe in transit, but for its lovely aesthetics and re-usability…  it’s the perfect gift wrapping; just add a ribbon! Also, our packing “peanuts” are 100% compostable, so feel free to reuse them or just toss them in your compost pile! We also buy post-consumer use, recycled, and reusable paper products, ribbon, and other materials for our office use and gift packaging.

While most of our products are packaged in recyclable glass, we do offer the choice of food-grade PET (polyethylene terepthalate) plastic for our in-shower products. We understand that some of you are uncomfortable using glass in the sometimes slippery environment of the bathroom.

While packaging bath products in glass has been common practice in Europe, plastic seems to be the norm in the United States. So, it’s understandable that the idea of using glass in/near the bath and shower could seem a bit intimidating.  There’re many ways to keep glass safe in the bathroom, though. Here are just a few: install a secure shelf or wall dispenser in the shower, keep a small table next to the shower for glass products, or scoop/pour product into reusable plastic containers for shower use.

Another motivation to use glass is it’s beautiful… and definitely elevates your bath and shower experience!  We hope that our new glass jars and bottles, like our cute sample size glass jar, will be beautiful enough to be repurposed, too, before recycling:)

We’re also excited about our refill program that allows you to reuse your plastic pumps!

Some information about PET plastic:

Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are real concerns in many plastics, such as polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS). BPA is a building block for polycarbonate (PC), a rigid clear plastic commonly used for baby bottles, reusable water bottles and other applications, and has been identified as having the potential to leach into the products they hold. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors and it is unconscionable that they continue to be found in personal care and other products. PET  has a good track record, however, and has undergone repeated testing over the past 30 years. THis is why it is the only plastic we use for our products. They are not known to leach BPA or other chemicals, such as phthalates, suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with any plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time. This is why we encourage the use of glass for even your shower products. We’re happy to share tips on how to use glass safely in the potentially slippery bathroom environment! We’ve written a blog post about this and we welcome a conversation through email as well.

we are committed to sustainability.

We take pride in buying fair trade raw materials, such as organic shea butter from a woman’s cooperative in Ghana, organic olive oil from a peace-promoting organization in Palestine, herbs from organic farmers and wildcrafting herbalists for our infusions, and organic jojoba from a family farm in Arizona.

Sustainability is a critical issue. There are so many wonderful ingredients for making bodycare. Antioxidants, emollients, and rejuvenating properties are found in a myriad of plants. We do not succumb to the “superfood/ super-plant” notion that just because a singular plant has been found to have a high level of antioxidants, for example, we should forget about the many other plants that also have this quality and may be grown locally or in a more sustainable way. We choose our ingredients for their function as well as how harvesting them impacts our environment.

antioxidants organic rroibos

safe + efficacious ingredients

Since its beginning, Sweet Sisters has contributed to various charitable and community organizations as well as participated in many community fundraisers. It is a pleasure to be able to serve in this way and we will continue to do so!

The ingredients used in our products have a long history of safety and are approved all over the world, even in countries with very stringent policies. We have never, and will never, test on animals.  Instead, we send initial product formulations to a lab for stability testing and let our willing family and friends try our products and offer feedback. In addition, we only purchase raw materials from companies that adhere to the same standard.

Sweet Sisters Bodycare LLC signed the standard with the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics and the statement of assurance with PETA’s Caring Consumer program. We make sure that the few animal ingredients we do use, such as honey, beeswax, and lanolin, are responsibly sourced.

the health of your skin is our priority.

Research has shown that up to 60% of skincare products applied topically are absorbed by the skin. If you think about the way medicine patches work, it’s easy to see that our skin is an organ of both elimination and absorption. (Our skin is our largest organ and often referred to as our “second kidney” for good reason!) After application to the skin, ingredients of small molecular size may make their way into the bloodstream and tissues, making it all the more important that products be safe and non-toxic. While we are inadvertently exposed to many daily toxins, it’s the cumulative exposure to daily products that we can control. Our body has an innate ability to detoxify but can become overwhelmed and cease functioning effectively if bombarded by the same toxins every day. This is why we stress using non-toxic personal care products, as well as incorporating daily and weekly detoxifying practices (for the toxins we can’t control) to lessen the load of our body’s detoxifying system.

Happily, more and more people are understanding the importance of safe bodycare products and regular body detox. In addition, the more people “vote” for safer products with their dollars, the more these types of products will become the norm!

All of our products are free of benzoyl peroxide, BHA, BHT, butyene glycol, coal tar, DEA, dioxin, DMDM hydantoin, dyes, FD&C color pigments, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, MEA, paraben preservatives, “parfum,” petrolatum derivatives, phthalates, propylene glycol, urea, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, sunscreen chemicals, talc, TEA, and triclosan.