frequently asked questions

+ answers 🙂

Here are our responses to some commonly asked questions. If you don’t find your questions answered below, feel free to write us at support@sweetsistersbodycare.com

Can I order online and pick up from the customer box or farmers market?

Yes, you can! Just choose “local pickup” as your shipping method when checking out and add in the comments section whether you’d like to pick up from the box in freeland or the market. Once your order is ready, we’ll email you with driving directions. You’ll need to respond to this email to confirm the specifics of time and place.

Do you offer minis/samples?

Yes, we do! Samples are a wonderful way to see how a product works for you. You can find these cute trial-sizes on the product pages. You’ll also find a happy little “surprise” with every order… we love sharing:)

Will you refill my empty bottle/jar?

Yes! To request a refill:
1. Re-order the products online, selecting “local pick-up” or your preferred shipping option, and noting “refill” in the order notes at checkout.
2. Leave your clean empty/empties in our customer box, located at 2278 White Fir Place on Whidbey Island or mail them to: 2278 White Fir Place, Freeland, WA 98236.
3. If you selected local pick-up, we’ll email you when your refill is ready and you can choose the pick-up day/time that works best for you! If you selected a shipping option, we’ll have your refill on its way to you within a day or two.
While we don’t offer refills at a discounted rate, they help reduce packaging waste, and each comes with a little something extra for you to try!

Do you offer wholesale?

Yes, we do! We love partnering with hair and facial salons, retail boutiques, B&Bs, retreats, yoga centers, and inns. Click  HERE to apply.

Why do you use preservatives in some of your products?

Dry, powdered, oil, plant butter, and honey preparations made WITHOUT water do not need a preservative if they are kept pure, meaning no water is introduced and clean hands or a reserved spatula is used. All true soap products, bars and liquids, also do not need a preservative as their pH is high enough to be naturally preserving. However, ALL products made with water, juice, hydrosols, aloe vera, extracts, and infusions do REQUIRE a preservative for safety…. no matter the claims made for preservative-free water-based products! Water is the basis of all life and any preparation containing any of its forms will naturally begin to grow life within itself and be unusable within several days. Even products kept in the refrigerator will spoil within a short time. (Think forgotten leftovers in the fridge!) Unfortunately, we cannot always tell if a product is teeming with bacteria and fungi simply by looking at it. It’s essential that ALL water-based preparations contain a preservative beyond grapefruit seed extract or antioxidant vitamins (which aren’t true preservatives). We use a few different preservatives depending on the specific product requirements: glucolactone and sodium benzoate (ECOcert and approved for use in the EU as well as the rest of the world) and lactobacillus for our lotions and creams, and potassium sorbate for many of our liquid products. We lengthen the shelf life and reduce the chance of rancidity of our oil-based products by adding rosemary oleorsin (extract) and/or mixed tocopherols (vitamin E). You can find complete ingredient lists on the individual product pages.

Are your products vegan and do you test on animals?

We maintain a vegetarian, but not a strictly vegan philosophy, in that we don’t use ingredients sourced from the killing of animals, fish or insects, but sometimes use humanely obtained animal ingredients such as purified wool oil (lanolin), local honey, propolis, and beeswax in a few of our products. You’ll find that most of our products are 100% vegan though, and we DON’T test on animals or source ingredients which continue to be tested.

Do your moisturizers and creams contain an SPF?

Many of the oils, butters, and skin conditioners used in our creams and oils contain naturally occuring sun protective factors. However, we believe that regular sun exposure (not over exposure) is essential for a healthy body and mood, and that common “sun sense,” such as wearing protective clothing and getting out of the sun when you’ve had enough for your individual skin, is better than slathering on sunscreen every day. We know there’s much controversy about this, so we suggest you do your own research and listen to your body. Also, since sunscreens are considered DRUGS and not cosmetics, we’re not legally able to sell even super-safe zinc oxide creams without a drug license… go figure! (Our recommendation for the only safe sunscreen is reflective, mineral, non-nano particle zinc oxide.)

Why do you use alpha and beta hydroxy acids in a few of your products?

When we are young, our skin cells regenerate and shed quickly and easily, usually about once a week. As we age, the rate of skin cell renewal slows to about every three weeks through our teens and 20s, and continues to slow as we age, due to environmental and hormonal factors. AHAs and BHAs can really improve the look and feel of your skin in the short-term, and especially over time. For those with oil-rich and congested skin, research shows that the outer layer of skin and pore lining is much thicker than those with less sebum. Exfoliation of cellular debris (on the surface with AHAs and within the follicle with BHAs) works to support your skin’s natural and regular shedding, improving clarity and tone. This type of exfoliation removes the dead surface cells, but DOES NOT interfere with the formation of new cells in the lower layers of the skin. Contrary to some opinions, you will not damage new skin cells by using topical exfoliants, whether they be mechanical (scrubs) or chemical AHAs and BHAs. Regular exfoliation, whether by mechanical or chemical means, prevents the thickening that contributes to dull, wrinkled and congested skin. If you have very sensitive skin, we recommend polishes with microfine, but effective mechanical exfoliators, like our Fresh Start Polish. When using AHAs and/or mechanical exfoliation, it’s important to be mindful of your sun exposure as the new cells on the surface are more susceptible to sunburn.

Why do you use lab-made surfactants, rather than pure soap, for your shampoos and body wash?

We love soap… for washing hands at the sink, bodies in the bath and shower, and teeth (yes!) a couple times a week when we want a change from our toothpaste. It’s naturally and safely antibacterial, and cleans extremely well. However, soap is naturally alkaline, with a pH that is significantly higher than that of our skin and hair. (BTW, there is no pH neutral soap.) While our skin can quickly recover its protective acid mantle after being exposed to soap (though I don’t recommend it for facial use), our hair does not. Our hair is quite literally dead, and doesn’t possess the mechanisms to adapt and change it’s pH. We can use a vinegar rinse after shampooing (which I highly recommend to lower the pH and smooth the cuticle), but from my experience, most hair washed with soap looks and feels worse over time due to damage from the repeated swelling (high pH) and shrinking (low pH) of the cuticle. Mild surfactants, on the other hand, have a compatible pH that prevents damage to the cuticle and cleans more gently. We do not use SLS or similarly harsh (and cheap) surfactants though, and stay with those that have a high safety track record and environmental sustainability. We use the same surfactants for our body wash and add extra skin conditioners that leave your skin hydrated, soft, and smooth. We offer this as an alternative to soap, especially for those who have sensitivity to pH changes.