Cosmetics and Allergens – What You Need to Know

By Megan Vick

The rate of people with food allergies is growing. Whether it’s peanuts, shellfish, eggs, wheat, dairy, soy, or any number of items, people are becoming increasingly cautious regarding both food and cosmetics. Nut oils, soy products, and wheat products are commonly found in all types of personal care products.

 

Fun Fact: The FDA does not require a warning label on cosmetics when items contain these allergens or are manufactured on equipment in contact with these allergens.

 

Unfortunately, nut oils are commonly found in cosmetics, especially in the natural product industry. Plant oils are extremely beneficial for the skin and many people with nut, soy, and wheat allergies report using cosmetics with no reaction. At Shorganics, our philosophy is, if you have any doubts, don’t buy it. We want everyone to be safe and to enjoy our product each time you use it. It’s hard to enjoy a wonderful lip balm or body butter if you’re wondering, “Am I going to have a reaction to this?”

 
Whether it’s Argan Oil or Sweet Almond, Shea Butter or Soybean Oil, ask questions or ask for a comparable product without the questionable ingredient. Or, skip the purchase.

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Hurricane Preparedness

By Megan Vick

Tis the Season! Mother Nature will soon be freaking out The Weather Channel as the Atlantic Ocean churns out some tropical systems starting in late August. Whether you’re a native (meaning this ain’t your first rodeo), a local (you live here, but hurricanes still freak you out), or a tourist (you’re high-tailing it outta here), here are some helpful tips for Hurricane Season.

 

1.) Hurricanes are not ‘CanesCanes Stanley Cup 06
‘Canes refers to the 2006 Stanley Cup Winning Carolina Hurricanes NHL Hockey team. Sure, they’ve sucked lately, but if you talk about ‘Canes, most North Carolinians are going to assume you mean angry Canadians living in the Raleigh area. Feel free to say “Hurricane,”  “Hurri-kin,” or address the storm by its name.

 

 

2.) Turn off the Weather Channel
Yeah. Turn it off. The beautiful thing about hurricanes is that they are usually not a surprise to anyone. We have the luxury (is that the right word?) of planning our evacuations or watching the storm turn in some unexpected direction and fizzle out.

Side Note: Don’t take screen shots of the Hurricane radar map in relation to the coastline and post it on Facebook. Chances are your friends have seen that same image in the last 24 hours too. It’s a storm, not an alien.

 

 

3.) Please Stop Buying Weird Stuff at the Grocery Store
I’ve never understood the desire to purchase perishables before a hurricane. If you decide to ride out the storm and the power goes out for a long period of time, your fridge won’t be able to keep your food fresh. Try PB & J fixings or canned fruits and veggies. If you’re going to have snacks, make sure they don’t require refrigeration or a lot of clean up. Also, it’s a good idea to have picnic ware to avoid a massive pile of dishes when the power comes back. Batteries are always a great idea – get all sizes, just in case. Also, don’t forget to refill your prescriptions well before a storm is slated to hit.

PRO TIP: If the power is out for several days or if you evacuate, be sure to change any water filters (shower, sinks, kitchen faucet, refrigerator) as soon as you can. When filters aren’t consistently used, they can grow some super funky algae which makes your water taste nasty.

 

Evacuation Route

 

4.) When in Doubt, Evacuate
Hurricane parties aside, these are serious storms and can have serious consequences whether you’re prepared or not. Lots of hardened locals never leave for hurricanes, but  the  OBX has seen its fair share of damage in the past. With the ever-present climate change, you can bet your booty we’ll have another big storm hit our coastline one day soon.

The Outer Banks is particularly subject to damage because we are susceptible to both Oceanside and Sound side flooding. Wind damage is another large problem during hurricane season, but in my opinion, the absolute worst part of a hurricane is losing power. Without power, your house will become muggy, sticky, and uncomfortable, especially during the late summer and early fall. If you have well-water, you won’t be able to take showers or flush the toilet. Things can get uncomfortable very quickly.

 

 

The Outer Banks is a great place to be at any time of year, but it’s best you’re prepared if visiting during the late summer and early autumn months. If you get worried, pop into a local restaurant and ask some of the locals what they think of the approaching storm. They’ll be honest and keep you safe. Trust me, the last thing locals want during (or after) a hurricane are tourists whining about hurricane damage.

Walking the Walk

By Megan Vick

 

Recently, I came upon a retailer who made natural cosmetics. I was merely a customer and she didn’t know I had anything to do with the same industry. As I perused her selection, I complimented her on her palm-free soap. She promptly responded with, “Yeah, that’s a big thing now. I don’t really care anything about the environment or animals, but this natural stuff is a hot seller.”

 

Naturally, my jaw dropped. I quickly composed myself, thanked her, and left.

 

The number of people creating and selling a product they don’t understand or believe in is growing every day. As “organic” and “natural” become buzzwords for the food and cosmetics industries, people are jumping on the bandwagon for their share. Just remember, if something is important to you – animal conservation, veganism, the environment, etc – make sure the person making the products understands and believes in the reasons behind the hot topic. Having someone behind a product who embodies the brand helps increase the quality of the item. Those people or brands who are just “in it to win it” won’t be able to truly connect with you and better the product over time.

 

Always ask questions about your products. You get to choose who is successful each time you make a purchase. Choose great companies who make great products you believe in.

4 Great Places to Shop on the Outer Banks

By Megan Vick

 

It has been a long time since I posted about my home, the good ole Outer Banks. My previous posts on Outer Banks Vacation Tips and Veg-Friendly OBX Restaurants get tons of views, so I know you’re dying to learn more about my little strip of sand.

If you’re not at the beach, you’re either shopping or eating. Right? Well, we’ve covered food, so now you’ll know where to shop.

 

1.) Cavalier Surf ShopOBX Sand
Cavalier and I go way, way back. It’s my absolute favorite surf shop on the OBX and they also offer surfboard rentals. Located on the Beach Road (Hwy 12) in Nags Head, this small surf shop will make you feel like family. Cavalier is wonderful because their prices are incredibly reasonable, they offer the best surf brands, and your choice of sandals/flip flops is practically unlimited.

For the guys, Cavalier has awesome board shorts and comfortable shirts (I should know because I steal my hubby’s Cavalier shirts). Ladies, some of the most awesome dresses and skirts in my closet have come from Cavalier Surf Shop. Feeling vegan? Cavalier offers tons of leather-free bags and footwear for both genders!

 

2.) The Christmas Shop
The Christmas Shop is one of the coolest places on the Outer Banks. This uniquely beautiful store has everything you need for Christmas – including beach themed lights, ornaments, and tree toppers. The best part about The Christmas Shop is that there is so much more than Christmas stuff. With a Halloween shop on the second floor, a large art gallery featuring local artists toward the back, and an old-fashioned candy shop, you’ll have everything you could ask for – and more!

Duck Sign

 

3.) Duck, NC
There are lots of little shops in Duck including boutiques, galleries, and gift stores. You’ll find anything and everything you could want right in the heart of Duck. Duck has a picturesque bike/walking path and you can always hear the waves in the distance. While you’re there, check out Tommy’s Natural Foods to pick up some wholesome and yummy beach snacks, and your favorite Shorganics products. (Shameless plug, I know.)

 

 

4.) Tanger Outlets
The ubiquitous outlet mall. While it’s driven by large, national corporations, they do have some stellar deals and you can get some great finds while shopping there. With huge brands like Coach, J.Crew, Talbots, Nine West, Merrell, and The Gap, the whole family will find what they need.

PRO TIP: Shop in the morning on a beautiful sunny day to avoid the crowds.

 

Happy Shopping!

The Product Journey

By Megan Vick

 

At Shorganics, we’ve been busy little bees making and formulating new products for you. There’s a lot that goes into the creation of each product before it gets into your hot little hands. Here’s a quick glance at what goes into bringing a new product to life.

 

  1. Get the idea – Sometimes this will happen at the most random time (out to dinner, in the shower, watching a movie). We usually write our ideas down so we can revisit them later.
  2. R&D – this usually takes the longest. We will spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years sourcing the best ingredients, ensuring the formula is correct, and making sure we consistently deliver the highest quality product to you.
  3. Testing – We test everything. We test for safety and for everyday use. Usually, our testing consists of giving some items to our parents and a few very close friends and we get their feedback. We also get the product Verified Vegan through Vegan Action at this point.
  4. Launch – Once we have our packaging and labeling taken care of, the item is ready for sale online, on our Etsy store, and in person at The South Durham Farmer’s Market.

 

A lot of this takes so long because we do everything ourselves in-house. We formulate, source, create, label, package, and market everything. We are proud to be a handcrafted business! Thanks for being our customer!