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Starting Your Own Bath and Body Business
     Many women across the country are coming to me because they are in the middle of opening their own bath and body store.  Some are opening soon, some are still in the planning stages--yet all are totally committed.  They range from forty something to thirteen years old!  Put nothing past the teenagers, they are making the most money!  Young and still open to ideas, their insights are very valuable.  I am a product developer and marketer.  Some admittedly are using my base formulas and noticed I am working toward wholesale.   In giving them advice, I realized I learned so much more in London than I thought I did.  I want my own store too!  The LUSH model makes it doable.  They never spent a wad on store displays or packaging at the start.  Money went into the product.  So, why was LUSH so successful?  Years ago they started out with some cool products, made money hand over fist-and then had extra money to "polish" their operations.  This is the ideal way to start ANY business.  To see a venture make a profit (test demand) before any big capital investments are made, is a great thing.  Second, to use profit off sales for the expansion efforts and not need to pull in 3rd parties, such as credit cards, is the best situation.  Burt's Bees owner started with a bunch of beeswax in the back of a trunk.
     Before I get into the LUSH Model, let me talk about Get a Guru.  Weird name, I doubt anyone remembers it---(it took me five trips) but their simple store moves a lot of cold pressed soap and location was memorable.  (My soaps at the top of this page look like GuRu style.)  Located next to a famous restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL, they have constant traffic.  Traffic is numero uno.   Period.  Every time I go there I hang out an hour and count the customers.  Average price of an item?  $5.  Average sale?  $20.  People will spend at least $20 on items that make them feel better.    Since they have about 10 sales an hour, they are grossing $200 an hour, ten hour days $2,000 and it is then fair to say they gross $30,000 a month--if they are non-stop busy they hit $60,000.00 a month  Their net is at least $15,000 a month and could be as high as $30,000.00 a month net.   That is a gold mine in this day and age.  Like LUSH, the Soap Guru does not package much and you can smell their product all the way down the street.  Essential oils scream out--Lemongrass, Peppermint, Patchouli and the like.  As I taught for many years, essential oils are cheaper than fragrance oils because you use much less.  So, we can say smell is of second importance because customers smell before they even get to see a product.
     Get A Guru probably never saw the LUSH layout--they concepted about the same time on different sides of the ocean, but they are a lot a like.  Good product thrown in wooden crates.  I know we pounded our heads against a wall for years when it came to packaging and printing labels.  We thought we had too!  These guys jumped that hurdle and made "lack of packaging" work to their benefit.  Customers can interact with the product and that helps triple sales.  Letting customers interact with the product is third important.  I could not make it in a store where the product did not sell the customer.  I would not want to try.  Then you are into a "Mary Kay" or "Avon" pitch and must use product knowledge to sell.  It is very hard to hire educated staff these days, who care.    When a product does not sell itself--you have to address the most important consumer question..."What does it do for me?"  Be prepared to answer that to support a sale.   So, let's move on to an essay I wrote the first person, at a neat female already in business:

Produce Market of Bath Items

    The first thing that struck me about LUSH was the layout.  Laid out like a vegetable produce store, all products are displayed within arms reach. Very little money is spent on store displays, or bulky packaging.  The money is spent on the product.  The product is the packaging.  Few are the products that are shelved near the floor or high and out of view.  The only exception would be gift boxes over flowing from a corner of the store.  And they do sell a lot of gift boxes, mainly to gents.  They keep about 100 gift wrapped boxes in ten different colors of paper.  That sure is eye candy.  Setting up like a produce stand, saves a ton of on also lends itself to the main over all theme which is “Fresh.” That is, fresh cosmetics, in Londoner talk.  Have those little plastic carry baskets you see in produce shops for customers.

     Soaps, bath fizzies, and all of the various products are laid out and piled up in mountains of 200,  as would a pile or tray of tomatoes, apples, pears, or in the case of soap, cheese that is piled up and would be cut on a table.  Soap is sold by weight in both operations.  Usually $1 an ounce.  It is apparent one of the founders of LUSH had a background in fresh produce and display.  I suspect the only thing missing is they do not sprtiz their products every morning with water!  We will get to the "humidity curse" in a few.  The appearance of bountiful product is a very basic and critical marketing tool.  Opening a store with sparse product is going to be a "sparse" endeavor.  You get what you put in.  People like the appearance of success.  So, notice piles up 200 or so pink seltzers next to a pile of 200 aqua seltzers.  It is psychological.  Customers buy more when products appear a "bounty."

   So making products so appealing, it would be a shame to box it, is important.  There are some exceptions to unpackaged products.  Products like lotion and crème, as we know, needs to be in a bottle or container.  So, the 20% of your line that is dedicated, such as lotions and balms—all the stops can be pulled out on the best silk screened packaging possible--as you make money on the non-packaged items.  Such as little glass balm pots for balm with silk screen and not just a floppy label.   Little glass pots as Burt's Bees uses so well, gives true perceived value.   Incorporating a few nicely packaged items, will pull your whole line together and make it work. 

     As with a floral stand, LUSH and Get a Guru wraps the products selected in newspaper. In fact, they wrap most of the product items in their own newspaper that features the LUSH product line.  Get a Guru does a like thing.  Making your own standard newspaper is not hard and the cheapest form of print there is.  This solves the ingredient issue, as all ingredients—except proprietary secrets, are listed out on the newspaper almost like ads. The newspaper also offers a cool perceived value and people will read it after they unwrap their soaps.  Even when fresh product smears the paper--customers will save it and will read it.  So, the print also offers a way to mention cool insights about the company and attributes of all products.  This also helps new employees learn about product attributes.  Customers also love a "story" as Burt's Bees taught us. 

     My only concern for this endeavor is protecting the product.  50% of product in a store like this is exposed to moisture attack.  Solve this, and everything should work out fine.   Spring and summer can do a number on some products if not in a well air conditioned space.  A/C can cost $20 a day, so this needs to be considered.  If a business is saving more than $20 a day on needless packaging, costs of controlling temperature could rival that.  How does moist London keep the $8,000 in raw materials from "igniting?"   I know they don't use clay.  Clay makes a tub look so dirty.  You have to test your products in a humid and steaming car--or near a dishwasher that just started the "dry cycle" to ensure your end products are going to make it.  If they can pass that test--your on.  I have heard a coat of puzzle glue works like a charm for melt and pour items.  I remember that stuff in kindergarten art class.  I used to eat it, and I lived.  As far as bubble blocks (LUSH did patent Bubble Bars) and bath seltzers, they simply have to be made dry as possible.  I do use some body butter to keep them glued together, that helps humid ignition, and some rubbing alcohol to make them hard and dry--London taught me.  It does make a tight and dry bath bomb-and the alcohol does evaporate.

Store break down:  Soap is fun, whether it be Melt and Pour, Cold Process, but understand soap is the exception.  I noticed soap constitutes 20% of sales whether it be LUSH, Crab Tree, or whoever.  The Guru makes all their money on soap because Tarpon Springs is a once a month trip for most couples and families.  That is, about the time they need more soap.  If Guru depended upon a weekly soap purchase, they may not be doing so well.   So, no more than 20% of a store dedicated to soap, 50% dedicated to outrageous "piles" of bath melts, seltzers and "fun" stuff, and 30% in lotions, crèmes, lip balms, salt/sugar scrubs, and packaged items.  You can add packaged items as you go along.

Don't confuse your customer.  Keep items "ruff and natural" or "nice and neat."  This whole article targets ruff and natural.  Crabtree and Evelyn are an example of "nice and neat."  You can figure a ton of money has to go to support a package heavy business and custom location displays.

The one theme LUSH uses to tie its products in seems to be the color black.  This is apparent with the black boards and white chalk signs over each of their products.  GuRu did not have to do this with their displays, but they still have a sign near each pile of product that explains the product.  GuRu picked a medieval type font and gold foil lettering which gives a little romantic edge to their theme.  Do not confuse themes.  Meaning don't flip from "country style" to "pop culture" in the same store. Stay true to your theme.

Summary:  Aim for locations, known traffic of congregated people, smell of the product as a draw, clearly defined "fun" products as a focus, a newspaper with your print to "tie it all in," are critical components to succeeding. If  location or timing does not work out, you still have product you have move and are not heavy into custom building expenses. Do watch other business practices and see if you can tie it into your own store.  Whole Foods has done a great job appearing like the total emporium it is.  Their success was made on the appearance of "bountiful."

What would I do different?  I may add soy candles in.  LUSH just never knew much about them and made enough money off "fresh cosmetics" when they did.  I would keep candles in the back because I hear "sun fade" from every candle store owner I ever met.  20% of my space would be dedicated to candles.

Product preparation:  Once you are sure a product is going in your line, you can pre-make it before you do find a good location.  Like soap gets better with age.  And as we know, costs are rather low to punch out product.  Unless you count your time, as you should.  The issue arises when you do well, are moving a load of product, and no one knows how to make the product.  Pre-plan for that "good problem."

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My Agenda
     I plan to come up with a distinct product line, and franchise it out, keeping entry fees low and sustaining royalties affordable.  I will continue to support efforts of independents who already have a theme and aspire their own brand--and keep their trade secretes mum as usual.  I have enough of my own trade secrets.  Some brands can go into our line--as long as it "fits."  I do question a persons ability to really punch out the product when it really sells.  Some people can find success of their product a lot of work.      
     As far as my endeavor, I know ahead of time, I cannot possibly make all the final products and would need to be part of a bigger support system to make it work.  I would prefer to support the "sister hood" and small town folks-if possible and have costs punched out prior.  Not having huge buildings does save on gas and over head.  I will have a series of "crafters" who do want to secure contracts making agreed products.  And we will have our share of those people who are in large cities and want a shop, we can fill in return.  Crafter's can either submit ideas and price quotes, or quote me on product specs I create and hand to them.  Formal items, such as lip balm, Bee Pollen Oil, lotion and crème will have to go to silk screeners.   Based on the final line, I can create a newspaper that ties it all in.  Group interaction and support is important for ideas, and dynamism.  Tasteful web sites are also really important--I can whip them out.
Creation of product:  I do have this "odd" vision of LUSH, basically correlated with the "Pet Rock."  Each cute bath item is created and given a "name" and a "theme."  If it sells, it stays in the line.  Another thing I forgot to mention, is they treat raw bath materials like artists.  They decorate with dried petals, sugar cake decor, (that ends up floating casually in the tub) and other un-conventional methods.  I think price is really important, everything should be $5 retail or close.  The manufacturing should not exceed $2, including shipping.  As a retail rule, when you get into low balling, you tend to set your value.  A product should sell because it is awesome, not because it is 2 for 1 or cheap.  Start thinking "awesome" and let the product sell itself.
Gas prices:  It is in almost every e-mail.  So, it surprised me more to see many people diving into a bath and body business.  Why would people do that at such an unsure time?  I wondered.  The answer?  When the going gets tuff, the tough get going.  Supplemental income.  But you can bet everyone is watching the bottom line and being prudent in their costs.  Since my customers will proceed with or without me, count me in! Any feed back, do write me:
Whether you are for group association or independent, do seek out high traffic areas to stake your ground.  Really watch the traffic and habits before you dive in.  Do not be so in love with your idea you cannot see past it.
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 Inspiring e-Bay Sellers:  Click photo to see their store


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Is it Bloating or Is It Something Else?  General Hurting?  Consider...

     This sure gets a whole expose' since it unknowingly dominated my life for 18 months and landed me in the hospital all Memorial Day weekend.  I am TIRED of hospitals.  This visit was especially not fun, because I was actually too sick to talk for four days.  Because I was lifeless, I do have a few vendettas to settle, mainly with some nurse who stuck me 5 times to get a vein.  She was jabbing straight in to anything--not even looking.  I finally stood on my bed to get her away from me and said "Fl law says you only get 3 attempts."  Then she starts raising her voice that I need to "repent to God," and "I only tried twice" and that I "could give her aids by pulling away."  Aids never crossed my mind.  Then I screamed "Aids? I am here for kidney failure..."   And wouldn't it figure my Dr. walked in with my gastroenterologist and I looked quite healthy ready to smack her upside the head with a bed pan.  She was yelling all the way down the hall about me having to repent and lying about how many times she stuck me.  I think patients should have a poster to read of their "rights."  Knowing mine came in handy.

     Back to the point of the story, I was wrong in my last article to suggest the "Zone" Diet for bloating when bloating and over all discomfort can be from a myriad of serious things.  More so when depression out of no where ensues.  This is why they say "consult a doctor."  It really can be one of the few quiet signs of ovarian cancer, ulcers, and the list goes on.  I recall when I first start bloating, pre-London 2005, I sought water pills to continue filming.  I am vain to the extent I do not want to look 5 months pregnant when I sure am not.  The U.S. pharmacist shook his head and would not recommend any water pills.  He said, (what I learned way later,) "bloating is usually your bodies way of telling you something is wrong."   I did not believe him as "sickly" had never been in my repertoire until that moment--age 40.  But fluid retention and bloating were the first signs I wrote off.  And I kept writing them off for 4 years. So, ego was up there with lack of medical insurance as top excuses.  Lord, I paid dearly for that over time,  between hospital bills, meds, not being able to work, and being snippy when I was working.   My work requires enthusiasm and charm.  I was losing both and work was not getting finished.  Most importantly, quality of family time was pared down to special events.   I was totally miserable by turn of 2007, and making everyone else miserable.

     I had a lot of stress March and April 2007, as well as 3/4 the country, so I wrote my symptoms off again.  They were getting far worse.  Not just bloating, but zero energy--could barely wash my hair or basic functions.  My body hurt all over with no specific area of pain.  Not to mention I was extremely depressed, finding nothing to be of interest.  Nothing.  Even if I was about to spend a night with Kenu Reeves, I would probably shrug and not care.  I often wondered where did "Deborah go?" and found that so sad.  A dynamic person for 40 years, just "gone."  Only then would I shed a tear.  It did matter.  I had no answers. I have a degree in psychology and I fit the criteria for depression with no basis.  Stress is one thing, and it can kill.  Depression, is another ball game.  I always said if I was a shrink, I would test for medical issues first.  Most shrinks do not because they want the on-going psych money (mortgage payment.) However, licensed mental health care providers may be very important, after ruling out physical illness.  Again, I blamed it on the overall economy and stress.  I did have a few moments of energy, enough to "declare" I was going to go off and do something wild.  There was no follow through--it was just a moment of the real me shining through. I would be back in bed within a few hours.

     All this to say it was ulcers in my intestine just under the stomach and some gall bladder issues.  Explains why I wanted to curl over and die two hours after eating anything.  I never had total testing until just recently.  Why?  I never suspected my stomach.  I had Doctors looking everywhere else--kidneys, the usual suspects.  Looking back, I was given a lot of anti-inflammatories for mild kidney disease starting 2004.  Vioxx is some bad stuff and that started my med rap sheet at age 40.  Vicodin followed with a slew of other meds, down to a lot of Advil (Naproxen) all of 2007.  The 500 mg a day of Naproxen for the last six months, was causing ulcerations past the stomach, which in turn cause over all mysterious pain, depression and a hospital stay. A high fat diet was also up there.  When your stomach is compromised by meds, it will have an awful time with fatty and processed foods. 

     Coming home last Monday, I continued the liquid diet I was on, but confused to see I was not "healed" right away.  I woke up 5:00 AM every morning and took my Prilosec (cheap at Sam's Club) and went back to bed.  It does work if given a chance.  (One day I tried two and it was a bad idea.  It does not work that way.)  The daily menu was chicken broth, Jell-O, and stuff like that.  It is hard after five days of starving when the pain is just as bad...they said "be patient."

     It was not until Friday I actually felt pretty good, smiled for the first time in months, started to take interest in movies to watch, started writing plans for Mabel (before the decade is over,) and opened myself up to the public.  If you asked me a month ago if I could really be 100% I would have said no--and I was avoiding people for the most part and myself.  Whatever the paradigm was about--I felt I had been in it too long and I could never be 100%. That is how depression works and mine was a direct result of a medical problem, and maybe too many e-mails that I won a UK lottery.

*You do not have to have indigestion or a burning esophagus to have hidden ulcers.  They can be way down past the stomach.  If you are in total discomfort two hours after eating, it can be lower intestinal ulcers.

*If you are always tired, feeling bloated and generally not well--see a Doctor and consider a endoscopy and an ultra sound of the ovaries.  Both tests run under $1,000 total un-insured.  Everything I had mimics not only ulcers, but gall bladder issues, ovarian issues and they can be so evasive without tests.  Depression is not normal, for starters, but do look at the physical first.  That alone, with over all discomfort could be gastrointestinal. 

     I have some healing to still do, but I am going to stay on the right course.  The penalty is too high if I do fall off my diet.  It is easy to do when you feel cured. You can bet my work is overwhelming, but  I will be happy catching up and taking it day by day.  I will not be writing again about any "diet" because a number of people trying them do have other issues they are not aware of, as I did.  I felt bad about any diet article I ever wrote as I laid in that hospital bed.  Health is far more important that the pre-occupation of what you do or don't weigh.

     If you have any known condition, study, study, study on it.  There is so much we are not told by Doctors.  I would have avoided the naproxen and Vioxx and dealt with inflammation if I knew those meds were truly hard on any stomach and the hell that followed.  If a Dr. hands you LexPro, really be sure it is not a hidden physical issue.  If you feel over all sick, do not accept "it is in your mind" for an answer.  I am reading a lot of that in chat rooms of people who finally figured out what was wrong--some after years of suffering.  I am a wuss, I cannot take years.  A little stomach acid you may not be aware of can have you on a big paper chase.

    A few women already told me they have these symptoms and just ordered some herbal medicine to heal it.  As we all know, I love my herbs, but doing this is just buying product to enable bad habits. I suggested they do the hard thing--try a liquid diet a food seven days and see if they feel better.  Keep a journal and eat certain food groups.  You cannot buy herbs to keep on eating processed fatty foods and have nothing to keep acid in check--more so if there is an ulcer issue.  Ulcers need to heal.  Herbal medicine is great when not dealing with direct serious issues, or when you know traditional methods have been exhausted.  In fact, someone sent me Holy Basil a few months ago, and was sure it would help depression.  I happily ate it, but found it gave me extreme pain and I was worse. She had no clue why. Now we know.

    For those expert on ulcer issues, do tell me what you can eat that helps!  Semi liquid or whatever.  I need the support--send food!  This is like a "forced Jenny Craig thing" and a rather new commitment. But an important one.  Let's see if I can write again about cool stuff.  I think I can.  *This message was brought to you by Jell-O.

    A Few Replies:

People have been very active in this issue.  It seems they don't know as much about bath and body stuff-but most are married and know all about ulcers.  It does help me not sneak a donut--and know my work does matter, so keep writing!!! 

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Diane, Houston

Unless Advil came out with something new, they make ibuprophen...which is well known for messing up your stomach.

I have to switch off between naproxen & ibuprophen for hip pain.  If I take the ibuprophen for too long, I start getting digestive issues & there have been times when I have had general pain all over & not known why.  You may be on to something!
As for the depression, have you had your hormones checked?  I became depressed after a very stressful situation & it only got worse.  I didn't have money or insurance at the time, but on a regular visit to my GYN, she tested my hormone levels & found I was entering 42!!!!
That had a lot to do with it!!!! 

Response from Deb:  I will have the hormones checked. It did cross my mind as my very oily skin went to awfully dry the last few years.  That could also be lack of nutrients being absorbed--and back to the digestive thing, or stress.  I have been fairly spunky since Friday and a week long diet change.  It has been a few years that I have experienced spunky.  This does not mean my stress level changed.  Feeling better does keep stress in perspective. 

Hello Deborah,
My name is Sandra Mills Crawley and I really appreciate your informative e-mails.    This is in regards to your newsletter concerning Aspracreme.   They use that name because it contains a form of salicylic acid which is one of the main ingredients in aspirin.   Wintergreen and Birch oil both have a form of salicylic acid.   It is toxic but when used within the proper percentages it makes a cream that out weighs Aspracreme simply because it was made by your hands.    Hope your recovery lead you to a happy and prosperous year.    Having someone that works in a woman based business that is not afraid to show her vulnerabilities is a inspiration to someone who hasn't quite found her niche yet.    Bless You.  Sandy

Response from Deb:  Sweet Birch Oil does smell just like Ben Gay.  I love it, but the toxicity level is so high and people tend to think "more is better."  This and Wintergreen are potent essential oils and a person cannot be careful enough.  Apracreme has a great name.  They did get into trouble when there was no aspirin at all in the formula.  The formula I made as a result of my London trip, works great--but I would still research validity.  As far as niche--I wake up every morning and wonder what my niche really is.  25 books and 8 videos later.  I think I am headed into retail as I discuss in the article that is at the top of this whole page.  I will need highly organized--detail people around me--my short comings. I will continue to write for those in their own endeavors.

Deb Roy, Vermont

The best thing for an ulcer is raw honey.  We need acid in the stomach. Most people have to little, not to much. Try raw honey, 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.  Let me know if it works, a lot of people take it.

Response from Deb:  Yes, in London I learned Manuka Honey is very healing, topically and internal. It has a bunch on mirco bitoics and trace minerals.  Manuka bees pollinate off good stuff in New Zealand.  Since I have heard this, I will spend the bucks. Manuka is not cheap and honey is not on my "band" list. Unless, of course my Dr.s get wind I may be enjoying what I eat.  I have been eating bee pollen each day and that is totally giving me energy and I am sure helping to heal internal.  Anyone on liquid diets should look at bee pollen.  In the fridge section of most health food stores.  $15 a pound and that should last a month.  I put it in my Vanilla Nestle Breakfast shake.  The purpose of Nestle is to ensure nutrition.

Blake Hospital Admin,

She was a phlebotomist, not a nurse.  Do call me at your earliest convenience.

Response from Deb: None.

Day 14  I have not had time to get Manuka Honey, still working toward it though.  I am eating bee pollen which has been great for energy and yogurt.   I switched from OTC Prilosec to the $4 "purple pill" Nexium, just to see if I was missing anything.   Nexium did give me a remarkable change--within the first hour.  The first time in 18 months I considered wearing jeans again, actually.  Before I got too excited--I did some reading on the net, and it became clear Nexium may not work as good next month--everyone is different.  And with any acid "changers" vitamin absorption is an issue.  As I read other peoples posts, it became clear vitamin B deficiency issues come up next.   As Diana said--I may get what sublingual (melt in you mouth) vitamins I can get.  The B family is critical for stress management.

My main goal is heal the ulcers and get off the pills--when my Dr. says I can.  A lot of people wrote me that "juicing" saved them.  I have a Champion I can kick back into action.  It is so heavy I was saving it to throw at a burglar.  The down side is I recall it needed a whole bag of apples, or carrots, for example--to make 1 glass of juice.  What causes me the most distress? Sadly tomatoes and cheese. So, pizza would drop kick me.  I need to keep in mind NSAIDs, (Advil, Naproxen) and shoulder pain, started this whole thing.  Tylenol is supposed to be the only pain reliever-if I must.  They have a liquid called "Blast."  Not bad in moderation.  Next issue is to have Rotator cuff surgery and oddly I have been seeing a lot of customers who just had this done.  I will wait until next slow season to do that.  Late Spring 2008, if I make it past all this.

 Everyone is different and stomach issues can be very serious.  Not an area to "guess" or play Dr.

Fun things to do when sick.  Sick people are probably not able to read this.  Pass it on!  Hydro-therapy (Bath Tub...)  A long session in the tub with "activities" can do worlds!  Like many people with diet issues--caffeine is struck first, and chocolate right behind it.  Many friends report they still need the boost.  We can make a coffee scrub with dry grounds and that also gives a great glow.  Nurses use this formula with great enthusiasm.  They swear it does wake them up for another 3 day shift.  10% of whatever you put on your body gets absorbed into the blood stream.  This is why skin items are considered drugs and under FDA.  They follow up with my bee pollen oil and swear by it for contact dermatitis.

Coffee Scrub:

I pour 2 ounce of vegetable glycerin on 4 ounces of dry coffee grounds and make a paste.  It does work like a charm.  I would let it sit five minutes all over my body, if I want a real charge.  Caffeine topically on skin is also purported these days to reduce skin cancers and have other healthy attributes.  I cannot say I read much more on it--but does sound logical.

Chronically dry skin: I found a solution, although not the cause.  Because my skin was so great after a sugar scrub, and skin can only take so much exfoliation, I splashed myself with just the vegetable glycerin after getting out of the tub.  Not sticky at all--and works like nothing else in the world.  I know I said I like Bee Pollen Oil and titanium dioxide--but these don't get elasticity back as well as vegetable glycerin--and they only solve the sensation of being itchy.  With VG my skin stopped looking dry also, and I am itch free until the next bath.  I used 4 ounces the first time and now I am down to one ounce of VG as a post bath splash.  I do not use oil in the bath if I plan to coat myself with VG post bath.  I may opt to start putting a few drops of peppermint oil in--to offer a cool sensation.  Oddly, this would be the breath elixir formula Aveeda made, as well as the "Edible Massage Oil" that sells like all get out these days.    More oddly, Vegetable Glycerin is what they use in London for sore throats. It does soothe the throat by forming a protective barrier.  Simple ingredient, this is sold in 8 ounce bottles over there in "plain" or "with honey."  If I was in London, I would be buying this at "Boots" and using it for just about everything.  Vegetable glycerin is not in the oil family, per se.  It is a water based ingredient.  Ballerina's use it to make body glitter that does stay on.  A great "suspender" VG is used in lotions and liquid soaps to suspend color and additives.  I know, I need an article just about VG.

Reconsider bath salts.  They do make skin softer, to be sure.  But I found them to be awfully drying and no one discusses it.  Great for those with oily skin, but if you have dry skin issues, rethink what you are using.  This is why I swapped to sugar scrubs for now and not salt.  Salt scrubs are far superior for long shelf lives.  I make sugar scrubs per bath--as I can only scrub twice a month.

Other hydro activities.  Color dispersion in the water can be relaxing. I am working on healthy color systems now.  Scent is the #1 reason people buy bath products or candles.  I do find blends such as tangerine and ginger do uplift and invigorate.

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