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The Design files article – Seed to skin eco skin care by Saarinen organics

Self-Sufficient Living + Skincare At Saarinen Organics

REGIONAL

While our regional column has, to date, covered the inspiring tales behind small-scale food, flower and wool producers, this latest trip features something fresh: skincare!

We journey to Wyndham, New South Wales, to meet the family behind Saarinen Organics, the treechangers whose fortuitous shift from food production to skincare finally made their farm a viable business.

14th January, 2019

n the outskirts of the small township of Wyndham, on the far south coast of New South Wales, Kay Saarinen, 47, is harvesting handfuls of fresh herbs from her garden, a wide-brimmed hat protecting her from the afternoon sun. 

The property that Kay shares with her husband Gregg, 54, and young daughter Gemma is an extraordinary example of self-sufficient living in our modern world.  

While the ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainability’ movement in Australia has gone from niche interest to marketplace mainstream in a remarkably short time, for most of us, working on reducing our environmental footprint is a relatively new concept. 

Kay and Gregg, on the other hand, have been living this way long before the terms became popular hashtags. ‘We were into sustainable living back when it was considered weird, and only something that dirty hippies did!’ laughs Kay. 

‘In my grandmother’s day, everyone used to live in a self-sufficient manner. It was common, even in suburbia, to have a veggie garden. But after the industrial revolution and supermarkets became the norm, suddenly it was very uncool to grow your own food.’ 

 That was still the case 16 years ago when the couple made their tree change and abandoned their ‘very not environmentally friendly’ careers to pursue a life of self-sufficiency. ‘We were both working in two incredibly wasteful industries at the time, Gregg as a carpenter, and myself as a Chef. We were both doing great, but we were spending our days working in complete opposition to our values,’ says Kay. 

 They decided to ‘give the dream a go’, and moved from their home in Queensland to the six-acre property in Wyndham. ‘When we first moved here, all we had was an old caravan, a burnt out shed and a heck of a lot of blackberry bushes.’ The couple lived in the caravan for almost five years while they built their straw bale home.  

‘At the time we wanted to do absolutely everything ourselves. We actually dug up all the clay, made the mud, brought all the water and sand up from the creek. We had no power tools because we had no electricity, so it was all done by hand.’ Kay describes their early years on the property as ‘extreme’ and in the end, they burnt out quickly. 

‘We were keeping chickens, milking goats, making our own cheese, growing our own food. We had no running water or electricity. For a few years, we sold our fruit and vegetables locally, but it was so hard to make a decent income from that, and we had loan repayments to make!’ explains Kay. ‘I think we went too alternative too quickly and perhaps should have substituted our income rather than giving everything up all at once.’ 

The birth of the couple’s daughter forced them to rethink their approach. ‘Once Gemma came along we knew we had to work something out – either we had to sell the property or find another way to make an income. It was a really difficult time for us.’  

‘Then when Gemma was six-months-old she got eczema. I’d been studying naturopathy at the time and reading about how to use herbs to treat different skin ailments. So I made an ointment for her and it worked beautifully.’ 

‘I decided to make up a few different herbal creams using what I’d learnt in my studies and take them to my local market. We completely sold out that first day, and after that things just started to fall into place. I continued my studies and it just grew from there.’  

The Saarinen Organics eco skincare range now includes 42 products. The couple grows all the herbs on farm and manufacture all the creams, ointments, herbal infusions and tinctures on site. ‘What we can’t grow here we purchase as locally as possible, and always use certified organic to ensure the quality of our products.’ 

Finally finding their calling meant the couple was able to put money back into the farm. The property now boasts two huge orchards, a large solar system, a solar bore for ample water, composting toilets and is 100% off the grid, self-sufficient in water, electricity, heating, and food. 

They also run farm tours and host local school groups learning about permaculture.  ‘It’s fantastic that being self-sufficient isn’t a dirty word anymore. We can go to the markets and put out our sign that says “Permaculture Farm” and everyone thinks it’s wonderful. We’ve been waiting a long time for that!’ beams Kay. ‘It’s such a beautiful thing that an eco-sustainable business has been able to help fund the kind of sustainable lifestyle we’d always dreamed of having.’

Will Work For Food is a creative partnership between writer Karen Locke photographer Honey Atkinson, who are working to elevate the importance of sustainable, ethically produced food. Find out more on their blog Willworkforfood.com.au.

Self-Sufficient Living + Skincare At Saarinen Organics

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THe heat and our products

NIGHT and DAY CREAM AND HEAT
Hello to our lovely customers, we do all we can to ensure our creams are kept in our cool room and also in cooling systems while traveling and at the markets.

Though with unbearable heat waves across Australia we understand that homes will be incredibly hotter than usual so we would like to offer that if any of our most volatile 2 creams, our night and day which are preservative free, if they just don’t seem right we will happily replace them, as we are well supported we want to support you to xx

Please message me if you have any questions and also your details so i can pop one in the post for you free xx

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Know your ingredient: Non-nano zinc

Did you know that zinc oxide is in a lot of sunscreens? Most people think of the white stuff that cricket players have on their noses and lips when they think about zinc, but zinc oxide is an ‘invisible’ ingredient in a lot of formulations. It’s what gives some sunscreens that opaque sheen. There has been some debate about whether the zinc oxide in sunscreens can be absorbed into the bloodstream which is why we use non-nano zinc in our products. Read on for a brief explanation of the difference between nano and non-nano zinc.

Origin

Zinc oxide is a white powder that is manufactured in a lab. The difference between nano and non-nano zinc is the size of the particles in the powder. The benefit of using a non-nano zinc oxide in skin products is that the particles are too large to absorb through the dermis and into the bloodstream.

History of use

People have been using sunscreens for centuries. Ancient Greeks used olive oil, ancient Egyptians used extracts of rice, jasmine, and lupine plants and the nomadic sea-going Sama-Bajau people of South East Asia used a paste called borak that was made from water weeds, rice and spices.

Zinc oxide paste has also been popular for skin protection for thousands of years. Synthetic sunscreens arrived on the market in 1928, with the first major commercial sunscreen launched in 1936 by the founder of L’Oreal, French chemist Eugène Schueller.

Applications

Zinc oxide particles in a cream base block or scatter UV rays so that they can’t get through to the skin.

It is highly debatable whether nano zinc oxide can get into the bloodstream through the pores but I prefer using non-nano zinc oxide – defined in Australia as having more than 90% of particles above 100nm in size – because non nano zinc works exactly the same way so why take the risk?

Want to try our day cream with sunscreen? Click here to buy.

 

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CHRISSY GIFT VOUCHER with additional free shipping for the recipient.

CHRISSY PRESSIES Last minute!!

Can’t decide what to get someone, why not a Saarinen Organics Gift voucher.

We are doing chrissy gift vouchers as a digital version with a coupon code that the recipient can put into our website to redeem there gift of their choice.

So simple, we will send you through a digital voucher with the coupon code on it, for you to print at your leisure and give your gift easily without waiting for snail mail to deliver a hard copy.

And i will also add to the voucher on top of your designated amount free shipping for the recipient.

All you need to do is send me your email address and i will send out a paypal invoice,

Pop me through an email to kay@saarinenorganics.com

So easy, stress free xx

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New Product

I am so very excited to launch our new product range.

I have been working with a Marine biologist Jo Lane of Tilba.

Jo has incredible knowledge of the right time to harvest seaweed, species identification, and the correct way to process to ensure all the integrity of the plant is kept.

Jo has a business called Sea health where she sells her food grade seaweed in 3 forms, do check her out.

After seeing the test results and research that Jo had done on our local species i new i had to work with her to create a seaweed range.

Seaweed or Sea Kelp benefits include:

Hydration – seaweed is full of humectants that draw in moisture from the environment, and vitamin E.

Youthful-looking skin – the amino acids in seaweed help your skin to plump up, smoothing out fine lines with its anti-aging properties. The same mix of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants that can benefit your body when you eat seaweed can also help your skin when you apply seaweed to it. The antioxidants in seaweed can help prevent free radical damage to the skin and protect against skin aging.

SO with no further ado i would like to introduce our
SEAWEED AND COFFEE BODY SCRUB

We make our delicious body scrub with
Local seahealth seaweed
Local roasted Ragino coffee from wyndham
Local Honey and beeswax from Wyndham
Our Permaculture grown fresh herbal infusion in iodised water
Blended with Certified organic
– Rosewater
– Almond oil
– citrus essential oil

Makes this cream smell of  chocolate jaffas.

Removing dead skin cells and soothing the skin with honey, hydrating and rejuvenating with seaweed is so divine for the whole body from the neck down.

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Free shipping from now till chrissy

We would like to thank all our wonderful customers and give back a gift to you.

FREE SHIPPING

from now till Christmas

We know this time of year can be expensive and we are so well supported that we would like to give a little back.

If you are  thinking of giving a Saarinen Organics pressie to Mum, Dad, Nan or Pop or even a teenager, we have something for everyone, with great bundles and save upto 10% with the further discount of free shipping.

Some wonderful Eco, Sustainable Aussie made Chrissy ideas

Mum deserves a little time out after the hectic festive season with our
Revitalising mineral mask bundle.

Dad or any other member who has a terrible time with itchy dry skin, give them some relief with
our Itchy skin treatment bundle.

Nan would love a hand and body cream with relaxing rosalina essential oil.

Pops sore hip would love a Heat rub that actually works.

Teenagers a Pimples pack, to help rid of pimples over the school holidays.

WE ARE SO WELL SUPPORTED AND WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OUR LOVELY CUSTOMERS VERY MUCH

LOVE TO YOU ALL

XX KAY

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How I transform Comfrey to Creams

comfrey

Once a year the comfrey that I have grown for 2 years is bursting with new sprouts and the transformation from seed to skin begins. The process of growing, harvesting, cleaning, and soaking overnight, chopping the root and making our apple cider vinegar tinctures and oil infusions can take a number of days for each root.

From each plant, I produce around 1 kilo of comfrey once a year. So, while labour intensive the outcome is comforting. From the very first bottle to the last of the season the comfrey root tinctures and oils are carefully prepared into our popular Heat Rub made with 3 apple cider vinegar tinctures including the comfrey root;  Comfrey Ointment made with the root oil infusion and beeswax; and Gardener’s Hand Cream made with apple cider vinegar root tincture.

Made from freshly harvested, permaculture grown comfrey herb on our eco-sustainable farm and are available online through our shop and in carefully selected stockists around the country.

Use as often as needed. As with all topical products, it is advisable to test on a small area of skin first. For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes.

Buy our Comfrey Ointment

Buy our Comfrey Heat Rub

Buy our Gardeners Hand Cream

Apply comfrey externally, to treat joint inflammatory disorders, wounds, bone fractures and gout. Commonly comfrey can be found in extracts, ointments, or compress pastes of comfrey leaves and roots.1

Comfrey contains an abundance of mucilage and holds a chemical compound that promotes cell generation, which strengthens the skin.2

Also in the comfrey plant is allantoin, which can have a moisturising & clearing effect, assists with hydrating and exfoliating, smoothes the skin, promotes wound healing, and provides a soothing anti-irritant and skin protectant effect.3

1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/comfrey
2 https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/comfre92.html
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allantoin

Benefits and features of Saarinen Comfrey products:

  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • No Animal Testing.
  • FREE from Added Artificial Preservatives, animal by-products.
  • FREE from Synthetically Produced Substances, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Genetic Engineering (GE)