For more than 25 years I’ve been using natural skincare products from natural foods stores. Over the years I’ve tried many brands, some of them good, some of them great and some of them just ok. I look for products with the simplest, most wholesome ingredients. However, even in health food stores it can be difficult to find products with short lists of easily recognizable and pronounceable ingredients. Many products contain parabens, sodium laurl or laureth sulfates, phthalates (plasticizers), artificial fragrances and colors, silicones, EDTA, glycol or petroleum based ingredients.
Enter Southwest Sunshine Products
A friend told me about these locally made skin care products about six months ago. She had used them to treat a bad burn and had rapid healing as a result. The products, manufactured and formulated in Arizona for more than 30 years, fit my criteria for healthy skincare. They had some of the shortest and most pure ingredient lists I’ve seen. They were made without mineral oil, animal oil, lanolin, perfumes, colors, and dyes, and they were (and are) concentrated, whereas many lotions have been diluted with water.
The formulas were originally created by J. Bret Marchant's family in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming and Montana where Bret learned from his father who followed an old Native American tradition, gathering Arnica and other natural herbs to produce a soothing healing gel to treat cuts, bruises, wounds and burns. In 1972 when the family moved to Arizona, Bret's father found that the herbal gel used in the harsh winters of Montana was equally effective for dry itchy skin caused by the desert areas of Arizona. Working together with an organic chemist, he formulated a unique blend of arnica, aloe vera, chamomile, rosemary, watercress and saponins for the treatment of most skin irritations.
A goldmine of an idea
What started as a soothing herbal gel eventually became the base for an entire herbal skin care system. The products were successfully marketed to companies, exclusively packaged, and sold under various names across the country. Then in 1980 Bret experimented by offering the same high quality herbal skin care lotions and creams under his own label, Southwest Sunshine, eliminating the middleman and the high cost of advertising and providing the same products at an affordable price. He used inexpensive packaging to keep the overhead low. Next, he became the advertisement by demonstrating the products at outdoor events, fairs, festivals, women's expos and wherever people gathered. Sales skyrocketed and mail orders poured in.
Manufacturer direct to you
Today the skincare products are available direct from the manufacturer at a fraction of the price you would pay in health food stores and salons for products of a similar or even smaller size. Most of the Southwest Sunshine products come in 8 ounce bottles and sell for $11 each. Compare that to 4 ounce products that sell for $20 to $40 in many stores. The few products they sell that come in 1- or 2-ounce containers still only cost $11 each whereas similar products in health food markets often go for $18, $24 or $30.
What can these skincare products help with?
The question might be, what can't these products help and heal? For decades, the owners of Southwest Sunshine have received glowing reports of people using their products to successfully treat dry itchy skin, burns, acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, shingles, puffy eyes, dark circles, diaper rash, cradle cap, diabetics skin lesions, sun and wind burns, bee stings, mosquito bites, cuts, abrasions, rashes, irritation from poison oak and ivy or from waxing, tweezing, electrolysis, tattoos, chemotherapy and radiation.
For best results
I started using the trio of Southwest Sunshine’s Facial Cleaner, Herbal Gel, and Herbal Moisturizing Lotion this fall. At first I was erratic in my use, alternating the new products with those that I already had on hand. Then I started using the new products exclusively. Starting with the creamy facial wash then proceeding to the herbal gel, and finally the moisturizer each time. The result: my face and neck felt velvety smooth. Within days I could see and feel a huge difference over the skincare line I had previously been using. Within a month, friends were telling me that my skin glowed. Periodically I would also use the lotion on my hands and arms. I could feel it soaking in and immediately hydrating my skin. I’ll have to buy more of the lotion now to have enough to use all over! Whether your skin is sensitive or normal, oily or dry, these products can work wonders.
Besides the three products I’ve been using, the company also makes a Chamomile Eye & Lip Cream, a Renewal Alpha Hydroxy product, an Herbal Protein Lift Mask, Herbal Mask Activator, and a Therapy Shave Gel. Although products can be ordered singly, they work best in combination when used as part of an overall skincare system (as I’ve described above with the trio I’ve been using). They use simple, no frills packaging to keep costs down and value up. The products are super concentrated so you don't need much and they last for a long time, often months.
They offer several combination packages, such as The System, The Spa System, and The Works, all for less than what you’d pay for comparable (or less natural, inferior) systems sold in other stores and online. They offer inexpensive shipping (imagine paying only $3.15 for one product, $4.15 for two products, and $5.50 for three products). If you order four or more products, you get free shipping.
What to try next
One of the items I haven’t tried but plan to order next is their long, long, long lasting lipstick. They make eight shades that reportedly stay on even after you eat, drink, or kiss your loved ones. These products are incredibly pure like the rest of the Southwest Sunshine skincare line. They sell for $10 each and come with free shipping within the US. These lead-free lipsticks are made in USA from berry stains, vitamin E, aloe, and sunscreen. They change color with temperature, rubbing, and body chemistry. The owners recommend that you see us somewhere (live) to try the lipsticks on your hand to get the colors that best match your skin tone. That’s on my list to do!
In addition to dangerous levels of lead (can you believe it?), most conventional lipsticks contain D4 and D5 siloxanes, chemicals linked to uterine tumors and reproductive damage in animals. These chemicals are also added to many body lotions, hair care products, baby bottle nipples, cookware, soaps, and household cleaning products. The effects of these chemicals in humans has not been studied, despite the likelihood of near universal exposure and outcomes. An analysis of Environmental Working Group’s database of ingredients revealed that among 41,000+ personal care products, D4 and D5 were found in more than 1 of every 7 products. Why risk having this persistent chemicals build up in your body when healthier, safer products, such as Southwest Sunshine Skincare products and lipstick are available?
To learn more about the safety or hazard of ingredients in personal care products, visit the Environmental Working Groups Skip Deep Cosmetic Database
Where to find them locally in Arizona
Southwest Sunshine has two booths every weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at the Mesa Marktplace, Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ (http://mesamarket.com/) Row A-83 and Row B-21. For more locations, including Sun City, Happy Valley Road, Green Valley Farmers’ Market, Tucson, and more, where you can try the products before you buy, click here.
How to order Southwest Sunshine products
You can order Southwest Sunshine products by phone: (480) 607-0010 in Arizona or (800) 959-5741 out of state or you can fax in an order 24 hours a day at (480) 607-6510. Or visit their web site to order online at www.southwestsunshineherbal.com
They offer a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee. If you try the products, give them 30 days of full use to experience the benefits. I doubt you’ll want to go back to other products after that.
What do you think?
If you try these products, I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know your experience. I value your feedback.