Local Spotlight: Amberturtle’s Natural Body Care Products
By Jenn Bronson
About twenty years ago, Amber Turtle was told by doctors that she didn’t have long to live and to make the best of her time left. She learned that she had multiple chemical sensitivities to the world around her, and that there were ways to improve the quality of her life. Not only did she defy the time limit prescribed to her, she also started on a wellness journey that has taken her out of the world of chemicals and into a natural, non-toxic one.
Amber describes her experience of learning the importance of living in a non-toxic world as “eye-opening,” and the overall lack of high-quality, affordable, natural body care products on the market got her started making her own. She makes soap the old way, using the cold-press process, and is the only one in Tallahassee to do this. Cold press is the in-depth, scientific art of mixing fats and lye, heating and cooling and mixing for hours, adding fragrant oils, herbs, oatmeal, and other additives at just the right time, and finally pouring into wooden molds, sometimes insulated, until the mixture is firm enough to cut into bars. The soap is then cured and hardened on a drying rack for four to five weeks before it is ready for use.
Amber’s soaps come in a variety of scents and include special ingredients such as eucalyptus, jasmine, coconut milk, cedar sage, and even a coffee scrub bar! All of these possess different beneficial properties for all types of skin. She also makes creams from coconut milk, yogurt, and Shea butter. Amber says her favorite product is the Shea butter cream. For this cream she uses Fair Trade, Grade A Shea butter. The price of Fair Trade products might be higher, but by receiving quality control training and a fair price for their products, producers can avoid cost-cutting practices like using dirty water and not washing the mold off the nuts before pressing. This ensures a high-quality product for the consumer and a better life for the workers. Amber points out that, “When you buy this Fair Trade, Grade A Shea butter, you are enabling the women that process this Shea butter to live with dignity and invest in their families, communities, and the environment.”
Amber Turtle’s products are only tested on people and she never uses animal fats in her soaps. Not only has she improved and lengthened her own life through the production of high-quality, all-natural body care products, but she has given the rest of us an affordable and luxurious way to remove more toxins from our daily lives.