Hidden Dangers of Shopping On Etsy?
At one point or another we have all found ourselves browsing Etsy, our pages filled with one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade goods, and the artisan crafts of budding maker/entrepreneurs. This platform allows us to find unique goods and support small businesses and solopreneurs alike. It sounds like the best-case scenario for those of us who like to support local or small business instead of big box stores, and I was fully bought into that idea until one conversation I saw between makers in a group chat.
I had joined a small group of other women who sold bath and body goods on Etsy and we discussed our successes and failures and what we had learned along the way and overall the group was unremarkable. One day I was scrolling through the conversations, and I saw a warning going out to soap makers. This woman who had been selling on Etsy had decided to make a new type of soap something along the lines of a salted caramel scent. She wasn’t aware that salts came in different qualities, and that not every salt was pure. Just because it says “Natural Sea Salt” doesn’t mean it is ONLY natural sea salt. The salt used in this soap contained an anticaking agent, which is extremely common in most salts bought at your local grocery store. This anti-caking agent mixed with the chemicals and volatile oils in her cold process soap and formed a poison making her products toxic.
This opened my eyes to the hidden dangers of buying goods from shops where I couldn’t verify the knowledge of the one making these goods. Anyone can open a shop and sell soaps or other goods mixing in whatever additives their heart desires. Just because one has the knowledge of curing soaps or how to make the fizziest of bath bombs doesn’t mean they have the necessary knowledge of the volatile oils or stabilizing chemicals in their finished goods.
It was this experience that made me decide to move my primary business away from Etsy, so I could display my accreditations, certifications, and knowledge for my clients. If you are buying handmade goods, especially ones you are putting on your body you should be able to verify the person making your goods has the knowledge to make your product safe. Look for knowledge of safe standards and practices, a knowledge of herbs and essential oils and their contraindications. Your skin is an absorbent organ and acts like sponge to whatever you put on it, and your bath and body products should be made with that in mind.