Yes, GF has changed… and it may be revolutionary.

December 09, 2013


About 2 months ago, I did something a little wild and crazy. I changed “GF” – our Grapefruit Cleanse and Hydrate Balm. (Oh, and it’s also available in 2 sizes now! Perhaps for a limited time so get on it!)

Don’t panic! I know for many of you, this is your favorite Stark product. I am confident that it will continue to be your favorite cleanser, and if it wasn’t before? It is now. I don’t even think I’m exaggerating when I say this may now be a revolutionary product on the naturals scene.

Here’s why:

Months ago, I had developed a cleansing oil that emulsified with water. It was good. Well, it was pretty good. The problem is that I use these natural emulsifiers that need a little grit or texture in order to really work. This isn’t like shampoo that just foams up at the sight of water, so the oil had trouble working up to be a cream because it needed more friction. So out of curiosity, I combined it with some butters, and created a cleansing balm….well, another cleansing balm. Turns out that a little wax and butter was all it needed to get a little “grippy” and work up a gentle, silky, milky lather (oh, how I love a natural lather! Sigh.)

I was so excited because this new balm was the product I had longed for… a truly natural cleansing balm that actually bonded with water and could be wiped away clean! A product that worked with or without water!  A product that would suit more skin types, as the intensity can be adjusted by the user! Moreover, I had never seen anything like it.

What to do? Release it as a new product? But Stark already has a cleansing balm…one that people love and it would be so un-Stark to have 2 cleansing balms! I decided to try out a hybrid of the two formulas. A franken-GF if you will, and I loved the final result. It is everything GF ever was, but so much more. A truly versatile product is what I had always wanted with GF, and I finally believe that it has been achieved.

And so, yes. The ingredients have changed a little. None of the good stuff was taken out, but a few things have been added.

Mango Butter. Why haven’t I been using this my entire life? I feel like a weirdo that I’ve never experimented with it before (and it’s probably one of the only butters I didn’t know well until recently). It is just gorgeous. Thick thick thick, and oh so pleasingly greasy at first and then, like magic, it absorbs into the skin and has this gorgeous dry-oil feel. Mangoes, you’ve done it again!

 Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate (coconut-derived and ECOCERT approved for organic products)*. I like to tell people that this wax is, proudly, “my sketchiest ingredient.” Why? Well…it has an awful name, doesn’t it? But the thing is is that it’s a very misunderstood ingredient. It is as harmless as coconut oil, and is in fact, made of coconuts! Ceteryl Alcohol is a product made from the coconut on a molecular level where fat is split between glycerine and alcohol on a triglyceride chain, and when the water-soluble glycine is rinsed away you are left with the alcohol. The sulfite  part refers to it being a salt, also derived from coconut. So yes, these are chemicals in the sense that they are this miniscule part of the coconut machine and were not blessed with a more elegant name.  They are no more of a process to extract from the plant than how oils and butters are obtained. It is non-drying (not THAT kind of alcohol), non-irritating, biodegradable and used in a minute amount in our formula. And it makes all the difference in how GF now WORKS.

I will be posting another article on sulfates shortly as I would like to go into this topic further as I believe it’s vital that we touch on some of the myths surrounding skincare safety and fear-mongering. So political, this natural skincare thing!

So there you have it. GF has changed, I’m so excited about it and SO in love with the new version and I think you will be, too.

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