Specialty Ingredients: Ingredient Listings Do Change with Location 3

ExoticOilMy experiences in China have opened my eyes to how location changes the ingredients that are viewed as specialty and/or exotic ingredients. Here in the USA, we often use ingredients that bring exotic and unique locations to mind. Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Argan Oil are all oils that we consider to be specialty ingredients due to their exotic origins and the higher prices that are needed to bring them to the USA. Marketing for big cosmetic brands has also helped bring these ingredients to the forefront of our minds (and our customers too).

Yet in other countries and even regions within the same country, different ingredients may or may not be considered to be specialty ingredients. Here is a comparison for you. Soybeans grow in most of the USA and we use a lot of soybean oil in cooking and frying. It is easy to purchase anywhere, including most grocery stores. While I was in China I could not easily buy any type of Soybean Oil, liquid or hydrogenated. They eat lots of soy based products, but they don’t use the oil in cooking. When I did find it, the price was almost triple the price of Coconut Oil! Sometimes we don’t think about the oils that we find locally as special and it takes new experiences to remind us how special that oil is.

Do you remember my blog post about Snake Oil? Many of you commented about how you found the snake oil to be interesting and some of you even said it had you grossed out! Do you remember Jerry helped me get some Snake Oil so I could try making my own hand cream and soap? Here in the USA, we consider Snake Oil to be a specialty oil because it is something so unique to our markets.

Would you want to try a small amount of Snake Oil? I’ve been able to get a small amount of it for testing purposes and I would like to share it with you! It isn’t something that we will add to the catalog so when my *very* limited supply runs out, I won’t be able to get any more. How do you get some? Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Contact Us page and select Blog Team.
  2. Send a message including your Name, Address, City ST ZIP, and a comment telling me what you want to do with the Snake Oil. Click SEND MESSAGE.

So, what happens after all of this? Well, I send each valid MMS customer who submitted information, a 2 fl oz sample of Snake Oil AND a handwritten note. (See the catch? You must be a Sage in order to participate.)

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and even something to play with!


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About Andee

Director of Happiness. I'm a thirty-something soap snob. I've grown up with handmade soaps, and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps, and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

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3 thoughts on “Specialty Ingredients: Ingredient Listings Do Change with Location

  • Cee

    Just a head’s up… My understanding is that “snake oil” is aka “snake venom”. It is used in high-end pain relief products and wrinkle creams. Viper venom, for example, paralyzes its victims, hence the ability to smooth crowsfeet and laugh lines. Just a note of caution, after a pedicure, my husband was treated to an all-natural foot cream that contained snake venom. He broke out in a severe rash. I’m not saying “don’t try it”; I’m just saying, use a light touch — just don’t go overboard with it. 😀

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    • Tina

      Cee, Snake oil is not snake venom. The two are entirely different. If the snake is killed, the skin removed and the meat is eaten, the body fat is the snake oil we are talking about here. Not venom, which would not recommend on the skin by an untrained person.

      Emu oil is very similar to snake oil.

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  • ArtisanShelly

    I am very excited about the snake oil I just got in this last swap. My Son, who will be 18 this October, wants me to save it for a summertime event between Mom and Son, and together we will make something super cool with the Snake Oil!! I will be sure to post back what we make and then submit some pictures too. How exciting indeed!!!!

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