Fiddlebump’s Apothecary

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Review of Fiddlebump’s Apothecary, located in Creswell, OR. As all of us have different skin/hair/water/expectations, of course results will vary. These are my experiences with these products, and I don’t expect any product to satisfy 100% of the people who try it…

This post was updated with: shampoo, hair detangler, foaming face wash, strawberry toner, bug repellent and bug bite salve on 6/17. You’ll find the most recent updates below the company background info.   I always like to start out my reviews by giving you some background on the company, or in this case, the full-time working mama making these products in her “spare” time. Holly Slawter, founder and operator of Fiddlebump’s Apothecary, strives to inform people of the harmful ingredients in every day products that have been linked to cancer, Alzheimers and numerous other diseases. She believes we must all be informed so that we may live healthier lives for ourselves, our children & our future. Information from her website about her products, and her mission:

Fiddlebump’s Apothecary Promise: Fiddlebump’s Apothecary products are 100% Natural and Handcrafted. Holly makes every, single product herself. NO Parabens, NO Petroleum, NO Preservatives, NO Soy, NO Nut Oils, NO Wheat.

Mission: Fiddlebump’s Apothecary offers safe, 100% Natural, toxin-free alternatives to a variety of every day products at more affordable prices than other popular “natural” companies. Quality begins with our pure botanical ingredients. We use only the finest wild-crafted, natural or organic herbs and herbal extracts, distilled pure essential oils and cold-pressed, exotic organic fruit oils and butters in our products. We choose to let our ingredients lists speak for themselves.  We pay special attention to the details; every one of our products are lovingly made “from scratch” and entirely by hand in small batches, enabling us to maintain our high standard of purity. Real people make our products, not machines! We also want to promote a “greener” lifestyle and do our part to save the Earth! All products are packaged containers that are reusable or at the very least recyclable.

Inspiration: Fiddlebump’s Apothecary was inspired by many wonderful people in owner, Holly Slawter’s life who have battled cancer & Alzheimer’s. She is also inspired by those who strive to live as natural of a life possible.

History: Holly was giving the nickname “Fiddlebump” by her Granddaddy when she was a little girl, he said she was “as little as a bump on a fiddle” With her grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s, one of the key inspirations for her business, the name “Fiddlebump” seemed very fitting for her company. Holly was born & raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. She now resides in Oregon with her wonderful husband and two incredible children. In addition to her beloved Granddaddy, her Grandma also now battles Alzheimer’s. Both her husband and mother in law are cancer survivors and she has lost other family members to cancer and heart disease. As Holly had her own children, she began to realize the impact that chemical & synthetic ingredients could have on our health. She wants to prevent chemical and toxin exposure for her family and yours. Holly donates 10% of all Sales are to the Alzeheimer’s Association!

Shampoo: $10.00/ 8 oz. plastic bottle with foaming pump. Ingredients ~ Saponified Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Essential Oil blend ( Rosemary, Orange, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Tea Tree). Due to the pump it comes out as foam into your hand, but does not produce a lather in your hair (or at least it didn’t in mine). I am OK with no lather, as I used the “No Poo” method for several months & know that lather does not equal clean. But for those that want/need a shampoo that lathers, this may not be for you. I will tell you though that my hair feels amazingly clean and healthy after using this shampoo. I do have healthy, shoulder-length hair to begin with, but I am truly impressed with how thick & healthy it feels after washing with this shampoo. 2 squirts is plenty for my hair, but as I said it’s pretty short (was ready for a change after having very long hair for 10+ years). I rub it in my hands 1st and mainly concentrate on rubbing it into my scalp well & then work it out towards the ends. I have followed up with the hair detangler which I’ll discuss next, but also have not followed up with any type of conditioner and found my hair to feel excellent even without the use of conditioner. I use it once-twice/week, as I’ve been doing for many months with both the No Poo method & other shampoo I’ve sampled, my hair does not get greasy in-between washes, and really feels great. Of course, as climates, water types, your expectations vary, you may find yourself washing your hair more or less. I highly recommend this product if you’re looking for a very, very safe shampoo and OK with the fact that it doesn’t lather. In order to produce the lather, Holly would have to add an ingredient such as Decyl Polyglucose, for example, and I can appreciate the fact that she is keeping it very basic, yet it is an incredibly effective product.

Hair Detangler. $7.00/8 oz. plastic bottle with spray top. Ingredients ~ Lavender Hydrosol, Aloe Vera Juice, Essential Oils (Lavender, Orange, Rose Geranium). I have really come to like using a spray-in/leave-in conditioner. It’s one less thing to do while in the shower, as those of us with young children know the days of long showers are over. I towel dry my hair for 5 minutes or so, spray it with the detangler & comb out. As I mentioned above I don’t use the conditioner every, single time (static season is over so that helps), but I do most times I wash. It does a great job in my hair. It makes it easier to comb out & does not leave my hair feeling the least bit greasy or weighed down. My hair dries feeling soft, healthy & very full-bodied. It produces a nice fine mist out of the bottle that distributes evenly in your hair, so a little bit goes a long way. A bottle will last a very long time & I feel the priced is very reasonable!

Foaming Face Wash- $9.00/ 2 oz. bottle. Ingredients ~ Saponified Oils of Unrefined Hemp Seed, Organic coconut Oil, Unrefined Shea Butter, Essential Oils of Lavender & Tea Tree. I really love this product! Previously I had been using just Witchazel to clean my face nightly, but am enjoying the addition of this foaming face wash. It comes in a small plastic bottle with a foaming pump on it. I had never used products with foaming pumps much until recently, but I’m now in love with them. The bottle recommends 2 pumps, I have found 1 pump to be sufficient for my face. So while it seems like a small bottle, when you’re using 1 pump vs. pouring a bunch into your hand, a bottle lasts a really, really long time which makes it both eco- and budget-friendly. Holly has also told me that refills for products such as this are in the works, so you can keep the pump bottle & order a more generic, larger sized bottle to refill it with. Strawberry Leaf Toner: $6.00/ 4 oz. bottle. Product description: “Perfect to aid in balancing the ph of all skin types. Strawberry leaves contains a high level of Vitamin C & Natural Salicylic Acid, Apple Cider Vinegar helps to rebalance the ph of your skin & Rose Water for its soothing, moisturizing and calming abilities”. Ingredients ~ Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with mother, Rose Hyrdosol, Aloe Vera Juice, Distilled Water, Organic Strawberry Leaves. This makes a great follow-up after washing your face. I have seen strawberry leaf used in other natural toners before & know it’s touted for its skin care properties. I honestly can’t say what it’s really doing for my skin, I don’t have a before & after shot, etc. about all I can say is it is a product with several beneficial skin care ingredients and I recommend it for those of you who like to use toners. Holly sent me her Skin Food which is a moisturizer (comes in formulas for sensitive, problem and mature skin) in the 1st batch of products to review & I absolutely love it still. The combo of the wash, toner, Skin Food is just fabulous, and I highly recommend it to anyone in search of a great facial care routine. You can read my review of that product below.

Bug Repellent- $10.00/ 8 oz. plastic bottle with spray top. Also comes in stick form. Product description: “This product contains Neem Oil which has been shown to be as effective as DEET! Safe for babies, children, adults, pets and even your plants!” Ingredients : Lavender Hydrosol, Distilled Water, Neem Oil, Essential Oil blend (peppermint, catnip, eucalyptus, Virginia Cedarwood). Spray top produces a nice fine mist that distributes it evenly over skin, and it has a very pleasant smell. The 1st thing I tried it on was gnats which have been very pesky this season here in WI. I was sitting outside & they were swarming all over & I went to grab this spray, sat back down & waited for them to start swarming again & sprayed liberally- they stayed away! Next test was on a day when I noticed a bunch of black flies gathered on a pile of something decomposing in our yard (we live in the country and have a black lab who like to bring surpasses home). I grabbed the spray, sprayed the unknown lump down, and the flies would not touch it afterwards, this impressed hubby too! The mosquitos have just started to be an issue as we’ve had a very cool spring thus far, but I live on the banks of a river and when they do hatch, we have a serious problem. Over the weekend I was pulling weeds in my flower bed in the evening hours & they came on suddenly & started landing on my arms. I went and got the spray, sprayed most of my body liberally and went back at it and although I could hear them buzzing around me, I pulled weeds for about 15 min. (all I can handle @ 38 weeks pregnant) and came back in with no bites. Compared to other natural bug repellents I’ve used & am aware of, I feel the price is very reasonable for this product!

Bug Bite Salve–$10/ 2 oz. glass jar, which may seem like a small amount, but you need just a tiny dab per bite, I think a jar should last an entire season.  Product description: “aids in relieving symptoms and discomfort associated with bug bites and stings. This blend of plant ingredients aids in reducing inflammation, swelling, redness and itching. Neem Oil has been used for ages to aid in drawing poison out of bug bites. Ingredients ~ Unrefined Shea Butter, Neem Oil, Unrefined Hemp Seed Oil, Calendula, Parsley, Witch Hazel Bark, Beeswax, Vitamin E, Essential Oils of Lavender, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus. I used this on my toddler a few times & noticed the redness did go away, but I was unsure if he experienced any relief. As I was laying him down for his nap a couple days ago he was itching various bites he had which were preventing him from falling asleep and he said “Mama, bug balm”. I went and got it, applied it to his bites and he quit itching them, and fell asleep within minutes! My other experience using it thus far was a few nights ago when he ended up with several bites while indoors, somehow without Hubby or I noticing any bugs indoors, and the salve definitely helped take the itch out of most of them, but he had one or 2 in particular that really bothered him & he continued to itch after applying the salve. So, I can’t say it worked 100% of the time for all bites, but I don’t know that any product would do so. My hubby has had horse fly bites on a couple of occasions, which really leave quite the bite. The 1st time I noticed him rubbing a huge, red lump and ran to grab the Bug Salve and applied it immediately. I waited a couple minutes and asked him if it felt better & indeed he said it didn’t bother him whatsoever anymore, and the redness was gone. A couple days later he came in from outside & retrieved the Bug Salve, brought it to me and asked him to apply it to another horse fly bite on his back, same results- stinging & redness disappeared almost immediately.

Tiny Heiny Cream- $10.00/ 2 oz. glass jar. Ingredients ~ Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Beeswax, Calendula, Essential Oils of Tea Tree, Lavender & Orange. This was sent to have on hand for the arrival of my new babe, who should be gracing us with his/her presence any day. I was very fortunate that my 1st child has had 2 diaper rashes in 2 years, and we made it through his entire 1st year without any rash whatsoever. Of course that may not be the case this time around, and I’m happy to have this product on hand should I need it, and not have to wait a week for something to come in the mail. I will update this item if/when I use it, but just wanted to make you aware that it exists and is completely cloth diaper safe.

Previous reviews (posted April 1):

Here are the wonderful  products sent to me: Belly Butter, Sensitive Skin Food, Lip Balm, Boo Boo Balm, and Healing Salve. She offers a great selection, and one thing I really like is that she posts the price right up front alongside the photo & description of the item. It can be discouraging to browse through items on a website, and then see in the very fine print at the bottom of the description that the item is out of the budget. Here are the categories of offerings, with selections in each category: baby, deodorant, hair care, skin care, spa, cleaning, first aid, pet and soap. I have no concern over a single ingredient Holly is using in her line (I wish I could say that for more lines)!

1st I have to rave about the Belly Butter. If you are currently pregnant, or know someone who is, order some of this immediately—you won’t regret it! I had been using Shea Butter on my growing belly, which is a very nourishing butter in and of itself (just starting my 3rd trimester now), and didn’t feel I was missing anything by using a non-scented product. But I have to tell you, this rose geranium scented Belly Butter is one of the most delightful smelling products I’ve ever used! I’ve never looked forward to buttering up my belly so much. With the Shea butter I would do it here & there, maybe every couple of days when I would look at the jar and remember. Now, I can’t wait to apply it several times a day, and my skin is thanking me for it. I apply it before bed and honestly lay there inhaling & saying “ahhhhhh” in my head (don’t want to wake my son), it’s a delightful, relaxing smell. It’s a firm butter, and at 1st I wasn’t having the best of luck getting it to melt to my touch to apply it so I dumped it upside down & gave it a tap & it came out nicely, like a bar of soap, and I rub it on that way, and it applies wonderfully. I look forward to using it every time, and it has a great non-greasy feel. I wake up in the morning and my belly feels very soft. I have been using this 2-3 times/day for about 2 weeks, and have barely put a dent in the bar, I have no doubt it will last the rest of my pregnancy. I love it so much I coat my hands in it too, and breathe in that wonderful smell!  Info from the website: “Fiddlebump’s Belly Butter is specially formulated to help prevent and or reduce stretch marks. This unique blend of butters, vitamins and oils relieves itching associated with stretching skin and promotes healthy skin elasticity. This is a firm butter; it will melt with contact to the skin.” Ingredients: Ingredients ~ Organic Cocoa Butter, Unrefined Shea Butter, Unrefined Mango Butter, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Beeswax, Vitamin E, Rose Geranium Essential Oil. $15 for 4 oz. http://fiddlebumps.com/?p=11.

I have been using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer this winter, and Shea butter for extra-dry problem skin. However, many feel coconut oil is too greasy/oily, and some feel it clogs their pores, so I am delighted to have had this sent to me as a sample, and even more delighted to tell you that I feel it’s a great product for those looking for a healthy moisturizer. The calendula adds a wonderful, subtle flowery/herbal scent that I absolutely love! As I said, I didn’t think I was missing using scented products by using plain oils/butters as is, but sampling these wonderful smelling products has made me realize that I did miss having a bit of scent in my products! It does feel oily/greasy while going on, but most all lotion will. After a couple minutes it absorbs into your skin, and I truly love the way my skin feels afterward. It comes in several formulas in addition to the sensitive blend sent to me: mature formula, problem formula, manly, and eczema/psoriasis. From the website: “Each skin food is specially formulated to nourish every skin deficiency.  Skin food provides nourishment for your skin and each formula has a special extra function of its own. Skin Food is a blend of plant butters, plant oils vitamins & Essential Oils.  When combined, these ingredients help protect skin from sun damage, heal dry cracked skin, improve skin elasticity, promote collagen production, reduce scarring, soothes sunburn, helps prevent peeling, and soothes minor skin irritations.  These blends have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ingredients ~ Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Calendula, Beeswax. Comes in a glass jar– $10 for 2 oz. (2 oz. doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve been using it mainly on my face without hardly putting a dent in the jar, I expect the jar to last several months)/ http://fiddlebumps.com/?p=265

Lipbalm normally doesn’t get me that excited. I’ve been using plain Shea butter for the last couple of months, and had sampled a few local creations prior to that which I just didn’t love-they were too greasy/oily. But, this lip balm has a perfect consistency, with a wonderful, subtle coconut smell. The info from the website describes it perfectly- I will be keeping this in stock in my house for sure! “Heal and prevent dry, chapped lips with the gentle ingredients in this heavy, non-waxy lip balm ideal for even sensitive skin. It leaves lips feeling soft without encouraging dependency. Plant butters join beeswax to seal in moisture and protect while providing a silky shine.” Available in Mint, Cherry & Coconut. Ingredients ~ Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Beeswax, and one of the following (Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Coconut or Organic Cherry Oil). $3.00/tube. http://fiddlebumps.com/?p=234

I was also sent 2 products that I’m grateful to have as part of my 1st aid kit, although I hope not to need them of course: Boo Boo Balm, and Healing Salve. It is great to be prepared for the inevitable day that my toddler (or I) take a spill and need one of these products. From the website: “Fiddlebump’s Boo Boo Balm is a great go to for all of your first aid needs. This gentle & natural balm treats everyday boo boos and doesn’t sting. Use for cuts, abrasions, bug bites, dry skin, burns and more…… With anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties minor cuts and scrapes will heal quickly.  The high percentage of unrefined Shea butter in this balm helps to prevent scarring. Children really like this balm because they can do it themselves!  This is a favorite among children and moms alike!!  Packaged in a convenient, easy to take on the go roll up container. Ingredients ~ Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Beeswax, Essential Oils of Tea Tree, Orange & Lavender. $4.00 for a cute little deodorant-type container (which I’ll save and reuse for deodorant for a gift/for sale when I’m done with it). http://fiddlebumps.com/?p=208

The Healing Salve: Fiddlebump’s Apothecary Healing Salve is very effective in speeding up the healing process of minor cuts, burns, sores, scrapes, bites, hemorrhoids and just about every first aid need you can imagine. This salve is a super multi-tasker. Shea Butter helps improve skin elasticity & aids in reducing scars, this essential oil blend provides anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti- inflammatory properties. Ingredients ~ Unrefined Shea Butter, Unrefined Hemp Seed Oil, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Calendula, Beeswax, Wildcrafted Balm of Gilead, Wildcrafted Blue Violet Leaf, Essential Oils (Lavender, Tea Tree, Orange) $5.00 for a 1 oz. container. http://fiddlebumps.com/?p=63

Holly makes many great items for your 1st aid kit/problem skin: bug bite salve, respiratory balm, joint balm, jewelweed salve, hair & scalp food, skin food, muscle balm and unpetroleum jelly. Also, a few cleaning products which look great: furniture polish, glass cleaner and lavender all-purpose cleaner. I also love that her Website has a DIY recipe tab which includes numerous spa & around the house cleanser recipes.

Another GREAT tidbit about these products: ALL packaging is MADE in the USA!!

I can’t thank Holly enough for sharing these wonderful products with me! I agree with her assertion that they are quite reasonably priced compared to numerous other products on the “natural” market. If you’re new to natural products made with organic ingredients and unrefined oils/butters, you may glance at the prices and feel they’re expensive. True, they’re more expensive than ‘conventional’ products, but what you have to take into consideration is that most ‘conventional’ products have water as their first ingredient, and then they therefore need a preservative which is one of my main ingredients of concern in any line, no matter how safe they claim the preservative to be. So, while the sticker price may be cheaper, you’re paying for water, and I don’t know anyone who likes to do that. These products are pure, highly concentrated, and preservative-free as they contain no water. A little dab will truly suffice for your needs, which helps the products last much longer than the products you may be used to, while eliminating excess packaging materials from our landfills/recycling centers. I will definitely be placing orders with Fiddlebump’s in the future, as well as gifting every pregnant mama I know with some of her awesome Belly Butter. Please go take a look at the wonderful products made by this hard-working mama, there truly is something for everyone: Website: http://fiddlebumps.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fiddlebumps/208583480806?fref=ts Her products are available in select locations in Oregon, Michigan, and Virgina: http://fiddlebumps.com/?page_id=625

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