Questions & Answers on Anarres Products

Q: I had a question for you, as a little while back I bought some candililla wax from your store!

I don't know a whole lot about it and am having trouble finding sources online that explain how it can be harvested sustainably. Are you able to please share why Candelilla is a wax that can be sustainably and a good alternative to beeswax? And perhaps what to look for when purchasing from sources? (I will continue to get yours from you, but I know I will have people asking me in other areas of the world!)

Thanks so so much,
Ana, U of T student

A: The wax is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems with dilute sulfuric acid, and the resulting "cerote" is skimmed from the surface and further processed.
Therefore, the protection of workers and where the effluent goes are two things that come to mind.

Although my source has an overarching ethical commitment, I do not see any specifics.
I general I would think that Certified Organically produced candelilla wax would be more ethical because of the requirement to inspect and meet standards regarding the facilities,
I prefer to use beeswax because I can be directly assured of the ethics.

A third party ethical certification would be great!

Tracey, Certified Natural Health Practitioner, Founder, Teacher

Q: Hi there Tracey,

I've been using your products thus far with no issue but I do have a question:

The labels you affixed to the products, both the night-time and the daytime moisturisers, state to contain grapefruit seed extract in them. Didn't you tell me that grapefruit/citrus was not used in the daytime moisturiser because of its photosensitive properties? Or am I mistaken?

I was out all day yesterday, and picked up some colour and am wondering if the tanning process was assisted by the daytime moisturiser?

Please let me know.


A: Hi A.,

Three ingredients are often confused:
grape seed oil - the oil extracted from grape seeds, a carrier oil
grapefruit essential oil (and all citrus essential oils) is actually an oil expressed from the peels and is photosensitizing because of the terpene content
grapefruit seed extract - an extract carried in vegetable glycerine from the white inner pulp and seed of the grapefruit which is not known to be photosensitizing.

Very little GSE is used to preserve my lotions - 10ml per 1200ml finished lotion.

Q: I found a comment by you on kitchen stewardship. I would love some good resources on essential oils if you can recommend some. Do you recommend eucalyptus oil in a bath for decongesting? Thank you!

A: I recommend that you start learning about essential oils through my store, which contains a 700 page Materia Medica - info on all the essential oils I carry and use.

You can search for the oil you are interested in in the Search bar in the upper left area on any page of my site. One of the eucalyptuses is here:

Eucalyptus and peppermint oils can be too cooling for children under 5 years oil. Peppermint can irritate mucous membranes. Lemon is a gentler decongestant. Use only 3-6 drops of an essential oil in running water just before you get in!

Good luck, Tracey


Hi Tracey!
I'm about to make an order on your website and I just had a quick question for you (or maybe two)
the night exfoliant serum... I'm just wondering if it is a heavy serum. Should I put it on after a shower at night? And also what does photo-sensitizing mean?
And the night cleanser and lotion. Is that for your face only? I find that even light facial moisturizers clog my pores so I'm looking for something really light, but really hydrating cause I have super dry skin around my nose especially.

Okay! Hope you can answer these for me, or maybe you can give me some other suggestions? I'm also looking for a sandalwood-y smelling body lotion :)

A. Hi S++,

The night exfoliating serum is made of organic lemon essential oil and jojoba.
Lemon - "Photo sensitizing" means you shouldn't go out in the sun with it on, or you may burn.
Jojoba - same chemically as your skin's own oils, so it's a great light moisturizer for oily and dry skin. Can't clog pores.
Yes! After showering and wash your face in the morning.

The night cleanser and lotion should not clog your pores, as it's made with all vegetable ingredients, and it's animal and petroleum oils and waxes that clog. You can experiment, but I suggest washing your face with the cleanser, then putting some on your dry parts overnight.

For sandalwood smelling lotion, I recommend the Shea Intensive Healing Lotion with 1 ml of Sandalwood essential oil. Sandalwood is extraordinarily expensive, so you need to add $6 to the lotion order!!! Or may be half a ml would do for $3.

Best, Tracey

Hi Tracey, it's P====.

I just had a question about bitter almond...

I bought a castille soap in a health food store that contains 'Natural Bitter Almond Fragrance' and I couldn't remember whether or not you'd said bitter almond was a baddie or OK.

By the way, the soap also contains (because you were asking about what's in products in the UK):

Soaponified Organic Coconut and Organic Olive oils (with retained glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid and Vitamin E.

Is this OK to use as a shower soap (i.e. daily)?


A. Hi P----,

Thanks for your email and question.

Bitter almond is not good to use most of the time therapeutically, so it's used to give products that "almond" scent. Better bitter almond than some petroleum fragrance!

I disdain fragranced almond and coconut oils, but in this case I think it's honestly just adding a natural almond scent. This author says "avoid at all costs", but I think it's probably there in a safe dilution: The rest of the ingredients are wonderful.

Hope that answers your question!

Blessings, Tracey

Questions and answers from Good For Her regarding my Love Lab: DIY Lube and Mojo Oils

1) How, why and when did you start teaching workshops?

I started teaching workshops from my Anarres Natural Health Clinic at College and Ossington two years ago. I found that I had lots of clients and friends who wanted to learn about plant medicine and how to make things for themselves. Workshops formalized what I have been doing for 20 odd years: sharing information we should ALL have access to, concocting healthy potions and collaborating with others.

2) What draws you to work in sexual education and health?

Sex education is part of my heritage - my mother was a health educator, had a sex ed radio show and hosted Planned Parenthood meetings in our living room back in Nova Scotia. As a teenager, AIDS hit my radar as my queer community became threatened. I was an Ambassador with The Works Needle Exchange Program, an AIDS activist and a presenter and activist at the 5th World Conference on AIDS. My first video collaboration was called Please Adjust Your Sex. Before I finished my Honours Degree in Fine Arts Studies at York University, I had a full time job making safer sex and safer needle use videos with street involved youth through a social service agency - we made STD Street Smarts and Street Wise Women.

3) Can you tell me a bit about why you are passionate about this workshop topic?

I shudder when I think of the chemicals that we have been allowed to be exposed to through sexual lubricants, and products we put on or in our bodies in general. In cynical moments, I imagine that regulators and manufacturers out there are punishing us for being sexual by poisoning us. Propylene glycol comes to mind. It causes ingredients that accompany it to penetrate cells walls and even into our blood streams. It basically leaves use WIDE open literally to sexually transmissible infections. Meanwhile, we've been robbed of our traditional knowledge around sexual health. It's my mission to bring this healing knowledge back to living practice.

4) Do you have a website? A blog? A place where I can learn more about you?

I invite you to visit my site at . I blog. I answer questions. I write articles. I tell folks about my upcoming workshops. I have a store for essential oils, my products, my services and DIY ingredients. I have a one-per-month handy-dandy 1 page newsletter that I'd love you to join or try out! Just ask me at .

5) What's something interesting about your career that I might not know?!

I worked with people who are chronically homeless and agencies who serve them for a total of 18 years! My last salaried job was as the Red Cross' Manager of Homeless and Disaster Operations for the Toronto Region - they laid me off just before my maternity leave ended. Natural health is a return to my lifelong passion of making potions and medicine foods. Also, my grandmother came from Buenos Aires, starting a health farm to heal diabetics and polio victims in Edmonton alone with her four sons, and upon her death was acclaimed as Canada's first physiotherapist! My mother won a lifetime achievement award for her contributions to occupational health and safety as a nurse practitioner. I'm not sure if my work is going to top any of that for its impact, but I come by my passions honestly!

Q. Hi. Since you are such a guru of all things natural, I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a good mineral makeup? All of the grocery store ones have crap added to them.

p.s. just left you a great comment about the deodorant. I waited to make sure I wasn't allergic. Love it!
~ Etsy customer

A. You can buy mineral make up without all the crap added here:

There are other places,too.
Just make sure the manufacturer discloses ALL the ingredients and check here to see how harmful or harmless the ingredients are:
Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database

Take care, Tracey

PS I will look for your deodorant comment, but feel free to email me about it at:
anarreshealth [!at]

Q. What are my options for help to Stop Smoking?

A. If you already know that you want to stop smoking, then you are already halfway there in achieving your goal. The things I suggest below have all been effective in my experience. Hypnosis in particular is very effective once you've decided to stop smoking. One client described hypnotherapy as "having the wind at my back" in making changes in how she thinks and feels.

Sometimes, clients quit after one or two sessions. Sometimes clients succeed in quitting after 30 days. Everyone is different, but hypnotherapy is always helpful.

I offer 3, 6 or ten session Hypnotherapy Packages. I recommend the 6 session package for Becoming a Non Smoker. Here's more info: If you are not sure if hypnotherapy is for you, you can try a session on a Pay What You Want basis on any Wednesday

I also offer the Heal Through Hypnosis Stop Smoking CD

The following aromatherapy blends are used by inhaling from:
~ a dropper bottle
~ aroma nose inhaler
~ terra cotta pendant

You can also use your blend in dish soap, creams, in diffusers etc

Quit Smoking Blends - customized to your needs based on assessment

Ingredients: Grapefruit, Bitter Orange, Lime, Spearmint, Black Pepper, and Helichrysum

Quitting the smoking habit is supported in different ways: The blend soothes irritability and nervousness, promotes a feeling of calm, centering and peace. Grapefruit, Bitter Orange and Lime help ease cravings and detoxify. Spearmint and Black Pepper energize. Helichrysum helps release the underlying emotional imbalance. The blend also purifies the air.


Grapefruit, Orange, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Marjoram, Sandalwood

If you like, I can send you an Information and Assessment form and you can return it to me for a free consultation. Let me know.

Take care, Tracey

Q. I am getting into the natural things. How do you burn the incense ?

A.Hello *(),

You burn my incense the same way you burn any other incense. Light the tip of the stick or cone. When there is an ember glowing on the end, blow the flame out. (If you don't blow the flame out, the incense may begin to smoke.) Then place your incense on a burn proof surface such as a ceramic or metal dish. Sticks can be stuck into a plant pot or stick incense burner.

Does that help?

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

Q. ...I am going to ask you some questions for my article about chemicals in makeup.
1) What are 3 chemicals that someone should look for? and why are they harmful?
2)What is a safe cosmetic? Is there such a thing?
3) This is going to what I think is a very mainstream audience so I am assuming they know very little about the environment and health but are curious. If there is anything else you would like to add then feel free.

Thank you
Jackie, professional make up artist

A. Hi Jackie,

1) Ingredients in cosmetics are virtually unregulated in North America, unlike other parts of the world. Safety testing of ingredients or products is not required for approval, and ingredients that are well known to be hazardous can be hidden as trace ingredients, "trade secrets", "perfume" or "fragrance" or "colour". I caution clients to avoid any company, and any product, that does not fully disclose its ingredients. The three ingredients in make up that I'd avoid the most are:

Colours: Colouring and dyes not listed as mineral or botanical (such as alkanet root or carrot infused oil) are made from coal-tar. Many are well understood to be carcinogenic. I say that all petroleum by-products are.

Metals: Often used for colouring, or to add body or sheen, or as a contaminant in other ingredients, metals in make up are toxic, especially lead and mercury. These metals are toxic to the brain and nervous system even at small doses. These metals are not listed as ingredients and are commonly found in lipsticks, such that they are not only absorbed through the skin, but are ingested through the mouth as well!

Fragrance: Phthalates are a group of chemicals, some of which are well known to cause reproductive and developmental effects. Pthalates are associated with autism, hormonal disruption and asthma. Pthalates are not identified on labels of cosmetics because they are usually "fragrance" ingredients. All leading manufacturers of cosmetics use phthalates.

I tell clients to check the safety of their products, and of ingredients on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

2) I'd say that the only safe cosmetic is one that you've made yourself, or bought from a manufacturer who:
a. Lists ALL of the ingredients on the label, without hiding behind the terms "perfume", "fragrance" or "colour"
b. Uses only ingredients with low or 0 hazard scores on the Cosmetic Safety Database
c. Is sold by a reputable company, usually with an explicit mission to eliminate toxins in our lives, and that itself only sells safe products, such as Anarres Natural Health, or The Aromashoppe, or My Left Breast in Peterborough...

3) We've all been affected by toxins in products. For some of us, we've been struggling with infertility, or PMS, or disruptive menopause, or depression, or cancer, or for our children who have autism, asthma or learning difficulties, and for us lucky ones, the worry that these chemicals are lurking in our bodies like a time bomb. We can't help but feel that we've been let down by regulators, who still let this happen to us.

We can't help but feel abused by manufacturers who have turned a blind eye to safety studies showing the harm that the chemicals they are using on us, and hiding from us, are doing - all the time profiting from our illness. Many cosmetics are considered hazardous waste for disposal purposes. If someone put hazardous waste on our bodies, or had us ingest it, even once, it would be considered assault causing bodily harm.

So from my point of view, we are being assaulted and abused, and the only way that we can stop this nightmare is to refuse to use toxic garbage: to boycott products with unsafe or unlisted ingredients, to lobby manufacturers and regulators to require and enforce full safety and labelling of cosmetics and household products, and most importantly, to seek out and buy healthy cosmetics from responsible makers. The big companies get that message loud and clear! When you give your money to someone else and tell them why, change starts right away.

Thank you, Jackie, for this brilliant opportunity for me to further my mission through ranting.
Best wishes on your deadline!

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

Q. Hyper Thyroidism from a Facebook Wall Question
Hi all, i need a bit of advice please if anyone can help? My friend's mum suffers from Hyper thyroid and does not want to take medication for it. Does anyone know of any natural remedies for this? I think iodene is one but would like to know if there are any more. Any help will be greatly received. Peace. X Chad S., Liverpool

A. I am a Certified Natural Health Practitioner. My treatment would consist of:
1) Diet with sea salt, multivitamin & mineral supplement plus sea weeds (kelp, dulse etc)
2) Reflexology weekly, then every 2 weeks with daily self reflexology
3) Hypnotherapy and aromatherapy depending on medical history

Take care, Tracey

Q. From Etsy Conversations, about my Detox Cream Deodorant

I am new to etsy and really like it! I was wonder what are the ingrediants for your detox cream deodorant? After reading that it clears your lymphs I got to thinking your product might work for me. Some deotorants have actually made my lymphs swell so i am a bit weary of buying deodorants, I dont want to have another bad reachion so I make sure to look up all the ingrediants.
Thank you,

A. Hi K^&*()_+,

So glad you are interested.

All of the ingredients are listed in the materials. No secrets!

The base ingredients are natural soda, vegetable glycerine, and organic corn starch. The remaining ingredients are essential oils, many of these organically grown, most wild crafted. The oregano and clove are there specifically to clear the lymph of petroleum by-products.

Feel free to contact me at anarreshealth [!at]

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

Q. From Etsy Conversations, about my Detox Cream Deodorant

Hi. I bet this smells delicious, eh? I'm sad because I fell in love with Lush's Aroma Creme that smelled so divine and worked amazing...and then it gave me a nasty pit rash. *sniff* I'm hoping your cream would be kinder to my skin and still work well. Any sensitivity reports?



A. Hi K@#$%,

Lush combines real healthy ingredients with the same old petroleum by-product, cheapo chemical crap. Your deodorant has plenty to get irritated and sesitized by. They do not list their products on the Cosmetic Safety Database for a reason! (I am an approved Signer with the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, but I have not had my products listed due to the cost and time, unfortunately.) Here are the ingredients of Lush's Aroma Creme and my comments:

Sodium Bicarbonate = I use USB natural soda

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) = I use fairly traded natural grade

Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) = good if you are not sensitive to nuts

Lychees (Litchi chinensis) = I don't use this

Magnesium Carbonate = Hazard Score of 1
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient: Endocrine disruption, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Data gaps

Perfume = code for petroleum by product, could be carcinogenic among other things

Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata) = I use this, must be ethically sourced

Cassie Absolute (Acacia farnesiana) = solvent extracted, so I don't use this

Benzyl Alcohol = Hazard Score of 6!!!
yes, weak Cancer
yes, weak Developmental/reproductive toxicity
yes, moderate Violations, restrictions & warnings
yes, moderate Allergies/immunotoxicity
Other moderate concerns for this ingredient: Neurotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient: Endocrine disruption, Data gaps

*Benzyl Salicylate = Hazard Score of 4!!!
yes, strong Allergies/immunotoxicity
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient:
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Data gaps

*Benzyl Benzoate = Hazard Score of 3!!!
yes, moderate Allergies/immunotoxicity
Other strong concerns for this ingredient: Occupational hazards
Other moderate concerns for this ingredient: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient: Data gaps

Eugenol, *Geraniol, *Isoeugenol, *Farnesol, *Linalool = These are all chemicals derived or synthesized from essential oils. They are used because they are cheap, but unlike whole essential oils, are prone to causing side effects

Coumarin = Hazard Score of 5!!!
yes, moderate Cancer
yes, weak Developmental/reproductive toxicity
yes, strong Allergies/immunotoxicity
Other moderate concerns for this ingredient: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient: Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Miscellaneous, Data gaps

Hydroxycitronellol = Hazard Score of 1
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Data gaps

So in short, the Lush deodorant is possibly a skin irritant, and a toxin to the endocrine and nervous systems and to non reproductive organs.

My deodorant contains only natural soda, vegetable glycerine, corn starch and whole essential oils in non irritating proportions. It is possible to have a reaction to my deodorant if you are allergic to any of the ingredients as foods (ex corn, or coriander, or citrus fruits). Otherwise, you are quite safe!

One client loves the scent so much she had me make a perfume from it that I called "Deo Dorant".

It works like a demon, too.

I hope my long winded answer helps!

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

Send me your Questions and I'll answer them here.!