i want to teach, not preach

I have been thinking more and more these days about how I want Dot & Lil to represent truth in skin care, education in the personal care industry, really teach consumers about what they are using. If you know me well or have gotten to talking to me at a craft fair, you'll know how passionate I am about understanding what we use on our bodies. I was reminded today by this blog post by Seth Godin (who I've talked about before on this blog here and here and here...yeah ok so I like Seth Godin!) that people do not want complicated answers, even when the question really does require one. Simple answers will always be received better. And that is exactly the case with a lot of the questions I get about skin care.

When someone asks me off-hand "Does this have parabens?" they aren't usually looking for twenty minute long soliloquies about (get ready for the complex answer) how parabens are preservatives that are used to prevent microbial and bacterial growth in water-containing formulas and that as such I do not use them as I have chosen to have an entirely anhydrous product line (deep breath in after longest sentence ever and I could keep going but your eyes would glaze over!) What they really want is "yes" or "no". They especially don't want to hear the second part of that paraben speech of mine in which I get into how although much maligned by the media and groups like the EWG, I have yet to see any scientific peer-reviewed study that points to the fact that parabens are anything but safe and effective. I do understand that people process too much information about too many things in our society to be able to really devote the time to process that above info and make a decision.

As Seth Godin points out, I will have better luck on my quest to educate people about these things if I can break the complicated answer into simple steps. Either that, or find a die-hard group of people that are willing to listen to the complex and true answer. I hope to do both. In the next year, I want to put together a really simple, non-complex, friendly looking glossary of all the ingredients I use, that explains what they are and why I use them. I even want to include ingredients that I don't choose to use--and why. It will all be true, and also bite-sized. I want it to be digestible. And happy. And not like sitting in science class.

And for those of you that DO want the complex and also true answers? Well, we all know I'll still love to give those!

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xoxo, Anne + the Dot & Lil Team