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Q & A: Organic Bunny

Katja Kokko | 30.1.2016

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As a blogger on green beauty you´d think I´d be following tons of international blogs. I´ve had several blogs in my reading list, but one after another they have dropped out and only a few have remained in active reading. One of these is above the others – I´d like to introduce you to Amanda Jo´s blog Organic Bunny

Through Amanda´s blog you can get to know brands that are not yet available here in Finland or even in Europe and find some new inspiration through American brands. An even greater reason to follow her is her thorough research on synthetic chemicals and their effects on the skin. In the natural cosmetics blogsphere there are a lot of bloggers who do not have a thorough understanding on the subject and are “victims” of greenwashed products, trusting in the advertisement of these companies. You can count on Amanda shining light on these frauds, as a matter of fact one of her most popular instagram concepts is to tag synthetic cosmetics brands in her updates and reveal what their products are truly made of.  Brave woman! You can imagine the counterpart is not too happy about these outings.

Last October Amanda launched the Organic Bunny Box which is a monthly subscription with 6-8 of her most popular posts of the month and her favorite products from Organic skin and hair care to safer household cleaners and Organic snacks. The Box has become a true hit in the U.S. I´ve actually been asked to create a similar concept a couple of times and I´ve been bouncing the idea around for about a year now. So I just might. In fact, if you´re reading this and thinking, hmm… that sounds like a good collaboration idea, go ahead and shoot me an email!

Amanda is an inspiring and positive woman and I can relate with many of her thoughts. The emphasis being on the word woman –she is uncompromising in doing her own thing and looking good while doing it, I like and respect that. Go ahead and get inspired, here´s my interview with Amanda:

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Can you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you end up for blogging about green beauty?

I actually have been blogging since about 2009, however, when I started, my focus was more so on all things glamour, including the bad stuff! I was a sucker for anything that made me feel and look super girly so the more products; the better was my opinion back then!

I felt sort of lost and unhappy talking about just fashion and makeup, I always felt like I was meant for more than just that. After discovering my own gluten allergy, it lead me to be more cautious with the foods I ate. I became super into my health and a clean diet, which ultimately lead me to cleaner beauty products as well.

The more I read, the more I learned that what we put on our body is just as important as what we eat! Especially considering the toxins that enter our bloodstream don’t get processed down like our food does! To know the bad guys hiding in my favorite beauty products could actually be absorbed into my skin and left in my body for years, I knew I had to clean up my beauty routine as well, which also gave me a newfound purpose and meaning that really is my life passion.

Before blogging, I was preparing for Law School; however, I knew I was destined for more than a life stuck inside a courtroom. Not that there is anything wrong with that job, if I could have five jobs, an Attorney would certainly be one, I just am far more passionate about so many other things, I knew I could not settle for second best when it came to a career.

Is the blog your main profession or do you have another job?

Yes! My blog consumes my life, in a good way, and I am fortunate for it becoming my full time job! You can pretty much count on me being online from 7AM to about 11PM every single day answering questions, reviewing products, filming new YouTube videos, chatting on Periscope and more!

I also just launched the Organic Bunny Box last year in October, so that keeps me busy on the weekends as well. The Organic Bunny Box is a great monthly subscription box that features 6-8 of my most favorite products of the moment. From Organic skin and hair care products to safer household cleaners and Organic snacks, the Organic Bunny Box has a bunch of fun goodies to help encourage girls clean up their daily routines!

How would you define a high quality and effective cosmetic product? Nowadays you can find thousands of products in the natural & organic cosmetics market, but not all of them are actually good quality.

Yes! I used to believe that you did not have to spend a ton to find a good product, but now that I know what goes into a quality line, I have completely changed my stance on this. If you want the best, it’s going to cost a bit more because when it comes to skincare, you really do want the best, most quality sourced ingredients possible. Because skin care is the first thing we apply each day, and in frequent amounts, I personally enjoy using the most clean, Organic, Wild-Harvested ingredients to ensure I am always feeding my skin the absolute best.

Can you go on Etsy and buy an Organic skin care product for half the cost? Sure! But you have to think about this… Why can they sell it for less? Usually the price reflects how much the brand pays to make the products, so if it’s less expensive, it usually indicates lower quality ingredients. Perhaps the oils are not Organic or Cold-Pressed? Or maybe they are processed with high heat, removing all of their nutrients? For me, a reputable, 100% Organic & Wild-Harvested line, ethically sourced is worth every cent. Many may not agree, it’s just my personal stance.

Now, when it comes to makeup, perhaps I will cut a few corners since I use it much less! Do I need the very best eyebrow filler or blush? Maybe not so much. So, long story long, I do believe that in the green beauty market, the higher the cost really does reflect all that has gone into the product. Many of the higher end brands invest a lot to be certified, thoroughly tested and really, can’t afford to sell it for less. I do believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to Organic products.

What is the most challenging skincare or make-up product to find in organic cosmetics?

I honestly have not had any challenges replacing products! It was, and is, very time consuming to find safer swaps, but ultimately, I always find one! Actually, I am still on the hunt for a truly clean nail polish, however, at this time it seems to be impossible to make one safely because at the end of the day, it is paint.

What are your 3 top brands from organic beauty?

For sure Kypris for skin care, it’s all I use. They make an amazing natural Retinol, super hydrating elixirs and reparative serums so for any skin issues, they always have my back! For face foundation Kjaer Weis makes an amazing Organic based foundation I can’t live without and Innersense Organic Beauty is my go-to brand for truly clean shampoo & conditioner!

Do you see a lot of greenwashing in the organic beauty market?

Unfortunately, you do. I think this is one of the most frustrating parts of this job because when you’re as passionate as I am about making real changes, it kills me to see brands people think are better, still misleading thousands! I actually had a huge debate over AILA nail polish recently. AILA markets their nail polish as safe for children and as Non-Toxic, all while containing a possible Carcinogen. This stuff really gets to me because mothers around the world buy these products thinking they are safe for their kids, when really, they probably are not. There are no where near enough studies done on Benzophenone-1, therefore, no brand should classify this possible toxin, responsible for killing rats and fish when studied and with various studied links to cancer, as safe.

Nowadays, I suggest everyone still double check their labels, even when shopping from safer brands because many still come with risks. I am not saying to never use the items, just be aware of what is in them and then you can decide how often to use each. I believe in transparency and giving people the truth to ultimately decide how they want to use it.

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What is it like to run your own blog? What is your average day like?

It’s certainly the most work I have ever done before, but, I love every minute of it because I am in total control of what I am creating! Each day I wake up around 7am, take my puppy for a walk, feed him a breakfast and then get to work by 8! I usually start with emails, I wake up to about 40 each morning, which really takes up so much of my time! I scan them for new products to review, updates about new boxes I am creating, collaboration ideas etc… I try to spend a few hours emailing and then work on a post for the day. I try to post 3 times a day so planning those posts out each day consumes most of my time as well.

I spend a lot of time trying out products, photographing the ones I like, typing up full blog reviews and setting up coupon codes so my readers can save some money when making the switch to cleaner beauty items!

What is the most important thing for you in blogging?

Sharing the truth and proving that living a cleaner life is certainly possible, even for a girly girl like me! I do not strive for perfection, but I do strive for making the best choices possible for my health, when I can. I think if more people knew the truth about this entire industry, they would want to do better as well, which is what motivates me each day.

What kind of challenges have you had with blogging?

I find that some people get upset with the information I share because really, who wants to be told they’re using something unsafe, especially if it’s their favorite product! People do get defensive at times, but I try to remember I was once in their shoes as well. It takes time to open up to this whole new world so I do find it can be hard to present certain info to people not ready to fully make the switch. I try to preach less and instead, just share info so, again, people can decide for themselves!

What are your 3 favourite organic beauty blogs?

My three favorite Green Beauty’s to follow online are @CitrineBeautyAz, a super glam Green Beauty store located in Arizona. The owner Melissa has helped me so much in my transition, I am forever grateful for her knowledge and patience assisting me in this all. She carries some of the very best in Organic and Non-Toxic products so for anyone wanting to make the swap I suggest they check her online store out! I also love following @beautybybritanie, another super sweet, amazing blogger that focuses on Green Beauty, as well as @lillygenuineglow! Both of these girls have great blogs, always keeping me up to date on new products I might not have discovered yet!

What has been the highlight or a special memory with your blog so far?

Getting emails from girls that follow me saying that my blog has changed their life has to be the coolest thing EVER! To know girls not only trust you, but have improved their life and overall health and happiness as well? It’s just so awesome and is what keeps me going.

How about the future? You launched your organic beauty box few months ago. Are you planning to create something else?

I do have a few new projects up my sleeve but for now, can say that I will be expanding my beauty boxes and really investing a lot of time into those, as well as more time into the actual scientific studies behind some of the most toxic products we use each day. For me, nothing is better than facts so I really try to promote those as much as possible.

What is your biggest dream for your blog?

To keep growing and sharing this important information with the world! There are so many health issues that are linked to many of the ingredients found in our conventional products and I really hope that this continues to be important to women and men all over. I never thought in a million years that almost 60,000 people would follow me to live a healthier life, so the fact that they have and do, gives me so much hope! I hope to get more brands to clean up their products. I hope more natural brands will stop greenwashing. I hope to have more people stop supporting brands that don’t have our best interest at hand. I hope to one day have my own line of safer products that are still super glam… I really just hope that the Green Beauty industry keeps rapidly expanding, that alone would be a dream come true.

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Photos Amanda Jo

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