J.R. Watkins Natural Home and Body Care


J.R. Watkins' new line of natural home care products brings the fresh-scented carefully crafted quality of their natural body care line to your spring cleaning routine. You might be wondering: "A body-care line that also makes natural home cleansers?" But once you think over it a bit — the concept makes perfect sense.

Both types of products are coming under greater scrutiny as we learn about the risks we take by applying toxic ingredients to our skin and using caustic chemicals to clean our homes. For too long we've made a Faustian bargain with the products we use in our personal and home care — accepting that to be effective they must also be a bit (or a lot) dangerous.So, in the spirit of giving my windows a little makeover, I tried out the J.R. Watkins Lavender Window cleaner (water, coconut-based surfactant and natural lavender and rosemary oil) and while it didn't necessarily out-perform my trusty spray bottle of white vinegar, the scent was much more appealing. Happily, the J.R. Watkins natural cleaning products feature non-toxic plant-based formulas that are both biodegradable, phosphate free and naturally derived.

Equally pleasant are their body-care products that are made from all-natural non-petroleum ingredients. The lip balm is excellent — neither too sticky nor too greasy, a rarity in the lip balm world. While I enjoyed the body cream and body oil and found the scents perfectly pleasant — they did have a vaguely artificial note that lasted far too long to be natural. This must account for some portion of the 2.5% non-natural ingredients. I think they could do away with the green tea and the mango flavor and stick with more readily available natural scents like lemon, rosemary and lavender.

I cannot close without discussing the products' packaging design, which I find both gorgeous and compelling. The ornate antique-style labeling is unique to both natural and non-natural product lines. The design has an aesthetic of a thoughtfully made product that transcends the quasi-industrial design of conventional products or the bland-but-safe style of some natural products. Sadly it doesn't appear as though J.R. Watkins has added recycled-content or alternative eco-packaging to the design mix, but hopefully sweet success will persuade them to continue expanding their eco-friendly aspects.

Tags: Animals | Endangered Species | Germany