Every product has a story, and the story behind Dr. Shannon's Skin Balm is a special one that is worth telling.
In June of 2006, my first child was born and I took my newborn son to highly-recommended Orange County pediatrician, Dr. Michael Shannon. I'll never forget that first office visit, with all of my anxious new mom questions and a very calm doctor reassuring me. He also recommended adding a can of Crisco (yes! vegetable shortening) to his chic little nursery to use as a multi-purpose moisturizer. Although skeptical and a bit reluctant, Dr. Shannon's more holistic approach to skin care intrigued me and I decided to give it a try - with positive results! It came in handy for diaper rash prevention, for cradle cap, little rashes in skin creases, umbilical cord healing and an all-over moisturizer. When I looked further into the use of Crisco for skin care, I discovered that it was a little known beauty secret dating back to the early twentieth century.
Although the first Crisco product was made entirely of vegetable oil, over the years it became more commercialized and other ingredients were added to the formula, like TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) a butane derivative used as an anti-oxidant, and commercially produced palm oil, which is not sustainable due to deforestization and its impact on rainforests and wildlife.
It wasn't long after my introduction to Crisco as a skin care solution that I became aware of the toxins lurking in our food and personal care products and my mama bear instinct kicked in, especially with another baby on the way. I began whipping up my own skin care remedies for my family and friends, and was committed to using only high-quality, certified organic ingredients; plant oils, butters, extracts, herbs and waxes. I launched Zoe Organics in 2010 after relocating from Orange County back up to Northern California where my husband and I had grown up.
Dr. Shannon and I stayed in touch, even though we now lived too far for office visits. He had inspired me and had provided my boys with such loving care. I began sharing with him my discoveries about natural ingredients and how well they worked on my boys' sensitive skin.
In March, 2011, Dr. Shannon was in a near-fatal car accident and was hospitalized for 44 days. During this time, he contacted me and asked about a natural product that he could use for healing glass wounds in his hands and his thigh, where skin grafts were taken for his severely burned toes. Dr. Shannon and I began talking about ingredients and what would work best to support his healing. Little did we know at the time, but these conversations would lead to one of the most versatile, well-loved products in the Zoe Organics line. I began sending Dr. Shannon samples to try and the results were proof that we were on to something. After using Crisco for years as a skin moisturizer and skin repair cream for babies, children and adults, Dr. Shannon now had a totally organic, preservative-free product made from powerful plants, that contained naturally high levels of skin-repairing vitamin E.
In 2012, Dr. Shannon wrote, "I am so pleased to have this new product that I can safely recommend to my patients, knowing there are no 'hidden ingredients.'"
He began sharing the product with colleagues and patients and the testimonials and before-and-after images that Dr. Shannon continued to receive were more confirmation of what we believed;
- That plants were powerful, nutritious healers that out-performed the petroleum-based traditional standbys.
- That using steroid creams wasn't always necessary, nor the side affects that came with them.
- That this multi-purpose product had endless uses and could replace so many conventional products in the home and medicine cabinet.
Check out the creamy goodness!
Cuts and scrapes don't stand a chance!
One of the many amazing before and after photos!
Today, more than 13 years after that first newborn visit, Dr. Shannon and I still love talking about wellness. And we continue to count our blessings - our friendship included.
Heather and Dr. Shannon spending time together in Napa, CA.
About Dr. Shannon: Dr. Michael Shannon began practicing pediatrics in the Saddleback Valley in 1973. His practice, Seaview Pediatrics, had 4 thriving offices throughout Orange County at the time of his retirement in December, 2017. Among the most common problems that he dealt with during his years in practice was the skin issues of his young patients in the dry climate of Southern California. He and his late wife, Vera, had two children, Michael, a Pediatric Dentist in Orange County, CA and Vanessa, the Director of Mental Performance for the University of Louisville Athletics.