76: Lisa Bronner on Organic Skincare and Activism


Whenever asked about what she does, the first thing Lisa says is “I’m a mom.” Her top priority is her family’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. She began her blog, Going Green with a Bronner Mom, to give other busy moms quick, easy, honest information about organic and natural products and help them make informed decisions about their and their children’s health. And she’s well placed to do so, as the granddaughter of the founder of a well loved green living brand, Dr. Bronner’s. Lisa’s advice on how to make your life greener is simple: the first step is to educate yourself.


Take the matter into your own hands. Read labels – whether it’s food or a beauty product, see what’s there. Do you recognize the ingredients, or would you need a chemistry degree to make sense of it? Lisa recommends visiting the Environmental Working Group website, which rates products according to safety and has a breakdown of ingredients including their potential effects. But you don’t need to read the label if you’re buying a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, which contains only natural skin loving ingredients, and can be used for all kinds of cleaning tasks.


The story of how Dr Bronner’s was founded could be made into a film – Emanuel Bronner grew up in a German soap making family in early 1900’s. His philosophy, or Moral ABC, which focused around world peace, environment protection and the belief we are all one, caused his family to shun him, and compelled him to emigrate to the USA. There, he was wrongfully imprisoned in a mental institution for making impassioned speeches where he sought to promote the idea of an environmentally conscious, peaceful world. But he escaped and set up the Dr. Bronner’s that has now become a household name. His philosophy for this better world can still be found today, written on the soap bottle labels.


Dr. Bronner was a true visionary and his passion for creating a more ethical world lives on through the “Fighting Soap Company,” as the family have lovingly nicknamed it. “It’s part company and part activism,” says Lisa, referring to the campaigns Dr. Bronner’s has fought over the years. Where her grandfather’s causes were fluoridation and world peace, now the company is active in raising awareness and creating positive change in the areas of GMO labelling, fairer trade and business practices, animal welfare and living wage reform. Click here to find out how Dr. Bronner’s is making life better for both communities and the environment in Sri Lanka and Guana. We wish there were more companies like this! Dr. Bronner’s story proves that you can do business well while being fair, ethical and responsible.


We will be covering the Take Back Your Health Conference in North Hollywood, from 9 th to 11 th April, which is all about empowering individuals and consumers with the information to make better health choices. Lisa also be there, giving talks about how to Green Your Routine, and how Dr. Bronner’s came to be. Do you want to win tickets to the conference? Tune into Episode 71 to find out how!


Lisa Bronner’s Bio

Lisa Bronner – stay at home mom to three growing kids; sister, wife, and daughter to those who run Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps; and granddaughter to the founder Dr. Emanuel Bronner himself.  A key motivation for her is the word “stewardship”.  This is the idea that certain things have been entrusted to her that it is her job to maintain and nurture –her health, her family’s health, our emotional and mental well being, her home, her time, her finances, the earth, the air, the water.  With blessings come responsibilities, and she wants all these things to be better off for having been – partially or wholly – in her care.


Lisa Bronner’s Links

Website:  www.lisabronner.com





Environmental Working Group



Lisa’s Must-Avoid ingredients:

  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES): very common in body washes and shampoos, it dries and strips the skin of its natural oils. More worryingly, the process of making SLS, ethoxylation, produces a carcinogenic by-product called 1,4-Dioxane. A huge number of products, including “green” products, were found to contain this carcinogen. Watch out for SLS in your products and avoid whenever possible!


  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS): although it hasn’t gone through the process of ethoxylation and therefore has not been contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane, it is still very drying and irritating to the skin. It is often found in toothpastes, and has been linked to mouth cankers.


  • Fragrance or perfume: these terms aren’t regulated, and can therefore cover anything. “Fragrance” can be a combination of up to 3,000 different ingredients, many of which are known allergens.


Our Favorite Moments:

@8:57 The lowdown on reading labels

@20:15 Organic before organic was organic

@21:20 Dr. Bronner’s unique marketing plan?

@34:28 Some strange and unusual uses for Dr. Bronner’s soap

@31:27 Fancy and French…. But not good?

@34:50 What’s Lisa’s most important daily parenting act?



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Tweet: Every Time you spend money you’re casting a vote for the world you want #LisaBronner @FoodHealsNation foodhealsnation.com/76


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Links from show:

Journey to Serendipol, a beautiful short documentary about the fair trade sister company set up by Dr. Bronner’s in Sri Lanka.


Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox documentary film about Emanuel Bronner’s inspiring life story.



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About Us:

Being hailed as “Sex and the City for Food,” The Food Heals Podcast brings together experts in the field of nutrition, health and healing to teach you the best-kept natural secrets to being a hotter, healthier, happier YOU!


The Food Heals Podcast is hosted by Allison Melody and Suzy Hardy – two self-proclaimed natural chicks who will rock your world and change your beliefs about health! This sexy, savvy duo provides eco-friendly advice on a variety of issues including the healing power of nutrition, living authentically, turning your passion into your career, choosing the best natural health and beauty products, the benefits of a plant-based diet and so much more!

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