Smith's Rosebud Salve

overall rating:



Mikaela Terhune
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Smith’s Rosebud Salve is a cruelty-free, reasonably priced product with only three ingredients. The production and packaging methods are quite simplistic with very little emissions but the ingredients are problematic. Petrolatum is a by-product of refining oil, a process that contributes significantly to climate change and oil that releases toxins and greenhouse gases into the environment. The family-owned and domestically operated business has stood the test of time but the formula is in need of tweaking. The company maintains that the petrolatum used is medical grade, meaning it is FDA approved to be surgical grade. The other products, cottonseed oil and trade secret perfume premix, are natural and produced with limited environmental impacts. Smith’s Rosebud Salve is produced using limited machinery, packaged in a reusable tin, and distributed by a domestic company near where Dr. Smith first released the product. As the company grows it maintains its original promise of a reliable product at an affordable price and remains a good choice for consumers.

What it's made of:


Petrolatum, also referred to as petroleum jelly, is a by-product of refining crude oil. This process is problematic for a variety of reasons since its extraction contributes to climate change and the oil produced is extremely toxic. The ingredient petrolatum is an occlusive agent. Occlusive characteristics are successful in providing a moisture barrier to hydrate your skin but can be harmful since they prevent your skin from naturally eliminating toxins and bacteria. Cottonseed oil is extracted from seeds and often used in cooking as a substitute for canola oil. Its potential benefits include promoting skin health, protecting hair, and fighting off infection. The potential dangers of cottonseed oil are still unknown but some scientists believe it contains trace amounts of pesticides. Lastly, the trade secret perfume premix is a natural product used to add scent to the salve.

How it's made:


Rosebud Perfume Co. products are manufactured and distributed through Case Mason. Case Mason is a small domestic company responsible for sourcing materials, formula making, filling, and packaging Rosebud Salve. The process is completed through an automated system where filling, cooling, and packing occur in one line. An efficient one-line process like this minimizes the equipment needed and total emissions. Currently, Case Mason facilities have no record of violating environmental codes and maintain their registration with the Environmental Protection Agency by monitoring the surrounding area.

Who makes it:


Rosebud Perfume Co. is a family-owned business based in Maryland. It was founded in 1985 by Dr. Smith and originally marketed as a ‘Reliable Soothing Salve’. The company grew their success from selling door to door to an international product with very few alterations to the original formula. The company has expanded its products to different scents and applications but still stays true to its values.