Luxury plant-based skin care line Planet Botanicals' new Fair Trade Certified Ethiopian Coffee Scrub wins 'Best New Beauty Product' at 2011 Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore

WESTBROOK, Maine , November 2, 2011 (press release) –
Planet Botanicals (www.planetbotanicals.com) a luxurious line of plant-based, USDA-certified organic and all-natural skin-care products, earned high marks at the 2011 Natural Products Expo East, the largest East Coast natural trade show held recently in Baltimore, Md. Planet Botanicals' new Fair Trade CertifiedTM Ethiopian Coffee​ Scrub, an antioxidant-rich, organic, foaming scrub made with Fair Trade coffee and peppermint, took top honors as "Best New Beauty Product."

"It's quite a thrill for our coffee scrub to be voted "Best New Beauty Product" at this high-profile industry event," said Michele Gilfoil, founder and president of Planet Botanicals. "It's very gratifying to create not only an outstanding skin care product, but also one that has earned Fair Trade Certification, meaning that its creation directly supports the communities that help us make it a top-notch beauty essential."

The Ethiopian Coffee used in the scrub is certified by Fair Trade USA, which means that Planet Botanicals pays a fair trade premium, a portion of which is invested by the coffee cooperatives in education, health and infrastructure improvements in their coffee-growing communities.

Also at the Expo, Gilfoil introduced her new Africa Collection, a full line of all-natural, plant-based, USDA-certified organic face and body creams, balms and scrubs. Among the new products launched at the show were Cocoa Butter Body Cream, an ultra rich cream with a beautiful natural chocolate aroma; Virgin Coconut Body Cream, a light body moisturizer with the soft aroma of fresh coconuts; and Ugandan Shea Butter Hand Creams, made with 20 percent rare Ugandan Shea butter, renowned for its light absorbent quality; and a moisturizing face cream also made with Ugandan Shea butter. The Africa Collection also features prized fruit oils and botanicals such as baobab, marula, coconut, kigelia and rooibos, also sourced from artisan producers in Africa.

Planet Botanical's core philosophy for sourcing ingredients is based on the principles of Fair Trade and environmental sustainability, a rising concern among discerning consumers these days. In addition, Gilfoil sources the rare Ugandan Shea butter for her line from African women's cooperatives and other specialty fruit and essential oils directly from growers throughout Africa.

"The response to our new products is already overwhelming," said Gilfoil. "Our customers recognize the premium moisturizing effects and exquisite essential oil aromas of our new Africa Collection and are as committed as we are to the sustainable ingredient sourcing that benefits the talented growers in Africa," she added.

At the Expo, Planet Botanicals also announced its newly acquired USDA organic certification for many of its products, including its Rooibos Tea Body Washes, African Fruit Body Oils, Ugandan Shea Butter Body Balms, Kigelia Face Toner, Kigelia Face Wash and Shea Butter Face Balm.

Acclaim at the annual Natural Products Expo East is high praise in a competitive market. According to the Natural Foods Merchandiser Market Overview, the natural products industry reported $81 billion in total revenue last year, proving that consumers are indeed committed to natural products and that this market segment is flourishing despite the economy. The high-profile event attracted more than 20,000 industry members representing 80 countries.

About Planet Botanicals

Planet Botanicals is a luxury skin-care line comprised of rare plant-based, USDA-certified organic and all-natural ingredients. The company remains committed to sourcing ingredients based on the principles of Fair Trade and environmental sustainability and sources its plant-based, all-natural ingredients for the unique cosmetic line directly from women's cooperatives and artisan producers around the world. Many of the Planet Botanicals body and face products are USDA-certified organic, including its rooibos tea body washes, Ugandan Shea butter balms and African fruit body oils. Planet Botanicals products are sold boutiques, spas and other retailers in Japan, Cyprus and Greece and have a growing distribution in the Unites States, including Whole Foods, Portland, Maine, and will soon be available on Drugstore.com. A recent winner of "Best New Beauty Product" at the Natural Products Expo East, Planet Botanicals products have been featured in high-profile beauty outlets including the Vegetarian Times, Real Simple and Delicious Living. The Maine-based company is currently developing additional indigenous collections. www.planetbotanicals.com

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