Planet Gorgeous August Newsletter

Gorgeous Guineas Product Creation & Development

08/08/2010: In this wheek’s Planet Gorgeous Newsletter, Karen asks Chrissie all about the skincare products she makes for guineas.

Karen: Why did you decide to make products specifically for guinea pigs as opposed to all small animals?

Chrissie: After adopting the lovely Florence from you in 2002 (, soon afterwards you took in a large number of badly fungal guineas and I offered to try and help with some nice gentle Aromatherapy products. As a result of the successes with these guineas, Gorgeous Guineas came into being the following year. I’ve stuck with guinea pigs because they are the only animals that I know anything about! Having had guineas as a child and for 12 years as a adult, they are a real passion for me, along with my Aromatherapy oils. That said, Gorgeous Guineas products have been successfully used on all sorts of other “small furries” including hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils and rabbits, not to mention a lot of doggy fans!

Karen: Why do you work with Essential Oils in most of your products?

Chrissie: Because I have trained as an Aromatherapist (working with both Humans and Animals). Having worked extensively with Essential Oils, Herbal Oils and Extracts over many years and seen some amazing results, these were the obvious ingredients around which to create a range of skincare products for guinea pigs to help the specific type of issues that they have.

Karen: Do you make custom products?

Chrissie: Yes, when required. This wheek for example, I’ve made a custom product for a rabbit with an ongoing skin problem. I wanted something that was liquid rather than a cream or lotion because rabbits have fur, not hair. No one skincare product suits every guinea (or human), but just because one product doesn’t work, it isn’t the end of the road. There are always plenty of alternatives to try – I probably have over 100 Essential Oils to play with as well as around 25 Herbal / Vegetable Oils and an assortment of creams / lotions / gels / shampoos etc into which they can go. Mixing and matching to make a product suitable for each skincare challenge is what it is all about:)

Karen: Do you make the complete product/some of it or just bottle and out?

Chrissie: All the Shampoos and Gels are made from scratch, and I buy in the Cream / Lotion bases and customise them with added Herbal Oils / Vegetable Oils / Essential Oils plus other useful ingredients as required. As well as selling the products in our online shop, The Hay Experts also stock a some of our products which is handy for their own customers and saves two lots of postage and packing.

Karen: Why don’t you make products just because they smell nice?

Chrissie: Well, some of the Conditioning Shampoos “just smell nice”, but all the other products are designed for specific skin problems and the choice of Essential Oils and other ingredients used will depend on the type of issue needing help. For example, the Lavender & Myrrh Lotion is good for fungal skin problems and also happens to smell nice! The Cedarwood in the Lice ‘n’ Easy Shampoo has a lovely warm / woody aroma but also has some useful insecticidal properties. In each case, the therapeutic properties of the oils are matched to the condition that they have been designed for, rather than because they smell nice. That said, most of the combinations or single oils that we use do have a nice aroma.

Karen: Posh ‘n’ Go Shampoo was a typical requested product, what convinced you that it was worthwhile dedicating a shampoo to long haired guineas?

Chrissie: There are a lot of long haired guineas around, and the idea was to make it as easy as possible to bathe them without spending extra time and money on a separate conditioner. So, Posh ‘n’ Go was born. It contains 3 conditioning ingredients that leave the hair lovely and soft along with the “posh” aroma of Geranium. The effect improves when it is used regularly and makes daily grooming much easier.

The beautiful people on Planet Guinea: regular “Posh Piggies”

Karen: I have a pregnant sow in the rescue that needs some relief for her skin, she is fungal and the skin is broken, what GG product can I use?

Chrissie: Plain Aloe Vera Gel is the best product to use on open wounds and safe to use on pregnant sows. Once the skin has started to scab over, the Pregnant Sow Lotion can be used to finish the healing process.

Karen: I have some 4 week old pups just come in, they have been diagnosed by my Vet as being fungal what can I use on their skin to give them some relief?

Chrissie: Lavender & Myrrh Lotion is the best product to use. It is easily absorbed, you don’t need to worry about bathing wriggly mini-pigs and there should be an improvement within a week. Once the skin looks normal again, continue using the Lotion for another 7-10 days as fungal infections often return if you stop too soon.

Karen: I’m always losing the instruction sheet that comes with the product where else can I find one?

Copies of all the instruction sheets can be found here in case of emergency! We always print them on bright yellow paper to try and make them stand you so that you can easily spot them:)

Karen: As a rescue, people often ask what they can use on their guinea pig’s skin while they are waiting for their GG product to arrive, are you happy to advise on this?

Chrissie: The one “must have” product that should be in every guinea pig (and human) medicine cabinet is plain Aloe Vera Gel. It is readily available in chemists and supermarkets and is cooling / soothing for all sorts of skin problems. It can also be used on Pregnant Sows. Aloe Vera plants are also easy to grow and the gel from the freshly cut leaves can be used instead of shop-bought Gel.

Karen: How and why have you changed your products over the years?

Chrissie: In 2003 there were just 3 products when we started out. Additions to the range have been made mostly at the requests of our “little customers”. Some have also come about as the result of my own research into new ingredients or from attending a 4 day Aromadermatology Course. Since then I have been making far more use of Vegetable and Herbal Oils. The Ointments came into being as a result of this course:) One of the most popular additions to the range has been the Trial Size Products. It is an easy way for people to take our products for a test-drive, or where only a small amount of product is required for a specific problem.

Karen: You are the first business to make and market a range of Aromatherapy products specifically for guineas, what is your starting point / basis for creating products?

Chrissie: The starting point is usually a skin problem of some sort, and the solution is a product to help that specific problem, be it a shampoo, gel, lotion, cream, ointment or whatever. On other occasions (usually seasonal or when there is something to celebrate) we make shampoos for the sake of having a nice / different aroma 🙂

August 8, 2010   Posted in: Planet Gorgeous