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Q. Is this ingredient safe?

09 Feb 2016
Q. Is this ingredient safe?

Let's start with a rather bold statement here... 

All ingredients, natural and synthetic, are chemicals.

Even if they are naturally occurring, every ingredient can be broken down into chemical constituents. So please, don't get too hung up on the word ‘chemical’. The key word for us is synthetic.

There is considerable debate among the scientific community about the safety of almost every single ingredient, and very little agreement on research findings.

Are parabens really dangerous? Was the research that identified parabens as cancer causing flawed and the result inflamed by scare-mongering green profiteers? And if parabens are dangerous, isn't Japanese honeysuckle, the current darling preservative of natural formulators, also dangerous?

To answer that question, we must first debate another issue... is honeysuckle a natural paraben, or is it a paraben-identical molecule? And then again, either way, isn't this molecule also dangerous?

What about mineral oil? Is mineral oil really bad for us? Everyone who's anyone says “Yes!”, But, where’s the conclusive research findings on that? Some believe its worst offence is that it simply doesn't do anything, that it's a totally useless skincare agent and therefore a waste of time and money.

Ingredient safety is a minefield, and greenwashing manufacturers, ill-informed internet authors, and ready-access to truckloads of information and misinformation are all combining to muddy the waters.

We ourselves are not qualified chemists or scientifically trained formulators (although many of our brand's formulators are). We don't have a Bachelor of Science, or a major in Biotechnology or Chemistry. But we do our homework. We research. We investigate. We test ourselves. And what we find is that far-better qualified people than us are making quantum leaps in the knowledge base of natural, botanical skincare ingredients.

So where do we stand on "ingredients to avoid"?

We do avoid known nasty ingredients. We also avoid ingredients where debate still rages but where the general consensus appears to favour non-acceptance. We err on the side of caution until positive proof has been established.

And it is our job to sift through the plethora of green wannabes to bring you authentic, scientifically-driven, clinically tested, natural formulations that truly work. 

And, they are not just safe to use on your skin... they are designed to improve it.

We do not carry products with parabens, even though our own research has found balanced academic argument on both sides. We do not have mineral oils, nor artificial anythings. We research the preservative system in each formulation we carry... none of our products even have phenoxyethanol... just because an ingredient is natural doesn't make it safe.

There is not the space here to list exhaustively all the ingredients our products DON'T have. And it would be a full time job adding new ingredients to this list as they became invented or discovered.

What we do have are products that are made using only natural, organic and inorganic ingredients, 100% natural wherever it is humanly possible. We choose these products after testing each and every one, primarily for efficacy. Then we check for purity, quality, reactions, scent, texture, safety, shelf life, packaging, plus we research the manufacturer, their ingredient sources, and their manufacturing facilities.

Some ingredients will cause a reaction with some people. Essential oils are well-known irritants for some people especially pregnant women who are well advised to avoid any essential oils. You alone know better than anyone else what ingredients may react with your own body.

So, rather than try to list the ingredients that each product doesn't contain, we believe a far better system is to fully disclose every single ingredient a product does contain, using the International Nominated Ingredients (INCI) method, listed in order of volume, from the largest ingredient to the tiniest trace element.

Our duty of care is to give you all the resources you could possibly need to make your own informed decision.

And of course, we are always here to help if you need some advice.

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