The Paul Penders Story
Hello! My name is Paul Penders, and I would like to tell you about myself, and the company I founded. I am a life-long active environmentalist and I incorporate my beliefs into my skincare and cosmetics range. My philosophy of “no chemicals” and “no animal testing|” started with shampoos, and, over the years, evolved into a complete range of skincare products suitable for people of all ages
It All Began In Holland...
For over 40 years, the name "Paul Penders" has been synonymous with natural cosmetics. Going back as far as 1900, my grandmother, grandfather and parents have all run successful salons in The Netherlands. From the very beginning, my desire was to go beyond chemical-based beauty products and create a completely natural, healthy, but effective range of products.
Dutch herbal master and apothecary Herma Eeftink and famous natural healer Dr. Ab Steyn encouraged me to incorporate a unique family recipe, a herbal extract, into my products. Called LevensESSENTIE Gold® (Dutch for "Essence of Life"), my grandmother had used the extract for extraordinary homemade skin and hair-care formulations for many years.LevensESSENTIE Gold®is used in all my products to this day. .
Clients Loved My Non-Emulsified Shampoos
Another breakthrough was my creation of a non-emulsified shampoo. When tested on eager customers in my salon at "Night Shampoo Parties", they loved it! I took the advice of a cosmetic chemist who urged me to add chemical emulsifiers so "the product would look better." But my clients protested immediately that the "improved" formula did not produce the same fine results. I reverted to the original formula and never again gave in to change for the sake of aesthetics. This was my first lesson in listening to the wishes of consumers; not to what chemists were telling me.
My Battles Dutch Government
I became involved in a battle with the Dutch government in 1984. They wanted to close our factory because I refused to test my products on animals. Two of my aunts who were nuns helped me, by testing the products on themselves. They managed to enlist fellow convent residents to support the worthy cause. Nevertheless the Dutch government delivered me an ultimatum: test on animals or close the factory. As a result, I moved our factory to the United States and, during the happy years that followed, introduced many new products which repeatedly demonstrated that my humane, natural methods do work.
Major Success with AHA's In Paris
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) were the rising stars of cosmetics in 1993. When I premiered my Citrus Fruit Exfoliant in Paris, this all natural AHA product became a major success.
Innovating With Natural Color Lipsticks
Studies released in the 1990s in Japan and the USA revealed serious health concerns regarding the use of chemical FD&C colors. Reacting to these findings, I made a bold move and removed all chemical colors from our cosmetics. My position as an industry innovator was once more highlighted in June 2001 when a major article in Doctors' Prescription for Healthy Living enthused about Paul Penders natural color lipsticks. Subsequently, many cosmetic companies followed my lead.
The Safe Shopper's Bible Recommends Paul Penders
In 2001, the company received the highest possible rating by researchers David Steinman M.D and Samuel Epstein M.D in their book, The Safe Shopper's Bible, with the foreword by famous consumer advocate, Ralph Nader. This again catapulted Paul Penders into the limelight.
Relocating To A Virgin Rainforest
My frequent travels around the globe in search of pure ingredients led me, in 2003, to the rainforests of Langkawi Island in the Andaman Sea. It's a two-hour boat trip from mainland Malaysia. The island, accorded Geopark status in 2007, is truly a paradise, with abundant herbs, plants and flowers. This pristine setting with its luxuriant plant life inspired me to relocate our R&D facilities to Langkawi Geopark. This is the place where Paul Penders formulations are created.
The Future: Responsible, Ethical Cosmetic Manufacturing
My company strives to create the best organic plant-based products available. One outcome I’m proud of is that my fight against my own Dutch government helped influence the entire cosmetic industry for the better. I am convinced that those who work passionately for what they believe in will make a difference.
Today, the company continues to create skincare innovations using organic ingredients based on a traditional recipe from my grandmother. We continue to operate as a family concern, secure in the knowledge that my ideals and beliefs will be passed on through future generations, in the same way as I received them; from my family. The future is about responsible, ethical skincare which are effective and natural.