In Memoriam… Hans

I live in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark, a beautiful rainforest island located about an hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. I was in the small, yet professional Langkawi hospital for an accident.
After I was discharged my good friend from Holland was in the hospital as well. When visiting I noticed his long hair and thought he would feel better if he could get a haircut. And here, after 30 years after leaving my profession in The Netherlands, I found myself cutting hair again which they kindly let me do in the hospital!

Hans looked much better afterwards.
Two foreigners in a beautiful local hospital on a small island at the other end of the world was a special occasion indeed!
But Hans was sick and we all knew he was very sick.
Hans’ and his wife, Yvonne, our special lab assistant, traveled with us at times to China and India. And wherever Hans was, he started to sing! He was a good entertainer. Always making people smile.

But I cannot cut his hair anymore.
We had the plan for a haircut in September.
As you can see on the picture above, Hans condition became worse and worse.
He went from hospital to hospital and from operation to operation. I never have heard him complaining. Then suddenly he left us.
We pray for his soul finding the peace it deserves.
We will miss him… his songs.. his stories… his cooking, as Hans was an excellent chef as well.
Today Hans has been cremated.
We all at Paul Penders Company wish the family great strength in their loss.
Thank you Hans!
No more pain.

Why Do Plants Smell ?

Plants, herbs and flowers are no less than chemical factories..! Understanding why plants contain essential oils is helpful to understand the amazing power of aromatherapy as well.
The aromatic oils promote a plant’s growth, aid in reproduction by attracting insects, repelling predators and protecting them from disease. Plants smell for two main reasons: Defense and Attraction.

  • As a defense mechanism some leaves, roots and barks have smelly molecules that are unappetizing.  This smelly security measure inhibits the growth of neighboring plants, molds, fungus and guards the plant from being chewed by insects or animals.
  • As an attraction devise flowers and fruit need to catch the attention of animals and insects for pollination and seed dispersal.  These plants tend to have a sweet tempting and attractive fragrance. Plants depend on these messages of scent to communicate through chemical signals to each other and the world around them.

The therapeutic action of essential oils is attributed to the naturally occurring chemical components within the plants. There are a variety of uses for plants including, essential oils, spices, teas, herbal remedies and nourishment.

    Nettle, Basil and Lemon Balm

Again, plants are no less than chemical factories.
They draw energy from light, darkness, sun and earth.  They synthesize this energy into molecules of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Plants are the “crude fuels” that humans and animals break down to produce adenosine triphosphate, which is our energy frequency of life or our “high-grade fuel” created when we ingest foods.
Essential oils are the energy frequency of life or “high-grade fuel” of the plants themselves created when they absorb plant foods.  Essential oils are the purest form of the plants living structure. Also where the plant is grown is critical to the overall therapeutic properties of the essential oils from the plant as well.
Freely Translated from Personal Care Truth

Love & Commitment Change the World

The Paul Penders blog, currently read in 60 countries, gets feedback all the time. The letter received from June and John Fischer in US was another winner straight to the heart. The love for animals is deeply stamped into a rough history of Paul Penders Co in Holland when we became an animal right activist fighting the Dutch law to not do required animal testing and then needing to flee the country to continue our battle against the government outside Holland till the day of victory came when The Netherlands became the first country to stop animal tests for cosmetics in 1997.
Stories like this get attention. Our company was regularly in newspapers, on radio and television, however, there are too many less controversial stories that show deep love and true commitment for all that lives.
The letter we received few weeks ago is a real heart warmer. These are the true example of “small” things that at the end change our lives. Not one company fiercely fighting a Dutch government but the many volunteers who endlessly contribute to the law of simple kindness. And the more who are involved make it a more powerful force that ultimately not only changes your life but the entire world!

    John & June Fischer’s commitment help to change the world for a better place for all that lives

Over the last years we have become increasingly involved with volunteering at our local animal shelter. We started doing cat socialization, or as it’s called “kitty cuddling.” The idea is really pretty simple; while at the shelter, the cats are in cages, which is not natural for them. It makes a huge difference if they are let out and interacted with once or twice a day. This is something the overworked staff simply does not have time for, so there is a cadre of volunteers who come in and spend some time with the cats. Playing, grooming, or just sitting with them in your lap makes a world of difference for them.

    The Three Musketeers

After doing that for a while, I volunteered to help out with photographing the animals for their web site, as I am a pretty serious amateur photographer and really enjoy the challenges. I come in once a week to photograph new cats anywhere from two or three to a dozen or more! If you’re curious go to and then navigate to the adoption page.
We always had fostering as a goal of out volunteering. We’re now in our fourth year have fostered 33 cats. Our greatest accomplishment is that we’ve only kept one ourselves!! The goal of fostering is to get the animals ready to be adopted, what we call “going to your forever home.” We’ve had bottle babies at three weeks or so, feral kittens that would cower in their pen and scream when you picked them up, kittens and cats with upper respiratory infections or parasites, but mostly it’s kittens too young or small to go out. We give them food, love and attention and get them used to people (and in our case also to dogs…)

    Zoe is an active part of the team and checks on Aurora

So, right now, our household includes one chocolate lab, our three permanent cats, and the three musketeers, who will probably go back this week to get fixed and adopted. Then we’ll take a break for a bit and almost certainly get another batch or two before the winter. If you’re curious or want to help please go to and navigate to the adoption page.

Rescue Blemish Away ….. A Volcanic Effect!

Sulfur is one of the ‘secret’ ingredients of Rescue Blemish Away, the small successful and very effective product that we make for over 40 years for people that are plagued with pimples, break-outs and oily skin who expect an overnight success…. ! What is sulfur and why do we use it for so many years?
Sulfur is mainly found in areas of high volcanic activity. Sulfur compounds make Icelandic bath tubs smell like eggs as Iceland uses geothermal energy to heat its water. But it is not just around volcanos that sulfur can be found. Salt flats are a cozy home for many sulfur producing bacteria and sulfur is an essential element in pretty much all living things. It helps our cells to utilize oxygen efficiently and is also part of our DNA.
In addition, much of the strength in our hair can be attributed to sulfur that occur in our keratin; the hairs protein. It is through making changes to keratin that we can straighten or perm wave our hair. It occurs naturally in our bodies and in the environment. Sulfur is good even if it smells bad.

So what good does sulfur do in this great natural skin care product?
Sulfur is an ingredient to reduce blemishes and to control dandruff and even can prevent hair loss. To me sulfur is a most amazing ingredient with its anti-acne, anti-ageing and anti-bacterial credentials. It is calming and soothing when used in the right proportions. If one suffers from acne, psoriasis, scalp problems or other skin conditions, it is worth trying Rescue Blemish Away.
At my days as a cosmetologist in The Netherlands, I used this wonderful product even on the scalp as “scalp mask treatment” with often amazing results by dandruff and sometimes hair loss. Women who have experienced the almost magic touch of Rescue Blemish Away keep this great product always as “emergency” treatment at hand to quickly heal and clear blemishes.
Simply dot Rescue Blemish Away on the affected areas at bed-time and by morning, wake up to clear, radiant skin. It helps correct breakouts and minimizes the appearance of minor imperfections. Restores balance to blemished skin and includes LevensESSENTIE Gold® mixture of 22 certified organically grown herbs. This traditional formulation is our pride for over 40 years.
We thank Nature for sulfur; a truly wonderful super-ingredient!

Ingredients Rescue Blemish Away:
Kaolin, Avena Sativa (Oatmeal) Kernel Meal, Angelica Archangelica (Angelica) Extract, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Elderflower) Flower Extract, Zingiber Officinalis (Ginger) Root Extract, Panax Quinquefolium (Ginseng) Root Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Equisetum Hyemale (Horsetail) Extract, Juniperus Communis (Juniper) Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Centella Asiatica (Pennywort) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort) Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Archillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Menthol, Sulfur, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract.

Brenda’s stories – New York Marathon

Finally the day had come. I had been training for months to be able to run in the biggest running event in the world.
It was the 1st of November and even though it was well into autumn already, the sun was burning like it was midsummer at the start of the New York Marathon. 42.195 kilometers were ahead of me and the start less then 5 minutes off. I was getting nervous now, not sure if I would make the finish line. For the last time I went over all my preparations. Were my shoelaces tied properly, did I have enough to drink until the first checkpoint, was I well protected against the relentless burning sun? Well, if anything, I could rest assured on the latter. My sunscreen was by Paul Penders. Natural organic sunscreen with SPF 22. No worries there.

And then off we were. Together with 44,176 other runners, all of them completely unknown to me, but feeling like one huge family, I started my first (and very possibly last) New York Marathon. Later I found out that from that big family, only 4 were actually called Brenda, one of them being me. Funny how internet reveals all those stats.
While running that was however not on my mind at all. I so desperately wanted to make the finish line that that was all I could think of. At least, that was all I could think for the first 5 kilometers or so. After that my mind became numb and empty and running just a trance. My legs went automatically for the next 25 kilometers. That was about as much as I had done in training.
The last 12.195 kilometers became more and more hell on earth.
Everything hurt, from the tips of my toes (obviously) to the ends of my hair (which I actually don’t use for running). Again my mind was full of reaching the finish and I started to envy my husband who had chosen to spend his time, not running, but eating and drinking away at “The Finish Line Banquet.” I just hoped he would not be too occupied with that to miss my finish for I would kill him if he did just that.

Then finally, there it was. I could see the entrance of Central Park and knew I would make it. The Park was even more crowded with spectators then the rest of the course. Everybody was cheering and waving and encouraging the runners and all of a sudden all the pain and fatigue left my body. It almost felt as if I could do another marathon right after this one. I could now actually see the finish line and there, in between all the others, I saw that one person I most wanted to see. He was holding a glass of champagne. For me.