One of our favorite distributors is based in Hong Kong. She is a strong, entrepreneurial business lady who has headed a store for many years. We only know one thing she is a bit shy about — she’s reluctant to write in English.
Ms. Lau Suk Chung speaks perfect “social” English but insists that her niece Connie Chan help with emailing the Paul Penders’ office. Her brother-in-law Kin Tai Chan also helps out with communications. We enjoy hearing from them – and thank them all!
Ms. Lau appears in the photo above and the lady with the blue scarf below is her partner, Ah Bo. Together, they have run the family business selling herbal products for years.
Three years ago, they came across Paul Penders products — and ‘fell in love.’ Now they stock almost all our products and display them handsomely.
In addition to their herbal business, they also give facial and body massages to their customers. We look forward to stopping in for a massage next time we’re in Hong Kong!
The treats of living on a small rainforest island some 12,000 miles from San Francisco are many. Of course, I can talk for days about the stunning beauty of nature here — but in the end, it is the people who live here who make it special.
Langkawi is not like America where huge chunks of lands were taken from the Indians (Native Americans) and “we the government” were reluctant to give it back for all kinds of dark reasons (money and power were involved as usual). On Langkawi, the land belongs to the local people and the citizens of Malaysia. The native islanders have their own pace for things. They seem happier and less worried than what I see among ‘city folks’ when we fly to the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
People from all over the world visit Langkawi – some even come by accident. For example, I know several sailors who happened to land in this paradise and decided never to leave. Others I know first heard about it through ‘the grapevine’ and decided to visit – as did I.
An island paradise with unusual tropical herbs and flowers…
What first attracted me to the island was when someone told me about its unique flora, especially the tropical herbs and flowers that grow wild here. I flew almost the next day to Langkawi (about a one-hour flight over the blue seas from the capital Kuala Lumpur) and spent a few days on what I quickly came to think of as the best place on earth – at least for me. That was confirmed when I visited Dr. Ghani, a medical doctor who has a spectacular herbal garden and is an expert on all the plants that grow in the special island environment.
I have met stranded sailors and ‘yachties’ who hang out at the local bars or who have found a way to make a living doing all kinds of odd jobs. Some of those jobs were things they always had wanted to do but never could because of the cost-of-living or the regulations in America and Europe. Nowadays, in the US and Europe these regulations are killing many initiatives to start up something new and exciting.
Well hey… here is this still unspoiled island and thus a lot of opportunities as well — for charity work, translation, photography, arts… This is what Langkawi is — and at least for a while it will stay the same — as long as people like me are writing this message on our blog read in 60 countries.
The second part of this blog story…
Gynura Procumbens, an herb used traditionally
In Part #2 — coming soon – please read about my meeting with Dr. Hugo (Dr. Hugh Brennan) who has lived on this island for over 20 years now and how he discovered the spectacular health benefits of “Gynura Procumbens,” a plant that grows widely on this wonderful tropical island. And how our company is planning to start a study and test program – with the highest hopes – to incorporate the extract of the leaves of this still mostly unknown “super plant” into our products for even better skin care.
This is the fourteenth part of our series where we take a look at all the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders’ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.
Marigold Extract (Calendula Officinalis extract) is an extract from a wonderful soothing herb with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (see Calendula).
Also known as Pot marigold or Scotch marigold, it is a plant in the Calendula genus. It is native to the area from north-east of Africa east through the Mediterranean region to Iran.
It was used in ancient Greek, Roman, Arabic and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb as well as a dye for fabrics, foods and cosmetics.
Marigold is a cultivated herb and can be grown easily in sunny locations in most kinds of soils.
The leaves and petals are edible, with the petals added to dishes as a garnish and instead of saffron. The leaves can be sweet, but are more commonly bitter, and may be used in salads.
In traditional herbal medicine, marigold has been used for abdominal cramps and constipation.
Marigold extracts have in studies been found to have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic (working against gene-mutations) and anti-inflammatory properties.
The herb-extract is also used topically to treat acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding and soothing irritated tissue.
Being a soothing herb-extract with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, places Marigold Extract as an important part of LevensESSENTIE Gold® – especially used in our natural organic baby products.
“Yes, you too can look younger,” goes an old joke. “Do we have a product for you! Guaranteed to make you look 10 years younger! We will sell you a knob you can install at the back of your neck and every time you see a wrinkle, just tighten the knob for an instant face and neck lift.” It’s no joke. Marketing departments come up with all kinds of claims in order to sell products.
New companies come into the beauty industry making big promises for their products. They make marketing claims for their products that stretch the truth. These fallacies are perpetrated by some of the most-read beauty writers, whether out of ignorance or because they ignore the realities. Unfounded claims hurt the industry as a whole as consumers learn to distrust the sales pitches.
One of our favorite blogs features beauty science experts sounding off on their favorite topics. Kristin and Lisa at Personal Care Truth or Scare always seem to post something informative and thought-provoking.
We especially liked Katherine Corkill’s recent piece titled “Beauty Industry Professionals May Be Their Own Worst Enemy.” While we’re not sure we agree that it’s only the ‘newbies’ to the industry who make misleading claims, we were intrigued by her list of common claims that really are myths.
1) “Free From” How many times have we read ads claiming that products are parabens-free, synthetic-free, oil-free, anything-free or “chemical free.”
2) “Chemical Free” This clearly is nonsensical when everything in the universe is composed of chemicals.
3) “Hypoallergenic or Noncomedogenic” is another bit of nonsense. What is safe for some people can cause reactions in others or in the same person at different stages in life.
4) “Dermatologist / Clinically Tested” By how many doctors? In which laboratory? One doctor could make a claim that marketing people parley into a blurb.
5) “Anti-aging Formulas” A single doctor might claim, for example, that the products have “anti-aging” properties. But what does that mean? Nothing (that we know of) stops the ageing process, although some things may slow it down. Cosmetics are supposed to change appearance, not the body. The FDA specifically forbids cosmetics from making changes to the body. Anything that makes real change is considered a drug.
6) “Non Toxic / Harmful Chemicals” We’re with author Corkill on this. The industry watchdogs, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CFSC), seem to think that almost anything is toxic and can cite a study or report of someone somewhere once having an adverse reaction to an ingredient or formula. Warnings like this prey on consumer fear, even when that fear is unreasonable or even irrational. And of course, as the author reminds us, too much of almost anything – even water – can be harmful.
7) “100% Pure / Natural / Organic” as so many small cosmetic companies claim may have merit as a for the sources of their ingredients. However, to become usable in skincare or cosmetic products, most ingredients must undergo some processing or mixing to make effective formulas.
8) “FDA Approved” This is marketer’s gone wild and prohibited by FDA regulations. The FDA only approves medical devices and drugs. It does not approve or disapprove ingredients or products for cosmetics.
9) “Does Not Contain Fillers” Bulking up a product with mica for mineral makeups or adding water to fill a bottle is not a crime nor does it mean fillers cheapen the value of a product.
10) “Non Irritating” How do you know? Scientific evidence may suggest something is relatively safe but there are almost always exceptions. That exception could be you or someone you love. As mentioned in #3, what works for one person may not work for someone else. And — as your body changes through the years, what soothes at one time can be irritating at a different stage in life.
The only safe way to be sure whether or not your body will react to a substance that you apply to your skin or hair – especially if you are chemically sensitive – is to make tests on small patches of skin first. Before committing yourself to a full application – whether of shampoo, moisturizer, or any kind of skin care or cosmetic product – do your own tests. Don’t just trust the hype!
By Teviot Fairservis.
|This is the thirteenh part of our series where we take a look at all the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders’ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.
Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) is a herb used to tone and improve circulation.
Lemon balm is the leaf of a perennial herb in the mint family native to the Mediterranean region, western Asia, southwestern Siberia, and northern Africa. It is widely naturalized in North America and elsewhere.
In medieval Europe, the tea was valued for disorders of the nervous system. It has long been a popular folk remedy for insomnia.