Monthly Archives: April 2014

Is There Something Like Organic Sunscreen?

The FDA does not allow sunscreens to be labeled as “organic sunscreens” and here is why. There are two ways sunscreens work.

  • Physical sunscreens that physically block or reflect harmful UV rays from the skin. They have mineral pigments zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients.
  • Chemical sunscreens that absorb damaging rays using chemicals, filtering them before they reach the skin. These cannot be certified organic.

Products containing titanium dioxide can never be considered for organic certification although titanium dioxide is a wonderful and expensive ingredient that Paul Penders uses successfully for over 10 years in our Herbal Sunscreen SPF 22 and its efficacy tested by independent labs including the Korean FDA

Herbal Sunscreen SPF22 is SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to provide a broad spectrum protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Sun protection comes mainly from titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral). Also added ethyl hexyl methoxycinnamat (also occurring in cinnamon leaves), LevensESSENTIE Gold® (herbal extract made from 22 organic herbs), vitamin E and vitamin A, as well as natural plant oils to soothe and moisturize.

Herbal Sunscreen SPF22 efficacy is tested by independent labs including the Korean FDA

(Image from Australian Organic Association)

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A Tropical Treasure for Beautiful Skin

Coconut water, oil, meat, milk used in curries, jellies, jams or grated every part of this tropical treasure – the coconut – has its use. Some may be surprised that the fibrous shell is a perfect pot for an orchid, rice wrapped in coconut leaves, that serves for storage and cooking. Throughout India and Southeast Asia, coconut palm-leaves are stripped to make brooms and fuel for fires.

For skincare and many other beauty products a natural emollient derived from coconut is used as a dispersing agent and carrier for active ingredients. Coconut oil contains Caprylic / Capric Triglycerides which forms a very light silky oil that does not feel at all greasy on the skin.

Triglycerides, also known as “fatty acids,” are a major component of human skin oils, and thus coconut derivatives make an excellent substitute, replacement, or restorative for the skin.

The coconut’s hard husk shell makes it differ from other fruit because animals do not normally eat it. While other fruits have spread across the planet by walking or flying animals, coconuts have floated on ocean currents to even the tiniest Pacific islands.

The coconut palm tree (cocos nucifera) has very specific needs which is why it is mostly found along the seashores in tropical climates. It cannot tolerate cold, but on the other hand, it is very salt resistant. It requires high humidity which is why it is most often found close to the sea. And it needs lots of sunshine so it flourishes best close to the Equator.

Two varieties are found – tall and dwarf. The tall ones can grow as high as 30m (98 feet) and produce (in very fertile soil) as many as 75 coconuts.

Coconut water makes you look younger

Coconut water contains cytokines, a plant hormone shown to slow the aging process in plants. In technical terms, the water is liquid endosperm there to feed the seed as it matures. Nearly fat-free and 95% water, “Iron Man” and other sports enthusiasts swear by it as a post-workout ‘pick-me-up’ as it also contains a variety of key minerals including potassium and sugars.

Women throughout Asia have used coconut water on the face and skin for centuries to cleanse and refresh. Often people say Asian women appear younger than one expects them to be; a great side benefit of coconut use!

Clearly, the use of coconut water has many benefits for more beautiful and healthier skin and most of Paul Penders products contain coconut water or coconut oil as well.

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Give Away All You Know, and More Comes Back To You.

You will remember from school other students preventing you from seeing their answer by placing their arm around their exercise book or exam paper. It is the same at work, people are secretive with ideas. ‘Don’t tell them that, they’ll take the credit for it.’

The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.

Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you. Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership. They’re not your ideas anyway, they’re someone else’s. They are out there floating by on the ether. You just have to put yourself in a frame a mind to pick them up.

From the book: “It’s Not How Good You Are” Paul Arden was a top advertising Executive and his book offers insights into the value of being fired, why it’s often better to be wrong than to be right, and more! 🙂
The book (ISBN 9780714843377) is for everyone who aspires to succeed in life!

 
 

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The Caribbean Seaweed Expedition (Part 5 of 6)

Meeting a Woman Sailor – Musician – Artist… Jessie’s Story

Wherever I go in the world, I love to research local resources that could benefit our customers, especially for skin care. I am always on the lookout for new ingredients, and whenever possible, try to test them on people in different countries, in different circumstances and in differing climates. I have been looking for years for something that brings “instant results” for a variety of skin types and skin conditions from very dry skin to even semi-oily skin.

There is always something interesting to learn from your neighbours. Here we were sailing along in the Caribbean Sea, stopping off at a marina, this time in Colombia, and no exception. My friends and I ran into Jessie van Beckhoven, a remarkable woman who told us the story of her life.

What really got my attention was that besides being an accomplished sailor, she also shared that she is a singer, a classical piano player, a chef, and a wonderful artist who makes beautiful drawings and sculptures using the simplest natural materials, changing them into something very unique.

We invited her for a coffee on our vessel. Our first impression was that she was a kind and friendly soul. We learned about her life’s journey; a story of personal bravery and inspiration.

Earlier in life, she volunteered to help people in Liberia. Living there, she survived 3 wars, shielding children from the dictators who murdered hundreds of thousands of people for whatever terrible political reasons. When she describes some of her experiences at that time, her face changes and the emotions cause her hands to fly up into her hair.

In all those years surrounded by enormous cruelty, she still tried to find beauty. For 20 years, she lived in Africa trying to help lessen the pain of thousands of people. Her life story is actually so dramatic that a television company wants to make a film about her experiences.

As a follower of Anthroposophy, she finds peace and wisdom in the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. She believes in freedom, kindness and positive thoughts for the best of all people on earth.

Jessie showed us images of her works. An amazing artist, her talents also include photography, growing herbs and an exceptional gift for cooking. She told us about a delicious dish made with rosemary, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts to which she adds some pepper and sea salt. It sounded so good that the day after we went to the local supermarket in Cartagena to buy all the ingredients and prepared ourselves a delicious and healthy meal.


Purely delicious; easy to prepare and healthy

I became interested in how she must have taken care of her skin for so many years in the worst of weather circumstances. I bluntly asked her age and was relieved she was even happy with that question and I was surprised to learn that at her age of 63 she still not only fully expresses signs of beauty but also a passion for life.

I explained I was here on an expedition aimed at making better skincare products, testing new formulations in the worst conditions for any type of skin. I asked what her secret was. She had tried many things; some worked better than others did. How does someone take care of their skin having lived for decades in hot, dry Africa and now in the harsh salt-water conditions in Colombia with lots of sun as well?

I promised her I was going to send her some of our skincare and hair care products. I asked if she would try out the new beauty serum that Dr. Gatot is working on in our lab? She said she would be delighted.

Will our new anti-ageing serum bring instant improvement to Jessie’s skin? Will it make her skin appear fresher, although her youthful energy shines through already? This then will be another story for future blogs.

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Natural Hair Dyes?

Not long ago we searched for natural hair colorants able to dye hair naturally. Henna, as an example, can be a great natural color ingredient but by itself does not cover gray hair.

Henna and other hair color products that do cover gray hair contain the chemicals p-phenylenediamine (PPD) and p-toloenediamine (PTD).

Cosmetic companies that claim to produce all-natural hair dyes are aware of these chemicals in their products. Many of these companies do not put these chemical names on their product labels. In our own market research no natural alternative to chemical dyes have been found. All hair dyes marketed as natural that claim to cover gray hair in fact mislead consumers. They hide the facts and sorry … no exception to the rule.

There is good news!

Recently researchers from Leeds University developed a natural hair color formula that removes p-phenylenediamine (PPD) and p-toloenediamine (PTD) to replace them with botanical ingredients. Progress is made and it looks that maybe a permanent hair dye made from botanicals could be made, yet such product still needs many years to be tested to get it ready for the consumer market.

Therefore, consumers still need to make difficult choices. In case they want to use all-natural hair colorants they need to think twice. It is true that the FDA doesn’t do enough to protect consumers from companies that market hair dyes as a natural product.

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