THE “SAFE COSMETICS ACT” – Is it the death of Creativity?

This is the second in a 2-part blog about the on-going threats to small cosmetic businesses.


It’s a clear strategy: Big Brother makes it look like they are doing good but really aren’t they just trying to eliminate the competition? They are powerful – look at the “Safe Cosmetics Act” which the EWG (Environmental Working Group) and their “Campaign for Safe Cosmetics” which now has a bill that they wrote in front of the US Congress. On paper, it looks good – but examine it carefully and you’ll see it that “nothing in this bill requires products nor their ingredients to be safe…”

If it goes through, just like the new regulations for the cosmetics industry in the European Union, it will cripple small businesses.

The ‘Safe Cosmetics Act’ is just another hurdle for small businesses.

Says Paul Penders,

Please believe me. I have been in this business for 40 years. Many in the industry agree with me; all these regulations do not make the products better. They are not in the interests of the consumer. However, they are clearly in the interests of the designers of these regulations: the lawyers, lobbyists, politicians and finally, governments who can cash in on a huge amount of money in various document fees.

All in all, it is a huge headache for small companies and the consumer is going to have to pay more for the same products because of new regulations… because someone needs to pay…“

You get it, right? It is you the customer who will pay for these unnecessary and unfair costs…

Paul says,

To me, as a creative cosmetic maker for over 40 years, someone who loves to think up new ingredients and new products, I tell you that [if this bill ever passes], this is the end of creative thinking. New products will come only from large corporations (animal tested ingredients or not).

So….If Uncle Sam takes over the thinking process, we should just follow along. No longer will you be able to expect many new inventions from small companies. In times past, these creative ideas were even copied by large corporations – this has happened a few times with Paul Penders products.”

Small cosmetics companies are trying to come together to fight for our survival. We are not alone. Here’s what the Safe Cosmetics Action Network had to say:

“It seems more like they are trying to silence the small manufacturers of nontoxic products, many of whom started their businesses in their kitchens by requiring every personal care manufacturing facility to register with the FDA. They are also requiring every ingredient list for every product on the market. This will make it prohibitive for small companies and start-ups. Also, there is nothing in this bill that requires products nor their ingredients to be safe…”

Who does the “Safe Cosmetics Act” bill and its amendments favor? What about the new regulations for cosmetics being enforced by the European Union? Big business. Their strategy? To cripple small innovative businesses around the world with regulations and laws that make it impossible for the little guys to survive.

Who suffers? Small businesses that will be forced to close because they cannot afford to meet the exorbitant costs of tests and fees and lengthy paperwork. And who else? You — the customers — who seek out specialized natural and organic products that big businesses will not make because they are too costly and difficult to manufacture.

We need the small creative thinkers willing and able to pioneer new and better products.

By Teviot Fairservis with Paul Penders


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This is the first in a 2-part blog about the on-going threats to small cosmetic businesses.

Big corporations now want to dictate to consumers – is this right??

When unfair laws and regulations favor big business over the small, creative ones, who is the ultimate loser? You – the customer. We’re speaking from both hearts and minds when we say,

Don’t trust the so-called “Safe Cosmetics Act.” Look at what’s behind the mask!

Product safety should be the first concern of any manufacturer of cosmetics and Paul Penders spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure our formulas are not only safe but good for you. Like other small, creative businesses we are constantly under threat from big corporations that want to put us out of business. Now they’ve got a clever strategy to eliminate their competition by using their political clout to influence US legislators to pass unfair and unnecessary laws.

Back in the news again, a bill is now before US Congress called the “Safe Cosmetics Act.” First proposed in 2010, it was authored by a group calling themselves the “Campaign for Safe Cosmetics,” in reality, this is a subsidiary of the political lobby EWG (the Environmental Working Group). When small businesses objected to the bill, it was tabled and then redrafted.

Here’s what’s going on in Congress today. This time the bill includes an amendment giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the right to recall products that they find unsafe. It also includes a proposal written by the “Personal Care Products Council” which is another trade group (again think “lobbyist” trying to influence politicians) claiming to represent the whole cosmetics industry. Who are their members? The Estee Lauder Companies, L’Oreal USA, and Procter & Gamble among other big corporations. They propose that all products be required to be tested and to meet certain standards which they have established (the “Cosmetic Safety Amendments Act of 2012,” H.R. 4395

In other words, they want the FDA to make it a law to follow the ingredient safety decisions made by the Council’s own Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel. Who will their decisions favor? Big business, naturally. The FDA’s reaction? It seems they were as outraged as we were by the evident arrogance of this group. Testifying at the hearing on the bill was Michael Landa, Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at FDA who said, “Such a move would be “unprecedented” and possibly unconstitutional.” The FDA got it right this time!

In the same sentence, the proposers of the new bill acknowledge that the cosmetics industry is “currently one of the safest product categories regulated by the FDA.” Our reaction? The products are safe. It’s the “Safe Cosmetics Act” and groups like the EWA that jeopardize our safety and our freedoms. As the old proverb says,

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


By Teviot Fairservis with Paul Penders


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Good when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Pledge Closes

To me, “The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics” has grown to something as far away to understand like planet Mars. A thing to know is that The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is a part of the political lobbying process by the Environmental Working Group (EWG); professional lobbyists who – what at many times is being said – rely on misinformation, disinformation or even lies in order to SCARE consumers. The basis of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is the Skin Deep database. After 7 years they suddenly decided to stop.
On their web site they invite you to “visit SkinDeep; the world’s largest database of chemicals in cosmetics” but it does not give true indication of the safety or toxicity. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics misleads consumers because the ONLY way to ensure the safety of cosmetic products is to carry out safety assessment based on existing knowledge.
I am very happy to report that The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics stops their Skin Deep database by September this year.

Their safety rating system from 0 (low hazard ingredients) to 10 (high hazard ingredients with many natural ingredients included) is something I disagree with many times, and that even harms the name of impeccable brands like the Paul Penders, known for using SAFE ingredients for over 40 years.
And even though natural ingredients can have a hazardous impact when used for long time in massive volumes, SkinDeep’s database makes indiscriminate suggestions that some natural ingredients in cosmetics are linked to cancer and other terrible diseases. And there is no such thing that SkinDeep takes into account the actual minor contents in the cosmetics product which are tested in independent labs on health safety!
More and more professionals in the cosmetic industry as well as scientists outside the industry criticize their rating system. They say that the conclusions of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are not based on valid scientific evidence. And they don’t pay heed to the relationship between hazard and risk.
Let me give you 2 examples of what we think is bad.


  • “Biodynamic® lemon peel oil has invigorating properties and also serves as a purifying disinfectant. With no risky antiperspirants such as aluminum salts, your body’s natural detoxification process is supported while bacteria that cause unpleasant odors are neutralized.”.

To me, Weleda is a wonderful natural cosmetics company from Switzerland that I highly respect. They use great ingredients for their natural citrus deodorant. The philosophy of Weleda products are based on teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner. However, this excellent product is rated by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at high hazard level with Weleda’s ingredients in this product linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Allergies/immunotoxicity

Other concerns from them for the ingredients used are:

  • Neurotoxicity
  • Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
  • Multiple, additive exposure sources
  • Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
  • Enhanced skin absorption
  • Occupational hazards

Now, let’s be honest here. Who in the world would want to buy a natural deodorant from an otherwise impeccable, one-hundred year old, pure natural cosmetics company that -without any doubt- Weleda is…. but their products suggested is linked to cancer and a host of terrible heath issues? Sorry to Weleda, because you guys deserve MUCH better!!!

Same devastating news as Weleda is given to several of our Paul Penders Natural Cosmetics as well!!
Paul Penders produces for 40 years natural cosmetics that even recently were awarded by few magazines in USA and UK. They are used by consumers in some 15 countries. These include popular products like: Rescue Blemish Away, Natural Moisture Foundation, Citrus Fruit Exfoliant and Holy Basil Conditioning Scalp Toner. These contain impeccable and safe natural ingredients including 22 certified organic herbs, natural plant oils and much more.
But The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics rates these products as being a possible health hazard because of few ingredients, for example: a FOOD emulsifier OK’d by the FDA but according to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics rated as a high health hazard. And salicylic acid produced from the bark of the willow tree used in Citrus Fruit Exfoliant is a high health hazard as well. This popular product was the first natural exfoliant products on the market, introduced by our company 15 years ago in California.
Even we use only a fraction of these ingredients (i.e. less than 1/10th of one percent) in our final product formulation, still The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics rates these products as being “moderate to high health hazard”. Therefore, our products are linked to cancer and more terrible diseases (same as the above excellent Weleda product).
Should this unfair Scare-Tactic not stop?
OK, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has become a powerful organization in the US with their fingers in politics and high-end people. But I don’t care and wrote them few times to demand to have all Paul Penders products taken off their SkinDeep database. Why? Because consumers start to think that they could get sick of using our natural products. But The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics responded and simply refuses to do so.
Therefore I have an attorney in California now looking into the matter. I even consider – together with few friends natural cosmetic manufacturers – a lawsuit against The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics when they will not comply with my request.
Is The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ rating system a joke or a nightmare? Or simply business??

Still Lipsticks Loaded With Lead

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, many popular lipsticks contain lead. This is dangerous, since lipstick is worn on the mouth and thus can be ingested.

Of the 33 brand-name red lipsticks tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 61% had detectable lead levels of 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm), and one third contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy.

Ingesting lead can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure. Lead has also been linked to infertility and miscarriage.

All Paul Penders lipsticks are formulated with natural ingredients and are free from chemical FD&C colors. To learn more about Paul Penders lipsticks and other cosmetics, please click here.