Consumers desire Education about Natural & Organic Claims

I ask myself many times how small companies like Paul Penders (small but still selling our products to many countries in the world) can succeed in make you become more informed about our products and values.

A brand-new study in the US by Kairos Consumer points out that consumers require more education about effectiveness and claims of organic and natural cosmetics.
Consumers understand conventional cosmetic claims and are familiar with the brands associated with these claims. They are more likely to buy brands with claims they understand over products labeled organic or natural.
But consumers who buy organic and natural cosmetics admit that they know little about what is an organic or a natural product. They say that these products appeal mostly to them because of ‘absence of negative ingredients’.
They believe cosmetics are safe when they are free of ingredients they view as bad, such as parabens, dyes and chemicals. They place trust in a brand’s reputation making brand familiarity an important influence when buying cosmetics.
Smaller brands like Paul Penders also can educate organic shoppers more about the effectiveness of organic and natural ingredients. Many people in the study of Kairos Consumer indicated a desire for this information.
Can you let us know what is important to you when you buy cosmetic products? How can we at Paul Penders Co do better in educating you? Or inform you more about matters that are important to you?

She Taught Me by Heart I Was Right!

More and more I feel annoyed with EWG (Environmental Working Group) who sponsors and lobbying for the new “Safe Cosmetics Act 2011”. I have problems with their amazing way of making assessments of the dangers in our products as put in their “SkinDeep” data base. They do safety assessments of many cosmetic products and their ingredients including natural cosmetics as Paul Penders that contain herbs, plants, natural oils, etc.
I agree with them when ingredients are called “certified organic” that they are not always natural. Many chemicals and synthetics are certified by Ecocert as organic. EWC thinks that “certified ingredients” are not always superior. I agree because for several cosmetic ingredients the benefits from naturally grown ingredients are preferred and even more stable. Well, that is according to many scientist and top cosmetic chemists who prefer at times natural ingredients above organic ingredients.
This story is about the ignorance at times of EWG.

This came again to mind when I visited the Buddhist Temple just besides our new place in Penang (also called the holy island) where Paul Penders Co has its R&D based and beautifully located besides the ocean and foothills of a huge rainforest mountains.

I had a freak accident about a year ago and through a friend of mine we visited the temple where a monk of age 93 provides natural health treatments for free, even vegetarian meals as well. This beautiful woman lives a truly peaceful life and does lots of meditation. Meeting her brings right away a spontaneous feel of love and happiness. She was going to treat me with hot oil consisting of tar from pine trees and several herbs; all grown in the woods around the temple.

The treatment is quite simple … for 6 times oil will be heated till a temperature as hot as one can cope to put your hands and feet into the oil mass until the mass cools down, then the mass will be heat up again and this “mantra” repeats itself for 6 times!
The natural tar and herbs pulls out toxins from the body. It is really a vigorous treatment because during the process the body starts to sweat. When 6 treatments are finished you are totally wet and feel totally cleansed as well.
I am going to get this treatment for few times while it is said also to be good for several other health problems including detoxification of kidneys and stomach, as well when someone has fever and also good for diabetics. This detoxification process and cleansing of the body is caused by the healing power of natural tar.
Here is the essence of my story

When at age 25 I start to make my first shampoos with the help of my customers in my salons in The Netherlands, I also used pine tar. I used it to cleanse the scalp from dandruff, to detoxify and extract impurities in the skin. It always worked beautifully and my customers loved it.
Then these stories did arrive that natural tar can cause cancer. Like many of these ghost stories and scare techniques used by some fanatic environmentalists including now EWG these days as well. Whether few natural ingredients have been used for centuries by many cultures and in many places of the world with great results is simply being ignored often because certain benefits could not been explained by scientists of today. Therefore it is suddenly no good anymore – ergo – we could get very sick of it!
So already many years ago I was forced to change my shampoo formula because of these scare techniques. I needed to tell my customers using “Paul Penders Peppermint Shampoo” for many years and with excellent results for dandruff and oily hair that –according to new research- were suddenly risk!
Honestly speaking, I never had found something that good to replace the natural pine tar for dandruff and now we use natural pegaga herbs found also on Langkawi with excellent results as well. Still I miss my old Peppermint Shampoo formula!!!

I felt amazed when I saw the monk heating my medicine!
A natural complex of pine tar and herbs? She told me how many people have come to her receiving outstanding health results. But I am sure when the scientists of EWG would come by to rate this natural paradise in Penang island, they would try to stop the use of these natural healing treatment. They would declare that people could get cancer or other terrible diseases simply because they can’t explain how nature does its amazing work.
In fact, few Paul Penders products have been rated unsafe by EWG because using few natural herbs (for almost 40 years) already described by my grandmother some 100 years ago and supported by my friends Dr. Eeftink and Dr. Steyn (who were famous natural health doctors in The Netherlands). Now EWG makes assessments that these products can cause diseases and that is pure nonsense proving my case of them being ignorant.

Being in the Temple today with this beautiful, very kindhearted, loving and spirited Monk made me actually feel proud. She gave me that unshakable belief and confidence that I always have been right about my first shampoo with natural pine tar developed so many years back.Should I start producing it again? Maybe. And whatever EWG will say about my Peppermint Shampoo I don’t care anymore. I will no longer feel confused thanks to this wonderful woman who taught me a piece of true wisdom.

Is this going over the top or what?

In case you didn’t know yet, there is a bill in the making in the U.S. called H.R. 5786, the ‘Safe Cosmetics Act’. It is similar to the new European cosmetic regulation where ingredients need to be specified ‘properly’ on cosmetic products so they start to look like a chemistry book!

While regulators (made up of more lawyers and politicians than chemists) have yet to understand that almost all consumers do not understand chemical terminology, these regulators also never figured out a good way how to attach all this nonsense information on your cosmetic jar.

Regulators keep pushing their proposals, sometimes for their own hidden agendas. They forget that consumers are not that interested in explanations which nobody can understand. In Europe, where they love difficult and sometimes unexplainable things, regulators are already getting their way. In Asia they think little bit more which maybe makes more sense.

When it happens in the U.S., I can tell you these regulators can expect a fight! For this reason I love being an American because whatever the world may think about Americans being ignorant and what else, Americans are not that stupid to let regulators get their way as they did in Europe.

To ‘meet’ these regulations, companies are reduced to falsifying official declarations (happening with large and small companies). All because they want to satisfy the demands created by legislators.

For you, it’s bad news. You as a consumer can expect to pay more for your cosmetic products because of this new legislation. Because you and I know that certification bodies and all involved in the game of ‘certification’ just want more money! If you want to know, I think it’s a conspiracy of large cosmetic companies lobbying with legislators to get rid of honest little companies like us!

Here are examples of 2 totally NATURAL ingredients we also use in Paul Penders products. See how 2 simple ingredients will need to be labeled in the future? Take in consideration that some of Paul Penders products contain no less than 20 or 30 different natural ingredients. See how Natural Organic Olive Oil needs to be declared according to the regulators:

Olive Oil (Tri-Glycerides of Palmitic, Di-Glycerides of Palmitic, Palmitoleic, Stearic, Oleic, Linoleic, Arachidic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Squalene, Beta Carotene, Campesterol, Methylenecholesterol, Stigmasterol, Sitosterol, Fucosterol, 28-Isofucosterol, Stigmadienol, Brassicasterol, 7-Cholestenol,Ergostadienol, Avenasterol, Triterpene Alcohols, Tirucallol, Taraxerol, Dammaradienol Beta-Amyrin Germanicol, Butyrospermol, Parkeol, Cycloartenol, Tirucalladienol, 24-Methlene 24-Dihydroparkeol, 24-Methlenecycloartanol, Cyclobranol, 4-Methyl Sterols, Esters of Tyrosol, Esters of Hydroxytyrosol, Vitamin E (Tocopherols), Carotenoids, Oleuropein) Cocoa Butter (Tri and Diglycerides of Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Lead, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Isoleic Acid, Beta Carotene, p-Hydroxybenzoic Acid, Vanillic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Syringic Acid, Phenylehtylamine, Theophylline, Aliphatic Esters, Aromatic Carbonyls, Caffeine, Theobromine, Diketopiperazines and Alkylpryazines)

Do YOU understand this? I don’t! And this is just for one single ingredient like Olive Oil. Which label is large enough to fit all these ingredients?

Another example is Natural Organic Lavender Essential Oil…. well, this should be a simple ingredient, right? Not so for these regulators.

Remember that we buy Organic Lavender Essential Oil from small farmers. But now the farmers cannot sell it to us anymore. After they have distilled lavender into essential oil, they need to come up with multiple pages of scientific reports with declarations, lab tests and more. Just to prove it is what it says it is!
The question is, how do they expect small farms to produce scientific information about pure essential oil the way the regulators need it to be? The small farmer needs to pay some chemist to write up these scientific reports!

According to the legislators, pure Natural Organic Lavender Essential Oil will need to labelled like this on our Paul Penders products:

Lavender Essential Oil (Cineole Octanol, Octanone, Alpha Bisabolol, Alpha Cadinol, Alpha Humelene, Alpha Phellandrene, Apha Pinene, Alpha Terpinene, Alpha Terpineol, Alpha Terpinyl Acetate, Alpha Thujene, Alpha Thujone, Beta Bisabolol, Beta Pinene, Beta Thujone, Borneol, Bornyl Acetate, Camphene Camphor, Cineolealpha Terpineol, Carvone, Caryophyllene, Carophyllene Oxide, CIS Alpha Terpineol, CIS Alpha Bisabolene, CIS Carveol, CIA Linalol Epoxide, CIS Ocimene, Citronellal, Citronellol, Coumarine, Cuminaldehyde, Eugenol, Furfural, Geraniol, Geranyl Acetate, Geranyl Butyrate, Hexanol, Hexyl Tiglate, Isoborneol, Lavandulol, Lavandulyl Acetate, Limonene, Linanlol, Linalyl Acetate, Methyl Heptenone, Myrcene, Nerol, Neryl Acetate, Oleanolic Acid, P Cymene, Rosemarinic Acid, Sabinen, Terpinenol, Terpinolene, Trans Carveol, Trans Epoxy Linalyl Acetate, Trans Linanol Epoxide, Trans Ocimene, Ursolic Acid)

Which on the label will look like below, otherwise how can the label fit 1,000 chemical names for all the natural organic ingredients we use?
So this is what we call ‘progress’ in the mad, mad world of cosmetic manufacturing?

What do YOU say as a consumer?

Soon increased cosmetic regulations in USA

(By Faye)

After 3 years preparation, the Personal Care Products Council proposed a five-point plan to the FDA to be deeply involved in ingredient safety for all cosmetics sold in the United States. The plan consists of:

New enhanced registration : Manufacturers must register all facilities where their products are manufactured. The FDA requires now ALL the ingredients to be declared. The manufacturer must report adverse reactions to the FDA.

New safety Levels for trace constituents : establish safe levels for trace constituents in all cosmetic products.

New ingredient review process : determine safety of ingredients and use levels for such ingredients

New oversight of findings : review findings on the safety of ingredients and determine whether the ingredient can be used or not.

New Good Manufacturing Practices : establish industry-wide GMP requirement.

Paul Penders Co is actively involved in product registrations in various countries in the world, however, especially these in Australia and Europe are extensive, take a long time to prepare (some can take up to one year) and are extremely expensive for small companies like us.

Yet Paul Penders has its own professional R&D facilities in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark island in Malaysia, the process still require the use of independent labs and independent safety assessments as well.

We see that the FDA is going to follow suit (at least makes a start). Although we believe that some of the requirements in Europe are going too far, yet we agree too that consumers deserve the best protection and 100% transparency.