I Have Been Lied to. I Feel Betrayed. Part – 2

Obviously I feel extremely upset. More and more I see the lies and cover up stuff of EWG. Paul Penders Co always promoted The Safe Cosmetics Org. We proudly displayed their logo on our website. But no longer! We do no longer wish to be a part of this organization. Please do not take it from me alone. Please read a pretty amazing story of Colin Sander, a “green” cosmetic formulator in UK for almost 30 years. He too supported EWG. And he too feels being lied to as well. “Finally, I Have Worked Out What The Story of The Safe Cosmetics At 2010 is really all about”. We place Colin’s compelling story on our blog in 2 parts. Yesterday Part #1 and today Part #2.
 
                           
 
Part – 2
 
Two things made it clear to me beyond any doubt that there was a link between “American Private Label” company and the EWG.  First, one of the slides called for companies to sign the Safe Cosmetics Compact.  This is being organised by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, definitely a group completely within the EWG’s orbit.
 
Secondly, they described their services as Green Chemistry.  I was instantly reminded of the reference in the Story of Cosmetics to green chemists who were working to solve the problems caused by the unsafe ingredients in modern cosmetics.  I had no more thought that these green chemists actually existed than that the supposed carcinogens in shampoo actually existed. I had taken it as an a bit of idealistic wishful thinking. In fact it was a sales plug.
 
Now things that had puzzled me fell into place. The EWG’s ambition is no mean one.  They intend to create a new category of cosmetic product and to supply that category via American Private Label and probably other companies as well.  American Private Label already offer branding, packaging, QC and manufacturing.  But no doubt there are other sales to be made.
 
Now I could see it all.  I had imagined the EWG, which is extremely well funded, had got its money from donations.  Clearly not – this is big business in every sense of the word.  Why were they ignoring pleas from small natural companies who you would think would be their natural allies?  Because they are in fact their competition.  Why is the science on their website and in their reports so poor?  Because it isn’t science at all.  The aim is to make a case against their competition not inform the public about risk.
 
And let me emphasise this proposition is aimed at retailers.  It is not a grassroots consumer protest.  The video has been created as part of a programme to sell stuff.  The Safe Cosmetic Act is a publicity stunt.  If it alarms small producers, that is irrelevant.  If it infuriates scientists, that doesn’t matter.  The object is to deliver a tranche of consumers to the shops who will seek out ‘safe’ cosmetics.
 
And just as importantly they will be in a position to satisfy that demand with suitable products.  In his talk, David Pollack the CEO of American Private Label said that retailers should create ‘safe cosmetic’ areas in their stores.  These would be much like the organic sections they currently have. And I think the retailers will listen.
 
               
 
As the front page of American Private Label’s website says, the margins on this new category will be good.  I bet they will.  Will they be safer?  That question will probably not have even crossed their minds.  But just to be absolutely clear I believe that there will be no difference in safety between ‘safe’ products and established ones.
 
So I think I should end this post with an apology.  I write this blog with the idea that as an industry insider I have some knowledge and insight that might be useful to people who use the products of my industry.   I genuinely believed that I sort of knew what was going on.  But I have just realised that I completely missed the biggest marketing coup this business has ever seen.  I really couldn’t have got things more wrong.  Far from being a well meaning but flawed attempt to make the world better, the Story of Cosmetics is a sales pitch.  Nothing more.
 
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Colin Sanders formulates cosmetics for 27 years from shampoos to pharmaceutical creams and is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists since 1985. His degree is in environmental science and he continues to take a keen interest in the impact of human activities on the planet. He writes an excellent blog www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk for users of cosmetic products with insider insights and a bit of science.

 
    

I Have Been Lied to. I Feel Betrayed. Part – 1

Obviously I feel extremely upset. More and more I see the lies and cover up stuff of EWG. Paul Penders Co always promoted The Safe Cosmetics Org. We proudly displayed their logo on our website. But no longer! We do no longer wish to be a part of this organization. Please do not take it from me alone. Please read a pretty amazing story of Colin Sander, a “green” cosmetic formulator in UK for almost 30 years. He too supported EWG. And he too feels being lied to as well. “Finally, I Have Worked Out What The Story of The Safe Cosmetics At 2010 is really all about”. We place Colin’s compelling story on our blog in 2 parts. Today Part #1 and tomorrow Part #2.
 
                           
 
Part – 1
 
Since I was a teenager in the Seventies, I’ve always regarded myself as a pretty green. Green in the environmental sense that is.  I remember the campaign to get lead out of petrol with affection.  I studied Environmental Science at university and can remember talking long into the night about issues affecting the planet.
 
I think I even joined the Ecology Party, the forerunner of the Green Party when I was about 18 – though I don’t remember doing anything other than pay the subscription. Jobs were short when I graduated and I got a job formulating cosmetics rather than doing the environmental work I had originally had in mind.
 
I was surprised to find myself in an industry where people seemed pretty positive about issues close to my heart.  Biodegradable surfactants were a new thing but there was never any question of using anything else.  I have spoken on other blogs about the fact that formaldehyde was still in use then, but was being removed purely at the initiative of the chemists in the labs.
 
Given this, I have always listened with care and attention to the environmental lobby.  For a long time I didn’t have any problem with being an environmentalist as well as being a scientist at the same time as developing cosmetics.   They all seemed to be going in the same direction.
 
So when I first heard about an American pressure group called the Environmental Working Group I was predisposed to support them.  I came across the Skin Deep database and was initially quite impressed with the idea.  In fact I am still impressed with the idea.  Why not collect all the information about cosmetic raw materials onto a database and make it available to the public.  I hope somebody does it some day.
 
Even when I started looking things up on the Skin Deep database and found it to be almost comically inaccurate I still gave the people behind it the benefit of the doubt. I imagined enthusiastic young volunteers – probably in California – punching data in during all night long sessions powered by idealism and pizza.
 
                           
 
I assumed that they would be getting complaints and would be putting it right shortly.   You always have to give people a bit of time to get things straight. Then I saw the Story of Cosmetics video.  This really changed things.  Whatever else you think of it, this is a professional piece of work.  Time, effort and money has gone into it.  And you can’t miss that it is propaganda not advocacy.  It sets out to scare.
 
Even now, I was prepared to justify it to some extent in my mind – as you will see if you read my post from only a few days ago.  They had gone off the scale for accuracy, but maybe they felt that they had to use modern techniques to get their message across.  I started to think of the EWG as sort of green Lenninists.
 
They had betrayed the ideals of the revolution, but they were still radicals.  They had chosen the wrong way to go about fighting the system, but they were still against the system.  Even when I heard about the very large salaries that the directors of the EWG were drawing from their organisation I still did not realise what was really going on.
 
But now I understand.  Did I say I was green?  Well I sure was.  Green in the sense of being inexperienced and unknowing in the ways of the world.
 
                           
 
Today I saw a hand out from a recent trade fair in the US.  In it, a company called “American Private Label,” was pitching its services to American retailers.  Consumers, it says, want safe cosmetics.  What are safe cosmetics?
 
Well you have to avoid parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances etc.  But it wasn’t a list of all the things that have got bad head lines.  It was specifically the things that the EWG have been campaigning about.  Helpfully the names as they appear on the ingredient list that you needed to avoid were spelled out. Almost every product on the market would fall foul of this list, including ones from companies that specialise in very green products.
 
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Colin Sanders formulates cosmetics for 27 years from shampoos to pharmaceutical creams and is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists since 1985. His degree is in environmental science and he continues to take a keen interest in the impact of human activities on the planet. He writes an excellent blog www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk for users of cosmetic products with insider insights and a bit of science.

 
 

 
    

Petrochemical Preservatives Still Used in Cosmetics

Containing water, oils, peptides and carbohydrates, cosmetics can easily become contaminated with bacteria, viruses and fungi that can spoil the product.

Preserving Your Cosmetics

Because of this, manufacturers must use preservatives to keep products from spoiling and extend shelf life. Natural products, such as those containing olive or coconut oils, are particularly prone to becoming rancid if preservatives are not added.

Test tubesAlthough petrochemical-based parabens very effectively kill unwanted bacteria and keep skin care products fresh, many have also been linked to cancer. Unfortunately, they’re still commonly used in skin care and cosmetic products because they’re relatively cheap.

According to “Preservatives for Cosmetics” by David Steinberg, methylparaben was used in more than 7,100 products sold in the U.S. in 2003, while propylparaben was found in over 5,800 products, butylparaben was included in more than 2,300 products and other types of paraben, such as ethylparaben, isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben, were found in more than 1,900. Overall, the usage of these preservatives has remained relatively constant since 1996, with declines in usage of one paraben offset by increases in usage of another.

Cancer and Parabens

Everybody knows smoking causes cancer...
Everybody knows smoking causes cancer...

In 2004, a study reported in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found parabens in samples of breast tumors, indicating a link between these chemicals and breast cancer. While no direct causal relationship has yet been established between parabens and cancer, many researchers believe that heavy usage of antiperspirants and other products containing parabens will eventually be considered a risk factor for cancer.

Formaldehyde, which can be toxic, allergenic, and carcinogenic, is also used as a preservative in cosmetics, as it is also quite inexpensive. However, it is used considerably less often than parabens. In 2003, 139 U.S. skin care products contained formaldehyde, according to Steinberg, compared with 187 in 1996.

Manufacturers are able to keep using these ingredients because cosmetics are not uniformly regulated throughout the world.

In the U.S., for example, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not require safety or efficacy testing for preservatives, although it does restrict or prohibit certain ingredients.

Hexachlorophene, mercury compounds, bithionol and halogenated saliclanilides are currently not allowed. The EU pre-approves preservatives, with 56 permitted preservatives. Many other countries including Japan have followed the regulatory framework of the EU with “positive” lists for permitted preservatives.

Phenoxyethanol -A Safer Alternative

All Paul Penders products are safe to use and will guaranteed not harm you
All Paul Penders products are safe to use and will guaranteed not harm you

Manufacturers of natural and organic products use non-petroleum-based products such as phenoxyethanol. A colorless glycol ether, phenoxyethanol is an organic compound that has been shown to effectively kill bacteria. It is increasingly used in skin creams, perfumes and insect repellants as well as vaccines.

Paul Penders uses a natural preservative system made from milk sugar and several vitamines for its skin, hair & body care products and make up. This system has proven to be effective and safe. A natural way to make sure products remain fresh for a prolonged period of time. Albeit expensive, but a wonderful alternative to parabens and other bad chemicals.

Statement from Paul Penders on Ingredients in Cosmetics, July 2009

Hereby, I, Paul Penders, President of Paul Penders Co., Inc., San Pablo, California in The United States of America, and of Paul Penders Co., Langkawi UNESCO Geopark, Malaysia make the following statement about Paul Penders natural organic herbal cosmetics:

PP products

We use certified organic ingredients. LevensESSENTIE Gold is a herbal extract made of 22 organic herbs. The certified ingredients are being used in different quantities depending on the specific product. Please review the explanation of ALL Paul Penders ingredients used in our products at: paulpenders.com.

Aloe & Lavender A.M. MoisturizerWe guarantee, based on tests by the University of Penang, that all our products (including baby products) do not contain 1.4 dioxane or formaldehyde.

Each and every product batch is, before being filled into containers, certified by an independent Australian ISO 9000 laboratory to state that the product is entirely fit and safe for filling. Only after this certificate is issued and received, we proceed with filling

Our preservatives are made from certified organic and natural ingredients which may vary, depending on which product it is applied to.

We use certified organic colors for our makeup products that may come from iron oxides or, for some of the lip colors, carmine. We proudly denounce – and never ever use – chemical FD&C colors or other petrochemical dyes.

Natural Cream LipstickWe use no chemical emulsifiers. No chemical fragrances (but blends of natural essential oils). No chemical foaming agents. No petroleum based ingredients. Our products are cold-mixed, a system developed by us that guarantees optimal potency and effectiveness of all ingredients used. This ensures the ingredients ability to work in the desired way, instead of their effect being sabotaged or killed due to heat processing.

We have never, ever tested on animals! The history of Paul Penders is a proud testimony to this fact: being THE pioneer in non-animal tested cosmetics for over 40 years!

Proudfully and Respectfully

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