The Marriage of Nature and Science

Making herbal beauty products is truly “a Marriage of Nature and Science.”

Like yin and yang, old and new, woman and man, nothing is really whole unless it’s the product of polar opposites. All the way through the manufacturing process for making Paul Penders products, you can see the relationships between these two primal forces – Nature and Science. When they combine in the right way, the result can be true Beauty.

On the one hand, we seek out Nature’s gifts – the herbs, spices and oils. The wisdom of ancient traditions informs our choices. When we learn of a special plant that has been used for centuries for beauty care – like the Kigelia from Africa and Pegaga found in Southeast Asia – then we try to understand the benefits and why it has been so effective.

That’s where the Science steps in. As one of the very few small cosmetics manufacturers that maintains its own R&D department, our scientists research, measure, test, experiment, mix and match to make new formulas based on old traditions. The benefits available in Nature can now be shared – and are verified by Science to enhance Beauty.

It really is a very happy marriage!

Image courtesy of phanlop88/


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Your Beautiful Skin: Why Go Natural?

Over many years of working in the beauty world, I have learned that beautiful skin really has not always much to do with science or secret formulas.

Healthy skin is easier to obtain than you might think. No matter what your skin type is, beautiful skin is easy to acquire and to maintain — simply by natural living and using simple but effective natural cosmetics.

Cosmetics with “certified organic ingredients” (which is what we use, by the way) do not necessarily make your skin more beautiful than using pure natural ingredients. “Organic” ingredients in that sense do not provide more benefits at all. I speak from over 45 years studying the beauty business in various countries.

My most important discovery was 40 years ago. That experience of what creates beautiful skin has never been topped. It was when I did tests on a convent of nuns for several months, I came to the conclusion by the end that good cosmetics and natural lifestyles are the perfect combination for radiant skin!

Going natural” does not mean never wearing makeup or never using lotions or creams. To be your most beautiful, you do need to take the time to give your body, skin, and hair some TLC (that’s “tender loving care”).

Science and medicine are now telling us that many people lack essential vitamins and minerals and that too much sun exposure can damage cells. We all need to consider our lifestyle and our body’s needs.

That’s why recently I got so excited about a leafy tropical plant which has been used in traditional societies for skincare, pain relief, weight loss and all-around health. Science has shown that it is extremely beneficial. You will hear more in future about this amazing plant as we have planted 1500 of these fast-growing Gynura procumbens in the organic herb garden at our Ocean Residence property.

But why must science always explain what we can already see?

What scientific explanation do we need when we see people with beautiful, radiant skin? Ask the women in rural villages what they do they use? Answer: flowers, fruit, coconut water or the fresh mineral waters from local streams for cleansing, and fruit, coconut, or other natural oils for moisturizing the skin.

In this day and age of man-made chemical additives in so much of our food and personal care products, ‘going back to Nature’ just makes logical sense. Does anyone really want phthalates, parabens, poisons like mercury and lead, or petroleum-based products adding to the chemical stew we already live in?

It’s really quite simple – let’s accept the gifts of Mother Nature.

Exquisitely beautiful flowers yield fragrant essential oils. Fruits and berries packed with anti-oxidants and enzymes cleanse, clarify, protect, and improve skin and hair health. Minerals found in rocks and clay can exfoliate, moisturize, stimulate and benefit both health and beauty as they are absorbed.

Of course, I would never dream of offering natural beauty products that have not been fully vetted by scientists to ensure the formulas are truly beneficial. We love science! But we love Nature even more!

Image courtesy of marin /

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan /


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‘Scare Tactics’ — The Debate About “Parabens” rages on…

Preservation of the product is probably the number one issue that makers of natural, organic cosmetics must face. Here at Paul Penders International, we manufacture in small batches and ship them out quickly. We constantly seek ways to keep ingredients fresh but also lasting. We want our products to remain safe at least long enough for the customer to use them up. But how do we – and other cosmetics manufacturers — make them last?

In the past, we at Paul Penders used to use a very low amount of parabens as a preservative in our natural cosmetics — and had great results. In all those years, we never encountered negative reactions. But maybe we succumbed to “scare tactics” — because of pressure from too many uninformed sources, we stopped adding parabens to our products.

We still believe that using parabens (in very small quantities) preserves natural products better than many “natural alternatives.” All too often manufacturers conceal the fact that the “natural ingredients” are in fact synthetics of chemicals derived from plant and mineral sources. The reality is that while commercial parabens are synthesized in labs, they also occur naturally in many plants including such ‘good’ fruits as blueberries.

Scientists tell us that parabens are non-toxic. Looking over the scientific and medical literature, they tell us parabens are rapidly absorbed, metabolized, and excreted. Expert panels assert that these preservatives are not harmful to humans.

One study that caused a furor found parabens inside tumors removed from breast cancer patients. Other scientists criticized the study as incomplete and that there is no clear evidence that the synthetic chemical is a cause for cancer.

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in thousands of personal care products including moisturizers, shampoos, toothpastes, gels, deodorants, fragrances and more. They are used in many food and pharmaceutical products as well to sustain longer shelf-life. In this litigious age when a major corporation can quickly be bankrupted by lawsuits against it, would the industry world-wide use parabens if their use had the potential to destroy the business? It makes you wonder.

Still – it is always smart to read the ingredients on packaging. If you see methyl paraben (methylparaben), propyl (propylparaben), butilparaben (butylparaben), etilparaben (ethylparaben), etc. listed, then you can be sure that the product contains a paraben preservative.

Although not scientifically proven and with studies disproving toxicity, the debate rages on about the possible harmfulness of parabens and possible associations with breast cancer. Many companies now promote their products as “paraben-free.”

This on-going debate raises the question, “Is “paraben-free” simply another example of “scare tactics?” Is it just a marketing hoax to gain customers?”

By Teviot Fairservis.


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The flora of Paul Penders – Today: Lemon Balm

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.
It grows to 70–150 cm (2-5 ft.) tall. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint, and the flavor comes mostly from citronella (24%).
At the end of the summer, small white flowers full of nectar appear. These attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa, which is Greek for Honey Bee.
In dry climates, it grows best in partial shade. It can also be easily grown as an indoor potted herb. Lemon balm requires light and at least 20 degrees Celsius (70 F) to germinate so it is best to plant indoors, or in spring, and not to cover the seeds.
Lemon balm is often used as a flavoring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It is also frequently paired with fruit dishes or candies. It can be used if fish dishes and is the key ingredient in lemon balm pesto.
Lemon balm’s history dates back at least 2,000 years. It has been used to reduce fevers, induce sweating, calm the digestive tract, treat colds, and relieve spasms related to cramps and headaches.

In medieval Europe, the tea was valued for disorders of the nervous system. It has long been a popular folk remedy for insomnia.
The extract of lemon balm has also been found to have exceptionally high antioxidant activity.
Lemon balm essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy. The essential oil is commonly co-distilled with lemon oil, citronella oil, or other oils.
Finally, the crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin are used as a repellant for mosquitoes (and no, it does not help only to rub with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice – the mosquitoes know the difference! Author’s remark.).
Lemon balm has been shown to have an anti-viral effect, to calm muscles, and to have a soothing effect.
Due to lemon balms healing and restorative powers – it tones and improves circulation – it has become a natural part of our LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract.
Related posts:
Patent Application on LevensESSENTIE Gold®
LevensESSENTIE Herbal Extract – All 22 Herbs in Details

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The flora of Paul Penders – Today: Lavender

This is the twelfth 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.
Lavender (Lavendula vera flower) is a fascinating herb with a characteristic fresh fragrance, used to soothe, strengthen and balance the mood.

Also known as common lavender and English lavender (though not native to England), this aromatic flowering plant grow in the western Mediterranean region, primarily in the Pyrenees and other mountains in northern Spain.
It is a strongly aromatic shrub, growing 1–2 meters (1-2 ft.) tall. The leaves are evergreen and the flowers are pinkish-purples – lavender colored.
Lavender is commonly grown as an ornamental plant, and is very popular because of it colorful flowers, its fragrance, and its ability to survive with low water consumption.
It can be grown in the home garden, but requires special care in the beginning. Once established, lavender is easy to care for; one plant will produce flowers for up to 10 years. Lavender colored flowers will then bloom from early to late summer.
In the kitchen, the flowers are often used as a culinary herb, maybe best know for being one of the ingredients in the French herb blend called Herbes de Provance.
Dried lavender flowers and lavender essential oil can actually also be used as a prevention against clothing moths, which do not like their scent!
In herbal medicine, both the flowers and leaves are used in herbal tea.

Lavender essential oil is commonly used as a relaxant with massage therapy. Its difficult to move around in a city in Asia with its many places for foot massage (reflexology) or other kinds of body massage, without noticing their signs outside – often accompanied by either the word lavender of at least a picture of the flower.!
For cosmetic use, lavender is used in lotions, eye pillows, bath oils, etc, all due to its ability to induce relaxation.
Since lavender is such a fascinating herb, with its characteristic fresh fragrance, and since it soothes, strengthens and balances the mood, it is an integral part of our LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract.
Lavender essential oil is, because of its fine fragrance, one of our favorite essential oils in a variety of products.
Related posts:
Patent Application on LevensESSENTIE Gold®
LevensESSENTIE Herbal Extract – All 22 Herbs in Details

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