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.

The Difference between Artificial and Natural Fragrances

Hidden Danger in Your Cosmetics

Blue jarMany consumers don’t realize the hidden dangers lurking in product fragrances. This is because, in the U.S. as in many other countries, manufacturers don’t have to specify on product labels exactly what ingredients a fragrance contains.

With many “fragrances” now comprising complicated mixtures of hundreds of ingredients, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) not requiring safety tests of cosmetic products, this makes the exact composition of a “fragrance” a black box of many different, untested chemicals.

Chemical Cocktail of Allergies!

In the worst cases, some of the chemical cocktails listed on product labels merely as a “fragrance” have been linked to allergies, skin reactions, hormone disruptions, birth defects and even cancer.

This problem isn’t confined to just a few products, since about 95% of 3,000 the different fragrance ingredients now used consist of low cost synthetic compounds derived from petroleum.

Top Hazard in Fragrances – Phthalates

CautionPhthalates, or phthalate esters, are a top hazard in fragrance mixtures. These are a group of chemical compounds that are mainly added to plastics to increase their flexibility.

Certain phthalate esters are also used in the manufacture of nail polishes, paint, adhesives and perfumes.

In 2004, a joint Swedish-Danish research team found a strong link between allergies in children and the phthalates; this study was later published in The Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives. Subsequent studies have also linked phthalates with birth defects, toxicity and damage to adult reproductive, adrenal, liver, and kidney organs.

Although some manufacturers have removed these chemicals from their products, a recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group found phthalates in nearly three-quarters of 72 name-brand products tested.

Another Culprit – Artificial Musks

Musk ox - the natural source of musk
Musk oxen - the natural source of musk

Artificial musks can also cause unintended side effects. These chemicals remain popular, however, since the price of natural musk, which is derived mainly from a gland of the male musk deer, has become prohibitively expensive.

Of the three primary types of synthetic musk (nitromusk, polycyclic musk and macrocyclic musk), nitromusk is particularly dangerous as it has been linked to reproductive and fertility problems in women at high levels of exposure.

Because of this, the EU has banned the usage of some nitromusks in cosmetics and personal care products, but in the United States, musk chemicals remain unregulated, and safe levels of exposure have not yet been set.

Asthma Triggers From Synthetic Fragrance

Natural essential oil can be made from sunflower
Natural essential oil can for example be made from organic grown sunflower

Many synthetic fragrance components are considered allergens and can both cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks. But when the Environmental Working Group conducted a survey in 2005 of U.S. cosmetic industry ingredient reviews, it found that for about one third of all ingredients, allergen and sensitizer determinations were made inadequately.

A Safer Bet – Natural Essential Oils

In contrast, natural fragrance ingredients such as essential oils are obtained entirely from plants. When properly prepared, they have not been associated with significant adverse reactions. However, the natural ingredients are more expensive than synthetic chemicals, resulting in fewer skin care product manufacturers using them.