Is There Something Like Organic Sunscreen?

The FDA does not allow sunscreens to be labeled as “organic sunscreens” and here is why. There are two ways sunscreens work.

  • Physical sunscreens that physically block or reflect harmful UV rays from the skin. They have mineral pigments zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients.
  • Chemical sunscreens that absorb damaging rays using chemicals, filtering them before they reach the skin. These cannot be certified organic.

Products containing titanium dioxide can never be considered for organic certification although titanium dioxide is a wonderful and expensive ingredient that Paul Penders uses successfully for over 10 years in our Herbal Sunscreen SPF 22 and its efficacy tested by independent labs including the Korean FDA

Herbal Sunscreen SPF22 is SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to provide a broad spectrum protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Sun protection comes mainly from titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral). Also added ethyl hexyl methoxycinnamat (also occurring in cinnamon leaves), LevensESSENTIE Gold® (herbal extract made from 22 organic herbs), vitamin E and vitamin A, as well as natural plant oils to soothe and moisturize.

Herbal Sunscreen SPF22 efficacy is tested by independent labs including the Korean FDA

(Image from Australian Organic Association)

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Certification — There’s Always Two Sides to a Story

What does certification really mean?

Why are there so many certification boards? Do we really need ALL these certifications? Yes, I know, I sometimes ask difficult questions. It’s partly for philosophical reasons, partly for practical ones that I question the various reasons for certification.

On the surface, certification by some authoritative institution that a product is safe and reliable makes good common sense. What other guarantee does a consumer have that consumption of a product will not be harmful?

Whether you are talking about cosmetics and beauty products — or food, medicine, vehicle parts, or any other kinds of products – for a consumer to feel and be safe, we assume that certification means an authority has inspected the manufacturing process and tested the products.

On the other hand, those assumptions could be false.

As the old adage says, “Follow the Money.” Beauty is big business and the certification process can clearly be seen to favor the big brands. The application process is complex, the tests are expensive, and the monitoring and administration of the application can drag on for long time. For a small company with unique products — a family grower of the purest olive oil in Italy, or a small farm growing rosemary and lavender in France or Turkey — whether or not to apply for certification becomes a real question of time and money. Is it worth it?

The number of possible certifications is mind-boggling – just as one example, to be “certified organic,” there are now dozens of possible agencies offering certification. These institutions make claims that their certifications are important and reliable, but how often do consumers ask about the trustworthiness of the certification? Companies and products are often challenged, but how about the certifying agencies themselves?

Here are some questions consumers could ask about any certification:

  • Who founded or supports the certification agency?
  • Does the certifier actually inspect or test products?
  • How does the certifier establish its credibility?
  • What criteria does the authority use for certification?
  • How much does the certifier charge for its certification?

The bottom line is that certification may be financially out of reach for most small creative companies or for family companies who have produced their stuff for generations. They now may be pushed out of business because of the BUSINESS of certification. These certification companies are getting richer every day in a most profitable and successful business.

However, the issue is not whether or not a company should go for certification (as we have chosen to do with our PP products). Not being certified does not mean that there is something wrong with the products. Could it be that there is something wrong with the BUSINESS of certification companies?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/

By Teviot Fairservis.


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When is Natural not Natural?

One of our favorite writers about cosmetic science, Dene Godfrey, asked and answered the question, “100% Natural?…Almost 100% Certainly Not.” His point? Many companies claim their products are “all-natural” or “100% natural.” But how many really are?

Says Dene:

It is no exaggeration to state that they are NOT 100% natural in well over 90% of cases. Whilst I must admit that I am talking about a fairly small sample size (tens, rather than thousands), it is clear that a large proportion of one sector of the market are making inaccurate claims.

His article got us thinking about all the product descriptions floating around out there: natural, naturally-derived, nature-identical, organic, certified organic, non-synthetic, no chemical additives, and many more. What do they all really mean? The truth is no one really knows. Are the companies that use these wonderful buzzwords in their promotions actually telling us anything of value? Even more importantly, are the companies careful and responsible about their use of earth-friendly and human-friendly ingredients?

For example, if products are truly “natural,” what would that mean? Again, Dene’s got 2 excellent questions and a great answer to this puzzle:

1) Does the substance exist in nature?

2) Is the substance extracted from nature without any chemical modification?

Only if the answer to both questions is yes, can the substance be truly described as “natural”.

Really when you think about it, any substance that comes from either a plant or an animal – flora or fauna – is “natural.” Are oil, gas and coal “natural”? Yes, by this definition – as those substances are formed from fossils.

As we at Paul Penders are utterly opposed to any cruelty to animals, we avoid the use of any animal-derived products. That leaves us with plants and rocks – beautiful tropical flowers, leaves, herbs, and roots that when gently crushed or bathed in oils give off lovely fragrances and a range of properties that can cleanse, refresh and beautify skin and hair.

To the botanicals, we can add minerals taken straight from the earth. Minerals have been a secret of great beauties for centuries, although not always the healthiest choices. Think of the lead-based skin whitening used by Mme. de Pompadour and other 18th century French ladies. We know our science and our chemists would never allow lead or other dangerous minerals to be included in our formulas.

For skin care and cosmetics, we believe freshness is a determiner of what makes an excellent natural beauty product. We need to choose the freshest ingredients and prepare them in small batches to preserve their inherent properties. We don’t want to over-process the ingredients so instead we use a cold-blending process rather than heating ingredients which would cause chemical bonds to break or reform and therefore change the basic natural chemistry.

What about “organic” and “certified organic”? As Dene reminds:

many people confuse “organic” and “natural” – a situation not discouraged by those involved in the market sector. These terms are NOT interchangeable. A high proportion of ingredients certified as “organic” (by one or more certification bodies) are NOT natural, as they don’t exist in nature and, therefore, a certified “organic” product cannot automatically be promoted as “all-natural”, unless it truly is, of course!

This is part of the problem we have with the certification agencies that get big bucks for their seals of approval. Just because a product is certified, that doesn’t mean that the consumer is not being misled or false claims are not being made. Was the product synthesized in huge batches in a factory or collected by hand in a rainforest and hand-blended? Certification won’t tell you the difference – but your body might.

Really, it all comes down to processing. Do we use the gifts of Nature in their most natural forms and gently blend them into creams, lotions, shampoos, and other skin and hair care products? As a small company, we vow never to take the route of “Big Business.” Our bigger brothers see no problem with processing huge quantities of ingredients in giant vats. But we want to do something different – something more beneficial to our customers and for our planet. Our aim is not quantity but quality.

As Dene says,

“…taking the definition of “nature-derived” to its logical conclusion, unless you actually create new matter, everything is “nature-derived”; the only question is to how many stages of processing has the substance been exposed.”

Dene Godfrey is one of the people in the cosmetics industry we most admire. He has been involved with preservatives for cosmetics since 1981, from both technical and commercial angles and holds a degree in chemistry. He speaks out often on cosmetic issues on the “Personal Care, Truth or Scare” site. See the article that inspired this blog at .

By Teviot Fairservis.



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Paul Penders Showroom Opens in Australia

Author: Bee, Australia
Our distributing company Euro Ventures, Ltd. in Australia just opened a new wonderful showroom and product training centre in the popular “Centro Box Hill Shopping Centre” in cosmopolitan Melbourne. Now Paul Penders products are available right in the heart of beautiful Victoria as well.

    Queen Victoria Market with City Tram in Melbourne

It took months of preparation before the showroom was opened. Jess, who manages all the activities, was previously working with prestigious brands such as Shiseido, Lancome and Christian Dior. As a matter of fact, she won twice the “Victoria State Counter Manager & Beauty Consultant of the Year Awards”, one time in 2009; another time in 2010. Jess has more than 20 years unique experience in the beauty industry.
Being made totally familiar by Bee, the managing director of Euro Ventures (exclusive importer for Paul Penders in Australia) she start to appreciate the uniqueness and remarkable potency of our natural botanic formulations, made in small batches, versus the cosmetic products made by large cosmetic corporations.
Jess is well aware that in Australia natural pureness for cosmetics is the preferred standard for a growing amount of concerned consumers. She made a true commitment to a full time business in educating, promoting and marketing our Paul Penders natural cosmetics in Victoria.

    Paul Penders makeover by Jess Victoria, Australia

    ICT treatment being applied by Jess

Since the opening of the Paul Penders showroom, annex training centre, Jess taught a growing Australian clientele and other interested people on the specifics of Paul Penders natural cosmetics, including our various award-winning products.
Jess and Joseph (husband and business partner) work closely together with a very successful Australian website “Living Safe” that educates on cruelty free and non-toxic products and much more founded by Nicole Groch

On this website Intensive Clarifying Therapy was recently reviewed by professionals and as a special gesture ICT is now available with a special price to the clients of the Paul Penders store as well.
Nicole is the leading Australian hair & makeup artist besides a very well-known animal-rights activist. She is a long-time, personal friend of Paul and together they often address issues of animal rights connected to cosmetic testing.

Of course, we are truly thankful for having committed distributors in Australia; people who live by a natural life style and the philosophy of kindness themselves as well. Does this not ultimately bring all of us towards a better world?
Paul Penders International congratulates Bee and Calvin Goh; owners of Paul Penders Australia, as well as Jess and Joseph for their achievement. We wish them lots of success in expanding our natural cosmetics in many parts of this beautiful country.

    Bee Lim, M.D. of Euro Ventures; Paul Penders exclusive
    distributor in Australia

When in Victoria please visit our showroom and training centre or visit For a great Paul Penders natural organic beauty treatment experience just call 0466913328 as well.

Still 1.5 Million Dollars Available For Grabs!

We wrote before about a most amazing and admirable offer made by the Royal Society of Chemistry in England to pay $1.5Million Dollar to anyone for simply doing nothing! For sure this offer must have been noticed by cosmetic giants such as Estee Lauder, Shiseido, Avon, L’Oreal, but also by the “natural cosmetic giant brands” such as The Body Shop, Aveda, L’Occitane, Dr. Hauschka and few more who employ the very best cosmetic chemists they can get.

The offer must also have been noted by certifying organic bodies such as The Soil Association, EcoCert, Nature and more organizations so eager to certify cosmetic companies as long as these cosmetic companies pay a royalty of their worldwide sales to these organizations, making them rich and more powerful while they do nothing to add value to the quality of the products they certify.
In January this year the Royal Society of Chemistry wrote us and congratulated our company on the article we wrote about their deal.
Here is the deal to receive $1.5Million for anyone for free!!
In hopes to halt the hype and deceptive stories of several cosmetic companies, the Royal Society of Chemistry offers to pay US$1.5Million to anyone or any company wherever in the world that can show hard proof of a so called 100% natural cosmetic product. Show a cosmetic product that consists of only 100% natural ingredients to them and get all that money into your bank account. It is that very simple.
But maybe it is not that simple because nobody seems to be able to claim this $1.5 Million.
Maybe the Royal Society of Chemistry is no dummies after all. Maybe they show with this action to the world that there is no cosmetic scientist or no cosmetic brand in the world to truthfully say that their cosmetic products are “100%” natural as they know that always there is a need for some materials that are not resourced directly from nature in their products. The understanding of what is “natural” or “organic” versus what is a chemical cannot always be truly defined. Therefore, whatever brand, at whatever consumer price… cosmetics products always contain some chemicals despite claims of being “100% Natural” or “100% Certified Organic”.
Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics that are made with the best natural ingredients that include many certified organic ingredients but do we make outrageous claims to be 100% natural? Or 100% Organic? Since it is impossible to be 100% natural or organic why do certain cosmetics companies still make these claims? And why would they not claim that pot of gold waiting for them for over 2 years already? Would it not be their best advertizing as well besides receiving $1.5Million for free?

Bravo to the Royal Society of Chemistry represented in Europe, USA and Asia consisting of 50,000 members. We at Paul Penders Company too will report immediately when a cosmetic company steps forwards to claim this huge amount of money! But I think we will have to wait, wait and wait.