As I wrote in Part #1, I am always curious about the background of people writing us with their questions, feedback or concerns. Nicky Jones from UK was asking us whether we still use carmine as a natural red colour ingredient in our makeup products. And the answer to her question was “No, for already few years we don’t because we found a great alternative in a certified organic red dye what we use mow instead. She was concerned about the use of carmine as Nicky wrote:
I came across your products whilst looking at a website in the UK called There Must Be A Better Way.
I am trying to find products without Carmine, and was looking through the list of ingredients in your products, and one of your lipsticks, Natural Cream Lipstick Peony, contains Carmine.
And after I had answered Nicky I was asking myself why someone writes to us so far away. Who trusts us on the answer we would give. I felt immediately Nicky was concerned “by heart and soul” about the ingredient issue – and not for her own sake but for a betterment of the world. Sometimes we get letters from health fanatics who are merely concerned about themselves only with no regards to ethical issues involve us all. I wish everyone in the world was as compassionately concerned as Nicky is. She asked the question because of her concern for animals; nature and that included even insects dying to obtain carmine substance extracted from the wings that turns red when treated with copper for years the only red dye allowed to be used by the FDA for natural colour cosmetics.
After I wrote Nicky back I got such a heart warming response!
“Painting for a living is something that I have always wanted to do, and it still gives me such a thrill to produce a piece of artwork that someone will treasure for years to come. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting animals for my pleasure, but the real pleasure comes from the look of joy on someone’s face as they are presented with their pet art portrait, or when I receive a letter to say that the portrait of their pet had brought tears to their eyes.”
We learned that she is a self-taught artist specialising in animal portraits especially dogs and cats with a level of intricate detail that reflects the great love and keen observation in her work. She has exhibited her work at various galleries and art exhibitions and works from picture that people give her or she will take digital images herself in order to capture the rights pose to produce the perfect portrait. She lives near Oxford with her husband and 2 cats.
I took the name of the header of a beautiful website in UK that sells and promote the best natural and organic skincare products in the world (including Paul Penders products are available there of course as well 🙂 ) called: www.theremustbeabetterway.co.uk as this name was mentioned by Nicky too.
Please visit this website and please be amazed and surprised. The feel of love that is shown and the artistry especially is mind blowing. I am so glad people of all backgrounds continue to write us and so we can share about them with our readers and I especially recommend looking at the website of Nicky – you will not be disappointed!
Thanks Nicky and we wish you the very best of success and hope you will do this work as long as possible to the enjoyment and betterment and learning process for all of us in this world. A wildlife and botanical true artist!
Making the house team!
As our products are sold to countries in Europe, Asia and US markets, obviously we get often mail from anywhere in the world with all kind of questions. I am always curious to know about people who take the effort to write a company located at the other end of the world.
I never do it myself and maybe because of that I am interested to know about these people who write us about what they feel so strongly about us and or our products. Much of the time I try to answer them myself. And most of the times I am correct that people who undertake the effort of writing us are special people.
Last month we received a letter of Nicky Jones from UK concerning the use of carmine. For the ones not familiar with carmine; it is a natural red natural color pigment that the FDA allows us to use in cosmetics without restrictions.
There are plenty of other ways to extract red colors from natural materials, such as flowers, but these are not always safe to be consumed (lipsticks are being consumed!) or there is a concern for allergic reactions. Carmine is the natural red colour pigment ingredient for lipsticks, and other makeup products, what we have been using for decades.
The concern some people have is that the colour is extracted from the wings of an insect while that insect in most cases dies an artificial death; being gassed. Especially vegetarians have an issue with that and I share their concern.
But since about 2 years we have a solution where we use certified organic red color instead of carmine and this color is now approved for cosmetics by the FDA. Of course we are very happy with this new colour ingredient compared to the insect-based ingredient that we were forced to use for so many years as there was no alternative.
The only “alternative” was using the petroleum-based chemical dies of what we have read terrible health reports over the years. It was told me not to use these chemical coal tar dyes as the concern for the health of our customers always have been our first priority.
Now with the new certified organic red-colour ingredient, we can serve ALL customers wanting truly natural herbal color cosmetics. Nobody needs to be afraid of hurting insects, or for those not wanting to use the extraction of an insect on their lips.
Letter of Nicky Jones
So I received a nice letter of Nicky Jones from UK with the issue of carmine at mind. She was really concerned about us using carmine for ethical reasons while in fact we have stopped using carmine already few years back. So were happy to assure her about this.
And in the case of Nicky who took the time and effort to write us, it was indeed another interesting surprise of who this person was, and I am so exciting to tell you more about her. Actually I can’t wait to share this next story with our readers in the next issue of our blog Part #2 of “There Must Be A Better Way”
Did I ever tell you before how I got to know all these friends of mine in all kinds of countries? I don’t believe I did.
Before I settled down, got married and children I used to travel a lot. That already started when I was in college. I spent some time in Europe as an exchange student. After that I went back many times for my job as a wine merchant. As you will know, Europe is still the heart of wine production in the world. France obviously, but also Italy, Spain and Germany. I was always looking for fine wines for my company to buy and sell. That is how I got to know another of my friends that this story is about.
Aziza lives in Dortmund, being married to a German man called Manfred, but she actually comes from Malaysia. From Dortmund to the Southwest of Germany there are large wine estates, one of them being owned by Aziza and her husband. They produce a very fine white wine that I immediately decided to buy for my company.
As it turned out, Aziza and I got along really well so I went back as often as I possibly could. I was there when her daughter Sophie was born!
Sophie is now 5 years old and well aware of her background. One evening Aziza, keeping her Asian heritage alive, had died Sophie’s hands with henna. Something very common in Asian and Arabian culture, but not that much in Germany.
When Sophie went to school next day naturally her girlfriends asked about the painting on her hands, so Sophie explained to them it was henna. Her girlfriends, completely astonished all shouted out: What? Were they done by Hannah Montana? They all wanted to meet her and Sophie had to ask Aziza for help to explain she did NOT know Hannah Montana, but that she does know henna and how to dye hands with it.
After the girls had overcome their disappointment of not getting to meet Hannah Montana, they all went to school the next day with a beautiful henna painting on their hands.