Bismuth Oxychloride…..? Hmmm… Isn’t That A Synthetic?!

More people today choose to be “as natural as possible” which is a worthwhile, however, in some cases consumers may be finding themselves at crossroads to use natural organic color cosmetics with an ingredients deemed to be “unnatural” and “unsafe”. Nevertheless, these products are still considered “certified organic” guaranteed by certifiers like Ecocert and others.
One of these ingredients is bismuth oxychloride; a chemical compound that is is found as a harmless ingredient in a variety of color cosmetics.
Bismuth oxychloride is a synthetically-prepared powder created from bismuth, oxygen and chlorine that is used in color cosmetics because of its abilities to create a white pigment, shimmery look, and silky feel in addition to its exceptional ability to adhere to the skin. Although it is synthetically prepared, bismuth oxychloride is derived from natural elements.
Bismuth oxychloride is approved for cosmetics, why the noise?
A concern touted by opponents of bismuth oxychloride is that the Material Safety Data Sheets mention that it can cause irritation. But mica and other compounds found in color cosmetics are also known to be able to cause irritation in very few cases. Just because a very small group of people have a mild reaction to a compound does not mean it should be outlawed.
As it is approved by the FDA and in EU, consumers will most likely continue to see bismuth oxychloride on the list of ingredients found on many natural and organic makeup product labels.

Consumers can confidently purchase natural and organic color cosmetics containing bismuth oxychloride, knowing that it is a perfect and preferred ingredient by a number of famous makeup artists and cosmetic chemists due to its numerous positive attributes. More importantly, it is perfect safe ingredient as well.

America Back in the BUSINESS of Animal Tests?

From the great people of “Personal Care – Truth or Scare” in California I received message that “The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics” (CCIC) who runs “The Leaping Bunny Program” has the same concerns about the newly proposed “Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011” as they had before with the “Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010” that was rightfully rejected in Colorado and by U.S. Congress.

The new proposed Safe Cosmetics Act 2011 will overhaul the way cosmetic products are regulated in the United States. While the purpose of this legislation is good to ensure that cosmetic products are safe, it will have disastrous consequences for laboratory animals. Innocent creatures used to undergo cruel test for cosmetic products and their ingredients.
Although this newly proposed Act endorses the development of non-animal testing methods, there is little doubt that animal testing will be required by this bill! It will result in a substantial increase of animal tests!
Here is my vision on this bad news.
CCIC hopes that changing the cosmetic regulations can be done without animal tests. They believe that harmonize U.S. law with the European Union would be the best and I totally agree! In Europe they make safe cosmetics but also prohibit the use of animal tests for cosmetics! So in America we are going to re-invent the wheel. Why not totally disregard what scientists already know in Europe for many years? Or are the cosmetic products made by L’Oreal and Chanel regarded as unsafe in America?
Most of this incredible stuff right now just starts here.
To me, for the last 10 years, few things seem to go little but awkward in my own country. Maybe Americans have become little bit isolated compared to modern developments in the rest of the world? For example, here in the US we have the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that consists of no cosmetic chemists and they seem to act totally confused.

What disturbs me most is that our company in the past helping to establish a law in The Netherlands to prohibit animal tests for cosmetics already 25 years ago! The Netherlands was actually the first country in the world to make it ILLEGAL to do animal tests for cosmetics and its ingredients…. and now after all this time, the US wants to start doing it all over again?!
How many of us Americans feel lost in a society run by legislators and lobbyiests?
Also lawyers who make money in any way they can? Does neglecting all they learned in Europe bring us to more safe cosmetics and closer to nature? The EWG makes it sound like using a simple herb used for centuries with great results, now suddenly can cause death, or risk getting terrible diseases like cancer and more?

Consumers are made scared by scare-tactics of EWG
New “arm-chair scientists” coming along making things bad that later need to be fix that didn’t need to be fixed in the first place. Here is the business part that comes in. Because for centuries people in Europe use simple herbs for improvement of their health and cosmetic purposes. Now EWG and their “scientists” claim we are at risk from these same herbs. Of course, these scientists do not understand the miracles of how nature works… therefore it is suddenly no good anymore. How arrogant can we be?
But maybe there is more to it?
Maybe it is just pure business. Because who pays for all this nonsense? With all we do we are missing the boat. I think we are little bit lost as a Nation.
Most people in the world believe animal tests for cosmetics is terrible.
Useless and some find it even a crime. In Europe they stopped doing it a decade ago. In name of innocent animals, please stop the stupidity; the ignorance! Please let’s start to educate ourselves. When one buy a cosmetic product look for the track record of a company. Also be aware that “the new kid on the block” is not always the best but some tell great stories.
Please be not confused like many of us. Do not support EWG. They are simply not qualified to make their strange assumptions.


Australian Hair & Makeup Artist Promotes Natural, Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

One of the very proud moments in my life with the incredible Jane Goodall during the launch of her film at IMAX…. A brief background on myself… Hi : -) I am Nicole Groch. I have been a professional freelance hair & makeup artist based in Melbourne, Australia for over 19 years. I have been working in the fashion, advertising and music industry both in Australia and overseas. Quite some year’s back now, I took it upon myself to rethink my attitude towards the makeup & hair products I used in my kit.
I had been a vegetarian for many years for ethical reasons, and only used ‘cruelty free’ products in my work, but I was also very interested in all the natural and organic products that were becoming more readily available.

I did research into the common ingredients used in the majority of cosmetic brands and was astounded at how many toxic ingredients they contained and how they can adversely affect our health. I then converted my kit, so I now use on my clients only the safest, cruelty free and natural products that I can source. This is how I came to love the Paul Penders range as they stood for everything I believed in, vegan, natural and safe. Over the years I got to know Paul and he is an incredible inspirational person.
Because I didn’t believe it was ethical to use or promote any products that were tested on animals I was constantly turning down work for companies that either used such products, or had real fur in their ranges, including their TV commercials, fashion parades, fashion shows and product editorials. Particularly I wanted to do something positive with my makeup skills to help animals!
So I got in contact with the Australian (they accredit cruelty free companies) and offered to start “The Cruelty Free Makeup Tips”. I arranged a huge celebrity launch for the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” poster campaign I had put together and did all hair and makeup for it as well.

I was able to use my connections to get celebrity support for the front covers of our magazines and for campaigns. After a few years I was asked to become a Director of Choose Cruelty Free and as their PR Director I found Paul Penders products. Our Preferred Product List lead me to do PR work for other natural and cruelty free companies.
Now I am the mother of two beautiful children. And along with doing my hair and makeup work, and PR for CCF, I embarked on a journey that I am very passionate about! I have become the writer, editor, photographer, marketing and PR person for a website my husband Jonathan (an IT professional) and I together designed, called:

The aim of Living Safe is to give individuals easy tools and accurate knowledge to help them create a safe and healthy environment for their children, pets and …ultimately themselves! Since we have launched the site several months ago we have been getting fantastic positive feedback, especially from parents thanking us for creating this much needed site. It has made them more aware and informed about these very important issues. We hope our site will help to create a better world for the all of us. We also have a directory of “Safe & Non-Toxic” companies and of course, Paul’s products are on it as well as they fit the Living Safe ethos perfectly!
Paul Penders is now available in Australia. For more information please visit:
Author: Nicole Groch

How Consumers are Protected Best

Attorney General Jerry Brown’s Office Files a Lawsuit
Because of serious consumer misrepresentation, “Brazilian Blowout”, a cosmetics company using a cancer-causing ingredient in their products despite false claims that their products are “safe” and “formaldehyde free”, is now being sued by Jerry Brown’s office in California. Two more attorneys file suit in LA and San Francisco. Tests by State authorities show that these products contain 8% formaldehyde (several of hundreds times higher than allowed).
California starts to enforce the Safe Cosmetics Law.
We always proposed that the Government should be involved in enforcing truth in cosmetics where ingredients are used truthfully and labeled INCI, according to the law.
Government checking is excellent to protect consumers.
Cosmetics must be made in GMP licensed factories and labeled according to the law. Consumer safety will be dramatically increased when the Government goes finally to the extent of a nationwide program where products are constantly taken from stores and test them in labs. For products that are falsely labeled there are (happy) lawyers to file suit, claim high fines, maybe even jail time, and demand taking away manufacturing licenses. Such program will benefit all; Government, lawyers and the consumer. On top of that it is cost effective without manufacturers needing to pay fees to certification boards for what at the end consumers pay more.
What about organic cosmetics consumer protection?

This is a slightly another story and I am afraid a little bit slippery. Some organic cosmetic companies use ingredients that in my vocabulary are as organic as a chemical can be! Some certification boards allow parabens in organic cosmetics. Is this not an insult to the organic industry?
In order to certify organic cosmetics there is an expensive and comprehensive system waiting, ad with a pure cost attached plus yearly royalties to be paid to these certification boards. Did I already mention this is a business? It results in increased consumer prices while the system is never fool proof but fees paid to certification boards. Paul Penders Co. till this day refuses the peer pressure to go for organic certification.
Natural or organic, or not, for the sake of safe cosmetics, a Government applying a random checking program will bring out the best for the consumer.
Paul Penders natural organic cosmetics are made with the finest certified organic ingredients, made in a GMP licensed factory, INCI labeled according to the law in USA and EU, and obtained Government import licenses in Japan, Korea, Australia, Malaysia, China and Europe (soon). Paul Penders natural organic cosmetics received international magazine awards in USA, and UK for its products.

What is Unnatural is also Natural – Goethe

Goethe meant this phrase more less psychologically, where the words below are pure chemistry based. All is chemistry because all comes from chemistry. Natural and organic cosmetics get more popular because of fear by many towards chemicals.
But chemistry (means: science) is not man-made. Chemistry was happening naturally already before man came on earth. Many people think that chemistry is only happening recently and only done in labs. But chemistry has been around since the earth was formed. Chemistry relates to reactions in nature.
Natural ingredients are either single chemical substances, or, made of different chemical substances (mixture). The word ‘chemical’ is actually confusing in English. For many people it means ‘an unwanted additive or residue’ in their cosmetic products.
A chemical is any pure substance; being a synthesized molecule in the lab, or anything that is naturally occurring. Also organic ingredients are chemicals. And chemicals are not the same as ‘synthetic’.

Chemistry applies to synthetic and natural substances in the exact same way as it has been shown by today’s science. And when it comes to toxicity and safety issues…. remember: ‘EVERYTHING IS POISON AS IT ALL DEPENDS ON DOSE’ as Paracelsus, the father of today’s medicine stated in the 15th century.

We have to be aware that all substances can be good for us or dangerous for us …. Because it is a certain amount of use that counts:

  • Venom will not be harmful if accidentally ingested while sucking off a snake’s bite (before spitting it out). Its full efficacy to induce adverse effects is in the blood system.
  • You may safely eat butter, almonds or chocolate, but eat as much as 1 or 2kg of one of these and the toxicity of its components will become evident.
  • Table salt is critical for the body to function well, but the World Health Organization recommends on its daily intake.

Remember… synthetic ingredients are not always ‘bad’. ‘Natural’ and ‘organic’ ingredients are not always ‘good’ or even safe! Natural, organic and synthetic ingredients are CHEMICALS. The dosage used is the key whether it is safe or brings harm or toxicity, as well as its effectiveness.
Freely edited from an article by Philippe Papadimitriou. Conducted studies in biochemistry at the University of Geneva in Switzerland where he majored in pharmacology and neurosciences. Is a member of the Jury of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva dealing with new ideas, concepts and creations in the class ‘food, drinks, cosmetics, paramedical, health and hygiene’.