Honesty – Why Paul Penders objects to the EWG’s ‘Skin Deep’ project

As the Billy Joel song says: “Honesty – is such a lonely word…

But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind.
It always seems to be so hard to give.

Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.”

As a small company, like so many others, we must fight unfair regulations and unfounded criticisms – and just plain dishonest claims used as “scare tactics” aimed at eliminating competition. Case in point, a political lobby based in Washington DC called the “Environmental Working Group” known as “EWG.” They post a database that claims to give ”safety information” on ingredients in cosmetics.

Called “Skin Deep,” the database has a “rating system” that rates products from cosmetic companies including 33 products from Paul Penders with 132 ingredients. Out of all these ingredients, only 2 are rated as “high hazard.” What are they? ‘Fragrance’ and Vitamin A.

Fragrance, they claim, is a “chemical cocktail” of untested ingredients. Let me tell you upfront that Paul Penders uses only natural flower oils to give our products pleasing scents.

As to the claims against Vitamin A that it may be toxic, here’s a quote from the “Cosmetics Cop” which we find to be a much authoritative source:

Retinyl palmitate received some negative publicity in May 2010 when a press release was issued stating that it is linked to skin cancer and tumor growth. The FDA was implicated in this scare-tactic report, but as it turns out the assertions made against retinyl palmitate were not conclusive or firmly supported by published research. In fact, retinyl palmitate is one of the primary antioxidants found naturally in skin (Source: Toxicology and Industrial Health, May 2006, pages 181-191). http://www.cosmeticscop.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/1253/retinyl-palmitate.aspx

How many people are blindly being mislead by EWG – and anyone who publicly says that Paul Penders would use ingredients that are connected to terrible diseases? For over 40 years, we have used only safe, good ingredients that have been approved by chemists and which we have tested on human volunteers (never on animals). We receive very few complaints and we take those that we do receive very seriously.

Look carefully at EWG’s rating system.

They base it on reading published literature about ingredients and not on doing any actual scientific research or testing of a particular product. They rate hazard levels based on their evaluation of the ingredients from the literature – and as we all know, anyone can write anything in a free society and post it on the internet!

Even the most reputable scientists make mistakes and offer warnings of dangers without adequate testing. EWG publishes warnings about ingredients in a format that makes the reader assume they are fact – when in fact, much of the literature is anecdotal or based on observations of a small sample group.

How would it be if doctors had to rely on a list like this for their prescriptions? Compare the EWG rating system to the detailed descriptions of benefits and percentages of patients who have had adverse reactions given with prescription drugs. This rating system is junk – and designed to scare and confuse.

And we are not alone in this opinion.

My friend Lisa Rodgers from ‘Personal Care Truth’ suggests anyone who wants to know more about EWG should go to her website, http://personalcaretruth.com and look up on the site for the many articles about EWG. To quote her, “Plenty of articles pop up that talk about how the Skin Deep Database is not reliable to the EWG being a cash cow.” She also suggests reading more about ingredients on these reputable sites: http://www.cir-safety.org/ingredients/glossary/all and http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/

Says Lisa: “We are still fighting them through posts and commenting on other sites. Until mainstream media finds them unreliable and starts to offer balanced reporting, the only recourse we have is to keep posting articles that contradict what the EWG and CFSC claim.”

The motivation for this blog came because recently one of our distributors received the following distressing letter from a customer:

Please could I return the Paul Penders products – I haven’t opened them. Only I have just had a [major disease] and I’m probably being over sensitive, but saw this: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/brand/Paul_Penders/ on the Internet and so it worried me. Sorry about that. Can I send the Paul Penders products back?

Bluntly speaking, we are not afraid to have our customers look at our listings on “Skin Deep.” We are proud of the safety and efficacy of our ingredients. We are afraid that this is an example of the scare tactics and untruths presented by EWG that hurts our company and our customers. It saddens us greatly that this customer turned to EWG and did not refer to other more scientific sources.

EWG does not present scientifically proven facts in a clear manner. If they can give a really scary message, that comes in handy in their campaigns for more funds. As a political advocacy organization in the US capital city, they are very powerful with access to the leaders of the free world. But here at PP, we don’t like them because their ‘truths’ about cosmetics seem to be mostly lies.

By Teviot Fairservis.


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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 www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/makeup.html (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 www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/list.html 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: www.livingsafe.com.au

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: paulpenders.com.au/
Author: Nicole Groch

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’.

The Naked Truth of Natural & Organic Cosmetics

The Daily Mail in UK reveals the ugly truth about organic and natural beauty products claiming to be chemical-free. Alice Hart-Davis, a beauty publicist, wrote about the ugly truth about beauty and one thing is for sure; in the beauty world “natural” is the new black.
Alice wrote: I’ve lost count of the times a press officer handed me a product with the words: “97% natural”. I usually scan through the ingredients listed on the back…. Glyceryl Stearate, Emulsifying Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Palmitate as top ingredients after water. Are those all natural and organic? Usually the publicist looks nonplussed, often replying: “they’re all naturally derived.”

Technically, these ingredients are “natural” even if they don’t sound natural, simply because they haven’t been made in a laboratory – another neat demonstration of how convoluted the whole issue of “natural” versus “chemical” has become.
The term “natural” is very wide, making it hard to know precisely what it means.
It’s an important and political hot potato too, as shown when US law-makers introduced a Safe Cosmetics Act which will enable the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate whether ingredients in personal care products might have harmful effects.

Today’s beauty consumers want “natural products” and are increasingly against any ingredients with names they perceive to be chemicals, particularly those that they judge to be toxic. When they think of natural skincare ingredients lists they should contain items they understand… extracts of flowers and herbs, clays, minerals, oils and waxes.
But the fact that a long list of chemically adapted ingredients is still classed as natural in many products is pretty confusing.
That view so exasperates the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) that it has offered £1 million to anyone who can show it a chemical-free product. So far, the RSC’s money remains safe, but that’s not going to change the prevailing mood.
When you push people to say what exactly they mean by wanting “chemical-free” skincare they become a bit more specific. What they want to avoid are harsh or toxic chemicals that might be bad for their skin.
One thing people don’t want on ingredients lists is sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulphate (SLS or SLES), the foaming agent in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. It’s a known irritant, though it tends not to be a problem because it’s used in wash-off products. Another one is parabens, a family of preservatives in cosmetics with great success for the past 50 years but which has become the bogeyman of the cosmetics industry. Yet the evidence against them is not conclusive.
We at Paul Penders believe that there should be far more honesty and openness at certifying organic bodies giving their OK to many “certified organic cosmetics” that contain downright chemicals, or other ingredients that are even questionable to be called natural.

Paul Penders Co stays away from being certified organic by 3rd parties. No false marketing claims are being made ever. No “feel-good” slogans that are not backedup by the naked truth and long time experience we have. We have our own R&D staff who work with pride and true honor and…. a 100% commitment to using natural and organic, ethically produced highest standard ingredients … for over 40 years.
Trust us because nobody can take this away !