Fortune Paid to Proof first “100% Natural Cosmetics”?

In hope to halt hype and deceptive stories of several cosmetic companies, the Royal Society of Chemistry in UK offers to pay US$1.5Million to anyone showing proof of a 100% natural cosmetic product.

Who would not wish to claim an easy 1.5 million dollars? Just show to RSC a cosmetic product consisting of 100% natural ingredients, it is that simple right?

Why such unusual offer? Just to challenge untruthful stories created by clever marketers of even the largest organic skincare brands in the world who confuse consumers by letting them believe that their certified natural or organic cosmetics do not consist any chemicals.

What about cosmetic companies that claim to have 100% natural products?

According to RCS and the very best scientists in the world, cosmetic products consist by definition of chemicals whatever brand and whatever price they are being sold for. Any claim of cosmetic companies to suggest that they make products that are 100% natural is truly misleading. There are not even clear definitions about what is natural according to chemists. Any natural organic ingredient for that matter is a chemical as well. So much for the buzzwords “certified organic” as well.

We at Paul Penders Company support the Royal Society of Chemistry; a professional association with the goal of advancing chemical sciences worldwide that includes 50,000 professionals with offices in Europe, USA and in China.

Anyhow, I will report here when a cosmetics company receives 1.500,000 million dollars and thus make their claim true. But so far after several years and with lots of publication about this offer not one cosmetic company was able to make their case and thus take the huge amount of cash.

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Do you wannabe a WAG?

What’s a WAG? This month’s UK magazine “Woman” features five lovely ladies they call “the new WAGS” – “Women Ageing Gracefully.” Fifty-something and beyond, these ladies have figured out ways to look and feel better than ever!

Top and center in the photo is a long-time friend of Paul Penders products. That’s our UK distributor, Amanda McGillivray. She says, “I’ve found my style…”

She’s CEO and Founder of The Natural Skincare Company, a former British Caledonia airlines flight attendant, a wife and a mom. Yet even with so much on her plate, she still manages to look healthy, young and beautiful. How does she do it all?

Research seems to be a key to her success. She writes in her bio, “When my youngest child started school, I began to research the natural skincare market on an international level as I had been unable to find a UK brand that was free from harmful chemicals and that also made a difference to my dry and sensitive skin.”

During her 11 years as a flight attendant, she suffered from dry skin. She experimented with many products but never found a perfect solution. When she retired from flying to start a family, she expected her skin to return to normal but it didn’t.


People We Admire: “WAG” Amanda McGillivray of
The Natural Skincare Company

“My mother had instilled in me from a small child the benefits of natural products and where possible, to avoid those made using artificial additives and chemicals to enhance and preserve the product.”

When she found Paul Penders products, she knew she had an answer. As she told “Woman Magazine,” she uses Paul Penders Aloe and Lavender AM Moisturizer every day, and even insists her two daughters use it as well.

What a great example she sets for all of us women who struggle with the signs of ageing. She walks the talk in both her company’s policies and in her own personal style — focusing on the benefits of natural products for skin and body care.

She is truly a “Woman Ageing Gracefully.” What a great recommendation for Paul Penders products! Bravo and thanks, Amanda!

Photos thanks to Amanda McGillivray, Woman Magazine

By Teviot Fairservis.


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I Have Been Lied to. I Feel Betrayed. Part – 2

Obviously I feel extremely upset. More and more I see the lies and cover up stuff of EWG. Paul Penders Co always promoted The Safe Cosmetics Org. We proudly displayed their logo on our website. But no longer! We do no longer wish to be a part of this organization. Please do not take it from me alone. Please read a pretty amazing story of Colin Sander, a “green” cosmetic formulator in UK for almost 30 years. He too supported EWG. And he too feels being lied to as well. “Finally, I Have Worked Out What The Story of The Safe Cosmetics At 2010 is really all about”. We place Colin’s compelling story on our blog in 2 parts. Yesterday Part #1 and today Part #2.
 
                           
 
Part – 2
 
Two things made it clear to me beyond any doubt that there was a link between “American Private Label” company and the EWG.  First, one of the slides called for companies to sign the Safe Cosmetics Compact.  This is being organised by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, definitely a group completely within the EWG’s orbit.
 
Secondly, they described their services as Green Chemistry.  I was instantly reminded of the reference in the Story of Cosmetics to green chemists who were working to solve the problems caused by the unsafe ingredients in modern cosmetics.  I had no more thought that these green chemists actually existed than that the supposed carcinogens in shampoo actually existed. I had taken it as an a bit of idealistic wishful thinking. In fact it was a sales plug.
 
Now things that had puzzled me fell into place. The EWG’s ambition is no mean one.  They intend to create a new category of cosmetic product and to supply that category via American Private Label and probably other companies as well.  American Private Label already offer branding, packaging, QC and manufacturing.  But no doubt there are other sales to be made.
 
Now I could see it all.  I had imagined the EWG, which is extremely well funded, had got its money from donations.  Clearly not – this is big business in every sense of the word.  Why were they ignoring pleas from small natural companies who you would think would be their natural allies?  Because they are in fact their competition.  Why is the science on their website and in their reports so poor?  Because it isn’t science at all.  The aim is to make a case against their competition not inform the public about risk.
 
And let me emphasise this proposition is aimed at retailers.  It is not a grassroots consumer protest.  The video has been created as part of a programme to sell stuff.  The Safe Cosmetic Act is a publicity stunt.  If it alarms small producers, that is irrelevant.  If it infuriates scientists, that doesn’t matter.  The object is to deliver a tranche of consumers to the shops who will seek out ‘safe’ cosmetics.
 
And just as importantly they will be in a position to satisfy that demand with suitable products.  In his talk, David Pollack the CEO of American Private Label said that retailers should create ‘safe cosmetic’ areas in their stores.  These would be much like the organic sections they currently have. And I think the retailers will listen.
 
               
 
As the front page of American Private Label’s website says, the margins on this new category will be good.  I bet they will.  Will they be safer?  That question will probably not have even crossed their minds.  But just to be absolutely clear I believe that there will be no difference in safety between ‘safe’ products and established ones.
 
So I think I should end this post with an apology.  I write this blog with the idea that as an industry insider I have some knowledge and insight that might be useful to people who use the products of my industry.   I genuinely believed that I sort of knew what was going on.  But I have just realised that I completely missed the biggest marketing coup this business has ever seen.  I really couldn’t have got things more wrong.  Far from being a well meaning but flawed attempt to make the world better, the Story of Cosmetics is a sales pitch.  Nothing more.
 
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Colin Sanders formulates cosmetics for 27 years from shampoos to pharmaceutical creams and is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists since 1985. His degree is in environmental science and he continues to take a keen interest in the impact of human activities on the planet. He writes an excellent blog www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk for users of cosmetic products with insider insights and a bit of science.

 
    

I Have Been Lied to. I Feel Betrayed. Part – 1

Obviously I feel extremely upset. More and more I see the lies and cover up stuff of EWG. Paul Penders Co always promoted The Safe Cosmetics Org. We proudly displayed their logo on our website. But no longer! We do no longer wish to be a part of this organization. Please do not take it from me alone. Please read a pretty amazing story of Colin Sander, a “green” cosmetic formulator in UK for almost 30 years. He too supported EWG. And he too feels being lied to as well. “Finally, I Have Worked Out What The Story of The Safe Cosmetics At 2010 is really all about”. We place Colin’s compelling story on our blog in 2 parts. Today Part #1 and tomorrow Part #2.
 
                           
 
Part – 1
 
Since I was a teenager in the Seventies, I’ve always regarded myself as a pretty green. Green in the environmental sense that is.  I remember the campaign to get lead out of petrol with affection.  I studied Environmental Science at university and can remember talking long into the night about issues affecting the planet.
 
I think I even joined the Ecology Party, the forerunner of the Green Party when I was about 18 – though I don’t remember doing anything other than pay the subscription. Jobs were short when I graduated and I got a job formulating cosmetics rather than doing the environmental work I had originally had in mind.
 
I was surprised to find myself in an industry where people seemed pretty positive about issues close to my heart.  Biodegradable surfactants were a new thing but there was never any question of using anything else.  I have spoken on other blogs about the fact that formaldehyde was still in use then, but was being removed purely at the initiative of the chemists in the labs.
 
Given this, I have always listened with care and attention to the environmental lobby.  For a long time I didn’t have any problem with being an environmentalist as well as being a scientist at the same time as developing cosmetics.   They all seemed to be going in the same direction.
 
So when I first heard about an American pressure group called the Environmental Working Group I was predisposed to support them.  I came across the Skin Deep database and was initially quite impressed with the idea.  In fact I am still impressed with the idea.  Why not collect all the information about cosmetic raw materials onto a database and make it available to the public.  I hope somebody does it some day.
 
Even when I started looking things up on the Skin Deep database and found it to be almost comically inaccurate I still gave the people behind it the benefit of the doubt. I imagined enthusiastic young volunteers – probably in California – punching data in during all night long sessions powered by idealism and pizza.
 
                           
 
I assumed that they would be getting complaints and would be putting it right shortly.   You always have to give people a bit of time to get things straight. Then I saw the Story of Cosmetics video.  This really changed things.  Whatever else you think of it, this is a professional piece of work.  Time, effort and money has gone into it.  And you can’t miss that it is propaganda not advocacy.  It sets out to scare.
 
Even now, I was prepared to justify it to some extent in my mind – as you will see if you read my post from only a few days ago.  They had gone off the scale for accuracy, but maybe they felt that they had to use modern techniques to get their message across.  I started to think of the EWG as sort of green Lenninists.
 
They had betrayed the ideals of the revolution, but they were still radicals.  They had chosen the wrong way to go about fighting the system, but they were still against the system.  Even when I heard about the very large salaries that the directors of the EWG were drawing from their organisation I still did not realise what was really going on.
 
But now I understand.  Did I say I was green?  Well I sure was.  Green in the sense of being inexperienced and unknowing in the ways of the world.
 
                           
 
Today I saw a hand out from a recent trade fair in the US.  In it, a company called “American Private Label,” was pitching its services to American retailers.  Consumers, it says, want safe cosmetics.  What are safe cosmetics?
 
Well you have to avoid parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances etc.  But it wasn’t a list of all the things that have got bad head lines.  It was specifically the things that the EWG have been campaigning about.  Helpfully the names as they appear on the ingredient list that you needed to avoid were spelled out. Almost every product on the market would fall foul of this list, including ones from companies that specialise in very green products.
 
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Colin Sanders formulates cosmetics for 27 years from shampoos to pharmaceutical creams and is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists since 1985. His degree is in environmental science and he continues to take a keen interest in the impact of human activities on the planet. He writes an excellent blog www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk for users of cosmetic products with insider insights and a bit of science.

 
 

 
    

A True Beautiful Irish, isn’t she?

But there is more to this story than a beautiful face I was the fortunate and very happy person to live for almost 2 years in the southern part of the truly astonishing beautiful country of Republic of Ireland. People who know the country well understand that I am talking about a natural, wild beauty of great diversity.
 
A natural landscape that is unforgettable green hills and the Atlantic Ocean with huge rolling waves slamming the beach on arrival. With winters not too cold yet very, very wet and stormy. With palm trees one finds in South of Europe, not expecting these to see in a cool northern European country. These sub-tropical trees survive in Ireland while during the harsh winter in Holland, a country so nearby they would die.


    That is typical Ireland.

The unexpected. The mystery of survival of the greatest natural and economic disasters in the history of Europe.  Amazingly, the Irish take everything as it comes in their stride. My time living in a small town called Kinsale, taught me wisdom and understanding about these amazing people that seem to survive almost everything. Their look on life truly helped me as I was myself near a depression following a legal battle of 2 years with the government of my home country, The Netherlands.
 
Actually, Ireland was my big friend and supporter at the time when our company needed to flee The Netherlands! The Dutch government was going to close my factory in Holland as we refused to perform animal tests on our natural cosmetics at that time.
 
After a long battle that we were going to lose, despite the growing support from many Dutch people, and our case mentioned on national TV, radio shows and major newspapers, we were exhausted.  How long can a small company like Paul Penders continue to fight a government that hold on to old-fashioned laws?
 
I would never, ever do these horrible animal tests as the government demanded me to do. Rather than my business and ethical values being totally destroyed by these harsh government lawyers, servants of the word and not at the heart what was involved, we decided to flee the country when actually the IDA in Ireland, totally aware what was happening in Holland, welcomed us with open arms.
 
In fact they offered us a space in a Kinsale, a factory on top of a mountain where we could see the serenity of the ocean. There we tried to heal emotionally and get financially in better shape and from there we could make the big jump to America!

We made many friends in beautiful Ireland and I am thrilled to tell everyone that next year Paul Penders products will be available to Ireland as well!
 
Catriona Coyle, Owner and Managing Director of “Simply Natural, Inc.”; a company distributing various natural products to pharmacies and health stores in Ireland, has been a kindered spirit of Paul Penders products for already long time.  She wrote me few days ago that she is jealous of the wonderful location we have chosen in the tropical rainforests of Malaysia and there to make our products!  Well how much I understand why she wrote this during this most nasty storm season in UK and Ireland
 
Catriona loves our products even more so after having given them to lots of friends to try them out. We are looking forward to the introduction of Paul Penders products to Ireland in spring 2012. Now the question who is more lucky? We? Or the great people of Ireland? Whatever it is we wish Catriona lots of success and the determination to get the job done Well talking about determination, right? I wish to call the Irish heroes in that respect alone!