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Banned Ingredients



 The following is a list of materials, which we consider questionable on either health or environmental grounds.  It is not a complete list, and we do add additional ingredients. We review the evidence for each item, and when there is enough science to support our decision to ban another chemical, we do so.  Our company and many advisory groups have growing concerns for the health and welfare of our citizens. We do not want to be part of the problem; we want to offer solutions to our overly chemicalized world. Therefore, we have voluntarily made a commitment never to allow our products to become contaminated by unsafe components.

We promise our customers that we will never purchase, or use any ingredient found on this list.  We update and expand this list as
science gathers new evidence to support other banned ingredients.

Alcohol, Isopropyl
Ammonium ingredients
Benzoyl peroxide
Colorants from Artificial Chemicals
DEA ingredients
Fragrances from Man-Made Artificial Chemicals
Laureth/Lauryl family of chemicals
PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene
Phenol Carbolic Acid
Propylene/Butylene Glycol
Octyl stearate
Synthetic Dyes
Synthetic Preservatives
TEA ingredients

To view our healthy ingredient options, which we use in the creation of our beautiful skin care line, please click here:


Ingredient Concerns:

  We are continuously examining the ingredients used in the creation of our products. Companies striving to create effective natural skin and body care products with truly clean ingredients must do continuous research to ensure the purity and quality of raw materials. We are very careful in the selection of our suppliers who must certify what I purchase. They exhibit the same set of values as ourselves and our customers.


Concerning Truthfulness in Labeling:

  Our Company has endorsed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, The Truth in Labeling Pledge, and the Coming Clean Campaign. It is easy to update website information; however, labels and printed material take more time to update. When we make a change to our labels we are quick to state that change, but labels might on a rare occasion, will arrive with updated ingredient information printed on a separate label or enclosure. If we make a change, we promise to clearly state all changes on our labels, website, and printed materials


Concerning Vegetable Emulsifying Wax:

  We used to emulsify our creams with the ancient combination of organic beeswax and borax (sodium borate.) This method made for a very thick, rich cream. However, the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database gave poor ratings to borax. The primary reason for their concern with the ingredient Borax was for the person making the cream and not the woman using the cream. The dust created from the use of borax if inhaled posed a health risk. Its presence in cream was not impacting the health of a user of these creams or lotions; however, we decided to eliminate it. Currently, we use Vegetable Emulsifying Wax. This wax is a fatty alcohol derived from natural plant oils and fats. We purchase only the finest available for our creams. We are now experimenting and finding new methods of emulsifying our creams and will shortly introduce this as our standard method. We will notify our customers of this change when complete, though our labels, blog, newsletter and website.


Concerning Zinc:

  We use the highest quality of Zinc Oxide available. Our zinc oxide has an average particle size of 240nm. It is not a nanoparticle.


  Nanoparticles are particles between 1 and 100nm (nanometers or billionths of a meter). Please note that nanoparticles refer to very fine powders measured in nanometers. “Nanotechnology” is a separate field of emerging molecular/atomic science.  Nanotechnology and Nanoparticles are not related to one another for the sake of this discussion. Again, Our zinc oxide has an average particle size of 240nm, so it does not fall into the nanoparticle category.


  Some advocate groups popularize the nanoparticle controversy by highlighting the potential health risks caused by nanoparticles entering tissues, blood, or lungs. Scientific and regulatory literature overwhelmingly states that particles of zinc oxide greater than 30nm, when applied in cream to healthy skin, can not be absorbed into the body. These elements do not enter the bloodstream, and they are not a threat to human health. No scientific study show nanoparticles of zinc oxide penetrating the human skin.


  However, several studies prove that chemical sunscreen ingredients, which are molecular in size and thus significantly smaller than nanoparticles, are absorbed into the blood stream. 


Preservation System:

  We preserve products using a synergistic blend of botanical extracts, rosemary oleoresin, vitamin E oil (as mixed tocopherols) and other anti-oxidants, and essential oils. Each of our products has a distinct shelf life, which we note on website listings and labels. Always note the date you purchased nature skin care and use by the time allowed for freshness.


Concerning Vitamin E Oil:

  Our Vitamin E Oil is Mixed Tocopherols; we use only certified GMO-free, and certified Kosher.


Concerning Essential Oils:

  All of our essential oils are steam-distilled from whole plants, except Citrus oils, which are cold pressed. We buy only 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade oils, and we buy only from suppliers who use Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Purity Testing on all essential oils that they sell.


Concerning Certification:

  When purchasing raw ingredients, we ask for certificates for organically grown materials; including our essential oils. Many ingredients are Kosher, and we require a certificate to prove this statement is a fact.


Concerning Gluten-Free:

  We want Karen's Botanicals to be an entirely Gluten Free environment!


  The Gluten Factor- this is an on-going process. It seems to be everywhere and in everything. My sister, Charlotte, has Celiac Disease. I have gluten sensitivities, and Karen Palcho was very much aware of the issues surrounding gluten as one of her best friends developed Celiac Disease before this condition was widely understood. We are aware of the problems even tiny traces of gluten can cause a person. We do not use gluten. We are careful concerning our sources for all raw ingredients.


Animal Testing:

  Karen's Botanicals supports the work of both The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other Cruelty-Free organizations, such as the SPEA and Leaping Bunny. Becoming certified with these many excellent organization is a time-consuming process. The process is unnecessarily and unbelievable complicated. It is also expensive. The decision to certify with these groups will increase the cost of our product. This expense is passed on to our customers as price increases.


  We do not use any animal testing whatsoever, and we never have. We do not purchase from companies which would test on animals. We consider it unethical and a violation of basic decency. We develop products with the cooperation of friends, family, and customers who work with me to test and refine formulas.


  Many products at Karen's Botanicals are excellent for use on animals! Pennyroyal Ginger Oil is a safe and effective flea repellent. Other oils, such as Deepease Oil, can help with muscular pain. Repair Balm is good for a dry nose. Friends of Karen's have used our Stimulating Rosemary Cream on cracked footpads.


Final Thoughts:

  I would like to offer some additional thoughts: -- While consensual human testing of potentially dangerous materials may be necessary for medical research, we do not need to take risks with daily skin care. We make fabulous products with the safest, fundamental and ancient of materials.


  Our products are made with plant derived, pure raw materials that human beings and animals have been living with and using safely for thousands of years (olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and herbs, for example.) You could eat most of them safely, although they might not all taste very good:)



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