- 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 fresh ingredients must do continuous research to ensure the purity and quality of raw materials. We are very careful in the selection of our suppliers. We expect them to 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.
Product labels: While it is easy to update website information, labels and printed material take more time. Some orders will arrive with updated ingredient information printed on a separate label or enclosure. If we make a change, we promise to clearly state that change on our website, and all printed materials
Concerning Vegetable Emulsifying Wax: Originally, our creams were emulsified with an old, yet an excellent combination of organic beeswax and borax (sodium borate.) This combination made for a very thick, rich cream. However, the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database gave poor ratings to borax. The primary concern with borax is when it's inhaled, so even though it would not present a risk in a cream or lotion to our customers, we decided to eliminate it. Now we use Vegetable Emulsifying Wax. This newer ingredient is a fatty alcohol derived from natural plant oils and fats. 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.
We create products without the standard industrial preservatives used in the cosmetic industry. Instead of harsh chemicals, we use a synergistic blend of botanical extracts, rosemary oleoresin, vitamin E oil (as mixed tocopherols) and other anti-oxidants, and essential oils to extend the life of our creations. All items have a particular shelf life, which we list on our website and publish on our labels.
Vitamin E.: When we discuss vitamin E., in our writings we are speaking of the highest quality Vitamin E Oil available. This antioxidant is not the oral vitamin you get at your local pharmacy; rather it is a unique ingredient specially formulated for the organic skin care industry. It is Mixed Tocopherols (non-GMO certified Tocobiol Vitamin E oil); 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 Essential oils. We purchase these oils from suppliers who use Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Purity Testing to ensure the quality of all their essential oils. We request authenticity certificates for organically grown materials.
Concerning Gluten-free: The Gluten Factor- this is an on-going process. We work to keep a gluten-free environment. Karen Palcho was very much aware of the issues surrounding gluten from the beginning of our company, as one of her best friends developed Celiac Disease very early on, and long before it was commonly known as a serious health condition. We are acutely aware of the problems caused by the smallest amount of gluten. My sister, Charlotte, has Celiac Disease. My sister and others suffering from Celiacs use our products without any problems.
Animal Testing: Karen's Botanicals supports the work of both People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and other Cruelty-Free organizations. We do not use any animal testing whatsoever and never have. We do not purchase from companies which would test on animals. We consider it unethical and a violation of basic decency. Our products are developed with the cooperation of friends, family, and customers who work with me to test and refine formulas.
We do not believe animal testing is necessary for the type of products we create and it would be terrible for us to do so.
That said, I would like to offer some additional thoughts: -- While consensual human testing of potentially dangerous materials may be necessary for medical research, we just do not need to take risks with daily skin care. We make fabulous products from the safest, fundamental and ancient of materials. Our products are made with plant derived, pure and raw materials. These are materials which humans and animals have been living safely for thousands of years. Ingredients like olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and herbs, to name just a few. You could eat most of them safely, although they might not be appetizing. :) 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.