ALWAYS EWG RATINGS 0-1: every ingredient in My creations: I include the EWG Environmental Working Groups Skindeep Database Safety ratings for each individual ingredient reviewed here. For more information on this website check out DATABASE OF INGREDIENTS, ingredients are rated on many criteria on a scale of 0-7, 

We’ve come a long way baby!  We now know that a lot of the synthetic chemical ingredients we’ve used for decades can be harsh, damaging, and sometimes even toxic.  Yet we can go overboard in our quest for truly “natural” alternatives and often avoid ingredients that are actually beneficial to skin, just because we are not familiar with the scientific names. 

In my quest to create products for my own personal use and to share with others, I have access to a wide variety of natural, plant-sourced ingredients which not only nourish and protect skin but are safe for me, my family, my pets, people in general and the environment.

IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT ME AND YOU AND OUR PEEPS - What happens downstream of manufacturing plants is everyone's concern.  Reducing our consumption of synthetic chemical based products in our home and food reduces the downstream impacts of the production of those chemicals and the exposure to the people working with them during manufacture.   


Preservatives: A safe preservation system ensure a shelf life for a product which contains free water or one which might become contaminated with water by the user. Otherwise these formulations WILL host and grow bad bacteria, yeasts, molds, and/or become rancid rather quickly and without notice (you just can NOT trust your nose). Products which have gone bad can cause allergic reactions, skin sensitivities, rashes, redness and itching. To err on the side of safety products should be used within 3 months of opening and 6 months unopened. Please discard anything left in the bottle or jar at that time. 


A note on allergies: there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic product or ingredient, it is, sadly, a marketing gimmick. People with skin sensitivities should always, always preform patch tests to determine if a product causes a reaction.  READ MORE


Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC)

THICKENING INGREDIENT FROM PINE & SPRUCE TREES

What the heck is HEC - The quick answer? Veggie cellulose. Hydroxyethylcellulose is one of those ingredients that you may think sounds like some sort of synthetic, harsh chemical. But just because this ingredient has a name that looks suspicious and difficult to pronounce, doesn’t mean it’s harmful or unnatural. In fact, many common ingredients have suspicious-sounding names. Two examples are: sodium chloride, better known by its common name; salt, or sodium bicarbonate; better known by its common name; baking soda. Both of these are common ingredients found in both food and body care products and most of us consider these ingredients to be pretty harmless as far as toxicity is concerned. So what about hydroxyethylcellulose?

It is a natural gum derived from the cellulose of pine and spruce tree trunks (debarked logs) Cellulose is a natural polysaccharide, the primary structural component of plants located in the cell wall.  Trees grown and harvested for HEC are from plantations in the United States, France, Norway, and Canada. Hydroxyethylcellulose is an excellent thickening agent and is known to make formulations more mild.  My supplier has both land and forest management programs to ensure the protection of waterways and the preservation of wildlife. Additionally, they support local Sustainable Forestry Initiatives (Forest Stewardship Council, American Forest & Paper Association Sustainable Forestry Initiative).

FOUND IN:

SHAVE CREAM

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


Glyceryl Stearate

Derived from vegetables (but not palm!) it blends oil & water together and conditions skin.

I love this ingredient because it is the natural glyceryl ester derived from stearic acid (glycerin & stearic acid). Stearic acid is a naturally occurring saturated fatty acid in fats and oils. It helps skin and hair to retain moisture. On the skin's surface is function as a lubricant helping achieve soft, smooth appearance. It also slows the loss of water from the skin surface by forming a moisture barrier. An added bonus, it has been shown to protect against free-radical damage.  (Here is an image of the actual ingredient I use)

Glycerine is everywhere in the plant kingdom, but it is bound up in the fatty acids of fats and oils.  When soap is made, the salts added to fats and oils, a chemical reaction occurs releases the glycerine and turns the oils into soap. My source of Glyceryl Stearate is organic, and derived from vegetables (but not palm oil!).

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


L-Carnitine

A naturally occurring Amino acid building block for protein synthesis

A naturally occurring, low ph Beta Hydroxy amino acid (or BHA), necessary for the cellular metabolism of glucose, fat and related compounds.  It is involved in skin cell proliferation, collagen synthesis and skin cell turnover.  It has exfoliating properties

L-Carnitine has been shown to reduce skin tissue death and increase the formation of new blood vessels and improve skin tone.  It is able to reduce sebum secretion and skin oiliness, increases cellular energy production, restore barrier function, and assist in wound & scar healing. 

L-Carnitine has a significant moisturizing effect in lotions and creams.  A controlled study revealed that L-Carnitine prevents and alleviates skin conditions such as scarring, wrinkle formation and sunburn peeling.

L-Carnitine is hygroscopic, helping skin feel, smooth and moisturized. A human test panel using a placebo formulation and one containing 2% L-Carnitine clearly showed an increased skin hydration level of 26.4%! That's a lot! 

FOUND IN:

SHAVE CREAM

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate  (ECOmulse)

ECOmulse is an ECOcert approved emulsifier used to combine oil and water together to produce a creamy lotion. It moisturizes the skin while leaving a soft, non-greasy feeling.  It is approved for use in certified organic skincare.

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Don't be alarmed by this hard to pronounce scary sounding long name ! MSM is a unique biological sulfur found in the soil, all plants, and animals!  Including humans. Big Chemical name, but a totally natural compound.

MSM for skin? Turns out when applied topically it is able to penetrate skin tissue to help encourage hydration. It also has a natural anti-inflammatory effect, so it can benefit irritated and sensitive skin.

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


 

Caprylyl Capryl Glucoside (and/or Lauryl Glucoside)

Whew! Talk about a long, chemical name. But never fear - this one won’t hurt you. This is a surfactant formed blending a mixture of alcohols with simple sugars. My raw material comes from coconut.   Surfactants are the ingredient which make the shampoos & cleansers foam up. (Real, natural old fashion soap is foamy due to the naturally produced surfactant resulting from saponification, and is not part of this discussion)

Lauryl Glucoside is one of the top safe alternatives to harsh sulfates surfactants known as SLS or Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates, which are thought to be the cause of numerous skin issues.  It is found in just about every natural shampoo, cleansers and body wash shampoo health food store shelves. 

Skin Deep Database rating: ZERO


Sodium Alginate

Naturally derived from brown seaweeds which grow in cold water regions. Sodium Alginate is a natural, water-soluble polysaccharide that produces a gel when hydrated. Sodium Alginate has been used in the medical field, in the food industry, and more recently in natural cosmetics and hair care products. It acts as an emulsifier, helping to keep ingredients mixed together. 

Skin Deep Database rating: ZERO (application)


Propanediol Preservative

There are 2 types of Propylene glycol, the one found in my formulas is Propanediol, 100% naturally derived from renewable corn sugar fermentation - NOT from petroleum! It is a hair & skin friendly preservative working to inhibit fermentation of products and it may be an effective fungicide and anti-microbial.  Not only does it perform as a preservative, it is a humectant & emollient - very desireable in our formulas!  

If you are looking for information about Propanediol you are likely to come across some nasty stuff!  YES! it can be found in antifreeze  - ALL glycols (including natural skin loving glycerin) are able to reduce the freezing point of water, but being a possible ingredient in antifreeze doesn't make propylene glycol a toxic nasty thing. In fact, you could use glycerin in antifreeze for the same reason but it would gunk up the engine!  You may also find references to this being a skin irritant, in concentrations over 50% - about 49% more than you will find in my products. Yet you will find Propylene glycol in pharmacies, in 50% solution or lotions with up to 20%, for treatment of eczema. As I understand it, some people are sensitive to it but for the rest of us, there's no problem. 

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


CETYL ALCOHOL

NOT related to  ethyl or rubbing alcohol!  Cetyl Alcohol is considered an emollient, emulsifier, and thickener. It is found in food like salad dressing. Cetyl Alcohol is well known to be absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for conditioning and softening your hair and skin. Unlike ethyl or rubbing alcohol it will not dry your out! I use a plant derived version in my products. There may be still a small number of people who are sensitive to it and those folks should perform a patch test to check. 

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE


Ethylhexylglycerin: aka PROPANEDIOL

This one sounds pretty nasty but it is plant derived from skin loving glycerin! It is a skin and hair conditioning ingredient, helps boost foam and is functions as a safe alternative to PARABEN preservatives. It is used at rates of less than 1% in my formulas.  

Skin Deep Database rating: ONE

 


COMING SOON - more descriptions soon ...

potassium sorbate (food grade preservative).

BTMS (wax derived from Colza plant

decyl glucoside