Agend Organics | Natural and Organic Skin Care NZ
"A fusion of nature, science and ancient wisdom."
Skin Care as Nature Intended
Our luxurious, age-defying skin care and home care products are a fusion of nature, science and ancient wisdom. Many of the nature-derived constituents we use in our skin care formulations have been used for centuries with time-tested results. As a result, our natural and organic products are therapeutic, beautifying and divinely aromatic—a herbal apothecary for your skin—you'll love them!
We've captured the extraordinary power of nature for good health, healing and sustenance 'in a bottle'.
We use the finest, natural and organic ingredients in our artisan formulations—sourced from reputable organic suppliers and growers, and our own organic gardens. We select our natural ingredients based on their functionality, effectiveness and safe use in accordance with scientific studies and the ingredient safety guidelines set by the EWG.
Each certified organic ingredient we use is grown and harvested ethically and minimally so that the integrity of the plant is maintained—delivering potency, quality and ultimately, visible results. The extraordinary properties of these plants work with our skin's natural function to protect, repair and nourish, without the harmful side effects of harsh, toxic and damaging chemicals. And, because we believe in potency and not label claims, every ingredient in our product formulations has an active purpose—we do not use fillers or make ingredient claims for marketing purposes.
Our Natural Home and Body Formulations are ...
Naturally Derived, Organic, Botanical and Bioactive: Our natural Home and Body formulations are made with naturally-derived, organic plant-based ingredients that are naturally effective, therapeutic and bioactive. *Bioactive: having an effect on or eliciting a response from living tissue.
Made with Certified Organic Ingredients: Our botanical formulations contain certified organic ingredients including oils, butters, extracts, herbs, minerals and pure essential oils. These are carefully selected based on their safety, therapeutic benefits and beautifying properties.
Non-Toxic, Chemical-Free, Synthetic-free and GMO-Free: Our botanical formulas do not contain: Artificial Colours, Ammonia, Bleach, Dyes, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives, Mercury, Mineral Oil, Nanoparticles, Oxybenzone, Parabens, Phthalates, Propylene (PEG) Glycol (and Butylene Glycol), Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, and Retinyl Acetate, SLS/SLES (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Salt Laureth Sulfate), Synthethic Fragrances, Synthetic Preservatives, Silicones (e.g., Dimethicone), Siloxanes and Cyclomethicone, and Triclosan (and more).
100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free: Our products are NEVER tested on animals, and we do not purchase any ingredients that are tested on animals.
Well-Preserved: We only use naturally-derived, ECOCERT approved preservatives in our product formulations. These are highly effective, botanical preservatives that provide broad-spectrum microbial protection against bacteria, fungi, yeast and mould.
Safe and Gentle on Skin: Our natural home and body products are safely formulated and pH balanced for their intended purpose—making them safe when used as directed. While allergic reactions to plant-derived ingredients are rare—we recommend that you first *perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to ensure that you are not sensitive to any of the natural ingredients. * Do not ingest any of our formulations and avoid contact with the eye area when using our cleaning products. Keep all products out of reach of young children.
* How to do a patch test: If you have skin that gets red or breaks out when using new skin care products, you may have sensitive skin. Thus, when you try a new product, it pays to first perform a patch test on a small area of your skin before spreading the product over your face and body. If you experience redness, burning, swelling or itchiness within 24 hours (and often within 30 minutes) of applying the product—you may have reacted to an ingredient in the product.
Follow these steps when trying out a new product:
1. Apply a small dab of the skin care product to either the inside wrist or inside elbow. Rub it into the skin thoroughly, and keep the test area small in case you experience a negative reaction to the product.
2. Allow the product to sit on the skin for at least 24 hours. Avoid getting the patch test area wet within the 24 hour period so it does not get washed off.
3. Check throughout the 24 hour period for redness, burning, swelling, itchiness or any soreness to the skin patch area. If you do have these symptoms, gently wash off the skin care product using cool water, then pat the area dry with a towel.
4. Look at the test patch area on your skin after the 24 hour period has ended. If there was no adverse reaction, the product is safe to use on your face or body.
Versatile: Our natural home and body products are incredibly versatile and can be used for so many purposes other than their stated label purpose. We have suggested some other uses in the product descriptions.
Earth-Friendly: Our products are naturally earth-friendly and biodegradable. They have minimal impact on the environment and are septic/system safe.
Contained in Recyclable Packaging: We use reusable and recyclable glass, brushed aluminium and PET plastic for our natural formulations. These are safe, and are designed to be refilled and reused—hence the availability of our larger refill options. We keep our packaging simple and only use what is needed—no unnecessary bags, boxes or containers are added.
Zero Waste: We compost all plant waste from our production processes and reuse the packaging that our natural ingredients and our other supplies arrive in. Nothing is wasted. We hope that when you receive our products, you will reuse the packaging too.
Handcrafted in Small Batches. Our natural and organic skin care products are made in New Zealand. We handcraft our products in small batches to maintain their quality and freshness, as well as to minimise waste.
NOTE: Because nature is seasonal and is constantly changing (which can affect the raw ingredients we use), our natural ingredients may have slight variations from harvest to harvest.
What is ORGANIC?
The term "Organic" refers to the way in which agricultural products are sustainably grown and processed. It includes a system of production, processing, distribution and sales that assures consumers that the products maintain the organic integrity that begins on the farm. Organic products are not only better for the consumers and growers’ health, but they are more respectful of the environment and help maintain and improve the quality of the soil they are grown on.
We are guided by ECOCERT in our careful selection of botanical ingredients for our Home and Body formulations. Ecocert is the global leader in the certification of the above mentioned standards—ensuring the integrity of every organic product they inspect.
NATURAL INGREDIENTS we typically use:
*Not a complete list.
AHA Fruit Acids: Fruit acids contain naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s). These naturally occurring AHA’s dissolve surface skin cells, stimulating cell renewal to minimise fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, scarring and acne. Naturally derived AHA fruit acids have anti-aging and skin-renewal properties—resulting in softer, smoother skin.
Featured Product: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is known widely for its medicinal properties. The other common names of aloe are lily of the desert, burn plant and elephant’s gall. It belongs to the family of succulent plants in the genus ‘Aloe’. It grows best in warm and dry climates and is densely found in India, Africa, and other arid zones.
Aloe vera contains more than 75 potentially active components have been identified in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids. It provides 20 of the 22 human-required amino acids and all of the eight essential amino acids, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. It is noted for its healing properties and rejuvenating, soothing and cell regeneration properties.
Skin and Hair Benefits
You can apply Aloe vera gel topically to your skin and hair. Aloe has been used for skin care since ancient times for its moisturising and anti-aging effect. The inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is considered as a natural remedy for skin abrasions. Many skin care and personal care products, toiletries, and cosmetics include aloe extracts.
Research studies have shown that the topical application of aloe gel is extremely useful in treating acne and that Aloe vera has the ability to treat sunburn.
Aloe vera has been a primary component of many skin products that help in retaining youthfulness. The added support of Aloe vera in any skin cream enhances its function as a wrinkle minimiser and skin rejuvenator. The anti-aging properties of aloe keep your skin fresh and supple.
According to anecdotal evidence, Aloe vera is an excellent choice for promoting hair growth naturally. You can apply its gel to the entire scalp and hair to treat hair loss, as it has an enzyme that is beneficial for stimulating hair growth. Aloe vera in shampoo may help to improve blood circulation and reduce stress and mental strain. In fact, it has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively treat androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. And, if you use it regularly as a conditioner, it can help to prevent premature hair loss.
If used externally, Aloe vera is the best option for dressing wounds. In fact, in many cases, it is seen that Aloe vera works like magic—even in the most serious of emergency room wound cases. The juice instantly seals the wound by drawing the flow of blood to the wound, thus enhancing the process of wound healing. In many studies, it has been proven that aloe effectively treats third-degree burn victims and restores the burned skin faster.
Amalaki Fruit Extract (also known as Emblica, Amla and Indian Gooseberry): A rich source of natural Vitamin C. The main constituents include ascorbic acid, fatty acids, bioflavonoids, polyphenols, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, tannins, and pectin. It provides cell rejuvenation, reduction of pigment and antioxidant protection.
Antioxidants: Oxidation occurs throughout nature. In the case of our skin, it is largely caused by the creation of free radicals at the cellular level when skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. Antioxidants are touted to reduce oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals—unstable atoms that have an unpaired electron in their outermost shell, almost like a knife without a sheath. The antioxidants act to sheathe the knife, binding with the unstable electron and stopping it from attacking collagen strands and other cells of the skin’s architecture.
Antioxidants are compounds such as vitamins C and E, co enzyme Q10, idebenone, zinc, copper and beta carotene. Beauty companies are harnessing these, as well as the antioxidants from an increasing range of botanicals such as green tea, pomegranates, coffee berries, grape seeds, olives, mushrooms and more.
More and more scientific studies are proving their effectiveness, not only in helping to reduce wrinkles and aging but also reducing inflammation, such as in rosacea, or even helping prevent skin cancer.
Apple Cider Vinegar (raw): contains valuable enzymes, beneficial bacteria, and trace elements necessary for human health. The acidity supports the skin’s natural acid mantle, a fine layer on the skin which neutralises invading organisms. Since this acid layer can be stripped away via harsh facial soaps and other cosmetic products, organic apple cider vinegar can be an excellent way to maintain the skin’s natural acidic balance.
Aqua: The water in our hydrous formulations comes from a natural spring onsite and is DISTILLED—this is to ensure that our formulations contain the purest water possible.
Argan Oil: contains high amounts of natural vitamin A, and Omega 6 and 9 essential fatty acids. This antioxidant and vitamin-rich oil stimulates skin cells, reduces premature aging, hydrates the skin and reduces stretch marks and scars. It also has ant-inflammatory properties to prevent age spots and scarring.
Ascorbic Acid: An effective form of Vitamin C for cellular regeneration and renewal. It is a powerful antioxidant, protects the skin from environmental stressors and is essential for collagen synthesis and exceptional anti-aging.
Avocado Oil: contains nearly 20 vitamins including A, B1, B2, C, D, E and K. It is rich in essential fatty acids and minerals as well as zinc, copper, manganese and selenium—as well as phytonutrients which are widely known for their medical benefits. Avocado oil is highly recommended for hydrating dry or sensitive skin types.
Bulgarian Rose Damascena: An effective anti-inflammatory agent and tissue regenerator. This floral water and oil nourishes, calms, rejuvenates and soothes the skin while offering antioxidant protection. Also offers redness reduction, exceptional hydration and stress reduction.
Calendula: known to have antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and regenerating properties, and has been proven to aid in wound healing.
Chamomile (German/Roman): considered to be one of the most ancient and versatile medicinal herbs known to mankind. Dried chamomile flowers have numerous, widespread health implications thanks to their high level of disease-fighting antioxidants like terpenoids and flavonoids. Chamomile also helps fight anxiety and depression, improves digestion, has strong anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing abilities, helps to fight cancer, relieves congestion, promotes skin health, keeps gums and teeth healthy and improves heart health.
Coconut Oil: The health benefits of coconut oil are numerous. In relation to the skin, coconut oil can treat many skin disorders and it is known to improve skin issues such as Burns, Eczema, Dandruff, Dermatitis and Psoriasis. It is also acts as a cleanser, moisturiser and sun screen. The fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally—making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions. Coconut oil protects the skin and contains many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. Also, the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions.
Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth (DE) is almost entirely made of silica, is safe to take daily and can help promote stronger hair, skin, and nails. Much of DE is made up of silica particles too large to be absorbed by your digestive system, but there will always be amounts of silica that are small enough to be absorbed.
Emulsifiers (& Solubilisers): We use ECOCERT approved, plant-based emulsifying compounds in our formulations.
Essential Oils: Essential oils are distilled from leaves, twigs, seeds, flowers and roots and wood. They have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Because of their antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, antibacterial, antiviral and calming properties, essential oils are becoming more widely known and popular as a natural, safe and cost-effective therapy for a number of health concerns for both people and animals. The essential oils we use in our botanical products are hand-crafted from wild, cultivated, and Certified Organic sources.
Evening Primrose Oil: contains high levels of GLA essential fatty acids and is good for dry and mature skin. Primrose is an anti-inflammatory for both the skin and scalp. Inflammation often leads to hyper pigmentation, age spots and scarring, even hair loss, so primrose is considered preventative.
Frankincense (Olibanum): exceptional for mature skin preparations as a result of its regenerative properties. I use this oil more than any other essential oil—it's truly extraordinary. Definitely one of my most favourite essential oils!
Goji Berry: considered one of the richest sources of vitamins and other nutrients. They contain over 18 different amino acids and vitamins like B1, B2, B6, C and E. This fruit is said to contain more Beta carotene (vita A) than carrots and is a natural source of vitamin C for anti-aging, cell regeneration and more.
Grapeseed Oil (or Grape Seed Oil): a by-product of wine making and loaded with wonderful anti-oxidants, to combat free radical damage and protect the skin. This naturally occurring oil is great for all skin types including mature, oily and acne prone skin.
Green Tea: Green Tea extract is a rich source of anti oxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Green Tea is naturally rich in antioxidants which help to remove toxins and rejuvenate skin cells.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica): This native plant from India has been used for centuries to treat inflammation, redness, burns and accelerate healing. Studies have shown this amazing plant to also stimulate collagen synthesis and improve elasticity.
Helichrysum: known and respected for it's incredible skin healing properties. Helichrysum has the strongest anti-inflammatory properties of all the essential oils. It is used to treat dark circles under the eyes and bruises and is helpful in reducing the appearance of scars. This is an amazing essential oil that I use regularly.
Herbs (Herbals):these are plants that have culinary, therapeutic or other uses. As far back as far back as 5000 BCE, evidence that Sumerians used herbs in medicine was inscribed on cuneiform. In 162 CE, the physician Galen was known for concocting complicated herbal remedies that contained up to 100 ingredients. Today, plants are being used to treat a number of health concerns and conditions in both people and animals, including allergies, arthritis, migraines, fatigue, skin infections, wounds, burns, gastrointestinal issues and even cancer—proving that it’s true that food is medicine. Many of the herbs we use in our botanical formulations come from our own organic gardens.
Jojoba Seed Oil: has a similar molecular structure to the oil our skin produces, making it a wonderful skin care oil—especially for hydrating and replenishing skin cells. It is also an excellent carrier oil for essential oils. I love this oil!
Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia): Not surprisingly, lavender essential oil is the most versatile and widely used essential oil in the world today. Discovered over 2,500 years ago, lavender has powerful anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, sedative, calming and anti-depressive properties. Today, lavender is known to help to reduce anxiety and emotional stress; protect against diabetes symptoms; improve brain function; help to heal burns and wounds; improve sleep; restore skin complexion and reduce acne; slow the aging process with powerful anti-oxidants; and relieve pain (and alleviate headaches).
Lemongrass Essential Oil: The compounds that make up lemongrass essential oil are known to have anti-fungal, insecticidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemongrass may prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast, and it contains antioxidant properties. It also contains substances that are used to alleviate muscle pain and body aches, reduce fever, ward off insects, and stimulate uterus and menstrual flow. It also adds a pleasant natural fragrance to cosmetics, soaps and homemade deodorisers.
Featured Ingredient: Organic Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil should be the most praised beautifying oil of all. It has an amazing affinity with the skin, and can be taken both topically and internally. The oil contains one of the highest sources of palmitoleic fatty acids, between 16 to 23%. Palmitoleic is vital for delaying skin and premature aging; as our skin ages it rapidly becomes depleted in this important fatty acid, which is why macadamia is the perfect inclusion for mature skin types. Topical application will improve your skin’s palmitoleic acid levels and decrease the rate your skin will deteriorate, keeping it taut and discouraging wrinkles from forming.
Oleic Acid: This fatty acid gives macadamia nut oil its fantastic regenerating and moisturising properties. Oleic acid protects your heart from disease and reduces cholesterol levels. Its moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties make it perfect for a dry, sensitive skin types.
Linoleic acid: This is a wonderful fatty acid which helps to prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) from the skins delicate tissues—restoring the skin’s barrier function and keeps skin hydrated.
Phytosterols: Macadama nut oil contains a high amount of phytosterols which are the building blocks of our cellular membrane and structure. Sterols work the same way that cholesterol does in our skin, which is one of the reasons why macadamia nut oil has great skin penetration abilities. Phytosterols are also calming and healing, which is why they're known to repair the skin’s barrier function. Overall, phytosterols act as penetration enhancers—delivering the important benefits to the deepest layers of your skin
Fatty Acid profile of Macadamia Nut Oil:
C12:0 st Lauric Acid Traces
C14:0 st Myrsitc acid 0.4 -1.6%
C160: st palmitic Acid 7-10%
C16:1 mo palmitolecic acid 16 -23%
C18:0 st syteric Acid 1.5 – 5%
C181 mo Oleic Acid 54-63%
C18:2 pu Linoleic acid 1-3%
C20:0 st Arachidic Acid 1.5 -3%
C20:1 mo Eicosenoic Acid 1-3%
Palmitoleic acid is a potent antioxidant known to support healthy cell membranes, hydrating the skin and supporting skin healing. It's extremely healing and repairing.
Inside-Out Skin Benefits
Whenever you consume Macadamia Nut Oil, you’re giving yourself a real health and beauty boost by ingesting all those beneficial fatty acids. Macadamia nut oil contains the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids that are not naturally created by the body. It's also low in saturated fat and rich in the all-important mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, which makes it great for heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids are an anti-inflammatory, whilst omega 6 works as a pro-inflammatory—which is why it’s great for those who suffer from sensitive skin conditions. For thee reasons, applying macadamia topically and taking it internally will help achieve that crucial essential fatty acid balance that your diet requires for good health.
Myrrh Essential Oil: Myrrh is a resin, or sap-like substance, that comes from a tree called Commiphora myrrha, common in Africa and the Middle East. Myrrh is botanically related to frankincense, and is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. Myrrh oil is still commonly used today as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Researchers have become interested in myrrh due to its potent antioxidant activity and potential as a cancer treatment. It has also been shown to be effective in fighting certain types of parasitic infections.
The benefits of Myrrh are numerous: aids relaxation, potent Antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and it has anti-cancer benefits. A research study in 2010 discovered that topical application of myrrh oil helped elevate white blood cells around skin wounds, leading to faster healing. It's an extraordinary essential oil!
Neem Seed Oil: used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine to aid in the healing of topical skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and acne. It is rich in fatty acids and glycerides.
Neroli (Orange Blossom): helps to reduce redness and irritation while purifying the complexion. Neroli refreshes, helps to stimulate circulation of lymphatic fluid to reduce puffiness and encourages cell regeneration and collagen production.
Oat Protein: Hydrolyzed Oat Protein is a hydrolysate of oat protein derived by acid, enzyme or other method of hydrolysis. It functions well as a hair conditioning agent, skin-conditioning agent, and has anti-static properties.
Olive Oil: good for skin cell regeneration/collagen stimulation. Turning over new healthy skin cells is essential as we age to impart a healthy glow and allow for the skin to breathe effectively (take in oxygen) as the largest organ of the body.
Olive Squalane: derived from olives containing omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, it replenishes the skin’s natural lipid barrier with moisturisation to lubricate, protect and nourish the skin for a soft, smooth, healthy glow.
Palmarosa Essential Oil: known for skin regeneration and regulating oil production of the skin to bring it to the optimum balance. Its anti-fungal and anti-viral benefits offer additional skin protection. Palmarosa is an anti-aging and 'balancing' essential oil for all skin types.
Panthenol: Despite its rather technical-sounding name, Panthenol is a provitamin of B5 that is commonly blended into hydrating hair and skin care products. It is known for its ability to thicken the hair while moisturising and promoting hair-growth, leaving hair silky and shiny. Once panthenol is applied to your skin, it converts to pantothenic acid which works as a humectant, by infusing water in the cells, retaining moisture deep within the skin's tissues. Clinical research has shown, that not only is this acid extremely moisturising, but when regularly used over a period of time, it takes on an anti-inflammatory role, relieving systemic itching while helping to soothe dry, irritated skin.
Patchouli Essential Oil: Due to it’s cicatrisant properties, patchouli is known to be beneficial for loose and sagging skin. It stimulates collagen and elastin for a more firm, plump appearance—reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Featured Ingredient: Pomegranate Fruit
Pomegranates have anti-viral and anti-tumor properties, and contain vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamin K, niacin and folate as well as antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. This amazing fruit contains three times as many antioxidants as either wine or green tea.
Pomegranate falls into the super fruit category because of its exceptional nutrient value and antioxidant properties. It contains age-defying ellagic acid—a powerful antioxidant. Alpha hydroxy acids gently exfoliate dead skin cells, leaving skin feeling supple, glowing and rejuvenated. The antioxidants in the pomegranate boost the body’s antioxidant production and keep the skin lively, and the pomegranate water benefits the skin by softening it.
The ellagic acid present in the pomegranate helps in the regeneration of skin cells, protects the skin from UV rays and helps to prevent skin cancer. It also promotes younger-looking skin, as the punicalagins of the pomegranate helps to reduce wrinkles. The anthocyanin in pomegranate fruit helps to relax facial muscles and reduce the damaging effects of environmental stress.
Preservatives: We use ECOCERT-approved, plant-based preservatives in our skin care formulations. * Please scroll down the page to read more about preservatives and why they are important in skin care products.
Rooibos Tea (Red Tea): Rooibos contains healthy amounts of iron, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin C; essential for helping to prevent premature aging and combating free radical damage. It also contains natural alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate and renew skin texture. I regularly drink this tea and it tastes delicious with a bit of lemon juice.
Rosehip Seed Oil: contains high amounts of Vitamins C, D, E and A, essential fatty acids (linoleic) and anti-oxidant flavonoids. Known to be a tissue regenerator, Rose Hip Seed Oil helps to prevent premature aging; minimise fine lines and wrinkles; and minimise the appearance of stretch marks, keloids and scars.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil: helps to rid the body of toxins. It is ideal for strengthening capillaries and blood vessels in damage-prone skin and it is a powerful anti-oxidant. This is a wonderful anti-inflammatory, healing oil that is beneficial for all skin types.
Rosemary Oil Extract (ROE): known to be an effective anti-oxidant. It contains natural anti-oxidant compounds, carnosic acid, carnosol and rosmarinic acid—which are beneficial in both skin care and hair care. Rosemary Extract has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial characteristics.
Sandalwood: In aromatherapy, sandalwood is used to help combat bronchitis, chapped and dry skin, mood disturbances, laryngitis, leucorrhea, stress, and stretch marks. It is known to have anti-microbial properties which makes it effective in treating skin conditions such as acne, oily skin and eczema, and it is often used in anti-aging skin care products due to it’s balancing characteristics.
Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) oil: contains potent antioxidant properties and helps to hydrate to support supple tone and smooth-looking skin.
Shea Butter: Shea butter is a skin 'super food' that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree. It is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers some UV protection (SPF 6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production. Historically, shea butter has been used for skin and hair, wound care and treating leprosy. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturising for skin. It is often used to heal dry skin conditions and to help protect the skin’s natural oils. A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter is an effective anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne. Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. Clearly, I love Shea butter.
Silk Protein (Hydrolyzed): The exceptional purity of Hydrolyzed Silk Protein is shown by the clarity of its film and low ash content. It's often used in elegant hair and skin preparations for its excellent moisture binding properties, feel and its ability to 'repair'. It also provides a protective barrier, adds luster, body, and manageability to hair when used in hair care preparations. Hydrolyzed Silk Protein provides the most glide and silkiness of all proteins/amino acids.
Sunflower Seed Oil: naturally high in oleic acid, rich in vitamins A and D—supplying more vitamin E than most vegetable oils, and it is especially beneficial for mature skin.
Surfactants: We use ECOCERT approved, botanical surfactants in our formulations that are gentle on skin.
Tea Tree Essential Oil: A broad spectrum, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial essential oil used to treat infections. It is highly effective for blemishes, bug bites and fungal infections.
Turmeric: highly beneficial internally and externally (when applied to skin). In fact, it has been used as a skin care ingredient for centuries. It is helpful in treating a range of skin conditions: from an uneven skin tone to acne, eczema or cracked feet. The skin benefits of turmeric essentially stem from its active compound curcumin and its anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Vitamin B: “Vitamin B” actually refers to more than one vitamin, since there are eight different B vitamins in total. Vitamin B supports skin health, muscle tone and hair growth. Because B vitamins support cellular rejuvenation, they can be beneficial for your skin, nails and hair. B vitamins can boost skin health by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation, dermatitis, eczema and acne blemishes. They also help repair wounds and support your immune system, making it easier to fight off skin infections. Vitamin B7/biotin is commonly added to hair and skin beauty products, although it’s believed to be most beneficial when ingested and obtained from foods.
Vitamin C: boosts protective anti-oxidant action and repairs past skin damage by stimulating new collagen production. Vitamin C is an incredible anti-oxidant for cellular skin renewal and repair.
Vitamin E (d alpha-tocopherol): Tocopherols are nature’s perfect antioxidant. Vitamin E plays a crucial role in protecting skin cells from free radical/environmental damage. It protects the skin from UV rays, pollutants and the aging process. Vitamin E penetrates deep within the cells to assist with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
White Vinegar (distilled): White vinegar (sometimes called distilled or spirit vinegar), has been a mainstay in households worldwide for thousands of years. This versatile liquid presents a treasure trove of uses for cleaning, gardening and cooking—and even has medicinal applications. Because of its antimicrobial properties, white vinegar may be useful for treating physical ailments including nail fungus, warts and ear infections. It’s also an effective topical treatment for skin infections and burns.
Willow Bark Extract: known to have potent anti-microbial properties. The fresh bark is rich in tannins and salicylic acid-like constituents. Efficacy testing has shown that willow bark extract has activity against resistant acne bacterias and is useful for exfoliation and cell regeneration of all skin types.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: known to promote a sense of peace and calm. It is particularly useful for women of hormonal age and those who suffer from depression. It smells beautiful!
Ingredients we Avoid:
- Animal-derived Ingredients: these are hormone disrupters that cause harm to animals.
- Artificial Colours: these are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources and are presumed to be a human carcinogen and skin irritant. they have also been linked to ADHD in kids.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s) are chemicals that are utilised in numerous cosmetic products to prevent microbial growth. Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen and has been linked to various types of cancers such as nasal and nasopharyngeal. It is also known to cause allergic skin reactions and damage the body's immune system—making you more vulnerable to infection and disease.
- GMO’s: 'Genetically Modified Organisms' contain harmful chemicals.
Mercury: exposure to even a small amount of mercury is toxic to the brain and nervous system, as well as the digestive and immune system, lungs and kidneys. To avoid hidden mercury, steer clear of products with these ingredients: calomel, mercurio, mercurio chloride, or mercury. Read: "Mercury and Health Fact Sheet." World Health Organization. Mar. 2017.
Nanoparticles: these are particles that are less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair. They are relatively new but are already widely used in cosmetic products, especially sunscreens. A number of recent studies have questioned their safety. Studies indicate that various types of nanoparticles caused problems in human cells, including DNA damage, oxidative stress and cellular toxicity. Products do not necessarily say that they contain nanoparticles, but if you see “ultrafine” or “microfine” listed in the packaging—these are a giveaway. Unless you know that a particular nanoparticle is safe, such as collodial silver—you can avoid them or do your research to find out which ones to avoid. Read: Song, Y. et al. "Exposure to nanoparticles is related to pleural effusion, pulmonary fibrosis and granuloma." Eur Respir J. 2009 34(3),559-567.
- Oxybenzone: Sunscreens contain oxybenzone to absorb UV light. While the American Academy of Dermatology says oxybenzone is safe, the Environmental Working Group—an environmental nonprofit that publishes the Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database, warns of moderate to high concern due to its endocrine-disrupting properties. One study found that oxybenzone caused the excess creation of reactive oxygen species which can cause DNA mutations, cell death, and lead to cardiovascular problems. Synonyms for oxybenzone include benzophenone and phenyl-methanone. Read "Oxybenzone: Skin Deep® Database." Environmental Working Group.
- Parabens: these have an estrogen-mimicking effect that has been linked to the development of breast cancer cells. Parabens are readily absorbed through the skin and traces of the chemical have been identified in breast tumors. Read: "Parabens Fact Sheet." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 7, 2017.
- Phthalates: these are a group of chemicals used in numerous products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care items include the following: dibutyl phthalate in nail polish; diethyl phthalate in perfumes and creams; and dimethyl phthalate in hairspray. These chemicals are classified as endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls and congenital reproductive disabilities in males and women.
- Propylene (PEG) Glycol (and Butylene Glycol): Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) is used in cosmetics to create a cream base, and are used to thicken, soften or moisturise. PEG compounds are petroleum-based and include propylene glycol, polyethylene glycols and polyoxyethylene. Propylene glycol and butylene glycol are extremely powerful chemicals. If they are capable of dissolving and cleaning industrial surfaces—imagine what they can do to your skin. Propylene glycol and butylene glycol easily penetrate skin and weaken protein and cellular structure. Certainly this is not a result anyone would desire, as the goal of skin care should be to nourish, repair, rebuild and refresh cells, especially the vital protein chains that power them.
- Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, and Retinyl Acetate: these are forms of vitamin A, however they may not be safe to put on your skin. A few studies have found that when retinyl palmitate or retinol was applied to skin that was exposed to UV light, it broke down into harmful by-products, including reactive oxygen species—which caused damage to cellular DNA and even caused cell death.
- SLS/SLES (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Salt Laureth Sulfate): both are surfactants (compounds that lower the tension between two or more substances) common in more than 90% of personal hygiene and cleaning products. They are both known to cause skin, lung and eye irritation and they become carcinogenic when combined with other chemicals to create nitrosamines—resulting in respiratory and kidney disease. Read: "Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Skin Deep® Database." Environmental Working Group.
- Synthetic Preservatives: these are lab-created chemicals that are potential carcinogens and formaldehyde donors.
- Synthethic Fragrances: known to be a contributing factor in allergic reactions, breathing problems, dermatitis and reproductive disorders.
- Silicones (e.g., Dimethicone): may clog pores and are not biodegradable.
- Siloxanes and Cyclomethicone: Siloxanes are used in cosmetics to soften and smooth skin, as well as to help deodorants glide on more easily and to help hair products dry more easily. Three in particular: cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), Cyclopentasiloxane (D5) and cyclohexasiloxane (D6), are harmful to the environment—D4 is a known endocrine disruptor which interferes with fertility. Cyclomethicone is a mixture of D4, D5, and D6.
- Triclosan: used extensively as an antimicrobial chemical even though it is a known endocrine disruptor (thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant). Studies raise concerns that triclosan adds to making germs antibiotic-resistant. Likewise, there is not enough supporting evidence that washing with anti-bacterial soaps containing triclosan has any benefit over washing with regular soap and water. Better to use natural soaps! Read: Veldhoen N, et al. "The bactericidal agent triclosan modulates thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and disrupts postembryonic anuran development." Aquat Toxicol. 2006;80(3),217-27.
There are so many toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of everyday skin care products—far too many to list/describe here.
Tips on How you Can Achieve a Low to Zero Waste Lifestyle
Many of the tips we've listed below are very easy to do, it just takes a mind-shift and a bit of commitment. Achieving a zero-waste lifestyle is a journey, and every journey begins with the first step. In other words, just make one or two changes at a time—don't try and do it all at once. Of course, you don't need to follow all these tips, and there is more than one way of doing what we suggest. The most important thing is to "live your values every day", and "make every day count" :-)
Every day we have a choice to make this world a better, waste-free place. Following our simple, waste-free tips will help you to do your part in achieving this:
Take your reusable straw(s) out with you and ensure your takeaway drinks order doesn't come with a straw
Take your full reusable water bottle out and about with you
Use a cotton handkerchief instead of paper tissues
Always say "no thank you" to free promotional items, as they're often made cheaply and break easily
Donate unused items in good condition to support the second-hand market/shops
Buy from second-hand shops (where possible and practicable) instead of buying new
Use herbal remedies when you feel a cold coming on instead of pills from a plastic pill bottle
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a biodegradable bamboo or wheat straw toothbrush
Turn old sheets and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, and cloth produce bags
Keep a 'zero-waste kit' in the boot of your vehicle, or carry a small one around with you so you'll always be prepared. It doesn't have to be large just a few items!
Wash clothes when they are actually dirty, instead of after only one wear
Open a window to cool down your home or air it out
Avoid using non-sustainable palm oil, including products that contain this
Buy food without packaging or minimal packaging
Re-purpose stale bread—feed it to the birds
Surround yourself with multi-purpose items instead of items that only serve one purpose
Remember to take your reusable shopping bags out with you
Use bar soap where practicable, instead of liquid soap, as it comes with less packaging
Use cloth pads or a menstrual cup instead of disposable pads and tampons (like in the 'old days')
- Use longer-lasting LED light bulbs
Be mindful when using technology and consider how to safely dispose of old computers and other technical devices
Put on more layers of clothing instead of turning up the heat
Turn the water off while brushing your teeth
- Take quick showers in stead of running the bath. Save the bath for an every now and again relaxation and detox treat
Think carefully before you buy—don't be an impulsive spender
Check out your local farmers market when buying fruit and veges, and remember to take your reusable produce bags with you
Use cloth diapers instead of disposable nappies.
Get some houseplants at a local nursery to purify your air, or use a bamboo charcoal air purifier. Reuse or return the plastic plant pots
Plan your meals ahead to avoid food waste
Unplug electronics when not in use
Use natural toothpaste in reusable packaging to avoid non-recyclable toothpaste tubes
Buy more locally made goods
Repair or reuse something when it breaks instead of automatically replacing it with something new
If you're looking for a specialty item such as camping gear or an extra table or chairs for a party, ask a friend if you can borrow these items before purchasing new
Plant a small garden. Grow your own fruit and veges
Learn how to freeze your food without plastic so it doesn't go to waste
Start a backyard compost and buy compostable items where possible
Buy a lip balm in a reusable container instead of a plastic tube
Buy tools and items that are durable, and only buy them once
Collect and use rainwater
Store your food properly to make it last longer
Get your shoes repaired instead of replacing them with new ones
Ask for reusable packaging materials for online orders—and no plastic
Pack your lunch in reusable bags or food wraps
Learn to regrow your kitchen scraps
Use a clothes line instead of a clothes dryer
- Use bamboo, wooden or stainless steel clothes pegs instead of plastic ones
- Use a biodegradable toothbrush and earth-friendly dental floss
Ask for a real mug at the coffee shop when staying in
Always run a full dishwasher or load of clothes
Most sunscreen causes coral bleaching, use a natural one instead
Bring your own container for to-go food and leftovers
Ditch paper towels and use reusable bamboo cloths or cotton tea towels and rags.
Beware of green-washing, always do your research
Walk or ride a bike (where possible and practicable) instead of driving
Take your own reusable, portable coffee cup out and about with you
Learn how to repair a button or hem to extend the life of your clothing
Buy rechargeable batteries instead of disposables
Serve dinner with cloth napkins
Keep a bucket in the shower to collect water drops to water plants or flush the toilet
Wrap presents in newsprint, or don't wrap them at all
Focus on experiences rather than on material things
Switch from a plastic disposable razor to a metal safety razor
Wash your clothes in cold water when you can
Avoid junk mail by placing a sticker on your box
Keep a stocked pantry to avoid getting takeout on busy nights
Learn where to properly dispose of items like gift cards, old cell phones, batteries and unusable cords etc.
Ask yourself if you truly need it before making any purchases
o paperless for all your bills
- Swap your resources with others whenever possible
Make your morning cup of coffee with a french press or pour over with a reusable filter to avoid extra waste
Ditch plastic q-tips for plastic-free or reusable ones
Ditch synthetic sponges, scrubs and brushes and use biodegradable and compostable items instead
Try to shrink the amount you recycle. Zero waste is about recycling less not more
Use both sides of the paper!
Join a community garden
Swap tea bags for loose leaf tea and use a reusable strainer