What we NEVER use and why.
We would NEVER use any synthetic preservatives, additives, synthetics, parabens, phthalates, foaming agents, fragrance, DEA, TEA, butylated compounds (BHA), petroleum derived ingredients, artificial colorants, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfiate, coal tar dyes, PEGs, octinoxate, polyacrylaminde, talc, the list goes on and on….
We ONLY use 100% natural ingredients. We use high quality herbs and oils, most of which are organic. All of our products are ONLY scented with essential oils and get their color from herbs or in some cases natural clays.
We dont use Palm Oil, EVER.. We have made a conscious decision to NOT use palm oil in any of our soaps or products because it is detrimental to the environment. It is one of the world's leading causes of rain forest destruction, which causes multiple environmental issues. Many of the species living in these environments are severely threatened due to habitat loss, including the orangutan which is now on the brink of extinction. Most soap makers still use palm oil because it is an easy oil to work with when making soaps. Fantastic soap can be made without it, as you will discover when you use our soaps.
For more info on why we don’t use Palm Oil:
Why Clean ingredients are so important:
It is so important to use clean natural products on our skin. Our skin is the largest organ in the body and we need to take care of it. The skin is certainly able to maintain a normal barrier with the outside world but it is not impenetrable. While some chemicals are too large to be absorbed through the skin, many are small enough to easily penetrate and make it past the skin’s protective barrier to get into our blood stream and our body. The skin, is being used more and more as a way to get medications into the body, via a trans-dermal patch, because the skin is such an effective delivery system.
Many of the ingredients that are currently used in today’s body care products will make it into the blood stream and the body, so it is extremely important to choose body care products carefully to minimize any possible exposure to unwanted ingredients.
Did you know that women use an average of 9 to 12 body care products per day and that men use an average of 4 to 6 products per day? Each of these products contain an average of 6 to 15 ingredients. This quickly adds up to quite a few different ingredients that people are being exposed to on a daily basis. Body care products can include soaps, lotions, creams, sunscreens, cleaners, body scrubs, deodorants, shampoos, toothpastes, hair conditioners, shaving creams, make up, etc.
What to avoid:
Ingredients used in some of today’s personal care products are known carcinogens, neurotoxins or reproductive toxins as well as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors upset the body’s hormonal balance by mimicking estrogen in the body, which can lead to other issues. We have enough exposure to toxins in our everyday environment, so we don’t need to coat our skin with more personal care products that contain them.
These types of ingredients are much more prevalent than you may think so it is extremely important to read the labels on anything you put in or on your body. Don’t be fooled by common claims like “Organic”, “herbal”, “non-toxic”, “all natural”, “hypoallergenic”, etc: these claims have no legal meaning since the FDA doesn’t regulate the health claims or labeling for personal care products. As the consumer, its up to you to read the ingredient lists to find out exactly what you are using on you body, remembering that those ingredients can end up getting into your body.
Please do your research on product ingredients. I urge you to read the ingredient list on the products you currently use to make sure they are as clean as possible and don't contain any unwanted ingredients. Remember, the ingredients that are listed at the beginning of the list are those with a larger percentage of the overall content and the items listed towards the end will have the least amount contained in the product.
There are numerous sites online that will help you become more informed about the chemicals used in body care products. A good place to start is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: http://www.safecosmetics.org/
You can find a cheat sheet that will make it really easy for you to avoid some of the worst chemicals by using 'The Red List' which will give you the top chemicals to avoid in the most common products, it can be found here: http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/red-list/
No chemicals = shorter shelf life:
Consumer demands for longer lasting products have driven the body care industry to adapt and comply, but it comes at a cost. Most body care products need to have a longer shelf life since they may be on the shelf for quite a while before they are sold. In order to make something shelf stable for 6 months to 2 years, especially if it has any water in it at all, it needs to have chemicals added to it. But, just because the item will not spoil on the shelf, doesn't mean that the active ingredients are still active and/or beneficial when you get it, it just means the product is safe to use. Many of the chemicals added to products are not added for this purpose but are just cheaper, faster or easier to use.
Spencer St. Botanicals products have a shorter shelf life since we don’t use any chemicals or synthetic preservatives. All of our products are made to order (except our soaps -they have to cure for 4 to 6 weeks) with 100% natural ingredients. This ensures that the active ingredients in the herbs, superfoods, and oils are as fresh as possible when they arrive to you. This is a different approach from most companies and may take some getting used to. The products won’t be able to sit on your counter for years, they are meant to be used.
As an example, this means that for our moisturizing cream, it will need to be used within a 6 to 8 week period (8 weeks if you keep it in the fridge). Our body scrubs and butters, will need to be used within about 7 to 9 months. These time frames for use are noted under the products on the website. Don't worry, the products feel so great on the skin, you will want to use them all the time and the size of the containers hold the right amount of product you will need for normal use to remain fresh.