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RediCare – A Featured Star of the Keys Line

RediCare – Born Out of Hurricane Katrina

RediCare
Wendy Steel, Keys CEO & Founder

RediCare began just after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, Louisianna. We had an excellent therapeutic lotion named MetaCare that contains Ayurvedic Neem and Karanja oil. What happened next was the creation of a new product called RediCare.

We were at a pet trade show outside of Washington, DC. We had a booth there, and early on the first day, a uniformed ranger named Rod came by our booth with his dog, Tye. He had Tye lay down, and his belly was nothing but rashes, open sores, and inflamed. I asked what happened and he told me that he and Tye were in New Orleans on a search & rescue mission along with a bunch of other dogs and handlers. He asked if we had anything. I grabbed a MetaCare lotion, and Rod smeared it all over Tye’s belly. You could see the relief instantly, and it made me tear up. Luckily, I noticed that Rod’s hands were equally inflamed, and I encouraged him to spread it on his hands. They left, and I was busy with a lot of people interested in Natural products for their dogs, so I did not think much of the incident.  

About an hour later, Rod showed back up with Tye and flipped him over on the booth carpet. Believe it or not, Tye’s belly was almost healed, and Rod’s hands were much improved. He wanted to buy the lotion, and I told him that because it was a tradeshow, we were not allowed to sell. I asked for his card and called back to the factory to have a bottle of MetaCare sent. My good deed.

What happened afterward was terrific. Remember, at this time, we did not have a pet line and not marketing to dogs. We decided to do the tradeshow because we were toying with the idea and thought it would be an excellent place to get consumer and dealer feedback. Throughout the afternoon, handlers and their dogs started to show up. It was one very young and pretty blonde gal that brought her golden by asking if we had some spray that would work for her long-haired dog that would do the same thing as we had done for Tye. You guessed it, RediCare was born as a sprayable version of MetaCare at that very instant.

The geeky part is that numerous coincidences came together almost to make the product development instantaneous.

  • The week before, a salesperson showed me a trigger sprayer saying it would spray oil.
  • I had an original formula for MetCare that was too liquid. It had the same amount of Neem and Karanja as MetaCare, but came out runny.
  • Mike at our label company called to ask if he could double up one of the labels so they could gang a full run of labels. No, I said, I have a new product to add to the run
  • I had initially thought of putting MetaCare into a 4-ounce bottle with a lotion pump. So, the label I had in development fit the new RedCare bottle and all I had to do is change the name of the product
  • We had a bunch of dealers from the show that wanted to get going with us but wanted a unique “Go-To” everything product. Yep, RediCare

So, RediCare came together almost overnight, and the first dozen bottle got shipped to the blonde ranger for her and the other long-haired dogs.

That story spread quickly, but not as soon as RediCare became a super-multipurpose product. It is a sprayable moisturizer and lotion. It repels 200+ insects. Works for horses. People with diabetes use it because it sprays on for sensitive skin. The list goes on. It was so much of an outpouring that we created this fun advertisement here that showed all the uses.  

To this day, RediCare remains in our Top 10 products and has as many pet users as people. Its sister product, OmniCare was what we thought would replace RediCare in the dog market, but dealers stick with the tried and true RediCare.

The last bit of anecdotal thought is that our team referred to RediCare as Windex. Why do you say? There was a famous movie called “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” There was an older man in the film that used Windex on everything from scrapes, cut, polish tables, clean mirrors, etc. You get the analogy.

RediCare is our most versatile product and one of the most beloved. Hang a big star on RediCare

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Speed Is Life! – Join The Keys Wholesale Family


Speed is Life – Time flies fast, but it’s good when you are the pilot. Just control your time well away from hijackers. Save time profitably; Spend time productively!

Helping You Spend Your Time Wisely

Now more than ever, your times is the most valuable commodity that you have. Spending time ordering the old way is a waste of your time.

Our fantastic geeks at Keys have streamlined our online ordering system, which now rivals Amazon and other leading online sites. The difference is that ours is for the wholesale trade only customers.

Here are a few of the many features:

  • 24/7/365 Online Ordering
  • Orders directly load to fulfillment servers for next day shipping.
  • Fast loading website with 50 servers located around the US.
  • Single page “Order Sheet” style fast ordering page.
  • One-Click “Add All” ordering feature.
  • Saved Wholesale address book for a quick bill to and ship to information.
  • Centrally stored credit card information on Wells Fargo site for remembered payment.
  • Product catalog showing all products by category in Features, Benefits, and Advantages format.
  • Useful blog articles built into the site.
  • Automatic discounting for volume purchases.
  • Automatic promotions when applicable.
  • Quick “Remember Me” login.
  • Face recognition & Touch-ID login for Apple devices.
  • The adaptive format lets you order from a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Trust Earns Trust

Know that Keys natural solutions are designed to solve problems and make your customers feel good. As Trusted Advisors to your community, you can trust Keys to help you and your customer. Keys products are natural functional medicine solutions with a long list of features, benefits, and advantages.

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Merz Apothecary, A Valued Keys Partner for 12 Years

Merz, 145 Years and Going Strong – Honest, Integrity, Innovation

There is no doubt that the natural market industry is in turmoil since Amazon bought Whole Foods. With all this change and dynamics, Merz Apothecary in Chicago has not missed a beat. Why, because they lead with their H.I.P.S. Honesty, Integrity, Persistence, and Sincerity.

Keys Partners with Merz for 12 Years.

Keys is celebrating our 12th anniversary with the world-class apothecary, Merz Apothecary in Chicago, Illinois. 145 years-old and going strong, we have had an excellent symbiotic relationship where their customers and our functional products have been the center of attention. Now with AmazonGo, Amazon’s Whole Foods, and the new suburban Amazon grocery stores emerging, we are excited to strengthen our partnership with Merz further. Put, if you perceive Amazon to be a vast coastal tidal wave, Merz is a world-class surfer.

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO offered, “For Keys and our products, we have always sought great partnerships with retailers who are trusted advisors. Keys is not a brand just offering a natural alternative to conventional products. Our products are a functional part of today’s wholistic wellness and integrated medicine scene. There is something to be said for a company that is 145 years old that is also an industry innovator. We are super-proud to be in their stores and as our partnership.”

To summarize our relationship with Merz, they have learned to differentiate themselves, and Keys products are a part of that differentiation. They mirror our philosophy that Keys products must solve problems and make people feel good.

Merz History is More than Interesting.

In 1875, Chicago pharmacist Peter Merz opened a small drugstore on the city’s North Side. Being of Swiss descent, Merz decided to call the store an “Apothecary” in the European tradition. Even from the beginning, Merz Apothecary set itself apart.

At that time, your neighborhood drugstore was not only a place to fill prescriptions but a source of information and remedies for common ailments. Pharmacists were consulted like family doctors, and they would hand mix formulas for each specific customer. However, Merz Apothecary differed from the typical American drugstore because the clientele were mostly European immigrants. Like European apothecaries, Merz focused heavily on herbal medicines and traditional formulas, which were already popular with its international customers.

Although Merz Apothecary was a humble store, it served as a gathering place for the community. Comfortable leather chairs allowed patrons to sit and chat as they waited for their remedies to be prepared. Merz and his pharmacists spoke many languages, allowing customers to shop and seek advice in their native tongues. The store’s reputation steadily spread, and the business continued to grow over the next 85 years. Heralded by several generations of the Merz family, the store retained its international focus and developed a devoted following among Europeans throughout the Midwest.

In the early 1960s, competition from large chain drugstores began driving independent pharmacies out of business. But Merz Apothecary’s loyal customer base and traditional herbal approach to health allowed it to thrive during this challenging period. Customers continued to seek out the advice of Merz’s experienced pharmacists and request their hand-mixed formulas.

Abdul & Anthony

Despite the success of the business, in 1972 Ralph Merz was ready to retire without a successor, and the store was about to close permanently. One month before the scheduled closing, a 26-year-old Indian-born pharmacist named Abdul Qaiyum walked into Merz Apothecary after hearing about it from his German in-laws. He immediately fell in love with the store. With its focus on natural remedies, Merz reminded him of his family’s business and the healing traditions in his homeland. He purchased it a few days later.

The Transformation

Over the next few years, independent pharmacies continued to vanish, yet Merz expanded dramatically, due in part to a booming mail-order business. In 1982, Abdul moved Merz to its current, larger location, only a few miles from the original store. The new store was custom-built to replicate a turn-of-the-century European apothecary, complete with a hand-carved wooden exterior, leaded glass windows, tin ceilings, and solid oak cabinets. The original antique pharmacy jars and herb containers now had a fitting home.

The shift in the location was matched by an essential change in their wellness approach. With the move, Abdul expanded the store’s inventory to include homeopathic medicines, supplements, and natural self-care products. Abdul nurtured a larger vision of health and wellness: to feel good mentally, physically, and emotionally. To meet those needs, he began offering natural personal care products from around the world. Promoting external and internal health, along with physical and emotional well-being, was unheard of at the time. Merz popularity grew enormously among Americans and international customers alike.

The Internet

Recognizing the opportunity to offer an expanded vision of health and personal care, Abdul and his son, Anthony, founded Smallflower.com in 1998. So many customers had trouble spelling “Apothecary” that the Qaiyums chose the name Smallflower (one of their best-selling herbs) for their website. They also began selling through Amazon in 2004, before most people had even heard of the online retailer!

As one of the first e-commerce sites and one of the first sellers on Amazon, Merz knew early that they had to stand out from the competition. Their goal was, and still is, to blend Old World traditions with new technology, without losing the vision and character that make Merz Apothecary special. Rightfully, they are quite proud of the path they’ve taken so far! When customers shop with them online, they can be confident they’re dealing with a staff that has intimate knowledge of the products and superior customer service skills.

E-commerce is a vital component of Merz business and an area that has experienced rapid growth in the last few years. They created a marketing department and customer service team to ensure that Smallfower continues to thrive. And rather than view Amazon as competition, they have partnered with them online to grow their business. They sell directly to customers and ship items to Amazon to be fulfilled. To keep up with demand, they have a dedicated FBA team and warehouse space.

The Expansion

Merz devoted customer base has grown not only online, but also at their brick-and-mortar stores. In 2003, the Qaiyums decided to open Merz Downtown to serve customers in Chicago’s Loop. Located in the historic Palmer House Hotel, the downtown location is frequented by working professionals, loop locals, and tourists from around the world.

Although the packed shelves are part of our original location’s charm, They reached a point where they were practically bursting at the seams! In 2014, they opened Q Brothers, a boutique space adjacent to their Lincoln Square store. Their new space allowed them to bring in an outstanding selection of men’s shaving and grooming products, expand their fine skincare lines, and offer a comprehensive assortment of natural cosmetics. The expansion also made room to create a fragrance counter with a carefully curated collection of hard-to-find, niche fragrances.

Q Brothers is a beautifully designed boutique space, but unlike some specialty stores, they work hard to maintain a comfortable and friendly atmosphere! We want to make sure the essence of Merz—the care, knowledge, and approachability—is imbued in everything we do.

The Present

These days, Merz Apothecary is a Chicago landmark (tour buses from around the Midwest make regular stops here) and a mecca for people who want unique and natural products. They send packages to customers around the world and are often featured in blogs, books, and magazines.

Even as they have increased in size, they have worked hard to continue being a true family-run, neighborhood business. Abdul scouts out fantastic new products to fill the shelves year-round, and assists at the pharmacy counter during the holidays. Anthony stays busy, ensuring all aspects of the business are running smoothly, but can still be spotted helping customers in the store.

All that they do is possible only through the help of an amazing team dedicated to carrying on the traditions Merz started back in 1875. The location and people have changed over the years, but Merz’s goal has remained the same: to support every customer’s well-being through genuinely superior service.

Keys are very proud and excited the Merz and Smallflower sell our entire line of products. We are pleased to call Merz our friends and partners.

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

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Winter Sunscreen – Keys Solar Rx Secrets

Winter is Time for Sunscreen

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Every skier around the world knows the importance of using sunscreens at high altitude. As the air thins, the UV radiation protection from the atmosphere declines exponentially. The same is true when it gets cold and dry at sea level. Worse, cold winds chap, dry, and redden the skin on your face neck and hands. Ironically, it can be as important to wear sunscreen in the winter as in the heat of summer. Reflected UV can double the dose of UV A aging rays while UV B burning rays can be more docile. Our face neck and hands can take a real beating in the winter months. Even places like the Southwest US, where it is warm, are also dryer in the winter. Make Sense?

FDA
Click To Visit Solar Rx Page

Solar Rx is a daily use sunscreen with higher than SPF 30 and is broad-spectrum squelching both UV A & UV B rays. Perhaps more important is that it is a skin repairing anti-aging moisturizer and uses uncoated zinc oxide that soothes and restores damaged skin.

Solar Rx Hidden Secrets

Solar Rx truly has hidden secrets, which alone make it a 365 daily multi-use product. So here is a look under the hood of Solar Rx.

  • Zinc Oxide is the active ingredient in Solar Rx blocking UV radiation. Solar Rx uses uncoated zinc oxide, so the element itself comes in full contact with the skin. Uncoated zinc oxide is an FDA over the counter remedy known for its skin repairing properties. By using uncoated zinc oxide, we are the only sunscreen moisturizer that aids the skin while blocking aging UV.
  • Avocado oil has a vast array of skin-repairing properties while also offering minor UV B protection. Google avocado oil properties, and you will be amazed.
  • Carrot seed oil reduces inflammation and puffiness while aiding skin hydration
  • Black Seed oil went back to ancient Egypt and was the primary ingredient used by Cleopatra as her beauty regimen. The vitamin E8 levels are astounding.
  • Ghana Raw Shea Butter has its own active skin nutrients. We use it as an incredible humectant. Shea butter provides a non-comedogenic seal trapping natural skin moisture reducing skin dehydration.
  • Aloe Vera polysaccharides make this natural ingredient famous. Using a blue agave freeze-dried leaf gel10X’s the polysaccharides, and its crystalline structure adds a luminosity to Solar Rx. Not quite a shimmer, Solar Rx is our Luminos moisturizer with SPF protection.
  • Clary Sage essential oil is also legendary for repairing damaged skin.

So, Solar Rx is much more than just a sunscreen. It is a daily repairing and anti-aging product that has notable and discernible results.

Wendy

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My Skin Cancer Anniversary – Lessons Learned

WISDOM FROM “UGLY DUCKLINGS” On My Skin Cancer Anniversary by Wendy Steele

Anniversary is a thing to celebrate and to remember. Sounds strange that I celebrate my Melanoma diagnosis and use this to remember my experiences. What I learned then and know now is that I am in charge of my health and well-being.  

My doctors have all earned a basic level of my trust. The keyword is basic! I never let down my guard and question everything I hear. I respect the doctors I have chosen, but I do not treat them like gods. I have way too many experiences where what they thought or said was just wrong.

I bristle when I hear people that blindly follow their doctors, especially when they assume the worst and use Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt tactics to get me to agree with a treatment. They all do it! It is how they survive in a corrupt and broken medical system. Below is an example of one of my experiences that led me to a terrible experience at the Mayo Clinic a few years ago. As a part of my Melanoma anniversary celebration, the story below is an essential reminder to me.

One Experience Among Many! – Part One!

My experience with several “ugly ducklings” has once again put a bright spotlight on my desire and responsibility to share my personal wisdom about skin health.

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

So far, I have had the pleasure to personally talk to and meet many of our customers during multiple special events. At one event, I was wearing several flesh-colored bandage strips on my upper chest and self-consciously made sure that I covered those strategically with clothing, as I did not want to reveal those ugly little bandages. I thought later that perhaps I would have been better off letting them show because then I could share more personally my own experiences with “ugly ducklings.” Knowledge is a powerful thing.

As the story goes, I visited my dermatologist for my overdue annual skin check. Because I am a Melanoma survivor, it means that I am, and always will be, a Melanoma patient. I live 365 days a year with the reality that I am a melanoma patient.

Before my appointment, I called ahead, and I alerted my doctor, “ I have several ugly ducklings that I wanted to have excised and checked.” 

So what are ugly ducklings? “Ugly ducklings” are a recognized medical research term being used by skin specialists to help people understand how to recognize and track early warning signs of skin cancer. The more you know about how to identify ugly ducklings, the more effective you may be at beating skin cancer through an early treatment!

On appointment day, the excellent news reality of my melanoma patient status is that I get much extra attention when I have my skin checked. In my case, my Doc and her specially trained RN assistant double-teamed me as they scanned my entire body- scalp to soles of my feet, hands fingers, and places where the sun never sees. I have lots of spots and freckles on my body. The fact is I could easily count more than 100 moles on my body. So many that five years ago my dermatologist decided that they should all photographed so that we could keep track of any changes in my moles! So with double team attention and prior photos in their hands, my body exam took about 15 minutes with two sets of trained eyes on me.

At the end of the exam, in addition to the two ugly ducklings, my Doc identified a third one. All of these were on my upper chest near the pectorals. All three were excised and sent for biopsy.

These moles were not truly ugly. They just looked different to me. Moreover, they looked different to my doctor. So this is the “ugly duckling” practice at work…prompting me to get checked by my dermatologist.  

So what exactly should you be looking for when you check your skin every month? Also, what early warning signs should you pay attention to always and act on immediately? Here’s what I do:

  • I pay attention to any mole that stands out – that is anything that I think looks darker, redder more round rather than oval. These are moles which my eye are automatically drawn to looking at. It is because it just looks different from the other moles that I have! The fact is I know these moles better than my doctor-mainly because I live with them and see them every day! Anything that stands out to me could be the first sign of an ugly duckling, an outlier that bears having checked for any change.
  • I also watch closely any moles where one half of the mole does not look like the other half, this is known as asymmetry
  • I pay attention to moles with blurred, ragged or notched edges – with irregular borders
  • Color changes in moles – from clear to red to brown to black or even blue – all are early warning signs
  • Anything larger than 6mm in diameter, i.e., the size of a pencil eraser bears watching more closely and getting checked
  • Every day we are aging and evolving, and any change or growth in the mole is an early warning sign.

Any of the above signs in new moles or growths or existing moles or growths should be checked immediately by a dermatologist. What I just described above is now known as the A, B, C, D, E‘s of melanoma skin cancer. They are all early warning signs to pay close attention to and pro-actively take action on with your doctor.

Another thing that I have learned is if a mole is itchy, crusty, or bleeds, you should immediately ask your doctor to remove it and order a biopsy. Do not let a doctor freeze or burn off these moles because you will not know if there were abnormal or cancerous cells in the tissue that are burned or frozen off. If you experience a regrowth of an area that was previously burned or frozen, immediately have a re-excision and order a biopsy to be sure it is cleared of any potential skin cancer.

So what was the result of my ugly duckling moles that were excised?

Two out of the three came back from pathology as abnormal! Not cancer, but unusual. Now, I am in the process of learning exactly what an abnormal pathology report looks like up close and personally in real-time. I am about to learn more about the wisdom from ugly ducklings and what my next steps will be. I want to share this experience so that others will not be fearful but instead may learn from my experience.

What came next was initially alarming and later another big lesson why you cannot always trust your doctor. What started as fear turned to anger and a lot of time and expense.   

 

 

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Ugly Ducklings Moles – Part Two – A Revelation

My Ugly Ducklings Skin Cancer Story by Wendy Steele

In part one of my Ugly Ducklings story, I explained the process and reasons I went through having three moles , aka Ugly Ducklings, biopsied and tested. My story turned from being alarmed at the doctor’s findings to anger when I realized that there was a coverup of a sloppy lab process. I was lead to believe I had potentially cancerous growths that needed retesting only to find out the lab messed up the test. Not atypical, but typical!

You are Responsible for Your Health!

I chose the title “You Are Responsible for Your Health” because I have been saying it for years, and I learned firsthand how true this statement is after my experiences over the last two weeks. It does not cut it when people say to me that life is so fast-paced that people make mistakes. This excuse does not fly when it comes to my health. 

To put everything into perspective, I received my biopsy results that showed two of the ugly duckling moles removed were “atypical.” What then happened was weird behavior from my dermatologist. Not at all what I expected!

Almost everyone lives somewhere and develops doctors and services in their community that they frequent. Not Me!

I travel for Keys visiting our customers and resellers 200+ days a year. I often do not have the luxury of getting things done in the same place by the same people. I have trusted professionals all over North America that I rely on for haircuts to healthcare.

A while back, and because of my extensive travel, I joined a Doctor Concierge service offered by my primary physician. I would say he is also one of the more advanced thinking doctors I have met. He is a teaching doctor at Johns Hopkins, and I pay him for a comprehensive annual physical that is wellness-based. Then, as a part of the concierge service, I receive email, phone, and referral help from him while I am on the road. Pretty neat and little did I know I would rely on it when my dermatologist was not able to help me.

Here is the deal in a nutshell. I received the news that my two moles were not cancer, but “atypical.” I thought to myself, what exactly does that mean? I called my dermatologist, and her nurse assistant explained that they wanted to take a more extensive biopsy area and a layer deeper of skin to be sure that they had “clear margins.” As a Melanoma survivor, I want to make sure that any “questionable” area be excised to make sure nothing undesirable is left. I have had numerous Mohs surgeries.

What happened next was minimally very disappointing. I told my dermatologists office that I was traveling and asked if they could give me a referral to the Mayo Clinic. The silence on the other end of the phone indicated they did not know how to do this. So, I began my strange journey to get to Rochester, Minnesota.

Since my dermatologist was not able to help, I thought, “my concierge service”! I called my primary physician, and he called back in just a few minutes. When I answered the call, he said, “Hi Wendy, this is Steve Katz returning your call”….he said, “Steve” not “Doctor Katz”! I was relieved and immediately began to feel better. 

I explained my situation, and he asked me where I was going to be over the next few weeks. I said, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. He said, “I will get to work and get back to you.” I hung up and told Bob, “Steve is on the case”!

To my surprise within 10 minutes, I received a call from the Mayo Clinic referral service in Rochester, Minnesota. Steve gave them my information, situation, and timing. He signed me up as a patient and explained that I am a Melanoma patient. A few calls later, literally minutes, and I had an appointment with one of Mayo’s wunderkind Mohs surgeon dermatologists.

What happened next unsettled me tremendously.

Ugly Ducklings
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Kelly called me from Mayo Dermatology and told me that I needed to have my dermatologist officially refer me and send my patient records as well as the atypical dermatology report to them. I called and luckily was able to talk to my primary dermatology assistant who agreed to call Mayo immediately. She did, and all was set except for one shockingly simple problem.

Kelly called me back from Mayo and told me that I had an appointment on the following Thursday with a specialist in Mayo Dermatology. Then there was a pause and a bit of silence. Kelly then said that the doctor might not be able to do the additional excision that day because when they asked for the pathology slides from my regular dermatologist, they responded to Mayo that “We do not have them, and no one has ever asked for pathology slides before.” To me, that seemed a normal thing for a Melanoma patient to have their dermatologist keep these. It sounded to me that Kelly at Mayo was shocked at this response from my primary dermatologist’s office, mainly because Kelly repeated that she found this to be “very surprising” no less than 3 times during our conversation. Uh Oh!

Does it not seem strange to you that a doctor, a pathology lab would not keep the slides from the biopsy or images at least from an atypical diagnosis for a Melanoma patient? So, I am going to find out what the heck is going on. I realize the institutional assumption is that I would have to return to the same doc for more work? 

I am taking charge of my health. NEVER ASSUME.

I also hate that phrase on TV…you know the one in the pharmaceutical commercials. “Ask your doctor!” I believe the phrase should be “Tell Your Doctor!”

Ugly Ducklings Part 3 gets even weirder!

 

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Ugly Ducklings Moles – Part Three – Hold The Mayo

MayoIn the first two parts of my story, I was diagnosed with two atypical biopsies, discovered that the diagnosis was a coverup for a botched lab test and prepared myself for a visit to the revered hallowed halls of the Mayo Clinic. Surely Mayo would be a much better experience. Right?  It can’t get any worse or can it?

Hold the Mayo!

Bob and I arrived in Rochester, Minnesota, yesterday late. It was a long drive from South Central Michigan. We pushed through to make it a one-day trip so that we could relax a bit before my appointment at the Mayo Clinic.

I am not one to ever do things on blind faith. I operate much better when I have a chance to ask my questions, consider the responses, ask some more questions, and then fix on a plan of action.

So, since I was traveling and on my way to Minneapolis, when I received the pathology report, it made sense to secure a referral from my primary dermatologist, so that I could visit the Mayo Clinic Department of Dermatology. 

My primary physician who also helped me with the Mayo referral said my assessment should also determine “were the doctors at Mayo smart enough for me.” I honestly believe it was a little uptown rivalry between Mayo and Johns Hopkins that sparked the comment.

mayoI was surprised to find that so many friends when they learned I was going to Mayo, responded with some apprehension about my visit. It was like they thought it is a oneway door. My attitude about this visit was based on my approaching it from a wellness perspective. Admittedly, most of my hospital, clinic, and doctor experience do not understand visits for wellness. What’s wrong is usually the first words. For some unknown reason, I thought Mayo would be different. Surely they must understand wellness!

I was not sick, I was happy to know that the ugly duckling moles removed were not cancerous…no Melanoma, no basal cell carcinoma and no squamous cell, just atypical. No, I did not know if there was anything to worry about because the labs were botched. I thought Mayo would use state-of-the-art technology to give me a clean review. By now, the biopsies had healed, and I could not even tell where they were.

So from a wellness perspective, I admit that I am a Melanoma survivor who does not quite understand what “atypical” actually means. When I look at my body, many moles look “atypical.” So, my important questions for the doctors at Mayo Clinic: What is my normal? What advanced medical scanning process or techniques can we use to determine how to address my “a-typicalness” given the high number of moles on my body and considering my history of Melanoma and basal cell carcinoma?

My nature is also to be deeply curious, especially when it comes to my body. I am ultimately responsible for how I take care of myself and my skin health. I was interested to learn as much as possible about new advancements and technologies being used for skin screening.

Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz) would have been proud of me. Being a good patient, I wrote my list of questions and was excited at the prospect of learning more! I anticipated that perhaps I could participate in a more advanced screening process that I hoped that Mayo was using for skin cancer screening. At the same time, I brought along my medical pictures that were taken of my body. I laughed at the thought that (back then) digital cameras were not being used by dermatologists and how arcane these 35 mm photos now seemed in light of the advancements in photo-technology.

Arriving at Mayo seemed very much like coming to a hotel. The covered car entrances had what looked like helpful bellmen, and someone was announcing over a public address system the arrival of this shuttle or that shuttle. It was highly orchestrated and appeared as though it was a well-designed movie set. Once inside the slow-moving revolving doors, my first thought was, I was back in New York at Pfizer corporate HDQ’s building. The eye was drawn to the highly polished marble looking floors and expansive, glass, artwork and artistic chandeliers. When I heard the music coming from grand pianos, I immediately thought of Nordstrom or a big cruise ship. I also thought fleetingly of the Titanic, and wondered if that’s what James Cameron would have said with some attitude while walking in the door? There was no feeling that I was in a medical institution until I saw people in wheelchairs and noticed a sort of uniform look to the staff members. There was a curious absence of white coats.

Mayo is very efficient at moving people through to their appointed time. They take pride in this. The deck of new patient paperwork was a bit daunting. As a first time visitor, it took me about 30 minutes to complete the deck. I realized as I was reading each question and checking off “no’s” and “none,” that the overwhelming assumption is that there is something wrong with you. Otherwise, why would you be there? Leaving the expansive waiting area, I was escorted down the very long corridor by a tall woman in a suit. There were rows and rows of examining rooms behind closed doors. When escorted into the examining room, I was surprised. The room reminded me of coming into a perfectly set hotel room, but with no windows, with a long couch, separate changing room, and an examining table that had a folded card on it saying that it had been sanitized and disinfected with something in a bottle from 3M. (After a day to reflect on this I now realize there were lots of subliminal messages swirling in my head around these visual images.)

The friendly and efficient nurse was welcoming and asked me to get changed into a gown. She gave me a heads up that two doctors would be seeing me today. While waiting for the doctors, the nurse confirmed some pertinent background information: my Melanoma surgery, my basal cell carcinoma surgery, and all the biopsies. She had the most recent pathology report from regarding 2 ugly duckling moles that were excised that came back with the moderately atypical notation. I asked the nurse if they received my pathology slides, as I was told the day before on the phone, that these slides were being FedEx’d in from the lab in Maryland. The nurse said she did not see any record of them and said she would check for them. Damned, they did not send them!

A charming resident doctor then greeted me. She let me know that she would do a thorough visual body screening check for me first. Great! This time gave me a chance to let her know of my primary questions:

Mayo
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO at Mayo

I mentioned that with the high number of moles on my body and with many of them looking more atypical than normal I was hoping to learn more about how I could determine “what is my normal.” I let her know that I was very interested in learning more about what point of care diagnostics Mayo is offering to skin cancer patients like me?

Was Mayo using the Dermatascope? Yes, in some cases for some moles, but not for the entire body. What? Why?

What about cellular scanning? No, not yet. What? Why?

What about body scanners? No, not yet. What? Why? Are you serious?

What about passive thermography? Nope. Uh oh…oh no, I was in shock. 

She said that there were things in the works but not available.

When she asked if I had any other questions, I asked about my pathology slides and wondered if anyone had received them or looked at them? She said she would check. She also wanted to know how long I planned to be in Rochester and I let her know that I was going to Minneapolis next week for business.  

The resident then announced “my consultant” would be coming in shortly. “Consultant?” The card I was given showed he was Dermatology Surgeon. I guess I was expecting a white coat because I was surprised when he walked in an Armani suit. Wait a minute a suit? 

What about my pathology slides? Is Mayo now a part of my dermatologist’s coverup?

My antenna was up, was this a business or a medical facility? I was about to learn that if you are looking for advanced thinking that you probably should not go to an institution touting its past. To me, trying to look for the most advanced thinkers conjures up research facilities and universities with wild-haired young passionate and inquisitive looking characters like you would see at Berkeley or Stanford. 

Determined more than ever now, not to give up, I asked the same set of questions to my “consultant”, to see if he had any further insight. He let me know that there was much they were still learning about Melanoma and that there were many facets to making a diagnosis and that it still relied on identifying the ugly ducklings, then cutting, biopsying and prescribing treatment. He let me know that he did not believe that there would be a time when technology or machines could do better than the human eye and human brain for detecting Melanoma. And that at this time, the best practice was still visually inspecting the body regularly and to have photos taken so that a visual comparison could be made manually by looking at the pictures and comparing them to the visual inspection, real-time of the body. 

I let him know that I was in shock, as I am such a fan of technology and found it hard to believe that current technology would not have some positive impact on people like me. The fact that German scientists are experimenting with skin cancer detection devices based on the iPhone tells me that this is not as much rocket science as the people at Mayo would want me to believe.

How about could we at least start with a more sophisticated way of taking full-body pictures that would accurately show a comparison of changes in moles over time and recognize the fact is that this is not advanced thinking? It is 20-year-old optical comparator technology used in everyday manufacturing.

Finally, my consultant recommended that “given my history and as a precaution,” he would perform another procedure to excise both of the atypical areas on my chest surgically. He described the size of the incisions and said that while one area would be easy to hide the scar, the other would not be so easy. He described the size of the scar and the fact that it would probably pucker a little as it was in a hard area to heal. He asked, “How does that sound?” I felt my face get hot and flushed. I was searching for the right words. What I blurted out: “Honestly, that sounds terrible! It sounds barbaric to me that you are recommending more cutting even though this is not cancerous. Moreover, if I were to do this, I would not even consider doing this without a plastic surgeon!” 

Okay, it was a straight throw down! I realized that I was firmly in control of my body and that I was not ready to check into this hotel. It was at this very moment that I thought, his path was only crossing mine and that we were in two very different worlds.

It became apparent to me that I am off to Stanford or Berkeley or where ever this may take me. In one sense, I am relieved, and in another, I am very disappointed. I realize again never to assume. It taught me a lesson to seek out people and organizations that are on a constant quest to improve and learn, and that do not rest on their reputation alone.

Back to the original test results? My results were not atypical. The test was botched, and they did not want to admit it. These “doctors” put me through a very scary and expensive ringer. As a Melanoma survivor, I have no insurance for this and mine is a vote of no-confidence!

Maybe my experience was a comedy of errors that just seemed to fall in place one after the other.  This was a chronical of my experiences as I saw them.  My message is to be on guard at all times when it comes to your health and wellness.  Please take off the doctor goggles.

You have to be your own judge of your doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Blindly following the system can be harmful to your health.  

Time to Get Wise!

 

Mayo

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Why Keys? Our Retailer’s View

Become A Keys Reseller from a Resellers Point-of-View

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Often the question we get from prospective resellers is, “Why should I become a Keys Reseller?” We decided that it might be best to check in with some of our current Apothecaries, Pharmacies, Coops, and Natural Markets. So, we reached out in a survey format, and here is what came back. Many resellers responded with Merz Apothecary, Santa Monica Homeopathic, People RX in Austin, Mothers Market, Erewhon, W3ll People, Dorothy Lane Market & Healthfood Unlimited offers:

  • Natural products that work.  “Every product was designed around a skin condition or problem.” They do what they say they do.”
  • Whole natural ingredients. “Ingredients are never estered or processed. Each component has a historical functional use and matches synergies with other elements.”
  • Custom Extracts.  “I love the fact that they make their own extracts. They are custom designed by Keys and made in their factory labs.”
  • Ancient remedies using modern technology.  “They have reached back into aboriginal and ayurvedic medicine to find remedies. They then use new technology to make them easier and safer.”
  • Not sold through distribution.  “I love that Keys has a direct connection with us. Distributors are good for commodity items, but when people need answers about why a product works, I can text my Rep, and someone in technology from Keys gets back to me with answers.”
  • Not in Big Box Stores.  “Keys focuses on the local retailers that are trusted in their communities. They do not sell to Kroger, Walmart or other chains that are merely pushing products through their checkout lanes.”
  • Feature, Benefit, and Advantage based products. “Every product does something where end users can see, hear, and feel the differences. It is not the fragrance of the week club, and Keys provides the technical expertise where customers want to buy and try.”
  • Functional Products.  “Every Keys product does something where customers can expect noticeable results.”
  • Natural Integrated Epinegenic Results.  “I work in our Coop, and I am an eastern medicine practitioner. I understand the need for products to interact with the lifestyle of people.”
  • Skincare, Ayurvedic Therapies, Anti-Aging, and Integrated Petcare.  “We carry the full line of Keys products and appreciate that they have responded with products that fit our customers like a glove. Keys understands that beauty and anti-aging is different from someone with a rash or eczema. Their dog care products are equally functional with both topicals and supplements that fit the heartbeat of the market needs.”
  • Good margin per square inch. “My Keys rep said to me that Keys product had more cash profit return to my bottom line than other HABA products. So I measured the footprint on my shelves and looked at the hard cash profit per item. I was amazed that it was almost 2X any other product on my shelves.”
  • Returning buyers.  “We order Keys products like clockwork because when people try Keys, they come back again and again. We took the time to promote Keys functions and features to customers, and when they bought, they come back to buy more and try more of the Keys products. The products sell themselves”
  • Industry leaders.  “There is a lot of noise in the natural products industry — some fake and some very biased. Keys has been around for over 15 years and part of many movements like the EWG Skin Deep and SafeCosmetics. Unlike many, they tell their truths and back it up with data. No opinions, and only the facts are refreshing.”
  • Thought leaders – Chemical-Free Skin Health®.  “I am a pharmacist and owner of an apothecary. The Keys founders actually visited us to do training. I challenged, Bob, as the author of Chemical-Free Skin Health. We went at it on various subjects for a couple of hours. He learned something about my business, and I learned that he knows what he is talking about.”
  • Bob Root Conducting a Seminar at Dorothy Lane Market

    Authors & Industry Speakers- Advocates.   “Bob & Wendy, Keys Founders, have been in my stores many times delivering speeches and messages to my customers. It is always on point, current and, more appreciated, is that the talks are never sales pitches. They care about helping my customers.”

  • No Minimums.  I buy a lot of Keys products, but a handful of line items. We probably carry 15% of their product line. Often, a customer of mine that buys a Keys product or two will ask me if I can order a specific Keys product that I do not carry regularly. Keys will let me order one of something, and it does not have to be combined with my regular order making the customer wait. I can text in my request for one of something, and it arrives in a few days at the regular wholesale price.”
  • No Big Sales Pitch.  I get tired of salespeople coming in with the deal of the week loading me up with products that everyone else sells. I do not want to compete with Walmart in the first place. Keys reps talk about features, benefits, and why my customers will appreciate a product. Very refreshing to speak to a rep that knows what their product does.”
  • Demo’s and Marketing. (Suspended because of C-19) “I allow demos in my stores because customers love to try products, and I think demos are the best way to do that. Keys demos are by knowledgable people. They arrive on time and stay until they are finished. This alone is refreshing to see someone that is alive.”
  • Keys Expo West Booth

    Sample Sachets.  “I love that Keys provides small sample sachets of most of their products free to me to hand out. Our state and liability insurance have pretty much-killed testers on our shelves, and frankly, they are difficult to manage. Keys provide us 5ml foil packs with live samples of their products. Hand them to a customer, and they come back.”

  • Positive Attitude.  “I just like these people. They support me, listen to me, act when I need help, and truly understand me. That alone makes them fun to deal with and professional.”
  • Online Ordering.  “Keys has both online and assisted ordering.  You can but through the website when approved or email/fax in your orders 24/7.”

 

At Keys, we let our customers and our products speak for themselves. Thanks to all that participated. We could not say it better ourselves. 😀

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You Can Reverse Skin Damage and Visible Aging

Can my skin recover after years of damage? Yes.

Wendy Steele
Keys CEO

I recently had a 60-year-old woman ask me if there is a way to reverse the damage she had done to her skin over the years. She elaborated that she had tanned too much in her teens, lives in a desert environment, smoked, and spent her business years flying and scurrying around airports. Looking at my skin, she commented that she’s never looked that good. It was a nice compliment, I replied that it was many years of work and staying out of the sun, but you can improve reasonably quickly.

Here is How.

Our skin is our largest organ, but we tend to treat it the same as a jumpsuit that we step in and out of. It is far from that, and it responds or reacts to how we treat it. Beat it up, and it looks beat up. Treat it nicely, and it will look beautiful.

Our skin will respond to various regimen changes and will react rapidly to significant changes. The prime reason it will do that is called the ‘Collagen Factor.’ Our collagen, overly simplified, are little helicoid springs. Keep then pointed in the right direction, and they are tight and resilient. Let them hang sideways, and they sag. I hate the word “Sag.”

It is Reversible

  • Hydration
  • Sun protection
  • Diet
  • Skincare

Continue reading You Can Reverse Skin Damage and Visible Aging

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Try This Simple Skin Test – Search for the Causes

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Have you ever had a rash on a part of your skin? Maybe it is all over. Have you wondered what the cause is for the outbreak? Did you try to fix it by smearing on lotion, or did you look for the cause?

The tendency is for us to call the Doc or visit the dermatologist looking for a fix or a prescription, rather than trying to think about that the symptoms are from a reaction to something new in your environment.  If you have searched for the cause, you might have wondered if my rash is something I was exposed to or is it something internal.

The Bandaid Skin Disorder Test

There is a simple trick that might help you that our customer service team uses with customers. They suggest to customers that they can use a Hydro-Seal large area bandage to cover a part of the rash. These are those waterproof sealing bandages often used for areas like elbows. Meaning they are pretty big. They suggest leaving it on for a week and then removing it. It is not 100%, but if the rash has reduced or gone away, it is a pretty good bet that the cause is external.

Spoiler Alert: It is usually about 95% external causes, but if you are skeptical that chemicals in your environment can cause skin disorders, this is pretty good proof.

Continue reading Try This Simple Skin Test – Search for the Causes

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Keys Overview – Our Elevator Speech

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO & Founder

Business people have a thing they call an elevator speech. It is a short description of a business delivered on a short elevator ride that tells someone what your company does and its purpose.

Recently I was, you guessed it, on an elevator and someone asked me what Keys does. Here is what I said:

“Keys 15 Years of natural product development are easy to understand. They are whole natural ingredient products designed to perform by using a deep understanding of the skin. Products use the highest quality ingredients from around the world in therapeutic proportions. They do what they say they do without chemicals. Products include Anti-Aging Skincare, Naturopathic Skin Therapies, Haircare, Alternative Naturals, Personal Lubricants, Dog Topicals & Functional Supplements.”

So there you have it! Keys Elevator Speech!

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May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Melanoma Can Strike Anyone

The list is long. Dianne Keaton, Melanie Griffith, Hugh Jackman, and Anderson Cooper are all now advocates of skin cancer protection.

There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is a prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer.

Although melanoma represents 5 percent of the skin cancer cases diagnosed in the United States each year, it results in the most deaths. According to estimates made from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 96,480 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and nearly 7,230 people will die of the disease in 2019.

Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

So, May is Melanoma awareness month, and we have a couple of suggestions.
1) If you know someone who has had skin cancer, give them a call to see how they are doing.
2) Check yourself for moles that are larger than the eraser of a pencil
3) If a mole itches, get it checked
4) Stay out of the sun from 10am-2pm
5) Cover up with SPF/UPF rated clothing

You are responsible or yourself, especially when it comes to skin cancer. Always insist on a biopsy of any abnormality. If your doctor is not willing to or says they can tell with their eyes, it is time to find a new doctor.

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Keys Personal Lubricant Rumors – TMZ

PurPlay – The Rumors are True

Prototypes Are Out There

PurPlay Early Prototype Bottle and Box

A few years ago Keys engineers started working on a line of personal lubricants because we had so many requests for a better and natural product.   Although many people use Tortuga lotion as a personal lubricant, (Read Story) it was not ideal because it is a water based lotion.  So, we set out to invent something great and not a copycat product.  PurPlay was born out of industry research and talking to many women about what they were looking for in a personal lubricant.  To our surprise, it was a lot bigger project than we thought.

PurPlay Has To Be Innovative

Turns out that women wanted more than a same old water or silicone based lubricant. Women want the natural wellness and health features known from Keys and they wanted something more.  They want a product and that is a stimulant without menthol or burning sensations.  Women also wanted a different product that would help them relax and calm down to better enjoy the experience.  They did not want a product that numbs or desensitizes.  A very tall set of features.

In theory, the base lubricant was easy using some technology we developed for our Reflex product.  As we solicited early product testers, we found that there were a number of problems to address.  Some physical, some emotional and some about the ways to use the product.

PurPlay Not Just Another Lube

Seems as though personal lubricant makers never used their own products. Maybe they do not care that a product feels cold, stings, burns or totally collapses the libido.  PurPlay testers pointed out some things that should be solved that had noting to do with our product.  It was an industry issue where lubricant makers did not understand these problems or tried to solve them the wrong way.  At Keys, we have always built every product to make people feel good and solve their problems.  PurPlay started as a single product simple lubricant that tester pointed out that there should be three products with different features and functions.

Over the five years, we identified that there are indeed three distinct products that needed to be developed.  In the early Fall of 2017, we began testing.   Well, we guess it leaked out and we started to get more volunteers to test the products.  Then we started to get request from bloggers, social media types and conventional press.   We needed to accelerate our development.

So, if you have heard a rumor that Keys was developing a line of purpose designed personal lubricants, the rumors are true and we are close to releasing these new products in the early second quarter of 2018.

Stay Tuned for more.

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Living Strong In A Hostile World – The Realities of Skin Cancer

My 20 Year Journey to Feel Safer in a Hostile Environment

Hostile
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO & Founder

Twenty years ago I learned everything I could about how to protect my skin from ultra-violet radiation. Because I am a Melanoma skin cancer survivor UV awareness is critically important to me. Thus, my mission was to discover how to feel safer in a hostile daily environment.

The sun’s rays are a formidable foe. For millions of high-risk and sun sensitive people the sun is public enemy #1.

Moreover, many years ago, my early stage Melanoma diagnosis served as a fork in the road. With education, I consciously changed all of my thinking about sun exposure. First, the California tan faded. I stayed the course, even when many others were skeptical and even opposed my thinking.

Sometimes I Just Get Angry

Reflecting now on this 20-year journey, I realize I was ribbed and sometimes even ridiculed by others. Many proclaimed that I must have daily sun exposure for healthy Vitamin D levels.   And others lived by the ‘ignorance is bliss’ rule.

This was not an option for me. Based on my skin type and history, those behaviors were risky for me. Instead, I chose to supplement with a daily Vitamin D emulsion. In addition, I have my Vitamin D levels tested regularly.

Consequently, I redefined what I was willing to do to protect my skin and my life! Then I discovered my personal truth that ultimately made me feel safer.

You Have a Choice

hostile
Staying away from UV is the “trick” to Anti-Aging

I learned to change my habits. I shifted outdoor exercise to early morning or late in the day. I limited the amount of time I spent outside when the sun was at the highest UV index levels. Most importantly, I learned to keep my skin covered by wearing protective clothing. I researched and found the widest-brimmed hats with chin strings. I found the most comfortable fingerless gloves for driving and dog walking. I bought the best protective sunglasses I could find. And I applied zinc oxide to my face and neck.

Ultimately, I learned how to demonstrate daily what many should consciously practice. I have been told that I am a walking billboard for high-risk sun sensitive people. Therefore, I am not afraid to talk to people about why I do this.

Nevertheless, I know I am not super woman. I obviously cannot control the power of the sun. At the same time, the science of UV radiation is proven.   The danger is ever-present. Also, I know all too well how easily UVA penetrates through clouds and even rain. UVA-UV Aging and UVB –UV Burning is part of my vocabulary.

I Am Done With Opinions

Simultaneously, I learned that there are hostile people who strongly opposed the use of sunscreen. This hostile group believes that sunscreen use is the cause of more instances of skin cancer. Moreover, I believe I understand why they may believe this. Because I also believe that applying ‘sunscreen’ may give people a false sense of security. However, I also believe that ‘sunscreen’ is just one small part of the protection equation. It is not the ‘end all be all’ answer to UV protection.

hostileFinally the FDA agrees! Yes, the FDA has validated that in the US we live in a hostile UV environment. All sunscreen products now require the disclosure of UVA and UVB protection. The directive on all labels must be clearly stated.   Exposure to sun should be limited. AND to avoid skin cancer, sunscreen is to be COMBINED WITH shade and other protective measures i.e. clothing, hats and sunglasses.  The hostile ignore the data.

Saving Lives

hostileKeys developed Solar Rx over 15 years ago.   We pioneered Solar Rx as the best Moisturizer with Sunscreen. Solar Rx is for daily use on the face, neck and hands. At Keys we continue to educate about sun awareness. Also, we educate customers that our product is not for the beach or pool or for prolonged outside exercise activity.

It is self-evident that continued exposure to radiation from the sun is dangerous. Unfortunately, many have an acquaintance, a friend or a loved one who has been affected by Melanoma skin cancer. Early onset of skin cancer has been attributed to using tanning beds as teens. We read press stories about young adults whose melanoma diagnosis came too late to save their lives.

Moreover, personal experiences now serve as reminder of the horror stories of skin cancer surgery. Dermatology scars are the new normal while many are hidden as badges of stupidity.

As a result of my personal experience with Melanoma, I know so much more than I did 20 years ago. I believe adopting pro-active behaviors allow me to embrace a healthy and safe life. And even in the face of hostile adversity I am grateful and give thanks to everyday I can be outside and feel a little bit safer.

Most importantly, it is my hope that many more realize that knowing better can help you make better choices. With education you can also make better choices for yourself as well as your loved ones and help to save another life.

In closing, education, prevention and early detection are the gold standard to stamp out skin cancer.  Listening to the opinions of the hostile minority could kill you!

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Wendy’s Daily Keys Anti-Aging Regimen

Wendy’s Regimen – Easy Steps for Simplifying Your Daily Skin Care Routine

Wendy's Regimen
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO & Founder

You don’t have to be expert with an overflowing cabinet of miracle products to take good daily care of your skin. More specifically, when caring for your face it is much more desirable to keep it simple. Besides that you are more likely to be consistent with your facial care if you follow a few easy steps.

Consistency is the key to looking and feeling healthy and refreshed! For the past 5 years I continue to use this basic routine on my sensitive face with great results.

Here is what you will need for this step-by-step daily morning routine: Wendy’s Regimen

  • Island Rx Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • OMNI Skin Elixir Spray
  • Reflex ProBiome Anti-Aging Serum
  • Solar Rx Moisturizer SPF30+

Start with a clean face.   Wet your face and use 1-2 pumps of Island Rx Foaming Facial Cleanser.   Apply foam to wet skin. Using fingers, massage foam over face. Rinse thoroughly and lightly pat dry. Island Rx Foaming Facial Cleanser provides a deep and very gentle cleansing.

Follow with a light spritz (2-3 sprays) of OMNI Skin Elixir Spray. The multi-faceted botanical skin elixir is an herbal remedy. It is designed to refresh and soothe the skin.

While skin is still damp from spray, apply 3-5 drops of Reflex ProBiome Anti-Aging Serum. My sensitive facial skin sometimes requires more or less Reflex. Your skin type may vary. It also depends on the amount of dryness or humidity in your environment. Allow Reflex Serum to settle on your face and neck until absorbed. The combination of OMNI and Reflex Serum do a great job of soothing my skin while giving it a refreshed dewy look.

Finally, apply 1-3 pumps of Solar Rx Moisturizer SPF 30+ all over face and neck. I like that Reflex Serum provides a very smooth base for Solar Rx as my pre-makeup primer.

Besides the simplicity of these steps, using these products together reduces the redness in my skin. All provide a smooth clear foundation to start the day.

If you are going to apply make-up, it should be applied after Solar Rx Moisturizer SPF 30+

Wendy’s Regimen Recipe (Print or Save)

Wendy’s Daily Keys Anti-Aging Regimen
Recipe Type: Daytime Daily Anti-Aging Regimen
Author: Wendy Steele, Keys CEO
Prep time:
Total time:
This has been my daily recipe for youthful skin for the last five years.
Ingredients
  • Water
  • Keys Island Rx Foaming Face Wash
  • Keys Omni Skin Elixir Spray
  • Keys Reflex ProBiome
  • Keys Solar Rx Moisturizer SPF30+
Instructions
  1. Wet your face
  2. Apply 1 or 2 pumps of Island Rx Foaming Wash
  3. Lather in hands
  4. Wash face using fingers in a circular motion
  5. Rinse with cool water
  6. Pat dry
  7. Spray Omni evenly over the face and neck with eyes closed. Air dry
  8. Apply 3 or 5 drops of Reflex and spread evenly over the skin. More in dry areas. Let set to absorb
  9. Apply 2 or 3 pumps of Solar Rx over the entire face and neck (more as needed) evenly. Let stand.
  10. Apply makeup on top noting that many people do not use foundation because Solar Rx provides a luminescent finish

Buy all four products and get 10% off your entire order by using the code WENDY (case sensitive) at checkout!  Offer expires June 30, 2017

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Galleyon Soap – A Multi-Use Wonder

Wendy Steele – Keys CEO
Click To Learn More!

I have super sensitive skin. I am also a germaphobe. For that reason, I pay attention to everything that touches my skin. After all, this is the season when bugs and viruses seem to peak. Without a doubt, Galleyon Foaming Soap is my go-to product. It is naturally anti-bacterial and not a bactericide. Spearmint essential oils are effective cleansers. Therefore, it is not destroying the healthy microbiome on my skin. As a result, I use it not only for my hands, for my face as an extra cleanser and for sure on those things that ultimately touch my face.

All year round I pay particular attention to my facial skin. When I wear a cosmetic foundation, my clean fingers can be great applicators. Frequently, my favorite applicators for a sheer natural finish are my beauty sponge and make-up brushes. To that end, what you use and how you clean it does matter. Therefore, I use super clean cosmetic brushes and complexion sponges.

To be sure, I always use Galleyon Foaming Soap to clean my makeup brushes, sponges and tools. Galleyon is an all natural antibacterial spearmint soap that quickly and safely cleans my brushes and sponges.

To clean cosmetic brushes, first wet the brush in warm water. Then apply Galleyon foam cleanser to the palm of your hand. Follow by gently swishing the brush in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Afterward, blot to remove excess water. Use a clean washcloth or hand towel for this process. Gently press out water and take care to retain the original shape of the brush. Finally, allow it to air-dry naturally. Place the brush on a clean surface, like a countertop, with the brush tip hanging over the edge. This technique assures that the brush tip will maintain its shape during the drying time.

To clean cosmetic sponges, first wet the sponge in warm water. This time apply Galleyon foam cleanser directly to the sponge and squeeze cleanser throughout for about 30 seconds. Rinse in warm water while squeezing until water appears clear. For faster drying, press into a clean washcloth to remove excess water. Let air dry.

In conclusion, Galleyon has a rich spearmint lather that makes cleaning simple and pure. With natural conditioning oils, it does not dry out my brushes or damage my sponges. I also love that it rinses fast and leaves a refreshing scent!

Best of all no perfumes, toxins or bactericides that irritate my sensitive facial skin.

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Love! The most powerful ingredient in Keys products

The most powerful ingredient in Keys products is Love!

Keys products were born at the intersection of love and positive intention! I believe every product should be made with love and include the power of positive intention.

One of the best parts of my job as Keys CEO is to retell my story. It is a story of how and why this journey of creating clean, simple all natural skin care products actually began.

LoveFirst, Keys is entirely my fault! Our products would not exist today were it not for my journey battling early stage Melanoma Skin Cancer and the pharmaceutical aftermath of treating my sensitive skin issues during my post cancer recovery.

I still feel I am one of the luckiest women on the planet. A very special man in my life, my then boyfriend, found the early stage Melanoma on the outside of my left ankle. Being tall with really long legs, I had a tough time actually seeing this particular spot on my lower leg. In fact I had no clue what it looked like until he held a mirror up to my skin and pointed to the suspicious spot. The spot was not a mole. Instead it looked like a piece of hot wax had dripped on my skin. This thing was clear, almost translucent, slightly raised and the size of the tip of my little finger. Now is was on our radar and we both vowed to regularly and visually check it for any changes.

A Defining Moment

About a month later that the waxy spot turned bright red! Time for a biopsy.  My doctor at Scripps Clinic in San Diego called with the biopsy results confirming Melanoma skin cancer. Cleared my calendar and reported for surgery two days later. Wow, so many thoughts flashed through my mind. Initially, it was an immediate reminder that my dad had successfully battled deadly Melanoma.

He Saved My Life!

LoveThe day after my Mohs micro-surgery, I made the most fateful decision of my life. I decided to marry this very special man because he saved my life!  ?

Amazingly, from day one KEYS products exist because real people designed them with a positive intention for skin health. Designed and produced naturally with love for real people to use and maybe just fall in love with over and over again.

Finally, this is dedicated with love to our formulator and the people that make Keys products every day. Here’s to the genius that saved my life. Here’s to the genius that believed that natural products could be made with less than 10 ingredients and with love and a positive intention.  And to Matt, Marty and the entire team that realized that their positive intention goes into every product they make with love and caring. Here’s to the belief that these products could make a difference for Cancer survivors, for people with sensitive skin, for people who know more and care to learn more – because they did and they do!

With daily appreciation and my deep admiration and love!

Yes, there is love in every Keys product. Unfortunately, the EWG, USDA and the FDA refuse to allow it on our labels.

Where art meets science!

Wendy

 

You can read our entire story by clicking the image below.

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Groomers – Show and Tell

Groomers, show me your hands! We travel all over the US with our dog Jasper. He is a snow-white Bichon Frise. Jasper’s coat care requires grooming every six weeks. I google to find a master certified groomer in the area. My initial visit with the new groomer starts the same. I ask the groomer to show me their hands. I want to see the condition of their hands! Inflamed, irritated, dry or cracking hands are red flags. Their hands are evidence about what they are using to bathe the dogs. Ugly groomer hands mean irritating ingredients for the dog’s skin and coat. Cheap grooming shampoo is the culprit. And after bath perfumes are also irritants. Jasper is eight years old and has never experienced skin irritation issue from shampoo. Of course, all of his life he has experienced our KODA OmniCleanShampoo. Not one groomer has ever complained about my bringing KODA shampoo. We have educated quite a few groomers along the way.

Show your dog that you care. Always take clean, chemical-free dog shampoo with you. Tell the groomer to use your shampoo on your dog! And request no perfumes to be added after bathing.

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Healthy Skin Makeup Remover

Makeup Remover Trick.  Our theatrical actor friends have shared this super easy tip with us. As part of their occupation, they must wear heavier makeup for the stage. Based on their experience a cleansing lotion works best for fast and easy makeup removal. Their trick is to use an emollient, gentle and naturally non-toxic creamy lotion all over their face and neck, massage in with a little tap water and wipe off with a warm face cloth. Keys Tortuga Lotion works well as an all-natural makeup remover lotion. A little bit goes a long way, and the emollient avocado oil, carrot seed, and black seed oils hydrate the skin while prepping for makeup removal. Best of all it leaves no trace of dryness or irritation. Some also will do a double cleanse by following up with our Island Rx Foaming Facial Cleanser.

Clean and healthy skin, skip the drama.

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Island Rx for Acne

Fifteen years ago, one of the first things we discovered about our Island Rx pure castile soap was its fantastic success with acne and backne. What we found was that the combination of slightly high alkalinity and the Clary Sage had a tremendous effect on controlling and reversing acne. Today it is available in two bottle types — the original liquid soap and a facial cleansing foamer version. The liquid version is a strong fighter for more acne and backne. The foamer is one of the most popular products we make for how good it cleans and moisturizes. The bonus is that, because it is Island Rx, you get daily maintenance of the bacteria that causes acne.

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Solar Rx – Top Ranked by EWG 2016 Sunscreen Report

Solar Rx Top Ranked Ten Years

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

srx-maskedI am always please to be ranked in the safest and most efficacious category for our products.  Solar Rx has been ranked by the EWG 2016 Sunscreen Report top in the “Moisturizer with Sunscreen group.  It has been at the top of the list since it was introduced over ten years ago.   We have made some improvements making it a primary moisturizer with SPF for thousands of people for everyday use.  Solar Rx has been in numerous movies, TV shows and commercials because of its luminescent properties that optically smooth the skin while also providing deep natural chemical-free moisture.

Solar Rx is completely and fully all-natural, vegan, gluten-free and free of man-made chemicals.  Punta!

Double Down On Anti-Aging

Solar Rx provides such good anti-aging for the skin in two distinct ways.  The UVB (burning) rays and the UVA (aging) are physically blocked by our spherical OptiFX® zinc oxide particle.  UV radiation is the number one cause of aging around the world.  Protecting your skin from UV is the #1 thing that you can do to never look your age.  Secondly, Solar Rx is a huge anti-aging product because it uses our Luminos™ Moisturizer as its base lotion.  The lotion is made with vegan oil and homogenized into a ultra smooth lotion.  Pharma grade avocado, carrot seed and black seed oil are blended with wild crafted Ghana Shea Butter to provide deep moisturizing.

No Pilling Under Makeup

Solar Rx OptiFX® Zinc Oxide particles are blended to provide the maximum UV protection.  They are spherical by design making them transparent to visible light while opaque to invisible UVA, UVB and UVC rays.  This means maximum protection with no white or blue cast.  Many makeup artists use it as a base foundation to layer makeup on top.  The fact that it has no silicone makes it play very well with both water and oil based makeup.

Solar Rx is Not for the Beach

What makes Solar Rx a great moisturizer providing everyday SPF protection is that it is water soluble.  It provides deep moisturizing  because of this design.  So, it works everyday and all day as long as you do not perspire.  It is not designed for Go To Beach, swimming or sports use.  And, no we do not make a regular sunscreen.

Cover Up! Stop Melanoma!

Solar Rx
Wendy wearing a SunBody Hat and Columbia Omni-Shade® Clothing

The reason we do not make a active life sunscreen is because as I am a Melanoma survivor.  19 years now free from skin cancer.  Some people consider me an expert in skin cancer prevention.  I am adamant that sunscreens give a false sense of protection.  I subscribe to wearing big brim UPF rated hat, UPF rated sun clothing and UVA rated sunglasses.  Only exposed skin should wear sunscreen.  Avoidance of peak sun hours will protect you from over exposure to UV and make you younger looking.  “Brown leather is out!  Skin that is!  So, it is time to get wise and avoid the sun.  Make your own shade!”  I say!

My personal favorites are SunBody Hats and Columbia Sportswear OmniShade® clothing.  I do have various brands of UVA rated sunglasses with Oakley being my long time loyal favorites.  When I started looking for sun clothing after my Melanoma surgery, it was hard to find anything to wear.  I started with Sun Precautions and Oakley. THEY WERE IT!  I now love love love my Columbia Omni-Shade® because they are stylish, cool and come in a wide range of colors.  My SunBody hats are as chic as a big sun hat can get.  I have tested them to over 100UPF.  I love them also because they have stampede straps for high wind situations.

To read more about sun protection and anti-aging, read an article I wrote Here

Solar Rx is available both in a 100ml airless container and in sealed foil packets.  It is the top selling Keys product.

To learn more about Keys “Clear Cosmetics,” Click Here

Click the Buy Button to go to our online store.  Solar Rx is available at natural markets, naturopathic MD’s, functional medicine MD’s and apothecaries.

Buy Solar Rx

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Keys Tortuga Lotion for Vaginal Dryness & Menopausal Symptoms

Keys Tortuga Lotion for Vaginal Dryness

 

Wendy Steele

Keys CEO

We get a lot of questions on our Keys Customer Service system. Among the top questions are about wendy_hat_dipdealing with the symptoms of menopause. Recently, we have had a very large number of women reaching out to us and asking about using our Tortuga lotion for vaginal dryness and using Tortuga as a personal lubricant.

This is a touchy subject, but not for the reasons you might expect.

First, we have many women that use Tortuga and Luminos for vaginal dryness. Our customers tell us that not only do they reduce dryness, but that pain during intercourse is virtually eliminated. I will get into the details in a bit, but it is important to understand that we do not use preservatives and my recommendation is if you use either Tortuga or Luminos for vaginal dryness, that you refrigerate it to maintain the integrity of the product for this use. Of course warming is recommended before use.

Menopausal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a symptom of menopause. It is also a common disorder among women of all ages and can make every day life and sexual connection difficult. Stress, diet & chemicals in products can also be a mitigating cause of the dryness, so it is important to try to search for the cause of the dryness. As remarkable as it may seem, laundry detergent that uses sulfates, vaginal products that contain glycols (PEG’s), parabens (bactericide preservatives) and dimethicone (silicone lubricants) are probably exacerbating the problem. It is important to gather all of the products that you use in or near the vagina and determine what is in them to assure that they are as natural as possible. The rules here are as follows:

  • If there are no ingredients on the product label, do not use it.
  • If you cannot pronounce the ingredient, research it to find out what it is before using it.
  • Make sure that you trust the company to list all the ingredients and that they do not have constituent ingredients added secretly.  Hard to do I know, but those hidden chemicals could be the problem

It gets more complicated and therefore adopting a “simpler is better” philosophy is better.  Meaning, you might want to DIY anything that you use in your private areas.  You would be amazed at how many women have found relief by eliminating commercial products alone.

Hormonal disruption is another thing to consider.  By no means am I a hormonal disruption expert.  I am a strong studier of the subject and many organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Safe Cosmetics and many holistic health organizations attribute sexual disfunction to many chemicals like phthalates in products used in an on the body.  Yes, these chemicals that are used in perfumes and fragrance are linked to premature menopause and symptoms like vaginal dryness.   Please, do not take my word for this.  Google and research!

So, there is a link to chemicals and vaginal dryness.  Equally, chemicals like propylene glycol (PEG’s) are also known to promote a need to reapply frequently causing more drying effects while trying to stop the problem.  So imagine that the more you apply of a product containing glycols (PEG’s) that the dryer you get and the more you need to reapply.  Not a good cycle to get into.  Those of you that have used products containing glycols either know what I am talking about or now understand why they feel the way they do.  No good!

Tortuga As A Personal Lubricant?

Keys Tortuga Lotion
Click To Visit Tortuga Lotion Page

I have a close girlfriend who has struggled with vaginal dryness since her thirties.  It became worse when she started to lose her hormones and began menopause.  This myth that life is better after menopause is debatable and different for every woman.  It certainly was not better for her.  Tortuga for her was a very good solution because I knew what is in it.  So, when I asked her to try Tortuga versus the synthetic personal lubricant she was using, she agreed.  The marketing hype of some personal lubricants caused her to read the labels, so it was an easy sell.  The lure of enhanced pleasure and increased sexuality was quickly dispelled after reading these labels.  Admittedly, most had no ingredients listed which caused me to worry for her.  I know what naive manufacturers use in skin care and I know that most of the ingredients would be the same in the personal lubricant category.  When I did find a company that listed their ingredients I was horror struck that they really expected anyone to use that stuff inside.

Again, many of our customers use Tortuga as a personal lubricant and find it sensational.  I do recommend, because there are no preservatives, that you refrigerate it and if you have any reaction at all, stop.  Use something else that is natural avoiding some ingredients like coconut oil or EVOO (olive oil) as they can be harsh and aggressive.

Okay, here I get to preach a bit and alert you that there are alternatives to post menopausal problems.  Yes, diet is important and using chemical-free products are of equal importance, but lets just get real.  There is one major thing that you can do that I did a few years ago.  Go BHRT!

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Dear Suzanne Somers, Thank you, thank you, thank you for introducing me to Dr. Jonathan Wright!  Dr. Wright you know I think you walk on water and talk to the gods!  Thank you for all my friends that you have helped with your knowledge and expertise!  Wendy

In a number of Suzanne Somers books, she talks about the benefits of BHRT for both men and women as they age.  Dr. Wright says that we should start to pay attention to our hormone levels as early as our mid-thirties.  Simple testing sets the levels and the most youth preserving thing we can do is to maintain our hormone levels.  I got wise in my early 50’s I was tired of experiencing brain fog, tiredness and feeling cold.  Yes, using Tortuga Lotion combats the dryness, but as good as Tortuga is, it cannot take care of all the other symptoms of post menopause.

Dr. Wright's Tahoma Clinic
• • • • • Click to Visit • • • • •

Suzanne’s suggestion to visit Jonathan Wright was more about wellness than dealing with problems. I had read all his work on thyroid and nutritional anti-aging, but my interest was in taking charge of my well-being.  When I learned about Dr. Jonathan Wright’s work with BHRT, I was at his Tahoma Clinic in a flash.  Okay, I am a Cancerian and all Cancerian’s know that we experiment with everything from diet to what goes on our bodies.  Before my appointment, I read everything that Jonathan Wright wrote about BHRT and I was convinced before starting out on BHRT that it was the right thing for me.  Just let me say that it was the best investment I made on myself in my entire life.  I am feeling pre-40 again!  My husband says I look 40 again!  Enough said?

Here is a link to a video that you should watch to form your own opinions.  Dr. Jonathan Wright on BHRT

Finally!

The cause of any problem is always what we should hunt for and not just solutions to symptoms.  My friend who has always struggled with vaginal dryness went on BHRT as well.  The combination of BHRT and Tortuga as a personal lubricant is now a part of my friends life as it is with the others that I have recommended visiting Dr. Wrights Tahoma Clinic near Seattle.

Yes, this is a very personal subject, but don’t you owe it to yourself to find relief?  Dr. Maya Angelou said it best when she said, “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”

Yes, Tortuga is wonderful and a pure product.  Realizing that we have choices in taking charge of our own personal wellness and health is a revelation.  As we always say at Keys;  It is Time to Get Wise!

Wendy

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Keys Solar Rx – Now Smoother!

As a Keys follower, you know that we are always on a constant quest to make our products more effective, more functional and feel better.  This quest is a constant look at ingredients and processes.  Keys Solar Rx is the latest upgrade in a process that makes it smoother, silkier and feeling better.

We have not changed any ingredients in Solar Rx.  It is the same efficacious moisturizer with sunscreen as before.  What we have done is to make it feel better by modifying one of our processes.

Our patentable use of sound to homogenize Solar Rx was originally to keep air/oxygen out of the recipe.  Some new breakthroughs in our process have improved the performance of our use of ‘infrasonic’ sound waves to make Solar Rx even smoother than before.  These sound waves agitate the molecules of Solar Rx in such a way that makes the recipe more consistent and blended by a significant factor.  Those that tested the process change before changing the production process were amazed.  Our super acid test, Wendy Steele –  Keys CEO, was a hit with her and she has been using her prototypes ever since she received them.

wendy_glowSolar Rx was developed for Wendy after her bout with Melanoma and it has undergone a few changes since it won the Consumer Reports Top Pick.  Wendy said, “I could never imagine Solar Rx getting better than it was.  When I tried the latest process change for Solar, it was significant.  So significant a change that I requested that the next production run be updated to the new process even before our beta testing team had a chance to comment.”

You can Click Here to go to the Solar Rx page on our store.

For our customers that use Solar Rx for rosacea, eczema, psoriasis or for diaper rash, Solar Rx will perform the same way as it always has, only smoother and silkier.

Note: Our retail stores will take a while before they receive the new production process for Solar Rx.  The turnover on dealer shelves is very fast for Solar Rx, so they will be current very soon.  Our current inventory online is all the new process.  Again, there is no change in the efficacy of Solar Rx.  Only the feel.

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May is Melanoma Awareness Month at Keys

It is Time To Get Wise!  by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO and Melanoma Survivor

wendy_glowThose of you that know me, know that it is my fault for the creation of Keys.  Well the truth is, it was a diagnosis of my Melanoma and a reaction of prescription products and over the counter chemical laden products that created the need and our inspiration.  That is not why I write today.  It is the fact that May is Melanoma awareness month here at Keys and throughout the world.  It is the beginning of sun season and that is why May is the month to celebrate and to inspire.  It is a time to celebrate all the lives that have been save and time to become aware through education so that we can save many more lives.

It is now over 20 years since Bob discovered the Melanoma on my left ankle.  My legs are long and it was impossible to see it myself.  He asked what the waxy stuff was on my ankle.  Holding a mirror up for me to see, it looked like a drop of hot wax was dropped on my ankle.  A few weeks later, it turned bright red and through a friend, we got an appointment with the top Mohs surgeon at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.  Hugh Greenway took a look and said, “This is not good.”  After a biopsy, he had me clear my schedule for Mohs surgery.  It was Melanoma.  This was the beginning of my advocacy for 365 days a year Melanoma awareness, skin cancer education and ways to prevent skin Cancer.

I wrote an article in 2007 called Solar Flare  Please read it.  In 2011, some suspect “ugly duckling” moles sent me to the Mayo Clinic where I realized how out of touch even the top clinics are when it comes to the dignity of people and skin cancer.  Read “Hold The Mayo” as well.  Please!

Now that you have done that, start to realize how delicate your body is and that the skin being our largest organ is bombarded daily by UV, pollutants and all sorts of allergens.  Our skin takes care of us, if we take care of it.

New_CancerCard_BackSo lets start here with this image of a card we produce that will help you identify strange and unusual moles.  Remember mine was clear and about the size of a pencil eraser.  So please look at this image and check out any unusual moles you have on your body.  Click on the image and save it to your smartphone to use as a comparative tool.  Better yet, have a friend check you over.  It can be fun if you let it be, but it is serious business.

I have literally hundreds of moles on my body.  I am fair, Germanic/Hungarian and very prone to skin cancer.  If you can count more than 50 moles on your body, you are a candidate for very close examination.  Don’t wait for the dermatologist visit.  Become your own sleuth and be aware.  It just might save your life.

20 years later, I have had numerous basil cell cancers removed and I have found them all myself and Bob’s vigilant eyes.  Know yourself and know your skin.

An interesting thing to really let sink in is that your body talks to you.  In my case, five years before discovering my Melanoma, I was on a vacation with Bob in Eleuthera.  I became sort of ill without a good description of what was wrong.  We got back to the mainland and I went to an internist who discovered a small red dot on my ankle.  For a while, he thought it was a tick bite and I had symptoms of inflammation in my blood test.  They suspect rheumatoid arthritis.  I knew it could not be a tick bite, but I always wondered what it was.  Five years later, it was exactly the same are that we discovered my Melanoma.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Finally, lets say you find something.  Don’t play around.  Get to either a dermatologist or Mohs surgeon.  Insist on a biopsy.  Do not take no for an answer.  If you can, find the youngest most technically savvy doctor you can.  Tell them what it is you discovered and that Wendy Steele said to not fool around scraping, burning or freezing.  If they refuse, find another doctor!

My own experience is that universities like Stanford and Johns Hopkins are on top of their game.  If you are in the EU, you are luckier than we are in the US because awareness and prevention are paramount.  One of my tricks is that when I am traveling and want something checked, I ask the doctors office is they have a Dermascope® that they use.  If yes, this tells me they are on their game and my trust level goes up significantly.

I cannot say it enough that if you have moles, you must become your own best expert.  Follow your intuition based on a lifetime of study.  Early prevention can and will save your life.

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EWG Sun Safety Campaign – Keys Supports Effort

Keys Supports Efforts of the EWG Sun Safety Campaign with New Book and Website Banners

 

EWGSS-Logo-3Keys is a proud supporter of the EWG Sun Safety Campaign.  For over ten years, Keys CEO, Wendy Steele, has pounded on the industry to create a campaign to educate end users about the effects of UVA and UVB radiation.  She was one of the first to help identify that the UVB or burning rays should not be the focus.  Moreover, UVA or the aging rays should be the primary focus of education and protection.  Steele pronounce over ten years ago that sunscreens were a minor solution with the emphasis needing to be on wearing a hat, UPF protective clothing and sunglasses with UV filtering.

Keys-300x300-bannerThis new logo will begin appearing on various websites and you are one of the first to see it in use.   The Sun Safety Campaign will also feature Keys and these new banners on their website.  All coming soon.

Wendy Steele and Bob Root are in the process of writing a new book with the working title of “Its Your Skin”  where they outline important actions people need to take to minimizing skin aging.  First on the list is avoiding the sun.  This further supports the EWG Sun Safety basic tenants to stay out of the sun.  Click on either Keys EWG banner to go to the EWG Sun Safety site.

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Traveling Light with Keys Eye Butter

simply_wendy_bannerTravelers Trick

I have had a few people ask me for traveler product sizes for some of the daily regime type products. We are working on bringing back some of our travel sizes and we are having difficulty sourcing some of the containers for our soaps. Hopefully this will resolve itself in the near future.

Keys Eye Butter Eye Cream
Eye Butter Eye Cream

Bob Root, Keys formulator and founder has the distinction of having a lifetime American Airline Black Platinum card with 3 million miles emblazoned on it. Traveling with him is a real education. I shared that I have heard that people want to have smaller versions of our products and also find that the sachets do not work for them. He affirmed that we have tested all the lotions in our 15ml airless and that we are still looking for a 50ml mini-foamer that will work with our essential oil based soaps. He did offer a trick or two for our travelers that he does when he travels.

So, here is what Bob does for lotions and butters. He carries a single airless tube of Keys Eye Butter and does the following:

  • Use Eye Butter directly on the eyes and lips
  • Dilute Eye Butter by applying a small drop to wet hands and wet face as a moisturizer
  • Mix Eye Butter with water in the palm of the hand to make a lotion consistency to use as a dry skin lotion
  • Put a pea size drop into wet hair as a conditioner. (note, Bob has short hair)

owl clipBob also reinforced that he does carry the sachets and some of those square “owl” paper clips to reseal them after they are open. He noted that once open, you can fold over the top and those squareish paper clips made of plastic or metal do a good job in a small ziplock.

So, I tried the above and it works great. I still carry my Solar Rx, but I was able to get through my days with a lot less product.

Still, we are working on the travel sizes, but this is a good interim solution.

Wendy

Buy Travel Eye Butter Now! Here

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RediCare – Surgical Recovery and Scars

simply_wendy_banner

Wendy’s interview with Rhonda-youthful looking, vibrant & active 45-year old.  Fan of KEYS RediCare Healing Therapy Spray.

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Last October, Rhonda started experiencing periodic trouble swallowing.  There were sporadic times when she was gasping for air for no apparent reason.  For several years she has lived at over 6,000 feet elevation and has been acclimated to high altitude living.  While she did not have pain-she knew she did not feel normal.

Her first thought was to visit her chiropractor for a full alignment.  After her chiropractic visits she realized the feeling in her neck had not improved.  In February, Rhonda visited her regular doctor who theorized that she could be experiencing a side effect of her celiac condition or acid reflux.  As a precaution, her doctor referred her to a thyroid specialist.  Her thyroid doctor could physically feel lumps around her trachea.  Ultra-sound revealed lots of little nodules and 3 substantially larger nodules.

Rhonda agreed to follow up with her thyroid doctor for needle biopsies to determine if the 3 larger nodules were cancerous or benign.  The needle biopsies were deemed “inconclusive”.   However, she was advised that there was a possibility that they could be cancerous.  Her doctor recommended surgery to remove both sides of the thyroid to be sure. Rhonda scheduled her surgery for a Monday and stayed overnight in the hospital for routine observation of her vital signs.

Post surgery, Rhonda learned that the pathology report indicated there was a small cancerous area that had been completely removed.  Her doctor indicated that she would need to follow up, by taking a radiation iodine pill, but only after her TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels were deemed adequate to begin that treatment.

In the meantime, post surgery, Rhonda wanted to immediately concentrate on assuring the best possible healing of the incision on her neck.  She decided to use KEYS RediCare Spray Healing Therapy because she could simply spray on the lotion and she did not need to touch it to rub it in.  This was critically important, as the incision was very tender and sore to touch.  While still in the hospital Rhonda decided to take a selfie of her same day surgery-neck incision.  Thereafter, every Monday, Rhonda took selfies for the next eight weeks.  She thought that the results were remarkable and was very pleased with the scar healing she experienced while using RediCare.  She contacted KEYS to let us know how happy she was with her healing experience with RediCare.

Click on the video below to see the nine-weeks animation of Rhonda’s healing process while using RediCare Healing Therapy Spray.

[jwplayer player=”4″ mediaid=”2979″]

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Surgeon General Connects UV to Skin Cancer. Solar Rx Selling Off Shelves!

Wwendy_glowendy Steele, Keys CEO

For quite a while, we have professed the connection of skin cancer and UV radiation.  The surgeon general’s report yesterday and the passing of the innovative sunscreen act through the US House of Representatives has sparked renewed interest in the story.  Our message is still the same and I have been saying it for ten years for Keys and for twenty years after being cured of Melanoma.  Protect your skin from the sun and you will slow visible aging and prevent skin cancer

SRX-verticalOur Solar Rx is ranked among the safest and most efficacious moisturizers with sunscreen based on the EWG 2014 Sunscreen Report.  We always want to remind everyone that Solar Rx is a daily use sunscreen and is not designed for sports or activity as well as going to the beach applications.

We are receiving reports that Solar Rx is selling off the shelves which is a good thing because people are now even more aware of the need.  Still, less than 15% of Americans use sun precautions.

Below is a verbatim reprint of the CNN article.  Please Google for other articles to inform yourself of how to be sun safe.

Here is the link to Solar Rx on our store.  Please also search in Clean Green Cafe for more articles.

Keys Care Continue reading Surgeon General Connects UV to Skin Cancer. Solar Rx Selling Off Shelves!

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Kyle to Keys! My Hair is Growing!

wendy_glowBy Wendy Steele, Keys CEO & Founder Keys

Keys Customer Service forwarded an urgent email to me last week.  It made reference to a note included on an order from a Keys customer named Kyle.  The note on his order read as following:

“I LOVE THESE PRODUCTS! I have had Alopecia for 10 years and these products are growing my hair back!  Whoever is reading this PLEASE, I urge you to relay this information to the company founders and owners and whoever oversees product development.  I highly recommend that these products be marketed toward people like myself who have Alopecia of any kind.  I have full body hair loss and the fantastic products at Keys Soap aren’t just growing little amounts of hair..It’s coming back over my entire body.  The NAAF needs to be made aware of my results and shown by example how NATURAL skincare and lifestyle overall are the superb choice over pharmaceutical drugs.  THANK YOU KEYS, God Bless! :)”

Wow, this was an inspirational note to receive! We love to hear from our customers.  Continue reading Kyle to Keys! My Hair is Growing!

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Anti-Aging Tip – Avoid Perma-Frown by Getting CNN-Free

iphone-frownsimply_wendy_banner

By Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

Did your mother every say to you, “Don’t make those faces, it may just freeze that way forever!”  It’s true!  This could be the greatest anti-aging advise of all time!

Our body language and facial expression do more than communicate our mood and intensity.  The way we appear to others can be a lasting reminder on our face of our attitude toward things, our environment and people.  Simply, if you frown all the time you might just end up with “Perma-Frown.”  Those deep ruts in your forehead age your visual appearance.  Perma-Frown makes you look older than you are by the very nature of the shadows those deep furrows create.  Remember it is the shadows that our wrinkles create that makes them look older.

Laughter is an age old beauty secret because it raises our Oxytocin hormone levels which washes us with a feeling of wellbeing.  This cuddle hormone is also created with a warm hug or even just being out with that someone special.  The skin glows and a more youthful appearance accompanies the warm feeling.  This can all be negated if our natural core state is negative.  Could your cellphone be a contributing factor to your aging?

Today’s social society is way overloaded with smartphone interaction which maybe fun and warm, but generally does not release oxytocin.  Worse, peering all day at your cellphone has two potentially negative results.  The first is if you are reading bad news all day, aka CNN, that frown may probably become perma-frown.  Secondly, if you are walking and reading and getting a little older, that squint could become perma-squint.  Be careful watching too much CNN can also create the dreaded permanent aging look called perma-scowl.

There is no question that drinking lots of water, regulating hormones as we age and using natural skin care will be your best anti-aging secret for the skin.  Those wrinkles, ruts and furrows are probably an indication of how happy you are or how much CNN you are exposed to.

So next time you are reading CNN, Fox News or one of the other negative press sources, take a quick selfie to check out how you are responding…Then try to laugh it off.  Yoga has taught me to see a different way of life and create an internal smile.  Being CNN-Free for the last ten years is priceless.

Wendy

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Sunscreen Tips from the EWG

As a part of the EWG annual sunscreen report they offer tips about sunscreens.  Below is a unedited direct reprint of what they are saying in the 2014 sunscreen report. Keys Solar Rx was rated as excellent for safety and efficacy in this years report in the moisturizer with SPF category.  Keys Solar Rx is an everyday sunscreen designed as a moisturizer with sun protection.  It is not a go to beach or sports product because our moisturizer is water soluble for maximum hydration.  It is cosmetically clear and can be used under makeup or by itself.  Click Here to read the EWG report on Solar Rx


 

Make sunscreen part of your outdoor gear

Continue reading Sunscreen Tips from the EWG

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5-Minute Skin Clinic at the Airport

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by Wendy Steele
Keys CEO

Secrets to flying simply with stunning results!

 The 2:30 am wake-up call was all my fault. I had booked a 3,000 mile trip from the East Coast to get back West and it was the first flight out at 6am Eastern! I knew that I had better get a good night’s rest before flight day. I concentrated most of my prep efforts the night before so that I would have the fewest amount of moving pieces on the morning of the flight. So the night before I packed the suitcase,laid out the clothes and shoes ready to slip into. Ticket and rental car keys were at the ready.

The morning of my flight- to insure I was on my way to the airport at 3:15 am, I really needed to be awake at 2:30am.  After 2 wake up calls, I followed with are freshing shower, hot libation, and a phenomenally simple skin treatment.

g5At 4:30 am I breezed through the rental car return and airport security.I felt awake and had time to relax before boarding.  After a fairly short first leg flight, it was just after 7:30 am Central time when I arrived at my connecting airport in Chicago. I deplaned and walked to my new departure gate B-5 with ticket in hand.  I was just about to inquire with the gate agent when I was truly surprised by a 30-something woman who whisked up to me and said;  “I am sorry, I just have to interrupt you to ask you—how do you get skin that looks like that?”

The gate agent looked up and smiled at me as if to say; “I’m all ears.” Continue reading 5-Minute Skin Clinic at the Airport

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Itchy Dog? Ditch the Perfume

Stop that Itch- Lose the Perfume!

 by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

How attentive are you when your dog is in distress?

  • Do you hear the incessant scratch, scratch, scratch during the day or at night before bed?
  • Do you visually examine your dog and investigate the area where the itching and scratching is centered before there is redness, irritation or raw sore patches?
  • Have you had the nagging feeling, wondering why your dog is itching and scratching after a bath or grooming session?

Being attentive to your dog’s skin health is relatively simple, you just need to pay attention to all of the clues your dog is already giving you!   Keep an eye on excessive itching and scratching, listen for and actively watch for any patterns (when and where itching occurs) and begin investigating the possible sources of the problem.

As for that nagging feeling about the itching and scratching after your dog’s bath or after a grooming session?   The most likely reason your dog is scratching and itching is directly related to the perfumes, artificial fragrance and harsh ingredients in dog shampoos! Continue reading Itchy Dog? Ditch the Perfume

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About Us, The Stories Behind The Keys Story

Natural Solutions for Beauty, Aging and Skin Problems

Keys Snapshot: What We Do

Keys designs, developed and manufactured whole natural skincare and skin therapies that solve problems and make people feel good. Born from Wendy Steele’s brush with Melanoma, Bob Root used first principle physics to develop functional natural medicines using ancient remedies merged with modern pure science and technology. The therapeutic proportions with world class grade ingredients created a line of products that work to solve problems and because they are natural, are simple, reassuring and make people feel good about the company and products.

The line consists of:
• Natural Skincare
• Natural Auyervedic Skin Therapies
• Alternative Natural Petroleum Jelly Replacements
• KPRO Hollywood Makeup Artist Inspired Foundation & Solutions
• PurPlay – Functional Personal Lubricants
• KODA – Topical and Functional Supplements for Dogs

Keys has some of the top products listed on the EWG Skin Deep database. For the last 10 years, Solar Rx has ranked as one of the top moisturizer sunscreens on the annual EWG Sunscreen Report.

Solar Rx was rated #1 by Consumer Reports Magazine for safety and efficacy.

The Keys products are handcrafted in Oregon by highly skilled artisans. All products are functional by design. They are aboriginal medicines by nature. University and research affiliations make the company as science-based as they are focused on the integral wellness of their followers.

Perhaps our most secret ingredient is our belief in our customers and what we have learned from them.

Keys Snapshot: Keys Story

What happens when a brainiac boyfriend discovers his smoking hot girlfriend has Melanoma.  He fixes the problems! This begins the Keys Story, Keys Natural Skincare and the effort to naturally end skin disorders!

Keys StoryWendy Steele, Keys CEO and Founder, fondly says that Keys is all her fault. The reality is that she survived deadly Melanoma but could not beat the chemicals in prescription and skincare products that left her skin a train-wreck. Wendy experienced just about every type of skin disorder imaginable and all we traced back to the Dirty Dozen chemicals in about 98% of the skin care and prescription products available OTC and from doctors.

Wendy’s boyfriend, Bob Root, a former Silicon Valley CEO/Engineer undertook the project to develop products to help Wendy. He gathered information from Harvard MD’s turned naturopaths to aboriginal healers. He realized that there was a pattern and scheme to skin health. It was to be Chemical-Free. Thus the Keys tagline of Chemical-Free Skin Health®.

Bob’s products worked and worked quickly for Wendy.   Friends with similar disorders, their family members with something as simple as dry skin, through acne and skin cancer suffers found relief using Bob’s products that he gifted them. Creating the Keys line was not a decision, it was market demand that brought out the initial four products and stunned the burgeoning natural products industry. Why they all still had some chemicals and Bob’s did not!

Keys Snapshot: Keys Probiome® Products

Keys products solve skin problems and make people feel good. Skin care, skin therapies and anti-aging products come from whole natural ingredients known for their efficacy and safe performance. From the slightest itch or fine line to post-cancer skin disorders, each Keys product is a solution to a problem. Pure, clean, safe and effective, Keys facilitates skin health without chemicals. All of the products are Probiome® meaning they promote healthy skin by nurturing our skin’s natural microbiome. Our skin’s community.

Click To View

Performance:

Functionality is paramount at Keys. Coming from Silicon Valley to Bob, products have to do something. Great if they make people feel good, but in his mind, they have to solve problems. He fixed his girlfriend’s problems and the precursor for anything Keys makes is that it has to solve problems people are experiencing without using any chemicals.

So, in a snapshot, here is what you can expect from everything Keys makes:

  • All products solve problems and make people (and their pets) feel good
  • All products are free of human-made chemicals. Ergo Chemical-Free
  • All products use the highest quality whole natural ingredients
  • All products have the highest proportion of functional components with no scrimping or compromises
  • All products are priced reasonably well below chemical-laden pharmaceuticals because of the business systems Keys employs. They were the first 100% cloud-based company in the natural products industry.
  • All products are whole natural ingredients
  • All products are Vegan
  • All products are Gluten-Free
  • All products are Soy-Free
  • All products are Keto (carb-free, sugar-free_
  • All products are Paleo
  • All ingredients are non-GMO
  • All products use organic or wild-crafted ingredients

Keys StoryBob in his top-selling book, Chemical-Free Skin Health®, points out that it was a lot of trial and error to develop those first four products for Wendy. My incentive was that Wendy was in trouble because of western medicine and I was determined to figure out how to solve her problems naturally. The other 45+ products in the Keys line were all inspired by skin disorders related to him by loyal customers that believe in him. He does not take that lightly!

You can read more of the story in detail below. Now Bob & Wendy are married and still developing products, giving speeches, writing books and listening to what customers have to say. Funny, Bob always refers to Wendy as his smoking hot girlfriend and her as her brainiac boyfriend. 20 years of solving problems and making people feel good together with chemical-free skin health products.

Read on for More of the History


Circa 1996 to Now!

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO.  We are not just another natural products company.  We feel and act as natural medicine and therapy products company that uses whole natural ingredients.  I believe our Purpose and Direction statement says it all!”   Why

“We believe that over 50% of all skin disorders in people and pets are misdiagnosed and are caused by chemicals in everyday products and the environment!

We offer you this backgrounder as insight into our reason for being, purpose, and direction.  

Keys Care designs, develops and manufactures natural healing therapies for people and pets.   The quality and quantity of our ingredients are what differentiate us.  We use pharmaceutical grade whole ingredients in therapeutic proportions.  We use ancient remedies, natural medicines, whole natural ingredients, aromatherapy and aboriginal homeopathy combined with modern technology to provide safe and effective products for people and pets with skin disorders, sensitive skin, post cancer recovery or those wanting to avoid chemicals in their lives.  Our resellers are an extension of our core team and are experts and trusted advisors in their communities.

At our baseline, we believe that all of our products must solve problems and make people feel good.  We also think that natural and organic are not features, they are the choice we make assuring purity of purpose.

How It Began
Wendy Steele and Bob Root are the founders and inventors of Keys Soap.  They are both ex-corporate executives: Bob was a CEO of a Silicon Valley High Tech company and Wendy a VP at Coca-Cola.

The soap and skin care connection?  Skin Cancer!

Wendy Steele, Keys Founder, was diagnosed with Melanoma and beat the deadly disease.  She could not overcome the terrible reactions she had from prescription and expensive skincare products.  Told she had eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and dermatitis her condition deteriorated.  Doctors kept prescribing more junk, steroids, and cortisones.

Wendy was struck with Skin Cancer multiple times.  She has beaten Melanoma and other forms of the devastating skin disease.  As an advocate of Skin Cancer prevention, and an Inner Circle Member of the Skin Cancer Foundation, Wendy has tried virtually every form of skin sun protection.  From exotic 100 SPF swimwear to SPF 30 clothing, and every form of sunblock, she is an expert on taking skin protective measures to avoid sun damage.  From her personal experience, the more products she put on her body, the more sensitive her skin became.  Her use of lotions, sunscreens and exotic clothing cost thousands of dollars annually.  The problem was that no matter what products she used, she did not feel free from itchy irritated skin that was exacerbated by that sticky feeling from lotions and sunscreens.

Wendy recalls: “Bob and I talked for years about creating a rejuvenating soap for my ultra-sensitive skin.  Like many products, Keys Soap was born out of necessity. When we lived in Southern California, I was diagnosed with Melanoma Skin Cancer.  After successful surgery to remove my cancer, I was using so much sunscreen that it started to block my pores and irritate my skin.  My skin was becoming more fragile even though I used the very best lotions money could buy.  I tried natural liquid soap, but it was not quite right.  So, we decided to develop our own organic Castile body soap.  The initial cleansing results and skin relief I experienced using Island Rx finally set me free from experimenting with the myriad of products that had previously smothered my skin.”

Keys Factoids:

  • Safest Sunscreen in the World, EWG 2008, 2009, 2010 Sunscreen Report. www.safecosmetics.org
  • Most effective cosmetic sunscreen. Consumer Reports Magazine, July 2007
  • Oscar Red Carpet Best Picks 2010, Kerry Malouf
  • Maria Shriver 2009 California Women’s Conference Speakers Gift Bag Pick.
  • Luminos, LA Daily Candy Best Moisturizer
  • Natural medicines that heal skin disorders. Dr. Elaine Carter
  • Truly natural beauty products that feel and look great!, Vert Venice Beach CA
  • Natural is better and not a compromise. LA Daily Candy
  • Finally, a natural shampoo that feels and looks better than salon brands. E K, Actress
  • Moisturizers that work in harmony with mineral makeups. K B, Makeup Artist

Keys Product Categories:

  • Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care & Beauty
  • Natural Hair & Scalp Care
  • Healing Skin Therapies & Natural Topical Medicines
  • Natural Pet Care & Natural Topical Medicines
  • Pet Skin Therapies & Natural Insect Repellants

What We Believe

There are two facets to skin health and wellness for pets and people.  It is a combination of what you use and what you avoid.

Skin disorders rank at the top of the list for veterinarian and dermatologist visits.  We believe that over 50% of all skin disorders are misdiagnosed and are caused by chemicals in everyday products…many with the claim of natural, organic or botanical.

Longevity and Wellness are connected.  The life expectancy in the United States for pets and people has been consistently dropping.  Why?  We believe the body burden from the dirty dozen chemicals in skin care and household products may be causing disorders, outbreaks and even contributing to elevated cancer rates.

This is why we use the term Chemical-Free.  It means free of human-made chemicals.  We are committed to leading the way for other manufacturers to disclose product ingredients fully.  Keys created the Therapy Facts panel to help people to make healthier choices for their family and pets.

Ancient Remedies – Modern Technology – Green Science

Today, modern medicine treats symptoms and not the cause.  Their products, therefore, focus on the symptom and not the cause.  Aboriginal, eastern, holistic, herbal, naturopathy and ancient medicines treat the whole being and look for the cause.  In many cases, it is an imbalance that causes disease and disorders.

We search the world for ancient remedies.  We use modern technology, green science, and pharmaceutical grade ingredients.  We create products that work in harmony to:

• Solve skin problems

• Soothe skin allergies

• Heal minor cuts, abrasions, and burns

• Act as natural insect repellents

Our affiliations include:

• University of Maryland School of Medicine

• Los Alamos National Labs

• National Institutes of Health

• Ohio State University

• Environmental Working Group

• Compact signer for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

The Keys Difference –What We Use:

• Whole Natural ingredients to bring skin health back in balance

• Understanding of the causes and effect of various skin disorders,

allergies and problems

• Simple ingredients in use for over 1000 years in other parts of the world

• Safe ingredients for pets and people

Pharmaceutical Grade & Quality for Efficacy-Results

• Pharmaceutical Grade Ingredients is a term that defines the level of quality in the industry.  It also establishes the efficacy of an ingredient

• Therapeutic Proportions – Keys Therapy Facts panel state the level of the number of ingredients that we use in our products

Why it Matters:

There is a direct relationship to the quality and grade ingredients in products and the results you get.  Many products promote Aloe Vera and Shea Butter as ingredients.  Pharma Grade ingredients are rated the best in quality, with the highest level of critical actions and values associated with them.  When you read a label, you should ask:  what grade ingredients and in what proportion?  For example, our Aloe has a polysaccharide level of 10.  Many Aloe’s we tested were not even Aloe.  Our Shea Butter tests to a fatty acid level of >2.5.  Many processed Shea’s are less than 0.8.  There is a difference in even the same named ingredient.

The Keys Difference – What We Avoid:

• Fragrance – they are known skin irritants for pets and people, and many contain chemicals found on the Dirty Dozen list that you should avoid!

• Chemicals that are in 85%+ of skincare and household products

• The ‘Dirty Thirty’ list of chemicals – see the complete list on the back inside panel of this brochure

You Get What You Pay For!

• We develop chemical-free healing therapies that have a high degree of efficacy

• We don’t cut corners or use less expensive ingredients or market various scents or fragrances

• We use pharmaceutical grade ingredients in therapeutic proportions, so our products cost more.  Ironically, in most cases, they are one-third to half the price of prescription products

Attaining healthy youthful skin is a lifetime journey.  In this quest, people use soaps, scrubs, gels, toners, moisturizers, lotions, creams, lighteners and the list goes on!  They also bathe their pets in shampoos for their armotharapy instead of the pet’s well being.  Most of these products use chemicals that sensitize, irritate and weaken the skin.  For example, 95% of all liquid soaps and shampoos contain SLS (sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates) that increase skin permeability and opens the door for other chemicals and irritants to penetrate deep into the skin.  Parabens, petrolatum, propylene glycol, Cocamide DEA/lauramide DEA and triethanolamines are common ingredients in all kinds of soaps, shampoos, creams, and lotions.  When on the skin or absorbed into the body, they can create susceptibility to allergic skin reactions, skin disorders and even worse are linked to diseases!

If you or your pets has irritated or affected skin, odds are good that it is caused by the shampoo, body and face soap you use, anti-bacterial hand products, or residue from your laundry detergent. The skin is our single biggest organ, and skin health is vitally important.  Most of the soaps people use on their skin is a degreasing detergent; in fact, most of the liquid products using the term “soap” are not soaps at all.  They are chemical detergents containing SLS that strip away oils and actually damage the skin.  That is why there is very little difference between most bath gels, dishwashing liquid, shampoos and engine degreasers.

The Keys philosophy is to simplify skin care by carefully and naturally cleansing, restoring and protecting the most sensitive skin.  We consciously act on that philosophy to improve skin health.  We choose not to use chemicals in our products, on purpose!

Keys Soap, Island Rx, Show Promise in Helping with Common Skin Disorders

Keys Soap first announced the introduction of its new line of all-natural, chemical-free therapeutic liquid bath and hand soaps on March 29, 2005.  Keys liquid soaps are holistic, soothing, therapeutic soaps for people with sensitive, allergic or affected skin.  They contain only pure ingredients with no human-made chemicals or fragrances.  Our soaps do not contain skin irritants like SLS, parabens, propylene glycol or DEA.

Since the release of our soap products, we have received considerable feedback from skin disorder sufferers offering qualitative results from their use of Island Rx on diagnosed common skin disorders like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.  We have many testimonials that would indicate the effectiveness of Island Rx.  “Although these are  testimonials in uncontrolled environments we believe they are early signs of the therapeutic properties of Island Rx,” said Bob Root, Keys Soap inventor.  “In this period of time, medical estheticians have told us of results with their patients where prior medical methods did not help their conditions.  We now believe that our products, including Island Rx, are tools in the growing movement of alternative chemical-free skin health”, continued Root.

What Keys Customers Value

People and pets with dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acneic conditions value the therapeutic results from using our clean products that contain no irritating or sensitizing chemicals.  Our customers enthusiastically tell us in their testimonials how our products make a difference in treating skin disorders, and irritation for themselves, their children and their pets–when nothing else has worked.

After using our chemical-free therapeutic products, our customers tell us that the results they see and feel are remarkable and even life-changing!  We call this creating chemical-free skin health, on purpose, with our products and customers.

Dermatologists use our Island Rx therapeutic soap and recommend it for sensitive skin for people with skin disorders that have not responded to other treatment.  We even have customers who enthusiastically recommended our soaps to their dermatologists!

In 2009, we were told by movie and TV makeup artists that Keys products taught them that natural is no longer a compromise and that Island Rx Foaming Wash, Luminos, Solar Rx and Eye Butter have become a staple in their makeup routine calling them, “Clear Cosmetics!”

Medical estheticians use and recommend Island Rx for sensitive, irritated and acneic skin conditions to avoid any further irritation or sensitization of the skin.  They love how it makes their skin feel and the results they see.

Master certified groomers use and recommend MetaClean (formerly Muttineer) for how the therapeutic pet shampoo stops animals’ itchy skin and for how it conditions the animals’ coat and skin.

Our customers are people who are interested in keeping their skin young looking and aging beautifully; people who are skin health conscious; and people who take serious sun precautions to avoid skin damage from solar radiation.  Our customers also care about the skin health of their pets and want to avoid applying pesticides and chemicals on their pets’ sensitive or allergic skin.

Keys sees a link between common skin disorders and the many personal care products containing SLS

While developing Keys soaps, Bob Root authored an opinion whitepaper that raises the suspicion that some diagnosed common skin disorders are a reaction for some people to sodium laureth sulfate and other chemicals found in personal care and skin care products.  This whitepaper can also be downloaded from the Keys Soap website at  http://www.keys-soap.com/skindisorders.pdf In this whitepaper; Root points out that in many cases where people had been diagnosed with skin disorders by physicians, their disorders went away when people stopped using SLS products and started using Keys Soap.  Included is the story of a woman diagnosed with psoriasis whose involuntary scratching at night led to bloodied bed sheets and a seven-month-old diagnosed with eczema who had scales from head to toe except where his disposable diapers covered.  All went away in a matter of days after discontinuing SLS based laundry detergent and bath gels.  Wendy Steele, the cause of the Keys Soap invention offered, “When Bob first developed Island Rx for me, most of the prescription gels and cleansers that I was told to use contained SLS.  An article I read suggested that SLS may be a culprit and I stopped using everything with SLS in it.  I was utterly amazed at how many things in my life contained SLS or one of its family of products.  My shampoo, my bath gel, facial cleanser, all my laundry products and even my toothpaste all contained SLS.  During this time, the doctor told me I  had minor acne, minor eczema, minor psoriasis.  I got tired of hearing the word minor—it was pretty major to me.  I now believe that it was all SLS related.” Root added; “I am not sure if SLS itself is the cause of the irritation or the fact that it purportedly increases the permeability of the skin along with absorption by the skin of chemicals by a factor of 10 times that is the cause of the skin mimicking common skin disorders.  What I know for sure is that our small sample of Island Rx users has seen a resulting change in a matter of a few days.”

The Technology behind Keys Islandceutical™ personal care products is a form of Quantum Science

Keys Islandceutical products merge holistics with herbal therapy and science to provide clean, chemical-free skin health, aromatherapy and a lift to the spirit.  Our products are designed with ingredients to gently clean, restore and protect using advanced technologies that are safe and effective.  Working with national labs and universities, we look for state of the art and “skip generation” technologies as a continuous learning and development model.

Essential Oils – We use the highest pharmaceutical grade ingredients that are known for their healing effect on the skin for burns, dry skin and skin afflictions.

Herbal Therapy Naturopathy – Our ingredients target skin problems at the cellular level.  They are natural healing ingredients used by holistic dermatologists and estheticians.

Chemical-Free – Our ingredients are truly natural.  Clean, chemical-free and 100% vegan, with no artificial color or fragrances, our products are all handcrafted to contribute to therapeutic skin health.

We have sought out aboriginal healers, dermatologists, estheticians and homeopathic practitioners to find out what they use to rejuvenate and protect the skin.  Besides moisture, they prescribe natural oils and herbs to deep clean and open the pores to receive healing oxygen.  Our experience with physicians educated at Scripps Institute and Johns Hopkins in our 10-year design quest has given us a broad-reaching knowledge of skin conditions and the required treatments.  These guides helped us to find those ingredients that offer the greatest benefits to the skin.

Our processes are as unique as our ingredients.  The adage that oil and water do not mix is no longer true because of the science developed by keys.  Manufacturing techniques that include ultrasonics and infrasonics help blend the minimal number of ingredients to smooth lotions and soaps.  The industry average for a skincare product is 38 ingredients/chemicals.  At Keys, we average 8 whole ingredients that are simple and safe.  This is why Keys natural products continue to rate the safest and most effective based on the www.safecosmetics.org Skin Deep report that ranks product safety.

Keys Islandceutical™ introduced new products at the Natural Products Expo East Show –

the new line adds a therapeutic  lotion, healing serum and therapeutic chemical-free sunblock

Keys announces the release of three new products to the only skincare line that is both chemical-free and therapeutic to clean, restore and protect for real skin health.

Like the Keys soaps released in April 2005, our products contain only pure natural ingredients, no human-made chemicals or fragrances, and no Sodium Laureth Sulfate!  The complete Keys line enables total skin care including cleaning the skin, restoring damaged or affected skin, and protecting the skin from solar radiation effects.

Keys Soap exhibited at the Natural Product Expo East trade show September 16-18, 2005 at the Washington DC Convention Center.  An international audience of trend spotters, retailers, industry leaders, and media will gather at the Washington D.C. Convention Center to interact with more than 1,100 exhibitors of natural and organic finished products and ingredients this Sept. 15-18, 2005 at the 20th anniversary of Natural Products Expo East/Organic Products Expo-BioFach America.  The tradeshow will pinpoint industry trends and offer unmatched opportunities to sample and learn about the finest natural and organic products from around the world. More than 20,000 industry members attended Natural Products Expo East in 2004.

Keys® Introduces Therapy Facts™ Product Labeling

Therapy FactsTM Panel added to product label fully discloses all ingredients and percentages of active ingredients and our New Keys Logo Affirms Medicinal Differentiation of Products

Here is the press release that changed how the industry looks at ingredients and disclosure.  This marked the beginning of a trend and perhaps even a law regarding full-disclosure of ingredients for all skin care products.

Annapolis, MD: – March 29, 2007 –  Keys Care CEO, Wendy Steele,  revealed today at a press conference Keys new logo and Therapy FactsTM product labeling.

The new Keys logo is a stylized white cross on a circular red field that resembles an Internet icon.  This new logo symbolizes the merging of high tech manufacturing and the medicinal properties. It also clearly differentiates Keys products from chemical-based fragranced products.

Keys also add a Therapy FactsTM Panel to every label that identifies the ingredients, their purpose and the percentages of active healing ingredients.  The panel also indicates Keys use of pharmaceutical grade ingredients in therapeutic proportions versus the industry standard operating procedure of listing ingredients that are in minuscule levels only for label content.

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO, elaborated, “I developed my first pet care product Muttineer because of a severe life-threatening reaction my Bichon had after being shampooed at a groomer.  Analyzing the shampoo, we found a sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) levels exceeding 30%; the National Institutes of Health comment that SLS levels greater than 18% can kill a small animal.  As we developed more products, our customers asked for more disclosure of ingredients in plain English to make quick buying decisions.  As we thought it through, it was obvious that people are used to the Nutrition Facts (USDA) label required on all food products.  So, we adopted the format and modified it to make sense for end users of our products, retailers and other manufacturers.”

The Keys Therapy FactsTM panel is on all their new products labels and will eventually be on their entire line of personal and pet care products.  The panel identifies critical decision points for buyers.  Here is a list of the core sections of the panel.

•   Standardized design and look

•   Organic content of the product

•   Affirmation of “100% Natural, Vegan and Biodegradable” contents

•   Affirmation of Pharmaceutical Grade Ingredients in Therapeutic Proportions

•   List of ingredients, their English name, the vitamins contained in the ingredient or their actions

•   The actual percentages of active ingredients

•   The Environmental Working Group ranking of the safety of the           products

•   A product purpose statement

•   Instructions for use

•   No Animal Testing affirmation

•   Manufacturing country (USA)

•   Contact information

Wendy Steele, Keys Founder, continued, “This Therapy FactsTM panel just speaks for itself.  It is a response to numerous customer inquiries.  We encourage other manufacturers to follow suit and fully disclose their ingredients and levels.  We are discussing licensing of our Therapy FactsTM panel to other manufacturers and to those that we will be private labeling all natural chemical-free skin care products for them.  Our purpose is full disclosure of all ingredients and an assurance from licensees that they will provide an honest description to their customers through this panel on their products.  In turn, consumers and dealers will have a clear understanding of the purpose and actions of a product.”

Keys Soap Technology Background

Keys Soaps solve skin problems, stimulate the senses, and create positive emotions.  Islandceutical™ is our term that assures people of these three criteria.

Bob Root, a former Silicon Valley CEO, and Wendy Steele, a former Coca-Cola executive, founded Keys Soap.  Bob invented the soaps to help Wendy, the love of his life, a melanoma survivor.  Her suffering and a desire to maintain her active, outdoor lifestyle drove him to give back her quality of life. Wendy said, “The Keys Soap story isn’t about starting a business or being an entrepreneur.  It is about enjoying life with healthy skin.  I am determined to live an active, healthy outdoor lifestyle after experiencing melanoma.”

“It was not my technology background that inspired the formulation of my soaps, it was my study as a chef that guided me,” said Bob. “Like creating a great culinary masterpiece, the ingredients have to work together, be of the highest quality and must be skillfully added in the proper order.  More importantly, the meal must have a positive intention for the person savoring it.  This is the way of Keys!”

Aromatherapy Benefits of Keys Soaps

All Keys Soaps are a form of aromatherapy.  We have mapped the essential oils (EO) we use to provide a lift to the spirit and senses.  Aromatherapy has proven to affect the mind and the moods of people.  This is why we have chosen the spirit-lifting citrus blends combined with natural EO herbal extracts as a side purpose for our soaps.  Keys handcrafts our products to lift the spirit as well as provide therapeutic benefits to the skin.

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Time To Get Wise – Dear 16 Year Old Me!

Time To Get Wise

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

May is Melanoma month and it is not a celebration.

Around the world, there is a celebration at the beginning of May.  For me as a Melanoma survivor, it is a month where I give thanks for surviving.  It is the first day of May that I begin my summer long campaign to share my concerns, my knowledge and my experiences with people.  My goal is to save lives.

I am not cancer free, but I am free from cancer.  My advocacy has taken me to many places and I have met many survivors and unfortunately too many people that have lost loved ones, friends, spouces and parents.  What makes me sad is that they have also lost children.

The stories are wide and varied.  Here is just one subject that I hear all to often every May.

A frantic Mom and  a concerned Dad asking me for advice for their 16 and 17 year olds respectively.  Both the concerned parents were asking essentially the same thing: “How do I convince my teen daughter that she could wear anything and her skin will still look incredibly beautiful?”  Well, as it turned out, this was not just about teen fashion.   This was about preparation for the prom!  It turned out that the biggest issue was caused by the color of the dress and their teen’s steadfast belief that they could not possibly look beautiful in a white dress without tanned skin!  To prepare for their prom, both of these teens were insisting on sunless tanning.  I realized there must be thousands of parents going through this same drama, trying to win over the peer pressure their teens felt to spend the weeks before prom on tanning beds.

I received these requests for advice, because I am a melanoma skin cancer survivor and a skin health advocate.  I briefly pondered the fact that I do not  have a teen son or daughter…and I quickly found myself saying, but if I did I would share with them what I have learned in my life so far. Continue reading Time To Get Wise – Dear 16 Year Old Me!

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Finding your Voice at the California Women’s Conference

By Wendy Steele, Keys  CEO

So what happens when over 20,000 women convene at a special conference in Long Beach CA hosted by The People’s Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger and California First Lady Maria Shriver?   Well, we are about to find out!  Keys is excited to participate in the CA Women’s Conference events on Monday October 26 and Tuesday October 27.  During the event, Keys is exhibiting with one of its LA based retail partners Lavender Natural Beauty.   If you are in Long Beach, please visit with us on site at the conference in Booth 846.

I am struck by the great potential for thousands of women who I believe will be inspired by what they hear, see and feel in the next 2 days.  Perhaps the greatest gift is listening to others passionately share about the defining moments in their lives.  Recognizing defining moments, on the job, with their health and at times of great loss and great celebration is a monumental step to helping women to find their voices.  During the next several days,  I look forward  to hearing from thousands of women, individually, as they share their own defining moments and speak out about what is most important to them to fully live their lives.

More later  from the Night at the Village Event and tomorrow’s events! Continue reading Finding your Voice at the California Women’s Conference

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Take a prescription topical, grow your eyelashes…are you kidding me?

by Wendy Steele,  Keys CEO

I did a double-take when I read some hoopla about a drug company suing a cosmetic company over an ingredient that they both touted as a miraculous eyelash growth ingredient.  Then I saw a commercial where a celebrity was touting the growth of her eyelashes to taking this prescription topical (never mind all of potential side effects they mention)?  YIKES!

I thought about my teen years, as that was when my eyelashes started becoming the focus of my attention and quest for “beautiful long lashes”.  Being the only girl with two brothers, I was distressed and annoyed that both of my brothers had full, long and lush eyelashes and I did not!  It just didn’t seem to be fair!  Like so many women, I resorted to using so-called lengthening mascaras, lotions, potions and eyelash curlers, at considerable expense.

Then about three years ago I started to notice new lash growth and less eyelash loss.  I was determined to figure out why—and then it became more and more interesting….

Continue reading Take a prescription topical, grow your eyelashes…are you kidding me?