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Frequently Asked Question In the C-19 Storm

Questions

It would be irrational if I did not say these are odd times. We are all in a turbulent storm.  A world dilemma has brought us lots of questions. Touchwood, our factory is still running, and we have been swamped. One of the busy areas is questions we are getting on our info email, customer service, and social media sites.

We started to notice a pattern, and we know that if we get a question on a topic, there are 100 who have the same issue but did not ask. So, we have created a composite FAQ section below that seems relevant to our times.

I must add that many of the answers may seem to be self-promoting. We don’t want to look tone-deaf, and at the same time, most of the question usual start off with “Which of your products can I use for-” We do try to offer some open suggestion, but we want to make sure that we are upfront in a time when there is lots of self-promotion.

Okay, some of these are very general and some very specific. Please try to keep that in mind as we answer the questions.

Mickey

Keys Customer Service


Here we go:

Question: I have been using hand sanitizers for a few weeks, and my hands are a wreck. What do I use?

Answer: Our Tortuga lotion is the most emollient lotion we make. It is chock full of avocado oil and Shea butter. The alcohol is drying, as is washing hands with detergent. Tortuga solves it right away and has not glycols to irritate further.


Question: I have been washing my hands with dishwashing soap, and they look and feel terrible. Anything I can use that will work.  

Answer: Our Galleyon antibacterial soap is designed to reduce bio-mass as antibacterial soap. It is Castile and has avocado and spearmint oil that leaves a monolithic coating of oil on the skin. So, it cleans and lubricates. Our Island Rx, Windsurfer, and MetaClean are equally as good. Galleyon contains spearmint oil, which does affect some types of bacteria and viruses.


Question: My hands are dry with cracking between the fingers. What can I use?

Answer: Guessing that you are washing with a soap that contains sulfates. These have been shown to create eczema and psoriasis type symptoms. Washing with Galleyon may help. If they are really cracked, our MetaCare ayurvedic lotion will help reverse the problems. MetaCare has Neem and Karanja oil. Google the benefits of these two oils.


Question: I have been locked up for three weeks and my diabetic skin has really flared up on my back. Do you have a lotion that will help?

Answer: We have a sprayable lotion called RediCare. It has Neem and Karanja oil and is sprayable. So, it does not have to be rubbed in. For years, diabetic skin suffers have used RediCare. My guess is that because you are3 in one place that seasonal allergies may be bothering you more. It seems like, on top of everything, allergies are more intense this season.


Question: I have heard that alkaline soaps are better for washing than neutral soaps. Are your soaps alkaline? What is their pH?

Answer: Yes, but we are not sure what you heard is true. Covid-19 is a lipid covered hydrophobic virus. The act of breaking down lipids is the main goal. Washing with detergent or our Castile-based soaps works equally as well with no real proof that higher pH helps. To answer your question specifically, our soaps range from alkalinity of 9.2pH to about 10.0pH.


Question: Your soaps talk about being micelle-based. Micelles seem to have a similar structure to some viruses. Do they help?

Answer: Wow, a really astute question! We don’t know, and yet, our scientists are asking the same thing because of the hydrophobic nature of micelles. I suggest you follow Dr. Rhonda Patrick in San Diego. She is involved with Salk Institue there.


Question: What do you recommend as far as a going ot regimen for your products? Do you do the same thing coming home.

Answer: The first obvious answer is to stay at home. I understand the question, and we have a unique reply.

Going out:  

  1. Wash your hands with detergent or Galleyon soap
  2. Wear a mask and gloves
  3. Spray sanitizer as needed on gloves and hands
  4. Avoid people

Coming Home:

  1. Strip and wash your clothes
  2. Spray hands with alcohol-based sanitizer
  3. Wash with Galleyon
  4. Use Tortuga lotion to moisturize

Question: Do I have to wash longer with Galleyon soap than if I use a conventional antibacterial soap.

Answer: Not really. Although most people do not wash long enough, most professionals recommend 20 seconds wash time. We recommend surgeons wash time regimen, which is fingertips to elbows for 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. Some surgeons wash for 10 minutes before gowning up. Please wash at least one minute to make ‘me’ feel better.


Question: I love the scent of Island Rx Micelle Facial Cleanser. Can I use it to wash my hands?

Answer: It is not recommended because Island Rx Cleanser is diluted for the face. Use Island Rx liquid soap instead. It has the same scent, but stronger.


Question: What is the difference between your moisturizers/lotions? Not sure which one to buy.

Answer:

  • Luminos is a light facial moisturizer that adds luminescence to the skin and is great under makeup moisturizer.
  • Tortuga is our most emollient lotion and is for very dry skin. It can be used on spot areas on the face and all over the body. Perfect hand lotion because it absorbs fast and is not sticky
  • MetaCare is Tortuga with Neen and Karanja oil added. It is an ayurvedic therapy lotion for skin disorders. Google the benefits of Neem and Karanja for the skin.
  • AvoJel is an avocado oil-based jelly that seals the skin like petroleum jelly but without the petroleum side effect. It is for the most extremely dry skin or where chafing may occur.
  • Urban Shield is like AvoJel, but with ingredients designed to solve skin disorders on dehydrated skin and as a protectant trapping environmental issues. It is truly a shield against allergens and some pathogens.

Question: My doctor recommended that I cover my skin in a thin light lotion because I have severe itching, and I live in the desert southwest. What can I do?

Answer: Often, we find that the itching is a direct result of glycols in lotions and soaps. This is especially true of body washes that are designed as a moisturizer. So, there are a couple of tricks.  

  1. Mix a base oil like avocado or olive oil in with a Castile soap like our Island Rx or Dr. Bronner’s. These soaps will take about 1% to 3% without separating. When you wash, the oils cling to the skin, and only the soap washed away. You will notice the silky feel quickly and get hooked on the feel.
  2. Our MetaClean soap has about 6% oil level made up of avocado, Neem, and Karanja oils. It has the same effect as the DIY above, but with a medicinal bent.

Question: My doctor gave me a prescription for my dry cracked hands. It seems to have made them worse. What can I use?

Answer: This is a huge problem because most prescriptions contain huge amounts of glycols and parabens. Both are known to cause extreme skin conditions. I honestly do not understand it. I cannot legally tell you to stop, but I will not also tell you that we have anything that will overcome the effects of a paraben bacteriacide or glycols. It is up to you. If it was me, I would wash with our Island Rx or Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile and use lotion like Tortuga. You should feel and see the difference in a few minutes.

Also, please search for the cause. There may be something you are using on your hands that have glycols and parabens in them, which have been shown to cause the symptoms you describe.


Okay, these are just a few of the many questions we are receiving. We will amend them as we hear more unique problems.

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DIY Hand Sanitizers – Formulas

Time for Hand Sanitizers.

It is important to be effective and know what you are putting on your hands.   There are a number of natural commercially available products that work.  Right now, they are hard to find in the stores.  So, it is time to make your own.  It is simple and done right, just as effective as the store-bought sanitizing products.

DIY Sanitizers Formulas

So here is a formula for creating the world’s best hand sanitizers.

Use 98% of 99% Isopropyl alcohol and 1% spearmint essential oil.
Can’t find Isopropyl Alcohol? Turn to white lightening. Yes, Grain Alcohol or 190 proof ethanol. Do not dilute or buy less than 190 proof.  This means the alcohol level is 95%.   It doesn’t matter the source; ethanol is alcohol. Also, mix it with spearmint essential oil for lubrication and positive microbiome effects.

Wash Hands

Washing your hands with Castile soap is best. Seriously, but when you cannot, alcohol sanitizer helps.

My suggestion is to put it into a spray bottle. A 1 ounce (30ml) size will do for your pocket or purse. Spray it on your hands or surface. Spray on hands liberally and rub until dry: just a moment or two.

Denatured Alcohol, But Be Careful

There is also another choice at Home Depot od Lowes in the paint aisle. It is denatured alcohol altered with Menthol. Warning! Denatured alcohol can have other additives like Methyl Ethyl Ketone (aka MEK). Avoid at all costs, and if it is not marked, do not buy it.

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Mom Was Right! – Just Wash Hands

There is a Simple Way

by Bob Root, Keys CTO

Yes, it is flu season, and traveling is getting to be a more significant concern. It is the time of year to write about not only how to wash your hands, but why doing it the wrong way can hurt.

Many years ago, we researched the University of California Irvine on proper handwashing as a means to stay healthy during flu and virus outbreaks. The study formed our opinion, which I will share here.

The primary purpose of washing your hands is not to spread viruses to your face. The average person touches their face about 50 times a day. When I mentally checked in with how often I touch my face or nose with my hands, I quickly lost count—much more than 50 times a day.

So why wash your hands? The process of washing hands is to reduce the bacterial mass on your hands without harming the Microbiome. Our skin has friendly bacteria. Our Microbiome is occasionally invaded by bad gram-positive and gram-negative rods known as pathogens. These are the disease-carrying bacterial that infect us mostly through our noses and mouths. Was to remove them lowers the risk of infection.

Our Galleyon foaming soap helps to remove the bacterial mass because it is a Castile based soap that uses a high concentration of spearmint essential oil. Galleyon makes an excellent cleanser because Castile soaps are alkaline, and the spearmint aid in the cleaning process to reduce the overall bacterial count.

How to Wash with Galleyon

It is simple, and you might not be washing long enough.

  1. Wet your hands thoroughly with warm water. This will open the pores of the skin to let the soap get deep in.  
  2. Apply a few pumps of Galleyon Foam and wash all parts of your hands for at least 30 seconds. More if you like, but not less.
  3. Rinse with cool to warm water under flowing water. Rince longer than you think.
  4. Shake your hands over the sink rapidly to release the water.
  5. Use a paper towel to dry because a cloth towel used more than once is a home for the harmful bacteria to accumulate. Optionally air dry or use one of those clean air dry blowers like the Dyson Blade.
  6. You’re Done!

What Not to Do.

Antibacterial agents

Stop! The term antibacterial has two distinct meanings in the world of science. Reducing the biomass on your hands is the good antibacterial action, and killing the bacterial with bactericides like triclosan is terrible. Killing bactericides like triclosan indiscriminately kill good and bad bacteria at the same time. The grandmothers’ tale is accurate. If you kill all the bacterial, there is no defense for the bad guys to invade harder and faster. I read one article where someone said to use Lysol to sanitize. Nuts!

Hand Sanitizers

Okay, you can make your own hand sanitizer with Galleyon by mixing one part of the liquids soap with five parts water. Spraying it on parts or your hands will help, but not that much. Using most hand sanitizers can hurt because they are mostly ethanol alcohol—usually about 60%. Ethanol is a bacteriacide that also indiscriminately kill good and bad bacteria. I was just on a plane where I watched a guy, who looked like an engineer, put on rubber gloves, take what seemed like an alcohol wipe, and cleaned his entire seat area. Then he carefully captured the wipe by removing his glove in a way to make it into a baggy. This was good because he sanitized the area as opposed to his skin. A+ The message is to sanitize your surroundings and not your hands. Keep that good bacteria working for you.

Gloves?

Wearing gloves is a good thing, but it is hard to do and uncomfortable. Those Nitrile blue or black gloves work, but they can get hot, and your hands can get sweaty wearing them. Bacterial needs oxygen (air) and water to propagate. So, unless you change them out and wash between, they are not that good. Cloth or porous gloves do nothing!

Don’t Touch Your Face.

One of the best deterrents is not to touch public things and not touch your hands/fingers to your face. I recently had a meeting in Las Vegas and had to fly through Phoenix to get there. The areas I was in were very low humidity, and most people were not sick. Said Wendy warned me not to touch anything and never touch my face. That was hard, but I made a conscious effort. I did watch most people as they grabbed handrails, pushed open doors on trash containers, and washing in the bathroom to little and without soap. They were continually touching their faces, and I could quickly see Wendy’s point. Research it if you want, but touching public fixtures and then your face is a disaster.

Okay, that is it. Wash your hands a lot with a Castile soap like Galleyon, and you have a pretty good chance at warding off a bacterial or virus attacks.

Bob

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Hand Sanitizers Debunked

Hand Sanitizers, The Right Way, and the Wrong Way.

Where to begin?

My article, “Just Wash Hands,” has brought a lot of comments. Lots of thank you’s, a few questions and some opinion. Cool, that is what is supposed to happen.

YES

Most comments address a short paragraph I wrote about “Hand Sanitizers.” There is a wrong way and a right way. Most of us do it the wrong way.

So, I cruised into a Wal-Mart to buy a pair of new windshield wiper blades. I noticed two sanitizer stations at the entrance. One was the right kind, and the other the wrong kind. One was an alcohol towelette, and the other a hand dispenser. One was designed to wipe down the cart and the other to disinfect hands. To my surprise, as I watched for a bit, people grabbed the towelette and wiped their hands with it. It seemed like most people were avoiding the dispenser.

Here are my facts. The dispenser, marked as a hand sanitizer, claimed to contain Triclosan and alcohol. Fact, this machine kills all the good and bad bacteria on the skin. I firmly believe, as studies point out, that pathogens populate faster than good colony bacteria. This means that when you indiscriminately kill off your microbiome bacteria, the good guys, the bad guys show up first, giving good bacteria almost no chance to defend. So, please keep this in mind when you enter a store and see a squirt dispenser. Said, I am still amazed that the one I saw said it included Triclosan, which is a banned substance. Perhaps they were refilling the old dispenser.

The towelette dispenser used on the hands is equally wrong. My story about the engineer on the airplane wiping down his seat area wearing Nitrile gloves is the right way. Those towelettes kill the bacteria, good and bad, the same way as the sanitizer dispenser. The difference is that the towelettes are designed to wipe down the cart and not your hands. So, it is perfectly proper to wipe down the things you touch with a bacteria killer and not your hands. Make sense?

NO! NO! NO!

In my trek around Wal-Mart, I saw one woman do it right. She wiped down her cart with the towelette and was wearing Nitrile gloves on her hands. She did not have a mask on, but I suspect that if and when a virus or the flu breaks out in New Mexico, she will be wearing a mask. For now, she was fending off germs the correct way.

So, there is a right and wrong way to keep safe. If you are going into public places, wash your hands, use gloves, and do not under any circumstances, rub your nose or face with your gloved hands. It is common sense that viruses are spread primarily through the nose, so keep your hands and fingers clear of your face.

To overly simplify, liquid hand sanitizers are not good, and sanitizer towelettes are for wiping down carts and things you touch. Disposable gloves are best.

Bob

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Chemical-Free Skin Health Book, Anniversary Sale -Kindle $4.95

It is the tenth anniversary of Bob’s book, “Chemical-Free Skin Health.” That does not mean it is ten years old. It has been remastered a number of times to keep it current. Ironically, our collective amnesia will make much of the book new to first-time readers.

In 2008, Bob announced the beginning of a book focused on skin health over two years ago at the Natural Products Expo West. His book was published in early October 2009 and Bob will officially launch the book at the 2010 California Women’s Conference. Maria Shriver chose Keys Luminos for her California Women’s Conference for the speaker’s gift bag. In 2010, she wanted Keys Solar Rx for the speaker’s gift bag.

The book, titled “Chemical-Free Skin Health” with a subtitle of “Stop • Challenge • Choose,” was published by Orion’s M42 publishing company and was sold on the show floor by Roman’s bookstore next to Dr. Oz. Bob, Mehmet, and others were signing their books. Chemical-Free Skin Health sold out the first day.

Keys exhibited in the newly created section called the “ECO Island,” which features green sustainable products. For those attending, Bob and Wendy were in the Keys booth along with Kathleen Beaton, Hollywood makeup artist, and writer of the Foreword for Bob’s book. Kerry Malouf, motion picture makeup artist and beauty editor for Malibu Magazine, was also in the Keys booth in the ECO Island.

Bob and Wendy opened the ECO Island with a speech on the Mind, Body Soul stage for the conference at the Night at the Village on October 25th. Bob and Wendy also lead what Maria calls the “Kitchen Table” sessions within the ECO Island. These were 25 minute Q&A sessions where each will offer information and answer questions.

Oprah, Jane Fonda, Caroline Kennedy, and over 100 other celebrity women with a few men like Sir Richard Branson talked to over 35,000 women at the Long Beach California Convention Center.

Since then, Chemical-Free Skin Health has been published four times and is on Amazon Kindle. In celebration of the tenth anniversary, Chemical-Free Skin Health is on sale on Amazon Kindle for $4.95. That is a $15.00 savings.  Well worth the original $19.95 list price. It makes this timeless book a super-value.

Click Here to go to Amazon Kindle or Click on the book cover image above.

The paperback is available here at 40% off published SRP:

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Parabens – They Are Everywhere

Parabens hiding in plain sight.

parabensWhen I started writing my book, Chemical-Free Skin Health, I thought I would mention Parabens as a side comment in the chapter on the Dirty Dozen Chemicals in most skincare products. Yes, about 95% of every skincare product produced has a bacteriacide that goes by many names. Most are listed on product labels as Methyl-Paraben or something with paraben in the name.

I was speaking at a conference and was attacked by a person in the audience because they claimed that parabens were not harmful in the small amount used in a product. True that most applications of this bacteriacide are in the 0.5% range and are useful in keeping mold and bacteria growth in check. Back to the incident, I responded that “the average woman uses between 20 to 40 products a day on her skin. Because paraben use is cumulative, that means that the average woman is exposing herself to 10%-20% parabens levels every day. They sat down, and the moderator of the discussion took a quick turn away.

The rub is simple. Parabens kill good and bad bacteria indiscriminately. That is in the bottle and on your skin. The MSDS (federal product safety document) requires a fully garbed and nitrile gloved worker also to wear a respirator if exposed to >2% paraben levels. Someone using 10%-20% level of parabens cumulatively is damaging the skin microbiome and affecting that person’s overall health.

Read more in Chemical Free Skin Health available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon

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Congrats America! You Did It. You Voted With Your Wallets

You Voted With Your Wallets!  Natural Products Are Mainstream in Grocery Stores.

In my book, “Chemical-Free Skin Health®” I suggested that the fastest and best way to bring about change in Natural Products was to buy products that were pure and clean. Voting with your wallets. Boycotting the junk also sent a huge message.  Well, you did it.  The result is that not only have you put natural products front and center on store shelves, but you have convinced major brands to return to their roots by offering natural wholesome and clean products.

walletsI recently read a draft report by a research firm that specializes in retail store trends.  They noted in a recent study that many mainline brands like Campbell soup have initiated and brought out new natural brands that are simple and wholesome alternatives.  Campbell’s “Well YES” brand was singled out as an example of how many brands have shifted back to simple foods.  Same was noted for personal care.

walletsI decided to do something totally out of character.  I went to a Kroger Fred Meyers store in Newport Oregon and just walked the aisles.  This store has a natural products section, but it was very apparent that all the food aisles were focused on natural products.  As a point of reference, when a retailer puts products at eye level and easy to grab, that is what is called “First Position” meaning that it is priority.  Walking the soup aisle, Amy’s and Campbell Well Yes were front and center.  The jam and peanut butter section was even more noticeable.  Traditional brands like Skippy were bottom shelf with Jason’s, Smucker’s Natural and other pure brands were front and center.  The rest of the store was the same as was the conventional health and beauty aisles.

So, you did it.  You voted with your wallets and sent a message to the manufacturers that you wanted a change and they responded.  Good on you and good on them for listening.

I must also say that I hope you have learned a lesson that your voice works, but a voice that speaks directly to those that can make a change.  The manufacturers!  Stop wasting your money by donating to those that claim to be trying to change the government to protect us all from the evils of bad manufacturers.  Keep your dollars in your wallets and spend them on products that are good for you.  Trust me, funky questionable products that sit on the shelf get discontinued quickly by retailers that see them gathering dust.  Those manufacturers that get their products returned because no one is buying them speaks volumes.  Always, always, Vote With Your Wallets.  It works every time.

walletsWhen we started 15 years ago, Keys promoted natural functional products that solved problems and make people feel good.  We said, “and by the way, they are natural.”  Today we still market the features, benefits and advantages of our natural products.  Because of the natural products food movement, we now have a huge following by people wanting to solve their skin disorders with natural products.  We are celebrating the turnaround…or really the return to natural.

I guess a simple message is that the P&G’s of the world are really not so bad.  They just follow the money.  If you ask for junk, that’s what you get.  If you ask for good, that’s what you get.

So leave your money in your wallets.  Spend it wisely on products that you know what is in the container.

Congrats!  You just learned how powerful you and your wallets can be.

Bob

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FDA Bans Triclosan – EPA, Your Turn

Triclosan and 18 Other Chemicals Banned In Antibacterial Soaps and Hand Sanitizers

TriclosanBy Bob Root

Keys CTO and Author of Chemical-Free Skin Health®

I must first admit that I have little use for Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), industry consultants and individuals who gain income, notoriety or donations based on creating fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in the minds of consumers.  I believe that the best path to information is data.  A point-of-view or opinion that is not based in facts wastes everyone’s time.

What is Triclosan?

Triclosan is a chemical developed by a Swiss group called Ciba.  They were acquired by BASF in April 2009.  Triclosan is a broad spectrum bactericide that kills all forms of bacteria.  This includes the good and the bad.  For more background on why our good bacteria being killed off affects our skin’s eco system, please read an article I wrote in February of 2011 titled, “ARE WE KILLING OUR SKIN’S ECOSYSTEM? ”

The FDA Ban of Triclosan!

TriclosanSo, the facts!  The US FDA has banned Triclosan and 18 other chemicals being used in soaps and hand sanitizers.  They have not stated just their lack of efficacy, they have been banned because of concerns to humans!  Banned!   Do not take my word for it, read here what the FDA said in the public filing.  Evidence shows that not only are they non-affective, they can cause damage to human and animals who have been and continue to be exposed to Triclosan.  These include concerns over propagating Staph, hormone disruption, cancer and destruction of the human microbiome.

The good news is that the FDA has stepped in and banned Triclosan’s use.  Many leading consumer products companies have already announce removal of the chemicals including Triclosan.

Triclosan – I Told You So in 2010

TriclosanIn my book, Chemical-Free Skin Health®, I dedicated a chapter to Triclosan and other biocides.  My original thoughts was to right a few word in a much more all encompassing chapter.  As I studied the chemical Triclosan more, it ultimately became an entire chapter because even in 2010, evidence was already huge that Triclosan was detrimental to human life.  Below is the chapter from my book for you to read.  I ask you to read it because the FDA ruling is just the tip of the iceberg.

Triclosan – EPA, It is Your Turn to Weigh-In

I write this article, not to reinforce what I wrote 6 years ago, it is to make you aware that Triclosan is used in much more than soaps and hand sanitizers.  It is in our food, other personal care products, clothing and food preparation products.  Again, read the chapter from my book below.  As I said, it became a chapter because the threat is broader and it is the EPA’s turn to also ban the use of Triclosan and some parabens being used in food wrap, antibacterial clothing, sporting goods, toys, children’s car seats and many animal products.  The same cause and effect the FDA details in their announcement also applies to products that are under the control of the EPA.

Do Better When You Know Better

There is even a bigger message in the Triclosan ban.  Become aware so that you do better for yourself and your family by knowing better.   The reality is that it has taken some advocates of reform nearly ten years to get the FDA to act.  The good news is that they did.  The bad news is that their are hundreds of other chemicals in use today that advocates have presented data showing their detrimental effects on humans and animals.  Yet their is a very simple solution and it is back to the future.

You have two choices.  Burden yourself with self-study to find out what all the chemicals are that could cause potential harm or merely switch to natural products that have simple whole natural ingredients.  Whether it is Haagen Daz Five ice cream with only five ingredients, my products  and those of others who offer simple man-made chemical-free ingredients, you can simplify your life by embracing trusted brands.  Then you will also send a pocketbook message to the big brands that people want to return to the simpler past where everything is natural that we put into and on our bodies.  Back to the future?  Simply, 60 years ago nearly everything we ate and put in or on our bodies was naturally derived.  My hallucination is that in the not too distant future, we will return to natural products that are chemical-free.

Congrats FDA!  EPA, your turn!  People, it is time to get wise and go natural!

You can also read more by purchasing my book on Amazon  It is available in paperback or Kindle.  Chemical-Free Skin Health is also available from the Keys Online store by Clicking Here

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Excerpt from Chemical-Free Skin Health® by Bob Root

Copyright 2010-2016 by Orion Learning International Inc.  M42 Publishing

Just as a note, I have also attached the chapter as a PDF document if you want to send it to your friends. Click the image to download

[bsk-pdf-manager-pdf id=”4″ featuredimage=”yes”]

Chapter 12: My Two Worst Public Enemies! Triclosan and Parabens

TriclosanEarly on I told you about how the skin works. Overly simplifying a particular facet of the skin, the bacteria that exist on it keep our skin in balance. Washing our skin and particularly the face removes the remnants of the bacteria, dirt, pollutants and dead skin. No matter how hard we try to remove the bacteria, it is nearly impossible unless we use germicides or bactericides like parabens and triclosan.

Here is my simple concern. If I can put a paraben in a product to kill off bacteria and germs in the container, what does it do to the good bacteria on my skin? If I wash my hands with a hand sanitizer that contains the broad spectrum bactericide, triclosan, what does it do to my good bacteria?

Search as I might, I have not found any evidence that parabens and triclosan are tuned killers. Meaning that they waste the bad guys and protect the good. Everything that I have read supports the contrary.

I have talked to dermatologists, doctors and scientists asking their concerns about what is going on in personal care and cosmetics that concern them. Over 90% express concern over parabens and triclosan because of the long term health effects. Not from the chemicals, but from the effect it has on killing the probiotics of our skin. All express an even greater concern about these chemicals being used in our food, toothpaste and mouth washes.

You can choose to read this chapter or not. It is somewhat geeky, but necessary to explain my perceptions.

What I believe is that the only thing known to man that kills the good bacteria on our skin are parabens and triclosan. Remove the good bacteria and our balance is disrupted. Disrupt the balance and those bacteria that come at us first are the worst kind and literally attack unprotected skin.

I personally believe that these two chemical types are responsible for many of the skin disorders that doctors see.

Also, it took western medicine a long time to buy into the fact that we need probiotics to help our gut perform. I believe it is also time that we start to explore probiotics for our skin.

Finally, I do believe that the people that have link MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) outbreaks to parabens and triclosan are probably correct. Only time and research will prove them right or wrong. Indications are they are correct and it is probably time to eliminate parabens and triclosan from your life.

So read on if you want!

Triclosan: The Biocide that Creates Super Bugs?

FACT vs FUD is a chapter in this book as well as an article on our blog. In this overly inflammatory news based society of ours, my resistance is to publish anything that is not based in research that is a bit beyond a theory.

Some History:

One of the inspirations for this book and this article was an experience I had while in a store outside of Dayton Ohio. I was not too far from the headquarters of Proctor & Gamble (Cincinnati) delivering a speech about the Dirty Dozen at an annual event the store promotes. Probably 200 in attendance, I went through the Dirty Dozen chemicals created by the Marin County Cancer Project. At the end, I provided some chemicals of concern, so I went back through my “most feared” list. In the book, I describe that some of the Dirty Dozen are much more damaging than others, but tend to be used in only discrete segments and in only some products. Some ingredients like parabens are much more widely used often in multiple doses during the manufacturing process elevating their concentrations in products to well beyond the called for percentages by the chemical maker. During my speech, I invited questions as we went along and there were plenty.

At the end, I voiced my concern that triclosan was perhaps my greatest fear because it is so powerful a biocide. I had explained earlier that triclosan is the main ingredient in hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps. A biocide, by design, kills gram positive and gram negative bacteria as well as most all bacteria. My concern all along has been two very important concerns:

  1. If it indiscriminately kills all bacteria, then what does it do to the flora-probiotic on our skin?
  2. Will the destruction of all bacteria on the skin create super-bugs that morph and become resistant to both the biocide and antibiotics?

As I always do when speaking to a group, I try to connect with the eyes of people in my audience. It is my way of trying to figure out if I am connecting with them. In my corporate life, I received training on how to read an audience as well. As I call it, ‘Squirming Around’ is a big flag that I have touched a nerve. As a CEO of a publicly traded company, you better believe that I experienced this at every shareholder meeting. So, this day, I was thrust back to my corporate life by a gentleman that had asked no questions, been very polite and had friendly eyes. When I lumped triclosan in with parabens as my major concern, his hand shot skyward as to immediately interrupt me. I obliged by stopping to acknowledge his question.

He asked, “Why would you add the main ingredient in hand sanitizers with that of preservatives used in almost every product made from personal care, to toothpaste, to food?”

First things first, I knew immediately that this person was from the industry because the question was one I would have expected in a meeting inside a research and development process. Not being ever deterred by confrontation, I answered both technically and emotionally. Here is my initial response.

“I am more concerned with Triclosan than a Methyl Paraben for four primary reasons:

  1. Triclosan has been used in hospital and scientific environments for many years because it is the most effect biocide.
  2. The concentration of Triclosan in a function specific product like antibacterial soaps is much higher and therefore of greater concern to me because it does a much more wide reaching job of killing all bacteria on the skin including the good bugs!
  3. The destruction from Triclosan is so powerful and long lived compare to parabens that I have more than a subtle concern that what bacteria arrive back on the scene will be the worst kind like staph, e. Coli etc.
  4. I also worry that these strains of bacteria will grow back with a vengeance and become resistant to both Triclosan and known antibiotics.”

The man stood straight up as if to confront me. I could also tell that I had just scared the hell out of the rest of the audience. Before I could temper my comments with the fact that this was my personal concern and that I had not gathered all the facts, he spoke.

He said, “I am a scientist that works down the road. First, I am a parent and father. I do not care that we have the best health insurance; I worry about what we expose our kids to. We have had an outbreak of Staph in the middle schools in this area and what you are saying is that because we require our kids to wash with antibacterial soap containing Triclosan that we are exposing them to the potential of transmitted staph infections like the ones we are experiencing now?”

My only answer had to be from the heart and not my corporate training to dodge the question. I said, Yes!”

He shook his head and sat down. Honestly, you could have heard a mouse burp in that room! I tried to interject some humor and my time was up. The people filed out of the room as the other speaker got set up. The man approached as did the sponsors from the store.

The sponsor thanked me for the informative talk and quickly said, can you send me something about this. She offered that she was a Cancer survivor and had a more than passing concern.

The man also echoed by adding that he was privileged to be able to read many documents about uses of chemicals. He said that what he always noticed is that most have warnings of irritation when used in high percentages and that antibacterial soap using Triclosan actually exceeded the minimum percentages. I asked if he could provide me with percentage data and he said; “No! I am not allowed to do that!” I got the message. I walked back to my team that was exhibiting at the health fare and told them of the experience. I shared, that I only wish I had a study to hand to everyone that at least echoed my fears.

Over the last two years, I have shared the story with colleagues. This morning in July of 2010, I received an email with a copy of the Opinion from the EU Scientific Directorate! Being a geek, I read all 56 pages and decided to sit down to finish this chapter of the book.

Remember this is an opinion and I would encourage you to read the entire document. There must be additional testing. We do know that bacteria exposed to destructive agents does morph into “super bugs” in many cases. This opinion echoes much of that concern. In one sense, I am pleased that this concern of mine and others has now taken another step up in the process of science.

My opinion! For what it is worth, science generally follows an orderly path. The Mandelbrot theory says that, if that what we see occurs in a large scale, it will occur in a small scale. If we can kill bacteria…good and bad… with a large dose of a chemical, then small doses delivered more frequently and repeatedly will have the same effect. The other scientific principle that comes to mind here is Occam’s Razor which is the principle that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity” or that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. So, to me it makes sense from a logical perspective that using a chemical like Triclosan everyday in large does will have a long term adverse effect on the flora of the skin. Only the test of time and scientific studies will bring the concern to even higher levels.

What I can share is that I personally avoid anything on or in my body designed to kill something like germs, bacteria and microbes. Like all of us, I have had to take antibiotics and we know from the warnings that sustained use can make them ineffective. Following Occam’s Razor, I also believe that is true of these chemicals under various names that are designed to make my life more pure…Purity at the sake of what?

So, my mother may not have been right that eating dirt was all that bad for me ☺

Triclosan: The Biocide that keeps on giving!

Most of the free world including the US requires that Triclosan be listed somewhere on the label if it is used in a product. But how about if it is used in product packaging or molded into materials. Unregulated therefore no requirement for listing. Herein is the fallacy of confusing consequence with sequence.

Have you ever wondered why cheese seems to last longer than it used to? Have you wondered how companies can claim that if you buy their storage products that food will last longer? Have you wondered how a manufacturer could claim that their running socks are antibacterial?

We know that Triclosan is used in sanitizers and toothpaste as well as antibacterial soaps. Did you ever wonder what chemical they use in making utensils, cooking equipment, cutting boards and even sport clothing to make them antibacterial. You guessed it, Triclosan. The white powdery substance can be molded into products to make virtually antibacterial. Many food packages are molded with Triclosan to make them antibacterial to preserve the food longer.

If there was any reason to buy organic and local at the farmers market, this is a darned good one for me.

So, like phthalates, Triclosan is not just in personal care. They found phthalates in children’s toys and car dashboards. Triclosan is in much more than antibacterial soap. So here is a partial list of products that use Triclosan:

  • Sanitizers
  • Antibacterial soap (really a detergent)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving Cream
  • Mouthwash
  • Skin Care
  • Makeup
  • Acne Products
  • Antimicrobial Creams
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Kitchen Utensils
  • Food Storage
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Trash Bags
  • Toys
  • Bedding (People and Pets)
  • Socks
  • Sports Clothing
  • Child Car Seats

Someone asked me if I could link a direct connection to MRSA (Methicillin Resistent Staphylococcus Aureus) and Triclosan. I said, “Honestly, I do not know!” Do I believe that it is connected? Yes! So you can imagine my surprise when I read an article in a medical journal prescribe sits baths for MRSA suffers in a solution of 2% Tricolsan!

Triclosan is used in many common household products that you would not expect.

OK, I am starting to sound like a radical working at an NGO! Environmental issues are big as well.

Parabens!

Parabens…Good Guys or Bad Guys?

As a part of my ongoing series of looking at the Dirty Dozen Chemicals shown to provide elevated Cancer rates in people and animals, in this article, I outline why we do not use parabens leaving the judgmental diagnosis to the NGO’s attacking them. The Dirty Dozen Chemicals are a list of 12 developed originally by the Marin County Cancer Project which at the time, had the highest Cancer Rates in the US. Followed by Search For The Cause and Teens Turning Green the list is now designated the Dirty Thirty.

 

So, are parabens good guys or bad guys? Both it seems and there is a reason why we do not use them as well.

Below is a scavenged description of parabens from Wikipedia.   On the surface and from a chemical perspective they do their job. Many chemists and companies support their use based on a belief of safety. I believe that they are looking at the wrong reasons for safety.

Our society seems to primarily look at safety as, “will what we put on our skin hurt us directly?” I believe that we should be looking at whether it hurts us based on contact and will it cause something else to hurt us because of it.

So first let’s try to understand what parabens are and why some manufacturers use them. Here is that Wikipedia description:

Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, their long history of safe use and the inefficacy of natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract (GSE), probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, and some organizations which adhere to the precautionary principle object to their everyday use.

Chemistry

Parabens are esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, from which the name is derived. Common parabens include methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216) and butylparaben. Less common parabens include isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and their sodium salts.

Occurrence

Some parabens are found naturally in plant sources. For example, methylparaben is found in blueberries,  where it acts as an antimicrobial agent. However, when parabens are eaten, they are metabolized and lose the ester group, making them less strongly estrogen-mimicking.

( Bob Comment) Part of the rub here is a number of studies that link parabens to breast Cancer because of these properties, but let’s not get too off track!

Synthesis

All commercially used parabens are synthetically produced, although some are identical to those found in nature. They are produced by the esterification of para-hydroxybenzoic acid with the appropriate alcohol. para-Hydroxybenzoic acid is in turn produced industrially from a modification of the Kolbe-Schmitt reaction, using potassium phenoxide and carbon dioxide.

Now that you are an expert on parabens, I think it is fair to talk about the pros and cons of them.

Remember that I believe that it is an indirect result of the parabens that is as important to look at as well as the direct result of their actions.

The pros of parabens or grapefruit seed extract are that they kill bacteria and fungus inside products. It is very difficult to sterilize containers and apparatus without using chemicals. The technique we use is super-heated steam on our equipment, but those parabens do a really good job of killing microbes, gram positive and gram negative rods. The con is that they do a good job of killing bacteria on our skin as well.

You might say that is good, but much research shows that what we want to do is inhibit bacteria growth on our skin while permitting flora bacteria to exist as it does in nature. To me, it is sort of like drinking parabens in hope they will kill diseased bacteria in our gut in hopes that they will leave all that good bacteria we want alone. If science could figure that out, it would be major… just has not happened yet.

Frankly, when I developed our first products, I did not know what parabens were. So it was simple…ignorance was bliss. I did know that I needed a preservative and my aboriginal friends suggested rosemary. Turns out it is also a natural high grade antioxidant, but for me, it minimized bacteria growth in our natural products.

When a contract manufacturer approached me to make our products, I politely listened as the salesperson told me why I had to use parabens. My silence forced him to exasperation and he blurted out, “What would you do if the FDA said you have to use parabens?” My answer? I would mark the products refrigerate after opening! He was not amused and yet that is exactly what I would do.

It turns out that we have traced part of Wendy’s reaction to prescription products after her Melanoma to a paraben reaction. Admittedly rare, I personally believe that it is more common than we think.

I will let our friends at the Breast Cancer Fund fight the paraben battle on their own front. I would encourage you to research that more for yourself. 

Why We Do Not Use Parabens

Simply, I have done enough research and read enough that parabens in our personal care, household products and mouth care kill all forms of bacteria on our skin and in our gut. Like studies have shown with triclosan and germicides used in household products, my own studies have shown these same agents kill the natural flora on the skin and in the gut. What I believe happens next is that the really bad bacteria including gram positive rods like e. Coli and Staph (MRSA) have an opportunity to come back with a vengeance and attack our systems freely.

For example, it is common in our microbiology lab to take an agar petri dish and smear a natural ingredient on it to see if colony, gram positive or gram negative rods (bacteria) show up in an accelerated 72 hour test. What is not common, but we have done it, are to take a sample of “bugs” and kill them and then watch what grows back first in an open air environment. More than not, we see some harmless colony bacteria show up first, but then some really nasty bacteria take over and on most occasions we see fungus appear to feed on the bacteria. Can’t prove it, but I have to wonder if all this MRSA staph that has shown up in our middle schools is not a direct link to the triclosan in antibacterial soaps and the parabens in all of our products.

Okay, now that I have you flipped out a bit, I did a test of ten products at one of my labs and measured the cumulative amount of parabens in them. What I mean is that I know that the providers of parabens suggest a range or percentage to use. Let’s say it is 0.5% of the total solution. When I tested the products all showed excessive amounts of parabens well beyond the recommended dose. Knowing that chemists strive for economy, I began to wonder why the levels were so high…high enough to kill anything.   I could not figure out why until I was giving a speech on the Dirty Dozen near Dayton Ohio and one chemist from P&G asked how many ingredients were typically in natural products. I answered, “probably 10 to 15.” He laughed and said our average is 45. It suddenly dawned on me how the paraben levels could be so high in the products I tested. The answer, the ingredient/chemical suppliers were also using parabens to preserve their raw material. Think it through! The manufacturer puts 0.5% into the product and each of the suppliers of those 40+ chemicals put 0.5% into the raw materials. Simply, we are being overdosed with parabens and every product we use adds to the equation. Ten products times the 1.6% average we tested is a daily dose of 16% on our skin. I think the most recent statistics I heard from the EWG is that the average woman uses 12 products a day containing parabens and men average 6 products. That means that if I am correct with my average that women are getting ~19.2% paraben contact. We have always joked that “chemists add and engineers subtract, but maybe it is not a joke.

Our Simple View

To overly simplify the reason we do not use parabens is that we believe that what comes out of the bottle designed to kill bacteria in the packaging also kills the flora on our skin and our gut facilitating bad super-bug bacteria to grow in its place that also facilitates fungal growth and imbalance.

Right now, this is a tested theory long from scientific fact. What if I am right!

See, I told my mother eating dirt was good!

BTW, The Mayo Clinic states, “Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. It’s known as health care-associated MRSA, or HA-MRSA. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at most risk of HA-MRSA. More recently, another type of MRSA has occurred among otherwise healthy people in the wider community. This form, community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA, is responsible for serious skin and soft tissue infections and for a serious form of pneumonia.”

I personally believe that people are walking in with the MRSA and when surgery is performed that is when it invades. Maybe hospitals should pretest for MRSA and an incoming inspection….Do you think?

 Chapter Quick Notes:

  1. Parabens and Triclosan are bactericides and germicides. That means they kill all bacteria indiscriminately. Good or bad bacteria alike, it they just kill.
  1. Parabens and Triclosan indiscriminately kill the good probiotic bacteria on the skin. My belief is that this permits bad bacteria attacking the undefended skin.
  2. Washing the skin does not remove our probiotic good bacteria from the skin.
  3. Bactericides cause an imbalance on the skin possibly leading to many skin disorders.

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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

Keys--Solar-Rx-banner

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Keys Avo Jel Instead Of Silicone Grease – DIY

Need Grease?  A little dab of Avo Jel will do.

Aco Jel Instead Of GreaseMany devices around the home often call for lubrication with food grade silicone grease or petroleum jelly.  If you are like me, the idea of using silicone or petrolatum that comes in contact with my food or water is not desirable.  Enter Keys Avo Jel as a great substitute.

Recently, I needed to replace a water filter for my sink drinking water tap.  I ordered the filters and when they arrived, the instructions said that it was very important to minimize the possibility of leaking to put “food grade silicone” on the O-rings where the filters came in contact with the housing.  I thought for a moment and grabbed the Avo Jel.  A couple of quick dollops on the O-rings and the new filters were on with no leaks.  Because Avo Jel is pure avocado oil, using it offers a clean alternative to grease and petrolatum.

As you can see from the image below, the arrows point out where I put the Avo Jel.

I know that not everyone has to replace filters, but this is a good example where Avo Jel serves as a lubricant and seal instead of using conventional petroleum or silicone grease.  Make things slide easier, lubricate water bottle tops and improve any seal safely using Avo Jel.

Let us know how you use Avo Jel as an alternative to chemical and petroleum based grease?  If you want to learn about other uses, just Google “uses for petroleum jelly” or “uses for petroleum jelly around the home” and you will be amazed.  Then realize that you can use Avo Jel for all the same purposes.  Keeping in mind, Avo Jel is petroleum-free, silicone-free and chemical-free.

Lubricate Those O-rings with Avo Jel

Avo Jel Instead of Grease

Buy Avo Jel on the Keys Online Store

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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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Safe Cosmetics Campaign & Keys – Red Lists

safe cosmetics logoKeys was an early supporter of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  As a Champion Company for the Campaign, we have promoted the Dirty Dozen and later, Dirty 30 chemicals that you should avoid in your skin care and hair care products.   Safe Cosmetics has recently done a great job of updating their website and social media efforts.  What we are especially pleased with is that they have come up with a great visual reference of what chemicals to avoid based on product function.  These icons are easy to read and quickly give an idea of what to watch out for.  Below are the icons that you can click to enlarge.

#safecosmetics

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”4″ gal_title=”Safe Cosmetics”]

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Balding? Hair Re-growth? – Keys Island Rx!

bob_topaz

Keys Island Rx May Be The Answer

by Bob Root, Keys Scientist

As a natural products company we are not allowed to make claims unless we follow a clinical trial process.  We are able to report what our customers tell us.

It was not to far after we began that we started to receive comments and testimonials about how our Island Rx promoted hair growth in both men and women.  For the longest time we believed that it was the process of our customers getting off of conventional shampoo and switching to a natural alternative.  Made sense to us, but for years, mostly men, claim that their hair grows more using Island Rx Liquid soap as a shampoo.  We decided to dig into the formulation and also make some theories of why it works for our customers.

So, here is what we know reading as many papers and studies that I could get my hands on.

Island Rx Liquid Soap
Island Rx Liquid Soap

To over simplify, conventional shampoos have a large amount of Sodium Laureth (Lauryl) Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate.  These are commonly referred to as SLS or ALS.  A number of studies I have read track back these chemicals to causing inflammation of the scalp pores.  Hair is a protein extruded through a pore.  The theory is that when hair pores become inflamed, the size of the pore is reduced and the hair gets thinner.  This made sense to me because hair near  a balding spot seems thinner.  As the pores close down, the air stops growing

Balding is a form of alopecia.  So when you think this way, many of the suggestions of how to treat the disorder also makes sense.  It is worth Googling and also reading a article here on Clean Green Cafe titled Kyle to Keys! My Hair is Growing!

So, just about everywhere you read, the articles recommend switching from a sulfate based shampoo.  That seems to slow and even stop hair loss for many.  But why are our customers claiming hair regrowth.

Under The Hood

I decided to try to break down our Island Rx formulation to see why it might be working to stop and in some cases reverse hair growth.  In Kyle’s story above, he used MetaClean and yet, most of our customer testimonials refer to Island Rx.  In truth, the base soap we developed for Island Rx is the same as MetaClean.  I started my analysis by looking at our base soap recipe.

A true Castile soap is Olive oil saponified using a alkaline substance.  Castile soaps came from the Castile region of Spain 500 years ago.  They would mix olive oil and the ash from a wood fire to make a soap that cleans.  The problem with these soaps and ones made like it today is that they are very alkaline to a point where some are harsh.  The quest for soap makers is to use up as much of the alkaline substance to keep the alkalinity lower.

When we started, I experimented with hundreds of recipes, I started to replace the olive oil with other “softer” oils.  Eventually I got to the recipe we use today which has olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and Jojoba oil.  Typically the alkalinity is as high as 11.5 pH for Castile soaps and mine is about 8.5pH.  Thinking about why this might be important, I realized that it was probably more the type of oils I was using, but I did read that a mild alkaline rinse on the head is recommended for alopecia and therefore for balding.  I also read a number of articles exclaiming that the properties of coconut oil do help hair growth.

I also found some articles talking about raw avocado oil containing a natural retinol which aids hair growth.  I have known and promoted Island Rx to slow fade sun/age spots because of the retinol in avocado oil, but I really did not know about retinol effecting hair pores.  Yes, our Island Rx contains raw avocado oil that is put into the recipe after  the soap making process.  I originally did this as a conditioner humectant for the hair because Castile like soaps do make hair feel waxy.  This is why our Silkin is so popular because it is not a Castile soap and it more resembles conventional sulfate shampoos but without the SLS or ALS.  So, that raw avocado oil is an add to the equation.

As I read more, I zeroed in on each component as if it was the only ingredient.  Clary sage has tons of articles written about how it is used for hair growth.  Blood orange essential oil also has a number of purifying and clarifying articles written about it.  Both are listed in ancient Chinese medicine journals as having cleansing and antibacterial properties.

My Conclusion

All of the above!  It really appears to me that the reason that Island Rx liquid soap has so many fans is that it just works for them.  Each ingredient I looked at has some properties for hair growth.  My guess is that by combining them to make our first soap, the recipe just works.  Sorry, I hope to be able to figure out why so maybe i could make something even more powerful for hair growth.  Nothing stood out, but I am working on a amped version of Island Rx to see if I can speed up the process.

Stop Read!

Slowing, stopping balding and hair regrowth takes time using Island Rx.  Customer reports range from noticing less hair on the pillow in a couple of weeks to hair regrowth in a couple of months.  It is very important to not use any other products on your hair unless it is natural…completely natural.  If you use a pomade, change to raw natural coconut oil as a conditioner and styler.  Our Mangrove conditioner works well and will also facilitate regrowth because of the avocado oil.  Do not use conditioners or products contain silicone (dimethicone)  Go clean!  No Junk Please!

Why More Men?

This one eluded me until my wife and boss, Wendy Steele, pointed out the obvious.  “Women have log hair as a rule and Castile soaps and Castile-like soaps (Island Rx) are very hard to manage after washing.  Men typically have shorter hair and are not bothered with Island Rx.  In fact, most men use Island Rx Liquid soap head-to-toe.”  A small amount of research bore out the theory as men with long hair do not like Island Rx as a shampoo and women with short hair are not bothered by it either.  So, using Island Rx for short balding hair seems to work according to our customers.

There you have it.  It Just Works!

I you are interested in trying Island Rx, Click Here to go to the Island Rx Liquid soap page.  At checkout there is a box to add a code for a discount.  Use RX15 in the box to get a 15% discount as incentive to try it.  The Code entry box is just below the Cart Totals on the first page of the checkout.  Oh, make sure you hit the little arrow button to apply the discount code or the discount won’t work.

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About Us – A Defining Moment

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Bob Root & Wendy Steele, Keys Founders

Keys was born from a need for natural skin care products the likes of which did not exist before we started. Our founder, Wendy Steele, survived Melanoma and her story of her road to recovery was littered with prescription products that almost worked.  The trauma showed her the clear vision need for products that really worked to solve skin problems.  Because they are natural, they also made her feel good with a new youthful appearance and the resulting contentment showed her the way in creating Keys In the simplest of messages, Keys is ancient remedies employing modern technologies for people with skin disorders, those that want to be chemical-free, people who want their family to have natural alternatives and for post cancer recovery survivors. We are:

Natural Beauty

Natural Skin Care

Natural Skin Therapies

Natural Hair Care

Natural Dog Care & Supplements

Keys Purpose and Direction 

We are not just a natural products company with scents of lavender and claims of what ingredients we do not have in our products.  We consider ourselves a natural medicine and therapy products company that happens to use natural ingredients.  We use functional ingredients in therapeutic proportions to design and build skin care, beauty, skin therapies and dog care products that do what they say they will do.  We never scrimp and we always back every product with a 100% satisfaction guaranty. I believe our Purpose and Direction statement says it all!”   Wendy Steele, Keys CEO
Keys Care -is the innovation and thought leader in the natural and chemical-free skin health industry.  Combining world class ingredients, herbs and botanicals in therapeutic proportions to solve skin problems and make people feel good. Keys brand of natural skin care, KPRO natural cosmetics and the KODA line of natural dog supplements and topical care products.
Keys designs, develops and manufactures natural healing therapies for people and pets.   The quality and quantity of our ingredients are what differentiate us.  As we say it, Pharmaceutical grade whole natural ingredients in therapeutic proportions.  We use ancient remedies, natural

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

 

We are not just about making great products we are also concerned with the exaggerated focus of western medicine on treating symptoms.  Bob Root, Keys founder, designed every product we have made based on purpose.  At the same time he believes that 50% of all diagnosed skin disorders are caused by chemicals in our everyday lives.  He wrote a book titled, “Chemical-Free Skin Health®” to help people understand what is in most products and asking people to stop, challenge and choose healthy products that are safe for people and their families.

 

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 beat 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 cortisone’s.

 

Wendy Steele

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 sun block, 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 the 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 a natural liquid soap, but it was not quite right.  So, we decided to develop our own organic Castile-like 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.
  • Most effective cosmetic sunscreen. Consumer Reports Magazine, July 2007

    Oscars Best Picks
  • Oscar Red Carpet Best Picks 2010, Kerry Maluof
  • Maria Shriver 2009, 2010 & 2011 California Women’s Conference Speakers Gift Bag Pick.
  • Luminos, LA Daily Candy Best Moisturizer
  • Natural medicines that actually heal skin disorders. Dr. Elaine Carter
  • Truly natural beauty products that feel and look great!, Vert Venice Beach CA
  • Natural is actually 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 honored as a “Champion Company” by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  • KPRO on the red carpet at the Oscars, Golden Globe, SAGs……
  • KODA dog products honored for innovation for dog supplements using human grade functional natural ingredients
  • KODA OmniShield honored by Men’s Health magazine for efficacy repelling insects naturally

 

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

 

Made in America

A.J. Nelson, the author of “Give America a Chance,” wrote to us in the comments requesting that we add a paragraph about the fact that we are made in America.  He talks about patriotism in his book and we certainly feel patriotic about the USA and the fact that we are made in the USA.  A.J. is right that just having a Made in the US icon hidden in plain sight on the product labels is not enough.

 

Thinking it through, it is much more than just being made here that is important.  It is American ingenuity, design, creativity and innovation that we are most proud of in the creation of Keys brand.  Bob is a scientist at heart and wakes everyday to his scientific news services where he applies experimental techniques to the production of our products.  Just look at many of the articles and you will see innovations and uses of home grown American technologies.  For example, the industry standard for homogenization of lotions are high speed blenders with tiny blades that whip air into the lotions to make them smoother.  At Keys, we use techniques employing infrasonic sound to do the same thing.   Why, because we have no preservatives and air is the enemy of natural products.  Solar Rx, our moisturizer with sunscreen, uses a vapor deposition technique developed in Silicon Valley to make magnetic media to create our zinc oxide particles…

 

There is not one Keys product in the brand that is not touched somehow by American innovation.  Our team in the factory lives ingenuity to make our products faster and better without losing quality.  It is this form of ingenuity that has permitted us to not raise our prices once in ten years.  The list goes on, but the central theme is beyond patriotism, it is also why our products have integrity and continuous improvement.  Yes, we are patriots and even more important to us is the innovation we gain from American scientists and engineers.

 

Lastly, we are so impressed with American ingenuity that we have begun to partner with The Technology Center at the University of Wyoming School of Engineering to create a foundation called Back Country Medicine where we will issue grants and competitions to students and professors for innovative ingredients, designs and processes.  Giving back to America and gaining in the process.

 

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.  In fact, we believe that over 50% of all skin disorders are misdiagnosed and are actually caused by chemicals in everyday products…many with the claim of natural, organic or botanical. Longevity and Wellness is 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 man-made chemicals.  We are committed to leading the way for other manufacturers to fully disclose product ingredients.  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 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 included:

 

• 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

• An understanding of the cause 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 defines the efficacy of an ingredient

Therapeutic Proportions – Keys Therapy Facts panel state the level of the amount 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 tout Aloe Vera and Shea Butter as ingredients.  Pharma Grade ingredients are rated the best in quality, with the highest level of key 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 skin care and household products

• The ‘Dirty Thirty’ list of chemicals

 

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 own 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 being 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 really 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, dish washing 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 man-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 a number of testimonials that would indicate the effectiveness of Island Rx.  “Although these are offered as 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 really a reaction for some people to sodium laureth sulfate and other chemicals found in personal care and skin care products.

 

Root points out that in a number of 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 was covered from head to toe with scales…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 maybe 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, I was diagnosed with 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 have 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 continuing 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 hand crafted 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 old 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 theminimal number of ingredients to smooth and consistent lotions and soaps.  The industry average for a skin care 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  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 skin care 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 man-made chemicals or fragrances, and absolutely 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 literally changed how the industry looks aqt ingredients and disclosure.  This marked the beginning of a trend and perhaps even a law regarding full-disclosre 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.

 

Solar Rx Therapy Facts Panel

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 the purpose of 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, the levels and in a way that they could quickly make 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 key 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 ingredient, 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 products safety

•   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 a products purpose and actions.”

 

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 hand crafts our products to lift the spirit as well as provide therapeutic benefits to the skin.

 

KODA Products for Dogs

 

jasper-table_2KODA is the dog therapy product line established by Keys.  Products include chemical-free natural supplements and topical therapies for dogs.  We use ancient remedies and modern technology to make natural products that makes dogs feel good and solve both internal and skin problems.  We use pharmaceutical grade ingredients in therapeutic proportions to solve problems that account for the top 10 reasons for vet visits.  KODA is a combination of wellness products and natural solutions.
Koda is Lakota Sioux for “Friend.”  The word perfectly describe the intention for our products and their recipients.  Today’s dogs are exposed to all sorts of environmental and chemical exposures that are and will shorten their lives.  After an experience with our 14 month old pup, Jasper,  that forced him to have to take strong antibiotics and Prednisone,  we  realized that the Veterinarians were ill equip to balance his prescriptions with a wellness program.  Determined, we set out to find the finest ingredients the same way that we developed our custom regime for Jasper.  You can read the entire KODA story Here

 

Keys Care, Keys Soap et al are wholly  owned brands of Orion Leaning International, Inc., a Wyoming Corporation.  Keys®, KODA®, Solar Rx®, Luminos®, Chemical-Free Skin Health®, The Technology of People® ,Therapy Facts, Islandceutical®, and Urban Shield®  are US Patent and Trademark Office registered trademarks.

Clean Green Cafe is a blog news center of Orion Learning International, Inc.  It is affiliated with both the Keys® an KODA® brands as their news reporting arm.

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New! KPRO Silkin Natural Shampoo & Conditioner – Better Than Conventional and Salon Brands

silkinFinally, a natural shampoo that will clean and shine as well as conventional and salon brands, but without the junk.

Seven years in development, Silkin is the answer.  We originally designed it  for those with thick, long and big hair.  The great news is that is is even better for people with short, silky, straight and thin hair.  Men especially noted that they love the quick lather and ended up using it as a shave soap as well.  Color and perm safe, it is truly a revolution in hair care.

Do not take our word for it.  Click Here to order a $0.49 sachet good for a couple of washings or next time you order, you will get a sample of Silkin free automatically.

Silkin is an extension of our KPRO line.  6 months of testing has received many accalades from hair stylists, designers and everyday users looking for a natural alternative to conventional shampoos.

Silkin contains the same OptiFX particles that are in KPRO tinted products.  Silkin opens the hair cuticle to clean and the OtiFX particles cling to the cuticle to offer a color enhancer, special shine and shimmer.

Silkin comes in a 16 ounce (472ml) pump bottle and retails for $24.95.   It is a very concentrated shampoo that last much longer than expected.  Click Here to buy Silkin

Silkin is 100% All-Natural Moisturizing Professional Shampoo for All Hair Types and Treated Hair.  This KPRO Shampoo is designed to replace conventional shampoos and conditioners with professional results.

• Deep Cleaning Shampoo

• Color & Treated Safe

• Hydrating & Moisturizing

• Rich Lather for Short to Big Hair

• Low Scent – No Fragrance

• Color Enhancing Technology

• Chemical-Free

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Watch this two-minute video to learn more.

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silkin-label

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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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FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap

Over the years we have published a number of articles about antibacterial products containing Triclosan and parabens.  We encourage you to search Clean Green Cafe to read some of these articles and the entire chapter in Bob Root’s book, Chemical-Free Skin Health.  To recap, antibacterial can mean a bactericide like parabens and triclosan, or reducing bacteria levels without killing good bacteria with the bad.  The National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project points out that we have ten times more bacteria on our skin than skin cells.  Most good, these bacteria live symbiotically with our skin to protect us from bad bacteria like Staph and eColi.  The contention has been and still remains that killing all bacteria on our skin leads to the formation of “super-bugs.”  So using soaps like Keys Galleyon reduce bacterial levels because they contain spearmint, are Castile like soap and have slightly higher alkalinity that is

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Your Antibacterial Soap Could Be Harming You

Bob Root, Keys Chief Scientist and Founder

Update:  Soap & Water just as effective in removing bacteria!

I am pleased that the FDA has stepped in to force some requirements on antibacterial products.  As you read on, there are some very important points.  In the world of antibacterial products, there is no distinguishing between bacteriacides and bacteria reduction.  Triclosan is very similar to parabens found in most products.  The claim is that they are bacteriacides that kill 99% of all bacteria….good and bad.  As I have pointed out in other articles, we have as many as ten times more bacteria on our skin as we do skin cells.  Most of these are good bacteria that help prevent invasion by the bad bacteria like Staph and eColi.  Bacteriacides like parabens and Triclosan claim to kill bad bacteria, but also kill the good which the FDA now reveals might help form “super-bugs.”

Keys Galleyon is antibacterial in the sense that it falls into the bacteria reduction class of products because of the Lakota spearmint, Castile-like soap and that it is slightly alkaline.  I like to refer to this as a skin rejevenation process more than an antibacterial action.  The truth is that we have long known that a good wash with soap and water and a brisk warming drying will help to further reduce, but not kill the good bacteria.  Galleyon enhances the effect without harming the good bacteria on our skin.

The FDA is now echoing something that we have talked about for years and yesterday’s announcement further brings to light the need for strict controls on chemicals that come in contact with our skin.

So please read the announcement below and read the FDA announcement.  More information always gives us more choices that we can make.

FDA to Crack Down on Manufacturer Antibacterial Claims

Continue reading Your Antibacterial Soap Could Be Harming You

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Keys Joins Companies for Safer Chemicals to Change US Government Thinking!

Keys was a very early company joining the EWG Skin Deep database creation and the subsequent efforts to have the world recognize that many chemicals in our everyday life are the cause of many skin disorder.  Our founder, Bob Root, wrote the book, “Chemical-Free Skin Health,” to also emphasize the point helping to have Keys honored by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as a Champion company.  Our work with the Environmental Media Association in Hollywood and now Companies for Safer Chemicals is a further expression of our desire and effort to change the way people, companies and the government think about what goes on to our bodies.  Bob is our representative on the Companies for Safer Chemicals committee and will help to spearhead our thinking within the group.

Continue reading Keys Joins Companies for Safer Chemicals to Change US Government Thinking!

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Going Natural in a Synthetic World – Bob Root

bob_topazIn his book, Chemical-Free Skin Health, Bob Root covers many subjects designed to help people understand how to Stop, Challenge and Choose a healthier way of thinking by becoming chemical-free.  In this video snapshot, Bob talks about the fact that the natural movement is not new, but a return to the not too distant past.

Bob asks us to Stop and read labels, then challenge them by reading ingredients and then to choose the best products for your own skin health.

Our skin is our largest organ and defends us from the elements.  Chemicals, break down our defenses.

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KPRO Product Overview Video – Bob Root Keys Formulator

There are two videos below.  The first video is a detailed description by Bob Root, Key Scientist and Formulator, talking about the new KPRO, Keys Professional, product line.

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This video is a quicker synopsis of the new KPRO line.

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kpro_sachetsTry out our 4 pack sachet of the main KPRO products.  Click Here

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Keys RediCare – Featured in Men’s Journal Magazine

menJBest Chemical-Free Insect Repellents

RediCare-cropped

Few canned products inflame as much passion and confusion as insect repellents. On the pro-chemical side are those who claim that plant-based sprays and other alternatives simply don’t work at all, and so leave users exposed to pathogen-hosting insects carrying anything from West Nile to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. But proponents of chemical-free repellents cite the possible toxicity of Deet to the human brain, and claim their all-natural alternatives work plenty well. (We’ll add that we’ve had a pair of sunglasses get lightly melted by errant Deet spray, which left us questioning whether we ought to be applying it to our skin on a regular basis.)

The truth, as often is the case, falls somewhere in the middle. So according to Dr. Mustapha Debboun, editor of ‘Prevention of Bug Bites, Stings and Disease,’ both types of products have their place. “The way to think about it is that chemicals are better for longer hours in the deep woods,” Debboun says, “while all-natural ingredients are fine for the backyard, beach, and other places where you won’t be out for extended periods.” So think Deet or picaridin for that jungle trek to Southeast Asia you’ve been planning, but something all-natural for day hikes and picnics closer to home.

Still, in a surprising twist (and what will be a humbling disappointment for chemical warfare proponents), it turns out that pound-for-pound, all natural options are actually the better performer. “Natural insect repellents generally repel a larger and wider range of crawling and flying insects [than chemicals] because of the diverse grouping of ingredients they contain,” says Bob Root, author of ‘Chemical Free Skin Health.’ Dr. Debboun concurs: “Lemon eucalyptus is just as good an ingredient as chemicals like Deet and picaridin.” Continue reading Keys RediCare – Featured in Men’s Journal Magazine

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A Brief Synopsis of KODA Products

KODA Products:  What and When to Use

bob_topazBy Bob Root, Keys Scientist

It is not a new concept that a dogs life can be extended by good nutrition.  What may not be as clear is that the polluted environments can shorten their lives.  That is why we created our KODA line for dogs.  KODA helps to extend your dogs life by providing supplements that are functional and topical therapies to protect them from the environment!

I recently had a dear friend tell me that he would like it if I would write an article about what to use and when regarding Koda products.  He politely said, I do not have time to understand the science, just tell me what I should use for my dog in simple terms in 500 words or less.  I realized that I probably spend a lot of time writing articles that are so detailed that people are not sure what to buy.  Maybe it is the scientist in me or a belief that people will not believe me if I don’t explain the details.  I did recall during the discussion with my friend that a professor once said to me, “Bob, I ask you what time is it and you lecture me on the origin of time.”  Maybe there was a hint in that remark.

So here goes for KODA for Dogs.

lifetrace ionic Minerals for Dogs

Must do’s

The two products that I recommend for your dog’s everyday health are Koda OmegaLife and Life Trace.

OmegaLife is a vegan fish oil replacement that provides the Omega 3.6 & 9’s using human quality vegetable oils without concern for Vitamin A toxicity from fish oil.

LifeTrace assures that your dog gets all the minerals they need through this water additive.  If you filter your dog’s water, you are removing most of the minerals.  They need to be added back in.

These are the two must haves that you should give your dog every day!  Order them now!

Functional Supplements

ProCalm Vegan Clamative for Dogs

Use Proflexoil if your dog is older or if their breed are prone to joint issues.  This is also helpful if you have a very active dog, like our Bichon Jasper, to keep tendons and knees from being harmed by running and fast turns. Proflexoil is a Cox-2 anti-inflammation inhibitor.

Use ProCalm if your dog is agitated or has higher anxiety levels.  Great for car rides if those create angst.  Added to the food, the Magnolia extract takes the edge off anxiety and agitation, but does not sedate.  The dogs gets calm quickly, but not lethargic.  In my line of work, I take Magnolia extract daily  😉

ProBiome helps with digestion using a lactobacillus sporogene probiotic.  Add it to food to aid digestion.  This probiotic is the best human grade available and the features benefits and advantage are explained in the article on this blog.  Search ProBiome if you want to know more.

 

Topical Treatments

Use OmniShield to repell flying and crawling insect.  It repels naturally using Neem, Karanja and essential oils.

OmniShield Insect Repellent for Dogs

OmniCare is like a natural Bactine for scrapes, hot spots, abrasions and itchy areas.

OmniClean is a soap/shampoo that offers essential oils to help with skin disorders that include itching and hotspots.  This is a great product to bathe a dog that has allergies or chemical irritations.

 SpotClean is very cool because you can clean your dogs paws between baths.  You can rinse or not and even peanut butter comes off easily.  Grime is gone in seconds

 ProShine is a general dog shampoo and conditioner in one.  The foam lathers fast and rinses even faster for a shiny clean coat that will increase the time between baths.

530 Words is the best I can do.

Bob

Click each product name link to go to its detail page

Each product has a detailed article as well on Clean Green Cafe.  My best suggestion is to type KODA in the search box and read the articles that interest you.

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EWG and How to Read Labels

Our friends at the Environmental Working Group have put together a new video about the ingredients on the labels of personal care products.

Ever looked at the labels on your shampoos, moisturizers and cosmetics? Do you really know what chemicals you’re putting on your body?

Most Americans use about 10 personal care products a day. And they think that the government is making sure these products are safe – but the scary truth is, it’s not. That’s why Environmental Working Group scientists have put together easy-to-use tips on how to read labels on personal care products. Check out the new video featuring EWG’s Senior Analyst Nneka Leiba on what to watch out for before you buy.

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KODA SpotClean – Paw & Face Quick Cleanser

SpotClean Paw & Face Foaming Cleanser is a brewed wash with botanicals and herbs for quick cleaning of the paws and face or any spot area as an interim cleanser between baths.  Removes road dirt and allergens as well many chemicals used on public parks and lawns.

SpotClean is perhaps one of the coolest products we make.  Why, because it fits so many uses and application in a simple chemical-free way.

When we talked to vets about skin disorders and allergy issues with dogs, they quickly commented that most are caused by the dog bringing in allergens and pollutants on their feet.  We noted in our study titled “polluted pets” that dogs often have four to five times more chemical bio-burden than humans.  The reason is simple.  They have no shoes and dogs lead with their noses.  So the paws and face are how a dog brings in allergens and chemicals from their environment.  It was obvious too that most dogs are groomed and waiting to be ‘cleaned’ between groomer sessions creates undue stress on their body.  The quick solution is a paw, face and spot cleaner that humans do not mind the effort for a spot clean.  SpotClean was born in earnest!

The SpotClean formulation was designed as a fast rinse or even leave-in cleanser.  It works best when you rinse the pollutants and allergens away, but it does actually not cause the dog harm or distress to leave it in.  Really!

SpotClean is a light foam cleanser that you can put directly on the paws, face or spot areas dry.  We recommend applying the foam using a wet cloth and a quick wet wipe away or if you wish a spray rinse.  The formulation of natural ingredients is designed to quickly efficiently clean and can be wiped off with a wet cloth and then let to dry naturally.  This means no preparing the tub and chasing the dog.  A quick clean can take under a minute and be done even in the dog’s bed.  Since it is a damp cloth quick wipe process, it can be done anywhere.

Here are some of the benefits of SpotClean.

• Quickly Removes Dirt

• Conditions Hair

• Lightning Fast Rinsing

• Spot Clean Formulation

• Fragrance-Free

• Natural Citrus Whitener

• Use Between Grooming

• No-Mess Cleaning

• Supresses Musk Smell

• Refreshing Earthy Scent Continue reading KODA SpotClean – Paw & Face Quick Cleanser

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KODA OmniClean – Therapeutic Shampoo & Soap

OmniClean is a natural Castile like therapeutic foaming shampoo and soap used for dogs with skin irritations, insect problems and to heal disorders.  We add Neem and Karanja oil to the soap for their ayurvedic medicine healing and insect repellant properties.

OmniClean is based on the famous Keys MetaClean shampoo and soap.  Throughout history, soaps and Castile shampoos have been used to deliver healing medicines to broad areas of the body.  Soaps, unlike synthetic detergents, retain added oils and deposit them on the skin in a very thin coating.  After they deposit the oils, the residual soap/shampoo rinses lightning fast as part of the nature of Castile formulation.  MetaClean’s history began in helping the search and rescue dog returning from Hurricane Katrina.  OmniClean builds on the learning that we experienced listening to customers that use MetaClean in their daily lives for all sorts of skin conditions and maladies.

Washing a dog or washing small areas like the paws with OmniClean will reduce bacteria, yeast and allergens while also depositing the Ayurvedic medicine onto the dog.  Keys MetaClean is used by customers to soothe irritations, reduce allergens, heal skin disorders and add oils to the skin that help stop itching and biting.

OmniClean uses Neem and Karanja oil like both OmniCare and OmniShield.  Outbreaks in mange and MRSA in dogs around the country caused us to custom formulate MetaClean by adding oregano oil to the blend.  Oregano oil has been shown to be very effective in staving off mange and MRSA.  It is also effective in reversing these conditions.  We have testimonials of dogs that were going to be ‘put down’ and recovered using the modified MetaClean.  OmniClean adds the oregano oil as a standard ingredient.

We add other oils to the blend to improve the coat and skin of the dog to reduce itching, biting and scratching.

Here are some benefits of OmniClean

• Heals Skin Disorders

• Quiets ‘Hot Spots’

• Antibacterial

• Anti-itch Treatment

• Anti-Fungal

• Heals Insect Bites

• Reduces MRSA Impact

• Reduces Yeast Levels

• Anti-Inflammatory

• Easy Foam Application

• Lightning Fast Rinsing Continue reading KODA OmniClean – Therapeutic Shampoo & Soap

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KODA OmniShield – Natural Insect Repellent Spray

OmniShield is an intense therapeutic naturopathic insect repellent spray that uses OmniCare as its base adding high levels of Neem and Karanja oil, peppermint, red thyme and lemongrass to repel over 200 flying and crawling insects including fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes and lice.

OmniShield starts with the design principles of OmniCare.  We then increase the levels of the Ayurvedic medicine ingredients to levels that make OmniShield effective as a insect repellent capable of thwarting away both crawling and flying insects.

OmniShield uses Neem and Karanja oil that is a maximum pharma grade.  There are products that use Neem as both a repellent and as therapy.  We know of no product that uses the symbiotic oil, Karanja, along with Neem.  Both ingredients have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  Being symbiotic plants/tree, Neem works best to repel crawling insects while Karanja affects and repels flying insects.  Together with the other keys ingredients, OmniShield repels and affects over 200 insects.

Neem and Karanja also have a thousand years of healing history in Ayurvedic medicine.  So, OmniShield has a strong series of features that focus on many skin disorders that dog’s experience.  The name Omni means ‘all’ giving it multiple functional medicine properties.

One interesting feature of using Neem and Karanja is that the symbiosis goes beyond functionality to the scent of the product.  Many companies use Neem in very small amounts to hide the strong smell.  To be affective, we use 4% of each Neem and Karanja, a total of 8% of the bottle combined, to get true benefits.  Ironically, mixing the exact same amount of Neem and Karanja downplays the strong Neem scent to a very pleasant earthy scent.  So, OmniShield is an effective Ayurvedic medicine and insect repellent for both flying and crawling insects.

It is an important note that some pet naturopaths are using OmniShield for both mange mites and lice.  Combined with OmniClean that adds oregano oil has shown reversal of dog mange and MRSA.

Here are some of the benefits of OmniShield

• Repels 200 Insect Types

• Repels Flying Insects

• Repels Crawling Insects

• Anti-itch Treatment

• Heals Hot Spots

• Heals Insect Bites

• Heals Scrapes

• Reduces Yeast Levels

• Inhibits Fungus Growth

• Refreshing Earthy Scent Continue reading KODA OmniShield – Natural Insect Repellent Spray

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KODA OmniCare – Topical Therapy Spray

OmniCare is a naturopathic therapeutic spray designed to heal skin irritations, insect bites, cuts, scrapes and hot spots.  It is a combination of botanical, herb and spice extract that are brewed and then distilled.  These are combined with pharmaceutical grade oils known for their healing properties.

Designed from OmniCare’ famous cousin RediCare, the product perform the function of being a universal care therapy spray with almost endless multi-functions.  RediCare was designed as a sprayable lotion with many healing properties for both people and pets.  This crossover functionality is based on creating a thin lotion that lays on the skin offering a protective barrier to pathogens while also offering ayurvedic medicine healing therapies.  OmniCare is similar in that it is a spray.  The difference is that OmniCare is based on a sprayable extract that we developed called Ariane®.  Ariane® is an extract that is a combination of 14 herbs, botanicals and spices that are melded together that harmonize with a dog’s skin.  We add in ayurvedic oils and essential oils designed to act as therapy for all sorts of skin disorders, allergies and irritations.  The result is a fine mist product that lightly lies on and is absorbed into the skin.  It is ancient remedies and modern technology combines in a skin care therapy products that has multi-functionality.  The emphasis is on results and minimal invasion of the dog’s fear of being sprayed.

Here are some of the benefits of OmniCare.

• Heals Skin Disorders

• Quiets ‘Hot Spots’

• Antibacterial

• Anti-itch Treatment

• Anti-Fungal

• Heals Insect Bites

• Heals Scrapes

• Reduces Yeast Levels

• Anti-Inflammatory

• Refreshing Earthy Scent Continue reading KODA OmniCare – Topical Therapy Spray

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Itchy Dog? Ditch the Perfume

Stop that Itch- Lose the Perfume!

 By Wendy Steele, KODA 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!

If you are choosing a shampoo based on the smell or the type of fragrance in the product– you are most definitely contributing to your dog’s itching and scratching problem!

 You can do a lot to stop the after bath itch – first and foremost – ditch the perfume!

Here are the label-reading basics when determining what shampoo to buy for your dog’s baths and grooming.  Carefully read the product label before buying for your dog.

  • If the label mentions any kind of fragrance – don’t buy it!
  • If the label mentions any kind of sulfate or pseudo sulfate – don’t buy it!
  • Sulfates are aggressive foaming agent chemicals that are difficult to rinse out of your dog’s fur/hair and the residue that cannot be rinsed out will further irritate your dog’s skin causing more itching and scratching after a bath
  • Fragrance and sulfates are a double whammy for your dog and are known irritants that can cause a dog to itch and bite at their fur until there are sores or hot spots
  • If the label mentions any kind of whitening or bleaching agents – don’t buy it!
  • If the label mentions any kind of coloring agents or artificial dyes – don’t buy it!
    • If the ingredients are not clearly listed on the label DO NOT BUY IT

Do not assume that your groomer is aware of irritating ingredients in shampoos and dog perfumes.  In most cases they have no idea what is actually in the products they are using on your dog!  Why? The reason is many manufacturers do NOT fully disclose or label what is actually in a product, nor are they required to be forthcoming by any law, rule or regulation.   Often groomers and dog wash facilities are buying in bulk and buying cheaply made products, based on the lowest cost to them and without a thought given to perfumes, fragrances or harsh sulfates that can irritate your dog’s skin.

 Here is a simple and effective way to communicate with your groomer before leaving your dog for a bath or grooming session:

1)      Take your own “clean” shampoo with you to the groomer or dog wash facility-this is the product you have already investigated and reviewed the ingredients

  • Hand your groomer your “clean” shampoo
  • Tell your groomer that this is the only product you want used on your dog
  • Show your groomer the label and let your groomer know that you are doing your best to eliminate potential skin irritants to your dog

2)      Be specific – ask your groomer NOT TO ADD any fragrance or perfume to your dog’s coat after washing!   (Spray perfumes and additives after bath are another cause of dog itching post grooming.)

3)      Thank the groomer for only using the shampoo that you brought with you and for not adding any after bath products on your dog.   Be sure the groomer acknowledges that they understand your simple request!

Reading labels and educating yourself about buying healthier grooming products for your dog is one of the most caring and loving things you can do for your best friend.  Adopting a wellness philosophy, that is taking simple steps to avoid a skin problem before it starts, is a pro-active philosophy for your dog to enjoy a more stress-free, healthy and happy life.

Wendy

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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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Polluted Pets – What are we doing?

Bob Root, Keys and KODA Technologist

I am raising a red flag when it comes to our pets and the environment.  In my book, Chemical-Free Skin Health® I pointed out that about 50 years ago just about everything we put on our skin or came in contact with was naturally derived.  Now nearly 95% is synthetic.  There are now tens of thousands of chemicals that are in use that have never been tested for safety.  Worse, our pets are exposed in direct contact to hundreds of more chemicals for the shear reason that they typically where no shoes, clothing and dogs tend to lead with their noses.  This reality is played out in the article from the Environmental Working Group showing industrial chemical toxins at alarming high rates compare to humans.

In 2007, I was a founding member of Pets for the Environment which was a spin-off of the EWG.  It was just coming into vogue when the Melamine was discovered in food additives being made in China.  The timing was good, but because of budget cuts and Congressional naivete, the project did not last.  Now, we are trying to bring it back into public eye because of the results below and the continued exposure of our pets to toxic chemicals.

My belief is simple.  I believe that more than 50% of pet skin and gut disorders are caused by chmicals in their environment.  An environment where there are no barriers between the pets and the chemicals.  Again, that is why we see such higher numbers in our dogs and cats compared to humans.   The levels should scare you for people and terrify you for our pets.

Thinks your pets is living a clean pristine life?  Thinks again!

Polluted Pets

Summary and Findings

They are trying their best to warn us.

In the first study of its kind, Environmental Working Group found that American pets are polluted with even higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including newborns. Continue reading Polluted Pets – What are we doing?

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Probiotics & Probiome – Feeding Your Skin!

Bob Root, Keys Technologist

Protobiotics and Probiome.  How our skin is similar to our gut!

Our skin is more similar to our gut than most people care to admit when it comes to bacteria.  Often when I start talking about bacteria in our intestines and the relationship to our skin, many people cover their ears and scream TMI TMI (which translates to Too Much Information).  I do not do it to evoke visceral reactions, but to make a point.

I was recently talking to a group of people about a couple of different subjects about the skin.  One was about the probiome on our skin and the other about the importance of mineral balanced hydration.  This article is about our skin’s probiome ECO system and the article on hydration will come soon.

It seems like most of us understand how probiotics work to help digest food.  Not many understand the relationship to our skin.  In fact, the Microbiome Project at National Institutes of Health near Washington DC is changing the way we look at the skin every day.  It is sort of like waking up every morning knowing that you are rewriting text books.  Then in the afternoon all the doctors blast the findings, yet they really do not know, because it is all new.

A Probiome is a tech phrase for rebuilding and restructuring an ECO system.  Our skin’s ECO system is comprised of about ten times more bacterial than skin cells.  The disruption of this ECO system bring imbalance and can foster growth of attacking bacteria than can actually be deadly in some very rare cases. Continue reading Probiotics & Probiome – Feeding Your Skin!

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Parabens – Just another Dirty Dozen Chemical?

Parabens…Good Guys or Bad Guys?

Bob Root, Keys and KODA Technologist

As a part of my ongoing series of looking at the Dirty Dozen Chemicals shown to provide elevated cancer rates in people and animals, in this article, I outline why we do not use parabens leaving the judgmental diagnosis to the NGO’s attacking them.  The Dirty Dozen Chemicals are a list of 12 developed originally by the Marin County Cancer Project which at the time, had the highest Cancer Rates in the US.  Followed by Search For The Cause and Teens Turning Green the list is now designated the Dirty Thirty.

To get started, parabens are chemical bactericides and germicides that are in 95% of pet skin care products.  Said, there is a lot of debate whether they are good or bad for our pets.  My take is that they are contributing to elevated cancer rates for our dogs.  We think we are helping them, but just maybe we are shortening their lives.

So, are parabens good guys or bad guys?  Both it seems and there is a why we do not use them as well.

Continue reading Parabens – Just another Dirty Dozen Chemical?

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A Close Shave

 

Close Shave?  I am often asked why we do not make a shave cream or shaving soap.   My answer?   We already do!

I was recently at a farmers market in the California Desert and asked by a man who complained of razor stubble and bumps from his shaving cream.  He asked if we would develop a shave cream that was all-natural, would not burn his skin, would not chafe, would not dry his skin and would not drag like other natural shave creams.   I said we already do and a lot of men and women use this special product every day.   Smiling, I told him that it was our Mangrove Shampoo!Remember that Keys believes in making products that solve problems and make people feel good.  This is our mantra.  We also say that our products do many things beyond what the label says.

Continue reading A Close Shave

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SK!N What’s Normal pH?

 

by Bob Root, Keys CTO

There is another book on the horizon for us.   The working title is simple, “SK!N”.   After Chemical-Free Skin Health was published, I started to get so many questions that focused more on “what to do” than what is wrong.  Yes, there will be a chapter about the negative effects of chemicals in products.  The majority of the book are things that we should be doing to improve skin health which has a direct connection to youthful appearance and beauty.

These articles are snippets from the book which are triggered by questions that I get that I think are important now!  Books just have this tendency to stretch things out a bit too far.

Like all good citizens, I have a disclaimer.  For future reference, I once had a professor that said, “Ask Root the time of day and he will lecture you on the origin of time.”  So forewarned is forearmed.  ;-]…..There are no simple answers and no simple questions when it comes to Skin!

Bob

 I had a medical colleague ask me what she thought was a simple question.  “What is the normal pH of the skin?”  Remember there are no simple questions or answers.

Bob’s Answer, Part of the problem we find with all medicine is the use of the term “normal.”  Nowadays, the gaps in normal are quite large and do have some ethnic bias.  The ethnic shift is primarily food type consumed.  The other interesting thing is that in the last ten years or so, the gap has widened.

Continue reading SK!N What’s Normal pH?

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The News Is Not All Bad!

Bob Root, Keys Chief Scientist & Founder

I must admit that I have been CNN Free for nearly tens years. Really!  I find myself working at looking at the world through positive lenses.  I have found that watching things out of my control affects my overall health.  This is not an “ignorance is bliss” approach to living as much as it is a focus on what I can effect, affect and control.

For some time now, I have been afflicted with the belief that much of our health is not about doctors, prescription or even prevention.  As I have studied, for my own life, I have found that health and specifically skin health, are directly relates to changing behaviors and realizing that it is not just about what we put into or on our body, it is how we do it and exercising the critical systems of the body.  Simply, just eating right and going to the gym are minor things and pale in comparison to focusing on our physical, mental and endocrine body balance.
My research may or may not be leading to a new book, but one thing for sure is that I believe that much of our skin health has been too focused on the negative aspects of just a few chemicals when how we live our skin health is far more important.

I have been working on a skin health regime that involves changing lifestyle and is almost devoid of talking about products in favor of changing behaviors.  Mehmet Oz (aka Dr. Oz) inspired me to look at a holistic approach to skin health.  Indeed I have began to write this “book” and will publish excerpts here as they become more real to me.  My hope is to take a part of a well deserved holiday and, at least, write a definitive blog article that one could call a book draft outline.

As I have studied, I realized that we have all be overly influenced by blog articles, public lobbying by NGO’s (non governmental organizations) like FOE, NPA, EWG et al.  Life should be about balance and I struggled to find a single source that I can reference that would offer a positive approach to skin conditions, skin disorders and skin health.  I was chatting with a fellow researcher involved at the Human Microbiome Project. (https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/) and asked her if she knew of a resource.  She laughed at me and said, “how about next door.”   I have to admit that I had one of those V8 moments as I slapped my forehead.  What she meant by next door is the National Libraryof Medicine sponsored by our tax paying support of the National Institutes of Health.  The group is called MedlinePlus and is an online resource that is amazing.

I obviously believe in the Skin Deep database, the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, The Breast Cancer Fund and all the positive work that goes on.  Said, these people take an approach of “don’t use this or that,”  “these things will hurt you” and “don’t do this” without offering many reasons or solutions.  MedlinePlus makes all of the information from all these “Bad News” agencies pale in comparison.  The best analogy I have is that if information was water, all of the NGO resources add up to a thimble of water into an Olympic pool that is MedlinePlus.

So, here are just a few articles that focus just on the skin, nails and hair on the MedlinePlus database.  My hope is that they will offer you positive solutions to help your skin and feed your positive spirit at the same time.

Update!  Our friends at The Babble Out (www.thebabbleout.com) approached our customer service to look at an eczema article they wrote.   It is quite good and worth reading.  Here is the link to Everything About Eczema.

Note:  When our customer service leader forwarded the article from Zoey at Babble Out to me, it caused me to read the article for value here, but it also reminded me that innovation is constant and articles like mine or from Babble Out are not dynamic unless we stay on top to make these article real-time.  Next to impossible, we will try to be more diligent in staying current with new technologies.

Coming from the computer industry where you either innovate or die, our world has begun to adopt the rapid innovations cycle.  Anything where people are helping people is both responsibility and serving.

For example, there is amazing work being done in Canada in Vernon at a spa where they expose eczema suffers to decreasing temperatures where the skin is blast-chilled.   Results have been remarkable and worth Googling “Eczema Cryotherapy.”

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

Skin, Hair and Nails Topics
Below is the link to the ‘Cosmetics’ link above to give you an idea of what you will find.  What you will quickly notice is that there is a simple description and links to numerous articles on various subjects in detail.  All said, don’t get too caught up in this because it all may lead to a new form of insanity disorder.  😉

Photograph of an eye shadow case with four shadow colors and a brushCosmetics

Also called: Makeup

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 Cosmetics are products you apply to your body to clean it, make it more attractive or change the way it looks. They include
  • Hair dyes
  • Makeup
  • Perfumes
  • Skin-care creams

Products such as dandruff shampoo, fluoride toothpaste and antiperspirant deodorant are both cosmetics and drugs. A good way to tell if you’re buying a cosmetic that is also a drug is to see if the first ingredient listed is an “active ingredient.” The active ingredient is the chemical that makes the product effective, and the manufacturer must have proof that it’s safe for its intended use. To find out all the ingredients in a cosmetic you use, check the container. Manufacturers are required to list them. Labels such as “natural” and “hypoallergenic” have no official meaning. Companies can use them to mean whatever they want.

Food and Drug Administration

 What’s this?
 Start Here
 The top row in the table of contents box contains the following groups:Basics,Learn More, andMultimedia & Cool Tools.

For group Basics

For group Multimedia & Cool Tools

The bottom row in the table of contents box contains the following groups:Research,Reference Shelf, andFor You.

 For group Research

For group Reference Shelf

For group For You

Overviews

 

 

 

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What Some Sunscreens Are Hiding…(Republished)

Bob_weeds_125It is summer and it is sunscreen season.  Below is an article I recently wrote about the new welcomed changes from the FDA that will force manufacturers to reveal what is in their sunscreens.  Please read it and the links to the FDA.  This change has go a long way to help save lives through UVA and UVB dangers awareness.  Also, since this new regulation, I thought it would be good to reprint the blog article herein.  I encourage you to study to protect you and your family.

My grandfather used to say to me, “make up your mind.  Don’t let someone make up your mind for you!”  It is more important than ever that you listen to facts based on studies and not opinion.

Continue reading What Some Sunscreens Are Hiding…(Republished)

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Triclosan Ban Could Be On The Way

Bob Root in his new book Chemical-Free Skin Health outlined many of his concerns over the widespread use of Triclosan in foods, products and skin care.  The article below was dated today in the Natural Products Manufacturers newsletter.

From Natural Foods Merchandiser

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to ban the antibacterial chemical triclosan in consumer products, in response to a petition submitted by 82 environmental and public health groups led by Beyond Pesticidesand Food & Water Watch. Continue reading Triclosan Ban Could Be On The Way

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Fragrance – Keys Reports

In an effort to bring relevant information to you, we occasionally find interesting reports.  This one tags onto the EWG Fragrance Report and includes concerns we have had for a long time regarding unlisted chemicals in fragrance found in household products.

This is a FYI for you!

____________________________________________________________

Scented Consumer Products Shown to Emit Many Unlisted Chemicals Continue reading Fragrance – Keys Reports

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On The Press! New Book by Keys Founder – Bob Root

Chemical-Free Skin Health!

Bob announced the beginning of a book focused on skin health over two years ago at the Natural Products Expo West. His book will be published in early October and Bob will officially launch the book at the 2010 California Women’s Conference. Maria Shriver chose Keys Luminos for last years Women’s Conference for the speakers gift bag. This year, she chose Keys Solar Rx for the speakers gift bag.

The book, titled “Chemical-Free Skin Health” with a subtitle of “Stop • Challenge • Choose” will be published by Orion’s M42 publishing company and will be sold on the show floor by Vroman’s bookstore. Bob will be at the show signing the books.

Keys will be exhibiting in the newly created section called the “ECO Island” which features green sustainable products. For those attending, Bob and Wendy will be in the Keys booth along with Kathleen Beaton, Hollywood makeup artist and writer of the Foreword for Bob’s book. Kerry Malouf, motion picture makeup artist and beauty editor for Malibu Magazine will also be in the Keys booth in the ECO Island. Continue reading On The Press! New Book by Keys Founder – Bob Root

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The Story of Cosmetics • Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Comments of the personal care industry, by Bob Root, Keys CTO

Bob Root, Keys CTO

“The world is a changen,” is an old southern phrase.   It generally means that new things continue to appear at a little to fast a pace.   The concept of safe cosmetics does not fit into that phrase.  I believe we are actually returning to the basics and our roots from not a too distant a past.

Our first lotion was a refined version of one my grandmother created.  She taught me to make a very fine lotion that she used to simmer on the pilot light (Google ‘pilot light’ if you are under 40) on the stove. She had long since passed-on by the time I started Keys, but I remembered the formula and process. Very emollient, Tortuga rivals the department store brands at a fraction of the price. Why, because it is all natural whole ingredients and not 50+ chemicals designed to mimic a real natural lotion. Continue reading The Story of Cosmetics • Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

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Triclosan: The Biocide That Creates Super Bugs?

Triclosan: The Biocide that Creates Super Bugs?

By Bob Root, Keys Technologist

 

Bob Root, Keys Technologist

Chemical Warfare Chapter 12:  Biocides:  Indiscriminate killers that create super bugs?

For almost two years, I have been working on a book draft titled, “Chemical Warfare.”  It is a book focused on simplifying information about personal care and household products uses and concerns for public safety.  As I studied, I realized how much hearsay there was in the industry.  Taking a scientific approach, I turned to the research community for insights and facts…as best as they are.  Part of my dedication was and is to release information that is important in real-time.  Books, after all, are merely a snapshot in time and pale in comparison to real-time information gateways like our blog.

FACT vs FUD is a chapter in this book as well as an article on this blog.  In this overly inflammatory news based society of ours, my resistance is to publish anything that is not based in research. Continue reading Triclosan: The Biocide That Creates Super Bugs?

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EWG 2010 Sunscreen Report – Sunscreen For Dummies


Bob Root, Keys CTO

It is that time of year again when the various sunscreen reports come out.

The Environmental Working Group 2010 Sunscreen Report is out a couple of months early.

Once again, Keys Solar Rx receives great marks in the Moisturizer with SPF category.

I offer the title above with a great deal of respect for this years EWG 2010 Sunscreen Report.  I use the colloquial title because for the first time I feel there is a report that we can all read and understand.  Good on ya EWG for making something that we can read and learn as well as drill down for the details.

This year there are some interesting changes in the report that might not be very apparent, so I will try to hit some highlights to simplify it for you.  Most notable is that the ranking system is gone and it is a very clear, concise easy to read educational document. Continue reading EWG 2010 Sunscreen Report – Sunscreen For Dummies

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Parabens Good Or Bad Guys

Both?

Bob Root, Keys Technologist

As a part of my ongoing series of looking at the Dirty Dozen Chemicals shown to provide elevated cancer rates in people and animals, in this article, I outline why we do not use parabens leaving the judgmental diagnosis to the NGO’s attacking them.  The Dirty Dozen Chemicals are a list of 12 developed originally by the Marin County Cancer Project which at the time, had the highest Cancer Rates in the US.  Followed by Search For The Cause and Teens Turning Green the list is now designated the Dirty Thirty.

So, are parabens good guys or bad guys?  Both it seems and there is a why we do not use them as well.

Below is a scavenged description of parabens from Wikipedia.    On the surface and from a chemical perspective they do their job.  Many chemists and companies support their use based on a belief of safety.  I believe that they are looking at the wrong reasons for safety.

Our society seems to primarily look at safety as, “will what we put on our skin hurt us directly?”  I believe that we should be looking at whether it hurts us based on contact and will it cause something else to hurt us because of it. Continue reading Parabens Good Or Bad Guys

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Wax and Other Things That Threaten Mankind

Ingredients, Skin Deep Report  and Everything Else…

Musing from an interview with Bob Root, Keys Care CTO

Bob Root, Keys Chief Technologist Near Los Alamos National Labs

I recently took up Storm Chasing as a hobby… Just kidding although I feel like one of those guys chasing Tornado’s in the Midwest when it comes to the natural products industry.

I was recently on a conference call with various members of the Natural Products Manufacturers Association enraged about a change that the EWG had made in the rating of Vegetable Emulsifying Wax from a 1 to a 4.  The tone was angry because as Compact Signers, we were not given a why, who, what or a heads-up at all to the change.  As of the time of the call, no one knew why the ranking was changed, who provoked it or the reason for the change.  Normally, I would not address this here on our blog, but there has been so much uproar at the consumer level that our customer service, sales and marketing teams asked for some clarity.  The title of this article maybe should have been Williams Shakespeare’s,  “Much Ado About Nothing!”

Continue reading Wax and Other Things That Threaten Mankind

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EWG Report on Fragrance – Not So Sexy!

EWG Report Cover

The EWG just released a report on Fragrances. Below is a part of the report and links to read the entire report.

What is important to understand is that these same secret ingredients are used in personal care and household products. That familiar brand fragrance of Tide, Dreft and dryer sheets come from fragrance developed in the same process as the cologne’s and perfumes listed in the EWG Report.

This report is not startling to us, but it will be to you. It is clear and concise as well as very easy to understand. Simply if it has a long lasting smell, it is a good chance that your products have some of these secret ingredients that are talked about in the report.

This morning our chief scientist, Bob Root, was a featured speaker on the industry call hosted by the Product Stewardship Institute. Continue reading EWG Report on Fragrance – Not So Sexy!

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Keys Banned Chemical Series – SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

Dirty Dozen Chemicals: SLS

Bob Root, Keys CTO

By Bob Root

Keys Technologist

Many people that I meet ask me to describe why I do not use certain chemicals.  I tell them that my reasons are practical not political.  I generally explain in three to five pragmatic reasons why I do not use certain ingredients.  Most encourage me to offer my simplified reasons, so I am beginning to undertake why we do not use certain ingredients.  In this series of article, I will start with the Dirty Dozen. Continue reading Keys Banned Chemical Series – SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

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New iPhone Application to Track Cosmetic Ingredients

A new iPhone application promises to inform the consumer of which products should be avoided using a database of INCI names and the ingredients allotted safety profile.

iPhone app

Cosmetifique can be used with both the iPhone and iPod Touch and claims to have a searchable database of over 5,000 ingredients, in INCI format. Results for ingredients searches come back highlighted as either red, orange or green, to denote whether the ingredient is good, acceptable or should be avoided. According to application designer Alfredo Delli Bovi, this can inform the consumer whether the cosmetics they have bought or are planning on purchasing are dangerous to their health or the environment. Cosmetifique also allows favourite products to be saved with the name, brand and colour, which can then be shared with friends via email, facebook or twitter. Delli Bovi explained that the ingredients suggested as good are natural and green ingredients.  “We talked to make-up gurus and 90 percent of them preferred natural ingredients, so we don’t suggest chemical ones like dimethicone,” he said. A local scientific agency provided much of the information for the application as did webservices, explained Delli Bovi. The application is now available to purchase from Apple’s App Store at a price of $1.99.  The company website is http://www.cosmetifique.com/ BTW, the cosmetics industry is up in arms over this app 😉

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Phthalates Linked To ADHD

In keeping with our commitment to keep you informed about studies dealing with the Dirty Thirty chemicals, here is a synopsis and link to a recent article regarding phthalates in personal care products.  Please note that we have tracked the use of phthalates in room fresheners, scented candles, dryer sheets, laundry detergents, cologne/perfumes and a high percentage of personal care products.  The consumer simple rule that we suggest is that if a product has a strong fragrance that lasts for a long time, it is most likely synthetic and contains a form of phthalate.  When in doubt inquire to a product manufacture for assurance that their products do not contain phthalates.  Keys Engineering

Personal care ingredient linked to ADHD

A new study has linked phthalates, a substance used in some shampoos, lotions, air fresheners and children’s toys, with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although research on the health effects of phthalates (pronounced “thalates”) has been somewhat inconsistent, the latest study, published in Biological Psychiatry, adds to troubling findings about the chemical.

“These data represent the first documented association between phthalate exposure and ADHD symptoms in school-aged children,” Yun-Chul Hong, MD, PhD, senior author of the study, said in a statement. He and his colleagues came to their conclusions after measuring urine phthalate concentrations and evaluating ADHD symptoms in 261 Korean children, age 8 to 11 years. They found that the higher the concentration of phthalate metabolites in the urine, the worse the ADHD symptoms.

Some studies to date on phthalates have linked the chemical to hormone disruptions, birth defects, asthma and reproductive problems. Other studies have found no significant association between phthalate exposure and health risks.

Here is a link to the article.  Click Here

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The Dirty Thirty. A Reprised Dirty Dozen… 30 Bad Boy Chemicals!

dirty30_150

At Keys, we have a core philosophy to not use any chemicals in our products that remotely have health concerns, known allergens or irritants.  Like many, we started our business based on a need and we try to minimize negative marketing.  If we were to list all the no’s, it would fill an entire web page.  We chose to use the term chemical-free although it outrages the chemists of the world.  All of our ingredients are on the labels and listed with the EWG Skin Deep Report.

So the purpose of writing about the Dirty Thirty is to give you an education of what chemicals are typically used in skincare, what they are intended to do and why you do not want to have them in your products.

Our own list of no no chemicals and natural ingredients tops 1100.   Yes, some are natural and they are on our no-use list because they are too aggressive, too toxic or too useless because of efficacy or quality.  This article is about the Real Dirty Thirty chemicals that top the bad-boys list.

Continue reading The Dirty Thirty. A Reprised Dirty Dozen… 30 Bad Boy Chemicals!

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Nano Zinc Oxide… Hundreds of Studies Show It’s Safe! Really!

By Bob Root,  Keys Technologist

saturn5One day when I was young, I was reading an issue of Popular Science Magazine with a story about a bold project to put man into space.  I was so excited.  Like many young people, I fantasized about flying in space.  I became an avid follower of early rocket pioneers and awaited the day when the first manned rocket would launch.

A few months before the first test launch was to fire, my mother, in sheer terror, headed for church to join other devoted to pray for the salvation of mankind.  When I asked her what it was about, she exclaimed that “the world will come to an end when that damned rocket punctures the sky.”  …”We have to prepare by praying for our salvation.”  This was a defining moment for me because I did not believe her fears or the need to pray for my salvation. I found this belief so curious and it probably set my life’s course in technology.  I wondered  how people could make stuff up and spin into a mass fear of destruction.
Continue reading Nano Zinc Oxide… Hundreds of Studies Show It’s Safe! Really!

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Why We Use Airless Pumps and Not Tubes

Airless Pumps versus Tubes
By Bob Root Keys Technologist

airlessvstubesI am often asked the question of why I chose airless pumps for our products over traditional tubes. Well, there is no simple answer, but a series of reasons that we chose this very advanced technology developed in the Netherlands along with our design team. The most important reasons are health, safety and cleanliness of the product. True, tubes are less expensive, easier to fill and more common. The problem with tubes is that they were never designed for natural products. Continue reading Why We Use Airless Pumps and Not Tubes

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Our Green Piece…How It’s Made at Keys!

by Bob Root

Keys Technologist

Clean, Caring, Concerned and Diligent!

Everyone want to know these days what is in your products, what is not in your products and how does the making of your products effect the environment.  I thought it might be lighter to use the title Green Piece with an ‘i’ because that is what the PR people call the eco statement that a company offers.  Often these are full of $5 dollar words and platitudes.  So, I have attempted to inform here without using too many words or big words that have no meaning.  I am sure I have missed something, so make sure you use the comment box to ask me your questions.
Keys is not just another natural products manufacturer.  We design skin care solutions that solve problems.  If there was a FDA category for Natural Medicines, you would find Keys there.  What you will notice about our products is that we present them as natural solutions to problems with features, benefits and advantages offered.  We are not a company that focused on scents, nor do we add any ingredients to scent our products.  Although many people comment on the way our products smell, it usually begins with adjectives like clean, fresh, earthy et al.

It was about seven years ago that Keys burst on the scene of the Natural Products Industry when we exhibited at the Natural Products Expo trade show.  It was synergistic that about the same time that many well known “natural products” manufacturers were exclaiming that they were going to remove the Dirty Dozen chemicals from their products over the next few years that we showed up with none of them.  When the show opened, many were shocked to see that we created stable functional products that had none of the Dirty Dozen.  In fact, we never had them in our products.

Keys cause and mission was to create products for people with sensitive skin, post cancer recovery and for people with chemical based skin disorders.  We simply could not use the Dirty Dozen as well as hundreds of other chemicals and fragrances that were commonly used.  Our mission at the show was to not out-do others in what seemed to be more of a PR race.   We were there to provide niche market products which we labeled as Chemical-Free Skin Health®  We presented ourselves, not just as a natural product, but skin health products that competed with pharmaceutical products for efficacy and that are natural…chemical-free!

What does natural mean?  To us, it is the use of whole ingredients that are naturally processed from plants, herbs and botanicals.  This means no synthetic man-made chemicals.  It also means that we can trace every ingredient and every constituent ingredient back to their origin.  For example, we use whole natural virgin avocado oil, we know the grower, we know their process and we know what was used in the grove where the fruit was harvested.  We know this for all of our ingredients.

What we do not use is as important as what we use.  Even though we say whole natural ingredients, sometimes it is important to point out what we do not use to assure people of the integrity of our products.  To begin, there are no Dirty 30, Dirty 100 or Dirty 10,000 chemicals in our products.  No man-made chemicals.  That means no sulfates, parabens and all the other no’s that you see on labels and advertising.  This pushes down to the ingredients that make up some of our combined ingredients.  Our ingredients are whole which means that they have not been modified or obtained from genetically modify plants.

Our products are gluten-free, vegan, not soy based and use no corn.  All ingredients are on our labels.  All!

We use and develop functional ingredients to improve skin health.  This is a relatively new science developed from some old world methods where we use whole fruits, herbs, botanicals, spices and plant ingredients placed into a “worting” fermenting like process and then extracted using a steam process to architect ingredients that serve a specific purpose.  We give these ingredients names like Ariane and Miras to help distinguish what they do for the skin.  Almost all future development at Keys is in this direction.  You can read more about it in the Keys Science article.

So as a bit of background, we developed all of our products using ancient remedies upgraded with modern technology and pharmaceutical ingredients in therapeutic proportions.  Although many of the products have their roots in centuries old recipes, we have refined our processes using sometimes exotic methods to make our finished products.  For example, many companies us aerated homogenizers to get a fine smooth finish to their product.  Air means oxygen and that means faster spoiling of the final product.  So, we use infrasonic sound waves emitted by specially designed propeller tips on powered mixers.  Does the same job with no air added into the products.  The list of innovation in how we process our products is long and each are designed to improve the results you get from our products.

When we began to make Keys products, we realized that we had to replace chemical germacides like parabens with natural ingredients that slow bacteria growth to a minimum.  The simple solution would have been to require that our products should be refrigerated.  That was neither practical or reasonable.  The solution for Keys was a combination of natural ingredients and food-like preparation process controls.

Bacteria in the form of Gram Positive rods exist on our skin, in our food and all around us.  It is normal and in many cases, beneficial.  Like probiotic supplements that we take to increase the flora in our gut, the probiotics on the skin are equally as important.  As manufacturers, we could opt to kill them using parabens, but the potential danger of these chemicals and the effects they have on some people precludes us from using them.  Worse, killing the bad using parabens also kills the good that creates imbalances on the skin making it susceptible to disease.  Natural preservatives like rosemary extract really help, but cleanliness is the best first step in maintaining the skins natural probiotics.  So cleanliness is perhaps the most important thing a manufacturer can do to make a trustworthy product.

Cleanliness to us in the manufacturing process is quite rigorous and necessary to create products that have reasonable best used by dates.  The real secret to long shelf life natural products is a combination of a clean manufacturing environment, ingredients with low water content and a packaging environment with little to no air.  To start the process, all raw materials sent to Keys are inspected for microbiology levels far below industry standards.  The we clean our vessels using super-heated steam to sterilize them in a similar fashion that a surgeon uses an autoclave to sterilize their instruments.  Our compounders (aka chefs) wear lintless disposable clothing and special hair protection to ensure a clean work area.  Our factory is a cleanroom like environment that is cleaned using cGMP and ISO 9000 standards.

Finally, our containers, labels and inks are recyclable.  Everything!  We precycle by not using any external packaging and our packing materials are state of the art paper based components.  This even goes down to the fact that we use paper tape to seal the boxes.  Each of our product packages are carefully selected for maximum performance extending shelf life and for the lowest environmental impact.  We use no packaging that has a tendency to be easily infected from the outside environment.  This includes the airless containers seen in the video below.

I recently watched a Science Channel TV show showing how one of the name brand “Natural” manufacturers make their products.  I was shocked to see people without hair nets, masks, lint-free clothing and dumping ingredients into open vats from open cardboard boxes used in shipment.  My first thought was amazement and then I thought that I had better explain to our customers “How It’s Made” at Keys so that no one thinks we make ours that way.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth 10,000 pictures.  The video below describes how we make our Solar Rx from batching to labeling.  Everything you see is in a cleanroom style environment and portrays how we make all of our products.  Clean, caring, concerned and diligent.  The care and concern is obvious.  That is why we say that our most secret ingredient at Keys is our positive intension in every product.