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Merz Tea Time with Q-Brothers Webcast with Bob Root Keys CTO & Founder

Merz Tea Time is a new webcast by Merz Apothecary in Chicago IL.  Merz is a 145-year-old apothecary and online giant based in Chicago.  Keys and Merz have had a 12-year relationship that has grown even stronger in these tough times.  Merz Tea Time is a new live online webcast created by Merz to inform in a Joe Rogan style interaction with Merz vendors.  One of the first guests in this series was Bob Root, Keys founder, formulator, and head engineer.  Rogan style, the conversation bounces all over the gamut from skincare to the origin of Keys and why the company exists.  It is a funny, educational, and insightful podcast.

If you are offering podcast, webcasts or ZoomCasts to your customers, please contact us to book time with Bob

Below is the YouTube of the interview.



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Your Staff Better Be Smizing – It Could Make or Break Your Business

Smizing – Smiling with your eyes is the secret to business success moving forward.  It is the New Normal

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO, Founder & Melanoma Survivor

Making sure that your staff knows how to Smize can make the difference between profit and loss or making it or not in these times. Here is how I learned to smize and why you should care.

Human ingenuity always amazes me, and I am seeing great things “here and there” now that our society is trying to move forward. Many things have changed and will never return to normal. The new normal is 2 meters of separation, avoiding crowds and wearing masks. Whether you agree or disagree with how things are being handled, change is inevitable, and growth is optional.  

Masks are probably one change that will stick with us and make sense in many ways. In Japan, if you have a cold, you wear a mask. In Bejing, if you are exposed to allergens, you wear a mask. In San Francisco, if you ride a bike through the industrial areas, you wear a mask. Now, if you shop at Costco or the grocery store, you should wear a mask. I get that.

Our friends at Jams World have some cool looking masks. Theirs is the one I am wearing. I have also seen some super fashion statement masks that are very cute, and some are very cool. If we have to wear them, we might as well have some FUN. I am taking life’s changes in stride because it is more comfortable.

I have to admit that I have worn buffs and neck gaters for years. I wear them to protect my neck from the sun, and occasionally I would pull it up over my face as a sort of joke for friends. Not much fun these days, but it is a good option as well. People would ask me what I was wearing and why in a sort of judgemental way. I wrote them off as muggles. What I do and what I wear is my business, and people’s insecurities are theirs. Not mine. Yesterday, I went to pick up lunch from my favorite Southwestern restaurant, and when Monica walked out to my car with our lunch, she was wearing a very cute “bandito” neckerchief hiked up over her mouth and nose. It was damned cute, and I knew that I had made the new order transition because I felt like asking her where she bought it. So, I am back to wearing my neck gaters because they are so much more fun than a surgical mask.

IMS – Get Over It.

I have seen some very terrifying masks, which is what inspired this article. Sometimes, it is not the mask that bothers me; it is the eyes of the wearer.

So the topic of this article is a kind of RBF story or to be more specific, IMS. Irritable Mask Syndrome is genuine and seems to be caused by various things. Some have told me that masks are an invasion of identity or uncomfortable. One said having to wear one is unconstitutional. Some feel self-conscious while others seem to like that they can hide behind one.

IMS Revealed

I was out walking, which I do a lot. Most of the time, I don’t see anyone, and sometimes, these days, when I do see people, they have their masks on. One day, just recently, I saw someone who was wearing a mask and stressed at having to wear it. Even though her mask covered most of her face, it was a clear case of IMS. I thought, how is that possible. How can her negative appearance scream out so much that I noticed her temperament wearing a big mask? We passed quite away from each other, and there was no attempt at a gesture or acknowledging of me. In some ways, it reminded me of being in New York City three weeks after 9.11. It stunned me a bit that this ‘no-no’ bothered me so much. Usually, I do not let people annoy me, but she did. I was mad at me for having the feelings, not her. About a mile down the road, I saw another masked woman headed toward me. As she passed, her eyes glistened and sparkled. Her eyes were smiling, and with my eyes, I smiled back and waved to acknowledge her. It suddenly dawned on me that the first woman had terror or anger in her eyes, which affected me, and this second woman made me feel good. All with their eyes only.

Oh No, I thought, do I have IMS? So when I got back home, I kept my mask on and looked into the bathroom mirror. Thankfully, I did not have IMS, but I wondered, “Could I practice smiling with my eyes?” What would that look like, and how hard could it be. Damned hard, I found out.

Smizing – The Duchenne Smile

The second woman started it with her smiling eyes, and I mirrored her. That was easy. It was automatic. What I discovered is that it is both an art and talent to be able to initiate smiling eyes. So, I grabbed my iPad and looked up “how to smile with your eyes” and surprise-surprise; there were many articles with most talking about something called a Duchenne smile.

Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle (which raises the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi muscle (which raises the cheeks and forms crow’s feet around the eyes). The Duchenne smile has been described as “smizing,” as in “smiling with the eyes.”

So, I texted an actress friend of mine and asked her if she knew about the Duchenne smile. She laughed at me and told me she spent almost a year in an acting class trying to learn to smile with her eyes, and it was quite hard to master until she stopped trying. She said it comes from the soul, and when you smile naturally, your eyes squint and raise a bit. Little bags form under the eyes, and there you have it. She said it is the opposite of Instagram’s face because you don’t look perfect. You look happy and excited to be alive as opposed to trying to impress. Her best lesson for me was to be comfortable at smiling at everyone all the time. She said you would get better at it.

So, I tried it in the mirror, and it was true. That little squint made my eyes sparkle, and I was even happier feeling. So, I tried it with my mask, and it worked. I just made up that I did not have a mask, and my eyes do all the work since my face was covered.

So try smiling at your cellphone and do a bunch of selfies before and afters. You will be amazed. Now do the same thing with your mask on and notice how you feel. Then go out and practice on everyone you walk by to see what their reaction is.

So if you are like me, you have to believe that the world would be a better place if everyone smiled at each other. Now we have to wear masks, so we have to work a bit harder at it.

Lastly, here is a link to a great how-to article about how to master the Duchenne smile. https://www.wikihow.com/Smile-With-the-Eyes

Also, here is a good short video I found that describes the Duchenne smile that was a help for me.  Show it to all your people.    Wendy

 

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How Do Your Sunscreens Rate Against Keys Solar RX? – EWG 2020 Sunscreen Report

by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO Melanoma survivor, and Founder

So, how do the sunscreens you sell to your customers rank on Saftey and Efficacy?  Do they actually work and are they safe.  The controversy rages on whether sports sunscreen is safe.  The FDA says they should be reapplied every 15 minutes in high-stress conditions.  Our Solar Rx Moisturizer with sunscreen has the highest and best rating.  It can be worn all day as a foundation.  How do the ones you sell rate against Keys Solar Rx?   The results may surprise you.  Every year the Environmental Working Group publishes a sunscreen report.  Keys has been at the top of the list since the first report ten years ago.  This year the report is better to read in every aspect.  It is easy to read and figure out which is best for your customers.  They already read the report, it is time you compare what they know to what you sell.

First, there are fundamentally two types of sunscreens.  There are “go-to beach” sports screens and daily moisturizers with SPF.  Keys Solar RX is a daily sunscreen foundation with anti-aging moisturizing properties.  Having both types on your shelves is important and knowing when to recommend one of the other is essential.

Keys has received the highest ranking in the 2020 EWG sunscreen report for safety and efficacy. Keys Solar Rx and Keys KPRO SPF each received a 1 rating in this year’s EWG sunscreen report. The scale of 1 to 10 ranks safety based on ingredients and efficacy based on the type and concentration of sunscreen ingredients; 1 being the highest rating and 10 the worst.  As you can see from the chart to the right, there are very few #1 ranked sunscreens with the majority rated 3-6 on the EWG scale.

Keys uses a 20.5% level of its proprietary uncoated zinc oxide blend. The base moisturizer is our Luminos lotion formulation that focuses on avocado oil, black seed oil, carrot seed oil, agave aloe, and Shea butter for maximum hydration.

Spherical Zinc Oxide particles

Keys SPF products use a technique from high technology sputtering to process the particles for maximum UV blocking efficacy. Our zinc oxide blend uses a vapor deposition process to make our particles spherical and, therefore, transparent. The mixture maximizes UVB and UVA properties for perfect UV filtering.

Keys SPF products are the best moisturizers with UV protection. Solar Rx and KPRO SPF are for everyday use in non-sport applications. The products last all day and need not be reapplied, assuming the wearer does not sweat or do physical activity. Keys Solar Rx is perfect under makeup, acting as a clear luminescent foundation. KPRO adds sparkle from our OptiFx particles for special occasions.

How Do The Sunscreens You Are Selling Rate Against Keys

Click Here or the image above to access the Moisturizer with SPF EWG report and scroll down to Keys to read the reviews

Anti-Aging

Keys CEO, Wendy Steele, Melanoma survivor and reason for Solar Rx being developed

Both Solar Rx and KPRO SPF have anti-aging emollient properties because of the ingredient purity and quality. These are the most exquisite oils that money can buy blended into a formulation that hydrates, moisturizes, and effects fine lines. Avocado oil has skin clearing properties and, over time, will reduce dark spots and patches.

Therapeutic

Keys Solar Rx broadens its purpose as a skin ailment and disorder product because the zinc oxide is uncoated. This means that the wearer gains all the benefits of a zinc cream at even higher concentrations than over the counter skin disorder products. Most zinc creams contain 6%-8% uncoated zinc oxide. Solar Rx is at 20.5% uncoated zinc level. One major benefit is as a redness reduction solution. Many dermatologists prescribe zinc oxide cream and ointments. Solar Rx is a universal solution while also providing UVA and UVB blocking.

10 Years

This is the tenth year that Keys Solar Rx has received the highest rating from the EWG. Consumer Union thrust Keys Solar Rx into the limelight when it rated Solar Rx the highest and most effective sunscreen in its class. It has been the choice of Hollywood makeup artists and actors. It was featured two years in a row at Maria Shriver’s California Women’s Conference. Originally developed for Wendy Steele, Keys CEO, melanoma diagnosis, Solar Rx is Keys number one selling product.

 

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Dr. Google is Up to Something Cool

Dr. Google at it again.  This Time with Apple as a partner.

After all this, there will be no industries untouched in some way or another. Perhaps the most impacted will be the medical industry. We have talked about Dr. Google for many years now and marvel at how over 95% of us consult Google first before going to the doctor. Contrary to some, people consult Google first because it is fast, efficient, and free. Now Google and Apple are taking another leap and may finally be integrating live doctors into the technology shift. Hopefully, as most doctors I know are, frankly, Luddites, I sincerely hope that everyday problems and illnesses will go online first. Cleary, in the next five years, the primary first contact will be an AI consultant the will screen and pass off patients to a live doctor.

Although this article in Apple News may seem to be C-19 focused, it is a wave of the future and one of the positive benefits for us all that will come out of this common disease.

Google starts showing virtual doctor options in Search and Maps

Some medical facilities are discouraging personal visits in response to C-19

As part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, some medical facilities are currently discouraging visits in person. But pandemic or no pandemic, many ailments won’t merely disappear, and so sometimes we need to get help.

In such a scenario, Google wants to assist. The web giant recently announced it would begin highlighting health facilities that offer consultations over a video connection, enabling you to avoid a potentially busy waiting room, thereby reducing person-to-person contact.

“Over the coming week, we’re beginning to roll out two new features in Search and Maps that make it easier for people to connect to virtual health care options, whether it’s to a doctor’s office down the street, the hospital across town, or a national telehealth platform,” Julie Black, director of product management at Google Health, announced in an online post.

The features have been made possible after Google started allowing health care providers such as hospitals, doctors, and mental health professionals to add information for a virtual care service to their online business profile. It means that if you use Google Search or Maps to look for a local provider, you may see a “get online care” link in the results.

Clicking this link will take you to that provider’s virtual care website where you can find more information and perhaps set up a health care consultation that will take place online.

Black said Google Search will also start showing widely available virtual care platforms, giving people more options when it comes to making virtual visits.

“For example, when people search for ‘immediate care,’ we’ll be able to also present available virtual care options and related information such as the out-of-pocket price charged for a visit (for those without insurance) and an easy way for people to directly connect with the virtual care platform,” the executive said.

The update to Search and Maps is likely to prove popular as Black noted in her post that since the pandemic started, interest in virtual care and telehealth has risen dramatically.

The severity of the pandemic has even prompted a collaboration between Google and Apple, with the two companies planning a new opt-in system using Bluetooth technology on smartphones to track the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as C-19. Data collected through the new system will be shared with local public health authorities to help them make better-informed decisions on how to deal with the outbreak.

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Lights! Camera! Action! – Megan and the Teleconference Crisis

Just Another Beautiful Day in New Mexico

Bob Root, Keys CTO & Founder

Friday, April 10, 2020, 6:00am. My Friday started like all the rest of my days in week four of my sequester. In the high desert of New Mexico, mornings start crisp and cool with a bright sunrise over the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. Not a bad way to start the day. So, this Friday, I punched the Nespresso Machine and waited the moments for it to brew. Cat Isabel cruised by, and Jasper dog and Wendy were out an asleep in bed. I sort of like the solitude and rarely look at email until after the first espresso. I know you are saying, “poor baby.”

Today was different, and for some reason, I opened my email on my iPad. I never do that! Maybe it was a mistake or something Freudian.

The first thing I saw was an email from Megan, an old consulting client and long time friend in New York marked “Urgent”- Respond Immediately! She is an executive with a mega-company, and I worried that something was very wrong. So, I popped open the email and began to laugh out loud. Here was the first line. “Bob, holy shit, I need your help now. I am working from home and have to teleconference every day next week, and I look like shit on camera.” “What should I do?”

Before I go on, Megan knows me very well and my misspent youth. I spent many years involved with Hollywood mostly behind the camera in the early days of digital productions. Lots of tall tales, but I do know a few things about making people look good on camera. Keys KPRO line was developed in Hollywood with makeup artists. Today my Beta test team, Wendy calls them “Bob’s Possie,” are makeup artists, actors or makeup specialists. So, Megan is in trouble and needs some image guidance.

First, my days for the last month or so have been turbulent with lots of customer questions, manufacturing issues, and scrambling like most everyone. Most days are 12-14 hours. It may seem to pale in these times, but honestly, I welcomed the Saturday Night Live moment. So as I sipped my Nespresso, I decided to take the request seriously because I know her, and she was in distress over how she looks to her peers.   

Megan lives on the water in Connecticut. She has this beautiful porch that overlooks the sound. It is a very old New England style home and a perfect setting for an executive to have a conference call. She is a big dog, so people expect her to have a nice home. She does, and why not show it off.

It is crucial to recognize that Megan is quite pretty, thin, and self-assured. Said, nobody looks good on a cheap webcam in poor lighting. That is why the lighting people get paid whatever they ask for, followed quickly by the makeup artist. Lighting is everything!

Rather then paraphrasing herein is my email to Megan.


Megan, do not ever do that again. Do Not ever use urgent unless you or mark have been hit by a beer truck.

Here is what I want you to do in order:

    • Move your computer out onto the porch where people can see the water and boats going by. It will distract them from looking at just you with a bare white wall behind you.
    • Make a couple of reflector flats by taking cardboard and covering it with crinkled aluminum foil. Position these, so the outdoor light fill in so that it is not too bright behind you. A movie screen will do if you have one tucked away from 25 years ago in your basement.
    • Move your computer toward the back of the table so that you do not fill the screen of your webcam. They know what you look like, so you do not have to hover an inch away from the webcam.
    • I will FedEx you Our Luminos and KPRO tinted moisturizer. I developed Luminos as a means of tricking digital cameras into softening and diffuse the look on screen without looking like a soft-focus filter. I want you to Google “Strobing” and notice where they suggest to create a brighter area on your face. This is around the eyes and on your cheekbones. This is where you will use the KPRO tinted moisturizer.
    • I am going to order you a ring light from Amazon that I want you to hang over the camera on your computer. These light fill in your face with no shadows (Here is what I sent her).  I hope it will arrive Monday for you, but you can use most any light right above the camera to light your face.  
    • When you get the ring light, practice with it by not looking directly in the camera, but by sitting off angle a bit and looking slightly to the left or right of the camera.
    • Then when it comes to the teleconference, wear bright jewel tones like reds, blues, and greens. Dress up!
    • Do not stare at the camera, and do not stay still. You want people to believe you are still alive.
    • Consider using the stand that holds the ring light that I bought you and your iPhone. The iPhone camera is better than the one on your computer, and you can move it off-angle. You don’t need to see other people on the conference call. You will see what I mean. People on a webcam can be extremely distracting.

So, this is as important as dressing up going to the office for a big meeting. You do not want people to think you are on vacation and doing the frump thing. Get up and walk around once in a while. I know how much you hate sitting still. And do not hold up charts in front of the camera. People cannot see them. Send any presentation ahead of time, even though you like the art of surprise.

Lastly, Smile and keep your hands away from your face!

Bob


So, I heard back from her that the first call went off well, and everyone complimented her on how she looked, that she looked rested (Thank you, Luminos) and that she seemed like a Dover pro doing teleconferences. The ring light did not arrive on time, but she received it later on Monday. It will be an addition to the Tuesday call.

Now some of you might think that this is a sort of quirky subject at a time when there is lots of bad news. To me, there are a lot of people working from home, and the estimates are that video chatting is up 10,000% or an order of magnitude in geek terms. Keeping moving in tough times is not only necessary, but it is also something that can energize and console people. Clearly, there is no replacement for personal energy being with people. A well-lighted video call can be the next best thing.

Lights, Camera, Action!


“It is a serious time, but even in times of war you must laugh when you can.”  Churchhill


Seems like a lot of people want to know what ring light I bought for Megan.  Here is a link from Amazon.

 

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Jams World Making N95 Masks and They’re Cool.

Jams World
Click To Go To Jams World Site

Jams World N95 Mask with Attitude – Mahalo

I only collect one thing. They are Jams World Vintage Hawaiian shirts. Can you imagine my surprise when I got an email saying they were making and selling a mask to ward off viruses?

Before you jump to confusions, these masks are the real deal and look very cool. Let me explain!

Tight Weave and Carbon Fiber

Much of the principle of a good mask to ward off viruses is a tight weave. Jams World uses a rayon that is the tightest weave because they want to have the bright colors set and hold. On top of that, they have developed and inside the filter that includes a tight weave and a carbon layer.

Here is from Jams World (Link)


JAMS WORLD FACE MASK WITH A DISPOSABLE FILTER INSERT

  • Washable/Reusable Face Mask
  • Includes Two Insert Filters – PM2.5 N95 Made of 5-Layer Activated Carbon Filter, Non-Woven + Melt-Blown Cotton + Activated Carbon.
  • S – 2 1/2 inches x W 7 1/4 inches, Center Length is 3 3/4 inches (Children up to 12yrs)
  • M – 3 inches x W 8 inches, Center Length is 4 1/2 inches (Women’s)
  • L – 3 1/2 inches x W 9 inches, Center Length is 5 inches (Men’s)
  • 100% Spun Crushed Jams World® Rayon
  • Made in Hawaii

Jams World Filter Construction

Filter Specifications

Set of Two Disposable Insert Filters for Jams World Face Mask – PM2.5 N95 Made of 5-Layer Activated Carbon Filter, Non-Woven + Melt-Blown Cotton + Activated Carbon.

The Jams World Mask is $15.99 with Two Filters.  Extra Filters are available.


N95 Protection, But Not 100% Says Science

Jams World is quick to point out like all other mask makers are that no one is 100% sure that masks help.  Most are pretty sure and therefore cannot make 100% claims of prevention.  I put it in the “can’t hurt & probably helps category.”

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Courageous or Just Smart? – Buying Direct is Smart

Having trouble getting products to sell? Stop buying from distribution!   Buying Direct is Just Plain Smart

It is time to get wise. Yes, stop buying through distribution because if you are a small business, they don’t want you anyhow. Maybe the writing is on the wall. Scrapping for inventory against Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes is not a win-win proposition for the small retailer. Pharmacies & Apothecaries learned long ago after Wal-Mart and Groceries got into their business, learning to differentiate and not sell the same things as big-box retailers.

Some Evidence

UNFI CEO, Steven Spiner said,(the) “Top 100 customers represent about 75% of UNFI’s total volume.”  ( As reported by Winsight Grocery Research – Read Article Here)

Groceries Flow Where Attention Goes! – The fable of the squeaky wheel.

The entire quote was, “Wholesale sales to our top 100 customers were up 4.3%. For customers two through 100, the increase was 2.2%.” Top 100 customers represent about 75% of UNFI’s total volume.” Even more telling.

The solution? Buy direct and get the products you need. Better yet, they are usually different and better products than those carried by distributors. Differentiated products mean that you are differentiated and unique in the eyes of your once loyal customers.

Change The Game

So, tear down your BOGO signs and replace them with signs about products that help your customers have better lives. Buy direct from small manufactures and became the trusted advisors in your community once again.

How can you expect to succeed in business if you are carrying the same products as everyone else? We know, we know, it is easy to buy through distribution. But why would you want to be just another lemonade stand littering a suburban corner? More than likely, being a commodity retailer is not how you started. How did you end up there?

So, for our sake, and the sake of all the cool little manufacturers out there, change the game and buy direct. It feels good, it helps us, and it helps you. So be the hero and break the distribution habit. Your customers will thank you.

Lastly, I always find it a bit disconcerting that the natural markets that I walk into promote the fact that they buy from local farms, ranches, and bakers, but the center of the store is full of distribution products.   

Bob Root


Bob Root, Keys CTO & Founder

Bob Root is a founder of Keys and its Chief Scientist. Bob is a former high tech Fortune 500 CEO and started in the photographic industry at Polaroid. He is the author of four books and is a former member of the Washington Speakers Bureau. This OpED article comes from his perspective, watching the destruction of the photographic industry and the total state change that the computer industry experience in the 90’s. He believes in the traditional grocery model growing up as the grandson of Root’s Grocery founder but admits that mom & pop retailers may not survive and that the industry is heading the wrong way.

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Grocery Shop Smart – Not Often!

Shopping Smart and Not Often Saves Lives

The Center for Disease Control, The President and State Health Organizations, are asking us to stay out of the grocery stores for the next two weeks. Why?

The reason we are being asked not to treat grocery shopping as entertainment is that smart people know that we can cap this virus by exposing fewer people to other people. So, where do we typically go when we are being asked to stay at home? Of course, we go grocery shopping. It is allowed, right!

We do not have to elaborate. They are asking us to stay at home for a reason. STAY HOME, and do your part!

When you do shop, shop smart and not often. A least for now, help out by trying to live off of what you have in your stockpile. When you do shop, buy all of what you need quickly and get the hell out of the store. The operative word is to buy all that you need, don’t hoard, and shop wisely.

Grocery shopping is not a family outing. Figure out a way to go it alone. Better yet, have someone shop for you like Instacart.com. Sprouts, Sams, and other grocery chains have Instacart accounts. (www.Instacart.com) It can indeed be as much fun unpacking what an Instacart shopper brought you as buying it in the first place.

It is time for innovation, ingenuity, and sucking it up. The life you save may be your own.

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Speed Is Life! – Join The Keys Wholesale Family


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

Helping You Spend Your Time Wisely

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

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

Here are a few of the many features:

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

Trust Earns Trust

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

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“Blue Babies” Therapy May Help!

Some Good News – Nitric Oxide Therapy May Help The Suffering

FDA opens up Bellerophon’s (Nitric Oxide) gas therapy for COVID-19

nitric oxide
Bob Root, Keys Chief Scientist & Founder

Bob Root, Keys Scientist:   I have a core belief for my life when it comes to health.  The only person I hold responsible for my health is me.  Yes, me.  When I am confronted with a malady or this giant COVID dragon in front of us all, I turn to science to learn what I can.  Sometimes I don’t understand and sometimes one article leads to another.  When the path turns cold, I back up and take another path until I find what I am looking for.  It is just who I am.  Sometimes I find something so interesting I share it with my friends.  Not to proclaim something, but to entice them to study themselves.  Like my books, I try to inform and not convince. In these times, there is so much misinformation.  I never want to subtract but add something that may fuel a new way, a new path or some new thinking.  So is this bit of news:

There is some interesting and I feel, good news on the horizon that I am reading about in the scientific community about prevention, relief, and vaccines.  Please remember that scientists’ comments and findings are revised carefully by peers.  Yes, it slows the process but is a positive factor in weeding out BS.

First of all, my compliments to the FDA for opening up the emergency expanded access program for SARS-COVID.  “NO” is the chemical acronym for Nitric Oxide.  It is made in cells in our body but can be supplemented through nitric oxide mass inhalation.  More important is that is is a common therapy in “Blue Baby” syndrome and has been used for years to treat the newborn malady.  A doctor at UCLA Medical Center says he can watch blue babies with respiratory distress turn pink in front of his eyes.  So now, it seems that “NO” may be a tool, not the solution, but a tool, with SARS COVID-19.  Below is published verbatim and not my words.

Bob


Nitric Oxide

FDA opens up Bellerophon’s gas therapy for COVID-19

Using a regulatory pathway that allows patients with life-threatening conditions to use unapproved therapies, the FDA has granted “emergency expanded access” to Bellerophon Therapeutics’ inhaled nitric oxide delivery system for treating the novel coronavirus.

Also known as compassionate use, the agency’s policy is typically administered on a per-patient basis—at times when clinical trials are infeasible, the benefits are seen to outweigh the risks, and there are no available alternatives.

According to Bellerophon, the FDA’s decision now opens up its INOpulse system for use at high-doses in ventilated COVID-19 patients, immediately.

Inhaled nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, relaxing the lungs’ muscles and blood vessels, and is used in hospitals worldwide. Bellerophon has been researching its use to combat potentially harmful high blood pressure in the lungs among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and sarcoidosis.

The compound has also been tested as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus’ closely related predecessor—the strain behind the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. Previous studies showed that nitric oxide slowed down the replication of that virus and reduced the need for long-term ventilator support.

According to Bellerophon, the genetic similarities between the two coronaviruses “support the potential for [inhaled nitric oxide] to provide meaningful benefit for patients infected with COVID-19” and inhibit the progression of upper respiratory tract symptoms.

“Based on currently available data and its significant role in the immune response, we believe INOpulse has the potential to be a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19,” said CEO Fabian Tenenbaum. “INOpulse technology utilizes targeted pulsatile delivery of inhaled nitric oxide, providing important antiviral potential, as well as improved arterial oxygenation.”

“Importantly, INOpulse is designed to treat patients in the outpatient setting, which may be critical in helping combat the further spread of the virus and significantly alleviate the mounting impact on hospitals and intensive care units,” Tenenbaum added.

Prior to the outbreak, Bellerophon had been building up inventory of its INOpulse device for a planned, large phase 3 trial in pulmonary fibrosis—which the company is currently looking to divert to hospitals in need, Tenenbaum told FierceMedTech in an interview.

Additionally, about a month ago, Bellerophon completed a safety trial in healthy volunteers showing its high-dose paradigm could be tolerated, at levels similar to those used against the earlier SARS outbreak, he said. The FDA is also currently reviewing a research protocol for a new clinical trial against COVID-19 to explore the device’s next steps in development.

The FDA’s access decision comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump pointed to compassionate use as one of the ways the administration is responding to the spread of the virus.

“Disseminating information about promising off-label uses of drugs we already have, investigating their effectiveness, and pursuing other therapeutics will help give American healthcare providers the tools they need to save lives,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in an FDA statement on the agency’s work to facilitate development of investigational treatments such as the malaria drug chloroquine and Gilead’s remdesivir antiviral, which is also available under compassionate use.

“While there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19, there are several FDA-approved treatments that may help ease the symptoms from a supportive care perspective,” the agency said March 19.

The new emergency expanded access pathway allows doctors to request use of the INOpulse for multiple patients at once, without including their names or other personally identifying details, Tenenbaum said.

Inhaled nitric oxide has also been pursued as a COVID-19 therapy by several others, and is currently undergoing clinical trials in China—both as a potential treatment for patients and as a preventive measure for healthcare providers—with studies sponsored by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Mallinckrodt, for one, has been exploring its use against the disease in coordination with the FDA, NIH and BARDA, and previously markets the gas as a treatment for neonates suffering from respiratory failure.

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Tough Times Need Smart Leaders!

Bob Root, Keys CTO & Founder

Time To Get Wise – Covid Boom or Bust.  The grocery business has been around a long time, but there is no need to be arcane.

I have over 35 retailers that I regularly contact to get a feel for what is happening in the market. These are regularly scheduled connections, and I thought that with the Covid virus problem facing us all that I should back off the calls. Truthfully, Keys business has almost doubled in the last month, and I am plenty busy with Keys projects and orders. So I decided not to call and mistakingly forgot to tell my group I was not going to call.

To my surprise, some of them checked-in to make sure I was okay, and they really wanted to chat. So, I quickly got off a note to all that I was okay and busy, but honestly did not want to bother them. I did have a chance to chat with a few, and most are crazy busy finding that their business has almost doubled or tripled. Most have had to alter their grocery business more back to their roots closing off the freshly prepared food and salad bars and spending their days stocking shelves. Many are frustrated and adapting to the use of InstaCart.com and other delivery services.

This is a brief story of one traditionally stable grocer who was at wit’s end. The reason I share is that I can imagine that some simple solutions are staring you in the face that you might not see.

Let’s call my grocer friend Art. He has been in the natural food business for 35 years and inherited his business from his Mom & Dad. Art was very frustrated that his business grew overnight, and he claims he cannot higher qualified people to work in the store, prep packaged food, stock, or cook. He said that his local employment agency and temporary service companies were not of any help. Art pissed me off quite a bit because he was grousing more than doing. Meaning, he was bending my ear instead of thinking. When Art stopped his tirade, I offered him a simple solution that stunned him into silence. Here is what I said.

Art, you are a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. You need people that understand food, customers, and how to be clean. All the restaurants in your community are closed. Their food server, cleaning staff and “back of the house” are all out of work. Call your chamber president and have him or her offer to go to the restaurant owners and offer jobs to their idle people. Simple right?

So, he emailed me this morning to say thanks and let me know that within hours, he had staffed-up with qualified people. Now he said, I need an IT person to figure out this InstaCart thing. My answer, “Don’t make me slap you!” There are furloughed IT people out there as well, and there are freelancers that know this stuff like the back of their hands. Just ask for help and stop being the victim.

So, it is time to get wise and stop the grousing.  This will pass and it is your choice of how you will react and respond.

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Merz Apothecary, A Valued Keys Partner for 12 Years

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

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

Keys Partners with Merz for 12 Years.

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

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

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

Merz History is More than Interesting.

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

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

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

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

Abdul & Anthony

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

The Transformation

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

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

The Internet

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

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

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

The Expansion

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

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

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

The Present

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

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

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

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

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

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Is Resistance Futile! How To Survive Amazon?

“Death by Jeff?” aka Amazon.  Who is next?

Will Natural Pharmacies, Apothecaries, and Natural Markets survive the Amazon invasion. I believe the answer is yes if you are smart and act quickly.

 

by Bob Root, Keys co-founder and Chief Technologist and Scientist.

Bob Root – Keys Founder & Scientist

You may know me as the formulator and one of the founders of Keys. Less known is that I am an entrepreneur survivor of the photography industry and the personal computer collapses.

Keys is a company that made a conscious decision to only sell our products exclusively through established brick and mortar Natural Pharmacies, Apothecaries, and Natural Markets. We have flourished in what has become a commodity market. Now it is becoming a war zone between the grocery titans that are threatened by the Amazon juggernaut. 

We are more than concerned now than ever that our channels are now under attack by Amazon and its new subsidiaries. Referred to as “Death by Jeff,” there are several books about the topic, so it probably is a survival tool to make yourself aware.

There used to be a camera store on every corner and a computer store on every block. Both have all but disappeared for numerous reasons, but primarily because of the onslaught of Amazon into these markets. Amazon is the largest retailer of computers, tech, and cameras. The retailers who thrived in these markets are gone. Why? Where did all the bookstores go? Yesterday, Pier 1 announced they are closing half for their 900 stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  In the natural markets sector, Lucky’s, Earthfare are gone and Sprouts stock is plummeting.  All because of Amazon.

Living through the morphing of these two industries not only saw retail channels collapse, but many brands died in the process. There was a common thread as to why both went out of business. “They tried to compete on price and bought products primarily through distribution for convenience.”

When Walmart became a food supermarket, it started the movement to big box stores concept where they became the one-stop place for food, household items, and prescriptions. Cameras and computers were too technical for commodity stores in the early days. Same as in natural products, differentiation between conventional products with nasty pesticides and chemicals were quite easy ten years ago, and many brands traded only on the fact that they were chemical-free without offering differentiated features, benefits, and advantages to their customers. NGOs like the EWG trade on fear and drove to educate consumers about harmful chemicals in conventional products. The “Dirty Dozen” chemicals are almost gone, driving all stores to more commodity and price-based shopping for natural products. Big box stores are now as natural as they are conventional, making them the preferred markets of choice.

Today, Amazon owns Whole Foods, is sweeping urban markets with Amazon Go convenience stores, and will be announcing an entire new chain of local grocery stores coming in 2020. Their goal is simple to understand. It is “Domination.” Like a scorpion stings anything, it is merely their nature. Competing with them toe-to-toe is death. They plan to target a broad range of customers while also providing a full array of online products deliverable to their stores for pickup. Not only does it look like an unstoppable machine. It is unstoppable.

There literally are bunches of books written about Amazon as a market eating machine, but coming from two markets that were devoured by Amazon gives me a unique perspective that I feel I need to share.

Camera stores, computer stores, and natural product sellers all started the same. They differentiated themselves through unique product offerings and customized services, all cemented by consumer education. Not too long ago, you could march into a camera store with a roll of film or a memory card and get pictures to share with your friends. That is gone. 

The emphasis is on differentiated products. Last year we saw a 300% increase in natural markets going out of business. Why? Frankly, it is simple to see from a high altitude, but they probably did not see their death coming. What they did to kill themselves was to buy exclusively from distributors the same products that Amazon, big-box, and grocery stores have and trying to sell at higher prices. They honestly expected loyal customers to pay more for the same products. What they forgot was to differentiate their product offering, making it desirable for people looking for products that work and are not the same things as Kroger or Walmart sells. When Amazon bought Whole Foods, they brought their buying power and AI systems to the grocery market, starting a war a couple of years back. Again, I could probably write a 1000 page book detailing the problem and solution, but here it is in a nutshell.

For pharmacies, apothecaries, and natural markets to survive Amazon, they have to return to their origins and differentiate their product offerings and themselves by:

  1. Join the “Buy Direct” movement and carry only products not sold by distribution (aka commodity)
  2. Carry products that not sold in mainstream grocery stores or Amazon’s grocery stores
  3. Carry products that are functional and on purpose
  4. Regain margins by offering differentiated products  
  5. Educate consumers as to why the products you carry are better than the commodity stores
  6. Reinstate the Pharmacy, Apothecary and Natural market as a trusted advisor in the community
  7. Stop trying to compete with big-box stores by driving down manufacturers’ pricing stifling their product innovation.
  8. Hire buyers that know product differentiation in place of beating up salespeople for BOGOs, better pricing, and Free-Fills.

So, if you find yourself asking your vendors to lower their price and be “Cheaper Please Cheaper,” you are driving yourself and them out of business. So get on the high side of things and offer your customers new and different products than those carried by Walmart, Kroger, and any other super-duper markets. It goes beyond supporting the small boutique product manufacturers. Frankly, they do not need your charity; they need your business because distributors won’t carry their products because they are not cheap enough. Become the boutique reseller you once were through differentiated products, education, being their trusted advisor, and refocusing your attention on the customer.

Bob

Keys products are functional and integrated medicine natural products that have measurable results. Bob is the Chief Technology Officer and head formulator. Keys was born after he created his products for his wife, Wendy, after her Melanoma diagnosis and subsequent battle with chemicals in her prescription products. Bob is a former High Tech CEO and engineer from Silicon Valley. He began his career at Polaroid before migrating to the personal computer industry in its fledgling days. Bob is the author of “Chemical-Free Skin Health®,” “Keto Plus” and “Defining Moments,” books. He has written hundreds of articles on the natural products market and was a member of the Washington Speakers Bureau. He is a member of the World Future Society who specialized in skip-generation technology and scenario planning.

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Keys Vanity Pro Makeup Artist Team Application

Keys Vanity Pro Makeup Artist Team

Keys Vanity Pro Team entitles the professional makeup artist to unique benefits, including product discounts and exclusive access to tips and techniques. …and the most exciting is a free membership in our Beta testing team where you will see new products and be able to test them before they are in production.

What You Get?

If you qualify for the program, you will receive a 40% product discount online at www.KeysPure.com and receive an industry insider newsletter sent out to your email on a periodic basis.

What We Get.

Our benefit is a discrete group of professionals that help guide us to develop better more effective products for you and consumers.

What Can You Do for Us?

Talk us up and get more makeup artists to signup for this program.  The more artists that are signed up, the more we can learn from you and your peers.  That is priceless for us.

DO YOU QUALIFY? 

The Pro requirements are as follows:

  • Completed application with credentials

AND

  • Two pieces of professional makeup artist criteria uploaded within the application form. (valid within the past 2 years):
    • Composite Card
    • Business card with name and specific Makeup Artist profession
    • Editorial page with name credit
    • Union card
    • Professional valid license
    • Crew Call list on production company letterhead
    • Reference letter from employer or director

So, When You Are Ready…Here is the Application

[formidable id=20]

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The American Organic Hustle – Understanding The Misunderstood

VaporJelMy name is Bob Root.  I am one of the Keys founders and the chief scientist.  A customer contacted Keys Customer Service with three fundamental questions. The questions are mostly about being organic and safety as well as functionality. I have answers, and they might not be what you think.

First, What Does The USDA Say About Organic and Skin Care?

USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.  Skin care and cosmetics can have a USDA certification if the ingredients they use are the same as food that has been certified organic

● FDA does not define or regulate the term “organic,” as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products.

organic● USDA regulates the term “organic” as it applies to agricultural products through its National Organic Program (NOP) regulation, 7 CFR Part 205.

● If a cosmetic, body care product, or personal care product contains or is made up of agricultural ingredients, and can meet the USDA/NOP organic production, handling, processing and labeling standards, it may
be eligible to be certified under the NOP regulations.

● The operations which produce the organic agricultural ingredients, the handlers of these agricultural ingredients, and the manufacturer of the final product must all be certified by a USDA-accredited organic certifying agent.

Click Here to Download the FDA Document on Organic

Keys Customer Asked About Organic?

“I am delighted with the questions and order of the questions asked because I have waited a long time for the market to mature to understand my answers.” This will be one of the main subjects on my Joe Rogan Podcast.

Questions & Answers!

The Customer asked: “I am thinking of getting Keys MetaClean Healing Soap & Shampoo, it says there is >85% organic content, what is the rest that is not organic in this shampoo?”

Bob Response: “There is a reasonably simple answer here, but has more far-reaching implications because consumers have a perception that the meaning of organic equates to safety. Later for that.

One of the biggest consumer misunderstandings in skincare is that organic is not a synonym for safe. Safety comes in many forms including trusting the people who use the products you buy.

At core levels, an ingredient, like Avocado oil, can be purchased from a producer that has followed and been monitored by the USDA(United States Department of Agriculture). Wild-crafted ingredients like Shea Butter and high-quality beeswax cannot be certified as Organic because they cannot be traced through the process of where a plant comes from or how they are pollinated. It is pretty hard to trace the pollination path of bees through the jungle.

Technically, MetaClean is considered to be organic because it exceeds the 70% rule put forth by the USDA for skin care and cosmetics. Yes, a product can be USDA certified organic and still have 30% non-organic ingredients including water. We choose to list the true organic content as opposed to using a blanket statement that may or may not be true. So MetaClean has 85% organic ingredients and 15% wild-crafted. In this case, it is Shea Butter made by hand in Ghana by a women’s tribe that we have been buying from for nearly 15 years.

As to safety, there seems to be an impression that organic farms are safe, run by Hippies and use state-of-the-art equipment. People often opt to buy at a farmers market versus trust a new age supplier. That may be a bad decision.

To gain a USDA Certificate, it takes modern machinery and techniques to get certified. We love “wild-crafted” ingredients because they are hand-made and usually of the highest quality. Most often, they come from places that do not even know what a pesticide is and their religions or culture do not permit them to use pesticides. So, that farm on the California coast near the diesel truck stop and using 100-year-old rusted machinery lubricated with motor oil is organic and not safe. Most often they have spent more on their Organic Farm sign or Facebook page than they have testing their food for pollutants and pesticides.”

Whole versus Fractionated Ingredients

Customer Asked, “When you list on the right the vitamins/actions, are you indicating that the actual ingredient is providing those vitamins, for example, Avocado Oil gives Retinol vitamin or is Retinol separate from the Avocado Oil?”

Bob Response, “Great question and a good pick for an ingredient to use as an example! We opt to use only whole ingredients because of how pure forms interact. We use the term “Chemical-Free Skin Health” as a marketing term because fractionated and estered whole ingredients used in most skin care products are used to amplify the effects of the base ingredient. The product branded as Retinol is a powerful and violent product using massive levels of a particular type of vitamin A extracted and condensed into something that has immediate effects on the skin. The adage that if it burns and makes something red it must be working. Retinol, the brand, works in minutes and overnight. Is it better? To me, the answer is no because it harms.

Whole retinol in avocado oil has gradual effects improving the skin elasticity and tone over a much more extended period. Use it every day, and you will see a difference in a couple of weeks, and it is life-long if you keep using it. More important, the “Keys Challenge” has always been to see how long it takes before your friends notice a change.
So, quick results are quick but are they harming. That is the biggest question.

To answer directly, we do not separate ingredients into their constituent components; we appreciate what they do for you in their native form.

Product Safety Rankings

Customer Asked, “What is it in here that can be unsafe for some individuals since it is not complete 0 on safe scale.”

Bob Response: “I would never design, produce or sell a product that is knowingly not safe. I am an engineer who developed products for my wife suffering from the chemical after effects of Melanoma caused by prescription sunscreens, creams, and lotions. We make and design products that solve skin problems and make people feel good. Part of feeling good is knowing that I am here to ensure that my products are safe.

So, I suspect you are talking about the ranking on the EWG Skin Deep database. You should probably direct the question to them, and you might start by asking why Aloe Vera has a 3 ranking (if 100% natural).

The database is an excellent tool and has been abused by companies in the past selling just plain water to get a 0 ranking.  Also, the database is an accumulation of many databases. The EWG does not have its own broad spectrum testing program. I have long questioned the numeric ranking system versus a pass/fail system or a category ranking similar to the way California ranks restaurants. Where you have a choice of eating at an A establishment or not at a B

Thank you for your questions and taking the time to contact us.  I hope I have answered them to your satisfaction.  Bob

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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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InfoGram™ – New Keys ‘Quick-Reads’ Mini-Blog

In keeping with the times, we created a new area of Clean Green Cafe blog for quick informational bites. Infograms™ is focused on helping you understand our product applications. Infograms will offer tips and tricks as well as educational information. We will bring you industry news and our perspective on various important subjects. Clean Green Cafe will continue to have in-depth content while Infograms will be quick short bits of information. Often there will be crossover content where Infograms will link to a larger more profound article on the Clean Green Cafe Side.

An InfoGram is a bit like Twitter with a few exceptions.

  • Like Twitter the messages are short and to the point.
  • They are quick reads at mostly under one minute and never more than two minutes
  • Messages are straightforward.
  • No flowery words our comments that are up in the air.
  • You can choose to subscribe to Infograms separately from Clean Green Cafe for quick bites.
  • Infograms a frank and friendly…you know where we stand

Important to note is that the InfoGram blog is independent of Clean Green Cafe. That means that you need to subscribe to Infograms knowing that there will be more, but shorter content coming your way in the form of emails. We invite you to click on the links in emails to get to the main article, but please know that 100% of the content of the Infogram will be in the body of the email you receive. So, it is essential to subscribe so that you do not have to bookmark Inforgram to read the content.

Hope this makes sense, but, you need to subscribe to Infograms on the Infogram site at this link to get more frequent short information content

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Apple – The Next Revolution in Healthcare & Wellness…A Keys Perspective

Apple – The Next Revolution is….

By Bob Root, Keys Founder and Technologist

Being insiders in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, it is clear that there are many severe problems with our healthcare systems.  Young greedy new doctors flock to rich suburbs to make their fortunes. Many 65+ year old’s bilking the healthcare insurance systems by treating their doctor visits as a new-age hobby.  Healthcare, en-mass, using TV commercials creating FUD…Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt…to drive people to take pharmaceuticals feeding the cycle of doctor to hospital to drugs to the casket.

Today, self-aware medical practitioners realize that the healthcare system treats the 60+ as expendable.  While many doctors are disturbed by this flaw in the system, they admit privately that healthcare in America is set to find cancer and then get every last dollar out of insurances to either cure or kill the patient.

According to AARP (AARP Study) the vast majority of Americans age 50+ (85%) say they have taken a prescription drug in the past five years, and three-fourths (76%) say they are currently taking at least one prescription drug on a regular basis.  Just watch the Weather Channel to see an unbelievable amount of pharmaceutical commercials flanked by lawyer adverts asking if you have been harmed by a drug or medical device.

In researching this article, I must admit that I slipped into a cross between depression from all the sickening stories of peoples’ lives being ruined to a mild case of hypochondria where I took on the symptoms of various maladies.

What To Do

I guess the easiest answer of what to do appears to be only two choices.  Either you bitch about the system in hopes of some Washington politico changing it or, like Apple, you change the game.  This article is about once such game changer and a very simple example of how it can be changed overnight.

Melanoma

We started Keys Care because of my sweeties bout with Melanoma.  The Mohs surgery saved her and the prescriptions left her skin a total train wreck.  We fixed her skin.  Visits to Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic and Dermatologist are a way of life for Wendy.  Sometimes waiting 6 months for an appointment to have a 5 minute look by the doc to make sure that suspicious mole was benign.  Yes, it seems inhuman, but it is typical. Again, many docs are well intentioned, but they have no control over the required insurance process that rakes the patient over some hot sharp coals.

Patient?

Funny use of a term to describe people.  To see a doc you must be patient?  Seems so!

Apple To The Rescue

When I saw the first Apple Watch with built-in heart monitor 3 years ago, I clearly saw the revolution starting.  I saw the same sensor reported to also be a blood glucose monitor that was quickly turned off because of heat from the medical community.  Yes, a heart tracker was okay for fitness, but leave doctoring to the doctors was a cry heard down many halls including the FDA.

The War is All But Over and Apple is the Victor

The invention of the Apple Healthkit enabling software is the nuclear hand grenade with the healthcare system holding the pin.  Envision a software that would let developers create apps that use the sensors and cameras on Apple devises to alert,  diagnose and schedule immediate treatment for disorders they detect.  I know, it is hard to imagine, so during the launch of the new Apple Watch 3 and iPhone X, I decided to create such a hypothesis to show how such a bold move would be possible.  Some quick searches of the web and to my surprise, my hypothesis is already in play.  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the Glue

Elon Musk says that AI can destroy humans faster than a world war.  Probably true, but it can also change lives and save them as well.  Ultimately, AI will give way to intelligent neural networks, but what Apple has created is nothing less than the first true revolution in healthcare.

A Simple Example

Before I detail this my example, it is important to realize a couple of things.

  1. Any systems based on a database like medicine or law will be replaced by AI in the next 10 years
  2. My simple example below is one of tens of thousands possible uses of AI
  3. Denial is futile

Herein is a simple hypothesis based on Wendy’s life after Melanoma.

To reiterate, here is a true story that happened to her not too long ago.  She had a mole removed from her breast about a year prior to this incident.  She visited the dermatologist who took a biopsy a few days before Wendy had to travel on customer visits.  The report is that it is suspicious and the doc recommends to take another biopsy.  Her skepticism is a learned trait and she questions the doc intensely.  Revealed, it turns out that it was not that the biopsy was suspicious, it was that the test sample was flawed and they could not get a good reading.  This is not how the doc sold the need for another biopsy.  After all, they have to protect their own, don’t they.  So, now it is a 6 month wait to see a competent dermatologist for an appointment.  She opts to travel across country to Mayo Clinic.  Greeted by a suited doc, he whips out his binocular magnifier and before looking her over he reads her medical record.  Reading the chart first…Hmmmm he says, this one looks suspicious.  Wendy says WHAT?  He says we should cut this one out.  She says, you are looking at a flawed biopsy and we need to take another biopsy, not cut my TIT up.  She says, can we have a look at it with a Molescope.  He says, we have one, but my eyes are better.  Wendy walks out. 

I realized that at one point there were six doctors, two assistants and Wendy in the room.  I said the the receptionist, “now that was a fair fight!”

Now for what I see will happen in the near future…like next year!

I will use my iPhone 7 plus to take closeup pictures of moles and any regularities using a Molescope ll which I purchased on Amazon for $299.  This is the fun part for me!   We will upload the images that we also mapped onto her body locations. An AI programs scans the images in real-time looking both at a visible light picture and the thermal image as well.  In real-time it looks for irregular shapes and ‘hot’ moles.  In real-time it pops up a window with green lettering that says “nothing suspicious.”  Recommends a reshoot of certain moles in 6 months. 

6 months later I get to reshoot and upload again.  In real-time, a red window pops up with four suspicious moles that are now ‘hot’ and has grown irregularly.  Immediately a window pops up asking her a zip code for where she is now because the AI software knows she is constantly traveling.  She types in 92102.  The AI software pops up a screen that looks like expedia.com.  It says in a Siri voice, “Choose a date and time to schedule a biopsy.”  She says, speaking to Siri, “I see tomorrow at 2pm is open.  Can you book that.”  Siri says, “I have scheduled your biopsy and forwarded your medical records with the images and location for the biopsies.”  Siri, “Would you like me to book a car to pick you up?”  “Yes,” Wendy says. 

The next day the car arrives at 1:30p and she arrives 5 minutes before her appointment.  She thinks, “Funny, the place has no waiting room, no disinterested receptionist behind a shut glass window and there is a man that has an iPad that greets her.  “Hello Ms. Steele.”  Wendy says, “How did you know it was me?”  He says, “Apples new face recognition software identified you and brought your records up on the iPad.”  “WOW” she says. 

Wendy asks if he is a nurse.  He answers, “no, I am an engineer.”  He leads her into a room and asks her to sit in a chair that looks like something in a SpaceX capsule.  She says, “When will the doctor be in to do the biopsy?” He laughs, and says’ “The doctor is here.” As he points to a robotic arm.  Wendy actually relaxes because she is no stranger to doctors, but also is relieved that this robot has no ego. 

“So what is going to happen now,” she says.  He says, “I see you have four suspicious areas from the initial scan.  The robot will scan these suspicious areas again to see if the more high powered sensors confirm the scanned irregularities.”  The what?  “Here, watch this 2 minute video and at the end you can ask me any questions you have.”  She watches and has no questions.  It is all covered and she is now curious to get started.

The robot begins to work by first positioning its arm in front of her face.  Siri’s voice says, “I am scanning to make sure that you are Wendy Steele and will map the locations of the irregularities.”  Siri says, “Welcome Wendy Steele, I will start now.”   Siri starts and says, “Hmmmm.”  Wendy says “WHAT?”  Siri says, “Haha a bit of Siri humor!”  “Now relax, this will take about a minute.”  The arm swings to the first mole.  Siri says, “this one is okay.”  The arm moves to the next mole.  Siri says, “This one is okay as well.”  The arm move to the third mole.  Siri says, “This one does not look right and we will come back to it for a closer look.”  On to the fourth, Siri says, “This one is okay as well.”  Back to the third, the robot moves in close and relooks at the mole.  Siri says, “This one looks like a basil cell carcinoma and I would like to do a Mohs style biopsy.  Do you agree to the biopsy?”  Wendy says, “Yes, do I need to sign something?”  Siri says, “No, I recognize your voice print and you only have to say, I agree.”  Wendy says “I agree.”  The robot swabs a topical anesthetic, waits for 60 seconds and then injects a subdermal anesthetic. 

On the screen in from of her, a 4k video of an undersea adventure pops up for her to enjoy while she waits the four minutes for the anesthetic to take effect.  See Siri knows Wendy is a swimmer and the undersea video relaxes her while her favorite chill artists, Thievery Corporation, plays “Lebonese Blonde.”

The video ends and the robot swings in on the mole.  It uses a new form of Mohs surgery.  Rather then taking a biopsy and checking for clear cancer-free margins and then a larger biopsy plug, Siri tells Wendy, “I am going to take a dozen small needle biopsies around the mole where I think clear margins should be. Then I will use a small robotic knife the remove the mole and test it in real-time.  If all is clear, I will glue the site closed and you will be done.”

The process begins as Wendy strains to look away as her curiosity peaks.  Two minute and it was done.  Siri says, “Wendy you are done.  I have posted your calendar with a reminder to take another picture of the area next week so I can see that everything is healing properly.

20 minute start to finish and Wendy steps into the waiting car for her return ride with only a small dot bandage on her arm.  She thinks, a glass of wine would be nice.  After all, no big bandage with instructions to keep the arm elevated.  Yes, wine sounds good and asks Siri on her Apple Watch 3, “Siri, where is a good wine bar near me with Tapas?”  Siri says, “I like the Vampire Lounge on Santa Monica Blvd.  Would you like to go there?”  Wendy says, “Yes!”  Siri says, “I have loaded the destination on the cars CarPlay Maps®.  You will be there in 5 minutes.”

Far fetched?  NO!  …and yes it is coming soon.

The simplest way to describe it is when check engine light comes on in Wendy’s Corvette Grand Sport, she takes it to the nearest Corvette dealership.  They greet her, take the car, fix it and return her on her way in a matter of minutes.  All day, everyday.   Shouldn’t healthcare be the same?

Impersonal?  No way.  I would choose Siri over an intern doctor that probably has not slept in 18 hours and is being trained using 25 year old techniques.

Lastly, they say medicine is an art.  That’s NICE! I believe it needs to be a science and Apple is on its way to making it so.

The FDA has given Apple a Fast Track allowance.  Seems as though it is a pretty tame and low-end allowance though. We will see if Apple will go rogue.

A Bit of Advise!  Run Out and Buy Apple Stock Now!

When Wall Street gets its head out of its own proverbial healthcare ass and realizes what Apple has created, they will bail like fleeing rats from the healthcare systems ship.

Authors Note:  I have a vested interest in Wendy’s health and safety.  Her example herein is our story of how Tim Cook’s Apple will affect us personally.  I sat down for 30 minutes and typed on my iPad non-stop listing industries and markets the iPhone cameras, sensors and Apple Watch will create and enable.  The current heart monitor in the Apple Watch WILL save lives world wide.  Add AI and we can turn painfully slow experiences into instant experiences.  Apple’s Augmented Reality, Siri and Sensors in its products will revolutionize many industries.  Apple is no longer an entertainment company with Tweets, Facebook and picture sharing.  It will be the largest medical device company in the world in five years or less.  After all, it only took 2.5 years for it to become the worlds largest producer of watches…and now those watches an Apple are on the FDA Fast Track medical device program.

Bob

_______________________________________

VaporJelAuthors Notes:  This article was inspired by Tim Cook at Apple.  During his keynote presentation introducing the Apple Watch 3 and iPhone X, there were numerous referrals to medical technology and health.  So, I decided to take a quick look at any and all advancements that related to our own healthcare scare.  Wendy’s Melanoma was a wakeup call that would not be forgotten.  I looked at the Apple Watch and iPhone technology as it relates to our skin.  It is a road to this article that was clear, wide, paved and well signaged.  It took me all of an hour to research and another hour to write. Imagine if I really dug deep into what is possible.  The next couple of years will be amazing!

Again, this is just one tiny segment of the medical market.  No brainer how impactful Apple will be.

Another fine point is how the Apple Watch has improved our daily health from just our Healthkit and Activity app mapping.  It is very interesting to monitor your heart and exercising.   Just beware the “Open Rings” syndrome…that in a future article.

Truth be told, I trust Apple with my medical information more then some local doctors office

 


Bob Root is a former Silicone Valley Tech CEO and is the founder of Keys Care and Applied Alchemy products companies.  He is a member of the World Future Society and has briefed military and business leaders on the use of mesh network nanobots, neural networks, AI drones and advanced AI medical systems.  He is an author and speaker of diverse futurist subjects.

Disclaimer:  Bob was affiliated with Apple in the early days of the Macintosh and was a vendor to Apple while in Silicon Valley.


As always, this article is the thoughts and view of Bob Root and not that of Keys or Orion Learning Intl., inc.

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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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Get Wise! – A New Skin Health Book by Bob Root – Well, sort of…

Get Wise!

A skin health series eBook by Bob Root, Keys Scientist & Founder

skin healthWith all the things that can effect our skin everyday, it truly is time to Get Wise about our skin health.  The number one question I was asked from day one when my book Chemical-Free Skin Health® was introduced at Maria Shriver’s California Women’s Conference was “How can I protect my skin and make sure it is as healthy as it can be?” To this day, when I give speeches and talks, the question is still number one.

This is a serial sequential book that I am writing. It will be released in chapters as I finish writing them. So, make sure you signup to get notices.

Get WiseThe catalyst for eBook sequel series was my book, Chemical-Free Skin Health®. You taking action to nourish the microbiome of your skin propagates skin health.  Avoiding chemicals in skincare and household products will teach you to protect your microbiome.   Yes, choosing the right skincare products will help to nourish, restore and repair damaged skin.  Avoiding products and your environment will help to minimize damage to your skin’s microbiome.

About This eBook – Get Wise

eBook
Click To Read – Get Wise!

The format of the book is important to understand so that you are not disappointed that the book is “incomplete.”  It may never be complete!

Clearly, there have been some revolutions in the publishing of books. For centuries, books were available in paper form only. Over twenty years ago a revolution in printing called ‘on-demand’ allowed authors to self-publish and only print what had been ordered by readers and book stores. Then along came the eBook with the most notable, Kindle, where paper was no longer necessary. An author, without having a publisher, could upload their work to Kindle and then people could buy and read on their smartphones or pad devices.   This was perhaps the biggest innovation in writing and may be for a long time to come.

The Next Iteration

Blogs are a real-time version of books and magazines. On a whim, a author or editor can write something short or long and publish it in a matter of minutes. A good connection to Google and it can go worldwide in just a few minutes. The problem is that each ‘post’ stands alone. Sure, you can create various categories for people to inspect writings by topic, but the main webpage still adds article sequentially. I have thought for years on how to create a book within a blog so that the chapters come in sequence.

The Rub

Okay, you could say, why don’t you just publish all the chapters at once. Besides that being what Kindle is, writers don’t usually write that way. The chapters come in sequence and are written sequentially. The rub is that if you want to publish a book as it is written, it becomes a Serial and the chapters become episodes. Blog are just not structured that way. So, how to publish.   Well some innovative people figured it out and that is what this book is. It is a serial and episodes that develop as the book is being written and guided by real-time events. For example, my paper and Kindle book, Chemical-Free Skin Health® talked about a chemical called Triclosan. Whether the book influenced the FDA or not, they band the chemical just last year. With this new technique, I can add a chapter as the world of change unfolds.

The Next New Thing

So this eBook could be a book without an ending. Theoretically, it could just go on and on. Episode after episode, it more resembles a movie series like Star Wars or an even better example would be a long run TV series like Star Trek where each episode is sort of a stand alone story within the framework of the Star Trek mission to explore the universe.

Get Wise the eBook

This eBook/Series/Sequel/Episodes titled, Get Wise, is a book that is about the health of our skin. I can envision hundreds of chapters. Some small and some large. The central theme is focused on teaching people how to manage their own skin health. It was born from the many questions and continued communication I have received since publishing Chemical-Free Skin Health. People of all ages ask me how can they take car of their aging skin. Understanding, learning, observing, orienting and deciding what to do requires a guide. Like a Sherpa guiding climbers up Mount Everest, a guide to skin health is smart. The problem is that most companies want to use their guidance to promote their own products. In fact, I will tell you right now that I will tell you which of my products I use to circumvent something from harming my skin. The difference is that I am going to tell you what I know and the facts behind what I know so that you can make your own decisions. In short, I plan to give you the knowledge so that you can build and orchestrate your own skincare regimen. The spoiler alert if that it is not about products to use, but lifestyle decisions you must make.

The Timeline

The timeline for the chapters is totally unknown to me. I have an idea of how I will write the first few chapters. I also know for sure that some chapters will come easily and others will not. Some will be short and some will be long. They will simply, be published when they are published.

What I do promise is that if you signup to receive timely notices of things we publish, we will notify you when a new chapter is out.

Bob Root

Keys Scientist & Founder

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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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Keys Saves You Time and Money – Buy Direct or From Our Resellers

keys-newsBuy Direct or Buy From Resellers

Buying From Dealers

Its your choice to buy direct or buy from one of our resellers.  We have a large list of retailers that you can buy from at their establishments or online.  It is convenient to be able to buy Keys while you are shopping for other products.  You can find a dealer near you using our “Dealer Locator.”  The reality is that not all dealers stock all of our products all of the time.  So, it is important that you call them to make sure they have the products in stock.

Buying Direct

The other reality is that when you buy direct, we always have all of our products in stock.  Ordering direct saves you time, fuel, money and no tax.

Discounts & Promotions

There are many ways to save at Keys.  We have created a series of ongoing promotions and discounts to help you save.  These are consumer programs that are automatic when you fulfill certain requirements.

Below are some of the ongoing promotions and discounts that have no expiration date.

Buy Direct

If you are a domestic US customer and buy direct from us spending $75 or more, you will receive free USPS Priority Mail Shipping.  When the net amount of your order exceeds $75 and you are shipping into a US address, your shipping is free

Buy Direct

Our rewards program gives you points that can be used like money to purchase products on future orders.  Every time you buy, you will get 5% of your gross purchase minus shipping charges in the form of usable money that you can apply to future orders or stockpile.  At checkout, you can choose to apply the amount available to you.  The system automatically keeps a record and calculates the rewards points available for you to use.

Buy Direct

For many years we had a “Wendy’s Regime” that required you buy five (5) specific products.  You asked to be able to build your own regimen and we listened.  Now when you buy five (5) uniquely different products or more, you will receive a 10% discount on those products.  Remember they all have to be different and if you buy more then one of a particular product, it will be at the regular price.  This build your own DIY kit rewards buying five unique products at a time.

Buy Direct

A few years ago, we started to receive requests for volume purchases from some of our Cancer survivors.  They had to use a lot of our products like Tortuga and they requested that if they would buy more at one time, would we give them a discount.  The answer is yes and we have had this program where you buy three (3) of a product at one time and you will automatically receive a 5% discount.

Buy Direct

This program is similar to the one above where you buy 6 of a single product, you will get a 10% discount on those products.  You can buy multiples of six of different products and get 10% off on each.  This is not a mix and match program.  You must buy six each of any product to get the discount.

Lastly

Keys products are very rich and emollient.  They go a long way and last a long time.  Less is more!

We also believe our products out perform products sold that can cost 5 to 6 times as much because we do not layer in huge margins for marketing and advertising.  Our brand is one of the best there is, we solve problems with solutions and we are 100% natural, gluten-free, chemical-free and non-GMO…Nothing synthetic!

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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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Avo Jel – Not Just a Vegan Alternative to Petroleum Jelly

Avojel - petroleum jellyKeys products are always 180º from ordinary.  They are extraordinary.  Our products always have more then one purpose and are always focused on solving problems and making our customers feel good. Yes, Avo Jel is a vegan alternative to petroleum jelly, but it is much much more.

When we recently introduced our Alternative Naturals™ brand, it was clear what each product does and what you can expect.  Because of a number of questions we have received about Avo Jel I think we guessed wrong.   Avo Jel is a jelly similar to petroleum jelly, but the similarity ends there.  Much more.  It is ‘On Purpose!’ and functional in every sense.

Because we use pharmaceutical grade avocado oil to make Avo Jel, you can expect all the benefits of any other Keys product that uses avocado oil.   We have published the features, benefits and advantages of our oils and extracts before in an article titled, Keys Prime Ingredients and Actions, but here is the information about avocado oil again.

blog-avoAvocado oil –  valued for its skin regenerative and moisturizing properties.

Avocado contains oils which are similar to human skin oils – sebum.  Avocado offers the skin moisture. Avocado oil has both Vitamin A and a natural form of Retinol.  The Vitamin A component helps promote a healthy skin microbiome to reduce skin blemishes (acne).  The retinol component is whole and not esthered like synthetic Vitamin A.  It provides natural skin lightening, uniformity of texture and color as well as acting as a natural exfoliant without the use of abrasives or salts.  Avocado oil is also helpful in treating dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne and dry skin conditions.  Keys uses both a virgin expeller pressed avocado oil and a filtered pharmaceutical grade in therapeutic proportions.

  • Proteins and Fatty Acids. Avocado oil contains a high amount of proteins and unsaturated fats, both of which are strong skin agents. Avocado oil contains omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish oil
  • Sterolin. Avocado oil is high in a substance called sterolin, which case studies have shown softening of the skin and reduce the incidence of age spots
  • Antioxidants. Avocado oil is rich in antioxidants, making it useful for healing sun or chemical damaged skin. Antioxidants like vitamins A, D and E in avocado cause the skin to be suppler, and are thus particularly good for dry or aged skin.
  • Lecithin and Potassium. Avocado oil contains lecithin and potassium, which are all highly beneficial for the skin as well as the hair.

So when you think about Avo Jel, think beyond the fact that it is a vegan replacement for petroleum jelly.  You can expect all the value of the avocado oil in a jelly as well.

Only time will tell all the uses people find for Avo Jel.  Even this early since its introduction, we have a real sense that it will be a Keys Super-Star.

Click Here to see Avo Jel on the Keys Online Store.

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Super Lice – RediCare Works!

bob_topaz
Bob Root Keys Scientist – Founder

There are reports all over the US of a resistant strain of super lice that are not controlled by convention lice treatments.  I have been aware of this for a couple of years, but without scientists raising the warning flag, my words have fallen short.

Our customers have reported that our RediCare is not only highly effective at repelling initial lice infestation, but also kills the lice.  Customer reports are that RediCare works where other treatments did not.  Frankly, we have not been able to find a study group where they are willing to test natural alternatives because most of the research is sponsored by large companies trying to prove their product works.  We have not been able to find any research project that is university internally sponsored.

My theory is unique of why RediCare kills lice.  Simply, it appears that because RediCare uses various oil types to mimic the skins own sebum that it actually suffocates the lice.  I am told and have researched that lice breath through their exoskeleton.  It is plausible that RediCare does clog the exoskeleton of lice leading to their extinction.

In short, RediCare works and our customers tell us that it rids lice and repels them.

What is also interesting is that it is not uncommon to hear that a product works with some mutations and not others.  So far, in the last three years, we have only heard positive results using RediCare for lice.  Important is that the reported states for the super lice are also states that we have heard of success using RediCare.

Below is the article from the Telegraph in the UK.  Once the study is released, you should hear more about this in the news.

Bob

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telegraph

Super head lice warning as scientists discover almost all species are resistant to treatments

Scientists report that lice in at least 25 American states have developed resistance to over-the-counter treatments still widely recommended by doctors and schools.

Doctor Kyong Yoon, of Southern Illinois University, said: “We are the first group to collect lice samples from a large number of populations across the United States.

“What we found was that 104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids.”

licePyrethroids are a family of insecticides used widely indoors and outdoors to control mosquitoes and other insects. It includes permethrin, the active ingredient in some of the most common lice treatments sold over the counter.

Dr Yoon said that the momentum toward widespread pyrethroid-resistant lice has been building for years. The first report on the development came from Israel in the late 1990s.

He became one of the first to report the phenomenon in the US in 2000 when he was a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts.

Dr Yoon said: “I was working on insecticide metabolism in a potato beetle when my mentor, John Clark, suggested I look into the resurgence of head lice.

“I asked him in what country and was surprised when he said the US.”

Dr Yoon tested the pests for a trio of genetic mutations known collectively as kdr, which stands for “knock-down resistance” which were first found in house flies in the late 1970s after farmers began using pyrethroids rather than DDT.

He found many of the lice did indeed have kdr mutations, which affect an insect’s nervous system and desensitise them to pyrethroids. Since then, he has expanded his survey.

In the most recent study he gathered lice from 30 states and discovered that samples from 25, including California, Texas, Florida and Maine, had all three genetic mutations associated with kdr making them the most resistant to pyrethroids
Dr Yoon says that lice can still be controlled by using different chemicals, some of which are available only by prescription.Samples from four states – New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon – had one, two or three mutations. The only state with a population of lice still largely susceptible to the insecticide was Michigan. Dr Yoon said why lice haven’t developed resistance there is still under investigation.

But he added: “If you use a chemical over and over, these little creatures will eventually develop resistance.

“So we have to think before we use a treatment. The good news is head lice don’t carry disease. They’re more a nuisance than anything else.”’

The findings are due to be presented at the 250th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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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

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Don’t Freak Out. Its Mostly Good Bacteria. Keys DIY

DIY Bacteria Handprint
Keys Bacteria Handprint

A Unique Keys DIY Way To Show How Your Childs Handprint Can Lead To Good Hygiene!

This is actually a great science project for kids to learn about bacteria in their environment.

Tasha Sturm at Cabrillo College posted this image on MicrobeWorld and I happened to see it.

Basically, Tasha took a sterile dinner plate and poured TSA (Tryptic Soy Agar) into it.  She then took her eight year old childs hand and pressed in onto the TSA.  She then let it culture.  I do not know for sure why she did this, but it impressed me that it was a great lesson for all of us why hand hygiene is so important.

Okay, here is the adult lesson we should learn from this.  The reason we do not use a bactericide like triclosan or parabens in our products is because this good bacteria keeps in check the bad bacteria like staph, MRSA etc.  If you kill off the good bacteria, science has shown that the bad comes back first.  Because the good returns fairly quickly, we often see redness and inflammation after people use hand sanitizes in stores and ones that they personally carry.  The redness disappears in a few days after the good bacteria has reclaimed its territory.  So, if you ever wondered why you should not use bactericide based hand sanitizers, here is the reason.

Keys Galleyon Antibacterial Soap
Keys Galleyon Antibacterial Soap

Our Galleyon uses a Castile base with Lakota Sioux spearmint essential oil to reduce overall bacteria levels without killing it.  Equally reducing bacteria levels also permits the good bacteria to ward off some viruses where totally eliminating bacteria offers a easy to invade environment.

We have about 10 times more bacteria on our skin than we have skin cells.  This friendly bacteria helps to protect our largest organ, the skin.

International agencies recognize that there are two forms of antibacterial properties.  A bactericide kills all bacteria indiscriminately and washing with soaps reduces bacteria significantly without killing it.  In other words, washing maintains the balance of good bacteria leading to proper hygiene.  Triclosan (antibacterial hand soap chemical) is like a nuclear weapon to both good and bad bacteria.  It is not a good thing.

This is really a big deal.  In my book, Chemical Free Skin Health®, the original draft had a paragraph about Triclosan.  By the time it was finished, I dedicated an entire chapter to how destructive Triclosan is to the skin.

So the moral of the story is, it is good to be clean, but not too clean.

You can Click Here to read an article I wrote a couple of years ago in association with our alliance to the Human Microbiome Project at the National Institutes of Health.  It is a not so nice story of a boy who was so void of bacteria that his skin, head-to-toe was in total disarray.  His pain was a wakeup call for many.

So, thanks to Tasha for such an interesting experiment to teach her child and us about bacteria in our environment.

So, as a Keys DIY, you can try this at home.  It is a great lesson to sound and old.

Bob

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Note:  Chemical-Free Skin Health is available on our store or on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle formats

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Keys Congrats Ele Keats – Insidious 3 Movie Opens Big

Keys, A Big Fan of Ele Keats

incideousWe wanted to give a big Keys shout-out to Ele Keats who is staring in the movie Insidious 3 premiered in Hollywood this weekend.  Ele has a prominent part of the movie and we are so happy for her success.

Ele has been a fan, mentor, avid beta tester and dear friend of Keys and Bob & Wendy almost from the very beginning of our company.  She has been instrumental in guiding us into making a natural skin care product that could compete with conventional Hollywood makeup brands.  She has introduced Keys to so many people in Hollywood which has immeasurably helped us in our growth and success.

Ele, was the lead actress in the Indie film Snowflake and appears in numerous television commercials.  She is a true chameleon in that she can change her look and demeanor in a split second making her a very directable actor from one movie to the next.  We predict that you will see and hear a lot more from Ele.

Thank you Ele for all that you have done for us and we join everyone in wishing you even more success.  Enjoy the moment!

Click Here to read the article about Ele from a few years ago.

Ele has opened a store for her jewelry, so when in LA go visit.  Her is her information.

Contact

Ele Keats Jewelry
13028 San Vicente Blvd. Ste. 103
Brentwood, CA 90049
view google map »

310-458-1888
sales@elekeats.com

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Keys Solar Rx Tops EWG Sunscreen Report List – Reports Rodale (Prevention Magazine)

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The Most Dangerous (and Safer) Sunscreens

Environmental Working Group (EWG) unveils its 2015 “Guide to Sunscreens.”

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PHOTOGRAPH BY THINKSTOCK

Trying to find the safest, most effective sunscreen used to be a real hassle. Sky-high SPFs might give you a false sense of security, and newer aerosol sprays could deliver harmful chemicals directly into your lungs. Luckily, Environmental Working Group (EWG) has taken the guesswork out of finding the best sunscreen, and today released its 2015 Guide to Sunscreens. We’ve listed some of the sunscreens rated best on the market in terms of both safety and effectiveness below.

Top-Rated Sunscreens From EWG’s 2015 Guide
• Badger Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30

• Keys Care Solar Rx Moisturizer, SPF 30+

 Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Sunscreen, SPF 30

 Elemental Herbs All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33

• Honest Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

• BurnOut Ocean Tested Physical Sunscreen, SPF 30

• Nurture My Body Sunscreen, SPF 32

• Raw Elements USA Eco Formula, SPF 30

• Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive, SPF 30

• Thinksport Sunscreen, SPF 50

EWG’s sunscreen report also ID’d what it’s calling the “Hall of Shame,” sunscreen products that are not only a waste of money, but also are potentially harmful. The organization recommends avoiding these sunscreens because they may contain oxybenzone, a chemical that can create abnormal changes in hormones. Some also contain retinyl palmitate, which could trigger damage and possibly cancer.

Others tout a superhigh SPF, which is basically a rip-off, since EWG says SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50. And still others contain harmful aerosols.

EWG’s Hall of Shame Sunscreens
• Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Ultra Defense MAX Skin Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
• Coppertone Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen, SPF 70
• Coppertone Sport High Performance Clear Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
• CVS Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
• CVS Sheer Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
• CVS Sport Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
• CVS Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85
• Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 70
• Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
• Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
• Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85+
• Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
• Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
• Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen, SPF 75
• Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
• Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
• CVS Sport Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55
• CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 100
• CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70
• Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Daily Liquid Sunscreen, SPF 70
• NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60
• NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
• Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
• Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Kids Max Protect & Play Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
• Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
• Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
• Coppertone Kids Wacky Foam Foaming Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70+
• Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
• Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
• Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
• Kroger Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
• Kroger Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
• Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Spray, SPF 70+
• Up & Up Kid’s Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

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EWG Sun Safety Campaign – Keys Supports Effort

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

 

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

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

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

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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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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?