This is a brief show about how Keys was started first as a love story before it ever became the idea for products. This is the Keys Love Story
Watch on YouTube
Keys Love – Our Story
What happens when a brainiac boyfriend discovers his smokin hot girlfriend has Melanoma. He fixes the problems!
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO and Founder, fondly says that Keys is all her fault. The reality is that she survived deadly Melanoma but could not beat the chemicals in prescription and skincare products that left her skin a train-wreck. Wendy experienced just about every type of skin disorder imaginable and all we traced back to the Dirty Dozen chemicals in about 98% of the skin care and prescription products available OTC and from doctors.
Wendy’s boyfriend, Bob Root, a former Silicon Valley CEO/Engineer undertook the project to develop products to help Wendy. He gathered information from Harvard MD’s turned naturopaths to aboriginal healers. He realized that there was a pattern and scheme to skin health. It was to be Chemical-Free. Thus the Keys tagline of Chemical-Free Skin Health®.
Bob’s products worked and worked quickly for Wendy. Friends with similar disorders, their family members with something as simple as dry skin, through acne and skin cancer suffers found relief using Bob’s products that he gifted them. Creating the Keys line was not a decision, it was market demand that brought out the initial four products and stunned the burgeoning natural products industry. Why, they all still had some chemicals and Bob’s did not!
Functionality is paramount at Keys. Coming from Silicon Valley, to Bob, products have to do something. Great if they make people feel good, but in his mind, they have to solve problems. He solved his girlfriends problems and the precursor for anything Keys makes is that it has to solve problems people are experiencing without using any chemicals.
So, in a snapshot, here is what you can expect from everything Keys makes:
All products solve problems and make people (and their pets) feel good
All products are free of man-made chemicals. Ergo Chemical-Free
All products use the highest quality whole natural ingredients
All products have the highest proportion of functional ingredients with no scrimping or compromises
All products are priced fairly well below chemical-laden pharmaceuticals because of the very high tech low overhead business systems Keys employs. They were the first 100% cloud-based company in the natural products industry.
All products are natural whole ingredients
All products are Vegan
All products are Gluten-Free
All products are non-GMO
All products use organic or wild-crafted ingredients
Bob in his top selling book, Chemical-Free Skin Health®, points out that it was a lot of trial and error to develop those first four products for Wendy. My incentive was that Wendy was in trouble because of western medicine and I was determined to figure out how to solve her problems naturally. The other 45+ products in the Keys line were all inspired by skin disorders and problems related to him by loyal customers that believe in him. He does not take that lightly!
Now Bob & Wendy are married and still developing products, giving speeches, writing books and listening to what customers have to say. Funny, Bob still refers to Wendy as his smoking hot girlfriend and she as her brainiac boyfriend. 20 years solving problems and making people feel good together with chemical-free skin health products.
Keys tag line, “Ancient Remedies with Modern Technology” not only applies to our products. It also applies to our business systems. We strive constantly improve our delivery of content designed to help our customers make decisions about the products that they use. The one thing that drives us most is creating shortcuts to get information to you easier and faster. We are careful not to misuse your time by too many newsletters or redundant communications.
We need your help to make the next big jump in our communication technology. Because of some new innovations at Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, we can send you snippets that will inform you without filling your email inbox with newsletters.
By liking or following us on Twitter and Facebook, you will receive short real-time notices of new articles, sales and other important communications. Pinning us and following us on Pinterest will also provide avenues to information.
Over time, this will help Keys reduce the number of Newsletters from Keys.
So, please take a moment and Like and Follow Us…. Also, please tell your friends about us as well.
Our new YouTube Video Channel called Keys Skin Deep has been a huge success for us. Based on the channel and Clean Green Cafe entries, we have receive a lot of requests for various videos. Frankly, they have come into us in all forms, so we created this form to make it easy to send us ideas. Please send us your ideas below and click the send button. Based on the number of votes, we will setup the shooting schedule.
In his book, Chemical-Free Skin Health, Bob Root covers many subjects designed to help people understand how to Stop, Challenge and Choose a healthier way of thinking by becoming chemical-free. In this video snapshot, Bob talks about the fact that the natural movement is not new, but a return to the not too distant past.
Bob asks us to Stop and read labels, then challenge them by reading ingredients and then to choose the best products for your own skin health.
Our skin is our largest organ and defends us from the elements. Chemicals, break down our defenses.
May is Melanoma month and it is not a celebration.
Around the world, there is a celebration at the beginning of May. For me as a Melanoma survivor, it is a month where I give thanks for surviving. It is the first day of May that I begin my summer long campaign to share my concerns, my knowledge and my experiences with people. My goal is to save lives.
I am not cancer free, but I am free from cancer. My advocacy has taken me to many places and I have met many survivors and unfortunately too many people that have lost loved ones, friends, spouces and parents. What makes me sad is that they have also lost children.
The stories are wide and varied. Here is just one subject that I hear all to often every May.
A frantic Mom and a concerned Dad asking me for advice for their 16 and 17 year olds respectively. Both the concerned parents were asking essentially the same thing: “How do I convince my teen daughter that she could wear anything and her skin will still look incredibly beautiful?” Well, as it turned out, this was not just about teen fashion. This was about preparation for the prom! It turned out that the biggest issue was caused by the color of the dress and their teen’s steadfast belief that they could not possibly look beautiful in a white dress without tanned skin! To prepare for their prom, both of these teens were insisting on sunless tanning. I realized there must be thousands of parents going through this same drama, trying to win over the peer pressure their teens felt to spend the weeks before prom on tanning beds.
I received these requests for advice, because I am a melanoma skin cancer survivor and a skin health advocate. I briefly pondered the fact that I do not have a teen son or daughter…and I quickly found myself saying, but if I did I would share with them what I have learned in my life so far. Continue reading Time To Get Wise – Dear 16 Year Old Me!
ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2011) — Ultra-tiny zinc oxide (ZnO) particles with dimensions less than one-ten-millionth of a meter are among the ingredients list of some commercially available sunscreen products, raising concerns about whether the particles may be absorbed beneath the outer layer of skin. To help answer these safety questions, an international team of scientists from Australia and Switzerland have developed a way to optically test the concentration of ZnO nanoparticles at different skin depths. They found that the nanoparticles did not penetrate beneath the outermost layer of cells when applied to patches of excised skin.
The results, which were published this month in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journalBiomedical Optics Express, lay the groundwork for future studies in live patients.
WISDOM FROM “UGLY DUCKLINGS” by Wendy Steele (Original Post May 9, 2011…See updates below)
My recent experience with several “ugly ducklings” has once again put a bright spotlight on my desire and responsibility to share my personal wisdom about skin health.
So far in this month of May, I have had the pleasure to personally talk to and meet many of our mid-west customers during multiple special events. At one event I was wearing several flesh-colored bandage strips on my upper chest and self-consciously made sure that I covered those strategically with clothing, as I did not want to reveal those ugly little bandages. I thought later that perhaps I would have been better off letting them show, because then I could share more personally my own experiences with “ugly ducklings”. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Continue reading Skin Cancer & “The Ugly Duckling” …Hold the Mayo! (Update May 21st)
Comments of the personal care industry, by Bob Root, Keys CTO
“The world is a changen,” is an old southern phrase. It generally means that new things continue to appear at a little to fast a pace. The concept of safe cosmetics does not fit into that phrase. I believe we are actually returning to the basics and our roots from not a too distant a past.
Our first lotion was a refined version of one my grandmother created. She taught me to make a very fine lotion that she used to simmer on the pilot light (Google ‘pilot light’ if you are under 40) on the stove. She had long since passed-on by the time I started Keys, but I remembered the formula and process. Very emollient, Tortuga rivals the department store brands at a fraction of the price. Why, because it is all natural whole ingredients and not 50+ chemicals designed to mimic a real natural lotion. Continue reading The Story of Cosmetics • Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
After the shock of being diagnosed with Melanoma Skin Cancer and the aftermath of dealing with all the chemical in my life that cause my skin disorders, the reality set home pretty quickly. My skn could never again be exposed to prolonged UV events. Growing up with a golden tan every summer, sailing the Chesapeak Bay and living in San Diego on a boat caused me to rethink my lifestyle. Moreover, it caused me to become a advocate and spokesperson for UV and sun avoidance.
Yes, we make one of the finest sunblocks in the world. Consumer Reports said it was the most effective. The Environmental Working Group said we are the safest. Still, my advocacy is education to stay out of the sun, wear a UPF rated hat and clothing, wear sunglasses and then cover exposed skin with sun protection. Strange that a sun protection company would say cover-up…not really! Every day throughout the world, people die from Melanoma. Many do not realize it until it is too late. I dress the way I do and take the sun seriously because my life depends on it. Continue reading UV “B” Chic and UV “A” Wise – How to avoid skin cancer!
Simple, Effective Pharmaceutical Grade Products for Skin Health Video
Many people have asked how we started Keys and why.
This short video overview will give you a sense of who we are, why we started and our purpose.
As an overview, Wendy Steele, Keys CEO was diagnosed with Melanoma Skin Cancer a little over ten years ago. She survived the cancer, but was terribly afflicted with skin disorders that were diagnosed by doctors as adult acne, eczema, psoriasis,l contact dermatitis and a myriad of other incorrect bad guesses. What she found was that it was the chemicals in prescription skincare and the sunscreens she had to wear to protect her skin.
Everyone want to know these days what is in your products, what is not in your products and how does the making of your products effect the environment. I thought it might be lighter to use the title Green Piece with an ‘i’ because that is what the PR people call the eco statement that a company offers. Often these are full of $5 dollar words and platitudes. So, I have attempted to inform here without using too many words or big words that have no meaning. I am sure I have missed something, so make sure you use the comment box to ask me your questions.
Keys is not just another natural products manufacturer. We design skin care solutions that solve problems. If there was a FDA category for Natural Medicines, you would find Keys there. What you will notice about our products is that we present them as natural solutions to problems with features, benefits and advantages offered. We are not a company that focused on scents, nor do we add any ingredients to scent our products. Although many people comment on the way our products smell, it usually begins with adjectives like clean, fresh, earthy et al.
It was about seven years ago that Keys burst on the scene of the Natural Products Industry when we exhibited at the Natural Products Expo trade show. It was synergistic that about the same time that many well known “natural products” manufacturers were exclaiming that they were going to remove the Dirty Dozen chemicals from their products over the next few years that we showed up with none of them. When the show opened, many were shocked to see that we created stable functional products that had none of the Dirty Dozen. In fact, we never had them in our products.
Keys cause and mission was to create products for people with sensitive skin, post cancer recovery and for people with chemical based skin disorders. We simply could not use the Dirty Dozen as well as hundreds of other chemicals and fragrances that were commonly used. Our mission at the show was to not out-do others in what seemed to be more of a PR race. We were there to provide niche market products which we labeled as Chemical-Free Skin Health® We presented ourselves, not just as a natural product, but skin health products that competed with pharmaceutical products for efficacy and that are natural…chemical-free!
What does natural mean? To us, it is the use of whole ingredients that are naturally processed from plants, herbs and botanicals. This means no synthetic man-made chemicals. It also means that we can trace every ingredient and every constituent ingredient back to their origin. For example, we use whole natural virgin avocado oil, we know the grower, we know their process and we know what was used in the grove where the fruit was harvested. We know this for all of our ingredients.
What we do not use is as important as what we use. Even though we say whole natural ingredients, sometimes it is important to point out what we do not use to assure people of the integrity of our products. To begin, there are no Dirty 30, Dirty 100 or Dirty 10,000 chemicals in our products. No man-made chemicals. That means no sulfates, parabens and all the other no’s that you see on labels and advertising. This pushes down to the ingredients that make up some of our combined ingredients. Our ingredients are whole which means that they have not been modified or obtained from genetically modify plants.
Our products are gluten-free, vegan, not soy based and use no corn. All ingredients are on our labels. All!
We use and develop functional ingredients to improve skin health. This is a relatively new science developed from some old world methods where we use whole fruits, herbs, botanicals, spices and plant ingredients placed into a “worting” fermenting like process and then extracted using a steam process to architect ingredients that serve a specific purpose. We give these ingredients names like Ariane and Miras to help distinguish what they do for the skin. Almost all future development at Keys is in this direction. You can read more about it in the Keys Science article.
So as a bit of background, we developed all of our products using ancient remedies upgraded with modern technology and pharmaceutical ingredients in therapeutic proportions. Although many of the products have their roots in centuries old recipes, we have refined our processes using sometimes exotic methods to make our finished products. For example, many companies us aerated homogenizers to get a fine smooth finish to their product. Air means oxygen and that means faster spoiling of the final product. So, we use infrasonic sound waves emitted by specially designed propeller tips on powered mixers. Does the same job with no air added into the products. The list of innovation in how we process our products is long and each are designed to improve the results you get from our products.
When we began to make Keys products, we realized that we had to replace chemical germacides like parabens with natural ingredients that slow bacteria growth to a minimum. The simple solution would have been to require that our products should be refrigerated. That was neither practical or reasonable. The solution for Keys was a combination of natural ingredients and food-like preparation process controls.
Bacteria in the form of Gram Positive rods exist on our skin, in our food and all around us. It is normal and in many cases, beneficial. Like probiotic supplements that we take to increase the flora in our gut, the probiotics on the skin are equally as important. As manufacturers, we could opt to kill them using parabens, but the potential danger of these chemicals and the effects they have on some people precludes us from using them. Worse, killing the bad using parabens also kills the good that creates imbalances on the skin making it susceptible to disease. Natural preservatives like rosemary extract really help, but cleanliness is the best first step in maintaining the skins natural probiotics. So cleanliness is perhaps the most important thing a manufacturer can do to make a trustworthy product.
Cleanliness to us in the manufacturing process is quite rigorous and necessary to create products that have reasonable best used by dates. The real secret to long shelf life natural products is a combination of a clean manufacturing environment, ingredients with low water content and a packaging environment with little to no air. To start the process, all raw materials sent to Keys are inspected for microbiology levels far below industry standards. The we clean our vessels using super-heated steam to sterilize them in a similar fashion that a surgeon uses an autoclave to sterilize their instruments. Our compounders (aka chefs) wear lintless disposable clothing and special hair protection to ensure a clean work area. Our factory is a cleanroom like environment that is cleaned using cGMP and ISO 9000 standards.
Finally, our containers, labels and inks are recyclable. Everything! We precycle by not using any external packaging and our packing materials are state of the art paper based components. This even goes down to the fact that we use paper tape to seal the boxes. Each of our product packages are carefully selected for maximum performance extending shelf life and for the lowest environmental impact. We use no packaging that has a tendency to be easily infected from the outside environment. This includes the airless containers seen in the video below.
I recently watched a Science Channel TV show showing how one of the name brand “Natural” manufacturers make their products. I was shocked to see people without hair nets, masks, lint-free clothing and dumping ingredients into open vats from open cardboard boxes used in shipment. My first thought was amazement and then I thought that I had better explain to our customers “How It’s Made” at Keys so that no one thinks we make ours that way.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth 10,000 pictures. The video below describes how we make our Solar Rx from batching to labeling. Everything you see is in a cleanroom style environment and portrays how we make all of our products. Clean, caring, concerned and diligent. The care and concern is obvious. That is why we say that our most secret ingredient at Keys is our positive intension in every product.