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My Skin Cancer Anniversary – Lessons Learned

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

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

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

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

One Experience Among Many! – Part One!

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

Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Ugly Ducklings Moles – Part Two – A Revelation

My Ugly Ducklings Skin Cancer Story by Wendy Steele

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

You are Responsible for Your Health!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happened next unsettled me tremendously.

Ugly Ducklings
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

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

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

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

I am taking charge of my health. NEVER ASSUME.

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

Ugly Ducklings Part 3 gets even weirder!

 

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May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Melanoma Can Strike Anyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My 20 Year Journey to Feel Safer in a Hostile Environment

Hostile
Wendy Steele, Keys CEO & Founder

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

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

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

Sometimes I Just Get Angry

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

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

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

You Have a Choice

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

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

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

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

I Am Done With Opinions

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

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

Saving Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Us, The Stories Behind The Keys Story

Natural Solutions for Beauty, Aging and Skin Problems

Keys Snapshot: What We Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keys Snapshot: Keys Story

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

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

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

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

Keys Snapshot: Keys Probiome® Products

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

Click To View

Performance:

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

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

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

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

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

Read on for More of the History


Circa 1996 to Now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The soap and skin care connection?  Skin Cancer!

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

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

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

Keys Factoids:

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

Keys Product Categories:

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

What We Believe

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

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

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

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

Ancient Remedies – Modern Technology – Green Science

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

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

• Solve skin problems

• Soothe skin allergies

• Heal minor cuts, abrasions, and burns

• Act as natural insect repellents

Our affiliations include:

• University of Maryland School of Medicine

• Los Alamos National Labs

• National Institutes of Health

• Ohio State University

• Environmental Working Group

• Compact signer for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

The Keys Difference –What We Use:

• Whole Natural ingredients to bring skin health back in balance

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

allergies and problems

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

• Safe ingredients for pets and people

Pharmaceutical Grade & Quality for Efficacy-Results

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

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

Why it Matters:

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

The Keys Difference – What We Avoid:

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

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

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

You Get What You Pay For!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Keys Customers Value

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keys® Introduces Therapy Facts™ Product Labeling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

•   Standardized design and look

•   Organic content of the product

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

•   Affirmation of Pharmaceutical Grade Ingredients in Therapeutic Proportions

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

•   The actual percentages of active ingredients

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

•   A product purpose statement

•   Instructions for use

•   No Animal Testing affirmation

•   Manufacturing country (USA)

•   Contact information

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

Keys Soap Technology Background

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

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

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

Aromatherapy Benefits of Keys Soaps

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