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Natural Ingredients

Here at Simply Manuka we want to offer a skincare range with a difference , one that uses a unique ‘natural' product to improve well being and lifestyle - a range that is natural, luxurious, indulgent, rich and healing and one that makes you feel wonderful.

UMF15+ Manuka honey in the Apicare® range gives you all these things.

UMF15+ Manuka Honey is great for skincare because it is a natural anti-oxidant and helps act as an anti-inflammatory agent for sensitive skin:

Apicare® skincare products are hypoallergenic and pH balanced and have:

None of the products that we sell at Simply Manuka are tested on animals and do not contain any ingredients that are obtained from the killing of animals. However, in some of our products we do use honey, beeswax, propolis and lanolin. These ingredients are clearly stated on the product labels and on our website. We only use vegetable derived glycerine.

There is a full list of ingredients for each Apicare® product on our website, we have nothing to hide and are happy to answer queries about any of our ingredients.

Apicare® are passionate about using only the best quality raw materials they can source, using only top quality plant oils, essential oils, perfume grade fragrances, pollen, propolis, natural beeswax and UMF15+ Manuka Honey.

About Preservatives - thoughts from Apicare (NZ):

"There has been a lot of talk lately about preservatives, their safety and whether or not they should be included in natural products. A lot of misinformation has been circulated and the majority of consumers are left confused or misled.

The way it works is as follows: If the formula doesn't contain any water then it doesn't need preserving, e.g. balms (made up of oils and waxes), soaps (the water is used up in the manufacturing process) and dry powders.

The need to preserve arises only once water has been added to the formula, e.g. crèmes, lotions, body washes. Water is a great breading ground for bacteria, fungi, yeasts and mould, so over time skin care products that are not preserved can become loaded with microorganisms.
The problem is that this can happen very quickly (within weeks) from the time it is manufactured and you may not be able to tell. A product can often look, feel and smell normal but have high bacterial readings. It is obviously not safe to be applying contaminated products to your skin, especially you have cuts or nicks or if you are immunosupressed in any way. From a manufactures point of view we feel that it would be unethical and against public interest to produce products that could have adverse effects on public health.

People often think a product is ‘off' when the oils and water start to separate out. This may have nothing to do with microorganism contamination and usually relates to the fact that the emulsifier (binding agent) has broken down and is no longer working. Each batch of each product needs to be tested after being manufactured to check for contamination levels - and should be done by all skin care manufacturers to ensure the safety of their products. All products requiring preservative should also be challenge tested, this involves applying a selection of microorganisms to the skin care product under accelerated conditions to ensure that the preservative system selected for the product is actually effective. We believe that to not do so is at best naive and at worst unethical.

Crèmes, lotions and washes can be produced in small batches without the use of a preservative but need to be stored in the refrigerator and used with in a few weeks of manufacture. This is acceptable if you are making product for yourself at home and using it quickly but is not achievable for cosmetics that you buy online, in pharmacies, in supermarkets etc.

It is worth being aware that there are ways off getting around listing the presence of water on the label, herbal or botanical distillates and extracts can be produced using either water or alcohol, but the carrying agent used does not have to be listed.

What about natural preservatives?

This suggestion tends to get perpetuated for those looking for a quick marketing edge.
There is only one natural preservative that has consistently performed adequately on challenge testing and that is alcohol. The only hitch with alcohol is that it has to be used at quite high percentages to be effective and many people aren't comfortable with this, as alcohol tends to be drying to the skin.

There has been a lot of work done by scientific and chemical supply companies to come up with a natural preservative, but so far none of them have been broad spectrum enough (able to kill all types of microorganisms) to pass all of the challenge tests we run. This stands for combinations of essential oils, tea tree and oleoresins also. Grapefruit Seed extract shows some preserving abilities, however when not used in conjunction with low levels of a traditional synthetic preservative systems, it has to be used at such high percentages that it can cause skin irritation. There are a number of companies now stating that they use Vitamin E to help preserve, this is an incorrect statement. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant not an antimicrobial, while it will help stop some oils from going rancid it will not preserve.

We will continue to work on testing our products with the new alternatives that come onto the market, but as yet we have been able to find one that works adequately.

Why do some companies not list any preservatives on their ingredient lists?

We believe that the main reasons are as follows:

  1. Some companies feel the need to comply with the marketing pressure of 100% natural so simply do not list the preservatives that they use. We believe it is better to be honest, better to be 99% natural and safe.
  2. The product is preserved with alcohol or a tincture that is high in alcohol. Many extracts are made in synthetic bases that are preserved in parabens, triclorisan and urea. If these extracts are used at a high enough level they could preserve the product, and because the individual extract components do not have to be separately listed on the ingredient list, it ‘appears' the product is preservative free.
  3. Ingredient labels should be written using the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) name e.g. manuka honey = leptospermum scoparium mel. There is a preservative on the market that has the INCI name ‘fragrance' - thus again it appears that there is no preservative in the formula but is just in fact ‘hidden'.
  4. The products are not adequately preserved and would fail challenge tests if tested. There is no manditory requirement for New Zealand skin care manufacturers to challenge test their products. We can only assume they are going with ‘the ignorance is bliss' option.
  5. The product is a powder, natural soap or balm and does not require a preservative, e.g. Revive Me Lip Balm.

What do Apicare (N.Z.) use to preserve their products?

We currently use a couple of different preservative combinations as listed below. All these ingredients are listed as safe by the Cosmetics Ingredient Regulatory Expert Panel.
We use a mix of phenoxyethanol (<1%)  or phenoxyethanol (and) ethylhexyl glycerin, in our leave on products (crèmes, lotions and body butters), and a mix of ,Dehydroacetic Acid(&)Benzyl Alcohol, in our wash off products.

We do not use any preservatives in our balms or soaps."

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