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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.

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

The Apicare promise is

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 are using a new natural preservative called Lexgard NAP  which has pleasant slightly rose scent. We my be able to reduce or eliminate the essential oils in this formula in the future(we are currently testing), thus giving a fragrance and essential oil free product

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

 You may see NATURALLY DERIVED on our labels...

What does this mean?

This means that the ingredient was originally natural eg Coconut, but has undergone a process to allow it to become an ingredient that could be used as, for example,a foaming agent. Eg Coco Glucoside is derived from coconut and fruit sugars; there is  a chemical reaction between the glucose(sugar) from the corn or wheat and the coconut oil.

We label as natural & naturally derived as this is a true representation.

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