These products have a long life! It depends how well you treat them (a hot car is cruel torture to these balms) but 2 years is very possible - if they last you that long :) I recommend using our products within 6 - 12 months of opening them to preserve maximum potency of the ingredients.
Are all ingredients listed?
Yes, all ingredients are listed completely on our website - our labels have a shortened version (without full latin names) to fit. You will not see water listed as an ingredient because these products are deliberately formulated without water. All balms are made using 100% oils, waxes and natural butters. Vitamin E is our natural antioxidant to extend the product life.
No Animal testing
EVER, under any circumstances. These products are tested on humans for humans, on the condition they are created for!
These products should be stored below 30°C in order to slow down the natural process of oxidation. Exposure to heat, light and air will speed up this process, so if you live somewhere unusually warm (yes, in Australia!), store the products either in a cool, dark cupboard, or in the fridge to maintain their potency. Once opened, I suggest you finish them within 6 months, as exposure to oxygen speeds oxidation.
These are completely natural products, and texture may change according to external temperatures. This is not a flaw! Don't leave me in the sun or a hot car glove box!
Balms are, in my opinion, the best!
Water is used in most creams to dilute and to carry extra ingredients to the skin. However - water is also the carrier of bugs, germs and micro-organisms, which means preservatives are essential to preserve them and keep them safe to use.
Water is also often 60-80% of a product, which then evaporates quickly - usually in about 20 minutes. The most effective part of any cream is actually the oil part, which may only be 15-20% of the product you buy.
The oils reinforces the skin’s barrier function, nourishes and feeds the skin, and contains oil-soluble vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants, and other plant nutrients.
These balms have been designed to be absorbed as quickly as possible, rather than leaving an oily or heavy residue: all you will feel after a few minutes is a lovely soft moisturised feel to your skin.
The fact that these products are balms means:
100% of the product gets to, and stays on your skin
They are extremely economical - they are roughly equivalent to 5 times the volume of a normal cream or moisturiser that contains 80% water. You only need a tiny amount as a little goes a long way! I suggest you reduce the volume of what you would use by a third, and go from there, depending on the area.
No preservatives are required: Vitamin E is used as a natural antioxidant.
What if it melts?
If the balms are exposed for long periods time to temperatures above 35°C, they may melt to the consistency of melted butter and turn liquid. If this happens, when they cool and become solid again, they will have a grainy texture. These grains are cocoa (or shea) butter crystals and are fine and safe to use on your skin - they will melt on skin contact, or you can melt the balm on your fingers before applying it into your skin.
If you don’t like the grainy consistency, melt the cream over a very low heat until it just barely becomes liquid, then cool very rapidly by placing the container in ice while stirring. The crystals won’t reform if the balm solidifies rapidly in this way. When it re-solidifies, your balm will be smooth again!
Are they Vegan?
While everything I make is vegetarian, sustainable and ethical, most of the balms contain certified organic beeswax.
I consider it ethical to use certified organic beeswax for a number of reasons. Firstly, without the pollination work performed by bees we would not have access to the wide variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables we currently enjoy - even vegans rely on the work of farmed bees for much of their diet. Certified organic beeswax depends on certified organic agriculture, and the continued support and existence of native forests, both of which are vital to the sustainability of our land. These are all, to varying extents, reliant on the work done by bees.
Finally, and most significantly, bees kept under certified organic conditions are kept to high standards of animal welfare and care. Bees are hard-workers, highly interconnected as communities, and sensitive to disease and population collapse under poor conditions. The healthiest bees are those that are not exposed to pesticides and intensive farming, not overworked, and are well cared for - conditions which are reliably available only in certified organic conditions.
I believe that certified organic bee farming is something we should support as a priority: if they collapse, so soon shall we.
Are they certified Organic?
The base ingredients of Beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter and oils are all certified organic. The herbs used are certified by Eurofin: the primary herb testing facility in the world, for heavy metals, authenticity, and pesticides, prior to sale. However: the essential oils are not. While essential oils are wildcrafted as much as possible from trusted suppliers, numerous essential oils are produced in only one place in the world - and often that one place is not under certification standards. Some essential oils are also harvested from woods or roots, materials which have been in existence for extended periods of time and certification is not possible. Many essential oils also simply do not exist certified organic, or are prohibitively expensive if they are.
Also, estimations of any remaining residual toxicity in plant materials used for essential oils is estimated to be almost 100% removed in the distillation process. I also honestly wanted to use the best, most effective essential oil for a particular condition, rather than compromising the efficiency of these products due to availability or pricing concerns.
Finally: while Im a huge fan - I've been using and buying organic for longer than most people have known what the word means - organic has now, in many ways, become a buzz word, freely used by authentic, as well as less reliable brands alike to sell to you as a consumer, reasonably concerned about what you are using in your own and your families lives. The process of organic certification is, however, incredibly expensive for small and local farmers, many of whom are already under considerable financial pressure to survive and compete against large conglomerates. I’d personally prefer to purchase from, and support, small, local businesses I trust using wildcrafted measures, than to buy from a huge multi-national using ‘organic’ as the latest sales pitch. This, in my opinion, is in keeping with the true meaning of the word ‘sustainable’.