Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions, either about us, our products or even something random 🙂 , please just get in touch and we would love to help. You may however find an answer below with the some of our most commonly asked queries.
Are your products organic?- I can’t see any official certification labels.
The Simple answer is YES. All of our products are made from at least 95% ( often more) certified organic ingredients, this the minium requirement for a product to be legally certified organic, by either the Soil Association COSMOS marque or the EU organic marque.
The problem of certain cosmetic companies greenwashing their products, using terms such as, natural, organic and eco to imply green credentials that they do not posess is real. Ths problem continues because current UK legislation only prohibits misuse of the term ‘organic’ in food products.
Helping Herb only uses ingredients which are already certified as organic. The remaining non organic ingredients, will always be entirely natural in origin. These ingredients might include essential oils, natural antioxidants ( vitamin E ) or non botanical compounds such as clay.
Helping Herb will never use synthetic chemicals in any of our products and we take great care to ensure that all of our ingredients have been sourced responsibly, without exploitation of workers or the environment and free from animal cruelty.
It is is is our goal to seek organic accreditation, but at present the cost is prohibitive. This does not mean we cannot follow the organic ethos and do our best to maintain the highest ethical standards.
Helping Herb’s products are organic, even though we don’t have an official logo to say so. 🙂
Are your products suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
All of our products are suitable for vegetarians, at present we use organic beeswax rather than plant derived waxes and so cannot be called vegan.
As is often the way, the answer is always a bit complicated.
At present, most waxes suitable for vegans come from plants which are harvested in developing countries and we are not convinced that most of those waxes are derived from sources which are sustainable and free from exlpoitation.
The most commonly derived source of vegan wax is Candelilla, which comes from the Candelilla plant, a shrub which is native to northern Mexico. Candillia plants cannot be farmed and are wild harvested by local workers, These workers are often exploited and work long hours in harsh conditions for little money. The plants themselves need to be subjected to strong chemical solvents in order to extract the wax and there are growing concern about over harvesting of Candillia plants because of the growing consumer demand for vegan products.
Other popular vegan waxes also have concerns associated with them,for example:
- Soy Wax is the product of soybean oil and is widely used in cosmetics. Soybean producton is often associated with massed mechanized farming, genetic modification and industrial scale use of pesticides.
- Carnuba wax comes from Brazil and there have been concerns raised about modern slavery associated with its production. Overharvesting is having a negative ecological impact in the Amazonian Rainforest and some unscrupulous suppliers label palm wax derived from indonesian deforestaion programmes as Carnuba wax.
Beeswax on the other hand can be much more environmentally friendly than many vegan alternatives and is an amazingly versatile material, packed full of compounds which are beneficial for human health.
We believe that as long as the beeswax we use in our products is derived from organic sources and from sustainbly farmed hives, then this is perfectly ethical and in keeping with the traditions and practices of bee husbandry that have been pracitced by our ancestors since ancient times.
This is not to say Helping Herb won’t ever make vegan products. We would love vegans to enjoy our herbilicious products as well. There are plant based waxes available which do look like a promising eco friendly alternative to beeswax e.g sunflower wax and berry wax and this is something we are investigating, so watch this space.
Why don’t you use aluminium in your deodorants ?
We don’t use aluminium in our deodorants because there have been a number of safety concerns raised about possible causal links between aluminium exposure and illnesses like Breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminium salts are used in deodorants to act as antiperspirants, they literally block the skin’s pores with metal oxides which most likely leech through the skin and into the blood stream.
We understand that perspiration is a natural process and shouldnt be blocked. We use organic Arrowroot powder in our deodorants to gently absorb excess moisture. We dont use Bicarbonate of soda as this can cause rashes and be quite harsh for use on sensitive skin.
No absolutely not. We never use Sodium lauryl sulfate, Parabens, Petroleum jelly, mineral oil, cheap chemical filler ingredients, palm oil, synthetic colour or fragrance.
Everything we use is entirely botanical or naturally derived. Our products are oil based, and bacteria need a water based environment to grow. For this reason we dont need to use chemical preservatives to keep our products safe and importantly it means we dont need to full them full of chemicals to keep them fresh.