When formulating our products and sourcing raw materials, we look for 100% Natural, Certified Organic, Ecocert, GMO-Free, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Conflict-Free, Sustainably-Harvested ingredients whenever possible. We reject ingredients which are pre-preserved with parabens, or suspended in Propylene Glycol, or which contain toxic synthetic chemicals of any kind.
Unlike the majority of beauty companies today, we are committed to a 100% full disclosure labeling policy, believing that our customers have a right to make fully-informed decisions on what they choose to use on their skin. We formulate every product to be able to achieve a 0 or 1 rating in the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database of cosmetic product and ingredient toxicity.
Currently, our products are made with only 100% natural ingredients. Very occasionally, we may formulate a product which is especially difficult to safely preserve using 100% naturals, or which degrades or separates using 100% naturals, for example. When this has happened we have chosen to cease developing that product rather than launch using a synthetic.
However, over the past four or five years, we have found that some currently trendy natural preservatives and emulsifiers in particular are highly allergenic, sensitizing and/or irritating. In these cases, we may in future opt for documented, well-tested, safe synthetic options. If this happens, we will let you know exactly what percentage of any product might contain a safe, well-tested, long-established synthetic ingredient as opposed to an untested, potentially allergenic 100% natural.
Our first priority in sourcing any ingredient will always be our constant commitment to finding the highest quality, most ethically-sourced, safest, least allergenic, most effective and the purest source of that ingredient available in the world.
Why aren’t all of your ingredients Certified Organic?
The demand for 100% natural plant actives has exploded in the past five to ten years. Not all of them have had time to get their crops certified organic. Others are from areas so remote and exotic that Organic Certification is not something they could even begin to aspire to. For still others, the cost of annual certification is far outside their means. In our new Scent Blends, for example, we use some very costly essential oils and co2 extracts of rare plants and blossoms. A number of them are either not yet available from a certified organic supplier, or they are currently so prohibitively expensive that we would have to charge our customers what we feel is an unreasonable price for our end products if we were to switch to 100% organic formulas.
While the majority of our ingredients are in fact certified organic through our suppliers’ certification, we as a facility are not yet certified organic. It is something we are working on, and getting closer to as more and more of the rare raw materials and extracts we use are becoming available at more reasonable price points. It is a priority to us and we know it is to you too, so we will keep you posted on our progress!
What is your policy on animal testing?
None of our products are tested on animals other than humans.
Is Kensington Apothecary a gluten-free facility?
Gluten allergy and sensitivity is a growing concern to consumers, and many people try to avoid gluten in their diets, so we consciously try to avoid ingredients that contain gluten.
Do your products contain any genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)?
We consciously formulate our products with ingredients that are not currently considered high risk for GMO contamination.
Do you use any animal-sourced scent materials in your products?
What allergens are present in your facility?
We manufacture some products within our facility using oils, butters and similar ingredients that are made from common allergens such as tree nuts. People who are allergic to these substances should ask their doctors whether they should avoid our products.
Why don't you have (insert name of certification)?
I will tell you honestly that we are a tiny company. We are not backed by a venture capital group or other investors with endlessly deep pockets. We are truly a small family company. Almost every certification out there comes with significant ongoing cost to the brands who sport them on their labels. It is not only the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to pay the annual fees for all of the various certifications together, but also the ongoing administrative time and costs of maintaining paperwork and submitting (sometimes) massive amounts of data to maintain certified status. We are not yet at the point where we have the humanpower or the capital to pursue all of the certifications on our certification wish list. For now, we exclusively seek out ingredients with the same priorities you do: the sustainably farmed, plant-based, fair trade, organic, non-GMO, cruelty free ingredients that make our products so special. We list each of these on our labels and website.
One certification we are currently working on is our Environmental Working Group Skin Deep rating for each of our products. Stay tuned for more on that!
Do you use any Synthetic Preservatives in your products?
Currently, we use a natural preservative system and natural antioxidants in our products. However, I will honestly admit that we have struggled with natural preservatives in particular being highly allergenic and often less reliable than their synthetic counterparts. For now we are happy with our system, but if there ever comes a time where a new product presents a challenge to safely preserve using naturals, I will always choose the safety of my customers over my personal obsession with using 100% natural ingredients.
More Questions? Check back as we will be updating this page as our story unfolds!