Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Animal testing agreement signed to speed up adoption of alternative methods

We were so excited to hear this news as Scandle doesn't use any animal by-products nor do we test on animals!

International agencies from the US, Canada, Japan and the EU have signed a co-operation agreement to speed up the process for adopting alternative testing methods.

The EU ban on the use of animals to test cosmetic ingredients came into force this year but animal testing is still common outside Europe and progress is still needed in the development of alternative testing methods.

William Stokes, the executive director of ICCVAM and director of NICEATM, told that the European cosmetics legislation had been “a driving force” behind the agreement.

Slowness in the adoption of alternative testing methods had led some commentators to question whether the EU animal testing ban was enforceable.

Stokes said delays had been caused by a lack of international cooperation. He said different countries were producing different recommendations on the same testing methods.

The cooperation agreement aims to cut out unnecessary delays by preventing these differences and coordinating the review process so recommendations are harmonized. In independent peer review meetings and reports, the countries also intend work together to produce single papers together rather than multiple works on the same subject.

In addition, Stokes said the design of evaluation studies would be agreed on together to avoid duplication and guarantee that the most needed information is gathered.

To see the final document, click on the link below:

The international agencies involved in the agreement included:

The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM)
The Japanese Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods
Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau within Health Canada
US National Toxicology Program (NTP) Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicology Methods (NICEATM)
Commenting on the agreement, Hajime Kojima, Ph. D, director of the Japanese Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, said: “Although we’ve had informal collaborations over the years, this more formal agreement will allow us to work more efficiently and effectively.”

Friday, April 17, 2009

The 7 Sins of Cosmetic Greenwashing

All too often cosmetics firms are guilty of committing one or more of the seven sins of greenwashing. Greenwashing here is defined as the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

The seven sins of greenwashing identified from common to least common are:

*The Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off occurs when one environmental issue is emphasized at the expense of potentially more serious concerns.

*The Sin of No Proof happens when environmental assertions are not backed up by evidence or third-party certification.

*The Sin of Vagueness occurs when a marketing claim is so lacking in specifics as to be meaningless.

*The (new) Sin of Worshiping False Labels is when marketers create a false suggestion or certification-like image to mislead consumers into thinking that a product has been through a legitimate green certification process.

*The Sin of Irrelevance arises when an environmental issue unrelated to the product is emphasized such as claiming a product is 'CFC-free' when CFCs are banned by law.

*The Sin of Lesser of Two Evils occurs when an environmental claim makes consumers feel 'green' about a product category that is itself lacking in environmental benefits.

*The Sin of Fibbing is when environmental claims are outright false.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Are What You Smell

It is often said that fragrances can affect mood. According to various scientific studies, lemon fragrances (like The Margarita scented Scandle) can act as an anti-depressant, orange and wood oils decrease stress and so does lavender (like The Scandle in Calming), which is also associated with happiness.

Studies suggested that certain odors may have medicinal benefits. Wood and fruit odors help patients recover from illness. So, if someone is feeling under the weather, burning a candle like The Scandle Uplifting Blend with grapefruit and peppermint essential oils may help!

In fact, in one experiment in which mice were given a combination of naphthalene and interferon, increasing the presence of natural killer cells in their bloodstream and therefore making their immune system stronger. (BTW, Scandle does not approve on testing done on animals...just FYI!)

So, if you want to change your mood...change your fragrance! What are some of your favorite mood enhancing fragrances?

Monday, April 13, 2009

We're on the Move

Scandle has recently relocated to our new, larger facility to accomodate expansion. Please make note of our new address. Our phone numbers, email, fax, will remain the same:

Scandle LLC
1404 North Corinth Street Suite 312
Corinth, TX 76208

Monday, April 6, 2009

Recognizing Nature's Purfume

The difference between essential oils and fragrance oils can best be described by the comparison of a real slice of orange to a piece of sugary orange candy. The real orange has health benefits for the body. The color,shape, flavor, scent, taste and vitamins come directly from nature. An organe was created to nourish our body as well as provide vitamin C and numerous other health benefits. A piece of organce candy, on the other hand, gets its sweetness from sugar and its shape from gums. It is artificially flavored and colored, has no health benefits whatsoever and is more likely tan not to negatively affect our health.

The law does not prevent products from being labeled or sold as "essential oils" even if they contain synthetic fragrance chemicals. The practice is perfectly legal and runs rampant in the beauty and spa industry. You can claim that you use "essential oils" even if you use fragance oils, reconstitutes, adulterated oils, perfume compounds, aromas, synthetic fragrance ingredients or diluted essential oils. It is legal to claim that a product is made up exlusively from essential oils, even when it contains added synthetics.

There are many manufacuturers, even massage and lotion candle manufacturers, claiming that their product is made from essential oils...even when it is not. Scandle practices honesty and integrity when marketing their product, which is why we have two lines: The Scandle Originals made from body safe synthetic oils and The Scandle Essentials made from pure, plant-derived essential oils.

It seems that the only safeguards against the misleading practice are an educated nose and knowing exactly what plants do produce essential oils and from what part of the plant. Fo instance, you can get an essential oil out of the leaves of a strawberry plant, but it won't smell strawberry at all. It would smell herbaceous and green rather than sweet and fruity. If you are being sold a cosmetic containing "strawberry essential oil" that smells like strawberries, the product is being misrepresented.

The only fruits that produce essentail oils that smell like the fruit itself are citrus fruits (like our Uplifting Blend with Grapefruit Essential Oils). Some plants produce a variety of essentail oils from different parts of the plant. The best way to know the difference so that even a poorly labeled product will not sneak past you is to educate your nose by smelling an essential oils next to fragrance oils. Once you smell the difference for yourself, it is unlikely that you will ever be misled again.

Another dead give-away is price point. Synthetic fragrances are cheaper and always smell consistent because they are lab created. Nature does not produce the same exact scent for each and every harvest of plant material. Essentail oils can vary due to environmental differences from year to year and varying countries of origins of plant material.

I think it's high time that manufacturers quit misleading customers with false product information. But, until that happens, I think the only thing we can do as consumers is to educate ourselves and, in this case, our noses.