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Nov 30, 2013
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Admin: I was reading a thread on the CP Soap Forum about honey and I posted the comment shown below. Afterward, I realized the comment would probably have been better posted to the Bath & Body Forum, so I hope it's okay to bring it here??? Thank you.

Am I being overly critical, or is there something missing here...I went to a craft show last week and out of perplexing curiosity purchased a "Skin Healing Cream" (a Miracle of Nature, the label implies) from a company - The Link Group Inc, Orlando, Florida.

The ingredients on the label are in this order: Pure Honey, Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Purified Water, Royal Bee Jelly, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate), Pro-Vitamin B Ginseng, Native American Herbal Mixture. (INCI labeling?)

As soon as I saw that the labeled ingredients included not only purified water but also Royal Bee Jelly (which is about 60-70% water), and not seeing a preservative listed among the ingredients, I asked why they had not used a preservative to avoid bacterial or fungal growth. To be honest, I was waiting for him to tell me that the Vitamin E was a preservative, which would have prompted me to clarify the difference between preservatives and antioxidants.

To my surprise, however, the vendor emphatically stated that "honey is a natural preservative. This cream doesn't require any other preservative."

An article written by Indiana Public Media's Moment of Science states, "...because of its high sugar concentration, pure honey will never ferment or go bad. Adding water, however, lowers the concentration of sugar in the honey and turns a natural preservative into an excellent food for yeast and bacteria."

Another article linked here: "While there is evidence to suggest it can safely be used to preserve products, there is also some conflicting evidence to suggest that it may not be as effective as originally thought. Once again, as with all natural preservatives, it is important to observe any unusual changes or odours that occur within your product, rather than relying exclusively on the preserving properties of honey."

I asked the vendor, "How long will this cream last without going bad?"
He replied, "You could keep this for 3 years or more without any problems."

Let me describe the appearance of this Honey Bee Skin Healing Cream...this "Miracle of Nature". It is as pure as the white driven snow. Not a visible trace of any "additional" Native American herb (aloe is already labeled separately), and this cream is fully honey trails, no separation. It looks like any "cream or lotion base" that you can purchase from a supplier. Still pressing the issue of water content, I asked whether the "Native American Herbal Mixture" was infused in the purified water or the Safflower Oil? He replied, "What do you mean by infused?" I replied, "How is the herbal mixture incorporated into the cream? I notice you do not include any essential oils." He said, "I don't know what you mean," and then he dismissed me in favor of greeting another customer, but I overheard him telling a customer that the Native Americans used Chamomile and Lavender as healing herbs.

If you'll indulge me a little while longer, allow me to share the information on the "Fact Sheet" that accompanies the product:
1) Solves Dry Skin Problems - Soothes, Conditions and Hydrates Rough, Dry Skin.
2) Helps Heal Skin Ailments - A unique combination of ALL NATURAL ingredients designed to help promote healing.
3) One Skin Cream that does it all - A face moisturizer and complete body cream.
4) Natural Hydrator and Wrinkle Reducer - Helps restore the delicate moisture balance and skin elasticity.
5) Native American Formula - Made with pure honey, Royal Bee Jelly, Aloe and more.
6) NO added perfumes, chemicals or alcohols.
7) Made in the USA - This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

So, to return to my opening question, I ask you to please let me know if I'm being overly critical in my increasing concerns regarding his ingredients, his labeling of all ingredients and perhaps ingredients not labeled, and the "Miracle" claims he makes? I am very skeptical. He came off as sounding like some snake oil salesman.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

I would stay far away from that product. Clearly they are playing with fire. I understand wanting to be all natural, but the consumer's safety should not be compromised in the interest of a cause. Furthermore, it sounds like the vendor didn't know his stuff that well. Also, they are making medical claims- are they legally set up to do that? Hmmm. I'm all for responsible green and this doesn't sound good.
I think they are just buying a premade base of somekind and repackaging it. It's probably got an emulsifier and preservative in it and they have no idea. Just my guess anyway.
I think you're right about them just using a base and not including the ingredients of the base on their label.... My guess is they might be adding all those ingredients listed to the base to make it their own "formula".

And the "miraculous" properties of these ingredients. On the website, they make statements about each ingredients (for instance, "Vitamin A - reduces wrinkles", which may have some thread of truth to it...I don't know) but from what I'm seeing, there can't be much of that in there. It's listed AFTER the Tocopherol which I'm guessing is maybe added at 1% of the entire batch? And that otherwise nameless Native American Herb Mixture which has such healing properties is the very last thing listed in the ingredients, so I guess that's his secret trademark ingredient which he must show at the end of the list.
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