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Below is an email that was forwarded to me by one of my customers that is being sent to their subscribers. Although some of what they state here is true about big box companies mainly being the problem, it is again black listing otherwise perfectly good and safe ingredients without the proper substantiated proof. I find this type of marketing reprehensible and responded to my customer with updated information and links to the CIR and Cosmetics Info.org showing that many of the ingredients are perfectly safe for cosmetic use and even natural ones can cause significant issues for some and aren't necessarily safe in some instances. Nothing is this black and white! Used as directed most are safe.

This is the fight we are up against while trying to make our products safer and better than big box brands, but lets face it EWG finds something wrong with just about every ingredient out there and this company is of course carrying products that fall under their marketing strategy.... so it is another agenda for profit perpetuating fear to do it with, and meeting the EWG agenda through offering a coupon code for savings on purchases by providing emails to this company to further spread their marketing message. This message was littered with links back to their site something which I couldn't carry over to here.

Saffron Rouge - Organic Beauty
My Customer (privacy protected) would like to share this article with you

Beautiful Lies

Do you like the idea of rubbing petroleum, silicone and plastic into your skin?

We didn’t think so. But take a look at the products in your bathroom – specifically the ingredients – we think you’ll be shocked!


of all beauty products, including those marketed as natural and/or organic, contain Black List™ ingredients. 93%
of all hair care products, including those marketed as natural and/or organic, contain Black List™ ingredients.

I know you’re probably thinking, “this is impossible”, or “not my brand”, but examine the ingredients in your facial cleanser or hand soap. Now take a look at The Black List™. See what we mean? Your next question is probably, “how do they get away with this?”

The sad truth is that the lack of concern over ingredient safety is not only widespread throughout the beauty industry; it’s actually the norm. So we’ve set out to expose five of the many falsities that keep the public in the dark about the safety of their beauty products.

Lie #1

You can trust big brand names.

Most beauty products are not manufactured by the brand name they carry, but by a contract laboratory on their behalf. So actually, in most cases, the products are made by chemists working for a laboratory and not for the brand itself. As a result, what often happens is that the executives or founders of the brand do not fully understand what their product really contains, where the ingredients come from or how they are produced.

Lie #2

Vitamin infused herbal goodness.

Many brands market their products based on the vitamins or herbal extracts they contain. This is because most of the active (or therapeutically beneficial) ingredients in skin care products are plant oils and extracts. However, when it comes to mainstream products, these ingredients are often on the bottom of the list (meaning they are in the smallest quantity) and are usually surrounded by a host of synthetics and petrochemicals.
Lie #3


Products that are not certified organic by a third-party organic body care certification are typically formulated with ingredients that are not acceptable by international organic standards. Despite the fact that these products aren’t really natural or organic, many brands still market their products as such. This practice is known as Greenwashing.
Lie #4

Regulations will protect you.

Cosmetics are among the least regulated products in North America. According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 89% of all cosmetic ingredients have not been evaluated for safety by any institution accountable to the public.

Here is a quote from the FDA’s website: “FDA's legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives.”
Lie #5

Common sense applies.

In 2007, a report was released explaining how out of 33 randomly purchased lipsticks, 20 tested positive for lead. Among the lipsticks that tested positive, higher levels of lead were found in products from L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Christian Dior.

Lead is a known neurotoxin proven to cause learning disabilities and has even been linked to miscarriage and infertility. Many experts warn pregnant women to be extra careful when selecting cosmetics because of the risks associated with lead. Doesn’t that sound like good advice for all of us?

How you can make a difference.

Now that you understand a little more about the dangerous climate that exists throughout beauty industry, we hope you see why Saffron Rouge puts so much effort into evaluating all the ingredients in the products we sell. When we say “We evaluate every ingredient so you don’t have to!” we actually mean that. Our end goal is a world where people can shop for beauty products without worrying about if they’re synthetic or safe.

With your help, we hope to clean up the beauty industry, one bathroom at a time. Please help us by forwarding this article to a friend.

As a thank you for your help, we’d like to reward you with a Saffron Rouge gift code that you can use to save $10-$20 on your next order.

Forward To A Friend »

You will receive your gift code instantly.

Saffron Rouge is a leading organic beauty and skin care retailer dedicated to educating consumers about organic beauty standards.

The End

What say You?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Ria,

Thanks for your input and so true on so many fronts..to answer that one question of yours Saffron Rouge doesn't make or manufacture anything...they are a retail distributor of other companies products, but what they proclaim is they have done the legwork for the customer and researched all the ingredients...so here are the best products to buy which are available through us.

And everything they sell falls within the guidelines set forth by the CFSC to keep them safe from all those "bad" ingredients. They won't accept anything else in their online store. (nutshell) and by george they are going to clean up this industry one bathroom at a time...pretty much insinuates that if they don't sell it, all other companies out there are selling you toxic sludge for your skin.
The damage they do is huge.. but on another hand, they have limited themselves with what they sell and to whom they sell to. This type of business plan may have very limited growth. We see what happened over the years with Burts Bees and Toms of Maine. They had to diversify to the unsophisticated consumers product demands to grow. The upside is that while Saffron Rouge then seeks to educate consumers about the evils of the contents of their cosmetics, they will do so to their own disadvantage eventually also (I bet your client is learning a LOT right now, yes? And I bet she is debunking a lot of what Saffron Rouge says also). In the process though, companies like Saffron Rouge will impeach themselves with mixed messages in the pursuit of staying solvent. At least this is the long range life cycle I predict ultimately happening to a lot of these types of companies. But, meanwhile the damage they are doing is just debilitating to the rest of us.
So true Kelly and yes she got one heck of an education today...finally calmed down, and ended our email exchange with her stating "I'll try not to think too much about it anymore because it can ruin your day." She moved on to ordering again skincare and minerals with I believe, a resolve that Indie companies as a whole have their customers best interests at heart, at least that's how I conveyed things to her.

I am not personally going to sell anything to anyone that I didn't feel comfortable using myself....after all I don't want to bask in sludge either... ;~) And I do it knowing both sides of the story, not lopsided theories and propaganda. I literally spent my day for the most part working with this gal and sending reference material and data to her to let her know this was not my personal marketing but facts behind our ingredients and truth in product safety.

This is the debilitating effect you describe since I found little time for anything else trying to salvage a customer relationship.

Thanks for your insight!
Hi Katherine,

Yeah, this fear mongering is insane. It's rather like listening to a schpiel from a used car dealer, isn't it? You'll be sorry if you don't buy this 1994 Pontiac and go to the big car dealer down the road to buy that shiny new SUV. (Or whatever....)

I am going to apologise in advance because this will probably be a long and perhaps rambling response. This kind of thing really pushes my buttons and I don't mean in a good way. I believe strongly in personal independence and the right to make my own choices in what I put in and on my body, among other things, without being told what to do by a goverment that only has it's own best interests at heart and not the interests of citizens who fall under that government's authority.

Oddly enough, this movement for cosmetic controls was started by extreme liberal political activists (the very same ones who are now coming into real politcial power without any real checks and balances from the more conservative side of things.) Our Constitution was based on a structure of checks and balances for good cause, to keep our government in balance and to keep "the government" itself from getting to big for it's britches. Regardless of political leanings, most small business owners will agree that having "balance" is good for all of us.

The extremists love to use fear to upset the balance and use it as leverage to get what they want. Traditionally, these groups are short sighted and do not think through the consquences of their action.

IF they want communism/socialism for example.... better get ready to stand in line for a $5 loaf of bread, an $8 gallon of milk and $12/gallon gasoline and for shortages of everything. And guess what, the extremists actually have money, not only can they afford it, they can pay somebody to stand in line for them to get what they need too. One of my "favorite" out-spoken extremists is Leonardo DiCaprio. The man makes millions and millions per movie and gets to push his agenda at the Oscars, it doesn't matter to him if a plumber in Missouri can afford groceries or not, because good old Leo doesn't have to worry about such insignificant things, his pocketbook frees him to worry about the poor polar bears in Alaska and Global Warming myths (yes, this has actually been debunked by scientist... we are now in a phase of global cooling actually). I got a letter supposedly "from" Mr. DiCaprio once about the poor polar bears. We used it to get the woodburning heat stove going! Hahaha. By the way, trees are a renewable resource and therefore a good source of home heat.

As one responder mentioned "everything is made of chemicals". Actually you should tell that lady who sent you the email from Saffron Rouge, SHE is made of chemicals and so are her kids, husband, pets, home and automobile and the very computer she used to send you that email.

Chemicals themselves are usually not bad (only a couple elements on the periodic table of elements are quite toxic, urainium comes to mind mostly, but they use that to make atomic bombs so there you go). Now in certain combinations, chemicals can be bad. Most of us took a high school chemisrty course and probably had it drilled into our brains not to combine chlorine bleach and ammonia when doing household cleaning, right? The resulting gas combination from those two chemicals is a poison. Neither product is all that harmful to you separately used as long as you don't swallow it and wear gloves (and yes, you should lock them out of reach of little kids etc. DUH!) One of the biggest problems people have with common household bleach is spilling it and ruining their clothing. Annoying and expensive, yes... dangerous, probably not so much.

These extremists who want to "proctect everybody from everything" are a very real danger to us all as business owners (big and small alike) and also to our customers and average everyday citizens. Much of the problem seems to be an over abundance of lawyers and not enough legitimate work for them to do. The result is a "sue-happy" society that is also too lazy to work at a real job of some kind or create their own opportunities in life and wants to make easy money by preying on the vulnerable.

Small businesses like ours, are much easier to sue and therefore more vulnerable than a Big Box Store like Walmart or a huge beauty/cosmetics company like Olay regardless of what is in their products or ours for ingredients. Fear mongering for product placement and even inciting a customer or group of customers to sue a competing small business in hopes of less competition in the marketplace is what Saffron Rouge and others using like advertising are really after. If they have less competition, they might sell more... if the customers are too uneducated to see through the ploy or to do their own reseach to back up their beliefs. Obviously many of the customers are sadly just that.

What extremists really want is to take away all freedoms of choice from everyone everywhere. This stuff with cosmetics is just more of the same. We saw it with the Peanut Scares, and meat from hamburger joint XYZ, and green onions and spinach. Then there was the take over of the banks and the auto industries, because people "were in fear". I honestly fear that industries like cosmetics and farming, both of which effect me personally will soon follow into being government run agencies. That is not good for business owners, period.

It's all about expanding government and taking away freedoms we were granted by God and the U.S. Constitution. Me, I am proud to call myself an American, or at least I was until this past year or so when political agendas eclipsed our rights and freedoms. ( I don't care one way or the other if our president is male or female, black or white or purple and green with orange polkadots. People are just people to me and a kindergarten teacher said best that we are all like crayons in a box and have to work together.) When our nation was formed in 1776, it was very very different than what we are seeing today. These days you can almost forget about having a second-hand shop that takes donations due to fears of getting sued over some product recall that might have happened 50 years ago. Meanwhile, how much "stuff" ends up in landfills because of that?

How many of you remember the problems in the late 80's and early 90's between loggers just doing their jobs and trying to keep groceries on the table and enviromentalist that were "out to protect the Spotted Owl" in the Pacific NW? I remember that vividly. My father was not a logger, he was a machinist. He made parts for veneer lathes that peeled layers off of logs to make veneered furniture and cabinets. The extremists put him out of work (we also lost our house) and many others just like him that really had nothing to do with the actual logging and they did so to prove a point.

As the mother of an autistic child, I hear all kinds of comments all the time about the evils of childhood vaccinations. I don't believe all that hype myself. The fact that I have a son with autism, a younger brother with a form of autism and my husband's nephew is also autistic leads both my heart and mind down another very obvious path as to the cause of this learning disorder. Very likely there is a genetic connection somewhere awaiting reasearch funding to discover it. Meanwhile, the theory of vaccines as a cause abounds on the internet and in the media causing panic among parents and doctors. Many children are not being vaccinated which will leave them and society itself very vulnerable to a severe disease outbreak at some point in the future. Having grown up with a mother who's a nurse and being well educated on how disease spreads, I just can't see that as a healthy option. I make sure my kids have the required vaccines, though on occassions like this year when they'd already gotten the flu before the vaccines were available in our area, we do forego some of the optional ones. No point in getting the vaccine if you've already had it and are now immune anyway, so let somebody who needs it have that shot.

If you think about it, how many of these folks who won't vaccinate their kids because they MIGHT develop autism disorders still get their dog or cat vaccinated for rabies every year (or as often as their vet recommends)?

I wonder?

What is our world coming to?

We've got a guy in a position "appointed" by our president as a "watchdog on the environment" who thinks that trees should be able to legally sue in court (as if they were a thinking being--- nobody is arguing here that trees are in fact alive, but they are not humans or animals capable of thought or real awareness). This person is not elected to office by the citizens of this country. If our nation gets to a point where trees can legally sue you for wanting to build a home in the woods, how long until that tree can sue you for shipping an order to your customer in a cardboard box?

We must all begin remembering that people are just people, and furthering an extremist agenda "for public safety' or control of this or that is going to hurt some people somewhere, perhaps even almost every person everywhere. We owe respect and forethought to our fellow mankind before pushing for controls and such onto other people.

This stuff really drives me crazy.

I agree that everything is chemical in nature. Saying that "chemicals themselves are usually not bad" is insane. You better have another look at your high school science. Furthermore the elements of the periodic table are quite dangerous. They are toxic, explosive, corrosive, and radioactive to name a few. Table salt (sodium chloride) is edible, but elemental sodium metal is quite explosive if exposed to water and elemental chlorine gas is extremely deadly, As a small time soap and cosmetic maker myself I agree that as a group we are very concerned with the safety of our products and the customers that use them. The use of fear needs to stop. We need now more than ever to educate our customers and stop the "my products are good, but my competitors are dangerous" attitude that seems so prevalent.
I have been dealing with a similar problem this week and am considering creating a "competitor" to the EWG. We need to band together and REALLY educate consumers. I know I can't do it alone since I am like all of you and am simply over extended already running my business, but if we were to work together I think we could create a real source of information that is not based on faulty science.

I just don't understand how the EWG can cling to a study as the gospel and ignore all the studies after it that refute the claims of the initial study? How can they justify cherry picking the science??

I feel they have lost their way and have moved from urging companies to make safe products and are now just another special interest lobbying group looking for donations and fame. In my opinion they have succeeded in scaring companies into using "safer" ingredients, yet now that that has been accomplished they need to start attacking the safe ingredients or they would be out of a job. If they succeed in getting their next objective, regulating cosmetics like drugs, not only will all the small companies out there that have really been the reason for changes in the industry be out of business, but we will need insurance to buy our shampoo, just like we need for our prescriptions. This is NOT the future we should be striving for!

So if you are interested in forming our own group, I already have a URL and am looking into programmers, please e-mail me (lauren at lauress dot com) with EWG in the subject line and let's see what we can do. If we don't protect our industry from these vultures, we are all going to be out of work.
Keep me posted because this very thought crossed my mind also...why not band together and make our argument even though I do it periodically in my blog...strength in numbers is a good idea.

Also my suggestion would be to fellow indies to tell them to remove you from the skin deep data base...Myself and many others have already done so. After learning of this organizations intent, I removed my support for what they stand for because they no longer stand for the indie business owner doing their best to create safer and better products. We have been lumped in with all the rest with little regard to how we manufacture or formulate. Their science is all black and white with no gray. I believe if small box companies left in droves, they may rethink their position. After all we created this monster by hitching our wagon to their train.

Also removing myself from the campaign has not hurt my business whatsoever in fact it has grown and I have educated many customers about what is really going on and once explained they actually have little regard for an entity that would behave in this manner. Freedom of Choice!


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