Happy Monday. Today we continue learning more about the ingredients in TruKid sunscreen and why these ingredients were chosen over others. In addition, I will be defining a few of today’s descriptive words used frequently in the skin care community, like sustainable, natural, organic, and explaining where TruKid stands in relation to them. Together, we hope these two topics of information will assist in a better understanding of the depth of TruKid’s commitment to providing the best and safest products to you and your family. The first ingredient I would like to talk about is Green Tea Oil. It comes from the leaves and seeds of the green tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. This is the same plant that you may enjoy as a cup of green tea. It is important to know that TruKid uses Green Tea Oil, rather than an extract. Oils from a plant can be obtained by steam distillation. To harvest the essential oil, the plant material is placed into a still (very similar to a pressure cooker) where pressurized steam passes through the plant material. The heat from the steam causes globules of oil in the plant to burst and the oil then evaporates. The essential oil vapor and the steam then pass out the top of the still into a water cooled pipe where the vapors are condensed back to liquids. At this point, the essential oil separates from the water and floats to the top. The oil is then collected and put in an airtight container Extracts, on the other hand, are typically (but not necessarily) made by solvent extraction. A hydrocarbon solvent is added to the plant material to help dissolve the essential oil. When the solution is filtered and concentrated by distillation, a substance containing resin (resinoid), or a combination of wax and essential oil (known as concrete) remains. From the concentrate, pure alcohol is used to extract the oil. When the alcohol evaporates, the oil is left behind. This extraction process is not considered the safest method as the solvents can leave a small amount of residue behind which could cause allergies and effect the immune system. Another method only recently developed is carbon dioxide extraction. This method uses carbon dioxide to extract the essential oil from the plant when liquefied under pressure. Once the liquid depressurizes, the carbon dioxide returns to a gaseous state, and only pure essential oil remains. This “extraction” process is deemed a more non-toxic and safer method. Since solvent extraction is cheaper, it is more common. When reading a label it is hard to know which method was used. We are also not advocating one process from another. Just providing information. The Green Tea Oil is an integral part of TruKid’s sunscreen for several important reasons. First, many studies show that green tea is a powerful antioxidant. Second, recent studies also suggest that Green Tea may help reduce the appearance of skin damage from sun radiation. In short, Green Tea helps protect your skin's cells from sun radiation by providing antioxidant protection. It has also been extensively studied for its ability to block and prevent skin cancer. Since many skin cancers are thought to be caused, by the UV radiation from too much sun exposure, Green Tea is a very effective, safe, wise choice of ingredients in TruKid sunscreen. Another natural oil that TruKid uses is Grapefruit Oil or its latin name, Citrus Grandis, and it is obtained as an essential oil the same way as the Green Tea Oil. Citrus fruit, especially grapefruit contain significant amounts of compounds called phenols. There are several different types of phenols in the grapefruit, but all phenols have several things in common. They are strong antioxidants, free radical scavengers, and they reduce oxidative stress. Because of these outstanding properties, they have been studied meticulously for their cancer prevention properties as well. Grapefruit oil phenols excel in their ability to attenuate the damage that can be caused to the skin from the UV radiation from too much sun exposure. This quality makes it a must for a TruKid sunscreen ingredient. Grapefruit Seed Oil is also very beneficial to the skin in several other ways. It is a great antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal. It has been known to help clear up conditions like acne, rosacea, seborrhea dermatitis, and many others. (Recent, up-to-date research studies documenting the positive effects of green tea and grapefruit oil discussed above are listed at the end of this blog.) TruKid is serious about doing homework before choosing ingredients for their sunscreen. Equally important to Jennifer and her company, is what the words “natural, sustainable, naturally derived, and organic” really mean in today’s world of “buzz words” and “sound bites”. Let’s take a look at sustainable. The word itself means, to last, or have the ability to repair and replace itself. When this word is on a product label, it should be there to mean that the item is produced in ways that minimize its environmental impact, whether it’s made in a solar-powered factory or uses renewable resources or biodegradable packing. The ingredients, especially botanicals, plant based and herbal oil, extracts, etc. should be grown and harvested in a sustainable manner. TruKid is continually working to create a completely sustainable product range. The term naturally derived is used when a product’s raw materials come from a natural source, such as botanicals and fruit extracts or oils, but have been chemically altered to make the formulation. TruKid products strive to list as many naturally derived ingredients and what botanical or fruit it was made from. Again, it is important to know how the ingredient was derived from the plant. If harsh chemicals were used, there will be a residue left in the final ingredient. However, there are several ways in which to use safe, inert chemicals to obtain the ingredient, such as high pressure carbon dioxide extraction, steam extraction, and water extraction to name some processes. Just because it is naturally derived does not necessarily mean a harsh chemical was used in its process. TruKid uses safe extraction processes in its ingredients and extracts or oils. Natural means one thing to TruKid, and that is that the ingredients are natural! Nearly all of TruKid product ingredients are all natural. The only other ingredients are one or two things naturally derived from botanicals and fruit extracts. These are all completely safe and effective. TruKid products contain no petrochemicals, no BPA, phthalates, 1-4 dioxane, paraben, or sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates. They are gluten free and have no synthetic fragrances or dyes. Many of TruKid ingredients are organic, if available. Organic has become the official USDA certification given to products made from a high percentage of certified organic ingredients that have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. However, just because a product doesn’t carry the USDA organic stamp on its packaging, doesn’t mean that the ingredients aren’t natural and chemical free. The certification process for some of the small botanical growers to become USDA organic is too expensive and drawn out. Many of TruKid ingredients are grown organically, but without the certification, so are not listed as organic on the product label. Just the ones with the asterisk are USDA organic. Please share this update with your friends and impress them with your sleuthing and fact finding abilities! A Note From Jennifer: To make an entirely organic product would be prohibitively expensive. Our goal is to make reasonably priced, chemical free, safe and natural products for families. TruKid is learning along the way too! We are learning about new processes or ingredients to make our products better and safer. When we have new information, we will reformulate. We feel our product development is as changing as the world itself. Our product development philosophy: One good, positive step at a time. See you next time, Best of Health to You and Your Family, Dr. Kathy http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20626172 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20509719 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21397027 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20923465 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17542482 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15610620