To understand a little more about the beliefs underlying our simply sensuous skincare products, handmade in the Far North of New Zealand…
I believe you should be able to understand the list of ingredients on the back of your cosmetic products that are applied to your skin, the body’s largest organ, and then absorbed into your system. That’s why at Bee Sensual our ingredients’ lists are short, understandable, natural, and certified organic where possible. A number of the products are from our very own honeybees.
Beauty and nourishment don’t need to come with words that are more than 30 letters long. Soft, replenished skin doesn’t require words you don’t understand. With our ingredients you won’t need to call in a chemist to decipher the chemical compounds!
At my age I thought everything had been tried at least once before, then left on the shelf, but Bee Sensual is very different. They are my Kali comforts that I could never do without!
Harlan’s and my philosophy is to live as simply and naturally as possible – when my fingers are in green mode we eat lots of veg out of the garden. The animal products we eat are free range eggs, locally sourced milk, fish that are caught sustainably by Harlan and of course lots of our own honey. We have an underlying philosophy of respecting all beings, treading lightly on this earth and being kind to nature… without her none of this would be possible.
Beauty without Cruelty:
Our treading lightly on the earth philosophy carries over to ‘Beauty without Cruelty’, which means that Bee Sensual’s products have had no animal testing from start to finish (including each individual ingredient). We love animals (obviously since we’re beekeepers), and have two bunnies and two dogs in addition to the buzzy bees 🙂
It wasn’t that long ago that I realised the decimation that was occurring due to our increased use of palm oil – pristine ancient forests being chopped down for palm plantations.
I was absolutely stunned at how many products contain palm oil – from processed food items on the supermarket shelves, to the majority of soaps and then of course anything that contains glycerine (most skincare cosmetics). Glycerine is generally derived from palm oil. However, after this startling news I found a coconut-derived glycerine and also started looking for alternative soaps.
You may notice that my packaging is simple and everything is recyclable or reusable. I love the look of pretty recycled boxes that some cosmetics come in, but I don’t use them because too often they are almost immediately discarded once you get home.
I absolutely LOVE the smell of Indian sandalwood (Santalum album). I don’t know if it’s something to do with beautiful memories from my youth, but it is exquisite! Sandalwood is a slow-growing tree, and only begins having traces of essential oil when its heartwood develops, which starts around 20 years. It then keeps maturing to around 50 (the trees have to be cut to harvest the oil – from the trunk and roots).
Some years ago, however, I came across the heart-wrenching stories of sandalwood forest exploitation and stopped using it. For over 4000 years it has been used by cultures around the world in spiritual practices (especially India), medicine and perfume. With increasing demand over time, and before people woke to the reality, forests were reduced to bare land.
Replanting and sustainability are now monitored. However there are stories of poachers in places like India, and I am not yet willing to buy the oil until I am sure it is coming from a completely reputable source.
While living in Australia, however, I found Australian sandalwood (Santalum spitacum). It has quite different tones, but is now one of my favourite smelling essential oils and brings with it different beautiful memories. The great thing about Australian sandalwood, is that the government strictly controls its management and sustainability in the arid interior of Western Australia.
Hi lovely people who look after us with gorgeous treatments straight from nature!! I just love your Rejuvenating Oil and so does my skin! I’m really bad and don’t drink nearly enough water and so look a ‘little’ wrinkly sometimes but not now!! And better still I can even feeeeelll my skin being fed. So thank you and keep making your delights…
When I began my journey of research into cosmetic products, I read about parabens and other ‘nasties’ used to preserve skincare products. This led me to believe that anything with preservatives in it was bad for my skin.
This may be true for the chemical-based, formaldehyde, paraben preservatives, but when I dug deeper I learnt that in fact the mould that can grow on a completely unpreserved product can be just as harmful as some of the ‘nasty’ preservatives we see on labels. I tried using no preservatives in my water-based products, but since watery emulsions are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mould, it didn’t matter how clean the working area and containers were. Any contact with air and fingers, and little forests of grey would eventually appear. I came to the realisation that unless I could guarantee that every single user of my products was going to keep the containers in the fridge and wash their hands before putting their fingers in the jar, I needed some sort of paraben free skincare preservative system.
I searched out 100% natural preservatives, or those still in their natural state. The scent of some of these was too overpowering in the product, and others doubled as a drain-cleaner or ant poison. Just because a substance is natural and in its pure state doesn’t always mean it’s good for you – look at arsenic! I dug deeper and began running tests with preservatives free from formaldehydes, parabens and other undesirable constituents.
I eventually found an eco-cert preservative that I was happy with and comfortable using on my own skin. Now all of my water-based products contain no more than 1% of a combination of dehydroacetic acid and benzyl alcohol.
Oil-only products contain no preservatives.
Certified Organic Skin Care
Bee Sensual’s skin care products contain a high percentage of certified organic ingredients. I eat as much organic produce as I can, and so the idea of putting products on my skin that aren’t as pure as possible doesn’t make sense to me. Over time I aim to become certified organic.