Whats New in 2020 WEBA Natural Products

What’s New With WEBA Natural Products In 2020?

It’s A New Year And Change Is Coming.

Change is inevitable, of course. In our case, we hope to implement new initiatives that will contribute to increased transparency and sustainability going forward. We’ve been reading a lot about the importance of sustainability. Consumers are becoming more conscious of role that businesses play in terms of global warming, deforestation, pollution and more. Of course, we’ve been talking about being environmentally friendly since the beginning, and that hasn’t changed.

Here are some of the areas that we are looking at:

  • Primary packaging – Packaging solutions have improved over the years in response to consumer demands for less plastic and more earth friendly options. We will continue to offer our balms in aluminum tins, which are completely recyclable. We would like to move away from plastic bottles in the near future; we are looking at glass and other recycled/recyclable materials. While it is challenge given our desire for the most hygienic solution, we are committed to contributing to a more sustainable future.
  • Secondary/tertiary packaging – As we look towards designing boxes for new and revamped products, we will be transparent with customers about the sourcing and percentage of recycled material in these packages. All of our secondary packaging, as well as our shipping materials, will become 100% recycled/recyclable content. Our bar soaps will continue to use our tree-free lokta papers, which are durable and recyclable. In doing so, we support an underdeveloped community of artisans in the Himalayas.
  • Sampling program – Customers really like sampling programs. Ours will utilize post-consumer (recycled) materials, while providing customers with a cost-effective way to experience WEBA products before committing to full-sizes.
  • Raw materials – We will continue to hold suppliers accountable for organic and/or fair trade raw materials used in our products. While our bar soaps are fully palm oil free, it has been challenging to find suppliers who product palm-oil free raw materials for a few of our products. We will be working with our formulators to find new and innovative cruelty-free substitutes while maintaining product efficacy.
  • Haircare and Cosmetics – A few new lines will include basic haircare and cosmetics that are vegan, cruelty-free and perfect for travel. We will avoid problematic materials like glitter and will participate in the Responsible Mica Initiative. Issues like deforestation, child labor and toxic exposure are issues that matter to us. We will be looking for focus groups to help us develop these products; stay tuned for these developments.

We’d Love To Hear From You

There are many new and exciting things in the future for WEBA Natural Products and for our customers. We are always happy to hear from consumers – what do you love? If you would like to make a suggestion or if you want to join a focus group, please feel free to go to our Contact Us page and send us a line. After all, our customers are the reason why we strive to provide clean beauty products that meet their needs.

The Tree Free Movement Pinterest graphic

The Tree Free Movement

How Long Have We Used Paper?

Paper has been with us for quite some time. From the time of ancient China when papyrus, parchment and other materials were used to 11th century European, Middle Eastern and African water-powered paper mills.

But it wasn’t until the 1830’s that wood pulp became an important medium in paper making, when more sophisticated techniques for processing wood pulp were developed by Friedrich Keller and Charles Fenerty.

Where Does Our Paper Come From?

In the U.S., the wood used for commercial paper-making comes from what are called “managed timberlands.” Fast-growing trees are planted and grown specifically for wood harvesting (building lumber, fuel and paper). Here, trees are an agricultural crop, and whenever trees are harvested, more are planted. There are a number of privately owned companies in the U.S. that manage these timberlands, with the biggest by far being Weyerhaeuser, with over 12 million forest acres. The southern United States also has the greatest concentration of these timberlands. However, old growth forests have been threatened by logging companies around the world for a variety of reasons. These ecosystems are home to many species of plant and animal life, which may not have anywhere else to grow. These forests also play an important role in sequestering greenhouse gases.

Why Go Tree Free?

The total consumption of paper in the United States has been steadily decreasing since the year 2006, according to Statistica. One reason might be the rise of the computer era, digital documents like electronic health records and cloud storage. Many consumers may also be concerned with the number of old growth forests (including rain forests) that are being cut down unscrupulously. (For more information, click here.) Most commercial papers are also bleached using bleach compounds, which results in the release of potentially toxic chemicals into the environment. As with many situations, we have come full circle. There now exist a wide range of plant-based alternatives to timber being used to produce paper, which remains a recyclable resource. Some manufacturers are responding to the demand by producing packaging that removes plastics, which is much less recyclable and is clogging landfills and polluting waterways. Below is a partial list of tree-free alternative materials:

  • Banana leaf – made from banana waste. New Leaf makes a nice paper which is available at Office Depot.
  • Cotton rag – not a new material, but cotton is a pesticide-heavy crop.
  • Elephant poop – you read this correctly! I’ve come across very nice all-occasion cards that utilized this interesting byproduct.
  • Hemp – once vilified in the U.S., hemp is making a comeback and is one of the most versatile plants on earth. Paper is just one of the many products that can be produced using hemp, which can be grown without pesticides.
  • Straw – once popular in the US, it is now hard to find. However, actor Woody Harrelson of Step Forward Paper fame created a paper using 80% waste wheat straw. It is available at Staples.
  • Lokta paper – one of our favorites, this tree-free paper is made by hand in the Himalayas using the bark of the Daphne (lokta) bush. This durable and beautiful paper is what we use to wrap our palm oil-free bar soaps. And they can be recycled or re-used in creative ways.

A Tree Free Future?

While consumer concerns over sustainability and global warming are no doubt driving the tree-free movement, we will never be completely tree-free. So how can we help to reduce paper waste and contribute to increased sustainability?

  • Purchase unbleached and recycled paper goods. Items like toilet paper, paper towels and napkins are widely available.
  • If possible, use cloth napkins and re-usable kitchen towels towels to reduce the amount of soiled paper going to landfills.
  • Sign up for paperless billing.
  • Enroll in patient portals to view lab results, etc.
  • If you must print, make it two-sided printing; reduce the fonts, remove unnecessary graphics to conserve paper.
  • Use a paper shredder and shred unnecessary documents for use in gift boxes, packing boxes, to add to compost piles, as garden mulch, etc.

If we exercise a little thought when making purchases and before discarding goods, we can contribute to greener, more sustainable world. Have you joined the tree-free movement?


Silicones in skincare and haircare

Pros and Cons of Silicones in Skincare and Haircare

Why Silicones in Skincare and Haircare?

You may have noticed that many different silicones can be found in skincare and haircare products today. There are a number of reasons why formulators – and customers – like products containing silicone. With many names, some ending in “oxane”, they are in cosmetics, as well. There are also reasons to be cautious when using skincare and haircare products containing silicone. It’s important to know, first of all, what silicone is and how they are used in skincare and haircare products.

What Is Silicone?

Silicone – also called polysiloxane – is a synthetic polymer derived from the element silicon and oxygen atoms. Silicon is extracted from common sand with a variety of chemicals, most of which are recycled or inert (e.g. water). It’s been used in personal care products for more than 30 years, which comprises about 15% of all uses for silicones. It is now used in everything from breast implants and beauty blenders to products found at Home Depot. Because it repels water, it’s useful for projects that require a waterproofing substance. Two types of silicone are commonly used; water soluble and non-water soluble.

Silicones In Skincare

If you look at the labels on most skincare and cosmetic products, you’ll find ingredients like Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane and Cyclohexasiloxane. These silicones are not water soluble. Silicones are popular in primers for their ability to leave skin feeling silky smooth, and they tend to reflect light. Most recently, polymers like Polybutene and Polyisobutene may appear on your product labels. It’s becoming more difficult to identify silicones in beauty products. For those of us who are looking to avoid synthetics, it’s becoming almost impossible to avoid them in skincare products. That, in and of itself, is troubling. Consumers should be able to choose whether or not to use products containing synthetic polymers that don’t benefit the skin in any long-lasting way.

So what’s so wrong about silicone in skincare? The answer often depends on your skin type and personal preferences. The moisture-trapping nature of silicone may mean that it also traps other substances (like dirt and oils) that may cause breakouts. And while everyone loves smooth-looking skin, it’s a short-lived effect rather than the result of a product’s impact on the skin. Their water-repellent nature can also make them more difficult to remove, which requires more intense cleansing at the end of the day.

We’ve decided to avoid using silicones in our Whole Earth Body Actives Vitamin C Face Cream. Instead, we’ve incorporated isoflavones derived from bamboo to smooth and enhance the skin’s appearance.

Silicones in Haircare

At first, the benefits of using silicones in haircare may seem obvious. They serve to smooth our frizzines, and who doesn’t love that? However, the water-repellent nature of most silicones can cause them to accumulate in their hair, making it heavy. Removing this product from their hair then requires the use of a deep-cleaning (e.g. harsher) clarifying shampoo. For dry, curly hair, this can do more harm than good. For many, the use of a nourishing oil like coconut or argan would be preferable to smoothing a synthetic all over the hair. Recently, some products formulate with water-soluble silicones that are easier to wash out. Examples are hydrolyzed wheat protein and ingredients that begin with PEG.

Finally, there’s a question of sustainability and eco-friendliness with this ingredient. Petroleum by-products are used to create silicones, which begs the question: do we want such a by-product in our skincare and haircare products? There may also be a question of bioaccumulation in the environment and what this means for wildlife. Given the furor over the use of plastic beads, it’s something to think about.


Silicone discussion in Wikipedia
Dow Corning Information about Silicone
Health Canada’s webpage on the safety of cosmetic ingredients