Think Before You Gift – Natural Gift Idea for Christmas and the Holidays

This is the time of year when family and friends come together to exchange thoughtful gifts; it’s also the time of year when we’re all more likely to get sick.


Stress and over consumption of unhealthy foods are common causes of holiday illness, but the gifts you’ve been giving and receiving could also be a culprit. Some of the most common gifts that we give during the holidays can harm the ones we love, and most of us don’t even realize it! At, we’re doing our part to keep you informed, by revealing the hidden dangers in some of the most common gifts that are exchanged over the holidays.

Cancerous Cuisine

Gift baskets filled with processed meats and cheeses have always been one of my go-to gifts for the man in my life; the way to his heart is through his stomach after all. However, the World Health Organization recently classified processed meats as a group 1 carcinogen, meaning that they definitely cause cancer. Many processed cheeses also contain emulsifiers and dyes that promote tumour growth. This year don’t poison the man in your life with a basket of chemicals or bore him with another tie. Instead, surprise him with the Badger Deluxe Wet Shave Set; made from 100% natural products, this gift will keep him looking and feeling great.

Poisonous Perfume

On the surface, buying someone their favorite fragrance is a thoughtful gift that is always well received. However, most perfumes and colognes are a concoction of undisclosed chemicals that are known to trigger allergies and asthma. Many fragrances also contain an ingredient called diethyl phthalate (DEP); this toxin is used to make the scent linger and it is linked to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm count in men, reproductive defects in the developing male fetus, and obesity and insulin resistance in men. If you want to give your loved one a sweet scent that won’t harm them, try creating a gift basket with 100% Pure shower products; they smell delicious and are 100% non-toxic.

Toxic Tranquility

Holiday stress is bad for your health, and the gift of a spa day for your best friend, wife, or mother will help them start the year feeling revitalized and healthy. But, de-stressing with toxic chemicals is counter-productive and even dangerous. Fortunately, you can give the gift of a spa-day, without putting anyone at risk. If you’re a fan of water spas, stick to places that use natural enzymes and ions rather than chlorine, since absorption of chlorine through the skin is associated with certain types of cancers. You can also opt for a massage package instead of a facial to de-stress in a serene environment without being exposed to a cocktail of mysterious chemicals.

We live in a world where many of the chemicals that we encounter on a daily basis have the potential to harm our health, but we don’t want that to ruin your holidays. That’s why we’re providing the tools you need to think before you gift. You can give your loved ones the gift of health by shopping for natural, healthful products at our Marketplace. You can also help to spread the gift of health and support companies who make safe products by posting one of our Shareables  to your social media pages. From all of us at have a happy, healthy holiday!

Japanese Honeysuckle Flower Extract – Paraben by Another Name

About Author Marko Visic, M.Pharm.(Master’s in Pharmacy) is a professional pharmacist with years of experience, and is very passionate about truly natural and healthy products.

Go-Nayked has shined the light on the deceiving ‘natural’ ingredients… in this post we take a look at Paraben.

Paraben, One-who-must-not-be-named

In the popular book and movie series, Harry Potter, the main bad guy is referred to often as the one who must not be named. Like Lord Voldemort many of us learned to fear “Paraben” because of the popular marketing tag line ‘Paraben free’. Like Mr Voldemort the true power comes from both identifying and facing the evil one. In this aspect let’s take a look at Paraben.

What is Paraben?

Parabens in cosmetics industry are foremost used as preservatives. As the FDA explains: “Preservatives may be used in cosmetics to protect them against microbial growth, both to protect consumers and to maintain product integrity.”

In short, preservatives such as parabens are not there to make your skin healthy or your hair shine. They are there to kill bacteria that might infect the shampoo or lotion. Think of parabens as antibiotics for cosmetics and much like real antibiotics their use has been over done. In addition parabens have been identified as hormone disrupters that negatively impact your well being. Well, the ingredients I’m looking for in my cosmetics is what will make my skin and hair healthier and better looking.

Parabens and Benzene

The chemical design of parabens cause the substance to bond with human hormones. It’s because a paraben molecule has a benzene ring and so do many human hormones. It is difficult for hormone receptors to differentiate between a real hormone and a paraben. Therefore all parabens are hormone disrupters! (Some evidence suggests that parabens are a factor in causing cancer.)

Parabens are the most widely occurring preservatives and it is hard to imagine cosmetics without them. Being so vital and having little alternatives, a heated debate is currently under way about how to minimize the risk of parabens to humans.
Usually cosmetic companies are aware of the parabens scare and explicitly note ‘parabens free’ on the label in order to increase sales.

Parabens Free… Not Really

However, there are times when parabens are added to your favorite shampoo or lotion but the label reads ‘paraben free’. Not shocking, but how is it possible? One method is the use of alternative parabens and their “natural” name… “Japanese Honeysuckle Flower Extract”.

What is Japanese Honeysuckle Flower Extract (JHE)

The name sounds very healthy, right? Honey is good, Japan is good, thus Japanese Honeysuckle Extract must be good as well… or the train of thought for the average consumer does. Well, It is known that JHE and parabens are basically the same thing. Let’s take a look at their chemical structures.

Methyl Paraben (Synthetic) Japanese Honeysuckle Extract (Natural)


As you can see from the figures, JHE is ‘chemically’ a paraben. The most significant difference is that JHE occurs in nature and parabens are synthesized in a laboratory. Nonetheless, because it is not synthesized in a laboratory and is of natural origin, producers can add JHE to any product and call it ‘parabens free’. (Note: Some say JHE should still not be called a ‘paraben’ –it’s controversial, but for now we won’t go that deep.)

Every preservative has some degree of toxic action and JHE is not an exception. Paraben-like ingredients such as JHE are known as mild hormone disruptors.

Pick Your Poison: Lab Synthesized JHE (Plantservative)

‘Plantservative’ is a highly refined, concentrated and processed ingredient made from the extract JHE. There is a major difference between using JHE or making a highly refined version of the specific paraben like compounds in it. Manufacturers are playing on the ‘natural’ card here but processing a natural ingredient in a laboratory requires organic solvents such as ethanol and benzene… this is where the game changes.

How do you identify this product on packaging? You might find ‘Plantservative’ as a preservative or more than likely you find it labeled Japanese Honeysuckle Extract.

What Can You Do?

Well…… Not much. We don’t live in a fantasy world where cosmetics could exist without preservatives. It is a vital ingredient and could thus not be completely avoided. The lesson is: the more you learn, the safer you can stay. Now you know how misleading ‘paraben free’ labels can be, and what we should think when looking at ‘JHE’ or ‘Plantservative’! (We recommend products with Vitamin E or grapefruit extract as preservatives.)

The important piece to take away is just because a product is “natural” does not make it good… everything has two sides. Just like everything natural is not good (think of cobra’s venom), everything scary is not bad. Paraben like compounds are even found in everyday food! (Carrots, strawberries and Japanese Honeysuckle for example contain the paraben like compound Benzoic Acid that Scientists have used in order to create their cousins synthetic parabens and we wouldn’t hesitate stating that their natural sources are both healthy, and delicious.)

There’s a LOT of stuff we take into consideration when we recommend a product -Japanese Honeysuckle Flower Extract or the ingredients list are merely a part of many factors we look at. And that’s why we are here for you discover the products we have cleared for your use in our marketplace by clicking here

SD Alcohol – Cosmetics ‘Alcohol-Free’ Marketing Scam Part 2

Part 2: How the Cosmetic Industry took advantage of SD Alcohol

SD alcohol was a harmless and effective solution until the cosmetics industry recognized that SD alcohol could be labeled as ‘alcohol-free’. This labeling could make a difference between a sale and no sale. Ethanol is very useful when it comes to designing cosmetic products – it can be used as emollients , surfactant/detergent cleansing agents, absorbents and much more, and there are little other compounds that can achieve such effects, especially at such a low price. Every cosmetic formulation specialist would readily use it if it were not for the adverse effect that ethanol might cause – irritation and drying of skin. Sure, you can add ethanol, make a great cream but not as many people will buy it because you cannot label it ‘alcohol-free’; and if your end goal is to sell as much as possible, the solution of not including ethanol in the cream formulation is quite obvious.

This is where the cosmetics marketing scam comes in the mix. The cosmetic industry has figured out a way to include ethanol in the making of creams and other products, and still claim the ‘alcohol-free’ label – from their point of view, it is a perfect solution. It is as simple as adding the SD alcohol; which is basically just ethanol + poison. FDA and other regulatory services regard only ethanol by itself as ‘alcohol’. Well, this is not ethanol by itself anymore; it is ethanol + poison, or specially denatured alcohol (SD alcohol for short).

There are many varieties of SD alcohol which differ by the type of poison that is added to ethanol. The most basic toxin added is methanol which causes blindness if consumed too heavily – that was a good trick to keep everybody from drinking the laboratory ethanol, but would reap havoc to the skin if used in a skin product. In some cases of SD alcohol, the equivalent of rat poison is added as toxin. Now that is a problem to be concerned about if you’re using such a cosmetic product on your face.

A little help: FDA has issued a list of acceptable SD alcohols that are safe for humans and can be used in cosmetics products:

  • SD Alcohol 23-A
  • SD Alcohol 40
  • SD Alcohol 40-B

If the label on the cream you’re thinking about buying includes any other SD alcohol, you are recommended to stay far away from it.

Bottom line: SD alcohol is a nice example of a marketing trick mainstream cosmetic industry are playing on the consumers. They are more than willing to consciously add poison to a cosmetic product if it means it will sell more, and, unfortunately, with deceptive ‘alcohol-free’ marketing this is exactly what is currently happening. If you are experiencing any kind of unusual irritation on your skin, please do check if it includes SD alcohol first. You know where the trash is if it does!

The case of SD alcohol is exactly why consumers need to be informed about what actually goes into cosmetics products. Cosmetic companies will do everything to divert our attention to labels such as ‘alcohol-free’, ‘organic’, natural’, and will try really hard to nail down the smallest font possible for the only things that actually matter on a label – the ingredients; what the product is actually made of.

SD Alcohol – Cosmetics ‘Alcohol-Free’ Marketing Scam Part 1

Part 1: How SD Alcohol Came To Be

There might be poison in your ‘alcohol-free’ night cream. It’s not meant to kill you, mind you, it’s meant to persuade you to buy the night cream.

Lets talk alcohol. Alcohols are actually quite a diverse group of chemicals but in cosmetic labeling, alcohol by itself means only one substance – ethanol or ethyl alcohol (source: FDA). For the plot of this story, it is very important to understand that the label ‘alcohol-free’ means exclusively that the cosmetic product does not include ethanol by itself.

In many cases, you will see that a cream contains ingredients such as lanolin alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol and so on, and the label will still read ‘alcohol-free’. Such alcohols are very useful when formulating a cream; they are also known as fatty alcohols and are of much benefit to the consumer. However, the lesson to be learned here is cream does contain alcohols, and sometimes lots of alcohols,  but it can still be labelled as ‘alcohol-free’.

We have covered the good alcohols; how about the bad ones? In cosmetics, there really are no bad alcohols, there are only the ‘good alcohols’ and the ‘worst alcohols’.

This is the plot: alcohol for drinking and alcohol for lets say laboratory and sterilization purposes were once the same thing. However, the government tax on ethanol is quite substantial to reduce socially-disruptive drinking – and laboratories found themselves paying huge taxes on buying ethanol not meant for drinking. They eventually negotiated with the government that ethanol, which is not meant for drinking, should not be taxed as heavily. However, the government wanted to make sure these laboratories and other industries were not buying the low-taxed alcohol that is not meant for drinking, only to turn around and sell it as a beverage – back in the days of alcohol prohibition (1920 to 1933 in the US) something like this was quite common.

This is why the government decided to literally poison the low-taxed alcohol by adding toxin to ethanol – and the SD alcohol was born.

It was a good solution. Nobody ever drank the SD alcohol for fear of getting poisoned and the laboratories and other industries could finally operate free of accusations that they are selling the ethanol they buy for creating alcoholic beverages.

But they didn’t count on what cosmetic industry will do when it discovered a very specific loophole. Read More in Part 2