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Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), about Beautiful Earth and our products. Should you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

About the business:

Where does Beautiful Earth operate from?
Beautiful Earth operates from its own premises in Durban, the full address and contact details are displayed on our website, on the “Contact us” tab.

Who owns the business?
Beautiful Earth is operated as a private company incorporated in South Africa and is full management owned.

Do you have a PAIA Information Manual?
Yes, we have. It is available as a download (Info Centre/Downloads). Both a soft and hard copy were submitted to the SAHRC as required by law.

To which professional bodies/institutions are you affiliated?
We are endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) and listed with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We are also a member of GS1 South Africa, the agent managing bar codes on behalf of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa.

Do you support Retailers?
Yes, we have a discount structure in place to support Retailers. Apart from the discount structure, we support Retailers with marketing material and monthly promotions. Should you be interested, please contact us or give us a call – we will gladly assist.

About our Products:

Are your products natural?
Yes. We use the guidelines published by the Natural Products Association (NPA), based in Washington DC, USA, for certification of personal care products, which can be summarised as follows:

1. What is “natural”: a. Ingredients that come from or are made from a renewable resource found in nature (Flora, Fauna, Mineral), with absolutely no petroleum compounds.
2. A synthetic ingredient can be used:
a. Only when there is not a readily available natural alternative ingredient;
b. Only when there are no suspected human health risks as indicated by peer-reviewed third-party scientific literature.
3. Ingredients that are prohibited:
a. Ingredients that have suspected human health risks as indicated by peer-reviewed third-party scientific literature;
b. Ingredients that incorporate synthetic silicone or petroleum compounds;
c. Parabens;
d. SLS and SLES;
e. Petrolatum/Mineral oil/Paraffin;
f. Glycols;
g. Phthalates;
h. Ethoxylated ingredients, PEGs or PPGs; |
i. Ethanolamines;
j. Synthetic polymers;
k. Formaldehyde donors;
l. Synthetic Fragrances.

4. Other criteria:
a. For each ingredient, the substance is listed as Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used in accordance with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices(GMP);
b. Product owner (Beautiful Earth) must be transparent, fully disclosing ingredients accurately and truthfully on product labels using formal INCI nomenclature;
c. The packaging consists of a majority recyclable material;
d. Products must be cruelty-free.

Are you certified?
We are endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) and listed with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We are also a member of GS1 South Africa, the agent managing bar codes on behalf of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa. We use the Natural Products Association of U.S. (NPA) criteria for all our products. That is our guarantee.

Are your products cruelty-free?
Yes, we are endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) as cruelty-free and listed with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Are your products environmentally friendly?
Yes. Beautiful Earth is a low-risk operation in terms of its impact on the environment. We strive to minimize our carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment through our Environment Management System (EMS) and will continue to explore solutions to further improve this. We have implemented the following solutions:

– We source organic or wildcrafted ingredients as far as possible;
– Paper use is minimized by using electronic instead of hard copies. Where paper use is inevitable, including business cards and brochures, recycled paper is procured and paper waste is either re-used or recycled;
– The preferred non-glass material for packaging is HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) since it is 100% recyclable. Waste HDPE containers are recycled;
– Lighting is done in an energy efficient manner using CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes);
– Product content is highly biodegradable and sewer system friendly.

Do your products contain synthetic fragrances?
No. Our products are fragranced by means of essential oils.

Do your products contain colorants?
No. The appearance of our products is the result of the ingredients we use.

Are the products barcoded?
Yes, they are.

Are your product labels correct?
Yes, our labeling conforms to CTFA standards in terms of ingredients, expiry date and Period After Opening (POA).

Do the products have an expiry date?
Yes. All our products undergo stability and microbial challenge testing to ensure the formulas remain stable and that nothing unwanted will develop within the product during its shelf life period. We formulate products for a shelf life of 24 months which is then reduced by 25%, to 18 months, as a safety measure. Each product is marked with a batch number and expiry date.

All our products will have a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol on the packaging. The purpose of this symbol is to give consumers an idea of how long after opening the product can be safely used without causing harm. The PAO symbol looks like an open cosmetic cream jar with a number on it, followed by the letter ‘M’, which refers to ‘month’. Beautiful Earth products will have a PAO symbol showing ‘6M’ (image below) which suggests that the product is safe to use for 6 months after it has been opened, provided this falls within the expiry date.

How can I ensure that the products I have purchased last as long as they should?
One of the biggest challenges is keeping them free of contaminants. Water, which can contaminate a product, can easily get into jars and open-topped bottles when you’re in the shower. Or simply putting your fingers in a pot of moisturizer day in and day out can also increase the chance of contamination.

We have a few tips for ensuring your products last as long as they should:
– Keep them in a cool place (some can even be kept in the fridge), at least below 25°C;
– Don’t put your fingers in a jar, or make sure that your fingers are clean if you do;
– Don’t get water into them
– Keep them dry!
– Keep them out of direct sunlight.

Are Beautiful Earth’s containers safe?
Maybe you’ve heard about the controversy over plastic….maybe not.

There is some misinformation throughout the industry regarding plastic containers. The word is that liquids bottled in plastics are absorbing the toxins from the plastic, and these toxins are then being ingested by unknowing consumers. This is a generalization and only applicable to some forms of the collective word “plastic”.

And here’s why in a nutshell:

Dangerous and/or harmful plastic containers are made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polystyrene (PS) or Polycarbonate (PC). They contain a variety of undesired additives including Bisphenol A (BPA) and are known to leach. They are identified by the Recycling Code numbers 3, 6 and 7 respectively.

Considered safe are Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Polypropylene (PP). They are identified by the Recycling Code numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 respectively.

About Beautiful Earth’s bottles:

Currently, we use PET and HDPE containers only; we are systematically switching over to HDPE only. The reasons are twofold, namely:

– HDPE is considered to be even safer than PET (with specific reference to continuous use although not applicable on Beautiful Earth’s products);

– HDPE has the highest recycling rate (important for our environmental focus).

How safe are HDPE and PET bottles? Very! They come from technology developed specifically to deal with the issue of transference of toxins from the bottle to the consumable product it contains. Both are well tested and results are in the public domain.

What is the main concern?

The concern over dangerous plastics centers mainly around the additive Bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It can be found in hard plastics like toys, disposable eating utensils, food storage containers, clear plastic and reusable drink bottles, and the white enamel lining of cans. It’s true that it is used extensively and that it should absolutely be avoided. BPA (Bisphenol A) has been linked to a variety of health problems.

In Summary:
Type of container, by Recycling Code number, to be avoided:

– #3 Recycling symbol: (PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride)(generally not recyclable)
– #6 Recycling symbol: (PS – Polystyrene)
– #7 Recycling symbol: (PC – Polycarbonate)

Type of container, by Recycling Code number, that is safe: (made from polyethylene, or polypropylene)
– #1 Recycling symbol: (PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate)
– #2 Recycling symbol: (HDPE – High Density Polyethylene)
– #4 Recycling symbol: (LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene)
– #5 Recycling symbol: (PP – Polypropylene)

Are your products suitable for vegans?
Yes, all except one, the new Heal Balm. Heal Balm contains beeswax. Should this change in future we will most certainly change this answer to reflect that.

What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a multifaceted, non-invasive therapeutic treatment that uses volatile aromatic plant materials, known as essential oils, and similar aromatic compounds from plants, for the purpose of improving a person’s mood, cognitive function or health. An aromatherapist is a person who performs the aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a generic term. It is used by manufacturers (of personal care, wellness, and hygiene products) as well as practitioners, including massage therapists, chiropractors, nurses, and doctors. Aromatherapy purists insist that neither essential oil constituents as such nor synthetic fragrant chemicals should ever be used.

What is an essential oil?
An essential oil is a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile or ethereal oils, or simply as the “oil of” the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Essential oils do not as a group have any specific chemical properties in common, beyond conveying characteristic fragrances.

What are allergens?
An allergen is a non-parasitic antigen capable of stimulating a type I hypersensitivity reaction in atopic individuals. Most humans mount significant Immunoglobulin E (IgE) responses only as a defense against parasitic infections. However, some individuals mount an IgE response against common environmental antigens. This hereditary predisposition is called atopy. In atopic individuals, non-parasitic antigens stimulate inappropriate IgE production, leading to type I hypersensitivity. Sensitivities vary from one person to another and it is possible to be allergic to an extraordinary range of substances.

Are allergens listed on labels?
There are regulations governing the declaration of allergens on labels. Beautiful Earth checks the presence of known allergens as applicable on the raw material we use and openly declare these to our clients. Best practice is to specifically declare on the label of the finished product if an allergen concentration exceeds 0.001% in the case of leave-on products or 0.01% in the case of rinse-off products.

What are parabens?
Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds and their salts are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, and some organizations which adhere to the precautionary principle object to their use. Beautiful Earth products are paraben free.

What is a humectant?
A humectant is a substance used primarily in foods and cosmetic products to help retain moisture. These substances are called hygroscopic, which means that they are able to absorb ambient water. Humectants are used in moisturizers and can benefit the skin by:

– Attracting water from the dermis into the epidermis, increasing the water content in the epidermis;
– When humidity is higher than 70 percent, humectants can also attract water from the atmosphere into the epidermis;
– Increasing the pliability and flexibility of the skin, preventing it from cracking;
– Promoting consistent desquamation (shedding of the outer layer of skin);
– Reducing skin irritation caused by dry skin.

What is SLS?
Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpaste and other products that we expect to “foam up”. Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants. SLS and SLES are esters of Sulphuric acid – SLS is also known as “Sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt”, however, there are over 150 different names by which it is known. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be metabolized by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting.

This should not be confused with Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (sometimes also called an SLS because of the first letter of each word in the name). The acyl sarcosines (Cocoyl Sarcosine, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Myristoyl Sarcosine, Oleoyl Sarcosine, Stearoyl Sarcosine) are modified fatty acids, and acyl sarcosinates (Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Ammonium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Ammonium Lauroyl Sarcosinate) are their respective salts. In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are used in the formulation of shampoos, bath, cleansing and shaving products. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is deemed safe for use in rinse-off products and safe for use in leave-on products at concentrations of 5% or less. Beautiful Earth products are SLS, SLES, and Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate free.

What is a surfactant?
Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid, allowing easier spreading, and lowering of the interfacial tension between two liquids, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as wetting agents, emulsifiers dispersants.

What is pH?
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution or object. It is a simple scale ranging from 0 to 14, with 7 being the mid-point or neutral point. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are said to be basic or alkaline. The pH of different cellular compartments, body fluids, and organs is usually tightly regulated in a process called acid-base homeostasis. The human skin has a pH of about 5.5 while our blood is usually slightly basic with a value of about 7.4.

What are the characteristics of the different essential oils?
We have listed the most commonly used essential oils and their qualities on our website, on the “Info center – Essential Oils” tab.

About our online store:

Is the checkout in your online shop safe?
Absolutely. We make use of Virtual Card Services (VCS) and all transactions are securely transmitted using state-of-the-art encryption technology. VCS does not reveal your financial information to us and you have 100% protection against unauthorized payments sent from your account.

What is the benefit of registering on the Beautiful Earth website?
By registering with us you will not have to enter your details again if you make future purchases. In fact, you can create multiple delivery addresses, give each a nickname and simply choose which one must be used during checkout. All addresses can be edited or deleted. But that is only the practical part, making life easy. Now we add fun! All new registrations will receive a complimentary gift voucher and on your birthday you will receive a personal note and a present! All your data is kept strictly confidential – we will never sell, exchange or market it in any way.

Which payment methods can be used?
We accept credit card and EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) payments.

Can I use my budget facility on
Yes, for any order over R400. To use the budget facility, select the payment period when you enter your credit card details during checkout.

Do you use the Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode service?
Yes, we do. Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode give you added protection from fraudulent activity being conducted on your card. Purchasing from our online shop may not be possible until the cardholder registers for Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode.

Why should I sign up for Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode?
These services provide an extra level of protection for online shopping. Visa and MasterCard always protect its cardholders against unauthorized use, however, Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode provide an additional level of security to prevent unauthorized use online. Once you activate your credit card, no one else can use your credit card number to make a purchase online (as long as your password is secure).

Is Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode easy to use?
Yes, quick and easy. When you submit an order at a participating online store, a Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode window will appear. If you have not activated your credit card, simply complete the authentication information and create a password. After your credit card is activated, you just enter your password, click submit, and you’re done. Alternatively, you can register before you shop – just visit the card issuing bank’s website and register. You can click on the name of the bank to go directly to the activation page, however, all First National Bank cardholders will need to log into their online banking profile to activate their preferred card: Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank

Will I need to apply for a new credit card to use it?
No, Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode is designed to protect the card(s) that you already have.

My payment failed, what can I do?
If you are not enrolled in the Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode programs, and your payment was declined, then the cardholder needs to register. To register your card click on one of the following links, however, all First National Bank cardholders will need to log into their online banking profile to register their preferred card: Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank

Where can I get more Information on Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode?
Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode

Is EFT payment quick and easy?
Yes, when you choose to pay by EFT, the following will happen a) The website will immediately confirm your order and display all the required detail. You can: – Logout and do your EFT payment later; – You can click on your bank’s name at the bottom of the page and do your payment immediately. b) You will receive an email confirming your order, with all the required detail.

How do I redeem my voucher?
When you check out of our store, use your voucher code in the box provided and your payment amount will be discounted.

How are orders and deliveries managed?
Individual clients can make use of the online shopping facility or if they prefer, contact us by email for any inquiries prior to their purchase. All parcels are sent by courier to a physical (street) address. Only in the rare case where an address is not serviced by any courier, will we use the Post Office for delivery. In such a case the client will be contacted to ensure that the most practical address is used. Since we decided to deliver to street addresses only, we have improved the address options in “My Profile” significantly. Clients can now create multiple addresses and give each address a name, such as “Work”, “Home” or “Dad”. During check-out, you can simply choose which address must be used for that specific order and we will do the rest! These addresses can be deleted or edited at any time. Confirmation of your order will be sent by email and confirmation of dispatch by SMS. Retailers can place orders electronically by using the convenient Order Form – orders will be confirmed by means of a pro-forma invoice and notification of dispatch will be sent by email. Hospitality clients can place orders electronically whereafter each order will be confirmed by email. Once dispatched, confirmation of dispatch will be emailed.