On Twitter, The Smart Mama (Jennifer Taggart) asked us some great questions about the specific ingredients and processing our products use. These conversations are so important in this new "green" era when there is so much greenwashing in our industry. Better Life actually welcomes these conversations. The more info for the consumer the better! I know it is frustrating as a consumer who wants to buy safe eco-friendly products, to get duped by companies that hide behind slogans and even reputations. I was once one of those consumers.
I'm going to be perfectly honest here and say that I don't have the knowledge to explain the answers much less the questions that Jennifer asked. So, I asked our mad-skilled chemist, Kevin Tibbs. Here are her questions and his answers:
1.) What are your surfactants and how are they processed? Is petroleum processing used? A blend of cocoglucosides. No, our surfactants are natural feedstocks.
2.) What is the preservative used in your products? MIT @ between 5 and 7 parts per million (your drinking water has contaminants at higher levels than this!). We chose this because it is biodegradable, has 30 years + data on safety/toxicity profiles, approved for use in skin care, and most importantly we are able to achieve 3 years stability in our products at an incredibly low level of preservative (5-7 ppm). After we began using this preservative, it has now become a standard choice for most other competitive products due to the above reasons that we chose it to begin with.
3.) For your botanical extract, what is the extract solvent and is it removed before the botanical extract is used? Primarily cold pressing or steam. On some occasion, corn alcohol is used- however, in those cases the alcohol is then removed (All of our products are alcohol free so we cannot accept any alcohol in our raw materials either).
4.) How come you don't identify the chemical compound and just say "coconut surfactant" - What is it? Is it Potassium C12-14 Alkyl Phosphate? Glyceryl cocoate? Coco betaine? Please see #1 for identity. We developed and custom make our surfactants using very unique and all plant feedstocks. They are complex mixtures of glucosides. Coconut surfactant (cocoglucoside) or Vegetable surfactant (in cases when we were using corn starch/ corn oil) were good descriptors and easily understood by the general consumer. Unfortunately, several irresponsible companies began using these names/descriptions for their petroleum based surfactants. Example- a company would use a surfactant that was half petroleum based and half natural oil (like coconut) and call it "coconut surfactant" just like ours (which truly was natural). This is why we then developed the ingredient summary on the back of each label.
And for our fans on Facebook that are asking for the petroleum free packaging...we are working on it.