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100% Fear Free Beauty Products

Some bath and beauty companies claim to be 100% natural or 100% Chemical free. Their products are free of:

  • sulfates
  • formaldehydes
  • parabens
  • PEGs
  • fragrances
  • plastics
  • pthalates
  • petroleum
  • palm tree oil
  • aluminum
  • the list is ENDLESS

I aim to make my products as natural, safe and free of unnecessary chemicals and questionable ingredients as possible. However, more important to me is to offer 100% fear free beauty products. I don’t ever want to sell a products using fear as a motivator. 

If you’re like me, you’re constantly confronted with things your supposed to be afraid of.  Fear keeps us alive so being aware of new threats is a healthy survival mechanism.  However, there is so much we’re told to be afraid of that we can’t often gauge how serious the threats are.

I imagine when we all lived in huts we all knew very well what to be scared of. We were scared of things like poisonous insects, big hungry creatures with sharp teeth, spoiled food, getting struck by lightning… . All very scary but we also didn’t worry about safe things suddenly being dangerous. For most of our lives things that were safe like wearing a hat, breathing air, eating butter, jumping over a stream remained safe things to do. 

But imagine when you’re living your nice pastoral life that every day someone warned you that something you didn’t know was dangerous was actually dangerous. Maybe they told you wearing a hat would cause brain damage, breathing the air around you would give you cancer, eating butter would clog your blood and stop your heart or jumping over a stream might compact your bones forever.  It would be pretty anxiety provoking even if only a few of these warning were true. 

We’re lucky because we have so many more things in our life than our ancestors but more unknowns and more things we’re not so sure about. So when someone tells me there’s formaldehyde in my lotion, I worry. If they tell me to watch out for phthalates, I worry.  And people are doing this all the time, warning me of new threat’s. Where I really draw the line though is, are they warning me about something and SELLING me something? If that happens, I walk out, stop listening, don’t care.

I encourage you to do the same thing. Anyone who is making money by instilling fear isn’t someone to be trusted in my opinion. They have an investment in sharing the bad news. I prefer my bad news to come from people who are professionals like my Doctor, scientists or my Mom.

Someone who tells you deodorant gives you cancer but not THEIR deodorant has a conflict of interest. Maybe their deodorant is great but does it have to come with a side of anxiety? I don’t think so.

Anxiety and fear can also hurt you . I think it’s best to worry enough to be open to information from a number of sources. people will tell you to worry about, especially if they sell body products.

Everyone now knows I just went there and their header reads:


Ouch! We’ve got a lot to worry about apparently. And companies cash in on these worries. I randomly searched for a “preservative free” face lotion and found “Replenix Green Tea Antioxidant Moisturizing Lotion” which they tell me is: “non-toxic, non-comedogenic, non-irritating and is free of preservatives, oil, alcohol and fragrances”. They are using the fear of preservatives for instance to sell their product. (Note that their ingredient list contained at least four ingredients that act as a preservatives: Sorbic Acid (a natural organic compound used as a food preservative), Caprylyl Glycol ( has some antimicrobial activity.), Phenoxyethanol (a preservative), Disodium EDTA (helps prevent the deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products, in other words a preservative aid)

That’s not to mention all the other worries that are connected to our daily life. I worry about plastics, waste, the treatment of animals, global warming, child labor, orangutans, elephants, dolphins and octopus, our water ways, native rights, women’s rights, human rights, sustainability, my environmental footprint, bees… As you might suspect the list goes on.

And what is the appropriate level of fear for each threat. Fear for our health, fear for our loved ones, for others, for the environment. There is a never ending list of things to worry about. And all these worries are interconnected with what we make and sell and purchase. 

So, I began the company by selling deodorant. A natural deodorant. I think customers often expected me to launch into a diatribe about the dangers of store bought antiperspirants. I felt them waiting for me to discuss the aluminum connection with breast cancer and alzheimer’s.  But I didn’t because I actually don’t know if there is any connection. There might be and there might not be. Instead I talked about my deodorant, how well it worked for me and how clean and simple the ingredients are. 

I am passionate about doing my best to address the issues we face in this world. One of these issues is the unknown impact of the mind boggling array of chemicals that are used in every aspect of our life. I personally can’t address every issue but I do find I make small little steps that I feel are in the right direction. Nothing earth shattering, just little steps.

When developing a product at Ziryab’s I try to create natural products that are:

  • safe and healthy
  • effective
  • environmentally conscious

This is a very tall order and I approach the task with a humility I think my customers appreciate.

I try to do the right thing if I can with the resources available to me and remain open to improving things as it becomes possible. 

As far as I can tell, no one really knows for sure about a lot of ingredients. Some things are common sense, others are accepted beliefs that are different depending on which group your represent.

You should see some of the battles going on in the soaper community, the DIY Bath Product Community and the Cosmetic formulators community. Ugly fights! Full of certainty and judgement and rules. For instance we have the war between lye based shampoo bar makers versus those making synthetic shampoo bars. Another pretty vicious fight going on is those who claim to use no preservatives versus those who claim that only “real” preservatives can save you from terrible contaminations. Each have passionate opinions and scientific backing.  And of course there is the big fight over deodorants too.

So, while I embrace the pursuit of the most natural and sustainable ingredients, I also recognize that some chemicals work in ways that natural ingredients can’t (yet!). Instead of instilling fear or admonishing people or judging our actions (too much), my goal is to be as up front and frank as possible with what I know, what I don’t know and what I think I know.

I am disheartened by the arrogance of many people selling products online. They’ll make all kinds of statement that aren’t backed by much. The worst kind of statement though are those meant to make you afraid. Fear can kill too. It clenches the stomach, it takes over the mind, it upsets the body.  I look at our lives and think, we’re living longer than ever before so we must be doing some things right and we’re not as in dire danger as we once were. I like to try to see the positive side of things too. 

So, when someone is trying to instill fear in me and they gain something by doing this, I don’t trust them. There are thousands of examples of companies in my field who will use shakey scientific research to back up their frightening claims.  Let’s not encourage this behavior.

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