Codex Beauty Chapters
31 minutes read
Plant remedies and cures have been passed down for centuries to heal the body. Herbal science takes the best parts from ancient herbal medicine and builds on it with modern tools, such as advanced technology that’s able to extract the most potent nutrients from botanicals. The result: truly effective formulas made with certified organic ingredients—that are safe—and have a beneficial effect on skin.
For thousands of years, people have recognized the therapeutic value in plants. Many cultures, in many parts of the world, have discovered natural treatments to prevent and cure diseases, and plants are a vital part of this process. Seemingly simple plants and herbs can yield complex processes that lead to improved health.
Herbal science takes the best parts from traditional herbal medicine, hundreds of years of experience and knowledge, and builds on it with modern tools. Advances in analytical sciences and chemistry, including mass spectroscopy (a technical approach of distinguishing molecules by mass and weight), and other scientific methods have helped to identify and evaluate many plants and herbs—and find those with the greatest therapeutic effects.
There is a large body of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of plants—and their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, skin-cell-regenerating, circulation-stimulating and moisturizing benefits, to name a few. And more discoveries are made each day. With this growing body of scientific research, artificially made constituents like silicones can be replaced by coconut, castor bean, and sugar cane, as plant derivatives.
Natural vs Organic
Codex Beauty exclusively uses organic ingredients. There is an important difference between a product that calls itself “natural” and “organic.” While this difference may sound subtle, there is profound meaning behind achieving organic certification. Being able to use the term organic means that the product has gone through a rigorous verification process that examines the quality and source of each and every ingredient in the formula.
To formulate an exceptional product requires an exceptional team of people. Collectively, we are a team made up of herbal scientists, chemists, and dermatologists who are in the business of helping people – naturally.
We use naturally-occurring ingredients and those with the highest purity available. We strive to maximize the effects and benefits of our formulations. And we remain on the forefront of the newest advancements to ensure you get the best products possible.
Click here to learn more about our Herbal Science philosophies and practices.
Codex Beauty’s ingredients are plant-based, locally sourced, safe, and effective. We choose organic whenever possible. Our team of scientists and herbalists work with our suppliers to obtain the purest, most potent ingredients and tap into the latest scientific techniques to create the finest results for our customers.
Our ingredients are the most important part of our formulas. We use only plant-based, non-synthetic ingredients in our products. We source organic ingredients where they exist. If an ingredient can’t be obtained in an organic format, e.g. clays, salt, or if there is a shortage of it, then we select the highest-grade natural version we can source.
We aim to include as many local and native ingredients as possible. Where we need to source outside the country of origin, our team of formulators work to procure the best quality ingredients from across the world.
Having an herbal scientist on the formulating team and medical herbalists on our Advisory Board means that we choose ingredients that are known to be effective, either through long-term traditional use or through published research. Having a chemist on our formulating team means we understand how to get the best performance from our plant-based emulsifiers, preservatives and stabilisers so that our customer has a safe, stable and effective product.
Natural doesn’t always mean safe. Plant-based ingredients can be potent and even toxic. Essential oils in particular are highly potent materials and must be treated with care. We formulate with concentrations under the safe dermal limits since some essential oils can be sensitising. We also take great care and work with our suppliers to ensure that we use optimal plant species and avoid any risk of contamination of materials. Finally, we utilize specific extraction methods for each ingredient, understanding that certain constituents can only be extracted using targeted techniques.
At Codex Beauty, we form close relationships with our suppliers in order to get the best quality materials to work with—so we can then pass these precious ingredients along to our consumer.
Click here to view a detailed list of ingredients.
Codex Beauty honors the ancient Irish herbal traditions of the past—which date back to the 8th century—and applies modern science to unlock even more benefits from plant ingredients. This knowledge is the basis of the Bia collection.
Irish Herbal Medicine
Irish Herbal Medicine
Irish herbal medicine dates back to the 8th century. Legal records, as well as Irish legends, mention herbs used to treat the population, long before the medical profession in Ireland was established in the 10th century. Irish families established medical schools where practitioners translated and transcribed medical texts into Irish to train other practitioners. Some of these texts are still hidden away on a library shelf in Ireland, having never been edited or translated. In the 17th century, with the collapse of the old Gaelic order, many physicians left Ireland but those that remained passed down their cures to other doctors.
The Bia collection was created after years of research with a team of experts knowledgeable in herbal science, cosmetic chemistry, dermatology, horticulture, and biotechnology.
Where do Bia & Codex come into this?
Codex Beauty takes traditional herbal medicine and applies scientific knowledge. We learn from the past to discover new applications for today and the future. The herb comfrey, for example, is mentioned in the O’Cuinn Manuscript from 1415 as a remedy to help heal broken bones. Today, with the help of modern-day science, we know it’s the allantoin in comfrey that softens keratin allowing the skin to be better hydrated, softer and smoother. The Irish tradition holds numerous possibilities and, at Codex Beauty, we celebrate the incredible ingredients used in the Bia collection now—and the future.
How a product is made is crucial to how it performs. For that reason, Codex Beauty follows what’s known as current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), which regulates everything from how a product is stored to how it’s transported. We also have rigorous Quality Control systems in place to ensure that everything we create meets the highest standards—and performs exceptionally well for you.
Manufacturing and Quality Management
Two key factors in establishing the safety and quality of a cosmetic product are Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and quality-related systems to ensure every item is made for its intended use.
The degree of control and oversight starts with the product’s ingredients, manufacturing equipment, batch quality test methods, stability testing, and final release. At each step in the process, quality oversight remains central to the processes. For this reason, a Quality Management System (QMS) is put in place to ensure there is a comprehensive structure.
While QMS can vary from company to company, central themes include continuous improvement, defined business practices, management responsibility, and systems to monitor and control practices, along with change management.
Independent but vital to ensure the best product, is a practice known as Quality Risk Management (QRM). This is a systematic process for assessment, control, communication, and review of risks to the quality of the product through its life.
In summary, GMPs, a QMS and a QRM are integral to ensuring a product made is of the highest quality and that it’s safe to use, easily identified, and made at the right concentrations or efficacy.
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) are a broad-based set of internationally recognized guidelines used by companies to ensure adequate systems and controls are in place to make a cosmetic or pharmaceutical product. These systems track many things, such as the facilities, equipment, personnel, quality systems, storage, and transport. How a company creates written procedures to ensure they remain compliant to cGMPs is different within every organization. What’s important is there are guidelines and written procedures, policies, and instructions that must be followed to ensure the best quality product is produced for the consumer.
A subset of the cGMPs involves quality control. Quality control (QC) is different from quality assurance (QA). QC is a set of activities for ensuring quality in products; QA focuses on processes. QC-related activities focus on identifying defects in the actual products produced. QC aims to identify (and correct) defects in the finished product. Quality control, therefore, is a reactive process. The goal of QC is to identify defects after a product is developed and before it is released. Quality Control tries to find and eliminate sources of quality problems through tools and equipment so that customer requirements are continually met.
Click here to learn more about our Manufacturing philosophies and practices.
It’s a simple truth: you need the best ingredients to make the best products. We carefully source everything that goes into our COSMOS-certified formulas, relying on wild harvesting techniques, or foraging, to select naturally hardy plants. From there, we only take the parts we need, leaving the rest of the plant intact to preserve its natural life cycle. At every stage, we work with organic growers who avoid pesticides, and support practices to mitigate climate change.
Along with knowing what benefits each plant and herb can impart to skin, it’s important to understand the growing practices of plants and herbs.This is where horticulture becomes important. We work with growers and gatherers to ensure we get the best plant-based materials. Moreover, these materials are free of pesticides and herbicides and harvested at the peak of development. We believe in fair trade and fostering long-term relationships with farmers and suppliers. A culture of quality first remains central to our company and products.
Organic farming is a conscious and deliberate attempt to produce beneficial crops in a natural way. We believe in giving you the best the earth can provide without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified products. Our safe and systematic approach emphasizes companion planting, crop rotation, and naturally occurring fertilizers.
Codex Beauty utilizes a method known as wild harvesting to obtain the plants, or parts of the plant, needed for our organic cosmetics. Wild harvesting, or foraging, allows us to select sturdy plants that are naturally part of the environment and provide the most effective extracts. This practice helps maintain a respectful connection with nature and includes being environmentally aware and only taking what is needed.
We remain mindful of how we wild harvest, always taking into consideration the impact on plants and general ecology surrounding the area. We work with experienced foragers to ensure the plants we use are the best quality. We also want to make sure wild areas are respected at all times.
Codex Beauty is COSMOS certified, which is the global organic and natural cosmetics standard. The guiding principles for COSMOS include:
- promote the use of products from organic agriculture and respect biodiversity
- use natural resources responsibly and respect the environment
- use processing and manufacturing methods that are clean and respectful of human health and the environment
- integrate and develop the concept of “green chemistry”
- ensure packaging is minimized and environmentally friendly
Click here to learn more about our Organic Sourcing philosophies and practices.
After years of research, Codex has developed an industry breakthrough: A new, proprietary, patent-pending preservative system that is entirely free of synthetic chemicals—and is entirely plant-based. This unique blend of botanicals works to support skin health while also preserving the safety and efficacy of our formulas.
Plant-Based Preservative System
At Codex, our goal is to create clean, highly effective formulas that enhance skin health. We never compromise safety for efficacy.
All beauty products that contain water must incorporate preservatives to eliminate any existing microorganisms that may have been introduced during the manufacturing process and neutralize any future microorganisms after the package is opened. Unfortunately, synthetic preservatives—such as parabens and phenoxyethanol—are considered standard in many conventional beauty formulas. But studies have raised awareness around their potential risks, and it’s time to demand alternatives.
At Codex, we leveraged the expertise of scientific leaders to develop a synergistic blend of specific plant-based preservatives that not only protects our formulas but is actully good for skin. Many of these ingredients work to improve moisture levels and skin’s barrier function, for example. This proprietary, patent-pending preservative system is unique to Codex and is a true breakthrough for skin safety and health.
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Consumers have to take charge of their own health these days. Codex Beauty wants to make that process less daunting by being extremely transparent about what goes into our products: We emphasize natural and plant-based compounds, avoid common allergens, use third-party laboratories for testing, and meet strict safety requirements set by the EWG, MadeSafe and Leaping Bunny, among other consumer health organizations.
Proper labeling is an important aspect when putting a cosmetic product on the market. It’s important to ensure the labeling is compliant with state and federal laws. The product label, which includes any printed materials about the product, captures information about the product that informs customers. Codex Beauty products comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) and include the following labeling features on its products: product name, country of origin, content, use-by date, function, batch number, ingredients, and precautionary statement(s).
It is important for the consumer to know which cosmetic products are the best for his or her health based on the latest science. Certifications provide third party independent assessments of different product attributes. Note that a certification does not always replace the assessment by a professional. For example, an EWG certification will not replace a hypoallergenic classification by a professional toxicologist.
Chemicals: The agency screens ingredients against their ingredient database of known harmful chemicals, which is made up of thousands of chemicals found on scientifically authoritative lists from organizations and agencies around the world.
- Products that are EWG VERIFIED are free from EWG’s chemicals of concern and meet their strictest standards for your health.
- MadeSafe is America’s first comprehensive human health-focused certification for nontoxic products.
Their database is constantly evolving and will become a smarter and more informed tool over time.
Animal Testing: Products that have the Leaping Bunny Logo, which is an internationally recognized symbol, guarantee that no new animal tests were used in developing the cosmetic product. In order to achieve approval, a company must comply with strict criteria.
Organic: In order to be considered organic, an ingredient must meet a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging, and shipping.
- USDA organic certification is an organic label in the U.S. Organic products must meet strict requirements, which range from production to labeling.
- COSMOS (COSMetic Organic Standard) is a European standard becoming known around the world. This standard applies to cosmetic products that are marketed as natural or organic.
Click here to learn more about our Safety philosophies and practices.
Skin is a vital organ in the body. It’s the main line of defense—a physical shield—to the outside world and helps regulate everything from moisture retention to vitamin D production. While an overall lifestyle—grounded in a balanced diet, exercise and mindfulness—creates a strong foundation, an effective daily skincare routine is also vital for keeping skin looking and feeling its best.
Skin is the body’s largest organ and a champion at multi-tasking. Its primary function is to shield inner organs from numerous external factors to which skin is exposed on a daily basis: for example, ultraviolet rays, fluctuating humidity and temperatures, pollutants present in the environment, physical injury (such as cuts and scrapes), chemicals found in products, and infection-causing microorganisms. Aside from its protective capability, skin also supports other vital functions. Since the human body is composed of 60% water, the skin works to prevent water loss in order to keep the body hydrated. Skin transforms sunlight into vitamin D as well, an essential vitamin critical to metabolic processes. This outer layer also helps to regulate internal temperature through the production and release of sweat, which allows evaporative cooling, and insulating against heat loss.
02.Establishing a Skincare Routine
While skin is naturally resilient, it’s important to be mindful of ways to keep it functioning properly. As is the case with every other organ in the body, the foundation starts with establishing and maintaining a lifestyle that includes the optimum balance of nutrition, physical activity, rest, and stress management. A healthy lifestyle, coupled with an effective skin care routine will substantially increase the likelihood of having healthy looking, feeling and functioning skin.
A skincare regimen doesn’t need to be overly complicated, and in fact, using too many products can lead to irritation and do more harm than good. Instead, most routines can revolve around a few simple pillars: cleansing, moisturizing and protecting against external oxidative stressors—such as UV rays and environmental pollutants— as well as internal oxidative stressors related to the natural aging process—such as loss of moisture and collagen.
03. Essential Steps for a Skincare Routine
Cleansing removes dead skin cells, excess oil, makeup, dirt and pollutants present on the surface of the skin. But if not done properly, it can also strip natural oils and moisture needed to maintain the microbiome (the colony of healthy bacteria and microbes present on the surface that keeps skin balanced). With that in mind, cleansing should be gentle and avoid harsh ingredients.
Moisturizing seals in hydration and replenishes any oil and nutrients removed by the cleansing step. It also offsets the natural loss of water as it evaporates from the skin’s surface. Moisturizers can be tailored to your skin type and, when used regularly, can help control redness and irritation that can stem from dry skin and keep the complexion looking and feeling supple for the long term.
Protecting skin from the sun is perhaps the single most important daily step: Using products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 is essential to prevent the risk of cancers and minimize the development of hyperpigmentation, inflammation and the loss of collagen among other factors. Antioxidants—which help neutralize harmful free-radicals from the environment that contribute to the aging and weakening of skin—also play a crucial role in one’s skincare routine.
04. Making Informed Skincare Choices
Once you have a clear sense of the products and ingredients your skin needs, you can build a routine personalized to your complexion and concerns. There are myriad options on the market, and you’ll likely want to try a few different ones to find your best match (go slow and it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before using anything new to avoid irritation). Keep in mind: no matter how well made a product is, one size just does not fit all, since everyone’s skin is unique.
To streamline your efforts, minimize the risk for reactions and optimize skin health, you can look for certain criteria. For example, it can be helpful to look for products that are made without known toxic ingredients, ethically sourced, certified organic and created using good manufacturing processes (GMP). Similarly, you might want to consider products that have undergone rigorous allergy and irritant testing and have been shown to be effective based on human clinical (“in-vivo”) testing. At Codex Beauty, we believe in transparency around these issues, and have a specific “Codex Code” that we follow, which incorporates all of the above principles and more. This ensures everything we make is safe and effective
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At Codex Beauty, we are committed to environmental and social stewardship. From using plant-based green polyethylene tubes to minimizing our carbon footprint to supporting a culture of fair labor, we promote a respect for the earth and society—and only work with partners who embrace a similar philosophy.
Codex Beauty is committed to taking care of our planet and impacting it in the least possible way. Sustainability is a part of our Codex Beauty Code, and we only partner with companies who operate by the same philosophy.
- Codex uses green polyethylene (PE) tubes, which are plant-based and much better at reducing the carbon footprint compared to traditional polyethylene materials made from fossil fuels. In fact, since our tubes are made from sugarcane ethanol, they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Codex uses high quality glass containers that are completely sustainable and recyclable. We recognize that glass is not as carbon efficient as green PE and we are in the process of searching for a better replacement.
- Codex uses paper from sustainably managed forests for our cartons. These are made from renewable fiber and are certified by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
- We have carefully engineered packaging designs that maximize the density of our products to be shipped in an efficient manner. These types of careful considerations support our current and future efforts to maintain a very low carbon footprint.
- Core to our business practices and tenets is the adherence of fair labor, cultural diversity and adherence to being respectful to everybody who helps make our products. We think and act with a unified and equal global mindset.
Click here to learn more about our Sustainability philosophies and practices.
What Is Cold-Processed Soap?
Soap is the result of a chemical reaction between fatty acids (oils) and an alkaline solution (lye), which is called saponification. Cold-processed soap is made by mixing sodium hydroxide (lye) with water, blending it with fatty oils and butters, and adding essential oils and natural colorants like clays, herbs, spices or botanicals. This is done without the use of external heat, hence the name “cold” process. Although it is a much lengthier process than other heated forms of soap-making, it protects the goodness of the ingredients and also allows for a much more gradual saponification.
What Is Cold-Processed Soap?
Soap is the result of a chemical reaction between fatty acids (oils) and an alkaline solution (lye), which is called saponification.
Cold-processed soap is made by mixing sodium hydroxide (lye) with water, blending it with fatty oils and butters, and adding essential oils and natural colorants like clays, herbs, spices or botanicals. This is done without the use of external heat, hence the name “cold” process. Although it is a much lengthier process than other heated forms of soap-making, it protects the goodness of the ingredients and also allows for a much more gradual saponification.
Once our raw soap mix reaches a custard-like consistency, we pour it into pre-lined wooden slab molds. It takes 24 hours for our liquid soap batter to harden and become soap, or to “saponify”.
How Soap Cleanses Your Skin
When you cold-process soap, the fatty acids of the oils are broken down by the lye. They then form a chain which, on one end loves water, and on another end, loves oil. The oil-loving (lipophilic) end grabs on to the dirt and grime, and the water-loving (hydrophilic) end hangs on to the water that rinses it all away.
Why Are Codex Beauty Soaps Better Than the Rest?
Our soaps are carefully formulated, taking into consideration the properties of the plant oils and butters used. This ensures the soap performs to the highest standard on many different levels: the way it lathers, how it moisturizes and cleanses, its texture and the way it smells.
On top of the oils necessary for soap making, we also plump up our soap with copious amounts of organic shea butter to ensure there is plenty of foat left to go around after saponification! This extra fat, or so called “superfat” remains intact, providing the moisturizing qualities our skin craves.
What’s the Difference Between Cold-Process and Commerical Soap?
To be regulated as “soap” by the FDA, it must be composed mainly of the material you get when you combine fats or oils with an alkali, such as lye. The cleaning action must be done entirely as a result of that material without any additives. This is exactly how we make our Codex Beauty soaps.
Many brands avoid the word “soap” on their labels for this reason. Instead they use terms like “beauty bar” or “moisturizing bar.”
Many conventional products are actually detergents. The cleaning action is done by stripping the body of all oils through synthetic surfactants and various chemical ingredients. The glycerin–which is a natural by-product of cold process soaps–is removed and sold as a sought after ingredient in skincare formulations. Without the natural glycerin content in your commercial bar or shower gel, the soap becomes drying,making your skin “squeaky” clean but itchy and sensitive.
Traditional cold-processed soap differs from industrially made soap in that the glycerin is left in acting as a moisturizing agent.
It also gives the possibility to use an excess of oils and butters— beyond that needed to consume the lye— making them more conditioning andmoisturizing.
It also enables the soap-maker to control the formulation and select the oils—and various other natural additives, such as clays, vegetable or fruit pulps, milks, grains or botanicals —based on the qualities they bring to the soap be it moisture, hardness or lather, for example.
What’s the Difference Between Cold-Processed and Triple Milled Soap?
Milled soap (often referred to as French soap) takes cold-processed soap a step further.
In order to make milled soap, the natural skin-loving glycerin is removed from the original product to avoid clogging up the machinery.
It is then shredded, separated, dried, ground back together, and put through heavy machinery (often with synthetic lubricants) over and over again (up to three times) to form a bar made out of soap flakes.
Synthetic ingredients and fragrances are often added to help the soap survive the machinery, and to make the soap lather, stay hard and have a long shelf life.
What Makes Soap Anti-Bacterial?
Antibacterial soaps (sometimes called antimicrobial or antiseptic soaps) contain certain chemicals not found in plain soaps. Those ingredients are added to many consumer products with the intent of reducing or preventing bacterial infection.
Many liquid soaps labelled antibacterial contain triclosan, an ingredient of concern to many environmental, academic and regulatory groups. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters the way some hormones work in the body and raises potential concerns for the effects of use in humans. We don’t yet know how triclosan affects humans and more research is needed.
What Else Makes Cold-Pressed Soap Special?
- Glycerin. This humectant attracts the moisture to your skin and keeps it soft. When natural, cold-process soaps are made, glycerin forms as a by-product of the water, butters and oils that are mixed together to make these mild cleansing bars.
- Ethically-sourced, organic oils. We formulated our soap to be free of palm oil. Instead, we use an abundance of other natural and organic fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, sunflower oil and cocoa butter. These oils and butters not only have a fewer adverse effects on the environment, but are also effective at keeping the skin soft, moisturized and supple.
- Vegan and animal-cruelty-free raw materials (pending certification).
- Rich, creamy lather! We selected nature’s best oils to produce rich, creamy suds.
- Gentle on your nose. Each soap is scented with a unique, carefully calculated blend of four to five essential oils. As much as we love our scents, we keep in mind those with allergies and sensitivities. Your soap will be gentle on your nose but once wet it will fill your bathroom with amazing natural aromas.
- Zero-waste and zero plastic packaging.
- Free of synthetic ingredients: We don’t use these to color, scent, lather, harden or preserve our soap.
- Allergy tested to ensure consumer safety.