The philosophy at Kabana Skin Care is simple.
"We should not put anything in or on our bodies that we wouldn't be willing to eat," says CEO Erik Kreider.
Why? Because skin is our largest organ and it is also extremely permeable to many of the petroleum chemicals present in mass-marketed skin care products.
"Oil spills in estuaries are known to be bad things by everyone; using petroleum-based products and particularly petrochemical sunscreens pollute your entire body just the same," he adds.
Erik recently answered a few questions for us about his skin care products and offered advice on shopping for helpful - not harmful - products. Here's what he had to say:
How did you become so interested in skincare?
I am a biochemist and former dermatology pharmaceutical scientist. I learned a lot about skin care and disease though 10 years of such experience.
Can you tell us the story behind Kabana Skin Care?
As a Stanford-trained biochemist and dermatology pharmaceutical scientist, I realized that most mass-marketed products are full of chemistries that have no similarity to the chemistries our bodies naturally use and so result in degrading our normal physiological processes, which in lay terms means they accelerate aging, disease, and potentially earlier death.
What sets your skincare products apart?
The ingredients we use in our products are identical to the biochemistry your body uses as its natural building blocks. As such, Kabana products are very different and better because they support your body's normal processes that keep it youthful and healthy.
How would you define "living clean" as it relates to personal care?
Avoid utilizing any products that contain petroleum-derived chemistries or anything that isn't naturally present in your body.
What are your major concerns about the commercially-made personal care products on the market today?
The manufacturers of these products are more concerned with shelf stability and economic expedience than your long-term health. They simply don't care about subacute toxicity.
Why are drugstore sunscreen products in particular a problem?
The petrochemical sunscreens are particularly problematic because they are known to penetrate the skin readily and are dosed at extremely high levels. These chemistries have known xenoestrogenic effects; and given their extremely high dosage levels, they can create pharmacological effects akin to estrogen therapy. For example, if oxybenzone has just 1/10,000 the activity of estrogen, one dose of sunscreen at the beach equates to the same prescription given by doctors to menopausal women as hormonal therapy; and that's if you apply the sunscreen just once during the day. Imagine the issues associated with these products for your developing children.
Additionally, most medical literature indicates sunscreen users do not have a reduced risk of melanoma; this is likely because using petrochemical sunscreens results in the tradeoff of UV DNA damage for chemical DNA damage. Keep in mind all the petrochemical sunscreens are benzene-based hydrocarbons and will cause cancer themselves. FDA regulates sunscreens as drugs because these chemicals are fundamentally toxic and have significant side effects.
What should consumers be wary of when it comes to shopping for personal care products? What are red flags they should look out for on the label?
Read ingredient lists! If a formula has dozens of ingredients that you can't comprehend much less pronounce, look for a simpler formula that you can understand. Kabana formulas are by design simple, and contain many ingredients that you can find in your kitchen.
What types of ingredients do you seek out for use in your products?
Food-grade ingredients. Ingredients that you can squeeze out of a plant, like our certified organic extra virgin olive oil, which is the base oil for all of our sunscreen products. Mineral sunscreens are the best option; zinc oxide is more effective than titanium dioxide for several reasons, and safer from a toxicity perspective.
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