Dogs love rolling in all sorts of stuff, especially dead things or poo. If your dog lives in the house with you, this can be challenging to get the smells out, so dog shampoo is obviously the answer. But what are the things to look out for when choosing a dog shampoo that is safe for their skin?
We know that there are lots of harmful chemicals in skincare for humans and there’s a real drive to go back to basics and choose natural. Natural is better for us and better for our environment.
Harmful substances that can be found in some creams and lotions we’ve all used in the past, are endocrine disrupters, carcinogens and irritants. Many companies add ‘fillers’ that aren’t natural and are an irritant to the skin, just to make their product last longer.
So if you’re going with natural products for yourself, it goes without saying that we should take the same care with our pets.
Like humans, a dog’s skin is the largest organ and it accounts for 12-14% of his body weight. It acts as a protector from environment, gives a sense of touch, and regulates his temperature. Anything you put on his skin can be absorbed into his body, and by licking his fur and skin, any product residue could be ingested. (at least us humans don’t groom ourselves with our tongue so that danger for us is not a priority!)
A dog’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than humans and his fur coat also regulates his temperature but also protects it from UV and physical damage.
The pH of a dogs skin is also different to humans. Human skin is slightly acidic and normally around 5.5 whereas a dog’s skin is much closer to being neutral – like water. This is why you need to use natural products on your dog, as any chemicals can be an irritant. Over time an acidic product can strip away natural oils leaving dry skin and a dull coat.
So what should you look for in a dog shampoo?
The pet industry is not regulated, so there is no legal requirement to list ingredients on pet products. Avoid products that have no ingredients listed. If they can’t share their list, then there is most likely an ingredient in there they are hiding. You are best to pick one that has a short list of ingredients of things you recognise.
The ingredients to avoid in a dog shampoo, are similar to the ingredients we would avoid in our own shampoo. Some examples are:
Fragrance or Parfum. Most of these are artificial and can include hundreds of undisclosed scent chemicals and ingredients including phthalates (endocrine disrupter). They have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, breathing difficulties and potential effects on breeding.
Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (SHMG) is a preservative used in many commercially available products, including shampoos, conditioners, soaps, moisturizers, body sprays, baby wipes, room sprays, cleaning agents, and pesticides. It is in a class of chemicals known as formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Notably, members of this class have been associated with allergic contact dermatitis, possibly due to the agents themselves, the formaldehyde they release, or both. Studies on SHMG in animals have demonstrated potential for sensitization and dermatitis, and formaldehyde-allergic patients have been reported to improve when products containing SHMG are avoided. Patients and providers need to be aware of this preservative. (source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20233550/)
Sodium laureth sulphate. Sodium laureth sulfate (sometimes referred to as SLES) is used in cosmetics as a detergent and also to make products bubble and foam. It is common in shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers. It is also found in household cleaning products, like dish soap. And it’s found in Dog Shampoos as well. It may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1.4-dioxane. Ethylene oxide is a known human carcinogen which can harm the nervous system. It’s been classified as a possible developmental toxicant and can interfere with human development. Naturally it would do the same to your pet. It’s an environmental hazard as it doesn’t easily degrade and can remain in the environment long after it’s rinsed down a drain. 1.4-dioxane can be removed during the manufacturing process by vacuum stripping, but ther eis no easy way for consumers to know whether products containing sodium laureth sulfate has undergone this process.
Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone. These can be hard to pronounce, but they can be even harder on the body. These common preservatives are found in many liquid personal care products, and have been linked to lung toxicity[, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity. The risk of irritation to skin eyes and lungs is considered high, and there are suggestions that it might be neurotoxic. It’s banned or highly restricted for use in human cosmetics in some countries.
What are the good ingredients to look for?
Natural ingredients like Vitamin E, Honey, or Manuka Oil. Oatmeal can be good for relieving itcy skin and hers like calendular can soothe irritations.
Essential Oils like Eucalptus, and Cedarwood are great for making your dog smell nice.
Vinegar as a natural deodoriser.
The most important are natural oils such as Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Joboba or Sunflower Oils. These are great for your dog skin and coat, and will not only keep them moisturised, but also condition them.
Oriwa Naturals have developed a Dog Shampoo with natural ingredients for your member of family. It’s so lovely we even have humans using it, although it’s definitely developed for dogs.
Our ingredients are:
Biodynamic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vinegar and cedarwood and peppermint Essential Oils.
Our dog shampoo bar is safe to use and really conditions your pets coat. It's packaged in a muslin bag which helps dry it out after use. Providing your pet doesn’t roll in poo or dead animals, he’ll be gorgeous looking and smelling for nearly a week.
Here's Harry our Labradoodle after a lovely bath with Oriwa Naturals Dog Shampoo Bar protecting the soaps for us and giving much the product the nod!
You can pick yours up here. https://www.oriwanaturals.co.nz/store/p14/Dog_Shampoo.html#/
When it comes to Oriwa Naturals - the container is the only main difference.
I’ve had so many people come up to me and say – "oh no – I don’t use Lip Balm". I then explain that although our Lip Balm is in a lip balm tube, it’s moisturising and repairs your lips, 100% natural – but it is just the same as a lipstick as it has a strong solid colour.
Lipstick has been around for quite a long time. The earliest suspected use of lipstick was in ancient Mesopotamia. There were mentions of the first lipstick being made out of crushed gemstones like garnet or the crushed shells of beetles. As time passed, formulas for lipsticks became less gemstone and more nourishing ingredients like oils and pigments. It was during the 19th century that the iconic red lipstick gained its popularity amongst the limited shade range of the time.
In contrast to lipstick, lip balm is more commonly used for routine care of the lips. Lip balm is primarily a wax-cream mixture that will provide hydration and repair for lips that are experiencing irritation, dryness, or cold sores.
Our Lip Balms are essentially a Lipstick and a Lip Balm rolled into one. With the main ingredient Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it’s extremely moisturising. Vitamin E and Manuka Flakes are also added to keep your lips in prime condition. The added colour is not just a sheer colour which you would find in most Lip Balms, but a solid colour from Mica, which is extremely safe on the lips as it’s a natural product.
Not only do your lips stay moisturised and conditioned, but you get long lasting colour with only a couple of touch ups needed during the day. By using the Lip Balm container, it means we can make them up quickly in bulk, as well as keep the costs right down helping to keep them affordable for everyone.
We now have 9 colours to choose from, and for those that don’t want colour – we also have a natural.
The natural is really versatile, you can use it on your lips, on dry patches of your skin, to repair a scratch in your wooden table, or a scratch on leather shoes or bags. It even takes the pain away from a paper cut and helps heal those quickly.
Our Lip Balms can also be used for Bronzers and Blush, a little on your cheeks and then blend in makes it perfect.
With 9 colours and a Natural – there’s definitely one there for you.
You might be wondering why I'm writing about a wildlife park on a website that is predominantly about skincare, but there is a link - so bear with me.
Firstly - a few weeks ago I wrote a blog condemning Palm Oil and how to avoid it. Global Palm Oil production puts pressure on wildlife by destroying their habitat. Parks like Orana Wildlife Park and other zoos around the world play a really important conservation and education role for the survival of these endangered animals.
Most councils in New Zealand support their Zoos, realising the importance of conservation of not only global species but also NZ species. The Zoos/Parks attract visitors from out of town, provide lots of education programs for schools and play a really important role. We all prefer animals to be in the wild, but the truth is, humans are a horrible lot and do so much harm that zoo's are now some of the only places to see animals that have gone extinct in the wild.
It was with absolute horror that I read that Christchurch City Councils refused to support Orana Wildlife Park in their current round of funding and in the past five years they have only been given $350,000. In comparison, Wellington Zoo got $5.9m of funding for 20/21 year and Auckland Zoo got $12m in the last 2 years.
Orana Wildlife Park is the only open Zoo in New Zealand so provides a unique experience to the visitor. It has recently opened an Otter enclosure, and on Monday broke ground on a $1.4M White Rhino Conservation Centre, which is part of a global effort to help save rhinos from extinction.
I was so furious with the Christchurch Council, I immediately emailed Orana Park and even though I'm a teeny weeny tiny business, offered 50 free Natural Lip balms that they can sell in their shop to help raise money. I challenge other businesses to do the same to help out this vital park that all Cantabrians, indeed all South Islanders should be proud of.
I dropped them in yesterday - so please, go in to the park, see the Otters, the Silverback Gorillas, the beautiful Cheetahs, the wild dogs and meercats. It's really worth it and while you are there - buy one of our Lip Balms and support the park. If you can't get there - please head to Orana Parks website and hit the donate button. You'll be doing the world of good to these endangered species.
Stuff article about funding rejection.
Being at our Oriwa Naturals Market stall each week allows me to talk to 100s of women every month about their skin, and what they do to keep their skin young. I talk to a wide range – from women who don’t wear makeup at all, to those that wear a lot, and everyone in between. Although our makeup remover primarily takes makeup off insanely easily, from foundation, to waterproof mascara and eyeliner, it also rejuvenates and softens the skin, so you don’t actually need to wear makeup to get the benefits from it. We now have a strong following of people that will use nothing else, even those that don’t wear make up who swear that their skin is softer and younger looking. And that is the result we want. Happy Customers who are loving their rejuvenated softer skin.
Often I get people who say they forget to take their makeup off before bed, and I know I also have been guilty of this i too. It’s easy to do – too tired, a busy day, a late night, too much to drink – there can be a number of reasons. But try not to make this a habit as it’s really bad for your skin for quite a number of reasons. You are really putting your skin at risk.
The risks you take by not removing makeup are:
And don’t forget that by not removing your makeup, you’ll end up with makeup stains on your pillowcase, which over time will stain.
It’s winter, and we are having cold polar blasts throughout the country. Many of us might have irritated or dry chapped lips. So what causes them, and do Lip Balms help?
Having dry lips is not a new affliction, people have been trying to soothe them for centuries. Lip Balm using beeswax, Olive Oil and other natural ingredients have been reported as early as Cleopatra’s time around 40 BC. There’s even reports of human earwax being recommended as a remedy for dry cracked lips. I promise you, there is no ear wax in our Lip Balms!
Our Lips are constantly exposed to the elements – sunlight, wind, air and cold weather. They have to put up with our lifestyle, food, cosmetics, biting, picking, rubbing against clothes, kissing and much more. They are pretty hardworking and need to be tough! Lips don’t have hair follicles, sweat, saliva or oil glands so they’re prone to dryness as they have a lower ability to hold water than the rest of our skin.
There are many causes of dry lips – Skin conditions or infections such as coldsores or herpes, allergies, medications which impact the salivary glands, tongue injuries, dental issues, poor oral health - these can be brought on by eating disorders for example. Nasal congestion, such as a common cold, cold weather or wind which removes moisture, persistent licking which can create a wet-dry cycle that excessively dries out your lips. This dryness can also lead to pain, itching or stinging.
If your lips are dry due to adverse weather conditions, then certain balms can help protect the lips. Drinking adequate amounts of water can also help, because this prevents dry skin in general. Try and choose Lip Balms with natural ingredients that moisturise your lips.
There are ingredients in Lip Balms that can make things worse so avoid Lip Balms containing the following ingredients....
Be sure to stop biting, picking or excessively licking your lips.
Staying hydrated and applying a bland lip balm should be a routine incorporated into your everyday lifestyle for healthy, protected and moisturised lips.
One of the reasons Oriwa Naturals started making products is… Palm Oil. As a lover of animals, I wanted to use products that were sustainable and natural, but just about every favourite skincare product I was using had the dreaded Palm Oil on the label. So I started making my own, substituting the Palm Oil with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Let’s talk about Palm Oil and why it’s so bad. I hope that after reading this blog, you’ll take more care in reading what’s in your food and skincare products and will make the choice to avoid Palm Oil when you shop.
Palm Oil is the single ingredient that is in many of your favourite foods (over 50% of them) and in many cosmetics. It’s not only wiping out rainforests all around the world from Asia, to the Phillipines, Central America and the Amazon in Brazil. This deforestation is wiping out endangered animals – such as the Orangutan and the Jaguar. It’s also destroying the livelihood of indigenous tribes making their lives harder and more dangerous.
Palm Oil is the world’s most common vegetable oil made from the pulp of the fruit found in oil palms. It’s not new – like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it’s been around since ancient times. Archaelogists found residue in a tomb dated back to 3000BC and has been used as a cooking oil in West and Central Africa for centuries.
In the late 19th and early 20th century it was intruduced in Asia where it grew especially well in rainforest areas. It’s easy to understand it’s popularity – it’s cheap and easy to grow and it withstands extreme heat and resists oxidation much better than other vegetable oil as it has more saturated fats. It also contains no trans fats, which makes it healthier in terms of cholesterol and heart disease, but the fact it's high in saturated fats cancels out the health benefits.
So Palm Oil is bad. Bad for the environment and bad for our health. There are plenty of other better oils to choose from and if we want to look after our planet and our bodies then we need to know how to avoid Palm Oil.
In 2015 Indonesian farmers slashed and burned the rainforests to make way to plant Palm Oil plantations. This was a disaster. The fires burned out of control and long after the fires were extinguished the peat and other organic materials on the rainforest floor kept burning. The result was a toxic cloud that enveloped southeast Asia for nearly two months, affecting the lives of millions and killing 10 people in Indonesia. An estimated 3.5m hectares of rainforest was destroyed.
This was also a disaster for the endangered Orangutan and threatened a third of the worlds wild orangutans, pushing them into starvation mode.
Long term health effect and impact on global warming has been severe. Yet the world remains silent about this catastrophe. Major corporations have done little or nothing to halt the environmental destruction. In 2004 the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil was established with the aim of promoting certified sustainable palm oil. It was too little too late, not enough checks have been done, too many corners cut, and all it’s done is added incorrect positivity to a product that is far from it.
It’s now happening in the Brazilian amazon. In 2020, more than 2500 major fires burned across the Brazilian Amazon between late May and early November. Although the majority of the 2020 fires burned on cleared lands, a startling new trend emerged—more than 41% of major fires occurred in standing Amazon rainforest.
Fires do not occur naturally in the Amazon rainforest. Specific conditions are necessary for fires to burn in a standing forest, namely a dry year alongside lots of ignition sources on neighbouring lands. These sources, almost exclusively caused by humans, can arise from runaway agricultural fires, or from blazes set intentionally to clear land following deforestation, much of it illegal. An estimated 2.2 million hectares (5.4 million acres) of the Brazilian Amazon’s standing rainforest burned last year, an area roughly the size of the country of Wales in the U.K.
Looking ahead to the remainder of 2021, it is expected that we will see patterns similar to last year in the Brazilian Amazon, with fires burning in recently deforested areas early in the season (June through August) and a possible shift to fires raging in standing forests as the dry season intensifies.
Unlike Extra Virgin Olive Oil (which is really healthy) processed Palm Oil is very high in saturated fats and calories and the health risks include organ toxicity, increased risk of heart disease, and it’s linked to insulin resistance and obesity.
50% of all packaged products contain palm oil
Over half the products in your local supermarket include Palm Oil. Snacks, cookies, candy bars, potato chips and bread (allows loaves to remain soft on supermarket shelves for longer). Instant noodles, ice-cream, chocolate, detergents, pizza dough, margarine, just about every processed, packaged product. Which is why you should eat fresh. Eliminating processed food with Palm Oil will not only help the environment, but will also better your health.
It’s also found in beauty products such as lipsticks, shampoo and soap.
To avoid buying products with Palm Oil, you need to learn what it might look like on the labels. These can be deceptive. The EU made Palm Oil labelling compulsory, but elsewhere it can hide behind a variety of different names. They include…
INGREDIENTS: Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol
CONTAINS: Palm oil
It’s also often listed just as a ‘vegetable oil’ which can appeal to vegetarians and other health conscious types – but it’s far from that.
So next time you do your shopping, flick your eyes over the packaging and look at the labels carefully. Look after our rainforests. If we stop buying the products with Palm Oil in, then we can make a dent in the number of plantations being planted by the method of slashing and burning rainforests around the world. Plus, not only will the environment be healthier, so will our bodies
Our company, Oriwa Naturals, truly cares for the environment. We do this in a number of ways with our products, which are all made from 100% natural products and are completely safe.
41% of plastic produced globally is for packaging and only 9% of all plastic waste goes on to be recycled. This is why we are very aware of what we use for our packaging and where possible, use packaging that can be re-used or recycled.
For our Massage and Moisturising Balms, Makeup Removers, Nourish and Skin Soother, we use aluminium tins which are reusable. Once you have used the product completely, wipe the excess with a handy towel, then use boiling water and an eco-detergent to wash the tin. You can then use these tins for whatever you like, storage of buttons, pins, seeds, nuts - there is no limit.
2). Soap / Shampoo / Conditioner Bars.
No plastic is used. We are saving hundreds of shampoo and conditioner bottles from going into the environment. We place the soap / shampoo Bar in a cotton muslin bag which is compostable if thrown away and the labels we use are recycled cardboard. That's a big tick!
3). Lip Balms
We've really put our collective heads together on this one. We hate using the plastic lip balm containers but we have no choice. The cardboard lip balm containers are unwieldy and they are difficult to use on your lips. Our lip balms are packed full of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that will leach into the cardboard and the lip balm will dry out very quickly. We looked at glass, but decided that glass is too dangerous near the lips if they chip or crack. So we are stuck with plastic. However, we stand by our product and are happy for you to send your empty container back to us for us to sterilise and refill for you, or recycle (whichever you prefer).
When we pack up your online order we use recycled packaging, we never buy new. Everything is re-used from what gets sent to us when we buy ingredients. We hope that when you receive the packaging, you can do the same and reuse the bubble wrap for something else, and continue the re-use rather than throw it away in the landfill. We are looking into postage bags that aren't plastic depending on durability, protectiveness and price point, so watch this space.
Lastly - we are lucky we live in New Zealand where we have a good education system about rubbish and recycling. The majority of us are responsible and when we go to our beaches, they are clean compared to other countries. There's still a lot of education needed in third world countries. The following image I took on a beach in Morocco. I hope one day other countries can follow our lead.
Natural products are definitely the better choice for yours skin. Here are some reasons why.
1. Environmentally better
Simply put: natural skincare products are better for the environment than are synthetic skincare products. The reasons for this are numerous.
Firstly, they do no harm to the animals or plants if they come in contact with them, and they are unlikely to have any consequences on ecosystems should the product seep into the ground. Whereas skincare products with chemicals or synthetic chemicals will do harm.
Secondly, manufacturing traditional skincare products requires extraction of certain ingredients, some which requires mining. Mining produces a great deal of pollution, which leaves a negative carbon footprint.
Natural Skincare products don’t necessitate such measures, and therefore cause no harm.
2. They're Safer for your body
When a lotion or balm is applied to the skin, ingredients can slowly sink into the bloodstream. From there they have a direct effect on many of the body’s processes.
A natural skincare has beneficial ingredients which do no harm, and are less likely to cause allergies or have adverse effects.
So, by using a natural skincare product as opposed to a synthetic one, you are essentially avoiding all negative health effects. This will result in you feeling and looking better.
3. Not Tested on Animals
Natural skin product manufacturers do not test on animals. There is no need to do so, as the ingredients are completely natural and are known to do no harm. So by using natural skincare, you are being more ethical and are safe in the knowledge that living creatures are safe and prevent you from contributing to malicious practices.
4. Packed Full of Top Quality Natural Ingredients
The easiest way to highlight the importance of using natural skincare is to compare ingredients between a natural product and a non natural product. The ingredients are very different.
In a non-natural product you will see such words as Triclosan, Glyceryl Stearate, Dye #4 etc.. These are made in laboratories and can be detrimental to your health.
Natural skincare products are filled with healthy sounding indgredients such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sweet Amond Oil, Organic Shea Butter etc… and they’re actually all good for you. They contain vitamins and compounds all which help the skin to function at optimal levels.
5. Much Better for your Skin
Natural skincare products are less likely to cause allergies. Some of the ingredients in non natural skin products can cause swelling, redness, itchiness, eczema and allergic reactions. As we get older, we are more prone to these reactions. They are best avoided.
Natural products are free of irritants and are beneficial to our skin.
At every market, fete, show, there would always be a question for us - do you have any kawakawa balm? At every market, fete or show, we would point people in the direction to those that do have it. We finally decided to make our own.
Months of research and experimentation getting the right mix and blends of ingredients and we finally have our Kawakawa & Manuka Skin Soother.
Our Kawakawa leaves are picked from beautiful pristine bush in the Marlborough Sounds. The Kawakawa plant is exceptional in that it actually heals itself. When being eaten by bugs (you can see the tell-tale holes in the leaves) it creates a compound to repair itself. It is this unique compound – produced as part of the plants own healing process – that contains the most powerful healing properties. So we pick the leaves that have the most holes. The leaves are then infused in the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil from sunny Marlborough and left in a dark cool place for at least 4 weeks, before being strained. It is then ready for use.
Kawakawa leaves contain a component called myristicin which helps trigger the release of nitric oxide from cells. The release of nitric oxide is an anti-inflammatory response which means kawakawa aids the body in responding to inflammation. This means Kawakawa soothes and helps with reduction of blemishes, rashes and skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
We've also added Manuka and Carrot Seed Oil - both which are also powerful healers and known anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, which gives our Kawakawa Balm an advantageous boost when it comes to healing.
One of the main questions we get asked is "why is my soap brown?"
It is often caused by vanilla, which is a flavour derived from orchids. Vanilla pods start out very green and then darken to brown as they age and ripen. The darkening is caused by various reactions in some of the components. One of those is vanillin, which is the organic compound that gives vanilla its flavour. Vanillin discoloration is a 100% natural process.
Depending on percentages used, the soap can discolor anywhere from off-white to dark brown. It usually takes a few days to appear, although certain scents may not discolor for a few weeks. It shows up first on the part of soap that’s exposed to air. That means the sides discolor, but once you cut into the bars the middle is still white. Eventually over time, the whole bar will darken.
We use vanilla in our Rose and Sandalwood soap/shampoo bars, so you will often see discolouration in those. It is perfectly normal. Other fragrances can also do the same, and we see the same process happen in our Lime Soap/Shampoo bars as well.