Q. Have you listed all the ingredients on your products?
A. Yes, all ingredients are listed in full on our website and on our labels. You will not see water listed as an ingredient because our products are made without water. Our creams, serums and oils are made using 100% plant oils and/or butters. The absence of water means our products need no preservatives, because microorganisms (which preservatives are designed to kill) cannot grow in a water-free environment. The absence of water also means we do not need to add other synthetic ingredients - like emulsifiers, thickeners and stabilisers. All these ingredients are added to water-containing moisturisers in order to stabilise the oil-water emulsion.
So, without water, all the ingredients in our ingredient list are recognisable - they include only pure certified organic botanicals.
Q. Why do most skin care products contain water?
A. Water is included in most skin care products to dilute the oils so that when they are applied, the skin is left with a very thin film of oil on the skin. The water part of the cream, comprising 50-85% in volume, evaporates quite quickly (within around 20 minutes), and does not play any part in hydrating or moisturising your skin. The part of the moisturiser that is performing a moisturising function is the oil component, which makes up between 15-50% of a standard cream. The oil reinforces the skin’s barrier function, smooths the skin, and contains oil-soluble vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants and other plant nutrients.
Q. Will your water-free products feel too oily on my skin?
A. Our products need to be thought of as around 5 times the concentration of a water-containing cream. So use only one-fifth the amount you would normally use. To achieve the same effect, apply to damp skin, or after applying our Pure Hydrosol Toner. The water on your skin takes the place of the water that is normally in the jar, and helps spread the cream or serum thinly and evenly over your skin. This makes our moisturisers extremely economical - they are equivalent to 5 times the volume of a normal moisturiser that contains 80% water.
Q. How do I use the Facial Cleanser, Exfoliator and Mask?
A. Take approximately 1 teaspoon of powder in your hand or a small bowl, and slowly add water until you have a smooth paste, near to the consistency of yoghurt. Lightly massage over the face, neck and décolletage. This light massage motion cleans and exfoliates in an extremely gentle way, without the use of drying detergents or harsh scrubs. To use as a detoxifying mask, simply leave on the skin for around 10 minutes, then rinse away. A lot of people find this product most convenient to use in the shower as it can then be washed away so easily.
We made this product as a powder because, firstly, it means it needs no preservatives or synthetic ingredients, and secondly, the ingredients are activated as soon as water is added, meaning their locked-in vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and other nutrients are released onto your skin at the time of use. This makes it a far more powerful and effective cleanser and nutrient boost than cleansers whose potency slowly degrades in their watery environment.
Q. What is the shelf-life of your products?
A. Our products have a shelf-life of 2 years from the date of manufacture, which is shown on the bottom or back of the product, providing they are stored below 30°C. They have a long shelf-life because no microorganisms can grow in them, whereas water-containing skin care products rely on the potency of the preservative for their shelf life, which in some cases may be only 6 months or so. Sometimes our products will still be in perfect condition after the 2 year time period if they have been stored in a cool environment. We recommend using our products within 6 months of opening them to preserve maximum potency of the ingredients.
Q. Do your products need any special storage conditions?
A. Our products must be stored below 30°C in order to slow down the natural process of oxidation. Exposure to heat, light and air will speed up this process, so if you live in a warm climate, store the products either in a cool, dark cupboard, or in the fridge to maintain their potency. Once opened, we recommend you finish them within 6 months, as exposure to oxygen speeds oxidation.
If the creams are exposed to temperatures above 30°C, they may melt to the consistency of melted butter, turning liquid. If this happens, when they cool and become solid again, they will have a grainy consistency. These grains are shea butter crystals and are perfectly safe to use on your skin - they will melt on contact, or you can melt the cream on your fingers before applying to your face. If you don’t like the grainy consistency, simply melt the cream over a very low heat until it just becomes liquid, then cool very rapidly by placing the container in ice while stirring. The crystals won’t reform if the cream solidifies rapidly in this way. When it re-solidifies, your cream will be smooth again!
Q. What fair trade ingredients do you use?
A. We use fairly traded shea butter, cacao butter, coconut oil and coconut flour in our products. We cannot get the assurance of fair trade certification on all our ingredients, but meeting fair trade standards of production is a requirement of organic certification, which assures us that producers of our ingredients provide acceptable working conditions for their workers.
Q. How do I know if my skin care contains palm oil?
A. Palm oil production is responsible for much of the deforestation and associated environmental degradation, pollution and associated human rights violations in south east Asia. It is used extensively as a vegetable oil in packaged foods, and is used to make an enormous range of synthetic ingredients used in skin care, shampoos, conditioners and other toiletries, as well as detergents and in industry. In most cases it is listed as an ingredient that cannot be identified as coming from palm oil. Most water-based skin care uses palm oil-derived emulsifiers, and frequently other synthetic palm oil-derived ingredients. Mokosh is one of a handful of brands world-wide that is palm oil free.
Q. Are your products vegan?
A. All products except our Coconut & Blackcurrant Lip Balm and our Pure Body Balm are vegan. These 2 products contain certified organic beeswax.
We consider it ethical to use certified organic beeswax for a number of reasons. Firstly, without the pollination work performed by bees we would not have access to the wide variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables we currently enjoy - even vegans rely on the work of farmed bees for much of their diet. Certified organic beeswax depends on certified organic agriculture and the existence of native forests, both of which are vital to the sustainability of our land, and are to varying extents reliant on the work done by bees.
Finally, and importantly, bees kept under certified organic conditions are farmed to high standards of animal welfare, whereas conventionally farmed bees do not necessarily meet these welfare standards, and may be exposed to cruel and stressful conditions. Bees are hard-workers, and prone to disease and population collapse under adverse conditions. The healthiest bees are those that are not exposed to pesticides and intensive farming, not overworked and well cared for - conditions which are reliably available only in certified organic agriculture. We believe that certified organic bee farming is something we should support, rather than boycott.