OHA’s Frequently Asked Questions
Can these products really reverse wrinkles and scars?
Many of the ingredients used in the OHA product line have had positive results when tested for wrinkle and scar reduction, and also the reversal and healing of acne, rosacea and psoriasis.
The ingredients utilized in the OHA product formulations are known to reduce inflammation and eliminate free radicals that interfere with the skin’s regenerative and detoxifying processes. Good nutrition, healthy lifestyle habits and a therapeutic skin care program such as OHA, are proven to reduce and prevent skin damage and premature aging.
What makes OHA products different from other natural skin care or cosmeceutical products?
OHA Bio-Active Skin Care is not just just a “clean” and “natural” organic skin care system. Our passion for healthy skin led us to create a skin care system that delivers results by using Bio-Active, Biologically Familiar and Non-RBD ingredients. This powerful system will produce a healthy, youthful complexion and bring balance to all skin conditions.
Our formulations are designed to retain radiant and beautiful skin throughout the normal aging process OHA uses organic botanicals, therapeutic essential oils and restorative nutrients that together create a complete and effective skin care system. This combination produces exceptional therapeutic skin care products that surpass today’s consumer demands.
Cosmetics made with cosmeceuticals often use synthetic petrochemicals as a base for their nutrient ingredients. A synthetic base offers no therapeutic function and can hinder nutritive absorption. Natural products that contain cosmeceuticals usually limit the number of botanical ingredient they use, which minimizes the healing potential in their product base. These so-called ‘natural products’ may still include synthetic preservatives. There are no inert, or nonactive, ingredients in OHA. Practically every ingredient provides a therapeutic benefit to the skin.
What are parabens and why does OHA avoid their use?
Parabens (para-hydroxybenzoic acid esters) are a wide spectrum preservative used in cosmetics and some foods. There are various sizes of parabens identified by their prefix. These include the shortest chain methylparaben, ethylparaben, benzylparaben, propylparaben and the longest chain, butylparaben.
There has been much controversy surrounding the use of parabens in natural cosmetics.
Parabens are known endocrine disrupters, which are chemicals that mimic human estrogen and other hormones, and may disrupt functions in the body controlled by hormones. Parabens are potential allergens and skin sensitizers. A 2004 study connected parabens to breast cancer. Though this study was seriously flawed, it produced enough negative press that many companies began removing parabens from their skin care. Parabens have been retested and are considered safe as used by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review.
In the formulation of OHA products, Martha has never used parabens because they are not biologically familiar ingredients. It doesn’t matter if parabens are tested to be “safe as used,” they are still a synthetic petrochemical and are not an ingredient that matches the integrity and quality of OHA products.
What are ‘Biologically Familiar’ Ingredients?
Biologically Familiar ingredients are those composed entirely of compounds that occur naturally in plants, animals and as minerals in Nature. They are natural ingredients such as herbal extracts or plant oils. Some are produced within our bodies like alpha lipoic acid and others are present in plants and minerals including vitamins, trace minerals, and MSM.
OHA uses Biologically Familiar ingredients because they are recognized and safely utilized by the body. To achieve the most balanced and complete therapeutic effect in skin care it is best to use whole, unprocessed ingredients, in their most Biologically Familiar form. This is similar to eating whole, unprocessed and organic foods. Biologically Familiar ingredients are bio-active and support healthy regeneration of skin cells. The ingredients used in OHA maintain vibrantly healthy, beautiful skin and help to reverse the damage from sun exposure and aging.
What is ‘Bio-Active’ Skin Care and What Are Bio-Active Ingredients?
Bio-Active Skin Care is a system using natural botanical ingredients and nutrients that interact with the body’s biological functions resulting in therapeutic and skin healing activity. Bio-Active ingredients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect the cells from damage due to inflammation and free radicals. It is important to use Bio-Active ingredients in order to achieve therapeutic results.
These ingredients are natural extracts that have historical, clinical and proven benefits to improve skin conditions. They also have positive effects on body, mind and spirit.
To preserve their healing benefits, Bio-Active ingredients, like whole, organic food, must be in as natural a state as possible in order to be fully utilized by the skin and body. OHA avoids RBD vegetable and fruit oils. Decolorized and deodorized oils do not contain their full therapeutic content. We seek out small artisan producers and suppliers who value whole, vital plant extracts. OHA with Bio-Active ingredients delivers superior cosmetic results that only nature provides.
Why does OHA avoid RBD (Refined/ Bleached/Deodorized) oils?
OHA is committed to producing therapeutic skin care with nutritionally complete and Biologically Familiar ingredients. Our mission is to use whole and unrefined ingredients. Oils that have been de-gummed, refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) do not retain their therapeutic molecules such as antioxidants, lecithin, chlorophyll, phytosterols and skin enhancing lipids. RBD is a process that uses corrosive compounds such as sodium hydroxide and phosphoric acid to stabilize shelf life; bleaching clays to remove color molecules; and excessively high temperatures to remove odors.
There are also organic RBD oils that are refined using natural processes. Even though they are organic, they still lack the therapeutic integrity of the non-RBD oils used in OHA.
Cosmetic chemists consider RBD oils better for cosmetics because the oils do not have odors or colors, which may disrupt the commercial viability of a product. RBD oils are also more cost effective for the manufacturer. These treated oils are lifeless and inactive. This process is not done for the benefit of the consumer, but for the convenience of the manufacturer.
Unlike most skin care companies, OHA uses Non-RBD oils and avoids RBD ingredients. We want our oils to have all of their beneficial skin healing properties intact. OHA is committed to producing therapeutic skin care with whole, nutritionally complete and Biologically Familiar ingredients.
The question really is: ‘why don’t all skin care companies avoid RBD oils?’
What is ‘Global Lavender’ and how does it benefit me?
Global Lavender is a unique aromatherapy system developed exclusively for OHA Bio-Active Skin Care. Our system utilizes lavenders grown and distilled by artisan producers from across the globe. By using lavenders grown and distilled from around the world, OHA elevates this plant’s ability to heal more effectively and artfully.
Our Global Lavender system includes French Population Lavender from Provence, the world’s best and most therapeutically complex lavender essential oil. . This oil is commonly diluted or falsely labeled. Our Population Lavender is purchased from a known source of the genuine oil. Other high quality oils included in the Global Lavender system include Himalayan, Tasmanian, Bulgarian and Pacific Northwest lavenders.
Each OHA product has its own unique Global Lavender blend, such as the Spring Lavender blend in the Daily Moisturizer and the Healing Lavender blend in the Intensive Nutrient Complex.
Plants produce variations in their essential oil structure depending on where and how they are grown. Many factors affect the development of the essential oil structure including: weather, altitude and insects. By using lavenders grown and processed around the world we can create a synergy of these variations, while utilizing the common therapeutic benefits of lavender.
The benefits of the Global Lavender system coincide with the many therapeutic properties of lavender, including wound healing, treatment of nervous tension and protection against parasitic infection. The Global Lavender system is designed to assist in regeneration of healthy skin cells and to repair damage to the skin. The stress relieving properties are an added benefit, making OHA emotionally soothing and relaxing during the day and helpful in assisting in deep sleep when used at night. Lavender is the perfect remedy for nervous tension and assists in relieving stressed skin.
Why doesn’t OHA have products designated for different skin types?
We acknowledge that there are several skin types and many skin conditions. Where OHA differs from other skin care manufacturers is how we treat these skin types and conditions. We use the concept and practice of Application for Specific Skin Types.
Skin is brought into its natural balance when truly natural and therapeutic botanicals and nutrients are used. For example, hormones, inflammation, and/ or diet are often the cause of excessively oily skin. A healthy diet and the use of botanicals as supplements and in topical application will bring balance to the entire body. As a result oily skin conditions are reduced. If the skin is still oily it is due to the natural the sebum level produced by the individual. The natural state of an individual’s skin cannot be changed. Pharmaceuticals and aggressive skin care formulas may be used to unnaturally alter the oily condition but these often come with unwanted side effects.
Synthetics are responsible for the one-dimensional concept of specialized skin care for a specific skin type. These manmade compounds are designed to address a specific function of the body but they may throw other functions out of balance. This causes side effects. Synthetics used for oily conditions dehydrate the skin by compromising the lipid barrier, even though the skin surface is still oily from sebum production.
Botanicals have a multi-dimensional activity because of their complex structure. Whole plant extracts, like the non-RBD vegetable and fruit oils and unadulterated essential oils in OHA, contain properties that assist in bringing a natural balance and harmony to the human body and skin.
It is logical to assume that dry skin and oily skin, as well as other skin types, require individual treatment. We suggest an altered application method that addresses a naturally oily complexion and other skin type using OHA’s wellbalanced, holistic botanical products.
I have many allergies and my skin is sensitive. Is it safe to use natural products?
Yes, it is safe and recommended that you use natural ingredients! As a precaution it is always wise to do a patch test with a new product, even if you don’t have allergies. It is also recommended that you read the ingredient listings in order to identify any ingredients that you are known to be sensitive.
OHA products are wheat and gluten free. We have selected ingredients that offer alternative sources of extraction, such as Vitamin E and lecithin that are extracted from Non-GMO soy. We do use macadamia nut oil in our Night Cream.
Patch Test: Apply a small amount of a single product on the inner elbow. Wait 24 hours. If redness or irritation appears you may be sensitive to the product applied.
How long do OHA products last?
For Usage Guidelines, we recommend the following:
# Cleansing Milk (4 oz) will last approx. 5 weeks when used 2 X per day.
# Facial Sugar Scrub (1.7 oz) will last approx. 4 – 8 weeks each, when used as directed
# Hydrating Mist (4 oz) and Fine Line Serum (15ml) will last approx. 5 weeks when used twice per day.
# Daily Moisturizer (1oz) and Night Cream (1oz) will last approx 6 – 8 weeks when used as directed
For Shelf Life Guidelines
OHA products have a tested two-year shelf life. We only use natural extracts as preservatives and do not permit the use of parabens or other synthetics. As with any product, you should replace them after six-twelve months from the time you begin to use them. To avoid contamination from fingers, we advise you to use a scoop to apply the Facial Sugar Scrub. Pump applicators prevent contamination on our other products. Please avoid high heat and extreme temperatures for best results.
How do I best store my OHA products once they are opened?
OHA products are preserved naturally and will remain stable and free of microorganisms throughout the use of the product. Ideally, store your products in a cool, dark place, at a stable temperature preferably around 68 degrees F(20 C).
How are OHA products preserved?
OHA uses organic corn and/or grape derived alcohol to preserve products. We use this same gentle alcohol to extract our herbs, such as our green tea extract. Our ingredient list may only list the herbal extract and not the organic alcohol.
We do not use denatured alcohol (SD) or any with added synthetics or petroleum products, such as isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol OHA uses is food grade, extremely safe, and does not dry the skin.
Many, in fact most, of our ingredients have some preservative properties to them. This is especially true of the antioxidant vitamins E and C, and the antiseptic essential oils used in our product formulations.
Are there skin conditions that should not use OHA Products?
There are no specific skin types that should not use our products. If you are currently undergoing treatment for a specific skin condition, consult with your health practitioner before using OHA products. If you have a concern, perform a patch test before beginning our program.
OHA uses therapeutic ingredients that treat many skin types and conditions. Essential oils, botanical oils and cosmeceuticals, especially alpha lipoic acid, are often used in the successful treatment of rosacea, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Do OHA products have an SPF?
OHA products are not tested for their SPF value, though many of our ingredients are known to have UV protective properties. It is suggested that you follow your current sun protection method when using OHA products. Are any of the ingredients used in OHA products tested on animals? OHA products are not tested on animals.
Our products are tested on the owners, their families and friends. We also have health professionals and estheticians use our products before they are distributed to the public.
At OHA, we believe this is an important concern because even natural ingredients such as olive oil, lavender essential oil and aloe vera continue to be tested on animals to justify claims of healing and therapeutic efficacy. It would seem logical to trust the thousands of years of safe and effective use of botanical ingredients.
Instead, our trust in Nature has given way to accepting only documented and/or peer-reviewed results provided by ‘rigorous’ and ‘scientific’ studies that compromise the lives of other species.
Animal testing is disheartening because results are often inconclusive, contradictory and/or possibly manipulated by those who benefit from the findings. The accuracy of animal testing is questionable at best, due to the limitations of modern science in relation to the complexities of natural substances; not to mention the fact that humans are not rats, cats, mice or dogs!
What is the difference between ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘therapeutic’ in regard to skin care products and ingredients?
These terms are overused and unregulated, so are often relegated to meaningless marketing chatter. OHA uses the following definitions of these terms to describe our products and ingredients:
‘Natural’ – Produced by or existing in nature. Not artificial. It is difficult to know whether a product or ingredients are natural without having knowledge of the ingredient/product manufacturer or the details of the extraction of ingredients. ‘Naturally derived’ is a term often used to create the illusion of a natural ingredient. Everything made must have a starting material that exists in nature.
A synthetic is defined as something produced artificially by the synthesis of simpler materials or substances, rather than occurring naturally. The term ‘naturally derived’ can easily define ‘synthetic’. This is true of harsh ‘naturally derived’ surfactants such as sodium laurel sulfate and coco betaine.
‘Organic’ – This term is used to describe a agricultural method of producing a food or botanical. There are regulations and standards regarding a product certified as ‘Organic’ that are based upon the avoidance of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and other environmentally friendly, non-toxic growing practices. There are several regulating bodies throughout the world that have created these standards, each having various qualifications. Check the internet for more information.
Cosmetics are not regulated for the use of this term and manufacturers may use it even if their products contain little or no certified organic ingredients. The ingredients in OHA defined as ‘organic’, have been officially certified with documentation by a legitimate organic regulating body. ‘Therapeutic’ – Having healing qualities; curative. This term does not define an ingredient or product as natural or synthetic. It is used to define their ability to heal. Cosmetics need to be careful not to say that their products will cure.
Describing a product as therapeutic does not make a healing or curative claim. When a product makes a specific healing or curative claim, the FDA will regulate the product as a drug.
Words such as ‘reduces the appearance of ‘ or ‘eliminates signs of ‘ are used to allude to the therapeutic results of a cosmetic The consumer must make their own decision as to whether the product delivers true healing or curative results. Using these terms is preferable to the animal testing and millions of dollars it takes to prove that a cosmetic or cosmetic ingredient will heal or cure a specific condition.
OHA does not make specific healing or therapeutic claims. Some companies recommend skin care treatments not be used at night so that the skin can breathe.
Why does OHA make products for use at night, and why do they feel that night treatments are vital for truly healthy skin?
Avoiding night treatments stems from the idea that the skin needs to breathe as it regenerates at night. Unfortunately, with our modern lifestyles, there are many environmental and stress related issues that compromise the healthy regeneration of skin cells. At night it is very important to protect the cells from free radical damage and the inflammation that occurs during the day. Skin does need to breathe at night, so a night treatment must be able to penetrate to the dermal layer rather than sit on the surface of the skin or block the follicles.
OHA’s Night Cream, and other OHA products recommended for night use, effectively penetrates due to the natural accord with the lipids of the skin. It is lighter than most night creams, provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to the skin, and supplies beneficial nutrients to assist in the healthy regeneration of skin cells.
Which OHA products are Vegetarian or Vegan?
All of the products in the OHA line up are vegetarian. The non-vegan ingredients are the silk in the Under Eye Therapy, honey in the Lip Line Treatment, and beeswax in the Daily Moisturizer and Night Cream. The silk used in the Under Eye Therapy is from the leftover tufts of silk and no silk worms were harmed in the process.