For years cosmetics companies have been capitalizing off our youth-obsessed society by selling products, mostly to women, containing anti-aging, moisturizing, drying or acne-fixing chemical compounds. Many of them work, but what most women don’t realize is that each time they apply those creams and foundations, they’re putting known carcinogens directly into their bloodstream.
By accident, Susie Wang, founder of 100% Pure Cosmetics, found out just how dangerous many of the chemicals were when she was developing products for some of the world’s largest cosmetics companies. “When you’re formulating you have tons of ingredients on the lab table and one day I knocked over a vial of polyethylene glycol and it literally warped the table and I thought, wow we put 10-25% of this ingredient in everything.”
After seeing the effects on the table, Wang felt compelled to do research on the common chemicals found in most of the cosmetics on the market today and what she found was natural didn’t mean natural, pure didn’t mean pure, and organic was just a name thrown around by cosmetics companies to drive sales. Wang had already discovered how to stabilize natural ingredients from oxidizing and holds the patents for her discovery. So, when her initial contracts with the major cosmetics companies were up, she ventured on her own. Along with her bother James and business partner and fiancée, Ric Kostick, Wang set out to create a product that was natural, toxin-free, and refrained completely from testing products or ingredients on animals. She accomplished her goal when 100% Pure Cosmetics was launched in 2005.
“Cosmetics companies are actually distributing out toxic cosmetics that have known chemicals that are poison. I don’t know a nicer way to say it,” said Wang. “So our mission really is to stop deceiving women, to make an honest, clean product that is good and healthy for people and to use some of the proceeds to fund our own personal mission of helping animals.”
All of the 100% Pure products are food-grade. There are no toxins, no chemicals and everything found within the products is edible. Instead of using synthetic compounds for preserving the products, 100% Pure uses anti-bacterial herbs like Thymol, Oregano, Japanese Honeysuckle, Rosemary and Golden Seal.
The colors in the 100% Pure line are from the fruits and vegetables used to create the products. “We are actually the only cosmetic company using fruits and vegetables to color cosmetics,” said Wang. “We are using the pigments in strawberries and cherries and carrots and spinach to color the products.”
“For blue, we use blueberry skin, for the yellow we use carrotinoids like squash and carrots, for the green we use vegetables like seaweed and spinach, for the red we use berries and the black we get from micronized black tea or coffee pigments. We use rice starch for white. The hardest part is to color match a batch.”
Ensuring the products were not tested on animals during any step of development was written directly into the contracts of 100% Pure’s vendors. The company is Leaping Bunny Certified and each month donates product proceeds to local animal charities. “I’m extremely passionate about [ending animal abuse] and I truly believe that this is something that God has put into my heart because I feel such fire and such passion for it. I feel like it’s my mission and my reason to live. Why I’m here and why I’m working so hard. I want to stop as much animal cruelty as possible. I feel like that’s my purpose in life,” said Wang.
All of the products are packaged with recycled materials. “We tell our vendors we want to use recycled materials,” said Wang. “That’s the bottom line. We use recycled soda cans, recycled paper, recycled plastic, recycled glass and all the printing is non-toxic soy ink so no toxins are washed away into the ocean.” Even the packaging materials used in shipping are recycled and people are encouraged to drop off bubble wrap and packing peanuts from other shipments at the 100% Pure headquarters so they can reuse them when shipping out orders.
As the 100% Pure line continues to grow and the company explores other options and opportunities for expansion, Wang and Kostick want to continue to not only donate to animal causes, but help human causes as well.
100% Pure is headquartered just past where Santa Clara, Milpitas and San Jose meet at 2221 Oakland Rd in San Jose. There is also a retail location at Santana Row. For more information on 100% Pure please visit www.100percentpure.com