Frequently Asked Questions

Why Hormone-Safe and Why is it Important?

Why is it important to have Hormone-Safe products?

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers and the endocrine system is your chemical brain. The glands of the endocrine system send out hormones that tell each part of your body what work to do, when to do it, and for how long. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs to help them do their work. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism – how your body gets, stores, and uses energy from the foods you eat
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

When hormones are disrupted and get out of balance, the result can be problems like diabetes, weight gain or loss, infertility, weak bones, and other serious issues. [1]

What does it mean to be hormone-safe?

“Hormone-safe” means to be free from chemicals that can impact our hormones. Most of the products we put on our body–including many clean and non-toxic products–contain chemicals that can alter our hormones. Our luxurious, high-performing products are free from these chemicals (known as endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs) and are formulated to help detox, repair and protect the body.

How do EDCs impact my health?

Numerous scientific studies site that EDCs are linked to infertility, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, certain cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more. [2]

Other areas include:

  • Response to psychological stress
  • Neurological and behavioral changes
  • Reduced ability to handle stress
  • Reproduction: Some classes of EDCs (DDT, BPA, phthalates, PCBs, others) can affect reproductive health by mimicking or blocking the effects of male and female sex hormones
  • Growth and development: High exposures to EDCs during gestation can lead to low-birth weight, altered development, disrupted sexual development, weakened immune system
  • Cancer: Exposure to estrogen or androgen mimicking EDCs can promote breast and prostate cancer growth and/or interfere with hormonal cancer therapy
  • Prenatal exposure to some EDCs may after mammary gland development and increase breast cancer risk later-in-life

How can you claim your products are free from EDCs?

We start by excluding all known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals – Phthalates, BPA or Parabens—and even leave out natural substances that have potential hormone disrupting qualities, like lavender and tea tree oil. We only use plant-based ingredients that have been tested for purity and heavy metals. Our Custom Essential Oil Blend provides a natural aroma to our products, and unlike most fragrances, our blend is synthetic free. Lastly, we package in glass and neutral packaging material and use as little plastic as possible, since plastics have the potential to leach the very chemicals we are trying to stay away from.

What is the difference between hormone-free and hormone-safe?

When a product is hormone-free, it means no hormones have been added to a product, whereas when a product is hormone-safe, it means that the product is formulated without any Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).

Isn’t this the same as “clean” beauty and skincare?

The term “clean” is not regulated by the FDA and really has no defined meaning. So, products that are marked as “clean” may not be much cleaner that traditional products, and even many popular “clean” products are not hormone-safe contain EDCs. So, we don’t stop at clean – we go for safe, and more importantly, hormone-safe.

Why do I need to reduce my Chemical Exposure?

Toxic chemical exposure in our daily environment have been shown to be responsible for as much as 70% of chronic disease, according to scientific studies and Million Marker, an organization dedicated to measuring individual toxic exposure and its reduction. [3][4]

Why does my reorder product look or smell a little different than last time?

All of our products are made with 100% natural ingredients or as close to natural as possible. Natural ingredients have variations from nature due to harvesting seasons, weather patterns, and so much more. This is what makes them unique and special, the way each vintage of a fine wine has slight nuances. All the batches of our products are tested to ensure they all have the same safety and performance you have come to expect, but you may notice slight variations in scent or color, which is completely normal.

How many uses are in your Bath & Body Salts pouch?

Our Bath & Body Salts can be used in so many ways, it’s what we love best about Hugh & Grace products. We have provided a general guideline on product usage, and recognize that bathing culture is very personal, so we recommend you experiment with this product and use the amount that works best for you. There is truly no way to go wrong with our Bath & Body Salts whether it’s a small scoop or the whole bag (or anywhere in between!). Experiment at a level that makes you comfortable and joyous. Our Bath & Body Salts are multi-use and can be used in the bath, shower, or as a scrub – so the amount you use is up to you!

Are your products safe for sensitive skin?

Yes. We do not use harsh surfactants or solvents. Our products are plant-based and gentle for the skin.

Are your products clean?

Yes. Our products meet or exceed the standards of nearly every “clean” certification on the market (see our list of facility certifications below).

How are your products #BetterThanClean?

Our products are clean and natural, but we go a further and do not contain any EDCs in our formulations.

Do I need to get rid of all of my other products to use yours?

No. Our products are designed to work on their own or with other products. Many of our customers have found that our products to provide multiple benefits which has allowed them to reduce the number of products they use on a regular basis, which helps to reduce their chemical exposure (and can save time and money!).

How should I store my Hugh & Grace products?

The best place to store your Hugh & Grace oils & serums in is a cool, dry place, and out of direct sunlight with the lids securely tightened.

How do you ensure that the plastic dispensing pieces are safe and aren’t leaching?

We start by limiting plastic as much as we can. Our packaging is almost entirely glass or paper, and, other than the small tube that sits in the body oil, the plastic does not contact the product. Our droppers are glass and our pump from the body oil is BPA free. We do the best we can and will continue to eliminate plastic as we can.

What are BPAs?

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that is used in making polycarbonate (clear and hard) plastics and epoxy resins (can coatings). Polycarbonate plastics are often used in storing food and beverages, while epoxy resins are present in some dental sealant and used to coat food cans and bottle tops. [5]

What are Phthalates?

Phthalates are chemicals that make plastics more flexible and durable. Phthalates are also used as solvents for materials such as adhesives (glues), detergents, plastic clothing (raincoats), perfumes, soaps and hair sprays. Common sources of phthalates include the above personal care products, as well as some children’s toys, plastic packaging film, and cleaning supplies. [6]

What are PUFAs?

Our face oils and body oil are formulated to be 100% natural and as high performing as possible, keeping the reduction of chemical exposure mission top of mind. PUFAS are actually very good for skin, as demonstrated in the links below.

Overall, the identification and quantitative measurement of lipid oxidation products in skin are scarce. It’s an old claim with limited research. [7]

A study published by Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Center stated that topical application of PUFA’s increased the linoleic acid (LA) content in the epidermis, or top most layer of skin. The research also stated that application of PUFAS to skin normalized transepidermal water loss (TEWL), helping to prevent damage to the skin barrier function, and reduced skin scaliness after two weeks of daily application. [8]

Research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences– which studied many plant oils, including PUFA oils like pomegranate, rosehip, borage, and almond – concluded that plant oils may act synergistically when applied topically, supporting the skin barrier and antioxidant activity, and promoting wound healing and anti-carcinogenic properties. [9]

One of the largest causes of skin aging is sun exposure. It is the sun itself and the reactions UV rays cause within cells that create that damage, not PUFAs on skin. As much as 80% of facial aging is attributable to UV exposure alone. UVA rays penetrate into the deep layers of skin and damage your DNA. Only avoiding sun exposure prevents this damage. By avoiding use of PUFA oils people are actually eliminating one of the key ways to assist skin with repairing damage from sun exposure. [10]

Active Ingredients and Essential Oils

What kind of Vitamin C is in the day serum? What percentage of Vitamin C is in the serum?

Our Restoring Face Serum contains a type of Vitamin C called Tetrahexyl Decyl Ascorbate, and there is 0.5% Vitamin C in the serum. Tetrahexyl Decyl Ascorbate helps to suppress DNA damage, helps with dark circles and melasma, helps to lighten and brighten skin, helps tighten pores, helps with reduction in age spots and UV induced pigmentation, and penetrates the skin 5,000% better than an ascorbic acid, an alternate and more frequently used form of Vitamin C. [11]

Do your products have Tocopherols?

Yes. Our Restoring Face Serum and Renewing Night Serum both contain Tocopherols. Tocopherols are a class of organic chemical compounds, many of which have Vitamin E activity. [12]

What is the pH of each of your products?

Our serums and oils are 100% natural, and, since they are oils, by definition they do not have a pH level. Our Purifying Cleansing Bar has a pH of 9.78 which helps to preserve and protect your skin’s microbiome. Your microbiome is in charge of shielding your skin from damage caused by toxins and chemicals and works best when it has a slightly acidic environment.

You talk a lot about antioxidants. What are those, again?

Antioxidants are a compound that inhibits oxidation, a chemical reaction that can damage cells. Antioxidants help protect your body, inside and out, from damage caused by free-radicals and pollution. This damage causes aging, melasma, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, redness and damages our DNA. What goes on your skin gets in your skin, so when you apply antioxidants to your skin, they can help protect your skin from the outside in!

Are there any synthetic ingredients or oils derived synthetically?

Our Restoring Face Serum, Renewing Night Serum, and Protecting Body Oil do not contain any synthetic ingredients. Our Purifying Cleansing Bar contains natural oils that have been saponified (the process of making oils into soap) for cleansing purposes. Because the Cleansing Bar lives in a wet environment with moisture and heat, we add a mild, food-grade preservative to keep harmful bacteria from joining the party!

Are your ingredients organic?

All of our products are made in USDA certified organic facilities and are 100% natural. Our ingredients are pharmacopeia grade, which means they meet and exceed US pharmacopeia standards. Most consumer products that are certified organic are not truly organic at all due to uncontrollable cross-pollination and other natural factors that pollute the production of organic materials. Instead, we focus on creating all-natural, plant-based, family and pregnancy safe, high-performing, hormone-safe products to help you reduce your chemical exposure. [13]

How do you ensure proper dilution of essential oils in your products?

Our essential oils are less than 3% of the formula, which helps us ensure proper dilution.

How we Ensure Quality, Safe Products

Is this FDA approved?

Our products are considered cosmetics by the FDA and are not subject to FDA approval, but we do not use any FDA prohibited chemicals.

Can you share some details around the facilities where the products are made?

Our facilities are cGMP Certified (Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the FDA). Some of our facilities are ISO, Kosher, Halal, FDA, Made In the USA, Fair Trade, Non-GMO, OTC, and Organically Certified.

How are your products tested and where are they tested for their purities?

We use multiple third-party testing facilities for various testing (RIPT, PET, MICRO, Material Identification, clinicals, heavy metals, etc.).

Do you challenge test your products? What do you test for in your challenge tests/shelf-life tests? Do you pass those tests?

Yes. We do challenge testing on our products, and, yes, we pass! A challenge test is a procedure in which a product is challenged by exposure to specified types of bacteria and fungi to determine whether it is adequately preserved.

Assessment of preservative efficacy is needed over the intended shelf-life of that product. Our Purifying Cleansing Bar contains a mild food-grade preservative as it lives in a wet environment with moisture and heat.

Do you work with a cosmetic chemist or formulator when coming up with your formulas?

Yes. We work with both cosmetic chemists and award-winning natural formulators when developing formulas and sourcing raw materials to ensure our products are both high-performing and hormone-safe.

Do you third party test all products for potential heavy metals or contamination?

Yes. We conduct excessive testing on all products and materials. Heavy Metal Testing has also been conducted on our essential oil blend that provides both aroma and additional product effectiveness.

Are you FDA compliant and meet EU safety standards?

Yes. We are FDA compliant and meet EU safety standards.

Are any of your manufacturer’s ISO certified GMP standards?

Yes. Our product manufacturers are ISO certified and follow GMP standards.

Are the essential oils used in your products GCMS tested in a lab for potential adulterations?

Yes. Our Essential Oils are GCMS tested in a lab for potential adulterations.

Do you keep up-to-date on the current scientific literature on the safety of various ingredients?

Yes. Our formulator and our medical advisory board, which is made up of hormone and fertility experts, help us stay current on all scientific literature regarding the safety of various ingredients.

What certifications do your production facilities provide?

  • Animal Testing Statement
  • CARB-VOC Letter
  • Certificate of Analysis
  • Certificate of Origin
  • EU Allergen
  • EU Cosmetic Regulation
  • Food Allergy
  • GHS Hazard Breakdown
  • GMO Letter
  • GRAS
  • Heavy Metal Statement
  • IFRA 50 Statement
  • Kosher Halal Letter
  • Nanoparticles Statement
  • Naturalness Letter
  • Petrochemical Statement
  • Phthalate Preservatives Parabens
  • Prop 65-CSCA Disclosure
  • REACH Letter
  • Residual Solvent Statement
  • RSPO Letter
  • Safer Choice
  • Safety Data Sheet
  • SB 258, SB 312, and NY DEC
  • SB484 Cal Safe Cosmetics Act