Bioactives Origin Story
Veritas Bioactives was born in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
On April 3, 2008, due to a rare condition known as twin to twin transfusion syndrome, founder Devon Perry’s son was born at just 27 weeks and weighed a paltry 2.5 pounds. (His twin’s heart had stopped beating 4 days prior)
Confined to an incubator, connected to a respirator and feeding tube, and challenged by a stage 3 brain hemorrhage, the odds of survival were anything but stacked in the child’s favor.
But 11 weeks after he was ushered into the world, Devon crossed the threshold of the hospital exit with her son in her arms, alive and well.
Devon credits a number of factors in her son’s dramatic turnaround:
- The astonishingly wonderful hospital staff
- The countless hours she spent cradling her son against her skin
- The prayer circles her family and friends organized
It was truly a group effort and a monumental victory of will and of love, but the road to recovery wasn’t without its obstacles...
Recovery and discovery
Categorically, babies born before the 40 week mark are fighting an uphill battle. The most nourishing environment a preterm baby can be is inside their mother’s belly, but since that’s not an option, it’s up to the hospital staff and parents to create the next best thing.
So in addition to providing medical care, a successful NICU must maintain optimal levels of cleanliness. From the machinery to the materials to the baby’s skin, everything must be sterile and clean.
Devon loved giving her son his daily bath. It offered her a small taste of normalcy amidst the otherwise abnormal flow of hospital life. At first, Devon followed the hospital staff’s instructions to the letter, delicately bathing her baby using the recommended bath and skin care products.
But with each bath, Devon found that she couldn’t shake the nagging thought that something wasn’t right.
As a long time skin science and skin care educator, Devon built her career advising doctors and spa owners on how to help their clients look and feel their best. A core component of Devon’s approach to skin care was the strict avoidance of products containing sub-optimal ingredients.
That may seem like a painfully obvious detail, but ingredient decks were never developed to be easily understood. Even medical professionals with years in the health and wellness industry often overlook product components that do more harm than good.
This is especially true of products with long-standing brand awareness. It’s all too easy to assume that these familiar brands are made of quality ingredients. After all, we as a society wouldn’t use products that were largely counterproductive to our health and well-being, right?
Devon started looking under the proverbial hood of the products she was putting on her son, and to her horror she found the following commonly used product building blocks:
Parabens, Synthetic Fragrances, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates, Phthalates, and Formaldehyde to name a few.
(For more details on these harmful toxins and why you should avoid them, see our Formulation Guidelines page)
With her research findings in hand, Devon immediately stopped using the “recommended” products, and began her quest to find a better way. But quickly she realized that the market
had very few options that were both effective and healthy for the skin.
So what began as a need to provide better health and skin care for her son quickly transitioned into the creation of a skin care brand that would provide healthy and effective products for everyone.
Don’t sacrifice your health for your beauty
Did you know?
According to the Environmental Working Group, every day the average woman uses 12 products that contain roughly 168 unique ingredients. A shockingly high percentage of those ingredients fall under the endocrine disrupter label, a category of constituents that affect hormonal balance and fertility.
Scarier still, many popular products on the market today use ingredients that have even been proven to be cancer-causing.
But shouldn’t organizations like the FDA be protecting us against ingredients that are this bad for us?
There is almost zero federal regulation of the cosmetics industry in the United States. Almost zero! That’s a terrifying statistic.
A product can go straight from a manufacturers lab to the shelves of your favorite store without any type of approval or mandatory safety testing. The FDA only steps in to regulate in cases of misbranding or false advertising on packages. They do not – repeat DO NOT – regulate what actually goes inside the products.
By contrast, there’s a list of over 1,300 chemicals banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union due to questions over their safety. Here in the U.S., as of this writing the list of banned ingredients totals 11.
But what if I have a negative reaction to a product? Isn’t it the job of the manufacturer to report it to the FDA?
If you purchase a product and have a bad reaction, the company does not have to report your complaint to the FDA. What’s worse, even if the FDA is alerted to a negative or even life-threatening reaction, it turns out that the FDA has no authority to issue a recall.
What all of this means is that there’s very limited ways for you to be sure that you’re buying a safe product (and basically no way to get unsafe products off of store shelves.)
How do you find safe products?
It’s clear that the FDA isn’t going to protect us from harmful ingredients. So the responsibility to source safe products, for ourselves and our family, falls squarely on our shoulders.
So where to start?
Here’s a short formula that you can follow to help you choose safe products:
- Educate yourself on the ingredients that have been proven to be harmful
- Look for a product’s ingredient deck. If you don’t see one, or if the deck seems vague or incomplete, move on
- Be aware that in some cases, not every ingredient is required to be listed completely – Trade or proprietary formulations do not have to be disclosed
- Read the product ingredient deck carefully and look for any of the known ingredient offenders
Pro tip: Choosing products that are effective and good for you is NOT a matter of looking for buzzwords like “natural” or “organic”
Remember, the FDA doesn't regulate cosmetics, so these words are worthless unless the ingredient deck is made up of only non-toxic ingredients. In fact, “Natural” products often contain as many harmful ingredients as conventional products. I
While the market isn’t flooded with brand that choose the safer product route, there is reason to hold out hope. In the last few years we’ve seen a positive shift in the industry, largely due to consumer demand.
People are starting to wake up to the many ways they’ve abdicated their health and wellbeing to companies that by and large do not have their best interests in mind.
We at Veritas Bioactives are proud to be at the leading edge of this change, and will continue to advocate for ingredient transparency and responsible ingredient testing, both in our products and in the industry as a whole.