Are your products “natural”?

There is, unfortunately, no official governing body for the use of the word "natural," and the word "natural" means something different to everyone.  Does it mean that all the ingredients are from plant origin?  In which case, petroleum-derived ingredients would qualify, as they come from crude oil, the essence of flora and fauna coming together in the earth.  Or does it relate to the process by which the ingredient was formed and prepared for use?  In which case, cold-pressed plant oils (like olive) and essential oils (like lavender) might qualify, but solvent-extracted plant oils (like rice bran) and absolutes (like jasmine) might not.  Or perhaps it means nothing was synthesized in a laboratory?  In which case, Vitamin C, although occurring naturally, would not qualify, as it needs to be chemically extracted or synthesized to be used as a cosmetic additive.

Moreover, “natural” things can be just as dangerous as synthetic ones.  There is a safe dose and a toxic dose for everything.  Arsenic is natural, but it can be deadly.  Too much water and a person can drown.  To someone with an allergy, the use of a certain steam-distilled essential oil can have ill effects.  Mineral pigment colorants found in makeup, like micas, ultramarines, and oxides, are synthetically created in labs to create safe materials without naturally-occurring impurities, such as lead and mercury.  Furthermore, FDA-compliant labeling requires the use of intense-sounding names, even for “natural” ingredients.  For example, “Butyrospermum Parkii” is shea butter, and “Melaleuca Alterniflora” is tea tree oil.

In short, “natural” doesn’t always mean “safe” or “simple.”

Here at Gramercy Skincare, we make products that are “natural” as possible, while still being safe, enjoyable, and functional.  We use certified organic, ECOCERT-approved, and non-GMO ingredients where practical and possible.  We use vegetable and seed oils, essential oils, CO2 extracts, and distillates.  We’d rather have a positive outlook and focus on what we DO use, as opposed to what we DON’T, but it bears noting that we DO NOT use parabens, sulfates, PEGs, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, EDTA, mineral oil, or propylene glycol.  We famously do not use ethoxylates in our Step One Cleansing Oil.  We promise to be precise in our language, especially when it comes to ingredient listings, abstain from fearmongering, and to not rely on "junk science."


Do you use preservatives?

Yes!  Preservatives are not bad chemicals; they were designed to keep us safe.  Preservatives are absolutely necessary to protect cosmetics -- and YOU -- from the dangerous bacteria and harmful microorganisims that can grow in such water-based products.


Do you use nut oils?

Generally, no; however, our Kapha Facial Oil contains Andiroba Oil, which has been referred to both as a seed oil and a nut oil, as it is cold pressed from seeds found within a nut.


Are your products vegan?

Gramercy Skincare is, overall, more "vegetarian" than vegan, in that we use honey and milk-derived lactose in some products.


Why do you package in both plastic and glass?

We prefer to use glass bottles, but we appreciate that some products, like facial cleansers, often get taken into the shower.  In those slippery situations, we use plastic packaging for safety.


Where are your products made?

Gramercy Skincare products are initially formulated in our laboratory in Metuchen, New Jersey, and are made in an FDA-registered laboratory in Oregon.


Do I need to create an account to buy from your store?

You may checkout as a guest.   Additionally, you may also use your account to login to Little Owl Soap without needing another password.  Amazon does not share your password with us.


What are your business hours?

We do not currently have a retail location.  We fulfill orders Monday through Friday, and we are available via email every day.


When will my order be shipped?

We fulfill orders Monday through Friday.  Orders are generally dispatched within 2 business days of receipt of payment.


How is my order shipped?

Orders are shipped via USPS with tracking and delivery confirmation.  If you prefer delivery by USPS with required signature or insurance, an additional cost will be applied, so please contact us before checking out.


What is your return policy?

Due to the personal nature of our products, we do not accept returns.


Do you sell your products wholesale to other stores?

Most of our products are available for wholesale; large quantities are available with a 4 to 6 week lead time.  Please contact us with your business information, tax ID number, and resale tax certificate number, and we will provide you with wholesale information.