Our Commitment to Skin Health
West of South focuses on the careful formulation of certified organic and wildcrafted botanicals and Ecocert purified active ingredients. Each and every ingredient is meticulously tested and prepared to guarantee purity and freshness so that you can see and feel the benefits from the start.
Every Ingredient Matters & Insights from Working in Antioxidant Research
The life of an ingredient always determines its nutrient content, efficacy, and even safety. I worked in cellular biology research studying antioxidant enhanced cellular repair and I learned a wealth of knowledge about antioxidant activity, cellular regeneration, and other related aspects from ingredient stability to toxicology and microbiology. I was using conventional skincare during most of school until one day when I found a series of toxicology papers on the contaminants left behind in over 80% of cosmetics and the direct toxicity of ingredients in over 50% of cosmetics. These ingredients are serious concerns and the contaminants aren't even listed because they are used in the manufacturing of the final ingredients and therefore need not appear in the INCI. I went through my skincare and honestly felt betrayed that very toxic ingredients I handled with serious lab protective measures were actually in creams I had been applying to my face. I threw everything away and started searching for USDA Organic and Ecocert growers and cooperatives who could give me the fruits, oils, and actives I needed to overhaul my skincare routine. I threw away my benzoyl peroxide cleanser that had actually damaged my face and covered it in extra acne and replaced it with a non-ionic cleanser without any pro-oxidant ingredients.
My 18 years battle with acne finally ended because the new ingredients made a world of a difference. I had always been hesitant to switch from those conventional skincare products but I wished I had sooner.
I found unique plants that really helped my scarring in addition to my acne. Some of these plants are native to Arizona: the prickly pear, evening primrose, and the rose of jerricho, others are old world species that flourish here: the ajuga, summer snowflake, purslane, pomegranate, tiger grass, and then others have been so expertly cultivated in their own homelands: marula, supercritical rosehip fruit, supercritical rice, green tea, and neroli.
We do not use any ingredients containing or processed with BHA, BHT, cetyl dimethicone, chlorphenesin, diazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin (formaldehyde releasers), diethanalomine, ethoxylated species, formamide, formaldehyde, hexane, methylisothiazolinone, mineral oil, oxybenzone, palm oil, parabens, paraffin, PEG compounds, petroleum, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, polyacrylamide, polyethylene (micro plastic found in some balm cleansers), polysorbates, resorcinol, retinyl palmitate, silicones, sulfates SLS and SLES, or toluene.
Cruelty-Free & Vegan
We are a 100% cruelty-free company from our ingredients to our formulation, testing, and the final product. We are a part of PETA's Cruelty-Free Beauty Without Bunnies Program.
We have concluded that animal testing is 100% unnecessary and unethical because there are advanced methods of testing on human cells that outperform any type of animal test, in any situation.
Giving Back: Education and Meals for Girls
Imagine being afraid to go to school because your safety is at risk. That is one major obstacle girls in Morocco face. We donate to Education for All (EFA) Morocco because they provide meals and education to girls in a safe and loving environment so that they can achieve their dreams of becoming a doctor or nurse. Girls go on to college and then graduate school after EFA Morocco helps them!
Sustainable Ingredients that Don't Involve Destroying the Rainforests and Causing Humanitarian Crises
Every hour, 300 football fields of rainforest are cut down to plant new palm oil palms (the African oil palm and the American oil palm) and this needs to stop. We choose to be a palm-free company because the Prickly Pear and Marula plant produce a far superior oil and they are sustainble, produced without killing farmers or stealing their land, and without killing off the orangutans (these are the effects of palm oil and the situation worsens every day.)