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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About our products

Why use natural products?

Natural products are made up of only, or almost only, natural ingredients and are manufactured with appropriate processes to maintain ingredient purity. Natural products use no animal testing in its development, use biodegradable ingredients and environmentally sensitive packaging. Natural products avoid any ingredients with a suspected human health risk and are devoid of harmful chemicals such as parabens, petroleum compounds and synthetic fragrances. The ethos of the natural product producer is to be transparent and to fully disclose ingredients accurately and truthfully.

Read our blog-posts for more information:
Natural and organic products explained
Why go natural? And what you should know when you do

How are your products made?

Our products are developed with the input and expert assistance of Dr Elsabe Cloete (of Cape Aloe SA), who is our formulator, cosmetic consultant and safety assessor. Safety, sustainability and efficacy are our priorities.

To manufacture, we buy in locally-made packaging and locally-grown ingredients wherever possible to avoid the damaging effect that long distance transport can have on the environment. We are committed to protecting biodiversity and work with reputable ingredient suppliers who provide the necessary certifications and ingredient analysis. These documents are made available to our customers on request. We also support fair trade practices.

Our products are manufactured under clinical conditions following strict GMP procedures and are packed by specialists in natural and organic skincare. The end product is quality assured in a laboratory to be safe, effective and reliable.

What ingredients do you avoid using in your products?

We avoid using ingredients prohibited by ECOCERT (an organisation that was first to develop standards for “natural and organic cosmetics”).

We have listed some of the most common potentially harmful ingredients used in conventional skincare below, but this list is not exhaustive.

We encourage our customers to read product labels and to avoid buying products containing these ingredients. Some of these ingredients are known to be harmful to humans and many others are officially labelled as “probably” harmful. Another major cause for concern is that many of these ingredients are washed down drains in large quantities. It ends up in our waterways, damaging our environment and disrupting our ecosystems.

It is true that the dosage of an ingredient makes it toxic, and that these ingredients are used in small quantities in products, so are probably not harmful. However, the number of products a person uses increases the dose for the individual – these products include personal care products, household products and even food. The number of people collectively using conventional products places a huge burden on the environment.

Here’s a list of ingredients look out for:

  • Petrochemicals such as propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol (PEG), petrolatum, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and paraffin wax
  • Ethanolamines such as diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA)
  • Sulphated surfactants which include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Parabens which include methylparaben, proplyparaben and butylparaben
  • Phthalathes (usually hidden in ingredients like “parfum” or “fragrance”)
  • Artificial colours, dyes and fragrances

Read our blog-post for more information:
The ingredients we avoid and what we use instead

Why is the vegan status of your products important?

Vegans adopt a lifestyle that avoids animal exploitation. This includes food, clothes, and products. Veganism is growing in popularity as many practises related to animals are cause for concern from a cruelty, sustainability and environmental aspect.

Down to Earth products are vegan-friendly and we are listed on the Vegan SA directory and comply with their strict listing criteria. The one exception is the use of beeswax in our African Potato Cream.

Are your products certified natural or organic?

Natural and organic product certifications can be costly and we have chosen not to go through the expense. Instead, we have chosen to keep our products affordable. Our products are wholesome and high-performing, giving you great value for your money.

We do however adhere to the standards of natural and organic certification and we empower our customers to make informed decisions by making as much information as possible available about our processes and products. We encourage our customers to contact us with questions and to give us feedback.

Note: The individual organic ingredients we use in our products are certified organic.

Are your products registered for NAPPI codes?

Yes, they are.

A NAPPI (National Pharmaceutical Product Index) code is a unique identifier for pharmaceutical, surgical, and healthcare consumable products, which allows for a customer to claim a refund from their medical aid. This is however not a guarantee of reimbursement as medical aid schemes vary from provider to provider. Please confirm with you medical aid for rules.

Claims need to be submitted within 3 months of your purchase together with your invoice. If claims are accepted, the reimbursement will be deducted from your medical savings plan.

You will find our product NAPPI codes on the individual product pages on our website or you can simply contact us for the information. The NAPPI codes are:

African Potato Cream 250ml – 3001316001
African Potato Cream 125ml – 3001316002
Clear Skin Gel 100ml – 3001317003
Refresh Cleanser 200ml – 3001318001
Refresh Moisturiser 60ml – 3001319001
Revive Cleanser 200ml – 3001320001
Revive Moisturiser 60ml – 3001321001

Do you use recyclable packaging?

We use recyclable material where possible and the recycle logo on our packaging encourages our customers to recycle. All of our product packaging complies with ECOCERT packaging material regulations.

ECOCERT was the very first certification organisation to develop standards for “natural and organic cosmetics”. Down to Earth adheres to their strict standards.

What does 'pH balanced for skin' mean?

The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, is slightly acidic and ranges between a pH level of 5.4 and 6.5. When the pH of the skin is disrupted and becomes alkaline (often a side effect of common soaps) the skin becomes dehydrated, irritated, flaky, rough and prone to infection. All Down to Earth products are pH balanced for normal and healthy skin at a level of 5.5.

Read our blog-posts to learn more about the skin:
You are what you eat. Did you know that your skin eats too?
Why treat the skin on your face different to the skin on your body?

Is the topical use of essential oils safe during pregnancy?

There are a wide variety of opinions on the use of essential oils while pregnant. The main concern is the risk of essential oil compounds crossing over into the placenta and the possibility of miscarriage. Currently there are no records of birth abnormalities as a result of the normal use of essential oils, either by inhalation or by topical application.

Down to Earth products are considered safe to use. The essential oils used in our products are diluted at below the normal 1% range. However, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor during this important time in your life, for additional peace of mind.

Read our blog-post to find out more about the essential oils we use in our products:
The role of essential oils in skincare

What is African potato?

The African potato, also known as Hypoxis hemerocallidea (previously known as Hypoxis rooperi), is widespread in the summer rainfall regions of South Africa, especially in Kwazulu Natal. The plant is about 10 to 50cm tall, has bright yellow star-shaped flowers and strap-like leaves which are hairy all over. It is a geophytic herb and forms a compressed underground stem (like a ‘potato’) called a corm. The African potato extract comes from the corm of the plant.

African potato extract contains phytosterols, which are abundant in plants, but are highly concentrated in the African potato. Researchers have found that phytosterols greatly enhance the functioning of T-cells, which control and regulate the immune system, and possess potent anti-inflammatory properties similar to cortisone, but without the side-effects. African potato has been used for centuries in African traditional medicine as a herbal remedy.

Read our blog-posts for more information:
What is African Potato?
Phytosterols make natural products a better option
Our shared heritage; indigenous medicinal plants

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About our online store

What are my payment options?

When you buy from our online shop, you will be prompted to pay by one of the following methods:

  • Payfast (they offer secure credit card, debit card and instand EFT options via guest checkout).
  • Direct Bank Transfer (order will be dispatched once funds have cleared in our account).
What are my delivery options and charges?
  • All orders are delivered via courier.
  • The courier fee is R100.
  • For orders of R600 or more, courier delivery is free.
  • We dispatch orders within 24 hours of receiving payment (should we experience delays due to unforeseen circumstances, we will notify you).
  • Courier delivery takes approximately 2 working days to main centres and between 3 to 5 working days to outlying areas.
  • Courier delivery only takes place via working hours.
What are your returns and refunds policies?

Damaged or wrong goods:
Down to Earth endeavours to replace or refund damaged, incorrect or otherwise dissatisfactory products. Please send a photo of the product, in order for the replacement or credit to be issued.

Product expiry:
Down to Earth won’t replace or refund products for reasons of expiry. All products dispatched from Down to Earth will carry at least 6 months on the best before date.

Returns:
Should you wish to return any product, we will gladly accept it under the following conditions:

  • The request must reach us within 7 days of you receiving the item.
  • The item must be unopened and still in the original packaging.
  • You will have to pay to have the item couriered back to us.
  • Once we receive the item, we will issue you a credit note or refund within 48 hours.
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