Four Cow Farm’s range of baby creams and balms are lovingly handcrafted at the family farm from the finest pure, genuine and natural ingredients. Every product is made from Nanna’s own handcrafted recipes, and the family continues to oversee every step of the making and packing of the products, with every Four Cow Farm ingredient personally chosen and sourced by Nanna herself, and the products still made on Four Cow Farm.
Our products contain no parabens, propylene glycol, sulphates (ALS/SLS/SLES), cocamidopropyl betaine, artificial fragrances or colours, synthetic detergents, petrochemicals or petrochemical derivatives, mineral oils, lanolin, chlorinated water or phthalates. And our products are always carefully handled, and always over very low heat, so as to ensure they retain all the natural antioxidants, vitamins, benefits and nutrients of the original ingredients.
Our Preservatives & Emulsifiers
At Four Cow Farm, we choose the preservatives and emulsifiers we use very carefully and after a lot of research. The preservatives used in many skincare products are the cause of a lot of controversy and concern because of the fears surrounding their long-term effects on our systems and our skin. As such, we don’t use parabens (to find out more about the concerns surrounding parabens or read our blog), but neither do we use preservatives such as phenoxyethanol or benzyl alcohol, even though they are often used in other natural and organic products.
That’s because we only use the most effective top-grade natural or naturally-derived preservatives which have long safety records and gentle, non-toxic profiles. We only use food-grade preservatives, which means that they are deemed safe for use in food and safe for ingestion, and we also use them in careful amounts to ensure our products are kept fresh and effective for their natural shelf lives, but are never overly filled with preservatives. This means we send out smaller shipments with fewer products and refresh our shipments a lot more frequently. It also means some of the preservatives we use are a lot more expensive (one of the all-natural preservatives we use is worth its weight in gold!) but it also means we need to use a lot less.
The preservatives we choose to use are also non-irritating and non-sensitising so that allergic reactions to them are rare. And we always make sure to select preservatives which are deemed appropriate for use in organic products (as per the National Organic Standard of Australia). As with preservatives, the emulsifiers we use are extremely safe food-grade emulsifiers deemed appropriate for use in organic products. And again, they are always used in careful amounts to ensure that they never take the place of the main ingredients – the herbs, oils and extracts whose beneficial effects are the main focus of our products.
Our Main Ingredients
Four Cow Farm uses the best and most nourishing and effective natural ingredients available. You won’t find palm or coconut oil or their derivatives as the main ingredients in our products (so no cocamidopropyl betaine or decyl glucoside or coco glucoside) even though they’re much cheaper and are used in many other natural and organic products.
And that’s simply because they’re not as effective, soothing and beneficial as the pure cold-pressed olive, macadamia, sweet almond and sunflower seed oils we use which contain the natural vitamins and soothing properties each oil is known to have and is not subjected to synthetic processes. We make our products the best in every way possible – which means selecting not just the right essential oils and fragrances but also top-quality carrier oils, preservatives and emollients. No shortcuts.
Our Essential Oils & Fragrances
At Four Cow Farm, our baby products are made with an extremely light touch when it comes to essential oils and fragrances. Unlike other baby products, we do not add lots of essential oils into our products simply because essential oils are extremely potent and must therefore be very carefully used when making products for babies and baby skin, particularly baby skin that’s sensitive or prone to irritation or allergies. As baby skin is a lot thinner and more sensitive than adult skin, the essential oils and extracts we use are amongst the safest and most soothing and suitable for baby skin and designed not to overwhelm or trigger an allergic response.
In addition, Four Cow Farm believes in only using essential oils and extracts which have a soothing or other beneficial effect on baby’s skin. The mild, sweet scents of our products are a product of the first-rate ingredients we use, and never the product of adding essential oils or other ingredients (synthetic or natural) for their fragrance. The main reason for our emphasis on low-fragranced products is that fragrance is the number one trigger of allergic reactions (the second being preservatives – see our approach to that above) and the use of fragrance is known to have potent effects on our systems, and more so on our babies and children. In any case, we think babies smell pretty perfect on their own!
And where we do use essential oils, we use them in careful quantities in their natural form – we don’t use synthetic constituents such as limonene and linalool. That’s because the latter are often much stronger and more potent, more likely to cause allergic reactions and more likely to be contaminated by unsafe chemicals in the process of their production. Where the benefits of essential oils are needed, why not use the real thing?
Where there is a reference to ‘parfum’ in our ingredients lists, that actually refers to a 100% natural essential oils-based preservative (one of the most expensive in the market!) which we use for its naturalness, safety and efficacy. Its inclusion in a product also gives the product a mild vanilla-almond scent although, as we’ve said, adding fragrance is not its primary role!
Our Green Commitment
Four Cow Farm’s bottles and jars are not only chosen because they’re good for our products (their deep amber colour helps keep our natural ingredients at their best by reducing their exposure to light), they’re also chosen because they’re good for the earth – they are 100% recyclable (made, in fact, from the most recyclable form of food-safe material, so that they’re easily recyclable wherever they travel across the world) and extremely lightweight to ensure that the energy required to transport them to the babies and adults who use them is kept as low as possible.
We also take pride in the fact that our washes, creams and balms are completely biodegradable and made from 100% renewable energy. And every drop of water that’s used on the farm and in the making of our products comes from the lovely, pure mountain rainwater that falls on the farm. We purify our very own rainwater right here at the farm – and that’s what goes into every bottle of Four Cow Farm lotion, wash or cream.
And we’re all animal lovers down at Four Cow Farm (our cows and paccas can attest to that!) so all our ingredients are sourced and made without the harming of animals. We are also absolutely against animal testing – our products are only ever tested on people, starting with the family itself.