Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the word Koinophilia mean?

A: Koinophilia is a scientific term used in evolutionary biology to describe the phenomenon of organisms selecting mates who have features that are common among the species. We chose the term to be our company name for a few reasons: 1) our love of science, 2) it's referenced in one of our favorite office themed television programs, & 3) it's a peculiar term & infrequently used. We absolutely celebrate uniqueness, & yet, it is what we share in common that brings us all together. Koinophilia strives to make products that are for everyone, & for that reason, we think the term is fitting.

Q: Are your products vegan?

A: All of our products are vegetarian, & most of them are also vegan, however our balms do contain beeswax, which is not considered vegan. We are currently researching candelilla wax as an alternative to beeswax & hope to offer vegan balms in the future.

Q: Do you test on animals?

A: Absolutely not. But we do test on our family & friends.

Q: Are your products gluten free?

A: All of our products are gluten free, save for those that contain barley grass: Absolve Moringa Cleansing Bar & Expunge Restoring Spot Treatment are not gluten free.

Q: What are cold pressed & unrefined oils?

A: Natural plant oils contain amazing phytonutrients that are delicate. However, these oils are often obtained using heat extraction methods that destroy those nutrients. Oils & butters extracted from fruits, nuts, & seeds with cold pressing do not use heat & preserve the vital nutrients. Often oils & butters are also refined by filtering to remove colors or scents, or even by chemical processing to increase shelf life. We use oils & butters in their most raw, unrefined form, applying minimal heat, so that the most phytonutrients remain available for your skin. 

Q: Are your products really organic?

A: Every ingredient we use is sourced from a certified organic vendor when possible. In order to be USDA Certified Organic, the use of most synthetic pesticides & fertilizers, growth hormones, sewage sludge, irradiation, & genetic engineering (genetically modified organisms or GMOs) are prohibited, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Some of the natural ingredients we use are not plant derived, such as minerals & clays, so they cannot be certified as organically grown. Some plant derived ingredients are further processed, often using solvents like alcohol to separate desired components from undesired ones. Even though the solvents are evaporated from the final product, these ingredients do not qualify for organic certification. Each product page on our website indicates which ingredients are organic, & those labeled organic are USDA Certified Organic, with the exception of broccoli seed oil. The broccoli seed oil we use is sourced from Austria & is certified organic in the EU (we have not been able to locate good quality organic cold pressed broccoli seed oil from the USA, let us know if you find some).  

Q: What the heck is Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

A: Our shampoo & cleansing bars aren't made with true soaps, which are created through a saponification process of fatty acids involving lye, which although natural, is quite caustic. Instead we use a surfactant called sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI), which is created by combining the fatty acids from coconut with sodium isethionate. SCI is less irritating than saponified surfactants, has a pH that is closer to that of your skin, & is deemed completely safe. Though it is created using reactants found in nature, it is considered synthetic. If you have used bar soap before that left your skin feeling dry & weird, it's because saponified surfactants are very alkaline & can strip your skin of important lipids. SCI is gentle, effective, & leaves your skin feeling great. 

Q: What about Behentrimonium Methosulfate with Cetearyl Alcohol?

A: Behentrimonium methosulfate with cetearyl alcohol (BTMS) is a stabilizing ingredient that holds the bars together. It conditions, detangles, & helps seal hair cuticles. Despite having sulfate in the name, it is in a different class than the harsh sulfates that can damage hair. Likewise, cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol, is very different from typical alcohols that are drying, as it is a waxy substance. BTMS is made from rapeseed oil, it is gentle, safe, & effective. 

Q: Isn't natural always best?

A: We embrace the amazing ingredients that nature has to offer, however, not everything from nature is safe. Arsenic & petroleum are natural, after all (don't worry, we don't use those). We take safety very seriously & thoroughly research each ingredient. A few of our ingredients, as described above, are safely plant derived but still classified as synthetic because of the process used to make them. Even squalane oil, made from sugar cane, is considered biosynthetic because it is fermented, which is a natural process utilizing yeast. Synthetic isn't always a bad thing, as all things synthesized are ultimately made from natural sources if the ingredients are traced back to their origin. We strive to make our products from safe & naturally derived ingredients, without sacrificing quality. 

Q: Will the products go bad without preservatives?

A: We choose ingredients that are fairly shelf stable without added preservatives, but like all things natural, they don't last forever. We make our products in small batches so that they are arriving to you as fresh as possible. We don't include artificial preservatives, like parabens, because they have been linked to possibly harmful health outcomes. Fresh, unprocessed ingredients maintain the most nutrients, & we want the best for you. If your product appears cloudy, or otherwise corrupted, or smells off, it's probably time to throw it out. It is a good practice with any cosmetic to discard older items, even with preservatives, as they still go bad eventually. While not likely to be terribly harmful, spoiled cosmetics are less effective, & can harbor bacteria.

Q: How can I help extend the shelf life of my products?

A: The nourishing botanicals in our products can break down faster when exposed to high temperatures & direct sunlight, so storing the items in a cool, dark place can help extend their shelf life. It is also important to avoid contaminating your products. The microbes that live on your skin can increase the breakdown of the products, so use care when handling & applying to skin. Keeping items capped when not in use, avoiding directly touching serum spray nozzles & droppers, only applying balms to clean skin, & allowing bars to dry thoroughly after use are all good practices to reduce contamination. Many of our plant oil ingredients are naturally antimicrobial, which helps as well.

Q: How are your products fragranced?

A: Our products possess fragrance from the fragrant natural ingredients they contain. For instance, our shampoo & conditioner bars smell strongly of the cacao butter ingredient. Essential oils & floral waxes are also added to enhance fragrance. Our products do not contain phthalates & we do not use artificial fragrance. Natural ingredient scents can vary & may be inconsistent.

Q: How are your products colored?

A: We never use dyes, all product colors are the result of the natural color of their ingredients. For instance, Absolve Cleansing Bar is a lovely emerald green color due to the moringa leaf powder it contains. Natural ingredient coloring can vary & may be inconsistent.

Q: Are your products safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding?

A: Borage seed oil & comfrey oil are found in some of our products, which are not safe to consume when pregnant or breastfeeding due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that are naturally present in these plants as an insect defense. However, PAs are poorly absorbed through skin (we don't recommend eating any of our products). Peppermint, rosemary, & thyme essential oils are also found in some of our products & should be avoided during pregnancy. Everyone's risk potential is different, always check ingredient lists & consult with your doctor.

Q: Can I return my product if I don't like it?

A: Unfortunately, due to the nature of cosmetics, it would not be safe to accept returns. If you are unhappy with your purchase, please let us know, we are always working to improve our products.

Q: Can you make [insert that product you would like that we don't make here]?

A: Maybe we should! Let us know what you are looking for, we are always improving & adding new items. Your suggestion can help us decide how best to serve our customers.

Q: What if I have more questions?

A: Email us at, we value transparency & are happy to help!