June 17, 2008, Updated September 13, 2012

When your mother or grandmother tells you to eat your carrots, they probably have a good reason. According to the new Israeli beauty products company, Yes To Carrots, the average person eats almost 11,000 carrots in their lifetime. “We thought there was probably something to it,” says the company’s CEO, Ido Leffler, who today has the words “Carrot Lover” printed on his business cards.

In 2005, Yes to Carrots was established in Israel to extract all the rich orange goodness found in carrots and apply these vitamins with minerals from the Dead Sea in natural products for your skin and hair. With about 16 products in its portfolio, the company combines all the goodness of carrots and other veggies into a shower gel, shampoo, a hand cream, body lotion, a body mist, and more.

Leffler tells ISRAEL21c that carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, a natural form of vitamin A, and are essential for maintaining your skin’s health. A lack of vitamin A can lead to dry skin: “Carrots also contain high levels of antioxidants which work wonders to help prevent damage caused by exposure to environmental stresses, such as sun and pollution,” he says.

Carrots, however, are only part of the story, he adds. “We’ve also extracted beta-carotene from other orange fruits and vegetables – sweet potato, melon, pumpkins, and oranges. And all the produce used in our product formulations are sourced from certified organic farmers,” he says.

Studies show, explains Leffler, that organic fruits and vegetables have a 40 percent higher antioxidant value than conventionally grown produce. While there are a few companies that have recognized the benefits of carrots in their cosmetics, “we are the only company that has dedicated an entire hair and skincare line that builds on the benefits of organically-sourced beta-carotene, in combination with Dead Sea mud and minerals,” Leffler boasts.

Headquartered in Tel Aviv, with manufacturing facilities in Arad, an economic development town in the Negev desert, Yes To Carrots, has a US base outside Chicago in Libertyville, Illinois.

Sold in 17 countries worldwide, you can find the company’s products at Walgreens, Ulta and Duane Reade in the United States, as well as in countries such as Canada, Australia, Belgium and Holland. And of course, also in Israel, where they are sold in tourist shops next to the Dead Sea and at other locations.

Today, with 160 employees, the company is not only growing carrots into something big around the world, it is looking to nurture nature as well. The company has created a seed fund, where five percent of its sales goes back to the land: “We are working all year round with Israeli farmers to source the fruits and vegetables found in our products so we wanted to find a way to give back to the land, but also to provide underserved communities with access to organic food sources and healthy nutrition,” says Leffler.

Yes To Carrots gets even better: certified organic by the Israeli Bio-Organic Association, the products are paraben-free, a preservative common in beauty products, which is a known carcinogen. Using pomegranate peel extract instead, along with traces of imidazolidinyl urea, Yes To Carrots preserves its products in a more healthy way. “We are constantly researching products and technology that will allow us to provide the best possible product to our consumers,” says Leffler.

And what’s next in store for Yes To Carrots? “We will launch the first certified USDA Organic lip balm in mass retail outlets – C Me Smile Lip Butter – in five delicious flavors: berry, citrus, melon, mint, carrot. We will also launch two new lines later this summer in the US: Yes To Tomatoes and Yes To Cucumbers,” Leffler says.

That’s a whole lot of healthy fruit and veggies packed into beauty products to look forward to. Your mother and grandmother would be proud.

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