Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to the questions that are most commonly asked
Why is there a minimum order requirement?We are primarily a manufacturer and wholesaler. By not selling small quantities at retail prices, we actively support rather than compete with our retail outlets (If you live in NZ and want to buy less than the minimum order value, we have over 400 retail outlets in NZ – refer to the ‘NZ Retail outlets’ page on this Website for details). Another reason for the minimum order value is to prevent the wasteful processing and freighting of very small parcels.
Is freight, insurance and GST included in the Website prices?Yes. All prices include freight and insurance delivered to your door. For NZ customers, prices also include GST (For Australian customers, there is no GST applicable).
Is the Beeswax used still organic and if so, why is this not stated on the label?The beeswax we use is definitely still certified organic NZ Beswax. The ‘organic’ was dropped when we implemented universal internationally compliant labels in 2007. We dropped the word ‘organic’ from the labels for two reasons: (1) The demise of organic NZ Beeswax does look inevitable because of the spread of the Varroa mite. (2) It was a compromise side-effect of having universal labels, as our UK Distributor who is now producing there cannot source UK organic Wax. Rest assured, we will publish the fact if and when our products no longer use organic NZ Beeswax.
How do I get staining out of my sheets, towels etc?By their very nature, our products can stain linen and it is hard to avoid completely when massaging. You can remove stains by rubbing some dish-wash liquid into any stains then hot washing.
My pump bottle is not pumping adequately and/or is making a lot of sound. What can I do?This may be, because your pump is sucking in air. At this point, give your bottle a shake to allow the Balm to fall from the side of the bottle back into the centre.
How do I unlock the pump mechanism on my new pump bottle?The nozzle should unlock with a simple clockwise rotation. If the lock is a bit stuck, we recommend to unscrew the pump mechanism and hold the inner mechanism tight with a tissue, and then rotate the nozzle clockwise. We apologies, if you experience this inconvenience, and are currently working on remedying this concern.
Can I recycle my pot?We are acutely aware of our responsibility as manufacturers for our containers and we are constantly monitoring changes to containers and the recycling industry. Our current plastic pots are Grade 5 which is recyclable by most but not all councils - refer to the 'Natural products & recycling assurance' page on the 'About Balms' menu of this website. If unsure, check what is accepted in your area. If grade 5 is not accepted, we suggest you encourage your council to expand their recycling facilities. The pots are of course useful for a wide range of purposes in the kitchen workshop etc. We do not accept pots for recycling as this is uneconomic – the freight involved means that more resources would be used than saved. Incidentally, we do use re-cycled boxes and paper for despatch of orders.
What is the shelf life of the Tui products?The shelf life of our Balms is at least two years (typically more) when stored properly – in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Fridge storage is recommended, especially in hot conditions. The bottom of each pot has a sticker printed with the ‘Best Before’ date and a batch number. To extend shelf life, use a spatula to dispense what is needed from your storage pot to a small container then immediately reseal and store the main pot properly. Vitamin E is used as a natural anti-oxidant and preservative.
Are your products safe to use during pregnancy?All of our products have material safety data sheets. They are compliant with labelling laws and should be safe when used in accordance with the labelling instructions. Although all of our products can be used during pregnancy, there are always contradictory opinions regarding various essential oils and pregnancy, so our recommendations are Baby Balm, Unscented Massage Balm and Bee Balm, especially for the first trimester.
What is the difference between a Tui Balm and a Tui Massage and Body Balm?The Massage Balms are designed primarily for massage and contain certified organic NZ Beeswax, Olive oil, Almond oil, Arnica, Vitamin E and essential oils. Apart from Sports having extra Arnica, they vary only in their scents. Balms on the other hand are designed for specific healing or skin care and are typically applied to only part of the body. They are also thicker in consistency. They do not contain Almond oil. Bee, Bug and Foot Balm are therefore suitable for massaging people with nut allergies. Some of the Balms are also very potent and need to be used with some care (refer to the relevant product pages on this Website for details).
Do you offer different consistencies of Massage Balms?We have 3 groups of Balms in relation to consistency: The pump bottles contain our lightest balm with most flow. Our range of Massage & Body Balms in pots has a mid-range beeswax content. The Myofascial Release and Reflexology Balms have higher wax contents and provide more grip.
How can I mix in my own essential oils with Tui Balms?Essential oils enjoy a deserved popularity these days for their inherent, natural aroma-therapeutic qualities. While we already make ten Massage & Body Balms carefully formulated with a variety of essential oils, our versatile Unscented Massage & Body Balm can be spooned out into a bowl for easy blending with your own essential oils. Simply stir and re-pot the mixture for a truly creative and personalised blend retaining all the advantages inherent in our range.
What is the best method of applying Tui products and where should they be applied.Our massage balms are primarily intended for full body massage whereas the Balms are for healing and typically applied to localized body areas. There is no one 'right' method of application but except for Bug Balm, ‘less is best’ is a good guideline. The product should always be worked into the skin completely so that there is no sense of greasy or oily residue for the client. The client should be able to put their clothes on afterwards and not feel the need to shower. You can control the friction obtained by using more or less product, changing the storage temperature, manually softening the product before application or mixing in a small amount of almond oil.
Are Tui Products useful for treating severe conditions?The short answer is MAYBE! We do regularly get grateful customers thanking us because for example the Bee Balm really helped with their Burn recovery, scar tissue, Eczema or Psoriasis, because Cooling & Soothing gave terrific relief from bruising and/or inflammation or because Warming & Easing Balm relieved their Arthritis or Rheumatism. Often they tried our products as a last resort! However, as with all treatments, nothing works with everybody, so the golden rule here is to try it and because our products are all-natural you have nothing to lose.
My skin has a reaction to a Tui product. What do I do?This does happen occasionally and is usually related to an allergy to a particular ingredient. Don’t try and remove the product but instead soothe the affected area by applying cold yoghurt or water. Should the reaction become severe, take an anti-histamine tablet and/or seek medical advice immediately. Do not hot shower as this could aggravate the effect.
What is the difference between the Warming & Easing Balm and the Cooling & Soothing Balm?Cooling & Soothing Balm is a cooling rub for inflammation relief – used on localized areas, especially after sporting or other physical activities. It contains a large amount of Arnica and is especially useful for repetitive strain injury, muscle strain, bruising and inflammation resulting from impact injuries and soft tissue damage.
How do I pay for a Website order?NZ customers must pay for their first order via credit card. Subsequent orders can either be paid by Credit Card or accept the standard trade terms of payment by 20th of the month following the Invoice date. In the latter case, our preferred method of payment is via online direct credit (Our Bank No. is A/C 03-1711-0020416-00). All customers outside of NZ must pay by Credit Card - Visa or Mastercard are accepted (Our Website uses the DPS secure page to process Credit Card payments).
How long will my parcel take to arrive?The indicative delivery times for your Country are shown on the Home page and on the Checkout page. If your parcel does not arrive within the stated range, it is important that you contact us immediately so that we may trace the progress of your parcel.
Do Tui Products contain Parabens (aka Parabins)No. Our products are altogether natural – refer to the ‘Natural Products and recycling Assurance’ page on the ‘About Balms’ Menu of this Website for more details.
Do Australian prices include GST and do they vary with the exchange rate?Because we supply Australian customers directly from NZ, there is no GST applicable. To provide Australian customers with certainty, Australian prices are fixed in $A and do not vary.
Is your Massage schools promotion scheme still operating?Yes. We offer a free Massage balm sample to each new student enrolled in Massage schools that register with us. To find out more about this scheme, go to the ‘Contact us’ page of this Website.
Do I need an email address to order online?Yes. We need this so that we can send you confirmation of your order and confirmation that your parcel has been despatched.
Can I still use the product after its ‘Best Before’ date?The ‘Best Before’ date (on the bottom of the pot) is based on a conservative two year shelf life and products typically last much longer (assuming storage in a cool place out of direct sunlight - for best results, store it in the fridge). If the colour has changed to a very pale hue then you should discard the pot. If rancidity is indicated by a smell of stale fats or oils you should also discard the pot. If a product smells and looks normal it is probably fine to use but this is very much a personal choice. Note that some of our products do have their own unique colour, although seasonal variations in ingredients mean that the colour of a product can vary from time to time.
Is hygiene an issue when applying the products?Yes and personal hygiene such as washing hands as appropriate is of course paramount.
Do the Tui products need to be kept in the fridge?No, but it is recommended for achieving the best shelf life, especially in hot conditions.
What is the function of Arnica in the massage balms?The infused oil of Arnica is excellent for the relief of bruises, sprains and muscular aches.
Does Bug Balm or the Lip Balms contain sunscreen?No. Although there would be some advantage in this, we have decided against it for two reasons: (1) We have taken the major decision to not present our products as ‘Therapeutic goods’ because of the enormous compliance cost of clinical trials, obtaining manufacturing certifications and legal requirements – prohibitive for a small Coop such as ours. (2) We were not able to find an effective reliable natural sunscreen ingredient.
Are your essential oils used in accordance with the principles of aromatherapy?Yes. All our products are formulated using the accepted principles of aromatherapy. The quantities used in our products are relatively low and well below the maximum level of toxicity recommended for external use. Of course, toxicology is about dosage and frequency of application so one has to use common sense in this, although it is very difficult to ‘overdose’ using our products.
Can I use Tui products if I am allergic to nuts?Almond Oil is an ingredient in all of the massage balms, but not in the Balms, so those with a nut allergy can safely use any of the Balms, including the Lip Balms. They are thicker in consistency but you can reduce the friction by manually softening in the hand before application or by mixing in a small amount of Olive oil.
Can people with a bee venom allergy use Tui products?There is no bee venom in the Beeswax we use, nor do we use bee venom at all. So people with allergies to bee stings should have no problem with our products. However, the choice is always in the hands of the individual and if there is any doubt then apply a small test patch to the inside of the elbow first. Incidentally, the only other bee-related ingredient we use is Propolis, which is an ingredient in Bee Balm (Propolis is not actually made by bees, but is a resin and gum of plants collected by them).
Which is the best product for helping with scar tissue?Bee Balm is the best one to use as it is formulated specifically for healing and nourishing the skin, including assisting with skin regeneration. The Lip Balms are also useful as they contain a large amount of Vitamin E. However, all our other products will be of benefit because of the inherent healing qualities of the carrier oils, Beeswax and other ingredients.
Can I use the massage balms for Reflexology?Absolutely. However, Foot Balm was specifically created for this, because reflexology practitioners generally prefer a medium with a thicker consistency to provide the ideal friction. However, many practitioners still use Massage Balm, compensating by using a lesser amount.
What products do you recommend for babies? Although we usually recommend Bee Balm or Unscented Massage Balm for babies, all our Massage balms are also safe to use. Bee Balm is a great barrier cream for the prevention and healing of nappy rash although some parents still prefer to dilute scented Massage balms with Unscented for this purpose.
Is Bug Balm safe to use with children?Yes, it is perfectly safe although you should take care to keep it away from eyes as it may irritate them. Bug Balm needs to be re-applied after swimming. You should also use with care on children as they can be more sensitive to smell. For very young children and babies, you may choose to dilute Bug Balm by mixing it with Bee Balm or Unscented Massage Balm.
Can Throat & Chest Balm be used on babies and young children?Yes, but take care around eyes. When applying at night, rub it onto the chest under pyjamas to ensure that they can't rub their hands in it and then touch their eyes. Another great method is to rub onto the soles of the feet just before bed (then put socks on for best results). For babies, we recommended diluting by mixing in a little Bee Balm or Unscented Massage Balm. A great tip is to apply to the soles of the feet just before bed (then ideally put socks on to retain the heat).
What is the best selling Massage Balm?Lavender and Sports are the two biggest sellers, followed by Unscented, Wild Rose and Women’s Blend.
Why can’t I buy from your Website if I live in the UK or Europe?Our UK distributor Andy Harrod has been granted exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute our range in the UK and Europe. He trades as Songbird Naturals and we direct all UK & Europe enquires to him. Having Andy produce locally has reduced both his UK and our NZ carbon footprint considerably.
Are you a non-profit organisation?Yes, our Cooperative is registered with the NZ Charities Commission as a charity and with the Inland Revenue Department as a tax exempt organisation. Our constitution requires that any Coop profits that are distributed must be donated only to registered charitable trusts within New Zealand. Staff work only for wages and do not hold shares nor draw dividends from the Coop.
How much does Tui Balms donate to registered charities each year?All the profits of Tui Balms that are not used to develop the business (at least 5% of all sales) are donated to NZ registered charitable trusts. In the 2015 financial year, 14 charities benefited from our turnover, with donations totalling NZ$39,870.
Are you part of the Buy-NZ-made campaign?Yes. Since 2008, we are using lid labels that include the classic red and blue ‘Buy NZ made’ logo. Tester pots in our retail outlets also have this logo on the main label to emphasise that our products are locally made.
Are Tui Balms tested on animals?Our entire range is not tested on animals. Tui Balms is certified as a cruelty-free business by Choose Cruetly Free Limited.
Is Tui Balms associated with the Tui Community?Although the Cooperative is a separate legal entity, there are strong informal links with Tui Community and most Coop staff are Tui Community residents. To find out more about us and the Tui Community, go to the ‘About us’ page of this website.