Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions

What’s in the capsules?

The 9 essential nutrients women lack the most. Here’s how they break down per serving (2 capsules):

  • Vitamin D3 2000 IU  
  • Vitamin E 10 IU  
  • Vitamin K2 MK7 90 mcg

  • Folate 600 mcg  
  • Vitamin B12 8 mcg

  • Iron 8 mg

  • Magnesium 50 mg  
  • Boron 1 mg  
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA & EPA 320 mg

Learn more here: Ingredients

Does Essential contain sugar?

Nope! The vitamins are sugar-free.

How should I take them?

We recommend taking 2 together, morning or night. Essential for Women uses proprietary technology in the capsule and beadlets that bypass the stomach to deliver nutrients with no nausea. So that makes it easy to take with or without food!

How do I start my new Ritual?

Head here to get started.

Can I skip a month?

Yep, you can, right from the account page. We know it’s easy to miss a day every now and then, so this helps if you’re a bit behind on taking your vitamins. If you just need your order moved back a few days, simply let us know by sending us an email here: my@ritual.com.

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Product

Who should take this vitamin?

This vitamin was formulated for women between the ages of 18-50. If you’re outside this age range we recommend consulting your physician.

Can I take Essential for Women on top of my existing supplement routine?

It depends on what you’re up to. If you’re already taking a multivitamin, we recommend switching it out for Essential for Women. We’ve taken a lot of care to make a balanced product that gives you exactly the right dosage. Taking another multivitamin would imbalance Essential for Women’s dosages, which basically defeats the purpose. You can, however, continue taking probiotics, herbs, enzymes, oils and whatever beauty dust you’re using while taking Essential for Women.

Do I have to take my Essential for Women vitamins with food?

Nope, you can take this vitamin first thing in the morning with only a vanilla latte (or nothing at all). Essential for Women uses proprietary technology in the capsule and beadlets that bypass the stomach to deliver nutrients with no nausea, which makes it easy to take regardless of what you have or haven’t eaten.

Why is this daily vitamin different than others?

Formulation:

We identified the 9 most essential nutrients for women’s health backed by the latest data, then we sourced the most effective forms of those nutrients that actually work in the body, and finally we created a balanced product that provides only the amounts that are needed for optimal health. For more on what makes us so special, read more about how we formulated Essential for Women here

Encapsulation:

Our pill is not just good looking, it’s backed by much better science than the standard technicolor tablet. We use beadlet-in-oil technology that allows us to keep nutrients in their original forms and closer to what’s found in our food. Learn more about Essential for Women here

Traceability:

Ritual practices true transparency. On our site, we invite our customers to trace each and every ingredient back to its origin. You can see what we use, where we got it, and why we chose to include it. Check out our traceable ingredient supply-chain here

Fair Price:

Our ingredients are the best in the world, which means they can be pricey. But lucky for you, you have us on your side. Purchased individually, the nutrients in our Essential for Women would be 5X the cost. But, by eliminating the middle-man and selling direct to you, we’re able to make the highest quality ingredients accessible to everyone.

What is the suggested daily dose?

Two capsules per day. Take them together morning or night, with or without food, whatever works for you.

What if I take more than the recommended dose?

Honestly, you should just take the recommended dose. If you go against our recommendations (but why?) and accidentally double or triple the dose, there is no toxicity concern, but multiple vitamin overdose can occur when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of multivitamin supplements. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Can these be taken with prescription medication?

Essential for Women contains vitamin K, which may interfere with the prescription drug Warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner. So, don’t take Essential for Women if you also take this drug or consult your physician for further information. Other than vitamin K, the amounts and identities of our essential micronutrients are within ranges that should not impact prescription medications.

Do you use animal testing for your product?

Never.

Are there scientists, nutritionists, and doctors on your team who helped create this product?

Yes. Visit our team page here to learn more.

Does Essential for Women contain environmental toxins such as mercury, lead, PCBs, or dioxin?

We obsessively keep track of everything that goes into our products, including undesirable contaminants. Ingredients extracted from natural sources can be exposed to unwanted compounds from the environment. When that type of exposure is a concern, we use a synthesized version of a nutrient (while making sure that that synthetic form is still bioidentical to its natural counterpart).

Is this vitamin FDA approved?

By law, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements. But, the FDA does regulate both dietary supplements and dietary ingredients. At Ritual, we follow what the FDA established for dietary supplements in 2007 called "current Good Manufacturing Practice" (cGMP) regulations requiring that manufacturers evaluate their products through testing identity, purity, strength, and composition. We not only tested for stability with our manufacturers, but also did 3rd-party testing for potency of active ingredients, adulterants like heavy metals and microbes, allergens, rancidity and other unwanted contaminants. As a consumer, we think it’s important to do your own due diligence as well. That’s why Ritual has made it so easy for you to learn about our products and where they come from. Read about the origins and innovations behind our ingredients here.

Is this vitamin non-GMO?

Yes. None of our ingredients are derived from Genetically Modified Organisms.

Is this vitamin considered organic?

Yes. Our ingredients are organic whenever the nutrient is coming from plants.

Is the vitamin bottle recyclable?

Yes, the plastic bottle and cap are recyclable.

Is the vitamin bottle BPA free?

Yes, the plastic bottle and cap are both BPA free.

Where is the product manufactured?

The product is manufactured in the United States by a leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and supplements. The company uses a patented method to fill vegetarian capsules with oil and beadlets. We’re really into it. Read why here.

How and where should I store my vitamins?

Our vitamins are best stored in a cool, dark, and dry place, away from your little ones. Keep away from heat or direct sunlight. Don’t stick Essential for Women in your fridge, as this can cause excess moisture to accumulate every time the bottle is opened (and you don’t want that).

Can excess heat or too much exposure to sunlight affect my vitamins? What if I left my vitamins in the sun?

Heat, oxygen, moisture, and light are enemies of vitamin stability. Since the process of damage from exposure to light is slow, and the ingredients themselves act as preservatives to keep the nutrients from degrading, limited exposure to sunlight (1-2 hours) will not destroy any nutrients significantly. We just don’t recommend it.

What if I’m diabetic?

If you are diabetic or have a serious disease or adverse health condition, please contact your physician before taking any dietary supplements.

Can men safely take these vitamins?

Men can safely take Essential for women, and it fills many of their nutrient deficiencies. However, it provides a little more iron than the average guy needs.

 

I'm breastfeeding/pregnant, can I take Essential for Women?

While Essential for Women is safe for pregnant/breastfeeding women, it may not have enough of some key nutrients if it is your only source of supplementation. When pregnant, we recommend talking to your physician about any supplementation. Let us know if a pre/post-natal is something you’d like us to develop.

Are there any vitamins in Ritual that could counteract or reduce efficacy of birth control?

No - there is nothing in Ritual's Essential for Women that interferes with any method of birth control, including oral contraceptives.

What ages are these vitamins intended for?

We formulated Essential for Women to meet the most important nutrient needs of adult women from 18-50 years old, but it's healthy, safe and helpful for teenagers and women over 50 too, although their nutritional requirements slightly differ. If you are in those age groups, we just ask that you inform your health care practitioner during your next visit and discuss if this supplement is right for you.

Will this vitamin help me with weight loss?

At this time we have not yet tested our vitamin specifically for weight loss.

Is this vitamin made in the USA?

Essential for Women is proudly manufactured in the United States.

Is this product suitable for vegans?

Yes. Our Founder and CEO is vegan, so creating a vitamin suitable for vegans was one of our priorities. Read more about Kat’s vitamin journey here

Is this vitamin dairy, gluten, nut, and soy free?

Yes.

Is this vitamin vegetarian?

Our vitamin is vegan-friendly, which also makes it vegetarian.

Why are some of my beadlets black?

Some breakage of the beadlets (less than 5%) during the manufacturing process is normal and expected. If breakage occurs during manufacturing, it can appear black because of its dark raw materials. Black beadlets are nothing to worry about and does not mean that your vitamins have gone bad. We try to remove broken beadlets during our multiple inspection points throughout this process, but, if you happen to come across a black beadlet, know that this will not affect the quality of Essential for Women.

Why do my capsules have a slightly fishy smell?

That is from the algal oil in our formula, a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA.

Ingredients

What vitamins and ingredients are in each capsule?

We have identified 9 vital nutrients based on the latest data of what the average American woman is not getting enough of out of her diet alone. Read more here

What is the dosage of each ingredient per serving?
  • Vitamin D3 2000 IU  
  • Vitamin E 10 IU  
  • Vitamin K2 MK7 90 mcg

  • Folate 600 mcg  
  • Vitamin B12 8 mcg

  • Iron 8 mg

  • Magnesium 50 mg  
  • Boron 1 mg  
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA & EPA 320 mg
What is the liquid in the capsule?

It’s an oil blend composed of algal oil (a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA), vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK-7, vitamin E as Mixed Tocopherols, and silica (providing the oil with the right amount of viscosity for proper capsule filling). Learn more about the ingredients in our product here.

Why doesn’t Essential for Women contain vitamin C, zinc, or potassium? Aren’t those important?

They’re important, but here's the thing: the average intake of vitamin C and zinc is adequate from our diets, so supplementation isn’t necessary. For potassium, the intake is generally low, however, the amount of potassium that can be added to dietary supplements is limited by the FDA to 99 mg, which would have no significant health benefit.

Why is there no calcium in your vitamin when calcium intakes from foods are typically low for most women?

By combining vitamin D3, vitamin K2, boron, and magnesium, we can increase the body’s ability to better absorb and utilize calcium from the foods we already eat--so much so that actual calcium supplementation isn’t necessary at all. Pretty cool, huh?

Do we really need the “best” forms of nutrients? Don’t other forms work just as well?

Better forms make for more effective vitamins, period. The best forms have better absorption, better assimilation, and are more effective in the body. Ritual designs products based on what your cells want and need, not what is less expensive but doesn’t work as well. For more information about why our forms are better, click here

What are those beads inside my capsule?

Those are all the dry nutrients (B vitamins and minerals iron, magnesium, and boron). These special beadlets don’t interact with the oil inside the capsule. Read more about why our beadlets are so great here

What are the capsules made out of and why are they better?

So many reasons. First of all, our capsules are 100% vegan, which is rare. They are made from hypromellose, a cellulose derivative from inner-tree bark, and gellan gum, a microbial-based ingredient. The combination of these two components makes the gel capsule resistant to stomach acid, which helps prevent stomach upset and protect nutrients from acid-induced degradation.

Where do you source the ingredients from?

All over the world. We traveled far and wide—and did lots of research—to find out who those best suppliers were, and we made it our mission to work only with them. We’re proud of our suppliers, so we are also the first vitamin company to share exactly where each ingredient is coming from and why we chose it. If you want to know even more, you can read our Expert Interviews from the incredible scientists, founders, and professionals from the actual companies that make our ingredients and products. To learn more about where we source our ingredients from, click here

How do I find the original source of each ingredient?

Ritual is the first vitamin company to allow consumers to trace each ingredient back to its original source. Click here to find out where each ingredient comes from.

Are any artificial flavors, colors, or dyes used?

Nope.

Does the gel capsule contain gelatin?

No, our capsules are 100% vegan. They are made from hypromellose, a cellulose derivative from inner tree bark, and gellan gum, a microbial-based ingredient. The combination of these two ingredients make the gel capsule resistant to stomach acid, which helps prevent stomach upset and protect nutrients from degradation by stomach acid.

Why are there “other ingredients” besides the 9 vitamins listed on the package?

These refer to the small amount of excipients that we have to include in order for manufacturing to run smoothly. We have to make sure the right amount of liquid goes into each capsugel and the ingredients don’t clump together while filling, for example. We don’t use fillers and we don’t use anything suspicious (some companies use old fashioned talc—it’s weird). You can see a full list of all of our excipients in this FAQ. 

What are the excipients?

These excipients make up the capsule, inactive beadlet structure, and protect, standardize, and stabilize the active ingredients. Except for the capsule and beadlet ingredients, the other excipients are present in extremely low amounts. They have also been approved by food regulatory agencies worldwide, not to mention our rigorous requirements.

      • Ascorbyl palmitate
      • Citric acid
      • d-alpha tocopherol
      • Dicalcium phosphate
      • Fractionated coconut oil
      • Gellan gum
      • Glucosamine (vegetarian source)
      • Hypromellose
      • Medium chain triglycerides
      • Methylcellulose
      • Mixed tocopherols
      • nonGMO sunflower oil
      • nonGMO Zein
      • Peppermint oil
      • Pregelatinized rice starch
      • Rice flour
      • Silica
      • Sucrose esters of fatty acids
      • Sunflower lecithin
      • Tapioca maltodextrin
      • Tricalcium phosphate
      • Vanilla flavor, Natural

Company

What is Ritual?

Ritual is a new kind of health brand that believes in simplicity, traceability, and ingredients that work best in the body. Our first product, Essential for Women, is a reinvented multivitamin that contains a daily dose of the 9 most essential nutrients that are hardest for women to get through their diets alone. To learn more, click here

Why do you say “Less Is More”? Isn’t it better to have more ingredients in higher dosages?

Actually, no. The standard multivitamin doesn’t take an average person's diet into account. They also tend to contain well over twenty ingredients, and most of the time, their dosages are based on outdated daily value requirements that haven’t changed since the 1960s. Our research is backed by the latest peer-reviewed studies, which show that more than half of the most commonly-used ingredients are unnecessary to supplement daily for most women. Our scientific team has identified the 9 vitamins the average American woman needs based on what she’s already getting out of her diet and has created a formulation using the right forms and dosages to work best in the body.

What does “Essential” mean?

Essential means the body can’t make a nutrient at all, or the human body cannot make enough on its own to achieve normal health.

Subscription

What if I don’t want to sign up for a subscription?

The thing is, with Ritual, there really is no commitment. You can cancel or skip a month during your subscription at any time from your account page. Happiness guaranteed, or your money back. So why do we offer subscription-only? Research shows the longer you take vitamins, the better they work. We’re on a mission to simplify the entire vitamin-purchasing process, which includes how it gets to you. With one click, you never have to worry about your vitamin supply again.

How do I cancel my subscription?

That’s too bad—we’re sad to see you go. If you are not 100% happy with Essential for Women, let us know within 30 days of receiving your order and we’ll give you a full refund, no questions asked. If you want to cancel your subscription, simply log on to your account, click on the "manage subscriptions" tab, and cancel the service you have selected. We are constantly looking for ways to improve, so please don’t hesitate to let us know what went wrong.

Shipping

Is shipping really free?

Yep, we’ve got you covered. 👍

Do you ship outside of the United States?

Sorry, not now. But we’re planning our global takeover soon, so please keep checking back. Let us know which country you’d like us to ship to by emailing my@ritual.com.

How can I track my order?

Once your order is placed, you will receive a confirmation email with tracking information. It’s pretty cool.

What if my bottle is damaged?

Don’t just sit there—email us at my@ritual.com and we will send you another one as soon as possible.

Can you ship to a P.O. Box?

Yes. We’re all about P.O. boxes.

How long will it take for my package to arrive?

On average, about 5-7 business days, via USPS. Just enough time to throw out all your other vitamins.

What is your return policy?

We won’t take it personally (OK, we might), but if you are unhappy with your product we will offer a full refund. We’re always trying to improve, so please tell us why!

What if my package never arrived?

Ask your local post office and then let us know how it goes by emailing us at my@ritual.com. We’ll help you track it down.

How do I update my shipping, billing, or credit card information?

Simply log into your account and go to the “manage subscriptions” tab to update shipping information and “billing information" tab to update your payment and billing information.

Can I ship a bottle to a friend or family?

Of course. If you love Essential for Women and want to tell the world (or just your best friend), be sure to put in your billing information and their shipping address (And thanks!). 

Payment

What types of payment do you accept?

Mastercard, American Express, Visa, Discover, and PayPal.

When will my credit card be charged?

Once your order is placed, we will charge your credit or debit card. Your credit or debit card will then be charged every 30 days thereafter. However, if you have any concerns regarding your payment please feel free to contact us at my@ritual.com and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Do you store my credit card information?

Yes. However, we value customer safety, security, and privacy so you can be certain that our payment system is very secure. Our site is Level 1 PCI compliant, which means we meet the highest set of security standards designed to ensure that we maintain a secure environment.

Vitamins

What are vitamins anyway?

Vitamins are compounds that are essential for health, but we can’t produce them on our own. Instead, we get them from the foods we eat. However, while certain vitamins (like C) are easy to get from food, others (K2, for example) are virtually impossible to get through our diets regularly.

Don’t I get everything I need from my diet?

You get some things, but not everything. Studies show that only 5% or less of the US population consumes the Daily Value for essential vitamins and minerals every day, which leads to poorer overall health. Click here to read about why we need vitamins. 

Do supplements actually work?

They do when taken in the right forms and dosages (like those in Ritual’s Essential for Women). Balance is really important, and studies show supplements work better the longer they are taken. Learn more about our form here

How do I know if I'm getting a "good" vitamin? How can I educate myself on what to look for?

The best place to start is to look for vegan-friendly, allergen-free, and non-GMO products. Then, figure out what the most effective form of every nutrient is, so that you can find and take what will work best in the body. Many vitamin brands use the cheapest form of each nutrient. Often, these have minimal benefits, and sometimes they can actually do more harm than good. For more information about how our ingredients stack up, read our series This vs. That.

Is the vitamin industry regulated?

Very much so. The FDA regulates both dietary supplements and dietary ingredients. At Ritual, we follow what the FDA established for dietary supplements in 2007 called "current Good Manufacturing Practice" (cGMP) regulations requiring that manufacturers evaluate their products through testing identity, purity, strength, and composition. We not only tested for stability with our manufacturers, but also did 3rd-party testing for potency of active ingredients, adulterants like heavy metals and microbes, allergens, rancidity and other unwanted contaminants. As a consumer, we think it’s important to do your due diligence as well. That’s why Ritual has made it so easy for you to learn about our products and where they come from. Read about the origins and innovations behind our ingredients here

How do I know what is in dietary supplement products?

We only know what the label tells us, and unfortunately, many don’t show the full story. We think that’s not right and, frankly, pretty bogus. At Ritual, we focus on an open-source, open-story approach: Our first-of-its-kind open-source nutrient database gives consumers the ability to trace each ingredient back to its original source. Read more about where each nutrient is coming from, why we’ve included it, and what it does it the body here.

Multivitamins are a scam. There are such small doses of each nutrient in these vitamins it’s ineffective.

Some vitamins companies go for a “throw it at the wall” approach, loading their product with as many as thirty different ingredients or more and hoping some will stick. So yeah, that’s kind of a scam. That said, there is significant, peer-reviewed, and published research that suggests using a multivitamin is better than taking nothing at all. That’s why we set out to perfect the daily vitamin—to pare it back to the only the highest quality and best ingredients, and create a product that really works in the body. We use fewer ingredients, but individually and collectively, they’re more effective.

What are Processing Aids?

Processing aids are chemicals added during ingredient production or product manufacturing for the sole purpose of making supplements easier to handle, store, or use. Processing aids don’t add nutritional value, and are usually hidden from consumers and sometimes even vitamin companies themselves. A great example is talc (the old type of baby powder), which is commonly used in small amounts to prevent clumping and stickiness in powders, and during pill coating. You seldom see it on a label. At Ritual, we think that isn’t right, so our scientists thoroughly reviewed each possible excipient and processing aid to find better alternatives—things we would be proud to put on our label.

Are supplements safe?

Yes, supplements are exceedingly safe, but as the customer and supplement-taker, you should always pay strict attention to directions and dosages and follow them carefully. At Ritual, one of our core beliefs is balance. We recommend taking only what's necessary in its most effective form. Ritual uses active and absorbable forms of essential nutrients that are found in our food and cells, rather than cheaper forms that require the body to expend additional energy breaking them down into useable forms.

What does GRAS mean?

GRAS stands for Generally Recognized As Safe. The FDA determines what is GRAS by conducting their own studies and by reviewing safety data submissions from ingredient suppliers (called Self-Affirmed GRAS). If the FDA has any concerns, they decline the GRAS submission. For more information, visit the FDA GRAS webpage: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/

Can vitamins be anti-aging?

Yes, when done right (like Essential for Women). Deficiencies of folate, magnesium, and vitamin D3 are known to shorten telomeres, the ends of chromosomes in your cell nuclei. Shorter telomeres are a sign of aging, but you can actually preserve or lengthen them by repleting those deficient nutrients. To read more about the nutrients that help fight aging, click here.

Do vitamin supplements have unwanted ingredients in them that people should be aware of?

As a general rule, we think that if you can’t find an ingredient in food, you shouldn’t find it in your supplement. Ritual has strict criteria for ingredients, including the excipients we use. 90% of other vitamins contain one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Petroleum byproducts (source for most vitamins)
  • Coal tar derivatives (intermediates in some B vitamins production)
  • Polyethylene glycol (industrial antifreeze)
  • PVP (Povidone® or polyvinyl pyrrolidone, a synthetic plastic)
  • Titanium dioxide (indigestible white colorant and opacifier)
  • Talc (magnesium trisilicate)
  • Stearates (magnesium stearate, stearic acid)
  • Mineral oil (causes vitamin deficiencies)
  • Carrageenan (can lead to gastrointestinal inflammation)
  • Parabens (hormone disruptors)
  • Ion-exchange resins (plastics typically used for Vitamin B12 and not listed)
  • Gelatin (cow skin & bones)
  • Artificial colorants (carcinogens)
  • Artificial flavors or sweeteners

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