Ingredients we use
We source the finest ingredients that we can find for our products. All of our ingredients are vegetable based, none are derived from animals and none are tested on animals. We have over 30 years experience with cosmetic formulations and ingredients, so we know what ingredients are safe for use.
As we don't test on animals, this restricts the amount of ingredients that we know are safe to use. We base safety on years of safe use within the industry and also we carry out skin patch testing on human volunteers. As a consequence, you won't find us using ingredients that have just been released on the market as they don't have the proven safety track record that we require. Lots of new ingredients are deemed safe from extensive tests on animals, something that we do not support.
We have noticed that over the years some ingredients have received some unwarranted adverse publicity, which usually can be found on the websites of people who offer their 'safer' ingredient/product. These sites prey on peoples basal fears in order to increase their sales, which in our opinion is not a positive marketing technique. What is worse is that these companies have often replaced the tried and tested ingredients for ingredients that have little to no history of safe use, which is exceptionally risky. Please read on for some common ingredient questions:
We use Sodium Laureth Sulphate...but isn't it dangerous?
No it is not. We use Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) because it has by far the best safety record. It has been in use for decades and we have used it since 1976, in millions of bottles of shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath without one single complaint.
SLES has been the subject of a mud-slinging campaign which was spread through the internet and alternative health outlets. It was very difficult to trace its source but it was finally tracked back to a manufacturer of a rival surfactant which shamelessly exploited people's good intentions to sell more of its 'safe' ingredient.
For further, unbiassed information, you can visit the following links, which provide an explanation by Paula Begoun, one of the top researchers in the world of cosmetics. There also links to Cosmetics Ingredient Review and the urban legends site Snopes.
Preservatives are an essential part of certain cosmetic products for safety reasons, especially in products like ours that are packed with fresh plant extracts. Fresh food does not last long in your kitchen and it is the same with fresh ingredients in our products, unless of course we preserve them. Without preservatives, certain cosmetic products can become overloaded with bacteria, mould and fungus, which can be very dangerous to the skin or eyes. Not all products need to be preserved however, and with 40% of our products preservative free, we don't use preservatives unless we have to.
We use a mixture of Parabens to preserve our products. This is by far the most common method of preserving cosmetics, with Parabens being the second most used ingredient behind water. We use these ingredients, again because they have the best track record for safety. Not only do they do a very good job at protecting from a broad microbial spectrum, they have a very low risk of irritation and have good stability. It is interesting to note that Parabens have a natural origin - Parabens are formed from an acid (p-hydroxy-benzoic acid) found in raspberries and blackberries (Source: Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 2005, page 22).
Like other widely used ingredients, there have been some scare stories associated with this ingredient. A study in 2004 found traces of Parabens in breast cancer cells of 20 samples. However, the study left several questions unanswered. For example, the study did not show that Parabens cause cancer, or that they are harmful in any way and the study did not look at possible Paraben levels in normal tissue.
The Cosmetics Ingredients Review (CIR) reviewed the safety of methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben in 1984 and concluded they were safe for use in cosmetic products at levels up to 25%. We use these preservatives at 0.2%. The CIR reviewed the safety of these ingredients again in December 2005 and found no reason to change its original conclusion about the safety of Parabens in cosmetics products.
At the moment, we have no reason to not use Parabens as our method of preserving our products. For further reading, try: