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Please find information about the ingredients we use below. Check regularly for updates!

FDA and Parabens Preservatives:

In order to answer safety concerns associated with the use of parabens in cosmetics, the FDA has added a section to its website to address these issues. See FDA Parabens


The article contains two paragraphs of note:


Given that the use of parabens in cosmetics is typically between 0.01 and 0.3%, a review of exposure limits in 2005 concluded that parabens were safe as used in cosmetics.

The FDA notes that estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Parabens can act similarly to estrogen but have been shown to be much less active than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen—the most potent paraben tested in a 1998 study, butylparaben, showed 10000- to 100000-fold less activity than naturally occurring estradiol. Given the low levels of use in cosmetics, a report by Golden et al concluded that it was implausible, based on daily exposure rates, that parabens could increase the risk associated with exposure to estrogenic chemicals.


Thus, the FDA has concluded that, at the present time, there is no reason to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, beyond all the evidence, the consumer trend is for ‘paraben-free’ products with the preservative issues these raise!

Preservation Update:

As reported in 2011, The EU Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) has concluded that parabens are safe to use at the established limits of 0.4% for Methylparaben and Ethylparaben or up to 0.8% combined with Propylparaben and Butylparaben safe at a combined maximum concentration of 0.19%. These four are the popular ones used in most ‘broad spectrum’ antifungal / antimicrobial preservative blends. It should be noted that methyl and ethyl are the most water soluble and effective.

With natural preservatives, industry comment in happi vol. 48 (5) of 2011 suggests that there is no historical data to prove their stability and they may require to be used in higher concentrations with formulation modification to compensate. Quoting from the article “A well balanced preservative system containing different active ingredients in the right ratios will help protect the product against spoilage and at the same time help to maintain low preservative dosage rates, an important route to ‘responsible’ care for the end-user”.


The article concluded that there will be continued investigation into alternatives to parabens and Body & Face is investigating the use of 1) Optiphen + (Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol and Sorbic Acid) which functions over a broad pH range and 2) D-Glucono-1,5-Lactone/Sodium Benzoate – a multi-functional, broad spectrum preservative specially designed for moisturisation and preservation of cosmetic products. At concentrations of below 1% this can be used in combination with other preservatives – the so-called ‘hurdle’ effect.


Also under consideration is the use of Ecosolution packaging – airless, recyclable bottles reducing the need for preservation and protecting contents from contamination. These are already in use for our Naturally for Men range. Tubes will offer the same protection.


Surfactant Update:

Investigating possible alternatives to SLES, options under consideration include: Alkyl (poly) Glucosides

A proprietary mild natural-based anionic surfactant blend with good foaming properties that is also free of alkyl sulfates and ethylene oxide is under investigation. Together with a second additive that supports moisturisation and which also acts as a viscosity modifier, a basic formulation has been tested. Both components are ECOCERT approved. Applications include body washes, face washes, liquid hand soaps, shampoos and baby care products.

General structure of an alkyl polyglucos


Used as the sodium salt or disodium salt in combination, cocoyl glutamate anionic surfactants have gentle cleansing and foaming properties. Applications include facial and body cleansers, shampoos and baby products. Glutamates are claimed to be non-comedogenic. The products under consideration have ECOCERT approval.

sodium cocoyl glutamate.png

Sucrose Esters

Predominantly used as non-ionic emulsifiers for O/W systems, sucrose esters of fatty acids (palmitate / stearate) can act as co-surfactants to be used in formulations for mild cleansers. They are claimed to provide controlled detergency and leave a pleasant after-feel. Sucrose esters can also be used as viscosity modifiers. Product range available is ECOCERT approved.

general structure of a sucrose ester.png

Natural Betaines

Cocoamidopropyl betaine is extensively used as a secondary surfactant in alkyl or alkyl ether sulfate-based systems to improve foaming. A modified cetyl betaine, developed from natural feedstocks, functions as a mild secondary surfactant in conjunction with anionic surfactants (such as glutamates) in sulfate-free systems. This shows enhanced viscosity-building properties, reducing the level of sodium chloride needed for thickening of products.

Acyl Lactylates​

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – one example

Acyl lactylates are formed from the reaction of fatty acids and lactic acid in the presence of an alkali ion. Depending on the length of the carbon chain in the fatty acid and the degree of condensation, surfactants with varying degrees of foaming characteristics are shown. Sodium salts (such as that seen in the diagram) are efficient O/W emulsifiers useful in creams and lotions. Acyl lactylates are also recognized for their humectant properties.

sodium stearoyl lactylate.png

Oat Derivatives:

Oat (Avena sativa) derivatives have a long history of relief for irritation and itching.

Oat Oil is extracted from oat kernels in a process which maintains the biologically active components and provides a clear oil. A high level of natural anti-oxidants is found including forms of Vitamin E; the oil is rich in essential fatty acids and natural emollients. It has good emulsification properties for water-in-oil emulsion systems.


Colloidal oats acts as a natural thickener in formulations. Oat actives include: Avenanthramides, Avenacins, Flavanoids and simple and complex phenolics.


Shown above is a typical structure of Avananthramides – said to be anti-inflammatory, to aid de-granulation of the skin, have anti-oxidant properties and are non-allergenic. Avananthramides are a group of naturally occurring polyphenols found only in oats. They are fully soluble in aqueous, oil/water and

water/oil systems.



A long-chain, water soluble polysaccharide extracted from the cell walls of oat kernels, β-Glucan has been shown to effectively penetrate the skin and is claimed to be a better moisturiser than Hyaluronic Acid. It is available to ECOCERT standards.

Recent in vivo testing of the efficacy β-Glucan on the reduction of irritation in both surfactant and UV-induced erythema has been reported in Personal Care Europe of June 2012. In this same article trials were also reported on the hair strengthening effects of a conditioning serum containing 5% β-Glucan as the active ingredient with improvement in tensile strength shown.

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