You've probably heard a lot about parabens in the press in recent years when it comes to beauty products. While these ingredients have been spoken about and debated around a lot, it isn't always clear what they are.
Unless you're in the know, it can be difficult to get to grips with parabens and understand why they are used and why some companies choose to avoid them. At Heyland and Whittle, all of our products are totally paraben free, and here's why:
What are parabens?
Parabens are used as preservatives to make products last for a longer amount of time. Their chemical properties work to maintain freshness as they stop the growth of moulds so as to avoid any damage to a product.
They are a popular additive among many high street beauty brands as they ensure a longer shelf life, allowing for bulk manufacture and months - in not years - of warehouse storage before they even hit the shelves of a shop. While this might be great for the companies, it means that you don't know how old your products really are.
The fact that parabens are so cheap to manufacture means that many companies will turn to them rather than cheaper and potentially safer alternatives, resulting in the high street being flooded with these chemicals.
The problems with parabens
As well as allowing products to last for years, some studies have shown that parabens may be harmful to human health.
Parabens include ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben and isobutylparaben, each of which has been looked at in terms of the impact on health. A number of studies have suggested that all of these could contribute to the growth of cancerous tumours in humans.
Although there are differing views on how parabens are able to affect the likelihood of cancer - some think they can be absorbed through the skin while others suggest ingesting them causes the problem - they have been found in several different types of cancer tissue, including breast cancer.
However, it still has not been determined what parabens' role is within the cancerous tissue or within their development. This means it isn't entirely clear as to whether they are bad for you, but more and more people and companies are choosing to avoid them just in case.
Where can you find parabens?
Parabens are used in a huge range of products, from household items to healthcare. However, one of the areas that has the most prolific use of parabens is the beauty sector.
You'll find parabens in almost every beauty product on the market, unless they state that they are paraben free. This means they are in shower gel, deodorant, shampoo, body lotions and makeup; which could mean that you are layering up paraben-laden products on your skin every day.
On top of this, they are sometimes used in household products, such as cleaning solutions, as well as items that you may ingest. You could, therefore, end up being exposed to more parabens each day than you are aware of.
We love natural
At Heyland and Whittle, we steer clear of parabens completely. While they may not have been proven to have a negative impact on your health, we believe that it is much better to be safe than sorry. This means that if you are attempting to limit your paraben exposure or cut them out completely, you can use all of our products.
Instead of adding chemical preservatives to our products, we use our decades of experience in the manufacture of skincare products to find suitable, natural alternatives. Our soaps, washes, shampoo, conditioner and lotions include things like lavender oil, which is a natural preservative and beneficial for your skin.
While this means products will start to change over time - although you still get plenty of use out of them - it ensures that you know you are getting a fresh product in the first place. This doesn't mean that our products are a lower quality than other brands, in fact, the natural ingredients we use offer beautiful and lasting scents as well as great cleansing and moisturising.
What can you use?
If you want to go paraben free, give some of our classic products a go and feel the difference.
Soaps like our Queen of the Nile offer a good cleanse while the use of goat milk and cocoa butter ensure your skin feels soft and supple throughout the day.
If you prefer liquid soap varieties, you might want to give our Olive and Fig Body Wash a whirl. This uses natural glycerin to help skin hang on to moisture, while the scent of green olive and fig is incredibly warm.
All of our lotions, such as our Neroli and Rose Body Lotion, are chock full of almond oil and vitamin E to ensure your skin looks and feels great throughout the day. This particular lotion also contains ginseng, which helps all the beautiful natural ingredients penetrate the skin so they do even more good.
With products like these on offer, you don't need to change your usual beauty regime if you choose to go paraben free.