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Q: What are parabens and why should I avoid them?

Over 75% of skincare products available today contain parabens. They are a chemical compound of Para-Hydroxybenzoic Acid and have been used since the 1950s as a preservative. This is to give products like shampoos, deodorants, moisturisers and mascaras a longer shelf life and kill any bacteria that tries to grow within the product itself. Parabens are also used in glues, oils, soft drinks, sauces, processed meat and hundreds of other everyday products.

Whilst they have been deemed safe in small doses, over 90% of groceries as well as cosmetic products have been shown to contain parabens and cumulatively there is evidence that they can disrupt hormones and potentially trigger reactions that could lead to tumours.

Q: What is SLS?

A: Like parabens, SLS is also used in many cosmetic products, such as soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpaste etc. SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and is a substance, like a detergent, which enables a liquid to foam. There are concerns about its toxicity when combined with other ingredients found in personal care products, and it’s also been found to cause irritation to the skin, eyes and scalp.