How to Read a Label

cosmetic label abstractWhilst lurking around in the Liberty cafe, earwigging at women chatting over green tea and gluten-free toast, or nonchalantly strolling up and down the cosmetics hall at Selfridges, I hear a moan escape from many a glossed lip: “I really want to buy non toxic beauty products but it does my head in trying to remember what to avoid.”  Continue reading

Know Your Nasties: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Jane Russell enjoys a nice soak in Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in a 1954 publicity photo for ‘The French Line’

Our ongoing guide to the top toxic ingredients in cosmetics.

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

What are they?

SLS and SLES are foaming agents commonly found in shampoo, shower gel, soap, bubble bath, toothpaste and other foaming products. 

What’s the problem?  Continue reading

Know Your Nasties: Parabens

Parabens (ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-)

What are they?

Parabens are cheap preservatives that can extend the shelf life of products to up to ten years.

What’s the problem?  Continue reading

The Good Stuff – Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis / Buxus chinensis)

The Jojoba is an evergreen bush that is indigenous to the deserts of Mexico and the Southwest USA. These days Argentina produces almost half of the world’s Jojoba and its cultivation is very beneficial for the desert environment.

The oil that is extracted from the Jojoba nut is truly a wonder. The first thing that you need to know about it is this: Continue reading

The Good Stuff – Rose Hip Seed Oil

Rose Hip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina / Rosa Rubiginosa / Rosa Moschata)

The Dog Rose, Sweet Briar Rose and the Musk Rose are grown primarily for their rose hips. Once the shrub has flowered, the hips grow fat and red. When these are ripe they are harvested, dried, peeled and the seeds are pressed to produce pure rose hip seed oil. The finest rose hips are grown in Chile, on the unspoiled foothills of the Andes. Continue reading