Monday 25 August 2014

What are Parabens?

There is lots of debate about whether we should be worried about using products that have Parabens as part of their formulation. And there are lots of products out there now that boast to be Paraben free. So I decided to do a little research on the subject and to find out what they are and we don't want them!

What are the used for?

Parabens are used by cosmetic companies as a preservative, to make a products shelf life longer. They have been widely used since the 1950's and are relatively inexpensive and effective which makes them so popular with cosmetics companies. There are other natural preservatives such as grapefruit seed oil and vitamin E but they are not as effective over the long term.
There are four chemical parabens that all have a similar molecular structure that are commonly found in our products:

  • Butylparaben 
  • Ethylparaben
  • Methylparaben*
  • Propylparaben*
*These two are the most commonly used.

You will most likely find Parabens in pretty much any personal care product you use such as shampoo's, conditioner's, moisturiser's, makeup, cleansers (both facial and body) and scrubs, the list goes on. All these hold a significant amount of water or aqua and the Parabens are put in place to discourage the growth of microbes or bacteria. (Microbes are little single celled organisms that are extremely adaptable to any condition and believe it or not, are essential in our survival!) Any product with a paraben included will be listed in with the ingredients on the back of your product and sometimes they may even be two of them! 

So why all the debate?

Parabens can be absorbed through the skin and have been known to interfere with hormones. 
In the 1990's parabens were deemed xenoestrogens, agents that mimic estrogen in the body. This increase and disruption of estrogen is something that has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems. A British researcher found parabens present in malignant breast tumors but there is currently no scientific link to parabens causing cancer, so please don't panic yet!
Parabens have also been found to be skin irritants.

So at the end of the day there's currently no need to panic and stop using your products that have parabens as part of their formulation. But if you are concerned you can find many paraben free products out there on the market today. But make sure you read the ingredient list as some times it may say paraben free* or as I have found with sulfate free* (be mindful of the asterisk*!) that some times they lie! (more on that in another post!) 
You may find that some paraben products will be a little more pricey but that could be because using a more natural ingredient to preserve a product is a little more pricey than using the cheaper paraben chemicals. THE BODY SHOP is a good place to start looking for paraben free products.

There are also a list of oils that you can use as moisturisers that will be 100% natural and completely chemical free! My top picks are Coconut oil (body & hair), Avacado oil (face) and Almond oil (hair). But you may want to experiment with them as some may cause break outs. From experience I personally cannot use Olive oil or Coconut oil on my face for long periods of time with out an out right attack from Spot Nation.

I hope that this post has been informative and that you have a better understanding of what parabens are

Have a great day!

Jen x

Thursday 14 August 2014

Review | Yes To Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturiser

I first heard about the Yes To range while watching a SLOABN (SecretLifeOfABioNerd) video on YouTube, and when I saw that Boots had started carrying some of the range I had to give it a try.

Information |

Brand | Yes To (tomatoes)
Product | Daily Balancing Moisturiser for Combination Skin
Size | 50ml / 1.7 fl oz
Price | £11.99
Purchased at | Boots
Made in | USA
Would I re-purchase | Yes, maybe

Yes To claim to be a brand with products that are as close to natural as the can get. This particular product has 97% of its ingredients listed as natural. Its key natural ingredients are Tomatoes and Watermelon.


Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glycer in, Cetyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao Seed But ter, Glyceryl Laurate, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Phenoxyethanol, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Aspalathus Linearis Extract*, Chomilla Recutita Flower Extract*, Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract*, Maris Sal, Cucurbita Pepo Fruit Extract*, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract*, Alcohol, Citrullus Vulgaris Fruit Extract, Parfum, Coumarin, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linaolol.
*Certified Organic Ingredient 
Its also free from Parabens, Patroleum and SLS. 
Product Discription
"We know you juggle many aspects of life on a daily basis, hydrating and balancing your skin shouldn't be one of them.
Let us tend to your needs with Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturiser.
Rich in antioxidants and powerful sebum (acne-causing oil) absorbers, it both moisturises and balances, keeping your complexion carefree.
So, go on, give up the balancing act and try something more fun, like the trapeze"
Yes To also have a charitable foundation called the Yes To Seed Fund, that plants gardens for children. 

The moisturiser uses a pump mechanisum rather than a tube pump, make sense? So each time you pump a level rises up inside pushing the product out of the container, making it easy to get all of the product out with no wastage at the end.
So what to I think?!
I like it. I bought this on my Birthday back in June and have been using it every day since then, so I've had it for a little over 2 months and I have what I estimate to be about a week and a half to two weeks left of product.
I use this right after I wash my face morning and night, and smooth it in, then pat in any excess product. It has a very mild, clean, fresh and natural scent, which you just about pick up. The moisturiser its self is quite light but does have a thick consistency and does feel a little oily, but it absorbs into the skin easily enough and leaves a soft matte, but dewy look.  

My skin feels well moisturised and clean directly after use, and its a nice base for makeup. My skin has been pretty clear since using this, but currently as I right this I'm in the midst of bit of a break out, which I think has something to do with upping my water intake and all the toxins being flushed out of my system. Well I hope that's what is happening! (I do plan on writing about it soonish! So stay tuned if your interested!)
As for its daily balancing act, with skin as oily as mine, I think any product labeled as balancing or mattifying or what ever, is truly going to have bit of a hard time really sticking to its claims. It does do well for about an hour then Mr. Shiny starts to appear on my forehead and cheeks. Soon enough I'm Lady of the Oil Slick. So if you have oily skin don't expect not to get oily! I think any other skin type will be fine with this. Like I said its nice and light and nourishing.
Just to quickly clarify, I'm not blaming the moisturiser for my oil laden face, just nature! I also thing in part the other products I use afterwards i.e: my BB Creams or my foundation contribute to the overall oilyness of my face.
I think all in all, the Yes To Tomatoes moisturiser does a good job, and I would be willing to re-purchase it again.
I have the clearing facial mask in the Yes To Tomatoes range and the Yes To Grapefruit Dark Circle corrector as well in my arsenal of things to review!

Have a great day guys!
Jen x