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Which ingredient? Why shouldn’t I use it? What does Philosophia Botanica use instead?


PARABENS - Although inconclusive, studies have shown that parabens can be absorbed into the bloodstream and have been found in cancerous tumours particularly breast tissue (P. Darbre, 2004).  Parabens are also noted as suspected allergens and as a cause of allergic dermatitis. (K Farrow, Skin Deep,2002) Philosophia Botanica uses natural preservatives  extracts to preserve the product and ensure its safety. In order to ensure a substantial shelf life. We do use other non-natural preservatives that have a proven safety track record - these include phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate.


Artificial Fragrances - Artificial fragrances are made using many synthetic chemicals and can irritate sensitive skin and cause skin irritations. P.B. uses essential oils such as African Geranium, Neroli and rose flower water. As well as having a beautiful natural fragrance, these ingredients also have many benefits for the skin.


PEG's (polyethylene glycol) - PEGs are used to stabilise and thicken skincare and makeup products. Evidence suggests that PEG’s may be allergens. (K. Farrow,Skin Deep, 2002)


Philosophia Botanica  relies on the combination of natural ingredients to maintain product stability. We may use natural product thickeners such as xanthan gum for some formulations.


SLS/SLES - These foaming agents increase dryness and roughness and may exacerbate dry skin and eczema. They also disturb the growth process of new hair and skin. PB uses a few different natural foaming agents (surfactants) to cleanse hair and skin: lauryl glucoside, an ingredient derived from glucose and coconut, caprylyl/capryl glucoside a vegetable-derived ingredient and sodium cocoyl hydrolysed wheat protein glutamate, a wheat protein.


Petrochemicals - The petrochemical TEA: can pass easily through un-broken skin and long-term exposure has been found to lead to heart, kidney and liver damage. (K. Farrow, Skin Deep, 2002) The petrochemical DEA: is noted as a mild skin irritant and severe eye irritant. It is also moderately toxic by ingestion. (K.Farrow, Skin Deep, 2002)As per above we use plant and vegetable derived surfactants.

We use botanical and essential oils instead of artificial fragrances.


Mineral oils - Mineral oils clogs the pores, interfere with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promote acne and other skin irritations and slow down the development of new, healthy skin cells resulting in premature ageing. P.B. uses natural plant and nut-based oils for their moisturising properties. Oils we use include rosehip, jojoba, baobab, marula, moringa, almond, to mention a few.


Artificial Colours - Artificial colours derived from coal tar have been found to cause nausea, mood swings, headaches and fatigue. (K. Farrow, Skin Deep, 2002) The colour of P.B. products is due to the natural ingredients used within the formula and no artificial colours are added. 



Antioxidants: Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, they scavenge free radicals from the cells within the body and prevent, or reduce, the damage caused by oxidation.

PEG: Polyethylene Glycol is a humectant commonly used in cosmetics, a by-product of petroleum production.

Surfactant: Detergent, cleaning agent.Emulsifier: Binds the water and oil in a formulation, what binds a product together.

Astringent: Tones pores of skin.

Humectant: Attracts moisture from the air to hydrate the skin, keeps the product moist.

Emollient: Moisturiser, softens and sooths the skin.

Emulsion Stabiliser: Binds product together, stabilises the product

All ingredients we use are from the botanical world.




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