In this day and age we are becoming more and more aware of what we are eating, where it comes from and what effect a particular food can have on our bodies so, why isn’t the same thought process applied to what we place onto our skin and where and how these products are manufactured?

We carried out a recent survey of 300 women and found that 95% of women would stop using their favourite beauty product if it contained a harmful ingredient.

What most of the women who took part in the survey did not realise is that most beauty products that are available on the high street do contain a vast cocktail of harmful ingredients, using synthetic ingredients to bulk up the product to produce it as cheaply as possible. Which is fantastic for the companies balance sheets and the consumers pocket, but not for their bodies.

Women who participated in the survey were also asked to indentify from a list of four ingredients commonly found in beauty products which they thought would be the most harmful.

85% of women who participated in the survey selected Benzoin Resinoid as the most harmful ingredient, which came as a surprise as it occurs naturally and belongs to the Styraceae plant family. The resin is extracted from tender, evergreen trees of 25 feet in height found in places such as Thailand, choosing to almost completely ignore ingredients such as Triclosan which has been in the news for quite some time.

Interestingly, over 8% of people thought that Butyrospermum Parkii was a harmful ingredient which is actually just another name for “sheanut oil”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even includes sheanut oil on its list of direct food substances affirmed as “Generally Recognised As Safe”.

The process in which some of world’s largest cosmetic brands develop these products is also of major concern to a lot of UK women, with 86% of women stating that they would stop using their favourite beauty product if they discovered it was tested on animals.

Women also expressed the allegiance to these core values after a recent takeover of Burt’s Bees via Clorox received quite a backlash from its customers as its common knowledge that Clorox test on animals, which goes completely against Burts Bees company ethos and its customers values.

Sadly however, 14% of women surveyed said using products that have been tested on animals does not bother them and they would not change on the basis of these grounds. 

Consumers need to be educated in the types of ingredients used by some of the largest companies in the world as with prolonged use over many years, could affect your health. Natural and organic beauty products are becoming more and more popular with consumers as they look for an alternative natural or organic product.

I am also confident that if people were aware of the some of the large beauty brands that do test on animals and what does go on behind closed doors they would make the change to a natural alternative.

Alison Claire