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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month...

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month...

By: John Hamilton

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it triggers a particular emotion for us. 20 years ago we were learning about the potential links between parabens and breast cancer. These studies were showing that parabens can disrupt the endocrine system and it gave us the push and motivation to start making products without these synthetic preservatives. 

It took another decade for other brands to catch up with us and for the wider public to start asking much needed questions about parabens, in fact lots of huge skincare brands still proudly use them (because they are cheap) and tell you they are confident about their safety. 

We believe that parabens are only half the story, there are a significant number of other common ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products that have been linked to cancer. If you’d told us 20 years ago there would be MORE products on the market containing these ingredients we wouldn't have believed you!  

Breast Cancer is said to affect 1 in 8 women over their lifetimes. Why isn’t more being done about these known links? To answer this you have to look at company culture, they want the products to be formulated as cheaply as possible, with as long a shelf life as possible and they won’t reformulate unless absolutely necessary - formulating is an expensive and time consuming business. 

A Reuters investigation found that Johnson and Johnson knew for decades that cancer causing asbestos was in their baby powder but they did nothing about it, their attitude was if people want to buy it we will make it.  There were 11,700 plaintiffs in the $4.69bn legal case including thousands of women with ovarian cancer. They knew it had asbesto in it as far back as the 1950s, it was still on sale in the early noughties. 

Don’t trust big business to be working in your best interests. As the consumer you have the power to interrogate what is in the products you consume for yourself and in your home - everything you put on your skin: face creams, shower gels, deodorants etc but also what you use around your home, your cleaning products, what you wash your clothes in. Big businesses are working in your best interests so you have to play detective.  . 

Here at Essentially Yours / Natural Elements, we have always pioneered naturals and are constantly searching for better ways of doing things, even if it costs more - we even switched to a brand new entirely natural preservative last year and we work close with clinical teams at universities to make sure and prove that our products have significant benefits for the skin. There is so much research we want to do to prove the power of plants, quite frankly plants hold miracles within them. Our big question is how can we get these miracles into our skin - and we are working diligently with clinical teams and academics to prove it.

We may be a beauty company but health is, always has been and always will be our number one focus.