Fact-check Friday: What’s the deal with parabens in cosmetics?

Today’s Fact-check Friday focuses on one of the most unfairly demonised of chemicals in beauty products: parabens. You probably own at least one beauty product that proudly declares itself to be paraben-free – is there any reason to buy more, or is it pure marketing? What are parabens? Parabens are chemicals derived from a chemical called parahydroxybenzoic acid, with this …

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What’s wrong with SLS?

(Photo credit: Steve Ford Elliott) Lots of personal care products proudly say they’re “SLS-free”. What was wrong with it in the first place? Sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate, or sodium coco-sulfate) is found in many personal care products, such as shampoo, toothpaste . It looks like this: It has an oil-soluble “tail” (on the left) and …

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Is an aspirin mask the same as a beta hydroxy acid treatment?

(Chaval Brasil) Aspirin masks are a popular DIY skincare treatment, but can some pills crushed in water be an effective homemade replacement for expensive salicylic acid exfoliants? Aspirin vs salicylic acid Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which sounds a lot like salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that’s great for exfoliation, with anti-irritant and anti-bacterial properties that make it great for …

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Q&A: Can Shellac damage your nails?

Q: Can Shellac (and other soak-off hybrid gels) damage your nails? A: Yes. Hybrid soak-off gels (e.g. Shellac, Gelish, Axxium) are less damaging than the old style long-lasting treatments which needed to be filed off for removal (often taking a chunk of your natural nail with it), but a recent study found that they still caused significant weakness, thinning and …

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Is mineral oil dangerous? Part 2

Angela Mabray I’m looking at whether mineral oil, an incredibly common moisturiser – possibly the most common moisturiser, check your moisturiser’s ingredients – is dangerous again. Read part 1 here! 3. Mineral oil is comedogenic and will make you break out – FALSE Mineral oil appears on a large range of “comedogenic ingredients” lists. Once upon a time (well, in …

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Big 3 – Formaldehyde

Reminder: Only a few days left to enter my giveaway! Good luck everyone 🙂 This is the last of the Big 3. The other two were covered earlier: DBP – Toluene Formaldehyde – form-AL-de-hide – MSDS Other names: methanal. When mixed with water, formaldehyde forms methanediol, which is also known as formalin, methylene glycol or formaldehyde monohydrate. Not to be …

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Big 3 – Toluene

Second in Lab Muffin’s Big 3 series is toluene. Part 1 – DBP Toluene – TOLL-lew-een – MSDSaka toluol, methylbenzene, phenylmethane Where is it found? Nail polish, permanent markers, paint. Why is it there? Toluene is a solvent – in other words, it dissolves up all the other bits in nail polish so you’re not putting chunky powder across your …

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Flashback: Big 3 – DBP

I’ve decided to finish off the Big 3 (maybe even Big 4!) series I started on at the beginning of this blogging journey, and thought revisiting my original DBP post would be a good way to start – read on… If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients list on the back of any of your cosmetics, you’ll see a massive …

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