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Parabens, no poo, SLS? Oh Why can’t things just be made of carbon.... You may feel bombarded with jargon so to help you, we have compiled a list of commonly used terms and explained their meanings.


Parabens are preservatives that are used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products to make them last longer. There is some concern about parabens and their effect on human health, but there are no conclusive studies as yet. The worry is that, although individually they may be safe, because people use different products which use different types of parabens there is little research on how this paraben mixture might affect us. Although most companies study the implications of the ingredients in their products, they don’t then test them against all the other products you might be using to see if anything bad happens. Naissance does not use Parabens.

No Poo

At first reading, this sounds risky and unnecessary, anyone who has suffered from ‘no poo’ can, I’m sure, vouch for this. However, in this case, No Poo means No Shampoo. The idea being that you either don’t use shampoo at all or you use a more natural alternative to regular shampoo like Castile Soap or diluted baking soda followed by diluted apple cider vinegar. There are also many other natural products for cleaning your hair, and many recipes to make your own. The same goes for conditioner, which might be called an equally confusing No Con or No Er, but maybe with an extra r


Tiny plastics beads that are used in many exfoliators and other cosmetic products. There is currently a movement to have these removed as they are getting into our water ways and damaging aquatic life. Naissance products do not contain microbeads.

Petrolatum (petroleum jelly)

Vaseline is a household name for petrolatum, which is a product of crude oil and has been used since the 1800s as a lubricant, to protect dry lips, ease chaffing, moisturise and protect the skin etc. and it is used in lots and lots of cosmetics like lipsticks and moisturisers.

What’s to hate? It is the product of a non-renewable substance, crude oil, and some argue that it might be able to cause cancer by being contaminated during the refining process. EU legislations requires only high grade petrolatum be used in EU cosmetics products so the risk of this contamination is very low.


How much space and time have we got? If I were to say that phthalates seem to be in everything and bad for everyone would I be being over dramatic? Probably. But on reading about them, that’s how it feels. In everything from plastics to pill coatings, children’s toys, medical equipment, cosmetics, food containers, modelling clay and on and on. The risks are everything from breast cancer to male fertility, diabetes, ADHD and many more. It is very, very difficult to avoid Phthalates as they seem to be everywhere. Hopefully there will be legislation to ban the bad ones, but until then I think it might be a cross your fingers and hope for the best situation.

In Jargon busting part 2 – Should we avoid SLS or SLES, and what’s the difference?

Tags: naissance, jargon, beauty, ingredients, microbeads, parabens, no poo, petrolatum, phthalates


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