Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ingredients in T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner, in particular Parabens

It is very important nowadays to be an educated consumer.  By that I mean, consumers should be provided with all necessary information about the ingredients used in beauty and health care products.  We should be in control of what we are putting on our bodies.  For this reason, I will try to explain which ingredients are used in compounding T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner, the flagship product and customer top-rated product, both in Canada and the USA, and I will zero in on concerns surrounding the buzz word "parabens".

First of all, the main ingredient is soybean oil, which is light and has a molecular structure that is found in our skin and nails.  It is a natural, plant-based derived oil and is higher in lipids than any other oil.  This combined with our secret, exclusive ingredient allows our solution to actually be absorbed by the nails and cuticles.  All other oils, such as olive oil or almond oil just to name a few, may feel good, but they are simply sitting on your skin and nails; they do not penetrate.  We can make this claim that our Nail Conditioner really penetrates, treats and replenishes the cells with moisture based on studies carried out by the California Skin Research Institute.

Secondly, Phenoxyethanol is a highly effective preservative blend consisting of several esters.  It is formaldehyde-free and halogen-free, and serves as a great preservative against bacteria, yeast and mold as well.  Its features make it an excellent choice for most types of leave-on or rinse-off personal-care products.

Next, there is an ingredient called Tocopherol, also known as Vitamin E (a common vitamin supplement). Frequently listed as an ingredient in dermatological products, Vitamin E is used as a moisturizing agent, an antioxidant and also to improve the elasticity of the skin in cosmetics, skin care products, hair care and sun screening products. Tocopherol is not oxidized and can penetrate through the skin to the living cells, where about 5 % is available, which provides beneficial antioxidant effects.

The parabens we use are food grade preservatives that you can find in your cereal and deli meats (although they may have different names).  The major concern and hype over parabens came as a result of a study published in 2008.  Unfortunately, the media tends to be misleading with a lot of its information.  They usually leave key points out of a study, which do not support the position they are promoting. 

Further studies have revealed that certain parabens are safe within a certain concentration.  This study was recently published in March 2011 conducted by the European Council, who are even stricter on cosmetic/food laws than we are here in North America.  Their results suggested that parabens are safe for use in cosmetics if used within a 0.4 % figure, which they described as being "more than cautious".  The concentration of parabens in T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner is 0.22 %, well below the European Council's recommendation.

We are still using parabens to preserve our product, however we realize that people are concerned with this even though they have been proven to be safe when used appropriately.  We are trying to find an alternative preservative, but all the alternatives we have looked at so far are much worse than parabens.  Many contain some form of halogen or formaldehyde (although it will not say "formaldehyde" in the ingredients).

At ASK Cosmetics we do not want to mislead our customers by claiming that T.I.P.S. is paraben-free only to replace it with an extremely dangerous preservative instead.  We will, however, continue to look for viable alternatives to parabens.

The "other ingredient" at the end of our ingredient list refers to our exclusive ingredient, which is an all natural ingredient.  We cannot divulge this secret as this ingredient combined with soybean oil is what makes T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner so unique and sets it apart from all other nail care products on the market today. 

For more information on parabens, I have included an M.D.'s blog, who is discussing the issues of parabens and he explains the issue quite well.  As well, he informs us on how to do research on these products.  That link is below:

The second link provided here is to the study by the European Council:

Please notice that the study states: "Based upon the above, the SCCS considers the use of butylparaben and propylparaben as preservatives in finished cosmetic products as safe to the consumer, as long as the sum of their individual concentrations does not exceed 0.19 %."  This means the concentration of butylparaben may not exceed 0.19 % and the concentration of propylparaben is also allowed to be 0.19 %.  Therefore, the total between the two would be 0.38 %.  Our total concentration of four different parabens is only 0.22 %.

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