Toppik UK

  • Should you banish the parabens from your bathroom?
    Should you banish the parabens from your bathroom?

    Toppik looks into 'parabens' - a group of compounds commonly found in hygiene and cosmetic products of all descriptions. Are concerns about them justified?

    What are parabens and why all the fuss about them?

    From shampoo to body-butter, mascara to moisturiser, many of the hygiene and cosmetic products commonly found in bathrooms and makeup bags contain a range of substances collectively referred to as 'parabens'. These compounds are used to stop bacteria and mould growing on various products, thus prolonging their shelf life. Parabens are cheap, effective and have been in use for well over 60 years, replacing formaldehyde which was used previously.

    While their inclusion in bathroom and beauty products means they'll last longer so you're less likely to have to throw them out, these ubiquitous preservatives are suspected to have some dangers associated with them too. Leading to more and more people rejecting products containing these chemicals.


    A Synthetic Hormone?

    Parabens have been identified as 'xenoestrogens' and potential endocrine disruptors, having been observed to mimic the effects, however marginally, of the hormone oestrogen. There has also been a suggestion that as a result of this, there may be a link between these compounds and fertility problems in both men and women.


    A potential carcinogen?

    Of particular concern is the ability of parabens to be absorbed into the body and remain there unaffected by the metabolism. In particular, it's been noted that they have been discovered in some breast cancer tumours. It's worth noting that cause and effect between these compounds and cancer haven't been established at this time.


    An Ocean pollutant?

    With so many hygiene products containing parabens, it's no great surprise that they end up being washed down the plughole along with the bathwater and there have been reports that these compounds have been found in the environment and more worryingly, in marine animals too.


    How do I know if a product contains parabens?

    We mentioned earlier that parabens are a group of chemicals, so you won't see the word 'paraben' by itself on a product (unless the manufacturer has listed 'paraben free' on the label). What you will see are ingredients with paraben as part of the name of an ingredient.

    Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben and Propylparaben are all names you might spot.


    What are the alternatives?

    Given the understandable and increasing caution amongst consumers with regard products containing parabens, it's good to know that there are plenty of cosmetics and toiletries on the market which use alternative methods of keeping microbes at bay or even have no preservatives at all.

    Also, because many of the organisms they keep at bay thrive in water, a product which contains little to no water is less likely to be hospitable to them and therefore won't need parabens, or any other preservative to keep them at bay.

    Toppik's own hair care products are packed full of ingredients nourishing for your hair, but you won't' find any parabens amongst them. While parabens may be getting more negative press than they deserve given that they're suspected of more harm than has actually been proven, there's nothing wrong with being cautious. If you're at all concerned, keep an eye on the ingredients of your favourite products and consider an alternative.

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  • Which Nutrients are the most essential for hair growth?
    Which Nutrients are the most essential for hair growth?
    Your overall health has a huge influence on hair growth and appearance. Toppik explores the nutrients which are the most important to keep it looking good.
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  • What does the winter do to your hair?
    What does the winter do to your hair?
    The temperatures are dropping and it's time to consider breaking out the knitwear. Toppik looks into what the cooler weather means for your follicles.
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  • Does exercise cause hair loss?
    Does exercise cause hair loss?
    Does a workout cause your hair to fall out? Toppik investigates why people might think the gym makes you thin on top. Are they right about exercise?
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  • Seeking a stylist - Finding your perfect partner
    Seeking a stylist - Finding your perfect partner
    Toppik shares some practical tips on how to find a hair stylist who'll make your locks look luscious and leave you feeling fabulous.
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  • Be the Belle of Bonfire Night
    Be the Belle of Bonfire Night
    Bonfire night is a terrific late Autumn tradition.Toppik suggests some steps you can take to make sure your hair stays fine for the festive season.
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  • Is being a Vegan or Vegetarian a cause of hair loss?
    Is being a Vegan or Vegetarian a cause of hair loss?
    Toppik explores how diet nourishes our hair and whether a vegetarian diet could, in certain circumstances, lead to a hair free scalp.
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  • The Curse Of The Curls - Taming your Tangle
    The Curse Of The Curls - Taming your Tangle
    Curly hair does have its downside. It's prone to tangles, breakage and adamantly refuses to lie flat. Toppik discusses how to get the most out of your curls.
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  • Common Hair Loss Conditions
    Common Hair Loss Conditions
    Toppik examines some of the most well known varieties of hair loss, which we hope will shed some light on the conditions which might cause your hair to shed
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  • What gives hair its colour and why does it change?
    What gives hair its colour and why does it change?
    Why blondes have blonde hair, brunettes have brown and redheads are red in colour. Hair grows in innumerable shades, but why is hair the colour it is and why does it change? Toppik looks into what gives your hair its unique hue.
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