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Our thinking on cosmetics ingredients when formulating LifeJacket products

Our thinking on cosmetics ingredients when formulating LifeJacket products

At LifeJacket, we’re 100% focused on ensuring that all of our products offer the highest performance possible. We believe in technology and we're always looking for ingredients and textiles that (1) help us to achieve high performance and (2) that men are more (rather than less) inclined to use.

We use in-depth technical and scientific expertise and our decisions are founded on fact and science. Our products will always conform to the applicable regulatory requirements so you can rest assured that all of our products are toxicologically and dermatologically safe.

For this interested (!), you can read more about this in our safety blog here.

Some ingredients we DON'T use but are frequently asked about...

There are certain ingredients we're often asked about that we don't use. Nevertheless, they're commonly used in products on the market so we thought it would be useful to refer to them here for those who are interested.

The first thing to stress is that these particular ingredients are deemed safe and acceptable to use within the European Regulations. Manufacturers have to comply with this regulation by law. So, this glossary is more for reference rather than opinion concerning frequently discussed ingredients...

Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) is a commonly used surfactant (which derives from "surface active agent") in many toiletries. It's a cleaning ingredient first and foremost and is great at creating foam. It's deemed as having low acute toxicity but it's a dermal irritant whose effects are concentration related (i.e. the more that's present in the formulation, the more potential it has to irritate sensitive skin). A substantial amount of toxicological data and in vivo and in vitro information demonstrates that there's no evidence for it being genotoxic, mutagenic or carcinogenic.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an organic compound closely related to SLES. It's an anionic surfactant used in many cleaning and hygiene products both for cleaning and foaming. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a dermal irritant and, like SLES, irritation increases with the concentration of the ingredient.

Parabens are antimicrobial preservatives allowed for use in foods, drugs, cosmetics and toiletries. Methylparaben is produced naturally and found in several fruits, primarily blueberries, along with other parabens. America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Methylparaben on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as a direct food substance. Butyl-, Methyl- and Propylparaben are also permitted for use as synthetic flavouring substances for direct addition to food. Parabens may be used as preservatives in the European Union at concentrations up to 0.4% (for one ester) and up to 0.8% (for mixtures of esters). The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) has reviewed information about the safety of Parabens and agreed with current regulations for Methylparaben and Ethylparaben (use up to 0.4% for one ester and up to 0.8% for mixtures of esters). They've not yet reached a conclusion regarding certain other paraben derivatives (Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben and Isobutylparaben).

Some ingredients we DO use and are frequently asked about...

All of the products we formulate are safe for use on the skin.

Like all cosmetics products on the market we formulate to a very stringent set of rules that form part of the regulation that controls products sold within the UK and European Union. Read more about that on our safety blog here.

In addition to ensuring we meet regulations, we also go above and beyond during new product formulation and development to work with ingredients that are suitable for very sensitive skin and all our products are dermatologically tested & approved for use on ALL skin types (including sensitive) before we launch them.

As part of our development process there are certainly some situations in which we have to weigh up the benefits of an ingredient's protective efficacy from the sun on the one hand, and its skin compatibility on the other. We're driven by the science and both aspects are fundamentally important. So, we ensure we use the most skin-compatible ingredients that also deliver the exceptional protective performance we strive for. Below are some ingredients and technologies we've used that we're often asked about.

Nano technology. In cosmetics, nano is an increasingly utilised ingredient technology. It allows formulation chemists to develop innovative products using ingredients that contain nano particles (between 1 to 100 nm in size). These can improve the physical and biological performance of consumer products. We use nanotechnology in many of our skin protection products because we believe in the technology. You can read about this in our post dedicated to nano here.

Fragrance. Whether we like it or not fragrance is an incredibly powerful tool to increase enjoyment of product application and use. We don't use fragrance in our Daily Protection Moisturiser but we do use one in our Sun Gels. Why? Many studies have shown that amongst the many sensorial impacts a cosmetic product can have, scent is the most powerful. To achieve our mission to protect men in the sun we wanted to ensure our Sun Gels encourage the appropriate use and appeal at every sensory level. At the same time fragrances are a complex chemistry and often contain allergens within their make-up which can be responsible for skin irritation in sensitive skin. As part of the product safety regulation, manufacturers of fragrances supply "IFRA" certificates (which stands for the controlling body called International Fragrance Association). These certificates provide mandatory information on the safety of a given fragrance and the limits at which it can be used in different cosmetic products. Our fragrance is manufactured by one of the world's leading fragrance houses and was selected on the basis of its safety profile. In fact, we're using it in our formulations at well under one tenth of the maximum level the safety profile allows.

Ingredients help us achieve our ambition of delivering high performance formulations that men are more (rather than less) likely to use and we continually investigate and trial them in our formulation labs. We're always innovating and improving but you can be 100% reassured that all of our products are toxicologically and dermatologically tested, so you know your skin is in safe hands.

Stay safe people.

p.s. We'll continue to update this ingredient blog with 'interesting' information concerning those ingredients and technologies that we're frequently asked about. You can see why I'm the fun one out of us three!