TerraNova Body Blog: Parabens…the truth in body care

I am proud to say that our founder, and my mom, Jane Saunders pioneered the use of healthy ingredients in body care. In 1970, health foods were just a blip on the radar screen and they were on hers…. In fact, when we first started using jojoba oil, we purchased it from the Chief of the Indian reservation in Arizona that grew the plant and processed the oil. Now Jojoba is grown around the world and is a huge commodity!

Parabens have become a hot issue in body care products and consumers are concerned. We respect our customers and their desire to have non-paraben preservatives in their bath and body products, and we have reformulated many of our TerraNova formulations to be paraben free!!!

TRUTH and BEAUTY is our core principle, and there are a lot of misconceptions about the safety of parabens as preservatives. Though we removed parabens where possible, we also do believe that parabens are safe and highly effective in guarding against microorganisms in body care products. In some formulas they are the only preservatives that are truly effective in guarding against dangerous contamination!

Parabens do occur naturally in plant sources such as barley, strawberries, black currants, peaches, carrots, onions, cocoa-beans, vanilla; in foods prepared from fruit such as grapes and fruit juices, yeast extract, wine vinegar and also in cheeses. The have an anti-microbial effect in these foods too!

The paraben controversy began with a very small study done in England in 2004. The study looked at the paraben level in 20 cancerous tumors. The study did NOT prove that parabens cause cancer or that they are harmful in any way, and the study did NOT look at possible paraben levels in normal tissue. In addition, although parabens can act similarly to estrogen, they have been shown to have much less estrogenic activity than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen; one of the benefits of parabens is that they are effective at very low levels in cosmetics.

So “buyers beware”! With the internet’s ability to spread information, marketing and lobbying groups are able to spread false rumors very quickly. In addition, many companies (including some of the natural brands that we want to trust) use false information to differentiate their products and create consumer demand.

Our primary concern is public safety. Consumers are well aware of problems in their food supply with dangerous outbreaks of e coli and salmonella. These problems are found in the mass food supply, as well as specialty and organic foods. Body care products can get contaminated too.

Our products are made in California, USA and in our sanitary environment, but when products are used at home they can easily be contaminated and the preservative system must be able to prevent microorganism growth. For example, think about the amount of times a hand is introduced into a jar of cream! Natural bacteria are even on clean hands. Water contains many microorganisms and it is easy for products that are used in the shower or sink to have water enter a bottle. Body care products that contain many food type ingredients i.e. honey, oatmeal, and milk are not only food for the body but also food for bacteria. They can spoil, just as your food does. Remember, even food kept in the refrigerator can grow mold or go sour!

Preservatives allow a body care product to be have a reasonable shelf life and remain safe, therefore they are a critical part of the formula. Preservatives such as grapefruit seed extract when used alone are not effective. Enzyme preservatives can break down over time. Most preservatives must be used in combination i.e. a preservative cocktail, so that we can effectively guard against different contaminants such as bacteria and mold.

For more information check out the following link from the American Cancer Society, as it provides excellent information!  Also, check out our new store at www.storeterranovabody.com

Thanks for reading…
Kathy Saunders


6 thoughts on “TerraNova Body Blog: Parabens…the truth in body care

  1. Please TerraNova, please, find it in your heart to put Oceana back on the market-the original Oceana. I cannot find another TerraNova product that compares to Oceana. If I had been forewarned of its impending doom, I would have stocked up. Please tell me you have Oceana cologne, perfume, oil sitting on some dusty shelves in an unused room…desperate for Oceana…

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  2. Thanks for the info re paraben.
    If you really have something that smells like “rain,” I must rethink things. How about
    “new mown grass?”

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  3. Thanks VERY MUCH for explaining about parabens. I feel silly to have been so nervous about them without knowing the whole story.

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  4. I love, love Terranova’s Lime Blossom & Jasmine products! The fragrance is such a wonderfully fresh and sweet scent, it’s not overpowering which is really great when you have two small kids that love to fall asleep lying on your chest and love to give their mom lots and lots of hugs!! I love it, it makes me happy when I shower with the body wash in the mornings… it brightens my day and my husband’s even made some sweet comments which is pretty rare since he never usually notices my fragrances!

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  5. I’m so happy that you guys have a blog, full of such interesting information. I’ve used your products for years, and especially love the “rain” scented body lotion…a scent unlike any other. I look forward to reading more!

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