Holland and Barrett have announced that their "aim is to provide a toiletries range that is FREE from Parabens and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)."
"Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives and can be found in toiletries products such as shampoos, moisturisers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants and toothpaste, to which they are added to kill bacteria, prevent the growth of mould and prolong the shelf-life of products. There is concern regarding the potential toxic effects of the absorption of Parabens via the skin." And "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is commonly used in soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products as a foaming agent." Sodium Lauryl Sulphate dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause skin irritation and drying, and there are concerns it may potentially cause more serious health risks. I know it caused serious scalp problems for a friend of mine who used to use shampoo that contained it.
I don't think I 've known about Parabens ever so long, but I've certainly known for several years that SLS is a baddie for the skin, and I'm glad to hear that Holland and Barrett have made this decisive move against having these potentially harmful ingredients in the products they sell. Maybe now that they have led the way, and publicised it, other retailers/manufacturers will follow and these undesirable ingredients will cease to be used in shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, etc.