Parabens, sulphates & petro-chemicals - why you should think twice before using them on your horse

April 29, 2019

Parabens, sulphates & petro-chemicals - why you should think twice before using them on your horse

In a world where there's an almost unlimited selection of horse care products you could choose, an increasing number of us are turning to natural products.

So which product ingredients are good and which are bad? Fortunately, you don't need to be a scientist to know the answer. Anyone who has followed the human beauty industry will know that there are 3 big names on the 'naughty' list: parabens, sulphates and petro-chemicals.

The question is, what are they and why should we be avoiding them?

What are 'parabens'?

Parabens are chemicals used in the shampoo and cosmetic industry as preservatives. There are many health concerns associated with parabens. “Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity,” reports the non-profit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC). “Parabens mimic oestrogen by binding to oestrogen receptors on cells.” Research has shown that the perceived influx of oestrogen beyond normal levels can in some cases trigger reactions such as increasing breast cell division and the growth of tumors.

What's the alternative?

The brands we sell have found entirely natural alternatives to parabens. For example, Wild Wash shampoos use a derivative of the tomato plant to preserve the life of their products.


What are sulphates?

Sulphates are 'surfactants', which means they attract both oil and water. This allows dirt and grime to be washed from the skin and hair easily. They are often used to produce that 'lathering' effect which we have been conditioned to believe is best for getting humans and animals clean!

One of the most common sulphates you’ll find in horse (and human!) cleaning products is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It’s been used safely in cosmetics formulations since the 1930s. 

The problem with sulphates is that they can be a little too effective at washing away oil, which can leave hair or skin feeling parched. If your horses skin is at all sensitive, sulphates can cause irritations like redness or itching.

Bathing a horseWhat's the alternative?

Our brands have found that natural surfactants can do an even better job of getting rid of grime whilst smelling amazing (so no need for artificial fragrances either)! Soya Oil, Aloe Vera organic apple and derivatives of coconut oil are some of the ingredients used to do this job.


What are petro-chemicals?

Petrochemicals will commonly be found on your ingredients list as propylene, ethylene, butadiene, benzene or xylene. They can be derived from a number of things, but most commonly the petroleum - yep the stuff we put in our cars (yuck!)!

Most commonly, petrochemicals are used to extend the shelf life of products and sometimes to “water down” or increase the spread-ability of a product. They are also sometimes used to add and disperse fragrance throughout a product.

There are many health concerns linked to using petro-chemicals (as you can imagine!). Not least, these chemicals are often the cause of skin irritation, drying and pore blogging (comodogenic). 

Topline Naturals shampoo and washWhat are the alternatives?

Our brands have cleverly used a myriad of natural essentials oils like spearmint, ylang ylang, aloe vera, rosemary and so SO many more. 



The great news is, the days when you had to choose a synthetic chemical-based product for effectiveness are long gone. We've hand picked our natural horse care range making sure that they do what they say they'll do, whilst avoiding all 3 of the above nasties!

Why not give them a try and let us know what you think?