“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Body Butter / What it does: Enriches, Enricheses „
Being absolutely delighted with the Marks and Spencer Natural Beauty Facial Intensive Moisturising cream I purchased recently, I decided to try another product in the range of natural paraben free items, this time opting for the enriching body butter.
In case you are unaware of this range, though quite small at the moment, it is pressing all my buttons, both on quality, fragrance, price and effectiveness. Made in Devon the ranges have no synthetic additives, or colours, and are as natural as they can make them. At the moment the range includes a facial moisturiser, bath oil, body butter, lip balm, hand cream, body wash, and a body scrub. The body butter retails for £7 for a large 200ml pot. This is a saving of over £5 on a similar size body butter from The Body Shop.
As mentioned I chose the body butter because I have used many of these over the years, and lately the chemical content worries me slightly, as these are absorbed in large quantities by the skin. Over a year this amounts to quite a sizeable dose of a chemical cocktail. In fact parabens are banned in Sweden and Japan due to their mimicking female hormone properties, making them a possible worry in relation to reproductive cancers, which depend on female hormones to grow. I think it has to be pointed out that respected organisations at the forefront of cancer treatment and research such as the ICRF and UK Cancer Research are not saying there is any link, but it worries me that some countries are taking action in this respect, which may of course be erring heavily on the side of caution. Nevertheless I am making an effort to try and support these natural products, and to be vigilant in keeping up to date with latest research, which may of course never find any link between these synthetic chemicals and cancer at all.
A quote from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund website noted below which pertains to parabens in antiperspirants really sums up the difficulty in assuming anything is harmful. They simply don't know yet, which is why I think a middle line may be the way to go, reducing some exposure by trying some alternatives, but not getting obsessional, as the jury is out. It is also as well to remember that dogs especially those not spayed have a high incidence of breast cancer, and of course our furry friends don't indulge themselves in fragrance body butters too often!
Here is the quote:
"Another study looked into levels of a chemical called parabens in breast tumour tissue. Parabens was used in antiperspirants and deodorants in the past and has some weak oestrogen-like qualities. Oestrogen is a factor in the cause of some breast cancers. Researchers looked for parabens in breast tumour tissue and did find traces of it. But even if parabens found in the breast tumour samples came from antiperspirants, this does not show that parabens can cause breast cancer. Now, more than 90% of antiperspirants and deodorants are parabens free. If you are at all concerned, check the contents list on your own product and if it contains parabens, you can always switch to one that doesn't."
Obviously this is talking about deordorants but it is the paraben content which is highlighted. Is it fact or just hype?-who knows but it is true to say that parabens are absorbed by the body and are contained in some breast tumour tissue samples tested. However it is not possible to say that parabens cause cancer or that they have any part to play in it. As a result I try to use paraben free products if I can find them to be as good as the alternatives, and the body butter from marks and Spencers fits this criteria exactly.
The body butter is presented in a beautiful screw top round pot and the front is tastefully decorated with what looks like lily of the valley on a pure grass green background. Inside the cream is off white and has a lovely scent reminiscent of my grandmother's Ponds cold cream she loved and used for most of her life. It is fresh like a summer meadow.
The butter contains cocoa and shea butter which are both wonderful for softening the skin, and they have also added aloe vera which is soothing too. I think this combination makes this a perfect product to apply after shaving your legs as it leaves them soft and free from any irritation.
I have also tried a competitive body butter made by Organic Surge which was lovely, but I actually prefer this one as it is much more softening, and I prefer the scent. It rubs in easily and is absorbed quickly so you don't have that sticky residue some leave behind, and the smell is lovely, fresh and summer like and very feminine.
I have normal skin with some dry patches on my legs which only flare up if I use inappropriate and cheap bubble baths, but generally are just in need of a little moisture to keep them soft. This is perfect, and I have used it after periods when my dry skin has become irritating, and it has soothed it nicely with immediate results, actually performing as well as my E45 cream.
You can find this range nestling amongst the conventional toiletries and cosmetics. In my store these are in a small area and you may have to scan the shelves as they are not heavily marketed or promoted. You can of course buy them mail order, and if you do I would suggest going first to www.moneysavingexpert.com. Then click on the shopping and spending tab at the top of the home page, and then on the right, half way down, is a tab called "cash back sites maximiser", click on this and you will be able to enter Marks and Spencer, and be able to quickly discern who is offering the best cash back. At the moment you can get 5% back with Quidco, Topcashback, We Promise to, CashbackKings and Cashback Network and Give or Take. I suggest using this tool as it does change from time to time.
Marks will charge you for delivery if your order is under £30 so it is useful to wait until you have this amount you need, maybe adding some toiletries to an item of clothing you have picked.
In conclusion I think this product is very pleasant to use, free from any synthetic products and certainly worth a try.
Contains cocoa and shea butters which are absorbed deeply into your skin, while the aloe vera conditions and soothes /