Why You Should Avoid Petroleum Based Ingredients In Your Skincare


Let’s talk skincare ingredients...

More specifically, the ingredients in many of your personal care and beauty products that are really not so nice for your body. Ingredients that come from crude oil, known as petrolatum or petroleum based ingredients.

Petroleum based ingredients are incredibly common and generally act purely as a ‘lubricant’ meaning that they contain no nutritional benefits for the skin whatsoever and there is even some evidence to suggest that they may cause toxicity in the body.

For a moment, think of what oil does in water…that slick coating on the surface of water, not able to penetrate through the surface. Now think about your skin being that surface of the water. Not so bad, right? Just a little oily-ness on your skin, isn’t that good for it?

Well, it is when there are nutrients and minerals in the oil that the skin’s surface loves to soak up, but that’s not the case with petroleum based ingredients. These ingredients merely sit on the skin acting as a lubricant, and actually prevent the skin from absorbing any other goodies that may otherwise be soaked up from that product.

Furthermore, petroleum based ingredients in skincare products coat the skin and can clog your pores and block the ability for toxins to be eliminated in the natural way. These ingredients have also been linked to skin irritation and chronic conditions like acne, as well as hormone disruption.

The below ingredients are all byproducts of refining petroleum.

  • Paraffin wax
  • Mineral Oil / White Oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Petroleum Jelly

Plus: Toluene, Benzene, PEGs, DEAs, ingredients ending in ETH, anything with PROPYL, METHYL, BUTYL and ETHYL.

The products that generally contain many of these ingredients are often hair care, skincare (especially moisturizers, lipsticks and gloss), perfumes, baby balms and oils, and many kinds of makeup.

As they generally have no odor or color, they’re choice ingredients to use in skincare cosmetics as a ‘base’ ingredient. So while these moisturizing agents, when refined, are not necessarily toxic to  your body they are still not providing any nutritional benefit other than adding a layer of oil to the surface of your skin.  While many of these ingredients like mineral oil/white oil are highly refined, there is still limited legislation requirements, especially in the United States, to prove safe refinement of these ingredients.

So essentially, petroleum derived ingredients are byproducts of crude oil.  I know what you’re thinking - ‘I put THAT on my face and body?!’ If you had the choice to choose alternative oils, moitsurisers and balms that were derived from plant based sources and contains essential vitamins and minerals to support the health of your skin, wouldn’t you rather them? Yes, I’m with you on that one and that’s why all of my natural skincare products contain plant based oils, butters, and waxes to nourish your skin with key nutrients and never contain any petroleum derived ingredients. You can see the range here.

To recap, petroleum based ingredients:

  • Contain no nutritional benefit for your skin
  • Inhibit the body’s ability to dispel toxins from the skin
  • Are really only used for ‘texture’ and ‘lubricating’, rather than benefiting your body in any way.
  • Are derived from petrol sources rather than plant based sources


So, what to choose instead?

Now the juicy part - swapping those petroleum based ingredients for products that contain nourishing and plant-based additions will give your body the love and nourishment it deserves.

Below are some of the best alternatives:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Shea Butter

Others: Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, and Cocoa Butter.

All key ingredients in my nourishing body scrub, body oils, lip scrubs, moisturisers and more!


Shea Butter

Extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the Karite (Shea) tree, it’s rich in Vitamins A and E. The essential fatty acids in this butter provide the skin with collagen producing nutrients. It enhances the skins ability to produce natural oils, rather than creating an oily film around it.

Grape seed oil

This oil, pressed from seeds of grapes, is an excellent base for cosmetic products in the thick texture rich in Vitamins C, D and E. It penetrates the skin surface to cleanse and tone the pores, rather than adding a thick layer of oily-ness that can't absorb. Grape seed oil is also rich in antioxidants which can help to treat skin contains like acne. Not to mention the essential fatty acids like omega 6 and 3 which deeply moisturize the skin.

Coconut oil

Do I even need to say much about this? You probably already know how magical this oil is. The texture is very similar to petroleum jelly, in being solid at room temperature and melting when used, but contains a stack of vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. It absorbs easily into the skin without leaving an oily residue and is one of the most fatty oils (good fats), making it a great moisturizer for the skin.

Sweet Almond Oil

This oil is a lesser-known, amazing ingredient used for skincare products. It’s got all the goods - vitamin E and A, fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc. The high antioxidants help to protect the collagen layer in your skin, which gives that supple, fresh and youthful glow.


If you’re looking for an alternative to petroleum based body oils that include mineral oil, opt for our all natural plant based body oils that come in Rose & Hibiscus or Jasmine & Chamomile.

If you’ve been rubbing petroleum jelly on your lips and want to opt for a natural alternative, our natural lip scrubs contain plant based butters, oils and waxes to exfoliate and nourish your lips and leave a moisturizing layer. Available in Matcha-Lime, Choc-Mint, Lemon, Coffee-Vanilla and Pink Grapefruit.





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Common Misconceptions About "Going Natural"


So you’ve decided to take on a more natural lifestyle, and are looking into what kind of changes and actions you’ll need to take…

Already feeling a little out of your depth? For many people, it can be an overwhelming, or even paralyzing arena to navigate. What does it even mean to “go natural”? Is it just buying more products that have “natural” on their label? Does it mean you have to give up your whole lifestyle in one day?

These are some of the considerations you may ponder about this topic, so I’ll offer some guidance in breaking down a few of the most common misconceptions about “going natural”.


First up - what going “natural” means

Generally, transitioning to a natural lifestyle encompasses making changes across a range of different areas in your life, including:

  • Food consumption = opting for natural, unprocessed, whole foods that are often organic and non-GMO.
  • Health and wellness = opting for herbal remedies and natural supplements over medications or prescribed chemical based pills.
  • Personal Care products = opting for ingredients that are natural and free from synthetic ingredients, nature-identical, fragrances and more.
  • Cleaning = opting for products with natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, or opting for home made natural cleaning recipes.
  • Packaging = being proactive with recycling and composting, avoiding the use of plastic and purchasing plastic where possible, ethical purchasing of products with the environment in mind.
  • Consumerism = opting for walking or riding rather than driving, choosing products that are made from more durable items such as choosing wooden toys over plastic toys for children, using reusable coffee mugs.

It’s a big list, and can often feel overwhelming to people who want to start living a more natural lifestyle. The overwhelm and many areas where natural living can be implemented, can often cause people to develop misconceptions about going natural and ultimately avoiding making important switches. So what kinds of beliefs can get in the way of a successful transition to natural living?


#1: We all have to be in it for the same reason

There are so many motivators for making the switch to a more natural lifestyle. For some people, the concern over the environment and the impact on humans’ consumption is the driving force. For others, it’s a health focus on how society can create a cleaner way of supporting our future. For many, it may be a little bit of both. Whatever your reasons are for implementing a more natural lifestyle, these reasons are yours to own and do not mean that you’re not ‘doing things right’. There are countless reasons why someone may choose to invest in more natural products and living and these can remain unique to that individual.


#2: It will be a quick transition

Transitioning into a more natural lifestyle takes time, as there are so many life areas to consider. Those who believe this transition will be quick, can often set themselves up for failure and lose their drive to choose natural products when it isn’t as straightforward as expected. You may feel inclined to throw out everything in your pantry and bathroom at once, but the advice here is to develop a progressive plan and start with what area is most important to you. If you are more health inclined, you may begin with your food and personal care product choices. If you are more environmentally inclined, you may begin with reducing your consumption of plastics and one-use items. Making little changes each day, will boost your confidence and capacity as you settle in and you can begin to tackle additional life areas as you progress.


Some small lifestyle change ideas to start with:


#3: The ‘Natural’ label means what it says

The world ‘natural’ is still a relatively unregulated word in the commercial arena. It does not have to refer at all to how the food is processed, grown, harvested, raised or slaughtered. Though most people think of fresh, healthy, minimally processed or no synthetic ingredients when they hear the word natural, the truth is that the use of this word on labeling and naming products is far from fitting this ideal every time. How to know when it’s just an added word there to make you buy it?

  • Choose organic - organic foods & ingredients refer to that which is grown and harvested without any synthetic fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides, and without genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Certified Organic is the most trusted, as farmers must adhere to strict guidelines in order to be certified.
  • Educate yourself - find information about which brands are in line with your ideals, so that you come prepared when you’re out shopping. Read the labels, if there’s an ingredient you don’t understand - look it up.

At Buddy Scrub, I’m all about sticking to my word and that’s why my ingredients are carefully selected to ensure that they are natural and free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, animal by-products, nature-identical, harsh cleansers, PEGs and other nasties. See the range here.


#4: That everything works the same way

Have patience. Sometimes natural alternatives to quick fix products take more time to do their job. Maybe the peppermint essential oil blend on your temple may not be as fast working as a strong painkiller, but this alternative leaves you without side effects and extra synthetic ingredients in your body. Be patient and allow this lifestyle and the changes in it be a way for you to find a slower pace of life.

Also, just because there are many different alternatives to the regular, processed, unnatural products, it doesn’t mean that all of the alternatives are equal. It’s important to consider quality when purchasing as brands can use different ingredient blends and processes. Educate yourself to be able to check labels and know what ingredients you want in and out of your life. The higher quality goods may mean a bigger price tag, but they will deliver on their promise and naturally enrich your life if you really are ready to invest in a natural lifestyle.



So, the takeaway here is - be gentle on yourself. Celebrate the decision to transition into a natural lifestyle, and then take it step by step. You won’t get it right all the time, but the intention to lead a more natural life and the education you can give yourself in this area will really help you to make a difference to your own life and to the environment. This is your journey, your own path. Enjoy it.

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How To Transition To A More Natural Lifestyle Across 5 Areas Of Your Life

There’s no doubt that transitioning to a more natural lifestyle is a great idea. From improving and protecting the environment, your health, human and animal rights, and even your wallet - it just makes sense to opt for a more conscious, sustainable way to consume and live. That’s one of my main values and why all of my skincare products contain natural, plant based ingredients! It’s important to me to be your natural alternative to common synthetic, chemical-based, and inhumane products.

If you’re curious about how you can switch to a more natural, conscious lifestyle then this is the blog for you. I cover how to many the switch to more natural options across a number of areas of your life and you’ll see just how easy it can be!



Ban the Plastic Bags
According to the National Geographic publication, 91% of plastic isn’t ever recycled. Plastic bags wreak havoc on the environment, and even paper bags aren’t that much better in their production and disposal if not done thoughtfully. Canvas, reusable bags are all the rage - not to mention more strong and can generally carry more goodies inside. Most supermarkets and stores stock these bags for you to purchase. Keep them in your car, or even rolled up in your bag so you’re never without your own carry bag for purchases.  

Tasteful Tupperware
When it comes to plastic tupperware, this is just as bad as plastic bags. It’s considered that the chemicals in the plastic, especially BPA, can leach into your food over time and be toxic. The alternative? Choose glass household containers. They not only wash better, but also are generally more sanitary and safe for health, as well as for the environment and all those that live off the land. Also, they never really stain – hello lentil spaghetti bolognaise!

There’s also a range of other recycled materials you can use for other packaging, and biodegradable options are great too! Next time you have a picnic or party, either bring your own glass or ceramic containers to bring home and reuse, or bring along some biodegradable plates and utensils.

No-No Napkins
How many paper towels of napkins do you throw out a week? It’s an interesting thought. Whilst paper towel can and should be recycled, they also produce a large amount of waste. Choose washable cloths for home cleaning, and invest in some material napkins that you can wash as well. Use, re-use, and reduce waste.



Think About What You’re Buying
Household cleaning products have an array of harmful chemicals that are not only harmful to human health - sensitive to eyes, skin and lungs - but also to the environment. Pouring harmful chemicals down the drain doesn’t ‘get rid of them’, they can eventually make their way into our waterways, becoming toxic to water life and ecosystems. It’s not only when you use or throw away the chemical, but also how it is made also contributes to the effects on the environment, including the packaging. Opt for cleaning products that claim to contain more natural, environmentally friendly ingredients and come in recyclable packaging.


Create Your Own!
There are many natural non-toxic cleaning products available on the market, but there are also natural homemade recipes online that can assist you to create your own products with things you have at home already. Here are some go-to home cleaning ideas:

- Baking soda, vinegar and hot water

Your new cleaning concoction, so versatile and easy to make! It unblocks drains, cleans sink stains, deodorizes cleaning rags and cloths, works well to scrub oven trays and pans, and cleans the toilet!

- Use lemon!

Dirty pans, pots and other cookware can also be cleaned by soaking them in lemon, baking soda and hot water. Lemon and salt is also super effective to deep clean wooden cutting boards.

Again, remember here - the throwaway paper towels, and even the plastic based sponges can be replaced with an eco-material cleaning cloth that you can reuse.



This topic is worth a whole article - or 10! But let’s run through the basics here on some natural alternatives for skincare products. Of course we want to have healthy, happy, glowing skin. With the insane amount of products available, it’s hard to sort through which ones don’t include all those nasty extra additions which can contain synthetic ingredients known to lead to health risks such as hormonal imbalances and toxicity.

Read the Labels, Inform Yourself
Just because something says ’natural’ on the label, doesn’t mean that the ingredients are all natural. Companies are very skilled when it comes to developing their labels. A product can essential be called ‘natural essence shampoo’ and not contain any natural ingredients whatsoever. The advice: look at the labels carefully. Develop an understanding of which ingredients are best to avoid in your skincare such as sulphates, parabens, PEGs, EDTA, synthetic fragrances, phenoxyethanol, mineral oils, petrolatum/petroleum jelly, and of course animal by-products.

That’s What I’m Here For…
Of course my products are all cruelty free and vegan friendly, as well as free from potentially harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, parabens and other synthetic nasties.

Here are a few of my favorites:

- Lip Scrubs

Many lip products contain a whole host of animal derived ingredients, including beeswax and lanolin. My lip scrubs contain exfoliating sugar with a balm base which will leave a nourishing layer on your lips. My Matcha-Lime Lip Scrub is a best seller!

- Body Scrubs

Did you know that micro beads in face and body scrubs are extremely harmful to waterways? They contribute to plastic pollution, and due to their smaller size can be ingested by a range of aquatic life. Opt for natural scrubs instead, like my customer favourite Coffee Body Scrub! You’ll get a hit of that delicious exfoliating coffee with a subtle hint of mandarin to nourish and moisturize your skin with no nasty chemicals or micro beads.

- Body Wash

Soaps can not only be harmful to our health with their ingredients, but can actually strip the body of natural oils and leave skin feeling worse off in the long run. My Activated Charcoal and Peppermint Body Wash has none of these harsh detergents or chemicals and contains only natural, gentle cleansers like decyl glucoside and aloe vera. Plus, it smells like fresh peppermint and leaves you feeling awake and cleansed! 



Creative Composting
Do you have a compost bin yet? They’re great for reducing waste, and give your plants a helping hand to grow without extra fertilizer and treatment. Make your own from recycled materials - there are tons of tutorials online. Alternatively, if you don’t have your own, find a neighbour who does, save a tub of food waste and add to their collection. In this case, sharing trash is appreciated!

Beyond Recycling, to Borrowing!
If you can’t get your hands on a recycled good that you were looking for in shops or charity outlets, why not borrow it from someone you know?

You’ll save so much money in the long run. Borrow an appliance for that rare recipe, share books instead of buying, even clothes, pillows for your guest, power tools and other electronics. Neighbours, friends and family are generally always happy to lend a helping hand. And don’t forget to lend as well! It goes without saying that when you realise you haven’t used something in years - or ever - then it’s time to donate to charity.

Beat the bottled water
If you like purified water, instead of buying disposable bottles of water (which cost you and the environment), get a filter for your tap at home. A reusable water bottle is also vital. It will remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day, and when you choose aluminum or glass bottles you can keep reusing them and reduce more plastic wastage.



Reduce Food and Package Waste
Bring your own reusable coffee mug to work! Coffee shops generally love this, and it reduces their own costs and waste as well. Same goes for taking your own lunch to work in glass containers, as this will help to reduce food waste, package waste, and unnecessary extra money spent.

Thoughtful Transport
Reduce carbon emissions through choosing alternate methods of getting to and from work. Use public transportation, carpooling, or do one better and swap the machines for bicycling, running or walking to work. If you’re a business owner yourself, consider adding showers at your workplce if you don’t already have some to make it even easier for your workers to be active before work.

Set up a Charity Bin
Ahhh the power of community…having a charity bin there for all staff to add to whenever they want is a way to keep each other accountable for sharing unused and unwanted goods. When someone sees another filling it up, they’ll be more inclined to share to those who need it themselves!

Go Paperless
As much as you can! A great thing about digital technology is that hand written memos are replaced by emails, 100-page paper documents are replaced by a video presentation or slideshow, and most students around the world (who have access) are even using laptops for note taking and learning. These are all good things for our trees. According to the environmental protection agency, every one tonne of paper that is avoided could potentially save 17 trees. So next time you use paper, if you must - be sure to use recycled paper, and/or recycle yourself. Even encourage your workplace to use recycled paper in their printers.


Lastly, a great party of living a more natural lifestyle is to also get outside and surround yourself with nature. Studies reveal that natural environments have a remarkable impact on our sense of health. We are eased from anxiety, breathe more deeply, and increase concentration. One easy way to surround yourself with more natural environments is to incorporate more plants in your home and your workplace, during the times you can’t make it outside.


Every little bit counts and hopefully you’ve found some effective ways to make some natural changes in your life.

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Phenoxyethanol - The Not So 'Natural' Preservative

Image result for phenoxyethanol

When it comes to skincare, the ingredients in the products that you use are just as important as the ingredients in the food you eat. Our skin absorbs everything that you put on it. It is extremely permeable, and the skin sometimes struggles to filter out toxins and chemicals.

That’s why Buddy Scrub products contain natural ingredients that avoid harming your skin and the environment. One ingredient that doesn't align with Buddy’s values and natural living is Phenoxyethanol.


What is Phenoxyethanol?

Phenoxyethanol is a chemical that was created in a laboratory. Despite its man-made origins, many companies still refer to this ingredient as “natural” and use it in their products.

Its chemical name is ethylene glycol phenyl ether. It’s considered an aromatic ether alcohol. This means that in order to be made, it starts out as phenol. Phenol is a white crystalline powder which has toxic properties - it’s made out of benzene which has been documented as a common carcinogen. Then, it’s treated with ethylene oxide (which is also a documented carcinogen) and an alkali.

Phenoxyethanol is known as a “nature identical” ingredient as it mimics properties that exist in green tea, however this ingredient is still formulated within a laboratory and is therefore synthetic rather than naturally derived or natural.

Despite this, skincare companies are continuing to use it as though it is a natural ingredient and promote their products as natural.

Why is Phenoxyethanol Used?

This ingredient is anti-bacterial, so it is used to fight off bacteria in beauty products. It is also used as a preservative. Outside of skincare, it is used in vaccines and even bug repellents. Should you really be putting something on your face that is also used in formulating a bug deterrent?

In skincare, it is used to extend the shelf life of many products so companies can keep them on the shelf for longer. It is possible to achieve an acceptable shelf life without having to use toxic or synthetic chemicals, and there are many natural ingredients that work as preservatives instead.


Dangers of Phenoxyethanol

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that this ingredient can cause harm. In their words: “Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea.”

Many scientific studies have been conducted on Phenoxyethanol to determine its safety. The Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology found out that even with “moderate” doses, this ingredient can affect the brain and nervous system.

Nearly 30 years ago, in 1990, the Journal of the American College of Toxicology released a study that showed Phenoxyethanol was an endocrine disruptor. It has even been documented to contribute to bladder damage and acute pulmonary edema.

Even as far back as the 1980’s studies were conducted suggesting that Phenoxyethanol can cause DNA mutations.

Despite the various and multiple scientific studies regarding the safety of this ingredient, it’s still legal to use in beauty products, and not just any beauty products - “natural” ones as well.


Side Effects of Phenoxyethanol

One of the most common side effects of Phenoxyethanol is skin and eye irritation. This has been scientifically proven on multiple occasions. In the European Union, this ingredient is officially classified as an irritant. In Japan, Phenoxyethanol is entirely restricted for use.

Other side effects can include blistering on the skin. It’s even hazardous to inhale. According to the Cosmetic Database, it is considered a “moderate hazard” which includes side effects such as allergic reactions, cancer, skin/eye/lung irrigation, and neurotoxicity.

The sensory organs are the ones that are most affected by this ingredient, even with low doses. The brain and general nervous system can be affected with “moderate” doses, which is a dosage that many companies are potentially using.

Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against the use of this ingredient. Their research shows “chromosomal changes and genetic mutation effects in testing, as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice.”


Want to Know Something Scary?

Despite all of the studies that have linked Phenoxyethanol to cancer, skin irritation, and toxicity, this ingredient is still considered 100% safe in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Cosmetic companies are allowed to use concentrations of this chemical of up to 1%. This might not seem like a lot, but it really is. For example, in a small 200ml bottle of shampoo, there can easily be 1 teaspoon of Phenoxyethanol. This ingredient will get absorbed into your body and has the potential to cause irritation, or worse.



Buddy Scrub avoids ingredients that could even potentially cause harm to any human, animal, or the planet. Phenoxyethanol is an ingredient that has the potential to cause harm to all three, so start taking a closer look at your skincare products (even the “natural” ones) and you might be surprised at how often Phenoxyethanol features in the ingredients list.

You will never find Phenoxyethanol in any of my products. My products contain natural preservatives from botanical extracts and the majority of products contain Vitamin E – a strong antioxidant. My products are made with natural, plant based ingredients and this is prioritized over shelf life. My high-quality natural ingredients are carefully selected to ensure that they are completely safe and beneficial for your skin.

Check out my complete range of natural, vegan and cruelty free skincare options here






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