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01 January 2018

07 December 2017
A Merry Christmas from the team at Woodford Medical

09 November 2017
New Treatment Launch - Dermaplaning
To tackle peach fluff facial hair as well as providing gentle exfoliation


27 September 2017

Parabens and why we should try to avoid them


Every so often yet another health scare hits the newspapers but Parabens have been hitting the headlines for over a decade now so how come we still don’t really understand what they actually are, how to avoid them and how they might impact our health adversely.

So what are Parabens?

Parabens are a mixture of chemical compounds which combine to make a type of preservative to keep ingredients fresh and bacteria free for long periods of time. This means that the shelf life of the products that they are introduced into have a shelf life which is significantly longer.

 The five most commonly used Parabens are:

·         Methylparaben

·         Ethylparaben

·         n-propylparaben

·         n-butylparaben

·         isobutylparaben

Fortunately for us all manufactures are compelled by law to list all the ingredients in their products on the packaging so knowing what to look for is vital if you want to avoid these chemicals.

What products are Parabens commonly used in?

About 75% of health and beauty products sold in our shops tody contain Parabens. If you check their list of ingredients you will almost certainly find one or all of the names above listed. The list of health and beauty products concerned are endless but include the very common ones of toothpaste, sunscreens, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, mascaras, moisturisers, foundations, body creams, face cleansers, soaps and lipsticks.  So virtually every product that we use on a daily basis has these Parabens in and the same goes for the products that our men and children use in daily life too.

What makes Parabens bad for our health?

According to the Breast Cancer UK website the most common Parabens which we listed above possess the ability to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen creating an endocrine disrupting chemical.  They go on to explain that all Parabens have been shown to bind to human oestrogen receptors and increase the expression of oestrogen-responsive genes in human cells and increase the growth of the cells. In layman’s terms this means this could lead to an increased growth of oestrogen-responsive human breast cancer cells.  Certain cancers including breast cancer can be triggered by elevated oestrogen levels initiating an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours.

As far back as 2004 a British study found traces of five Parabens in the breast tissue of 10 out of 20 women studied. The study did not prove that the Parabens can cause cancer but identified that the Parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain in the breast tissue.

Breast Cancer UK supports the phasing out of all Parabens from all cosmetic products and also from those products which are applied to the skin.

Are there any other health issues associated with Parabens?

Recently Reuters Health published a report linking Parabens to low testosterone levels which may contribute to male infertility.  Seemingly the Parabens can also affect the shape and speed of a man’s sperm so combined with the lowered testosterone level can damage a man’s fertility.

Researcher carried out a laboratory test at a fertility clinic in Poland to try to determine the problems that the men were having with reproduction.  The lab took samples of the men’s urine, saliva, blood and semen to analyse.  They did a comparison between men who had high levels of Parabens in their urine against men who had low levels and found that the group of men with high levels of Parabens had a larger proportion of abnormal sperm commonly thought to contribute to infertility.  The high levels of Parabens found in their urine were also associated with a damaged DNA in the sperm and a decreased sperm motility too all of which could contribute to infertility.   

A study by the U.S.National Institute of Health also seem to back this up when they discovered that Butylparaben was associated with an increase in the percentage of sperm with abnormal size and shape as well as a decrease in motility. Eythlparaben  was also found to effect size and shape.

Research continues on the effects of Parabens and male fertility and for the time being scientists have not proved categorically that a ban should be placed on these chemicals.

Parabens and the environment

One final nail in the coffin for the use of Parabens could also be their effect on the environment. Another scientific study reported that Parabens have been found for the first time in the bodies of marine mammals. Researchers believe that it is likely these Parabens come from products we use daily that are washed into the sewage system and released into the environment.

How can I avoid Parabens and their associated health risks?

If you decide that you would like to avoid using health and beauty products that contain Parabens then do spend some time doing your research. Google Paraben free ranges to help you avoid the range of Parabens that we listed earlier in the article. Finding products without preservatives in the form of Parabens should not mean having to compromise on the shelf life of the product either.

So it’s a matter of weighing up the pros and cons of Parabens and if you decide that you would prefer to err on the side of caution and research then visit Woodford Medical’s website and look at our skincare section. Our ranges of Epionce and Colorescience can take care of all of your skincare and mineral make up requirements and best of all are PARABEN FREE!


4 days ago
Dr Hilary Allan and Dr Mervyn Patterson offer their top tips “Before you Book” advice to Health and Wellbeing Magazine. This tells you what to look for in a clinic and practitioner before booking an aesthetic treatment: “Find an expert who is prepared to spend a long time discussing your options. If you feel rushed or unsure then defer treatments until you feel more confident. Take baby steps- start with the minimal and always seek the subtle outcomes that family and friends don’t notice. Look for established clinics that provides lots of different options and that are headed by a named medical team on the website. Remember that cheap doesn’t always mean quality. Paying a bit more may be worth it in the end and, above all, be safer.”

1 week ago
Did you see the lovely post in Health and Wellbeing magazine about the benefits of Micro-Needling? “A great method to improve skin texture and fade skin imperfections, this favourite of A-listers such as Kourtney Kardashian uses hundreds of little needles to create small punctures into the skin, a bit like aerating a lawn! The tiny micro-traumas allow a cocktail of nourishing anti-ageing ingredients to penetrate deep into the dermal layer, while triggering a healing response to boost collagen production. It’s a good way to fade acne scars and sun damage and give you fresher, younger looking skin. As with most of these techniques, a course of several treatments gets the best results.” “DermaFrac is a three-in-one anti-ageing and re-surfacing treatment combining microdermabrasion, growth factor skin infusions and micro-needling for plumper, smoother skin.” (At Woodford Medical we also offer Collagen Pin for those looking for a deeper level of Micro-Needling), phone us on 0845 602 1161 to speak to one of our treatment advisors for more information.

2 weeks ago
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We would like to wish our staff and clients a very happy new year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2018!

1 month ago
CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS Saturday 23rd December: 9am -12pm Christmas Eve: Closed Christmas Day: Closed Boxing Day: Closed Wednesday 27th December: 10am - 5pm Thursday 28th December: 10am - 5pm Friday 29th December: 930am - 430pm Saturday 30th December: 9am-12pm New Years Eve: Closed New Years Day: Closed Tuesday 2nd January: Normal hours resume

1 month ago
We will be closed today from 12:30pm for our staff Christmas lunch! We will be open as normal tomorrow between 9am-2pm.