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The Humane Company programme, created by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, recognises humane, socially responsible companies that abstain from funding health charities that award grants for animal-based research.

MuLondon Skincare has been awarded the “Humane Company” seal of approval, which confirms MuLondon's dedication to being cruelty-free by pledging to support only humane charities that do not fund animal testing.

Greg Mazur, Research and Education Programs Coordinator at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said: “The Council on Humane Giving offers an ever-expanding directory of charities that fund only humane, human-based research or patient services, as well as a list of corporations that have pledged to support such charities. MuLondon’s commitment to non-animal testing and keeping animals out of research is why they were awarded the Humane Seal of Approval.


MuLondon Earns Humane Company Seal Of Approval

Earning the Humane Company seal of approval emphasises to our customers that they are supporting a cruelty-free business. MuLondon now has an official policy of supporting only humane health charities that provide life-saving medical research without funding or conducting animal experiments. I'm delighted that MuLondon is a recognised Humane Company, going beyond being cruelty-free and vegan to make sure that we do not support animal suffering in any form.

More information about MuLondon is available at www.MuLondon.com.

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While researching booze (ahem) for one of my previous blog posts "Alcohol helps me clean the house",  I came across something that looked odd.

I landed on the Tesco online grocery website, where Tesco Value Vodka can be bought for a tenner. Now, I have used this product many times before, and I was happy that it was listed as "Suitable for Vegetarians" - as not all alcoholic drinks are. It's cheep and cheerful, so I did not think much more of it. Most vodka is made from grain, so I presumed that this vodka was too. You ferment grains to make alcohol. It's quite simple, and does not require any additives. Right?

Oh boy, was I wrong. The first clue was the ingredient listing for Tesco Value Vodka on their website, which is not present on the bottle: "Water, Molasses Spirit, Propylene Glycol." Let's break this down:

Water: Fine
Molasses Spirit: This vodka is not made from grain, but molasses, which is a by-product of the sugar refining process. It's not a high-quality raw material, but it's still fine.
Propylene Glycol: Hell, no! Why is this in my vodka?

 Tesco Value Vodka - with added Propylene Glycol.


I had to zoom in onto that ingredient listing, to make sure I got that right.


Tesco Value Vodka - Ingredients.


It really says Propylene Glycol. To find out why you should avoid this ingredient, read my post on Propylene Glycol, but to sum it up: This is a heavily processed additive derived from petrochemicals. While legally allowed for use in food and drinks, it has been linked to kidney damage, deformities, asthma, eczema, urticaria, immunotoxicity and neurotoxicity. Propylene Glycol is commonly used as antifreeze, and I don't really want to drink that.

To make sure that I got this right, I tried contacting customer services at Tesco to check that this was not a data entry error. After numerous emails, tweets, Facebook messages and phone calls, I finally got a response from Tesco's PR department. My questions and their official responses are below.

- Is Propylene Glycol present in Tesco Value Vodka?

- Why is this ingredient added to the vodka?
A trace of propylene glycol is added as a marker so if we need to test the vodka we can be clear it’s Tesco vodka

- Why do you not list your ingredients on Tesco branded alcoholic products? Even though this is not legally required, it would be welcomed by your customers.
As per the note from Customer Service and as you correctly explain it is not a legal requirement. However, we do take feedback on board and will be looking into this.

So there you have it - Propylene Glycol is added to Tesco Value Vodka, and possibly some of their other alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is an amazing substance - it's a natural preservative and does not need any additives, especially petrochemical-derived ingredients that could cause health problems. Propylene Glycol has absolutely no place in vodka.

Join me in asking Tesco to remove Propylene Glycol from their alcoholic drinks - sign the petition below.

 Remove the antifreeze chemical Propylene Glycol from Tesco Value Vodka


This is not just about vodka, alcoholic drinks, or one particular retailer. Although alcohol is specific in that the manufacturers do not have to declare many of the substances that go into refining their beverages, like blood, bone marrow and fish bladder - hidden ingredients and chemicals are present in our food, drink and skincare products, and that bothers me. I need your support to make that stop. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends, via social media and your blogs.

If you have any questions, thoughts or comments on this post, I'd love to hear from you! Would you like to see all ingredients listed on alcoholic beverages, or would you rather now know what's in your glass? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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MuLondon's award-winning range of moisturisers and cleansers has earned the honour of displaying The Vegetarian Society seedling symbol. This confirms that MuLondon products are free from animal fats or gelatine, contain no GMOs and are cruelty-free.

Su Taylor, Press Officer at the Vegetarian Society, said: “Well done to MuLondon Natural Organic Skincare for realising how important it is for customers to have clear vegetarian labelling, and having Vegetarian Society Approved products gives a clear message.

The Vegetarian Society, established in 1847, is the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world. It exists to influence, inspire and support people to embrace a vegetarian lifestyle. By aligning itself with The Vegetarian Society Approved symbol and its values, MuLondon is reaching millions of people – conscientious consumers who have come to rely upon the vegetarian trademark's reassurance and trust. Among the approved products are MuLondon's best-sellers such as Organic White Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser, Organic Marigold, Frankincense & Myrrh Moisturiser and Organic Rose, Rosehip & Rosemary Face Wash.

MuLondon Skincare Products Approved By The Vegetarian Society.

It's wonderful that the entire MuLondon range is approved by The Vegetarian Society as suitable for vegetarians. MuLondon is proud to support the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world, and to produce safe, organic skincare products that people following a vegetarian lifestyle can pamper themselves with.

More information about MuLondon and its range of The Vegetarian Society approved products is available at www.MuLondon.com.

Learn more about The Vegetarian Society: www.vegsoc.org

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I learned about Propylene Glycol a while back, and I made a conscious decision to avoid it at all costs. Find out what Propylene Glycol is, how it's made, which products could contain this ingredient and how safe it really is.

First Contact

The first time I came across Propylene Glycol was many years ago, when I worked for a natural skincare company that made soaps, among other things. One day, a customer walked in and asked "What is this?" - pointing to the first and the most abundant ingredient in all the soaps, Propylene Glycol. I did not know at the time, and reiterated what we had been told - that everything was 100% natural. "Yes, but what is it, though?", both of us were wondering. I promised to find out.

My repeated requests for more information about this ingredient were met with dismissal by the company, so I took the matter into my own hands. This lead me to a lot of research on this chemical, which proved to be not that natural as we had been told.

Propylene Glycol is made from propylene oxide, which is made from a chemical called propylene, which in its turn is synthesised from propene. Propene, the base material for production of Propylene Glycol is produced from fossil fuels or coal. Phew.


Coal. One of the sources for Propylene Glycol.
The fields where Propylene Glycol grows

What is it used for?

Now, there are several reasons I avoid Propylene Glycol: It's produced from fossil fuels, it's a heavily processed chemical that should not be present in food or cosmetics and it could be toxic.

Unfortunately, Propylene Glycol is very widely used:

     ■  as antifreeze for cars and aircraft de-icing fluid
     ■  to make polyester resins
     ■  to make soap
     ■  humectant, solvent, and preservative in food and for tobacco products
     ■  one of the major ingredients of the liquid in e-cigarettes
     ■  used as a solvent in many pharmaceuticals

Also known as E1520 or "Propane-1, 2-diol", Propylene Glycol is an approved food additive in the EU, and by the UK Food Standards Agency. The EU COMMISSION REGULATION No 1130/2011 stipulates that Propylene Glycol levels in food are limited to 3000 mg/kg, and for beverages, the maximum level is 1000 mg/l. The FDA lists it as GRAS (generally recognised as safe). The CDC's Agency For Toxic Substances & Disease Registry does too.


A regular day at the lab.
Just a regular day at the Propylene Glycol manufacturing plant
Does this uniform comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act?

How safe is Propylene Glycol?

So, manufacturers are legally allowed to use Propylene Glycol in limited amounts - because it's safe, right?

Well, even the FDA is not that sure: "At lethal or near lethal doses (6 g per kg or more), it has been reported to cause kidney damage in several species and toe deformities in chicks." Say what? It causes deformities, but the FDA considers it safe?

A study from the Karlstad University in Sweden showed that propylene glycol and glycol ethers (PGEs) in bedroom air were associated with 1.5-fold greater likelihood of asthma, 2.8-fold greater likelihood of rhinitis, and 1.6-fold greater likelihood of eczema. Not good.

EWG's SkinDeep database gives it a rating of 3, with low to moderate overall hazard, warning of dermatitis and urticaria even at very low concentrations. Yet, it's used in many skincare products.

This Natural News article on Propylene Glycol quotes Shane Ellison, a former pharmaceutical chemist and author of 'Health Myths Exposed', who says: "It's foreign to the body and as such is toxic."

Scorecard, a website that aggregates information about pollution problems and toxic chemicals, lists Propylene Glycol as a suspected immunotoxicant, neurotoxicant, respiratory toxicant and skin or sense organ toxicant.

Propylene Glycol can be lethal to cats. According to the FDA (who, if you remember, has pronounced it safe), "Reports in the veterinary literature of scientifically sound studies have shown that propylene glycol reduces the red blood cell survival time, renders red blood cells more susceptible to oxidative damage, and has other adverse effects in cats consuming the substance at levels found in soft-moist food. In light of these new data, CVM amended the regulations to expressly prohibit the use of propylene glycol in cat foods." So, it can't be used in cat food any more.


I don't want no Propylene Glycol!
I don't want no Propylene Glycol!

What can you do about it?

Here's my problem with Propylene Glycol: Just because you can use something, does not mean that you should. There are many safer alternatives to this chemical that can be used instead of it. Not only does the currently available research show that Propylene Glycol can be an irritant, but it also confirms that it can be mutagenic and toxic, which is harmful not only for humans, but it can also affect animals and the environment. When degrading, Propylene Glycol can damage aquatic life, as it consumes oxygen that fish and other aquatic organisms require for survival.

My advice is: Always read ingredient listings. On everything. Know what you eat or use on your body. Propylene Glycol is commonly found in following personal care products:

     ■  stick deodorant
     ■  soap
     ■  make-up products
     ■  moisturiser
     ■  toothpaste & mouthwash
     ■  hair colour
     ■  ...and many, many more

I believe that repeated exposure to numerous chemicals that are present in our everyday life is a problem. By reducing the amount of different ingredients we are exposed to, we can help our bodies to detox, without constantly overloading them. Every chemical that enters our organs needs to be identified, recognised and neutralised by the immune system. Why make this job harder?

What do you know about Propylene Glycol, and what products have you encountered it in? Let me know in your comments!

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The annual Business Awards recognise local organisations in the London Borough of Lewisham for entrepreneurial spirit, growth and innovation. Given by the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock, this year's Customer Care Award goes to MuLondon.

All nominated companies were shortlisted by a judging panel, looking at businesses with excellence in customer care. The criteria were: presentation, facilities, staff attitudes and approach. Upon awarding MuLondon with this year's Customer Care Award, the judges said: “MuLondon demonstrated excellent customer service and has developed a high level of customer loyalty”.

MuLondon Customer Care Award.

The building blocks of MuLondon are outstanding customer service and first-class organic, environmentally sound products. MuLondon makes sure that our customers are always happy – from special requests, custom-made items and carefully and lovingly wrapped orders. When you get in touch, you'll receive prompt personal assistance and individual product recommendations relevant to your skin issues. Give it a go now!

I feel incredibly excited that MuLondon has won its second business award from The Mayor of Lewisham, this time for customer care. Prompt, efficient and personalised service is very close to my heart, and is at the core of our values. MuLondon's customer care policy is to always treat all customers with respect and love, be intuitive to customer needs and wow each customer with personalised service. Receiving The Business Award for Customer Care is a confirmation of MuLondon's commitment to stellar customer relations.

Experience MuLondon's award-winning customer service at www.MuLondon.com.

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