At More-Or-Less® we believe that quality skincare should come from nature’s plants and seeds. Not factory-made chemicals. Because your skin absorbs what goes onto it, making good skincare choices is very important for health and wellness. So products should be as natural as possible.
More-Or-Less® skincare products contain more of the goodness we all need in our life and less of the other stuff we don’t. More of what’s good for you and less of what isn’t.
More of the natural ingredients from plants, seeds, vegetable extracts and oils that are healthier and higher in natural antioxidants.
More of the high quality ingredients that other brands use less of (but they don’t tell you that!). Every product contains NPA 16+ Medical Grade Manuka Honey which is renowned for its reparatory benefits for damaged skin.
More information on our labels so we are clear about what is in our products and the percentages so shoppers know exactly what they’re getting.
More plain language and less marketing. Labelling that says what the product is and doesn’t make outlandish claims. It’s skincare. It’s good for your skin. Your skin will feel better. And so will you.
More-Or-Less® Skincare is free from most of the artificial ingredients that are very commonly used by other manufacturers.
What are they and why don’t we use them? Here are some short summaries which you could find on the internet with less than a minute’s research. We are neither supporting nor disagreeing with the claims of other manufacturers. We have a preference for natural plant-based products that have been used and consumed by humans for centuries.
Our products are free from
Methylparaben is an anti-fungal agent often used in a variety of cosmetics and personal-care products. It is also used as a food preservative and has the E number E218. Methylparaben is toxic at higher concentrations and has an estrogenic effect. There is controversy about whether methylparaben or propylparabens are harmful at concentrations typically used in body care or cosmetics. Methylparaben and propylparaben are considered generally recognized as safe for food and cosmetic antibacterial preservation. Methylparaben is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract or through the skin. It is hydrolyzed to p-hydroxybenzoic acid and rapidly excreted in urine without accumulating in the body. In a population with normal skin, methylparaben is practically non-irritating and non-sensitizing; however, allergic reactions to ingested parabens have been reported.Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage.
Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products. SLES, SLS, ALS and sodium pareth sulfate are surfactants that are used in many cosmetic products for their cleansing and emulsifying properties. They behave similarly to soap.
SLES is an irritant like many other detergents, with the irritation increasing with concentration. It has also been shown that SLES causes eye or skin irritation in experiments done on animals and humans. The related surfactant SLS is a known irritant, and research suggests that SLES can also cause irritation after extended exposure in some people.
It has long been speculated that the SLS would be carcinogenic, but toxicology research by the U.S. OSHA and IARC supports the conclusions of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) and the American Cancer Society that SLES is not a carcinogen.
Some products containing SLES have been found to also contain traces (up to 279 ppm) of 1,4-dioxane; The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies 1,4-dioxane to be a probable human carcinogen (not observed in epidemiological studies of workers using the compound, but resulting in more cancer cases in controlled animal studies), and a known irritant with a no-observed-adverse-effects level of 400 milligrams per cubic meter at concentrations significantly higher than those found in commercial products. Under Proposition 65, 1,4-dioxane is classified in the U.S. state of California to cause cancer. The FDA encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, though it is not required by federal law.
Nitrates and nitrites are chemicals used in fertilizers, in rodenticides (to kill rodents), in cosmetics as preservatives and as food preservatives. Nitrates and nitrites come in various forms, but when dried are typically a white or crystalline powder. Nitrate (NO3 - ) and nitrite (NO2 - ) are also naturally-occurring compounds that are a metabolic product of microbial digestion of wastes containing nitrogen, for example, animal faeces or nitrogen-based fertilizers. Sodium nitrite is a food and cosmetics additive that is used as a preservative. Nitrates have also been detected in meats, fruits and vegetables. Exposure to nitrates and nitrites at levels above health-based risk values has been reported to have adverse health effects on infants and children. The health effect of most concern for children is the “blue baby syndrome” (methemoglobinemia) seen most often in infants exposed to nitrate from drinking water used to make formula. Infants of ages 0-3 months are at highest risk for blue baby syndrome because their normal intestinal flora contribute to the generation of methemoglobin; older children and adults can experience this syndrome, but at higher concentrations of nitrates. The blue baby syndrome is named for the blue coloration of the skin of babies who have high nitrate concentrations in their blood. The nitrate binds to hemoglobin (the compound which carries oxygen in blood to tissues in the body), and results in chemically-altered hemoglobin (methemoglobin) that impairs oxygen delivery to tissues, resulting in the blue colour of the skin. Exposure to higher levels of nitrates or nitrites has been associated with increased incidence of cancer in adults, and possible increased incidence of brain tumors, leukemia, and nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) tumors in children in some studies.
There is a lot of debate about the role of silicone in cosmetics. The truth is not yet apparent and so we have chosen not to use it.
Dimethicone is what the chemists like to call a silicon-based polymer—”polymer” meaning it’s a large molecule made up of several smaller units bonded together. Simply put, it’s a silicon oil, man-made in the laboratory and used in personal care products as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, and skin and hair conditioner.
Manufacturers like it because it makes products easily spreadable, so you get that feeling of the lotion or cream gliding over your skin. Dimethicone also helps form a protective barrier on the skin, and can fill in the fine lines and wrinkles on the face, which is why it’s often used in makeup primers.
The FDA has approved the use of dimethicone as a skin protectant ingredient in over-the-counter products, and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel has assessed it as safe to use in personal care products. Some studies have found it to soothe and help improve chronic hand dermatitis, and to help reduce inflammation and irritation.
Like petroleum products, silicone oils can actually make dry skin worse over time. Instead of sinking into your skin and nourishing it from the inside out, like healthy ingredients do, it forms a sort of plastic-like barrier on the outside of skin.
That artificial coating on the outside of skin may cause several issues:
- It traps everything under it—including bacteria, sebum, and impurities—which could lead to increased breakouts and blackheads
- The coating action actually prevents the skin from performing its normal activities—like sweating, temperature regulating, sloughing off dead skin cells, etc.
- Prolonged exposure to dimethicone can actually increase skin irritation, due to the coating property and because dimethicone is listed as a possible skin and eye irritant
- Those with sensitive or reactive skin are at risk of an allergic reaction to dimethicone
- On top of all this, dimethicone is a non-biodegradable chemical—bad for the environment
- You’re inhibiting skin’s natural processes
- The coating properties may increase breakouts, particularly if you’re susceptible to acne, which will lead to scars and older-looking skin
Much better to use nourishing ingredients that help keep your skin hydrated naturally!
To avoid this ingredient, stay away from all dimethicone and similar ingredients like cyclomethicone, dimethiconol, and phenyl trimethicone.
Phthalates are used in a large variety of products, from enteric coatings of pharmaceutical pills and nutritional supplements to viscosity control agents, gelling agents, film formers, stabilizers, dispersants, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, and suspending agents. End-applications include adhesives and glues, agricultural adjuvants, building materials, personal-care products, medical devices, detergents and surfactants, packaging, children's toys, modelling clay, waxes, paints, printing inks and coatings, pharmaceuticals, food products, and textiles. Personal-care items containing phthalates include perfume, eye shadow, moisturizer, nail polish, liquid soap, and hair spray.
Phthalates or phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity). Phthalates are used in a wide range of common products, and are released into the environment. There is no covalent bond between the phthalates and plastics; rather, they are entangled within the plastic as a result of the manufacturing process used to make PVC articles. Most Americans tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. Phthalate exposure may be through direct use or by indirect means through leaching and general environmental contamination. Diet is believed to be the main source of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and other phthalates in the general population. In studies of rodents exposed to certain phthalates, high doses have been shown to change hormone levels and cause birth defects.
Ethoxylation is commonly practiced, albeit on a much smaller scale, in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries to increase water solubility and, in the case of pharmaceuticals, circulatory half-life of non-polar organic compounds.
Alcohol ethoxylates are not observed to be mutagenic, carcinogenic, or skin sensitizers, nor cause reproductive or developmental effects. One by-product of ethoxylation is 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen. Undiluted AEs can cause dermal or eye irritation. In aqueous solution, the level of irritation is dependent on the concentration. AEs are considered to have low to moderate toxicity for acute oral exposure, low acute dermal toxicity, and have mild irritation potential for skin and eyes at concentrations found in consumer products.
Some ethoxylated materials have been controversial because of their widespread use and the toxicity posed to aquatic life due to degradation products, such as nonylphenol.
Polypropylene Glycol (PPG) polymers are polymers of Propylene Glycol and water. Propylene Glycol is an organic alcohol. It is one of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products. Propylene Glycol and Polypropylene Glycols attract water and function as moisturizers to enhance the appearance of skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness. Propylene Glycol is also used to help stabilize formulations. Propylene Glycol is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain cosmetics, medicines and food products. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. Although exposure to high levels of Propylene Glycol is known to cause serious and potentially irreversible health conditions, the chemical industry tell us that "small" quantities or low level exposure of Propylene Glycol is "safe" to use on the skin and in food. According to the safety data sheets of industrial chemical manufacturers, chemicals such as Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient is absorbed by the body.
Hydrocarbon Petroleum Mineral Oils
The name mineral oil by itself is imprecise, having been used for many specific oils over the past few centuries. Other names, similarly imprecise, include white oil, liquid paraffin, pariffinum liquidum (Latin), and liquid petroleum. Baby oil is a perfumed mineral oil.
Most often, mineral oil is a liquid by-product of refining crude oil to make gasoline and other petroleum products. This type of mineral oil in is a transparent, colorless oil composed mainly of alkanes and cycloalkanes, related to petroleum jelly. Mineral oil is a common ingredient in baby lotions, cold creams, ointments and cosmetics. It is a lightweight, inexpensive oil that is odorless and tasteless. It can be used on eyelashes to prevent brittleness and breaking and, in cold cream, is also used to remove make-up and temporary tattoos. One of the common concerns regarding the use of mineral oil is its presence on several lists of comedogenic substances.
Outside of the European Union, it is occasionally used in the food industry, particularly for confectionary. In this application, it is typically used for the glossy effect it produces, and to prevent the candy pieces from adhering to each other. It has been discouraged for use in children's foods, though it is still found in many confectionaries. The use of food grade mineral oil is self-limiting because of its laxative effect. The maximum daily intake is calculated to be about 100 mg, of which some 80 mg are contributed from its use on machines in the baking industry.