The rows of beauty products can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if you are buying a present for someone else. So why not choose based on what matters to you, or to the person you are buying for? Whether it’s avoiding chemicals, no animal testing, or buying UK made, there are plenty of options.

Giki has scoped out the supermarket aisles to find some choices which are better for you, more sustainable for the environment and fairer to others too:

So what are we looking out for?

· No animal testing – look out for the leaping bunny logo, or check out Peta’s list

· Local – we looked for companies which manufacture in the UK, many are British companies. Buying local often means a lower carbon footprint, due to reduced transportation and for some, buying British feels good too!

· Organic – this means ingredients have been grown using less fertilisers, pesticides and under conditions aimed at protecting the environment.

· Chemicals of concern: Chemicals in personal care products range from natural to highly synthetic. Many carry no health risks, some may cause skin irritation for some, while there are a few groups of chemicals which have raised serious health concerns.

These include parabens, phthalates, aluminium salts and triclosan. Although the science is not always 100% definitive, these substances have been flagged by a range of highly reputable sources such as Breast Cancer UK and the Environmental Working Group as a potential risk to human health. They include:

compounds  Potential health concerns (evidence may be inconclusive)  Look out for them in: 
Parabens  Endrocrine disruption and cancer  Personal care and some food additives 
Phthalates  Endocrine disruption*  Nail vanish, shampoos, perfumes 
Triclosan  Endocrine disruption  Personal care – eg toothpaste, deoderants, soaps 
Aluminium salts  Potential concerns about links to cancer  antiperspirants 
Synthetic musks  Endocrine disruption   

Source: Breast cancer UK 

*Endocrine disruptors: chemicals which influence hormones to affect reproduction, child development and potentially increase cancer risk. 

It is now becoming much easier to avoid these chemicals. So you can pick presents that are better for the body, kinder to animals and even  better for the environment too.