Harmful ingredients in conventional grooming products

Since we are talking about "good" care products, there are tons of products out there that harm us, our horses and the environment.Labeling such as "natural", “natural horse care" etc. are misleading. Our summary provides you with all the information you need on specific ingredients that are commonly used in grooming products for horses - read part 1.

Please don't use harmful/harsh chemical or human products on your horse

A summary of harmful substances

Mane and tail conditioner, as well as shampoos, contain:

Mineral Oil

A rare resource with doubtful effects that you will come across as paraffin in grooming products. It is very problematic for the environment, and potentially damaging to the skin. Gels such as vaseline, petroleum jelly, etc., cover and seal the horse’s skin, preventing it from breathing. Parabens Often used as preservatives, manufacturers use Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isopropylparaben and Isobutylparaben. The substances are linked to cancer and may have hormonal-like effects on the body.


Silicones are like an impenetrable layer — such as a raincoat — around the mane and tail. Of course, this smoothes the hair and makes it softer and more manageable, but the silicone basically blocks skin and cells. The immune system can’t remove toxins, nor can good substances be absorbed. Furthermore, silicone is not biodegradable and hard to remove - the more you wash your horse with silicone products, the more silicone remains on the body. Silicone is basically not biodegradable and we don’t yet know about its long-term effects on the environment.


Surfactants are substances that lower the surface tension of i.e. water, meaning they make the water softer and dirt is removed more easily. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting and foaming agents or emulsifiers. Natural surfactants are made of natural, raw materials such as animal and vegetable fats or sugars. Synthetic surfactants are based on synthetic raw materials such as Benzene, Olefins or Ethylene Oxide. Surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can dehydrate the skin. Polyethylene glycols (PEG's) cause the skin to become more permeable to toxins and may be allergenic. PEG derivatives are often obtained from potentially carcinogenic (and environmentally harmful) petroleum derivatives.

Quite awful, right?

Next week I will give you more.

Talk to you soon!


#herbs #grooming #horseskin #horsehealth #skindisease

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Nicole Anhalt

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