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Lily Cole and Selfridges speak out against shark-derived Squalene

At 4pm today, Alannah Weston, creative director of Selfridges, will be announcing the company’s decision to clear its shelves of all beauty products containing shark derived squalene.

The announcement is taking place at the Hay Festival where Alannah will be joined on stage by supermodel come eco activist Lily Cole.

What is Squalene and why is this such big news?

Squalene is a popular ingredient in the beauty world due to its exceptional moisturising and skin softening properties, as well as its ability to fight free radical damage.

The highest concentrations of squalene are found in the liver of deep-sea sharks and sadly it’s become big business. A ton of shark derived squalene can fetch up to £18,000 and it’s estimated that three million deep-sea sharks are caught and killed every year to feed this beauty addiction. That’s a whole lot of sharks….

Unfortunately, labelling loopholes mean manufacturers don’t have to disclose the origin of their squalene so many of the big beauty houses used it for years incognito.

What next?

The good news is that there are several rich plant sources of squalene – most notably Amaranth seeds (a key ingredient in our new Age Confidence Oil), Olive oil and Wheatgerm oil.

So here’s hoping more manufacturers will put an ethical foot forward and move to these animal friendly versions.

It is encouraging to see Selfridges wield their buying power for good in this way and we can only hope it will influence other retailers to follow suit.

Do you think more store buyers should veto products on ethical grounds? Or should it be left to customers to vote with their wallets?

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