The Guardian shares Bola Lafe’s views on work vs family life

the guardian


Home Business hub

Home business owners: how to balance work with family life

While words like parentpreneur may be proving polemical, there can be no doubt a record number of people are working from home. However, home-based businesses present certain challenges, not least of which is figuring out how to balance family life around your work. Here are six of the best questions our panellists were asked, and how they answered.

  1. Will people understand my need for flexible working?
  2. How can I avoid becoming distracted when I work from home?
  3. Do you think labels like parentpreneur are helping or hindering small business owners?
  4. How can I get my children to understand I need time and space?
  5. Do you miss working in an office?
  6. How do you keep organised with your expenses?

Click here to read answers.

Cosmetic Companies Are Being ‘Too Cosmetic’ With Their Description Of Product Ingredients

  • Majority of household cosmetics and cleansers use flattering descriptions that mask potentially harmful chemicals
  • Manufacturer Aquaint calls for ‘transparency, not cosmetic language’ as concerns about absorption of harmful and toxic chemicals through the skin rise

The cosmetics industry lacks appropriate regulatory scrutiny and is using vague language that hides the presence of potentially harmful and toxic ingredients in many household cosmetics, personal care products and cleansers. This is the view of Aquaint, creators of a new water-based anti-bacterial spray that does not feature harmful chemicals.

Aquaint checked 40 commonly available UK products and cross-referenced them against an industry database. In every case cosmetic language was used to describe potentially hazardous chemical content.

Aquaint’s founder, Bola Lafe, said that he was driven to carry out the checks having gone through the process of developing the wording for his packaging. The exercise, he says, was an eye-opener that exposed a lack of regulatory rigour, creating potential risks for consumers.

Bola Lafe said: “When we started to describe the ingredients in our product we were amazed at how unregulated the language used in the cosmetics industry is. Potentially harmful chemicals are described as fragrances, parfums or preservatives, which is misleading. Unbelievably, a cosmetic product that contains as little as 1% organic ingredients and also contains potentially hazardous substances can still be labelled as organic. There wouldn’t be this level of leniency in the food industry, for example.”

“There are some 3,000-plus chemicals that are used as ‘fragrances’, which ironically are used to cover up bad smells of other chemicals in the products. We’re calling for greater transparency to help consumers make informed choices and to be fair to manufacturers that avoid potentially harmful ingredients.”

Products marketed as ‘child-friendly’ or ‘safe for kids’ often contain a multitude of harsh chemicals. A leading brand that is marketed as ‘Alcohol Free’ and ‘kind to kids’ contains twenty chemicals including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is linked to skin irritation, eye deformities in children and cancer.

comsetics table

Source: Industry data Apr-2014

Bola Lafe added: “It’s common knowledge that hand soaps and household cleaning products are not safe to put in your mouth. The issue is that these same products are used all over the body and harsh chemicals are absorbed through your skin. The industry often uses generic terms such as ‘fragrances’ and ‘preservatives’ that can hide those chemicals with known health concerns.”

Aquaint is 100% natural with only two ingredients – water and a naturally occurring substance called Hypochlorous Acid. The acid, which has powerful antibacterial properties, is the substance produced by human blood cells to kill harmful germs. Once the bottle is sprayed, the acid is used up within seconds leaving only harmless water behind. Compared to existing products, this natural sanitiser destroys the same level of harmful bacteria and germs (99.9%), without leaving any chemical residue. Despite its remarkable effectiveness in killing germs, Aquaint is so benign that it has passed stringent UK drinking water tests and can be used as a mouthwash.

Aquaint is supporting the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – a coalition of several groups including Friends of the Earth and the Breast Cancer Fund. The Campaign aims to protect the health of consumers and workers by pressuring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems.

Aquaint Hygiene Study Makes Headlines with the Mail Online & Daily Mail

Mail Online

Only 12% of people wash their hands before eating – despite them being more unhygienic than a park bench or escalator rail

  •  From escalator handrails to park benches, the most bacteria ridden swabs were still hundreds of times cleaner than the average pair of hands
  • Experts recommend washing hands for around 30 seconds, despite most people thinking 15 seconds is long enough

The human hand harbours more harmful bacteria than public surfaces, a new study has found.

Researchers found the average pair of human hands is more unhygienic than escalators and benches in busy shopping centres and parks.

Yet only one in eight people always wash their hands before eating, the study shows.

Swabs taken from dirty looking surfaces in St Albans city centre and Luton Town Mall revealed a surprising lack of harmful bugs…

Click here to read more.


New shower-in-a-bottle will turn ‘FESTERVALS’ into festivals this summer

  • New multipurpose product will see the end of ‘festival cringe’
  • All round natural product to keep festival-goers clean

A new ‘shower in a bottle’ that contains a harmless acid that destroys bacteria in seconds is being launched this week. Called Aquaint, the product is made from water with the addition of a harmless acid that disappears within seconds of application, making it 100% natural and eco-friendly.

Already marketed as a hygiene product for Britain’s babies and toddlers, Aquaint is a multipurpose eco alternative to disinfectant alcohol gels but does not contain any harmful chemicals or – ending the perennial problem of dry and sticky ‘festival hands’. Aquaint is as benign as drinking water and does not leave behind any residues.

Bola Lafe, founder of Aquaint, said: “Aquaint is a harmless, natural and highly effective shower in a bottle that’s essential for the festival kit. Camp sites aren’t known for being clean and hygienic, but with Aquaint, you can spray yourself all over, clean your fruit, cups, hands, faces and more. You can rid yourself of bad smells as it deodourises, use it in notorious festival WCs, freshen your breath with it and even clean your toothbrush with it. We would all like to be a bit cleaner at festivals, especially after a day or two living without the comforts of home. A few quick squirts of Aquaint can make that happen instantly.”

Research conducted by the Health Protection Agency in 2013 took 1,662 samples from 153 outdoor events – including 50 concerts and festivals. Overall, of 585 swabs on items such as utensils, cutlery and containers that were thought to be clean, one third (32%) tested positive for bacteria and in some samples E.coli was found.

A quick spray with Aquaint kills 99.9% of bacteria in an instant.

Aquaint comes in two sizes – a pocket-sized 50ml spray, handy for everything from the festival fields to the WC (RRP £2.49) as well as a long-lasting 500ml spray bottle that can be used for the whole camp group (RRP £4.99).

Aquaint is available from all major Boots stores and JoJo Maman Bebe and is available online from stockists including,,, and direct from It will soon be available from other High Street retailers during 2014.