- Beauty Glossary
- Paraben Free
Paraben Free Makeup & Cosmetics
Parabens are commonly used chemical preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. However, due to their questionable and uncertain long-term effects on frequent users, paraben-free products are becoming a popular, safer option among many beauty brands.
If you were looking for information on paraffin-free beauty products, we have a page for that too!
See our paraben free guide to answer your questions like what are paraben free cosmetics and why should beauty products be paraben free.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Paraben Free products
What are paraben free cosmetics?
Paraben free cosmetics are cosmetic products that don't contain parabens – a family of preservative chemicals. These chemicals give your cosmetic and personal care products a longer shelf life by preventing bacteria, fungus and microbes from growing in them. The most common parabens you are likely to see in products are methylparabens, propylparabens and butylparabens.
Why should beauty products be paraben free?
Scientific research links the use of parabens in cosmetics and personal care products to breast cancer, finding that parabens can mimic the female hormone oestrogen and can therefore disrupt the body's hormone levels and the growth of cells.
The concentration of parabens in products has been restricted by the EU to ensure that they are safe to use; some parabens have even been banned in the past.
What are the skin care benefits of paraben free beauty products?
If you choose paraben free products you can feel reassured that you are not putting your health at risk. You won't have to worry about any of the potential hormonal imbalances parabens can cause, resulting in the possibility of cancerous cell growth.
Additionally, parabens aren't great for the planet in general as they can be carried into the ocean and affect marine life. Sea animals have been found with considerable amounts of parabens in their tissue, which poses potential health risks. It's one thing to protect yourself from this harmful chemical, but it feels a whole lot better knowing you're helping to protect animals as well!
What alternatives do paraben free beauty products use?
There are alternatives to parabens, an example being the plant-derived ethylhexylglycerin or phenoxyethanol, which are natural forms of ether alcohol. The only downside is that these natural preservatives are more expensive, which is a concern for mass producers.
There is also concern that if parabens are no longer used, they could be replaced with a cheaper, more harmful preservative. As the saying goes: it's better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.
Are there any negative side effects to paraben free beauty products?
There no negative side effects to using paraben free products, in fact many people feel safer choosing paraben free, especially if natural alternatives are being used. Many of your favourite mascaras, glosses, foundations and palettes are made without parabens!
Written by Alex Bryson, Beauty Editor