Learn why paraben free products are growing more popular, and how they can help you improve your health and get rid of allergic reactions, contact dermatitis and other dangers of parabens.
Paraben free products are growing more popular as scientific research is now confirming what some doctors have been concerned about for a long time. Growing public concern over the dangers of parabens is encouraging cosmetic companies to re-evaluate their use of these ingredients.
Parabens are substances that are often used as preservatives in cosmetics, personal care products and skin care products. Some of the major parabens are benzylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. They are petroleum-based chemicals that prevent the growth of bacteria, and have been used for a long time in skin care and personal care products.
Often two or more parabens are combined together in a product formulation to extend the shelf life of a product.
Parabens are of particular concern for a number of reasons. They have been shown to cause allergic reactions and are one of the leading causes of contact dermatitis.
In addition, they mimic estrogen in the body which disrupts the delicate hormonal balance that our bodies need for good health. This is especially of concern for adolescents and pregnant women. There is some concern that parabens affect the development of the fetus and also affect a male fetus' future fertility.
Parabens have also been linked to organ system toxicity, cancer, and neurological and developmental disorders.
If that isn't bad enough, research has found parabens present as contaminants in tap water, food, and even built up in our bodies!
Some of the most toxic parabens such as methylparaben are banned or restricted for use in the European Union.
More and more people are looking for paraben free products to avoid the potential danger of parabens. If you have sensitive skin or multiple allergies, I recommend you avoid all parabens.
Parabens are especially harmful in any cosmetic or facial cream that you put directly on your face, body or hair, and that stays there all day. That product is going to be absorbed into your body, and the harmful substances migrate from the skin directly to the bloodstream.
For the longest time I didn't know a thing about the dangers of parabens. In fact I knew nothing at all about safe cosmetics or how the ingredients in skin care and personal care products can affect our bodies.
As I look back, I find this kind of surprising, I am so careful about what I eat, and always try to avoid processed and refined foods, dyes, preservatives and other harmful ingredients.
I do have sensitive skin and am sensitive to fragrance as well and so I've had years of experience in reading labels, but I just wasn't paying attention.
Then in 2008 I began to run into a lot of health challenges. I would get a headache from drinking a cup of herbal tea, or from taking my daily vitamins, or even my healthy energy drinks!
I began to pay a lot more attention to what I was putting into my body, and at some point a light bulb went off in my head. I realized that I needed to also look at the products I was putting ON my body!
Somehow I blundered onto the online Cosmetics Database which opened up a whole new world for me. It empowered me to understand more about the ingredients in the products I was using.
At that time I'd buy much of my skin care and personal care products from the local health food store. That all changed once I started reading the labels and discovered methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben on the label of my nice, unscented skin care lotion.
Ugh! Those pesky parabens showed up in almost everything I was using ... toothpastes, deodorants, sunscreens, shampoos and body lotions. And even my nice, fragrance free shampoo!
I noticed when I stopped using shampoo with parabens that my headaches became a lot less intense and MUCH less frequent. I did have some trouble finding paraben free products, but now more and more companies are now getting on the bandwagon and offering paraben skincare, paraben free lotion, paraben free sunscreen, paraben free face moisturizer and even paraben free deodorant!
You might be able to find paraben free products in your health food store; however you MUST read the label, as so many so called natural and organic products do contain other harmful ingredients. Please see our Safe Cosmetics Guide for a short list of the ingredients you want to avoid in your skin care products. I recommend this for everyone, but ESPECIALLY for those of us with sensitive skin.
Any ingredient that says "paraben" at the end of it is going to be potentially allergic or worse for your sensitive skin.
Some skin care product lines make it a point to let you know that they have paraben free products. The hypoallergenic products that I recently switched to using for my skin and hair care, dental care and mineral makeup are all paraben free products, except for some of their older cosmetics which are still being reformulated.
If you are looking to minimize or eliminate allergic reactions to your skin care, the most useful products will be those that are free of fragrances, dyes, artificial colorings, AND ingredients which can cause allergies.
You also need to be aware that even some natural plant substances may be allergy producing for YOUR sensitive skin.
Although I personally always prefer to use a more natural skin care product, some plants contain potent natural properties which can cause allergic reactions in some people with sensitive skin.
Some hypoallergenic product lines are free of fragrances, dyes and colorants, but they DO have parabens. I have no idea why, as parabens have been shown to be one of the leading causes of contact dermatitis!
Parabens are not the only allergy causing substances that can cause reactions for people with sensitive skin. A number of people are seeking not only paraben free products but also products which are free of added fragrances, petroleum products, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and other irritants, to minimize any possible allergic reactions.
Another SERIOUS problem in finding good quality products without parabens for sensitive skin is that sometimes when they take out all the harmful ingredients, what is left just doesn't work very well!
I can't tell you how many so called natural products I have tried that did absolutely nothing for my hair or skin. Even worse, sometimes they made it worse!
One organic hair conditioner took ALL the shine out of my hair, making me look like I had lifeless brown straw on my head!! ( See My Sad "Before" Picture Here! )
I haven't been able to find much in the way of salon quality, paraben free hypoallergenic products that work well AND will not cause skin break outs or allergic reactions.
As I've shared on our hypoallergenic products page, one of the big problems with most brands of hypoallergenic products is that they contain parabens, preservatives, and other ingredients that research suggests actually cause skin inflammation!
Then if you try and find the nice brands of natural skin care products, they often contain a lot of botanical ingredients which can cause allergic reactions.
That's why I really appreciate using botanical free hypoallergenic products which are free from most chemical irritants, as well as plant allergens. These products are my FIRST choice for all types of sensitive skin, for several reasons.
Ah, if you're like me and you are, well let's say, mature :-) then you know that sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help to keep you looking and feeling your best.
Now that is a REAL problem when you have sensitive skin. MOST anti-aging skin care products simply are too intense for sensitive skin.
What is a sensitive, mature person to do?! Well, I've been on a long journey to find safe, natural solutions for mature skin that actually work without causing more skin problems! So far my results with paraben free hair care, anti-aging skin care products and personal care products have been BEYOND outstanding. There are safe, natural solutions out there for aging skin that actually work!
I've put together a fantastic selection of safe skin care products which are ALL paraben free.
There's a lot of information on this page so be sure to bookmark it, and read all the way to the end to find all the resources.
How can you tell whether your skin care or personal care products contain parabens? My free eBook will show you how to quickly and easily check YOUR skin care and personal care product brands to see whether they contain parabens.