What are Parabens in Skincare? How can we avoid them?

You must have come across several warnings before purchasing beauty products to check the ingredient list carefully, so you steer clear if there are parabens in the formula. Unfortunately, parabens in skincare is a harsh reality, but they end up doing more harm than good.

What are parabens?

They are a group of chemical preservatives that are widely used in cosmetic products such as moisturizers, shampoos, lotions, serums, creams, and so on. The reason they are used is they prevent growth of bacteria and mold and prolong the shelf life of the product as it can last for months or even years. Parabens used commonly in beauty products are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben and any other ingredient which ends in –paraben.

Why shouldn’t you use skincare products with parabens?

Parabens are popular as they are more effective than preservatives. But the problem is they are easily absorbed by the skin and remain in body tissues and fluids. Take a look at why you should avoid them:

  • They tend to mimic the hormone estrogen in your body, and attach themselves to estrogen receptors, which interfere with estrogen production. The high artificially caused estrogenic activity may lead to breast cancer development.
  • Parabens tend to boost cellular level damage caused by exposure to UV rays, which could lead to skin cancer.
  • Parabens can also sensitize the skin, causing allergic reactions. A study found that ethylparaben used as an antifungal agent on human skin caused contact dermatitis.
  • Research has also revealed that they negatively impact the immune system.
  • Parabens were found in the urine and blood of males after using products containing parabens, which can cause low sperm count and testicular cancer.
  • Lastly, as soon as these toxic chemicals are washed down the drain, they end up in surface and groundwater, where they accumulate over the years, harming ecosystems and the environment.

At Bella Forever, we only use natural, organic, cruelty-free, and vegan ingredients in our products – they are 100% paraben-free!

List of Parabens to Avoid

Avoid any product that contain these ingredients if you are looking to use only paraben-free skincare.

  • 4-(Methoxycarbonyl)phenol
  • 4-hydroxy-
  • 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid
  • 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester
  • Aseptoform E
  • Benzoic acid
  • Benzylparaben
  • Bonomold OE
  • Butoben
  • Butyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • Butyl ester
  • Butylparaben (E209)
  • Easeptol
  • Ethyl 4-Hydroxybenzoate
  • Ethyl ester
  • Ethyl parasept
  • Ethylparaben (E214)
  • Heptylparaben (E209)
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben
  • Maseptol
  • Metaben
  • Methaben
  • Methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • Methyl butex
  • Methyl chemosept
  • Methyl ester
  • Methyl ester of p-hydroxybenzoic acid
  • Methyl paraben
  • Methyl parahydroxybenzoate
  • Methyl parasept
  • Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • Methyl p-oxybenzoate
  • Methylben
  • Methylparaben (E218)
  • Metoxyde
  • Moldex
  • Nipagin
  • Nipagin M
  • Paridol
  • p-Carbomethoxyphenol
  • p-hydroxy-
  • p-Hydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester
  • p-Methoxycarbonylphenol
  • Preserval
  • Preserval M
  • Propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • Propyl ester
  • Propyl paraben
  • Propyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • Propylparaben (E216)
  • Septos
  • Solbrol
  • Solbrol M
  • Tegosept E
  • Tegosept M