Harsh chemicals are typically best avoided, especially when it comes to what we put on our bodies every day. But sometimes nasty additives can be lurking in a variety of self-care products, making them tough to avoid entirely. Take parabens, for example. While we’ve detailed the concerns over these cosmetic preservatives before, there’s a good chance you’re still struggling to nix them from your bathroom cabinets. Not to worry! Taking a more natural approach to your personal care routine requires some time and research. As always, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know about going paraben-free.
What Are Parabens?
Found in a variety of personal care items from makeup to soaps to skin care products, parabens are a group of preservatives used for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. The following chemicals are all considered parabens:
Why Shop Paraben-Free?
Concern over the use of parabens arose in the 1990s when it was discovered that parabens have the potential to act as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors mimic hormones in the human body effectively disrupting hormone balances, including estrogen levels in women. This information was especially alarming because estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer. While some countries mandate limits on the amount of parabens in products, the FDA doesn’t have special rules that apply to preservatives in cosmetics. Therefore, shopping smart and reading labels carefully is the best way to avoid these problematic preservatives.
Tips for Shopping Paraben-Free
Take a cleaner approach to your beauty routine with these paraben-free shopping tips:
- Look for cosmetic products labeled “paraben-free.”
- Make your own all-natural beauty products when possible.
- Shop organic, preservative-free brands, but pay close attention to expiration dates.
- Remember that parabens can go by many names (like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, or anything with the suffix “-paraben”).
Top Paraben-Free Brands
Stock up on these nature-based beauty essentials.
This family-owned business helps you look good and feel even better with products made with organic, wholesome ingredients—and without harsh chemicals and pesticides.
We love multitasking products like this one-ingredient must-have, a rich, hydrating argan oil. Try it as a serum, body oil, or split-end mender. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E for all-over softness.
Go easy on yourself and the earth with high-quality, organic ingredients courtesy of Mother Nature. This self-care company creates products from soap to deodorant to toothpaste that are effective yet gentle, and made using environmentally-friendly practices.
No chemicals here! This bar soap is 86 percent pure coconut and infused with both coconut oil and coconut milk to leave skin soft and hydrated. Plus, the scent—coconut with a hint of clean citrus—is divine.
This beloved brand got its start handcrafting soap back in 1858. With clean, fair trade ingredients and iconic packaging, Dr. Bronner’s has gone on to become a household name in the world of natural beauty and home products.
Get an invigorating burst of peppermint when you step into the shower thanks to this multipurpose wash, which is free of dyes, additives, and harsh chemicals. You can even use it to mop the floor!
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