Parabens are an ingredient that frequently comes up on the no-no list when reviewing skincare products. You may have noticed parabens free skin care or parabens free cosmetics popping up everywhere on your labels. As we start to become more educated about not only what we are eating but what we are using topically, you may be curious as to what actually are parabens and why should they be avoided?
WHAT ARE PARABENS?
Parabens are synthetic chemical preservatives or preservative agents that have been used in food, medicines and cosmetics from around the 1930s. They’re often found in personal care products including skin care such as cleansers, body washes, moisturizers and more.
WHY ARE PARABENS USED IN SKINCARE?
They are used as preservatives. Preservatives are added to products to help prevent and reduce fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing within your products. By hindering this process, parabens allow manufacturers to prolong the shelf life of products. They’re generally very inexpensive to produce which is why they can be widely used.
TYPES OF PARABENS
There are a few names you should look out for when studying your ingredient labels, with some of them more common than others. Here are the most common parabens you may find in your personal care ingredient lists so they’re easy to spot:
ARE PARABENS BAD FOR YOUR SKIN?
Over the past few years parabens have been a controversial topic. Parabens are believed to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals, meaning they mimic our hormones when they enter into our bodies and at certain doses could cause harm by disrupting the function of our hormonal system.
You can find more information around the studies in academic journals here and here, as well as information on the FDA website.
They also have the potential to cause skin irritations. Make sure to read your ingredient labels and look out for the names listed above if you want to avoid parabens in your personal care products.
WHAT WE USE INSTEAD
At KORA Organics we are proudly parabens free organic skincare. We only use natural-based preservatives that are approved by COSMOS for use in natural and organic products such as potassium sorbate, sodium phytate and sodium benzoate which are mild salt-form preservatives. With no harmful or controversial preservatives that are often used to extend a products shelf life, it’s why our products have a 24-month shelf life.
While there is still uncertainty and needed conclusive research as to whether parabens are harmful, removing unnecessary chemicals from our daily use and using natural ingredients can only be beneficial. Search for parabens free cosmetics and read ingredient labels so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.