Parabens…friend or foe?


Many of us are quick to lament the use or inclusion of parabens in our skincare products…but how much do we really know? You know the WITS drill….

What are parabens?

Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives in everything from makeup to toothpaste to spray tans.

So…what’s the beef..?

Parabens have been linked with breast cancer and are thought to mimic estrogen, which can cause early onset puberty in girls and low sperm count in men. In spite of those links…no direct causal link has been found between parabens and the earlier mentioned conditions. It’s worth noting that nothing has been definitively proved in so far as the side effects of long term paraben exposure. Put simply, we don’t yet know if they are good or bad, so we suggest that it’s best to act with caution and opt for paraben free alternatives.

How do I know if there are parabens in my products?

Look for ingredients like:

• methylparaben
• propylparaben
• butylparaben

If in doubt about whether a product includes parabens, you can check them via

To help you out, here’s a list of brands known to be paraben free:

• Weleda
• Burts Bees
• Jason
• Dr Hauschka
• Aveeno

Do you know of any other paraben free brands? What do you think about the use of parabens in skincare? We’d love to hear from you!