Confused about all the fuss around paraben-free shampoos and other toiletries?! We give you the low-down on the ingredients those with sensitive skin might want to avoid!
What Are Parabens?
Parabens are synthetic preservatives used to stop toiletries and cosmetics from going off; they extend shelf life of products by restricting the growth of microbes such as bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
What’s The Problem With Using Parabens In Skin & Hair Care?
There’s been a lot of speculation around how bad parabens might be, not all of it proven and certainly not proven enough to have got all parabens banned by licencing authorities. However, it’s clear that parabens penetrate the skin, act as endocrine disruptors and can have sensitising effects, especially on people with eczema or sensitive skin, causing damage and irritation. Given that our customers tend to have sensitive skin, we’d prefer to be safe than sorry and not use them at all.
How Do I Recognise Them In Ingredients Lists?
Parabens can be recognised by the six main prefixes (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl-) plus ‘paraben’ at the end.
Given that our customers tend to have sensitive skin, we’d prefer to be safe than sorry and not use parabens at all.
What Natural Alternatives Are There To Parabens?
Whatever brands use to preserve their products, it’s vital to restrict microbe growth, because moulds and bacteria are not good at all for your skin!
Some products do away with preservatives altogether by cutting out the water; ‘anhydrous’ oils and ointments (like Skin Salvation, Baby Balm, and our Bath & Body Oil and Facial Oil) do not need preservatives added.
Creams and lotions that do contain water can use combinations of natural essential oils as an antimicrobial preservative system, as our Natural Shampoo does.