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What Are Parabens?

If you use makeup or any type of skincare product and read the ingredients, chances are that you’ve seen different types of “parabens” in your products. The most common ones you’ll find are butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, isopropylparaben, and isobutylparaben.

What does it mean when these ingredients are in our beauty products, though? And how does switching to a natural cosmetic brand help? Today, Altforé is diving into what these chemicals do to our skin and our bodies, and why switching to a paraben-free, natural cosmetic brand like ours can help keep you healthy.

Chemical Preservatives

The reason you’ll find parabens in so many cosmetics and skin care products is because they help extend the shelf-life of these products by preventing mold and bacteria from growing in them. Parabens are a synthetic chemical thought to mimic hormones in the body. Specifically, parabens can disrupt the function of estrogen, which may lead to reproductive issues and breast cancer.

On top of that, because parabens are a synthetic chemical, people with sensitive skin may have a reaction to the ingredients. Though there is some argument that parabens are hypoallergenic, they can still cause irritation and stress out the skin.

Environmental Issues

When people use products that contain parabens, the product doesn’t just stay on their skin and get absorbed into their bloodstream — it also gets washed down the drain. Between washing your hands and showering, you’re rinsing parabens off of your body and into the sewage system.

This system can be released into the environment, causing marine mammals to absorb these chemicals. Though pollution is the overall issue here, it doesn’t help that our beauty products contain harmful chemicals that affect other animals and the environment.

What To Do

The concern isn’t just about our physical health, but the impact on the environment as well. While beauty products contain only small amounts of parabens, it can add up quickly in the body when using multiple products — and even eating foods treated with parabens.

This build-up happens in more than just our bodies. With millions of people using cosmetics and skin care products every day that contain parabens, these synthetic chemicals end up in the environment and affect the health of wildlife.

With the growing concern about the impact that parabens have, many companies have started to develop natural cosmetic brands that use safer ingredients to preserve their products. There are a variety of ingredients that can now be used as preservatives in makeup, skincare, and other products that need to last for a while. Many of these alternatives are synthetic-free, more natural, and just as effective as parabens at preserving the quality of cosmetics.

Ingredients To Look For

When you’re trying to rid your cosmetic bag and medicine cabinet of paraben products, look for alternatives like isothiazolinones — which are in a lot of rinse-off products but may cause skin irritation — or organic acids like benzoic acid/sodium benzoate, sorbic acid/potassium sorbate, levulinic acid, and anisic acid.

Altforé is a natural cosmetic brand that offers paraben-free lipstick and lip gloss. Our products are also gluten free, vegan, and never tested on animals. Keep yourself and the environment healthier and safer when you shop our products.