Parabens Are Less Bad Than Thought

A long time ago I read and heard everywhere that parabens were very bad for your skin and that you should avoid them in your skin care. That’s what I did well.

Actually I didn’t know what parabens were, but at one point it was synonymous with bad. So I have a lot of skin and hair care that doesn’t contain parabens.

I recently found out that parabens are actually not as bad as they say. And that sometimes it’s even better to buy products with parabens than without.

I admit I’m not completely convinced of this info myself, or I need to get used to it, but here’s why parabens aren’t so bad yet.

What are parabens?

Parabens are preservatives and they’re the most commonly used for this purpose. It’s a collective name for various substances, such as Benzylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben and Methylparaben. A product usually contains several types of parabens.

Parabens are also in your food. Sometimes they’re added or they’re naturally in it. Cucumbers, green tea, fruit and soya have natural parabens in them. These parabens protect the products from spoilage.

In addition, parabens are also added in medicines and cosmetics.

Parabens in cosmetics

Photo: triocean via Getty Images Pro

Because parabens are a preservative, they are difficult to avoid, especially in cosmetics. Actually it can be said that parabens are used in 99% of cosmetics.

This reduces the risk of skin problems caused by parabens. It’s therefore very possible that your skin problems aren’t caused by parabens, but other substances such as perfume.

But aren’t parabens harmful to your skin at all?

Not quite. Parabens in skin care products can accelerate skin aging due to the sun. So when you put on a cream with parabens and then walk in the sun, you will have wrinkles faster.

However, you can prevent this by applying an SPF every day.

Is it better to buy paraben-free products?

Well, not always. Products without parabens often have old-fashioned preservatives added. And these preservatives have a worse safety profile.

Pay particular attention to the following preservatives:

  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • DMDM Hydantion
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Methylchloroisothiazolione/ methylisothiazolinone
  • Quaternium-15
  • 2-bromo-nitropropane-1,3-diolaka (AkaBronopol)

If these ingredients are in your paraben-free cosmetics, it’s better to use cosmetics that do contain parabens. That’s better for your skin and health!

Front photo: Jacob Lund

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