The Chemical Structure of a Paraben
Here is a list of the companies I have researched that are either completely paraben free, or have some products with and others without. To check the ingredient status, I have many samples at home that I physically check to see for paraben references, I search products on store shelves for paraben detail, and as backup will research special products online.
What you see here are the brands that I like, have tried and will return to. Certainly there are others offered out there too, but these are my top favorites!
Some great skincare and cosmetic lines that are paraben free are:
i) Ahava, Algenist, Arbonne, Bare Escentuals and bareMinerals, Darphin Paris, Juice Beauty, Jurlique, Lubex anti-age, Murad, Nerium AD, REN Clean Skincare of London, ReVive, Philosophy, Dr. Perricone, NARS, Image Skincare, Tarte, Tatcha, Lorac, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Younique, and Clinique.
You can find MANY of these at SEPHORA!
ii) JM Argan Oil, Paula's Choice, Aubrey Organics, Swanson Health products and Burt's Bees are great too.
Some paraben with but mostly without, Clarins, same for Bobbi Brown, Crabtree & Evelyn, e.l.f., Kate Somerville and PeterThomasRoth.
Some paraben but not all in Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden and Lancome, La Prairie, Laura Mercier and Shiseido; the list IS long and thank goodness getting longer for the better!
Our favorite Touche Eclat Radiant Touch by YSL is paraben free, thank goodness! BUT, here is something interesting, pointed out to me by an attentive reader who says there is paraben in the Touche Eclat. To get to the bottom of this quandary, I was in Saks today and double checked the product box, and NO reference was there regarding any -butyl, -ethyl, -iso, -methyl or any other paraben ingredients. However, I did see on the Sephora website under ingredients, that methylparaben was listed.
How to decide which is correct? I would take the ingredients listed on the box as the defining ingredient status. The packaging is created by the brand and the brand must stand by its public representation.
When in doubt, read the box!
Dior has paraben listed on its box for its hydrating eye cream, and I spoke with a Parisian representative who told me the amount is miniscule, .001%. Dior's product and packaging is so lovely and effective, the paraben level must be reported regardless of its minimal amount.
ADVICE: If you have a favorite cosmetic or beauty product you simply cannot part with that has paraben, just use a little bit and parse out the days you use it, just not every day. Also, eliminate other products at that time that have paraben as a listed ingredient. Spread out the exposure and slowly phase out the parabens in your life!
MANY companies here are on the bandwagon with paraben free skincare and cosmetic offerings, awareness is key and each little bit helps step by step for a better environment and world.
MORE very good links to test for healthy and not so healthy levels of toxins, sensitivity and overall quality in your beauty products: Good Guide has had great press coverage for its accurate and current data, also the federal agency EWG, Environmental Working Group in Washington, DC, and Pink Ribbon is the official site for international breast cancer awareness.
What YOU can do now: before you buy, read the labels! Telephone the company and ask questions, be proactive!! Save your packaging and refer back to it if for later you have questions. I put the empty boxes in a ziplock bag and tuck away in a drawer, out of sight and out of the way, but easy to get to if I have a question. You can do the same!
*Paraben is listed toward the middle or bottom of the packaging list usually, also look for derivatives of butylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben and isopropylparaben. At one time these were considered harmless preservatives, but studies have shown otherwise although not conclusive.*
ALSO, the further down the list of ingredients listed on a package, the less the amount used in the product. I learned this years ago as a consultant for Calvin Klein and Ultima II Revlon, and I doubt this formatting of the ingredient volume has changed.
If you minimize your exposure to parabens, toxins, sulfates, aluminums and leads in general, you WILL be doing yourself a great favor.
There is a HUGE caveat here from the American Cancer Society, which states on its site that many paraben studies remain inconclusive regarding the link with breast cancer. In fact, some studies suggest paraben use remains unproven as to the cause of tumors, regardless of traces found in the breast tissue and tumors.
Hmm, what to think? Moderation is key, we can be assured of that. Mix up your cosmetic use, take a break for a few days and skip, yes, skip the mascara, the makeup, go natural! We Try not to get too attached to a single regime, this way you optimize your chances of being free of any long-term exposures.
For some paraben free makeup and body treatment, please see my posting THE PARABEN FREE BODY for my favorite picks and what I use to stay beauty fit and ready for the day!!