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What is Paraben? Why Should You Use Paraben-Free Products?

What is Paraben

Parabens have been used as preservatives in cosmetics since the 1920s. The industry relies on them to increase the shelf life of shampoos, conditioners, skin care products and soaps. However, recent studies have indicated that certain preservatives used in cosmetics may contribute to various health problems, including endocrine disruption and cancer. And as a result, many consumers are now looking for paraben-free products when selecting their beauty regimen.

What is paraben free?

The term "paraben-free" suggests that a product doesn't contain any preservatives known as parabens. While some brands use this chemical additive, others market their products as natural or organic. This article will explore why paraben-free skincare products may be better for you and help you get started finding these kinds of products.

What types of products contain parabens?

Parabens are chemicals added to personal care and food products.

Methylparaben, propylparaben and butyl-paraben are all examples of parabens—chemicals that prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Many beauty products, including liquid and powder foundation, BB or CC creams, sunscreens, tinted moisturisers, etc., contain Parabens.

Why are parabens thought to be bad for us?

Why are parabens thought to be bad for us

Parabens mimic the human hormone estrogen, which can affect hormonal balance in humans of all genders. Studies have shown that parabens, estrogenic chemicals in many personal care products, interfere with the way your body's hormones regulate reproductive activities like pregnancy and menstruation. (1)

Parabens can penetrate the skin and accumulate in a person's system by using beauty products containing them daily. When exposed to parabens, breast cancer cells can grow, and their use is not environmentally friendly. Parabens can cause itching, redness, and irritation in people allergic to them.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate the use of parabens. As with other cosmetic ingredients, preservatives are no different than any other component in beauty products before they reach store shelves—the FDA doesn't approve or inspect cosmetics before they go on sale. (2)

Do your cosmetics contain parabens? The label should say so.

A paraben-free product will state so on its label. The most common types of these preservatives are:

  1. methylparaben
  2. propylparaben
  3. isopropyl (which indicates its presence in a product but isn't itself a paraben.)

A preservative called para-hydroxybenzoate (or "para"-hydro) can be used interchangeably with this term. "preservative-free," "paraben-free", and "fragrance-free" labels indicate that there are no preservatives in the product.

What are paraben-free alternatives?

Because it can be hard to understand the ingredients in natural products, consumers should choose skincare items with easy-to-understand labels. Natural skin care products contain safe preservatives, such as citric acid, rosemary, and grape seed extract. These ingredients come directly from nature—you don't need a science degree to understand their origins!

Here are some paraben-free alternatives to consider:

  1. Glycerin: It’s a synthetic byproduct of vegetable oil or animal fat. It helps to keep your skin moisturised, acts as an antimicrobial in cosmetics, and aids food preservation.
  2. Aloe Vera extract:  It’s a preservative that moisturises the skin and contains powerful antioxidants. Check out the benefits of aloe vera and green tea.
  3. Citric acid: It’s an exfoliant from fruits like oranges, lemons and limes. It has antibacterial properties and helps increase the shelf life of certain products.
  4. Potassium sorbate: This product is often used as a preservative in food items such as wine and cheese because it's not absorbed into the body when ingested (unlike other preservatives).

5 Reasons to switch to paraben-free products

Reasons to switch to paraben-free products

A paraben-free skincare product may be better for your health than a product that contains harmful chemicals. Parabens are chemicals found in cosmetics, body washes and lotions. They are preservatives that prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in products. Lidocaine is also a topical numbing medication containing parabens.

There are many reasons to switch to paraben-free products:

  1. Parabens are chemicals commonly found in cosmetics. Although the FDA asserts that they pose no health risk, some scientists believe long-term exposure may cause cancerous growths.
  2. Parabens can disrupt the human endocrine system and cause hormonal imbalances.
  3. Products with parabens may cause allergic reactions in some people.
  4. Some experts believe that parabens may adversely affect pregnant women.
  5. Parabens are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can affect your hormones and metabolism.

Read More about - The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty.


1. Why should we use paraben-free products?

Parabens are a class of preservatives used in cosmetics to prevent bacterial growth. Although they were developed initially as a preservative in cosmetics, parabens may cause health problems when applied directly to the skin.

2. What are Parabens?

Parabens can be synthetically produced or derived from natural sources, like plants and animals. There are four types of parabens: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben. These ingredients keep bacteria from growing in your cosmetics, so they stay fresh for longer than products without them would last without refrigeration (Room Temperature Stability).

3. Are Parabens harmful to your skin?

Studies have shown that people who use lots of personal care products containing parabens may have higher levels of estrogen circulating throughout their bodies. It can increase the risk for certain cancers - such as breast cancer - due to the high concentration of estrogen receptors on breast cells, where these chemicals come into contact when absorbed through the skin.

4. How Can You Find Paraben-Free Cosmetics?

The best way to find paraben-free cosmetics is to look for products specifically labelled as such. You can also check the ingredients list on an item to see if it contains any of the chemicals listed above. Contact the manufacturer directly if you have questions about a product's ingredients.

5. Are paraben-free products safe?

While most people can use paraben-free cosmetics without experiencing side effects, some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients in these products. If you have any concerns about this issue, talk to your doctor before using paraben-free cosmetics.

6. Is paraben harmful to the skin?

While there is some evidence that parabens may be harmful to the environment, there is no evidence that they are toxic to humans. Parabens are a preservative that prevents bacteria growth in cosmetics and other personal care products.


Parabens, chemicals widely used in cosmetics and beauty products, may harm your health. The FDA still needs to set limits for the number of parabens in such items. If you're worried about parabens, many brands offer products without these ingredients.

Lotus Botanical Skincare products are paraben free and made with natural ingredients. They offer chemical-free products for healthy skin care. For more information, visit its website 

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