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Paraben-free Products FAQ's

What are parabens?

Parabens are a class of chemicals that have been approved for over 50 years to be used as a preservative. They can be found in a wide variety of consumer products. The most commonly used parabens are known as methyl-paraben, ethyl-paraben, propyl-paraben and butyl-paraben.

Are they dangerous to my health?

Most research that has been done in the past show parabens to be quite safe for human exposure. However, until recently we didn't come into contact with parabens on a large scale. Unfortunately, now that parabens have become so popular they are used in many, many products from medications to foods. For this reason the general population is exposed to parabens on a much higher level than ever before.

Some researchers and consumers have become concerned with this increased level of exposure and are conducting studies to determine if parabens can be a causative factor in the increased number of breast cancer cases as well as the higher rate of individuals with allergic skin reactions from using certain skin care products and cosmetics.

Only time will tell if parabens are truly safe for high levels of exposure of if we should discontinue our elevated level of paraben usage.

Where can I be exposed to them?

Parabens are placed into many everyday items. They can be found as food additives, in topical pharmaceuticals, as well as in body care products such as shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, shaving gels and cleansers.

How can I avoid exposure?

The best way to avoid exposure to parabens is to stay away from products that contain these chemicals. Look for brands and body care product lines that offer preservative-free or paraben-free products. Additionally, learn to read labels and to understand what the ingredients in these items are before you buy and use them. If you are prescribed a topical pharmaceutical talk to your doctor or pharmacist about finding a paraben-free version of the drug.

How do I know if there are parabens in a particular skin care product or cosmetic?

If you see the words: methyl-paraben, ethyl-paraben, propyl-paraben or butyl-paraben then the product contains paraben chemicals.

Are there paraben-free cosmetics available?

Absolutely. The demand for preservative-free products has given rise to several lines of paraben-free cosmetics. One such line is the outstanding Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup line.

How can I find out about paraben-free skin care products?

Check out La Roche-Posay, Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. (PSI), and Skyn Iceland for a large selection of paraben-free skin care products.

Does anyone make paraben-free baby care products?

Yes. California Baby has a complete line of all natural, preservative-free, organic, vegetarian body and hair care products designed for babies and children but used by everyone! Their product line includes shampoos, moisturizers, aromatherapy oils and even sunscreens.