Beauty Clinic: Parabens Explained

Over the past five years or so, “parabens” have become a huge buzzword in beauty. Yet it seems like nobody ever tells us the reason. Why are parabens bad for you? In a world where we are becoming increasingly health-conscious, and more aware of what we put on our skin, should we give in to the “paraben-free” hype? Here, Source Beauty breaks down the elusive paraben.

What are parabens?

Parabens are preservatives, first used in the 1950’s, to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould in beauty products. That way your products can last longer without getting ruined. How do you think your favourite shampoo lasts so long? You can find them in deodorants, kinds of toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, and makeup.

Are they harmful?

Even though you may be using products that contain parabens topically, they sink into your skin and remain in your skin tissue. The parabens are believed to disrupt hormone function, which has adverse effects on the body. One study found that parabens actually mimic estrogen, which then triggers breast cancer in women, as well as a variety of very serious health issues.  

Ingredients to look out for and avoid:




Should you stop using parabens? 

Don’t panic. It’s important to note that the percentage of preservative in a formulation is generally very small. Moreover, beauty brands are catching on to this health-trend, and have begun to use alternative ingredients in their products which are now more widely available. They’ve probably already phased parabens out of their ingredient lists and swapped them for safer alternatives.

But if you’re looking for chemical-free, and non-toxic products, here are some brands that do just that:


Caroline Beauty

Just Pure

The Hair Addict

Smack That Scrub


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