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Ask Dr. S: Why should I choose paraben-free skin care?

Ask Dr. S: Why should I choose paraben-free skin care?

“Parabens” is a word that has become more and more apparent in recent years. This buzz word has many connotations, both negative and positive, and the guidelines on the safety of this skin care ingredient are a bit fuzzy. Dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger clears up some questions about paraben-free skin care.  

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in skin care, cosmetic and hair care products. The ingredient extends the shelf life of a product and helps prevent bacteria growth in the bottle or container. For these reasons, skin care and cosmetic preservatives such as parabens are beneficial. 

Many studies call into question the safety of parabens. The studies suggest that because this substance appears in breast tissue and lymph nodes of breast cancer patients, it may have carcinogenic properties. Many people avoid this preservative because they believe it can disrupt hormones or mimic estrogen, which is thought to be a factor in breast cancer development. Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other experts, however, point out that this could just be happenstance, rather than a true relationship between the two. Due to the question of safety, most manufacturers are getting rid of these cosmetic preservatives and switching to paraben-free skin care formulas. 

“This will likely affect the longevity of our products in years to come and may also lead to some difference in the appearance of them,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “We don’t know that the preservatives we will get will be as good as parabens either. Only time will tell.” 

If you are worried about certain preservatives, there are several paraben-free skin care lines available. Brands such as Eminence and Dr. Hauschka feature complete lines of skin and beauty products that are free of parabens. For makeup that is free of parabens, choose jane iredale mineral makeup. 

Let us know your opinion on parabens in the comment section. 

About the Author

Marie is a content writer and social media strategist who has worked at LovelySkin since 2012. She loves scouring the internet for the latest hair and makeup how-to videos and talking about her number one must-have skin care product - sunscreen!

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