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Looking for paraben-free moisturizers? In this post, you will learn about parabens in moisturizers, as well as see our top 12 favorite paraben-free moisturizer brands as well as featured products for each.
Parabens are usually present in cosmetics that contain water, such as lotions, shampoos, creams, and cleansers. This is because water encourages the growth of microbes. Parabens are synthetic preservatives meant to prevent microbial growth.
We want to make sure our products are not harboring bacteria, but due to fears that parabens are dangerous, people are looking for safer, more natural alternatives.
The most common parabens have “paraben” in their name. However, they can also be listed as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates.
What are Parabens?
Parabens are a form of preservative that’s commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products. They’re added to items to extend their shelf life by preventing bacteria and mould from growing. Some fragrances may also contain parabens, although companies aren’t required to disclose the chemicals they use in fragrance ingredients.
When scanning through the ingredients list on your products, you can recognize chemicals that belong to this category because they typically have the word “paraben” within their name. For example, methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben are common parabens you’d find in the ingredients list.
Are Parabens Bad?
Many different products on the market are formulated with parabens – though it’s generally at low levels. Regardless, use of parabens can have negative implications on our health and the environment.
Health risks associated with paraben use
With topical application, parabens can penetrate skin and enter the bloodstream. Once absorbed into the body, they can remain in body tissues. There are a number of serious health risks associated with the use of parabens, such as hormone disruption, reproductive issues for both men and women, and cancer.
More specifically, parabens can mimic estrogen because they share a similar chemical composition. The presence of too much estrogen in the body can escalate breast cell division and the growth of tumors.
Environmental implications of using parabens
It’s believed that the products we use (and the parabens in them) are washed into the sewage system and they end up in places where they shouldn’t be. According to researchers, the use of parabens has been linked to the discovery of parabens in the bodies of marine mammals.
What are Their Effects on the Skin?
Skin irritation or allergic reactions
Parabens can irritate skin or cause allergic skin reactions. If you suffer from an existing skin condition like eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, the use of parabens can aggravate your skin and make matters worse.
If you’re allergic to parabens, contact dermatitis can occur in skin. Symptoms of this condition include dry or scaly skin, bumps, itching, and swelling.
Methylparaben and sun exposure
According to studies, the effects of sun exposure on skin are much stronger when skin has been treated with methylparaben. The risks include, skin aging, nitric oxide production, oxidative DNA damage, and speeding up the rate of cell death.
Do Popular Moisturizer Brands Contain Parabens?
Oil of Olay
Yes, parabens are used in some Oil of Olay products. However, the company states on their website that the amount of parabens they use in their products is considered safe.
Yes, some Ponds products are formulated with parabens.
Yes, 30% of NIVEA’s product range in body care, face care, and sun protection contain parabens. But because 70% of their products are formulated without parabens, consumers can purchase paraben-free products from this brand.
Yes, Cetaphil uses parabens in some products. But here’s a list of Cetaphil products that are paraben-free:
- Moisturizing Cream
- Moisturizing Lotion
- Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating lotion
- Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Daily Facial SPF 15 Moisturizer
- Barrier Cream with Meadowfoam Oil
- Restoraderm Nourishing Moisture Wash
- Restoraderm Replenishing Moisture Lotion
- DermaControl Purifying Clay Mask
- DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash
- DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30
- Gentle Makeup Remover
- Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes
- Hydrating Night Cream
- Daily Hydrating Lotion
- ALL Cetaphil Baby Products
Yes, most CeraVe products are formulated with parabens.
A List of Paraben Ingredients (Avoid These):
- Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Methylparaben (Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid)
- Ethylparaben (Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid)
- Parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Propylparaben (Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid)
- Butylparaben (Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid)
- Anything with the word paraben in it!
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If you want to avoid parabens, look for products that use safer preservatives such as:
- Ethylhexylglycerin (which is plant-derived)
- Phenoxyethanol, (naturally derived ether alcohol) – this is a controversial ingredient and may not be safe
- Grapeseed extract
- Potassium sorbate
- Sorbic acid
- Tocopherol (vitamin E)
- Vitamin A (retinyl)
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
These are the safest preservatives that seem to cause the least irritation and have the fewest allergic reactions.
A List of Paraben-Free Moisturizer Brands
- Eminence Organic Skincare
- Amara Organics
- Christina Moss Naturals
- Dr. Alkaitis
- Pai Skincare
- Juice Beauty
- Herbal Choice Mari
- Acure Organics
Our Favorite Paraben-Free Moisturizers
Eminence Organic Skincare
Eminence Organics offers a wide variety of moisturizers for all skin types and concerns. They are always improving their formulations to be safe for your skin.
Proudly free of parabens, animal by-products, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, harmful colorants and fragrances, mineral oils, petroleum, and other harsh cosmetic chemicals.
Top Pick: Eminence’s Tomato Day Cream with SPF is a natural sunscreen & moisturizer suitable for normal, combination and dry skin types.
You must buy Eminence products from a verified retailer, or you risk getting an outdated or imitation product – and no one wants that. I buy mine online at Amy’s Organic Skincare.
A favorite brand on Amazon, Amara Organics‘ ultimate goal is to build up a loyal base of happy customers who love their products.
To achieve this goal, they offer exceptional customer service as well as provide their premium quality products at affordable prices. They want high-quality skincare to be accessible to everyone.
Top Pick: Amara’s Vitamin C cream makes your skin feel soft and hydrated all day long. Contains a nourishing blend of Vitamin C with moisturizing Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil & Rose Hip Oil.
Christina Moss Naturals
For sixteen years, Christina Moss has been educating her customers on the simple fact that what goes on your body, goes into your bloodstream via your skin.
Christina Moss Naturals promises to put the environment first when it comes to developing, manufacturing and shipping all of our products.
Top Pick:Christina Moss’ Organic Facial Moisturizer is one of the best-selling organic moisturizers on Amazon. This moisturizer is ideal for all skin, everything from sensitive to oily types.
Luxury skin care at it’s finest. Dr. Alkaitis only formulates with organic, biodynamic or wildcrafted herbs, plants, seeds, and oils. They hand-manufacture all of their products in small batches in California.
Top Pick: Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Night Crème restores the skin’s natural radiance while you sleep and diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and open pores.
Odacitè sources only the highest quality ingredients, striving for ultimate potency, absolute freshness, and complete purity. Each formula is meant to improve the way your skin looks and feels instantly.
Top Pick: The Beautiful Day Moisturizer targets environmental aggressors to protect and restore softness and elasticity.
Odacitè is available online at The Detox Market.
Pai Skincare is specially formulated for sensitive skin. They use high-quality, organic and active ingredients, and avoid anything that has the potential to upset or imbalance sensitive skin.
Top Pick: Pai Comfrey and Calendula Calming Body Cream is an intensely hydrating and therapeutic cream formulated for sensitive or allergy-prone skin.
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Weleda has been making skin care since 1921. They use biodynamic farming methods to grow their ingredients. Weleda believes that nature offers everything we need to create useful beauty and wellness products.
Top Pick: Weleda Skin Food is a unique, ultra-rich, whole-body cream that intensely hydrates, restores and protects skin with nourishing plant oils and extracts.
Juice Beauty is a USDA Certified Organic, Vegan, and Cruelty-Free company. Juice Beauty uses ingredients from USDA certified organic farms to capitalize on powerful antioxidants that create useful products and to limit pesticide and synthetic fertilizer residue which could be absorbed by the skin.
Top Pick: Juice Beauty’s Oil-Free Moisturizer is a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that contains a blend of certified organic grape, pomegranate, soothing aloe vera, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrient-rich sea algae. Clears While Hydrates.
Focused on using organic and natural ingredients in their formations, InstaNatural creates products without the use of parabens or questionable ingredients.
Top Pick: InstaNatural’s Retinol Moisturizer uses the power of Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin C, and Green Tea to provide intense antioxidant benefits for beautiful skin and optimal results.
Herbal Choice Mari
Herbal Choice Mari line offers over 150 vegan organic skin care products. They are entirely dedicated to manufacturing natural skin care products that are 100% chemical free and only contains plant-based ingredients.
Their Certified USDA organic products offer high performance and never compromise your health.
Top Pick:Herbal Choice Mari Organic Day Cream in Rose contains pure steam distilled rose oil, and the organic ingredients have calming and healing properties for beautiful looking skin.
Acure Organics is a family owned and operated company founded on sustainable principles and accessible price points to steer people away from toxic chemicals, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice your health for beautiful skin.
Top Pick: Acure Organics Oil Mattifying Moisturizer is an easily absorbed facial moisturizer that improves the appearance of skin’s texture and tone with the rejuvenating hydration and moisture of Lilac extract and chlorella.
Trilogy is a New Zealand brand that initially began with a range of five Rosehip products. They now craft over 40 incredibly effective natural skin care products, selling them in over 20 countries around the world. Their formulations are concentrated, efficient, and unique.
Top Pick: Trilogy Very Gentle Moisturizing Cream is a gentle moisturizer designed to nourish, hydrate and comfort even the most sensitive and easily irritated skin with Olive, Chamomile and plant derived Hyaluronic Acid.
There you have it, a list of 12 paraben free moisturizer brands and our top picks within those brands. It is easy to avoid parabens in our personal care products if we are willing to do some research and find brands that strive to make healthy, natural products.
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Let us know in the comments what moisturizer you are currently using, or if you have any questions. Share this post with your friends and tell them that you are avoiding parabens in your products.