Basics of Green Beauty – Tip Two No to Parabens


So beauties, we know a little more about why we should avoid Sodium Laureth and Lauryl Sulphates in your products, it is time to move on to Tip Two: No to Parabens!

As we discovered with SLS, we are pleased to see that many natural cosmetic and beauty companies are going to the effort to cut Parabens out of their products. However, as ‘Paraben’ is a blanket term for a whole host of chemical preservatives and fragrances, it can be a tricky one to spot and worse still, will have your tongue tied in no time.

Nasty? why you say?

It was originally thought that Parabens could not be stored in human tissue, however, several studies in the last 10 years, have proven that they can in fact be stored in breast tissue. The studies also revealed that Parabens can enter through the skin and bypass the liver where toxins are typically broken down.

Like SLS, Parabens can mimic estrogen which is where you will often hear about its association with both breast cancer and reproductive issues. The most significant studies in the last 10 years, have been conducted by Dr Phillipa Darbre who discovered evidence of Parabens in both breast milk and breast cancer cells.

The unfortunate thing for many countries (especially in the United States and Canada) is that the concentration of Parabens in any one product is not regulated, so you need to be careful about where your products are coming from. By comparison, the European Union has stricter policies on the concentration of Parabens.

Where to watch out for our toxic little friend?

Deodorants, antiperspirants, moisturisers, sunscreen, makeup such as mascara, just to name a few.

Some common Paraben’s include: butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben – you can see why it starts to get tricky!

A word of caution: although the exclusion of Parabens in many products is gaining popularity, we need to be mindful that cosmetic companies will often substitute it for other chemicals that are as bad, if not worse. In fact, it has be known that these substitutions will often contain or produce formaldehyde as a result.

Although toxicity levels may vary from product to product, it is important to consider that when you apply several products a day to your skin, all containing Parabens, the load on your body is significant.

This may sound like a lot to digest, and you will most definitely find varying opinions on the web dispelling the myth that Parabens are in fact bad. But the key thing to remember beauties is:

You have the power of choice – to choose what you put in your mouth and what you put on your body.

Making the conscious choice

Here are a few simple tips we introduced you to last week to help you on your way:

  • Consider where the product is manufactured, we always encourage going local where possible. Smaller manufacturers give you the opportunity to easily connect directly with them for feedback.
  • Choose manufacturers that stand by quality.
  • Ask yourself, can I pronounce the names of the ingredients? and remember, if there is one nasty chemical there are sure to be more.
  • Be mindful of the overuse of words such as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’, look for recognised certification labeling.
  • Find brands you trust, and stick to them.


Ruby Marsh

Ruby Marsh

Ruby Marsh is a mentor and the creator of The Unstoppable Woman transformation program. She believes that when a woman is confident in her own skin, she is free to create herself on her own terms. Through her 1:1 work with women and workshops she is supports women to clear their minds and open their hearts.

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