Why Parabens, Dyes and Synthetics Don’t Belong in Skin Products | Muse Health

Parabens     Dyes     Synthetics     Skin Care     Skin Products

Everyone is on the lookout for products that make them look and feel their best. From facial cleansers, lotions, moisturizers, and varying hair care products, there are several substances that come in contact with and are absorbed by the skin. Although many people bypass thoroughly examining ingredient information on the back of bottles, beauty products and cosmetic products should be examined carefully. With new information released by influential organizations like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the market is becoming more conscious of ingredients and formulations that cause harm.

One ingredient that always seems to stir controversy are parabens. Considered a health threat by some, parabens have been heavily used in the beauty industry since the 1920s. Although still popular, several companies and brands have discontinued the use of parabens in their personal care products.  

In this article, you will understand why parabens, dyes, and synthetics do not belong in skin products.

scientist mixing chemicals

What are Parabens?

Many people have heard of parabens but have no idea what they are. Parabens are a man-made group of chemicals that are often used as preservatives in cosmetic and other skincare products. Although not as common, parabens are also used in certain food and beverage products. The reason parabens are used in product formulations is due to the biodegradable nature of certain key active ingredients. When parabens are added to formulations, they help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, reducing possible toxicity.

Parabens are known for their antimicrobial properties, which make them an effective ingredient to fight off mold. This increases the shelf life of products, once they are on the market. With several common products like toothpaste, shampoo, SPF sunscreens, deodorants, and makeup potentially containing parabens, a person is constantly exposed to and absorbing this chemical.

Although this may not seem like a major concern, there are several studies that have linked parabens with different health problems.

woman holding irritated skin on arm

Are parabens bad for your skin?

When it comes to parabens and their effects on the skin, there are several reasons why they are considered bad. Many moisturizing skin care products like lotions are used by millions of people throughout the day. For children or adults with sensitive skin, parabens can cause severe skin irritation. Common irritations and skin issues that result from paraben use are rosacea and dermatitis.

Parabens and another chemical known as phthalates have been linked with endocrine-disruption. The endocrine system is responsible for the release of hormones by internal glands directly into the circulatory system. Endocrine disruptors inhibit the process of hormone production and release.

Studies have shown that parabens have the ability to influence estrogen pathways. These acts have been linked to negative effects in humans like lowered sperm count and endometriosis.

Because parabens are so readily available, scientists continue to study its effects on skin and the body. Through continued research, constant exposure to parabens have shown possible effects like miscarriages, bone density loss, and breast cancer.  

One of the hard aspects of shopping for products is not knowing what to avoid. Even for consumers who love reading ingredient lists, it may be hard to spot parabens. Parabens are the name of a large chemical compound group. Some commonly used parabens are propylparaben, butylparaben, and Isobutylparaben. There are other variants of paraben to look out for. It is in your best interest to look for labels that have the keywords, “paraben free”. These products have been regulated and tested to ensure that they do not contain harmful ingredients.

Smiling woman rubbing hands together

Why we don’t use parabens, dyes or synthetics in our products

Apart from being cruelty-free and not testing on animals, Muse Health also believes in using natural ingredients in its formulations. While parabens were created for the purpose of conservation, its negative health effects make it an ingredient worth avoiding. Due to the pandemic, hand sanitizer has become a trending and (in some cases) hard to find product.  

Because hand sanitizers are being used more frequently, having parabens, dyes, or synthetics present in formulations leaves consumers at risk. Although the issue appears skin deep, when digging below the surface, it becomes that much more apparent why companies are continuing to reimagine formulas. Body care is something that every person engages in, at varying degrees. With the information concerning bad ingredients that can cause cancer readily available, consumers are becoming more knowledgeable than ever.  

With the active ingredient of alcohol in our formulas, we wanted to create a fragrance-free variety that was more palatable to those with sensitive noses. Instead of choosing to incorporate synthetic fragrances, we infused our formula with lime oil. In combination with glycerine and vitamin E, our formula is able to keep your hands clean while also protecting the skin. To learn more about glycerin and its moisturizing effects, click here.

It's important to remember that while artificial fragrances make products smell a certain way, looking for natural products helps prevent unwanted side effects.

Study Products Before Purchasing

With millions of products out there, choosing one at random is the quickest choice. While it may not seem harmful at first glance, the product you choose could contain parabens. Skin is the largest organ of the body and with environmental factors constantly looking to penetrate through its defenses, the last thing it needs is exposure to harmful products. Taking the time to research different products and retailers will help pinpoint brands that look to protect their consumers. When it comes to anything placed on your skin, it is always better to be safe than sorry.