Skip to Main Content

Paraben Free Cosmetics & The Truth About Parabens

All Afterglow Cosmetic products are paraben free.

We believe that knowledge is beautifully powerful and it’s the foundation of choice. While the verdict on the safety of paraben preservatives may not be signed and sealed, here’s what we do know about paraben preservatives and your health:

Most Traditional Cosmetics Still Use Parabens

Parabens are the most widely used class of synthetic preservatives found in approximately 85% of the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals available today. You may see parabens in your cosmetics listed as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Isoparaben, and Butylparaben. Parabens are very inexpensive and effective broad-band preservatives and found in almost every common beauty care product including color cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions.

Beyond being effective, they also allow beauty companies to preserve products easily and very cheaply, allowing much longer shelf-lives than their more natural, paraben-free counterparts. Longer product shelf-lives directly translates to higher profits as cosmetic companies with intensely preserved products can run and distribute very large batches less frequently. At every level of the supply chain, it is more profitable to preserve a cosmetic with the most effective preservative possible.

What’s the Problem with Parabens?

The issue with traditional cosmetic companies’ formulation philosophies towards preserving products is that the preservatives used (namely parabens) can be absorbed into the body and may be problematic for our long-term health.

Paraben preservatives, among other synthetics such as phthalates, have been identified as “xenoestrogens” and endocrine disruptors. This means that once introduced into the body, the body chemically sees the paraben preservatives as indistinguishable from human-produced estrogen. It’s thought that the introduction of additional estrogen by way of cosmetic chemical xenoestrogens can throw the natural body’s own endocrine system off balance.

This contributes to the theory that paraben preservatives are a catalyst for breast cancer. Many say that paraben preservatives and phthalates are especially harmful to children with developing bodies. British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D. discovered parabens in malignant breast cancer tumors in 2004 when 160 breast-tissue samples obtained from 40 patients who had undergone a mastectomy for primary breast cancer, they found that 99% of samples had traces of at least 1 paraben, and that 60% had traces of 5 different parabens.

While these studies are in no way conclusive as to the active part Paraben preservatives may play in the development of breast cancer, they were certainly found at the scene of the crime.

As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on Paraben levels in cosmetic products. As the use of advanced synthetics becomes increasingly popular in almost all personal care products, our society is absorbing and accumulating even greater amounts of synthetics. Watchdog organizations worry that if parabens can be stored in the body, over time they could have a cumulative effect and pose an additional health risk.

The Bottom Line

Additional research must be done to determine the true gravity of the daily use and absorption of paraben preservatives. While the population waits for a final verdict, Afterglow Cosmetics has made the obvious alternative available – paraben-free cosmetics.

Our philosophy is: If you can use a product that is just as good, stable and more natural, why wouldn’t you remove yourself from the synthetic chemical equation and eliminate the use of products with questionable ingredients?

We encourage you to read labels, understand what you are putting onto and eventually absorbing into your body, and advocate safer alternatives and ongoing investigations.