Paraben free is a big beauty buzz word, but what exactly does that mean? When Lisa Haffner asked me to do a paraben free beauty segment, I went right to work trying out some interesting products that are all free of parabens. I found some good stuff, but first let’s talk about what paraben-free means when it comes to beauty products
What the heck are parabens anyway?
I looked up the word, “parabens.” Wikipedia.com defines parabens as a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry. The Wikipedia definition also goes on to say that parabens are becoming increasingly controversial, because they have been found in high concentrations in breast cancer tumors. However, the site also points out that no causal link between parabens and cancer has been established.
The paraben-free symbol is a circle that contains a flower in the center. This symbol means that the product is 100% paraben-free.
To see if a product is truly 100% all natural, look for a sideways green leaf with the words “100% Certified Natural” written inside of the leaf. Sometimes a product won’t show that symbol on the box, but it is shown on the company’s website.
Another symbol to look for is a woman’s profile with the words www.natrue.org which stands for True Friends of Natural and Organic Cosmetics. Natrue is an international and nonprofit association that work to spotlight only those cosmetic companies that are truly all natural. If a company receives their seal symbol, then consumers know that the company is indeed as natural as it can be with natural and organic ingredients and has environmentally friendly practices. The seal also means that the cosmetic line contains no synthetic colors or fragrances, no petroleum-derived products, no silicon oils, no derivatives, no genetically modified ingredients and the products are never tested on animals.
An Online Beauty Watchdog Site
If you want to check your own beauty products for parabens and other chemicals, check out an interesting website called Skin Deep Beauty that can be found athttp://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. When you go to that link, a home page comes right up with a search bar where your favorite cosmetic item can be entered. Simply type it in and then the site gives you a rating on the product’s ingredients.
For example, I was curious about the Dickinson’s line, so I looked the company up on Skin Deep and it showed a rating of 1 to 5, which means that the line has a low to moderate rating when it comes to ingredients that Skin Deep deems to be toxic and most of the Dickinson’s products showed an excellent 1 rating, so let’s start with Dickinson’s in the paraben-free products that I have researched.
Paraben-Free Product Picks
*Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Foaming Facial Wash ($6.99 at Walgreens)
*Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Astringent ($4.99 at Walgreens)
*Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Gentle Skin Cleanser ($6.99 at Walgreens)….All three of these products are new to the Dickinson’s line and all are paraben-free plus they contain no sulfates, fragrance oil or dyes. They all contain 100% all natural botanicals with witch hazel flower extract. Dickinson’s has been around since 1866 and tout the multiple health and beauty benefits of witch hazel that include cleansing and conditioning skin as well as soothing redness and reducing pores. This line is sold at Walgreens and other drug stores.
Weleda Skin Food ($18 at Whole Foods, select natural health food stores and some products at Target)
Weleda One Step Cleanser & Toner ($19)….Weleda has been around for 91 years and has a strong history of creating beauty products that are 100% certified-natural skin, body and baby care products. Since their products are made without pesticides or chemicals, Weleda has been given the Natrue beauty seal of approval that I discussed earlier in this article.
The Weleda Skin Food cream is a whole body moisturizer for rough and dry skin at any age. Formulated with plant extracts of viola, organic chamomile, sweet almond oil and pansy, this has anti-inflammatory properties while healing and soothing areas like elbows, knees, chapped lips, calloused feet and more.
The Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner easily removes makeup, cleanses and tones, is dermatologic ally tested and contains natural olive oil soap and witch hazel extract.
Weleda also offers a Pomegranate Firming Facial Care line that includes a serum, day cream, night cream and firming eye cream. All use pomegranate seed oil and contain high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids and essential fatty acids.
Plus Weleda also offers a Sea Buckthorn Body Care line that includes a creamy body wash, hand cream, body lotion and body oil. The Buckthorn items contain an antioxidant-rich biodynamic sea buckthorn oil and juice that revitalizes skin. Sea buckthorn
*Jonathan Green Rootline Pure Paste with Orange Oil & Lemongrass Extract ($24 at Ulta Beauty and Nordstorm)…This light-weight, nongreasy paste adds texture and shine to style hair. It contains no parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic colors or dyes.
*Alterna Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo ($22 at Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores)…This dry shampoo is free of parabens, gluten, phthalates, mineral oil and more. Infused with bamboo extract, this stuff will absorb oil and product build-up to give you an extra day or two in-between shampoos. Blue Yucca root is also included in this dry shampoo and that ingredient nourishes hair plus the light scent is infused with fresh greens, bamboo leaf, water lily and musk.
*Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil SPF 40+ ($32 at Sephora stores)….This paraben-free, argan-infused facial moisturizer provides protection on the face and neck against the sun and is extra mild, fast absorbing and can double as a primer under foundation. In addition to having no parabens, it also contains no sulfates, no synthetic dyes, fragrances or petrochemicals.
Plus this product has Sephora’s natural seal which is a seal of approval created by Sephora for products that have few to no parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals and more. Sephora’s website says that since the FDA doesn’t regulate the term “natural,” Sephora has designated products with low to no amounts of chemicals, but high amounts of good ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential oils and more, as items with the Sephora’s natural seal. Look for the sideways green leaf symbol on Sephora’s website to see the products included in this category.
*Smart Girls Who Surf Non Whitening Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Line (range in price from $4 to $10 and sold at Healthy Habit and Whole Foods)…This cool sun protection line contains sunscreen, after sun lotion, lip balm and more that are all paraben-free and do not contain chemical sunscreen actives like octinoxate and oxybenzone. I especially love the line’s $24 Grab-N-Go Kit that includes a travel-sized sunscreen, face stick, lip balm, hair protector, after sun soothing lotion and two bars of soap.
*Shaklee Enfuselle Line…Shaklee is a paraben-free line that Oprah has recognized as a company that she likes and has used in her home. I especially like the Enfuselle Eye Treatment and the Refining Polisher (that is used to exfoliate the face in the shower). The Enfuselle Hydrating Cleansing Lotion and the Purifying Toner is nice, too. The eye cream is my top favorite because it has Vitamin C and and natural extracts that diminish the appearance of fine lines and reduce dark circles and puffiness. For more information about all of the Shaklee products and to order, visit www.lascruces.myshaklee.com.
Paraben Free Deodorants
Deodorants have been suspected of causing breast cancer, but no definitive link has been proven. Even so, many of us are trying aluminum-free and paraben-free deodorants. I tried three and here are my results…
*Hugo Naturals ($6.99 at Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market) – This unscented deodorant is paraben-free and safe for sensitive skin. For me, I actually want a little bit of a light scent, this isn’t my #1 choice, but it did give me protection during a normal day of activity. Hugo does offer several scented deodorants, too.
*Tom’s 24 Hour Long Lasting Refreshing Lemongrass Deodorant ($4.99 at Safeway) – I like the lemongrass scent of this one and it protected me as well as Hugo did, plus I liked the fact that I found it at Safeway, my neighborhood grocery store.
*Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Roll-On in Pomegranate ($4.75 at Walgreens) …This paraben-free hypoallergenic crystal roll-on deodorant works the best, in my opinion, but still doesn’t give me what I need when I work out, so I skip using it at the gym, but I like it for regular daily wear. I especially like the Pomegranate scent.
I do have to say that although all three worked all day, not one of them kept me protected during a workout, so I’m still looking for an all-natural deodorant that can get me through an exercise class, too!
What paraben-free beauty products do you like? Share here in the comments section and be sure to check my website at managedmoms.com for more beauty news, recipes, pet pics and more.