You know that childhood best friend who you just couldn’t quit no matter how many times they pushed you around. After school, your mother would be standing over you, petting your hair, urging you to find a new bestie.

Well, I hate to have to mother you (okay, I secretly enjoy it). But you need to take a huge step away from the parabens in your cosmetics.

Why? Because just like your bullying best friend from all those years ago, parabens in cosmetics are extremely harmful to you. And years of therapy won’t wash this one away.

Young mother holding up finger, warning you to watch out for parabens in cosmetics

Side Effects of Parabens in Cosmetics

Parabens are a widely-used preservative in cosmetics to help prevent bacteria and mold growth. Unfortunately, parabens in cosmetics don’t have the same positive outcome when it comes in contact with your skin.

The side effects are toxic:

  • Linked to interfering with hormone function (specifically, endocrine disruption)
  • Associated with breast cancer
  • May affect male reproductive functions
  • Increases skin aging and damages DNA

What’s even more alarming is that an estimated 75% to 90% of cosmetics contain parabens, and it’s estimated that women are exposed to 50 mg per day. With such a harmful, widespread ingredient, you’d think there would be more regulations. Nope, in the US and Canada, there are no restrictions on the use of parabens in cosmetics.

So how can you protect yourself and your loved ones from parabens in cosmetics?

Know What to Look For in Your Cosmetics 

Parabens can be used in make-up, moisturizers, shampoos, tanning lotions, etc. It can even be found in perfumes, although you wouldn’t know it. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, so manufacturers do not have to disclose this information.

So let’s safeguard ourselves from parabens in cosmetics by shopping wisely:

  • Read the ingredients before you buy. Look for “paraben” in any ingredient (for instance, methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, etc), and steer clear of those products.
  • Look for the label “Paraben-free.” For fragrance, this might be your only option. But double-check the ingredients too.

Interesting Fact about Parabens

Parabens actually occur in nature, and can be found in certain foods like barley, strawberries, carrots, and onions. These are very low levels and don’t cause you harm, because they are metabolized during digestion. 

On the other hand, parabens absorbed through the skin do not receive the same treatment. They enter the blood stream directly, and are therefore potent and toxic to you.

It’s time to cut the cord on your friendship by throwing out all your paraben-filled cosmetics.

And if you need any suggestions of new brands/products to buy, email me at, and I can definitely make recommendations.