Should I Be Worried About Parabens In My Skincare?

Photo of a sink faucet next to three M&N skincare products.

Psst… Did you know that every one of our skincare products at Mint & Needle is paraben-free? That’s right: not a single pesky paraben will appear in any skincare product you receive from us.

But why is it so important to us that your moisturizers, cleansers, sunscreens, and serums are completely paraben-free? Read on to find out…

What are parabens?

Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives in products used for body care—including everything from shampoos and conditioners to skincare and makeup. They prevent certain bacteria and molds from growing in the product and increase its shelf life.

So far, these sound like good things—who wants products that expire in a few days or could be vulnerable to growing mold? Here’s the thing: parabens have some major health concerns associated with them, which we’ll get into next. 

Why should I avoid parabens?

The main concern about parabens is that the body seems to mistake them for estrogen—an important hormone in both men and women. Too much exposure to parabens can cause the body to respond as though it has experienced a boost in estrogen, which can be associated with decreased fertility (again, in both men and women), harm to reproductive organs, and even increased risk of breast cancer.

There is also some evidence that parabens can affect the production of other hormones. Some studies link parabens to non-fertility problems like developmental disorders and chronic diseases.

That said, other sources state that these studies are still not conclusive for humans—the main information we have from human studies is that parabens are definitely more present in the bodies of people who use personal care products than people who don’t. The links between those levels and these bad outcomes are still being studied.

But, even if some studies disagree right now, we say: why not be better safe than sorry? Since there is enough research that shows a chance of hurting our bodies with parabens, we believe the best plan is to keep them out of our skincare routines!

How can I make sure my products are paraben-free?

The main ingredients you want to keep an eye out for are “long-chain parabens.” They are:

  • isobutylparaben
  • butylparaben
  • isopropylparaben
  • propylparaben

If you see any of these on an ingredient list, that product is not paraben-free! And any other ingredient ending with the word ‘paraben’ is in the same family; though it is not currently considered to be dangerous the way the others are.

The good news is, parabens are not our only option for preserving and protecting skincare products. At Mint & Needle, we use safer, more natural preservatives to make sure your products are still long-lasting and bacteria-free. Take a look at all our paraben-free cleansers, moisturizers, masks, and serums and shop without worry.