Para-ben and gone


Ever since skin creams began to be mass-developed in the Victorian era, beauty experts have sought ways to extend their products’ shelf-life. Moisturisers and cleansers can go rancid and even develop mould without any form of preservative to keep them fresh. It doesn’t help that we tend to keep these creams in warm, humid areas such as bathrooms, where bacteria can flourish.

One of the most common preservatives used in modern-day creams is a group of chemicals called parabens. If ‘Para-what?’ is your reaction, check out the ingredients of everyday cosmetics and toiletries. You’re sure to see various types of parabens listed, with names such as propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben.

So what are these chemicals, and why have they stirred up such a controversy?

Scientific Research

A number of studies since 1998 have raised concerns about a potential link between parabens absorbed by the body and the incidence of breast cancer. Parabens have oestrogenic properties – which means they mimic the hormone oestrogen that’s known to play a central role in the development, growth and progression of certain types of breast cancer.

A study in 2012 found that parabens were present in tissue samples of 40 women with breast tumours. However the researchers did not test the tissue of healthy women to compare their levels, and the study did not prove any definite cause-and-effect link between parabens and breast cancer. What is certain is that our bodies definitely absorb parabens and other synthetic chemicals applied to the skin, whether that’s via deodorant, moisturiser, tanning lotions, shampoo or anti-ageing creams. These parabens can act as ‘hormone disruptors’, throwing off the body’s hormonal balance.

It’s for this reason that many people seek to reduce their exposure by choosing paraben-free creams. At Eternal we never use parabens, and stick to the most responsibly-sourced ingredients, all of which are listed in full on our product page.

Allergy danger

If you have sensitive skin, there’s also a chance of an allergic reaction to parabens. Contact dermatitis causes red, itchy and inflamed skin and can be devastating to sufferers. It’s true that people with sensitive skin can be allergic to any ingredient, but it’s wise to reduce risk by opting for products with the fewest possible additives, which are sourced organically and use natural plant-based products. Our luxury Aloe Vera skincare range is a true treat for your skin and we’re thrilled to have so many happy customers.

Also on our banned list…

Parabens are not the only potentially problematic ingredients to be found in everyday cosmetics and toiletries. Here’s a list of other cheap synthetics which we vow never to use:


These are used to help products absorb into the skin. Sometimes listed as DBP, DEP and butyl ester, phthalates can also act as hormone disrupters, and have been investigated as potentially carcinogenic. There has been so much concern over the dangers of phthalates that the EU has banned some types for use in cosmetics.

Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate

Usually listed as SLS or SLES, this is a common foaming ingredient in shampoos, cleansers and bubble baths. It’s also used in floor cleaners, engine de-greasers and car wash detergents! SLS dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect.

If you have any worries about chemicals in cosmetics, it’s time to start investigating more natural alternatives. Here at Eternal Skincare, we’re proud to offer a fantastic range of naturally-inspired products. We’re so confident you’ll love them, we offer you a 90-day money back guarantee. Take a look at our amazing creams now – we promise there are no nasties!

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