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What are parabens, and are they as bad as some people say?

Parabens are preservatives. Like many of the boxed, canned, and prepared food options available at your local grocery store, a great deal of skincare products rely on parabens to prevent bacterial growth, prolonging their shelf-life in the process. Parabens are widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.


Despite their decades (more than six) of utilization in medical and aesthetic treatments, commercial reliability, and relatively clean safety history, parabens have become the center of a swirling skincare debate. Like any divisive topic, there are camps on both sides, each backing its opinions with compelling arguments.

Rather than taking a side, though, our goal is to simply educate you on parabens. As with any medical issue/topic, if you have serious questions and/or concerns about parabens, consult your physician immediately.


1. Parabens may cause contact dermatitis.

Perhaps the most common argument against the use of parabens in skincare products is the belief in the dermatology community that they can lead to contact dermatitis (skin irritation) in patients with sensitive skin. For patients with normal skin, however, parabens are believed to be mostly non-irritating.

2. Parabens may be linked to breast cancer.

In the 1990's, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens: agents that mimic estrogen in the human body. There are opinions that xenoestrogens can cause disruptions in the body's natural estrogen levels, which some argue may be linked to breast cancer in women exposed to parabens on a regular basis.

It's important to note that there is no concrete scientific data supporting this opinion, and in no way are we supporting it as fact. We're simply educating you on the differing points of view surrounding paraben use in skincare products.

On the opposite side of this argument, a 2005 safety assessment concluded that cosmetics containing parabens do not, on the basis of currently available evidence, pose a health risk; because of the low doses involved and the low probability that parabens will penetrate into the tissue, remain intact, and accumulate there.

3. Parabens may increase skin aging.

Although support of the opinion is mixed among the scientific community, a few studies are believed to have identified a link between parabens and increased skin aging. Supporters of this opinion argue that certain parabens may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage.

Much like the supposed link between parabens and breast cancer, however, there is no concrete scientific evidence linking parabens to increased skin aging and DNA damage as a result of a reaction with UVB radiation.


Fact, fiction, and conjecture aside, there's one piece of information that Airelle Skincare users have cited as one of their favorite things about our products: Airelle Skincare products are 100% paraben-free!

Why no parabens? Simple: Our goal is to provide our customers with safe, effective, yet natural anti-aging skincare products. As part of this commitment, we insist on using only the most natural (organic, whenever possible) ingredients.

And for those ingredients that can't be found directly through nature, we source ingredients that have undergone the least amount of processing from their natural state. It's just one of the many way's that we're rethinking anti-aging skincare.

Click here to view our complete line of natural anti-aging skincare products.



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