Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Switch to paraben-free skincare and your skin will love you for it

Switch to paraben-free skincare and your skin will love you for it

It can be a hard concept to get your head around; that an industry dedicated to making you look and feel your best can make and market products containing ingredients that may be detrimental to your health.

The great news is that when choosing skincare products, nasties like parabens can be easily avoided and replaced with much safer alternatives. But how do you know what to look out for when sourcing new skincare products?

What are parabens?

Parabens are a family of related chemicals commonly used in cosmetic items. They are an extremely cost-effective way of extending the ‘use by’ dates of beauty products, hence their prevalent use. Parabens increase shelf life by inhibiting microbial growth, allowing items to last longer.

The parabens most used in cosmetics are:





You’ll find them listed on thousands of personal care products. Over the past few years, information has been emerging about just how harmful these chemicals are for your health. They are primarily absorbed through our skin, so if you have parabens in your skincare products, you will likely have them inside you too.

Why should you avoid parabens?

While individual items may contain ‘safe’ amounts of parabens, the problem becomes sizeable when you add up all the parabens present across all our skin and body care items, and even food items purchased from the supermarket. Cumulatively, the exposure from all these products could be having a marked effect on our bodies and causing or contributing to health problems.

Scientific studies suggest that parabens can cause skin irritation and disrupt hormones in the body. Their chemical structure is similar to that of oestrogen, which is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems. In a study of women with breast tumours, parabens were present in the breast tissue of 19 of the 20 women studied. The study, while not proving that parabens caused cancer, showed that parabens can penetrate the skin and stay there. With parabens playing a risk factor for your health, you would be forgiven for questioning their use.

Even our marine life is affected by paraben exposure, with parabens found in the bodies of some marine mammals. It’s thought that paraben waste is absorbed into their bodies after products are washed down the drain, into the sewage systems, and then into the sea.

So how do you start making the switch to paraben-free skincare?

Although parabens play an important role in preventing bacteria in products, there are a number of natural preservatives that will do the job just as effectively. While naturally-preserved might not last as long as their paraben-containing counterparts, with daily use they are most likely to be used before they expire.

If you’re living somewhere hot and humid or your bathroom attracts the sun, there’s always the option to pop your products in the fridge to preserve their lifespan.

To make the switch, instead of choosing paraben-preserved products, look for products with ingredients that you can understand and are natural. Read product labels for the ingredients listed above and put them back on the shelf if they contain parabens. It’s that simple.

Also, be aware of products claiming to be ‘paraben-free’ when they in fact contain synthetic preservatives, which may cause irritation or harm to the skin.

Get started with some great paraben-free alternatives

A great alternative to a mainstream facial wash is Okana’s apple juice foaming cleanser. It’s made from only seven ingredients that you could find in your grocery store. This cleanser uses amino acids from apple juice to gently cleanse your skin and keep it refreshed.

For the body, Okana’s delicious avocado smash body butter is a luxurious option for all-over moisture. It’s made with avocado, apricot oil and macadamia oil, providing your skin with ultimate hydration. Using only natural ingredients and no fragrance, alcohol additives or synthetic preservatives, Okana’s body butter is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. All out products are handmade each week to ensure the freshest quality.

Take control of what you put on your body

There are enough concerns raised about the effects of parabens on our health to take notice. Why risk the exposure, especially when there are a number of fantastic alternative products available?

As a consumer, it’s up to you to ask the right questions when choosing your skincare, so that you can make better-informed, educated choices – not only for your skin health, but your overall wellbeing. Say ‘no’ to parabens; instead, choose products with ingredients that you don’t need a pharmaceutical degree to understand. Your health and your skin are worth it.

Read more

Why you need to use moisturiser under makeup

Whether you splurge on expensive luxury makeup brands or you’re happy with more modest supermarket options, when you take the time to doll yourself up, you want a lasting, fabulous finish, right? R...

Read more

The holistic approach to skincare; beauty from the inside out

Holistic health is about healing a person in mind, body, spirit and emotion. It’s not as simple as buying ‘organic’ and products with healthy-sounding ingredients on the labels. Holistic health pra...

Read more