By Amy Sciaretto
Parabens are considered by many to be enemies of the skin. Hence, the term “parabenemies.” Parabens have long been considered safe, but recent research has indicated a possible link to cancer. While we’re not chemists or researchers, we’re all for healthier, more natural alternatives.
“Parabens are the most commonly used preservatives in personal care products,” says Meri Baregamian, general manager of boscia. “The purpose of a preservative in a product is solely to prevent microbial growth and spoiling. Parabens, as well as other preservatives, have been shown to cause a host of skin irritations, such as dryness, redness, and even breakouts. Consumers are more ingredient savvy, realizing that the very products that they are using to treat their skin can actually be causing the problem or making an existing problem worse.”
HollyBeth Anderson handmakes paraben-free products and is a crusader for natural skincare. “Having researched extensively the potential hazards of parabens and their links to cancer development, I have become very concerned about the amount of parabens found in many beauty products. Studies have shown links between parabens and the development of breast cancer yet the FDA is not making any moves to tighten regulations within the cosmetic industry. As consumers, it is at times difficult to wade through the ingredients listed on beauty products and determine what the list truly represents.” Her eponymous line makes a delightful citrus scented cream and all made without those pesky parabens.
Available at www.hollybeth.net
Taking Baregamian’s and Anderson’s words to heart, we’ve composed a guide to paraben-free products.
Website: www.beautorium.com is a beauty bazaar. The luxury site offers premium brands and has five criteria: natural/organic certification, cruelty-free products, effective ingredients, beautiful presentation and compelling brand personality. Don’t snooze on Saaf, a Brit line with a fab Organic Eraser Body Oil, which moisturizes and diminishes scars, kind of a correction fluid for skin.
Mass Market: Organics by Noah’s Naturals offers a yummy, creamy Vanilla Coconut body lotion that’ll have you smelling like an island paradise. The line was developed by Prakash Purohit, who co-founded Aveda. And we know how lush those products are.
Available at www.noahsnaturals.com or Wal-Mart locations.
Most Comprehensive: Pure & Natural’s Grapefruit Pomegranite bar soaps, hand soaps and gel body washes will transform your shower into a fragrant fruit garden. www.pure-natural.com Lamas Beauty Int’l offers rich above-the-neck products for face and hair, with the Citrus-C Facial Cleanser providing a shot of Vitamin C and Beta Carotene for full antioxidant power.
Available at www.lamasbeauty.com and Whole Foods stores.
Most Face Centric: Pangea Organics invites you to love your face with a cleanse, tone, and moisturize regimen. The Egyptian Calendula and Blood Orange Cleanser is gentle and increases circulation. The packaging is also plantable, yielding edible Genovese sweet basil.
Available at www.pangeaorganics.com and select Whole Foods Markets.
Zia also traffics heavily in face care, with the Bamboo Exfoliant exposing your most beautiful skin.
Available at www.zianatural.com
Best Face Cream: Ultra luxe Bieux Skin 24-Hour Treatment Moisturizer aids in collagen rebuilding and hydrates all day and all night, making it worth the steep price tag.
Available at www.sephora.com and Sephora stores.
Best Body Wash: boscia will wake you up blissfully in the shower with the Jujube Rejuvenist Amino Body Wash. A fizzy scent and creamy formulation enforces the company’s “preserve your skin, not your skincare” trademark. Skin is definitely in with boscia.
Available at Sephora or www.boscia.net.