Paraben-free lotions are no different from other lotions -- they just contain different preservatives. Today, there are many paraben-free cosmetics and skin care products on the market, including moisturizers, sunscreens and body washes. The most important thing to remember is that while you may feel more comfortable using a paraben-free product, there aren't any skin care products that are entirely preservative-free. While a lotion may not contain parabens, it will use other preservatives such as antioxidants -- including acids derived from vitamins A, C and E -- that prevent the product from growing fungus or bacteria [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
Paraben-free products can be a bit more expensive, but they may put your mind at ease. To learn more about parabens, preservatives and alternative products, see the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "10 Tips: Selecting Age-Fighting Topicals." AgingSkinNet. 2009. (Accessed 9/9/09) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/age_fighting_selecting.html.
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmeceutical Facts & Your Skin." 2005. (Accessed 9/9/09)http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/general_cosmeceutical.html.
- American Cancer Society. "Breast Cancer: Early Detection." 9/30/2008. (Accessed 9/9/09). http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_Breast_Cancer_Early_Detection.asp?sitearea=.
- Birnbaum, Cara. "Eco-Friendly Beauty Products." (Accessed 10/6/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/eco-friendly-beauty-products?print=true
- Mayo Clinic. "Cancer Causes: Popular myths about the causes of cancer." (Accessed 10/7/09) http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/cancer-causes/CA00085.html
- National Cancer Institute. "Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer." January 4, 2008. (Accessed 9/9/09) http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Parabens." October 31, 2007. (Accessed 9/9/09) http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/SelectedCosmeticIngredients/ucm128042.
- WebMD. "Skin Reactions to Beauty Products." (Accessed 10/6/09) http://www.webmd.com/allergies/relief-for-allergies-8/skin-reactions