Parabens are coming under public scrutiny. That's why cosmetics manufacturers have recently been advertising their products as «paraben-free» on their packaging. This looks like an improvement for the consumer, yet in reality these marketing measures do not make any real difference. After all, parabens can easily be replaced by other preservatives. But what exactly is it about preservatives that is so harmful?


Parabens are chemical compounds which are often used as preservatives in cosmetics, e.g. in skin creams. Without preservatives, no cream can survive in the warm, humid environment of a bathroom over several days in contact with our fingers. Moulds and bacteria would rapidly form. Preservatives and fragrances in the cream help it to remain fresh – which is actually a good thing. Yet parabens and other artificial preservatives are suspected of causing allergies or even breast cancer. Which automatically begs the question: just how dangerous are these substances, does our skin need preservatives and can we do without them?


According to the headlines, parabens are clearly harmful. If we investigate more closely, though, things quickly become confusing as there is still no scientific proof. Consumers are particularly worried about the hormonal effects of parabens. Even though there is no scientific evidence as yet, analogy leads us to conclude that there are significant side effects. Critics also point out that most of us have more than one product with parabens in our bathroom: face cream, shampoo, body lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving foam etc. often contain dubious ingredients such as parabens – and, after all, we use products like these several times a day! Until now, most of the risks have only ever been tested on rats. The studies show that parabens remain in the body as permanent deposits. Possible side-effects: male infertility, early puberty in girls, etc… – which hardly inspires confidence…


Healthy, beautiful skin is something we value highly. The shopper therefore naively continues to put her faith in outward appearance. If the product is expensive and the packaging is lavish, the contents are assumed to be healthy and natural. The fact is that alcohol, fragrance and preservatives do not do anything for the skin. Quite the opposite. The risk of allergy increases with the number of ingredients. So why don't manufacturers just do away with parabens? Quite simply, parabens are cheap to produce and replacing them with natural and more skin-friendly substances is just too expensive. Sadly, customers all too rarely pay much attention to the ingredients in their cosmetics. But don't we all want only the best for ourselves and our skin?


Let's replace the words «paraben-free» with «contains no preservatives». Creams advertised as being paraben-free inevitably use other preservatives instead. Critics do not see any advantage in this since other preservatives are just as harmful. We repeatedly hear the term «methylisothiazolinone» (MIT) in this context. This is a problematic, allergenic and more highly controversial preservative, which has been used increasingly since parabens fell into disrepute. The end result for the critical consumer: one evil is simply replaced by another. So what criteria should we use when we're shopping? The simplest rule of thumb: the fewer the ingredients, the lower the risk to your health.


Do you want to check your favourite product for parabens? Look at the list of ingredients for anything ending in –paraben, e.g. propyl-, butyl-, methyl- and ethylparaben, etc. Further help is provided by the statutory INCI definitions. Find out more here.


Just play it safe! The entire FilSuisse product range is free from preservatives – including parabens, MIT, etc. The reason is simple: our wipes only contain ingredients in dry form. They are only activated, with water, when they are about to be used. No preservatives are needed to extend the shelf life of dry substances on the facial wipe. They deliver ingredients in their purest form to the skin, entirely without risks or side-effects. Everything your skin needs – no more and no less.

We hope you enjoy trouble-free pampering, free from unnecessary preservatives!

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