Article by: Perry Romanowski

Here’s an article which claims that paraben-free cosmetics are gaining popularity. They say that it is due to consumer demand but I suspect there are other more significant forces.

1. Fearmonger press releases. Whenever someone writes about awful things in cosmetics, they always cite paragons. But when consumers are asked about them, they don’t even know what a paraben is. The press attention gets the attention of cosmetic marketing departments who ask their formulators to remove paragons.

2. Raw material suppliers. They want to expand their sales and paragons are relatively inexpensive. If they can get formulators to switch to a more expensive ingredient, that will make more money for them.

I doubt that paragons will ever be completely removed from cosmetics because they are safe & effective. Plus the alternatives haven’t been nearly tested as well. But for now getting parabens out of your formula is something you might have to do.


  1. Islam saleh

    Dear All,
    Let us concentrate on our discussion in the solutions , what is the solution for finding alternatives like parapens , which will be more safer and cheap also , If u have any idea pls post it ASAP.

    1. Perry

      I think you need to define what you mean by “safer”. Parabens have been determined to be safe for use in cosmetics by independent scientists the world over. What would constitute a “safer” preservative?

  2. Lise

    I’m sick to death of this. When are formulators going to start fighting back? We’re surrounded with ‘Paraben Paranoia’ on all sides. Hey – there’s a catchy headline – why can’t we feed THAT to the media? I’m sure they could concoct as many stories about stress reactions from worrying about parabens as they have been concocting about the nonexistent dangers of them.

    1. Perry

      Unfortunately, marketing departments control most of the cosmetic companies and they are more susceptible to media scare stories than most chemists.

      1. Lise

        Agree, but disagree. The people that actually know what’s going on and HAVE information (for example, chemists) should be enlightening the marketing departments so they can fight back with information. Sorry, it’s the card carrying idealist in me that is ranting here— I am seriously tired of seeing stupidity and fearmongering govern what companies put into or leave out of their personal care products. Somebody has got to start yelling about this (in a sober and rational way mind you). Thanks for letting me vent. 🙂

    2. CC

      Unfortunately even if the formulators argue back, their assurances will be dismissed by a lot of people as “not wanting to admit the truth”. There is a high chance of comparison to the whole “cigarette companies suppressed the test results that showed cigs caused cancer” thing. That one seems to come out approximately every single time an organization that creates or sells something states that it’s safe.

      The sad thing is, there *are* some companies who will hide the dangers their products pose. Identifying them and proving it is the hard part.

    3. CC

      (sigh) sorry about the double post, I didn’t see my comment until I posted the second one, then saw that both were in moderation. WordPress hates me.

      1. Lise

        You have a point CC, but I still maintain the facts should have a central place in this discussion regardless of scaremongers. There will ALWAYS be some people who refuse to believe facts even if you serve them up on a plate garnished with a complete set of documentation.
        As for the companies who do choose to hide dangers of their products – they should straighten up their act, their products and get with the program, because they’re messing it up for everyone else. So says the card carrying idealist. Peace and love, brother 🙂

        1. CC

          I completely agree with you Lise. Just observing what I’ve seen happen in other areas, repeatedly.

          And to top it off, the conspiracy types tend to be louder and write more than the factual types. Just *try* finding good information on fluoride online…

          (PS: Perry, your spellcheck autocorrect gave you lots of ‘paragons’)

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