Thursday, May 5, 2016

What’s really in “Paraben-Free” Skin Care?



These days people are becoming more and more educated on the dangers of parabens found in skin care and personal care products. A quick glance at most any personal care product label will reveal at least one if not more of the following:

methylparaben
ethylparaben
isobutylparaben
propylparaben
…and the list goes on.

Parabens (PHBA), are found in over 13,000 cosmetic formulations and are hidden under many different names on skin care labels, including hydroxybenzoic acid and hydroxybenzoate.

British researchers have reported evidence of parabens disrupting normal hormone function and have found traces of parabens in the tissue taken from women with breast cancer. So you can see why there is a push to have them removed from skincare products, however, they do serve an important purpose. They are an inexpensive and effective way of preserving products from spoilage and mold growth which can cause bacterial infections and even lead to blindness.

So if a product promotes itself to be “paraben-free” this begs the question… What is being used to preserve the product and is the alternative any healthier?

According to the book, Your Skin & You, by Bea Kinnear, there are only 4 other “Preserving Systems” that are used in the Skin Care Industry with only one of them being both safe and effective.


  1. Formaldehyde/ Formaldehyde Releasers including: DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Quaternium-15.  Widely used in cosmetics as a disinfectant, germicide, fungicide and preservative but banned in Japan & Sweden for their serious questions of safety.
  2. Essential Volatile Oils & Alcohol Preservatives - Used by companies that advertise no chemical preservatives. Tea Tree Oil or Grapefruit Seed Oil are popular “natural preservatives” however they have limited use and at times their effectiveness as a preservative or antimicrobial agent is questionable. It’s also important to note that alcohol & essential volatile oils can be irritating to sensitive skin.
  3. Re-fridgeration - Used by a few skin care manufactures that claim 100% free of any preservatives and all natural. These products are made in very small batches, sold in very small containers and must be kept cold to prevent mold growth. They also have a very short shelf life and have very limited use. These products are often contained in jars that make them susceptible to human contamination, from one or more people dipping their fingers into the product on a regular basis.
  4. “Liquid Crystal” Self-Preserving Technology is found exclusively in Sense Beautiful Science Skin Care products, formulated and manufactured by USANA. This unique preserving system eliminates the need for parabens, chemical preservatives and problematic natural alternatives by mimicking the skin’s own structure acting as “packets” carrying purifying botanicals and antioxidants to keep each Sensé product fresh. Every aspect of product design is carefully controlled: water availability, pH control, purpose of ingredients, manufacturing, and packaging. As an added benefit it’s been tested to offer a safe product shelf life of up to 2 years.


Products that feature Self-Preserving Technology


                   Sense Basic Pack:                            Sense Deluxe Pack:






I personally have been using the Sensé Line for the past 7 years and love it!

Besides having zero chemical preservatives, the Sensé Line also has some impressive nutritional and anti-aging ingredients and was recently featured on The Dr. Oz Show where Dawn McCoy talked about adopting a skincare regimen, such as USANA Health Sciences Inc. Sensé, that you can be consistent with, which can help slow down - or even reverse - the aging process.


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