Dermalogica and the Story of Parabens
Dermalogica has always been conscious of what ingredients go into their line of skin care products to give you healthy skin.

They was one of the first companies to list all of the ingredients they used on their retail products, the first to not use mineral oil or lanolin in there formulations along with not using formaldehyde, artificial colours or fragrances, so why do they used parabens in there formulations?

There has been a lot of talk and hype about parabens in skin care products and the problems associated with them, recently a lady asked me what dermalogica products could she use as she is allergic to parabens, so this made me research the product range to see why they use them and what is the good and bad points of parabens (along with the dermalogica products that use them!)

What are Parabens?
Parabens are a type of preservative used in many skin care formulations (along with many cosmetics, toothpaste, foods, medications, deodorants, sunscreens and can even be found in fruit juices)

There are many different types of parabens and the most commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propyl paraben, butylparaben, ethylparaben and benzylparaben. In fact some parabens are produced by nature such as methylparaben. Methylparaben is produced by a certain type of mold species that uses this ingredient to protect itself from bacteria, however in skin care formulations they use the synthetically-made paraben not the natural source, but it’s amazing that nature uses this – don’t you think?

Parabens are used throughout the cosmetic industry because they are great at protecting the actual formulation from microorganism growth and also to protect the end user. You will also find that when parabens are used in a formulation there is normally more than one, this is because a combination of preservatives gives you a broad spectrum protection from microorganisms (it also keeps the percentage of preservatives down in the formulation).

The Misconceptions about Parabens
There has been a lot of concern about the use of parabens in skin care formulations the reason for this is from a study that was published in 2004; a UK study established the presence of intact parabens in human breast tumours (Darbre et al. 2004). The study utilised a small sample (twenty), no healthy breast tissue (or other tissues from affected women) was analysed and the source(s) of the parabens found in the breast tumours and routes of exposure were not identified.

The study does however does not show that parabens cause cancer or that they are harmful in anyway and the study did not look at normal tissue paraben levels (so you can see how this information can be misguided).

Also a lot of brands are marketing the term “paraben-free” suggesting that these ingredients should be avoided and making money from wary consumers (but if makes you wonder what preservatives they do use and can these protect us from the harmful bacteria’s that parabens do protect us from). The FDA believes that consumers should not be concerned about parabens in cosmetics and they will continue monitoring them. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review reviewed the safety of parabens and said there are safe to use in cosmetic products up to 25% (this was in 1984).

In 2005 they decided to re-look at the safety of parabens and came to the same outcome that they are safe to use in cosmetics. Parabens are really good preservatives and that is why they are used in skin care and foods. In studies they have also shown that parabens are the least likely to cause a skin response (such as irritation or sensitisation) compared to some paraben-free alternatives. In skin care formulations you will find that the concentrations of parabens are very low, often less than 1%. Also every government agency throughout the world that regulates cosmetics allows parabens to be used.

In Australia cosmetics are regulated by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS). Australia has one of the more stringent regulatory systems in the world for cosmetic chemicals. The NICNAS believes that further research is required before a causal link between parabens in cosmetic products and breast cancer can be established and they consider parabens safe in cosmetic products.

Dr Diane Howard from Dermalogica states that if preservatives are not used in skin care formulations you run the risk of nasty strains of bacteria that could develop that can lead to skin irritations, blindness and more (that’s one major reason why parabens in skin care are a good thing).

Parabens Used in Dermalogica
Dermalogica uses parabens in their products but not all of their products. The most popular parabens they use are the parabens: – methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. However thanks to an ever consumer concern about parabens and the emotional factors associated with them dermalogica’s new ranges are becoming paraben free (they are doing this because of the negativity associated with parabens, not because they see anything wrong with using them in skin care products).
Dermalogica do not promote the new products as paraben-free to avoid the confusion about these ingredients and the marketing hype , however it is nice to know that if you want to use a paraben-free product you now have a choice whether you want to use them and dermalogica do have products available for you to use that are paraben free.

Check out the included video on this post from Dr Diane Howard as she explains why dermalogica use parabens in their formulations.

Should Skin Care Be Paraben-Free?
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Dermalogica Paraben-Free Products
Below is my list of dermalogica products that are paraben free, this is a general guide, please check the individual products yourself or ask dermalogica directly in case I have missed some out (I have not been able to check the UltraCalming Range yet or the new eye cream).

All of Chroma White Range
All of Medibac Clearing Range
Hydro Active Mineral Salts
Solar Products that are Paraben-Free
• Super Sensitive Face Block
• Extra Rich Face Block
• Oil-Free Matt Block
• Solar Shield
• Waterproof Solar Spray
• Multivitamin Body Block

Age Smart Range Products that are Paraben-Free
• Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
• Multivitamin Thermafoliant
• Map-15 Regenerator
• Multivitamin Power Concentrate
• Antioxidant Hydramist
• Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF30
• Renewal Lip Complex
• Multivitamin Power Firm
• Super Rich Repair

Shave Products that are Paraben-Free
• Daily Clean Scrub
• Pre-Shave Guard
• Soothing Shave Cream
• Invigorating Shave Gel
• Close Shave Oil
• Post-Shave Balm
• Daily Defense Block

The rest of the skin health range does use parabens and looking at the products they use different combinations together.

Remember that you have the choice whether you want to use parabens in your skin care routine, and to me the debate about parabens is simply choice, as a consumer we have the right to know about parabens and choose whether we want to use them or not, the same with the foods what we eat and the medications we take that have parabens. Parabens have been marked as safe by many organisations around the world and if there was a problem with their use, I think you would see them being removed quick smart.

Let me know what you think about dermalogica and parabens in skin care. LOVE THEM? DISLIKE THEM? I don’t care, tell me your personal opinion and comment below (Don’t be SHY!)