Parabens: They’re ubiquitous in beauty and grooming products, and yet, questions have loomed about their safety for years. Should you care about parabens and try to avoid them? Our humble opinion is Yes and Yes. Let us explain.
What are parabens anyway?
The short story is, parabens have been making beauty and grooming products shelf-stable over the long-term since the 1920s. Toiletries and other products that both sit on shelves for a long time and aren’t used immediately (like a bottle of lotion) are prone to bacteria and fungi, especially if they are water-based. Parabens prevent these products from spoiling before you have a chance to use them up.
Are Parabens Harmful to Your Health?
While many mainstream men’s publications will try to blur the lines on paraben safety, scientific studies from around the world have found that parabens can contribute to a host of problems related to hormones and fertility. According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which manages a free online database with safety scores about both specific chemicals and beauty/grooming products, recent studies from around the U.S. and the world have found that parabens are endocrine disruptors (U.N. Environment 2017; Danish Centre on Endocrine Disrupters 2018), meaning they disrupt the normal function of reproductive systems, fertility, and even birth outcomes. In addition, studies on humans from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the last decade found a link between parabens in urine and decreased fertility, as well as increased odds of preterm births and decreased birth weights.
Parabens get into our bodies primarily through the products we slather on our skin, as well as through we put on and rinse off like soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and even face cleansers and masks. They get metabolized in our bodies and excreted through our urine and bile. But researchers have found that some people are more prone to direct and continuous exposure to these harmful chemicals than others, primarily via products that are applied and left on the skin daily like aftershave, lotion, and even deodorant. With increased exposure comes an increase of parabens accumulated in the body, which increases its chances of doing harm.
The Good News
We know that was a lot of heavy information right there, but there’s a light at the end of this chemical-laden tunnel: Products CAN safely be made without parabens, and it’s becoming increasingly less challenging to find all natural grooming products that work. In fact, after some pressure from public safety groups, makeup giant Revlon agreed to stop using the most harmful parabens in their products, proving that a safer way is possible.
We have done extensive research on preserving products without the use of harmful chemicals and are committed to only finding creative and natural solutions as the need for preservatives arise. We’re proud to make all our natural products as needed, by hand, in small batches — there’s no giant warehouse full of products waiting to be used. Our products are always fresh, smell amazing, and actually work (just ask our hundreds of 5-star reviewers!).
The bottom line: The Mod Cabin’s line of soaps, shampoos, beard oils, cleansers, hair products, and even lotion are free from all artificial preservatives — yes, that means no parabens either — and other harmful ingredients. Everything on the label is pronounce-able, and we scent our products with only pure essential oils. And that will never change.
Have questions about the safety of men’s grooming products or parabens? Let us know in the comments.