Cosmetics: why and how to avoid preservatives?

Most cosmetics contain many chemical preservatives which we do not necessarily suspect the risks to our health. Used to prevent the appearance and development of bacteria and fungi, some of these synthetic products are not only recognized as carcinogens, but also suspected of being endocrine disruptors and causing many hormonal disorders. Inexpensive, synthetic preservatives are still widely used by manufacturers despite their drawbacks.

The best known are parabens, which have been gradually removed from cosmetics due to their bad reputation. However, non-organic paraben-free products are no less dangerous: most of the time, these preservatives are simply replaced by other equally harmful chemicals. Among the main preservatives to avoid at all costs, there are in particular cetrimonium bromide, a very irritating allergen, triclosan which causes thyroid disturbances, methylisothiazolinone, particularly irritating for the skin, aldehydes which are both irritants and carcinogens, and phenoxyethanol, carcinogenic, endocrine disruptor, irritant and allergen.

The list is long, and it is almost impossible to detect all the chemical preservatives added to cosmetics as their names and formulas vary. In addition to being harmful, these products are too penetrating and persistent for cosmetic use. They do not act only on the epidermis, but can reach the blood and take a long time before being eliminated by the body. They are also much more powerful than natural preservatives and tend to destroy the protective flora of the skin.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to avoid beauty products loaded with harmful agents, although preservatives are still mandatory in some products more sensitive to germs. This is particularly the case for water-based cosmetics (lotions, creams, certain two-phase oils, etc.) and those containing certain particular ingredients. Organic cosmetics use a limited list of natural preservatives certified Eco-Cert and safe for health. To obtain the “organic” label, the product must in fact have 95% ingredients of natural origin. Plant extracts, potassium, sodium or essential oils, there are many natural products capable of preserving your cosmetic products without putting your health at risk.

New preservation methods, such as sterilization or Zero Germs manufacturing, also make it possible to create cosmetics that are completely free of preservatives. Furthermore, fatty products, like some soaps, balms and oils, simply do not require preservatives. What joy!

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