The truth about parabens and why your skin deserves better

Parabens are a type of synthetic preservative commonly added to skincare products and cosmetics to prevent bacteria and mould growth and prolong the product’s shelf-life.

Parabens actually originate in nature! They are the synthetic form of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, a naturally produced paraben found in fruit and vegetables and created during the ripening process to stop a microbial attack. It’s nature’s clever way of creating a natural preservative or protective mechanism to stop fruit and veggies from getting diseases or infection. In their natural form, parabens aren’t bad for you, we’re eating them every day in our fruit.

Synthetic parabens do breakdown to the natural form and are excreted from the body. However, there are many forms of parabens and conjugates – a chemical they are bound to, and it is these that are the concern.

Dr Weir first began researching parabens in skincare products when she was approached by Suzanne Hall of Living Nature. What she discovered, when testing the safety of different parabens, was that the cheap synthetic forms were causing damage in the DNA, resulting in cell mutations and this damage was related to the dosage used. Dosage, quality of ingredients and the other ingredients and chemicals used with it, all played a part.

After further research, it was obvious that not all parabens were causing DNA damage, but those made using cost-cutting measures and used at high levels were. She was also shocked to learn that many commonly used cosmetics and creams were full of these parabens. They were doing more damage to skin – and health – than good!

That’s why, when Dr Weir developed Atopis Skincare, ‘paraben-free’ was a non-negotiable. Instead of using damaging parabens, we harness the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of natural New Zealand plant ingredients to preserve our products. We ensure these powerful plants are not changed but kept in their original state as they are found in New Zealand forests. You can learn more about our good ingredients here.

We don’t use fillers, solvents or traditional extraction methods either – instead we’ve developed an innovative, scientific solution that uses nature’s own processes to fuse plant bioactives together in synergy.