Parabens In Beauty Products Are More Dangerous Than We Thought

paraben label

How To Identify Parabens

If you aren’t already reading your hair and beauty labels, now is the time to start. To identify what products in your bathroom or your makeup bag have this potentially cancer-causing chemical, start by looking for hard-to-pronounce names ending in ‘paraben’.

The most common are:

  • Benzylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Putylparaben

Other parabens aren’t so nicely named and include:


  • Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Parahydroxybenzoate

How To Avoid Parabens

It’s a bit difficult to avoid parabens altogether, but not impossible. While many products that don’t contain parabens are now labeled as “paraben-free”, others aren’t. So just read the label — you may not have to give up your beauty fave. You can also look for oil-based organic products that are water-free. They typically come in dark-colored packaging with pumps to help slow down expiration from air and light.

For those who are holding onto a paraben product (or two), don’t panic. First, look to see if it’s listed as one of the last three or four ingredients in the label. If so, that means your beauty fave contains only a very small amount. If not, do a quick Google search to find alternatives to test out.

Still have questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll ask one of our licensed beauty experts to weigh in.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. founder of Sadiaa and editor for HypeHair.com.