Lotions (like the tanning, skincare and SPF lotions we make) are susceptible to certain micro-organisms, like mold and bacteria. Some balsams or butters consist only of fat: those will not mold per definition. But since lotions contain water, they need added ingredients to prevent it from going ‘bad’. We call those added ingredients preservatives and yes we need to use them too. But while many beauty brands use the cheaper parabens preservatives we chose not too. Here is why we think you should avoid them too.

Parabens; cheap but disruptive for your hormone balance

In the old days people used natural preservatives like citrus, rosemary and castor oil. Finding the right preservative for the right product really was an art in itself. But with the industrial revolution came the capability to produce chemical preservatives at very low costs. The most widely used preservatives for cosmetics nowadays are parabens (methyl-, ethyl- or propylparaben is what the label reads).

Parabens have a lot of advantages: they are easy to manufacture, they rarely cause allergic reactions and, most importantly: they are CHEAP. But that’s one side of the story… Over the last few decades, people are becoming more aware of what they are putting in and on their bodies;

  • What does it do?
  • What are the effects in the long term?
  • How do all these chemicals in my food and my everyday products combine, and how does this affect my body?

As both nutrients and chemicals are always partly absorbed through the skin, those are very reasonable questions to ask.

The problem with non-natural ingredients: it’s really hard to test its safety in the long term. Until you have put it in products, and people have actually used it long-term. And that is what is happening now with the parabens. Gradually, awareness is growing that parabens might not be the perfect solution in our quest for preservatives. Parabens have estrogenic properties: wich means they act as fake female hormones in the body. This can disrupt hormone balance in both women and men wich can be very harmful to our health and make us prone to certain cancers. The effect is very small, though it is measurable. And that’s where the discussion starts. Are parabens in fact harmful in these quantities?

Let’s just stay on the safe side

Public opinion is that if science hasn’t been able to identify any adverse effects, it is therefore safe. Wonderfully illustrated by this qoute from wikipedia: “While even small amounts of parabens introduced in vitro stimulate breast cancer cell proliferation, there is no evidence that application of consumer products containing parabens cause cancer.” Flawed logic, in our opinion. ‘There is no evidence A leads to B’ is not the same as ‘there is evidence A does not lead to B’. Very different, in fact. Get what we mean?

We choose to be on the safe side. We choose to refrain from using parabens in our products, and so we chose to master the art of finding the right preservative. We are managing perfectly so far. In fact, we very much enjoy putting in this extra effort to bring you, our beloved customer, quality tanning lotions that will give you an awesome tan without potentially harmful preservatives.