Is Cetaphil Paraben free?

What is a paraben?

Parabens are “a family of substances, some of which are used as preservatives in cosmetics”, as defined by The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA).

“Parabens are also found naturally in many plants, fruits and animals. Only specifically approved preservatives may be used in cosmetics, because they are both very safe and very effective.” They are used to preserve products, that is to ensure that they are safe to use and continue to carry out their cosmetic function. Cosmetic products are at risk of deterioration due to how frequently they are used, how they are applied (e.g. from a bottle, a pump, a jar that you dip your hand into), and parabens help to stop them from deteriorating from the exposure to air, sunlight, bacteria and natural oils on our fingers. Cosmetic products can harbour microbial growth due to the nature of their use, which can in turn harm skin and degrade the quality and performance of products.

Consultant Dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto explains “Parabens are effective and have broad-spectrum antimicrobial ('bug-killing') activity. We need these in products to prevent us from getting skin and eye infections. Leaving out parabens has led to the use of other preservative agents which are potentially either more allergenic to human skin (e.g. MI and MCI) or have limited activity against a wide range of bacteria and fungi, resulting in contamination of products and product recalls”.

Are parabens bad for you?

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the use of parabens within cosmetics and skincare products, with misreported links to health issues caused by these particular ingredients. A common misconception which appears online is that parabens are “toxic”. This is entirely unfounded as under the UK and EU cosmetic safety regulations, toxic ingredients are banned from being used in cosmetics - so parabens, and any other ingredients you see in cosmetic products are considered safe for use when following the usage guidelines. According to the CTPA, “Stories linking parabens to cancer or other adverse effects are groundless. If there was any truth in those allegations, no parabens would have been officially endorsed as approved safe preservatives in cosmetics.” Parabens are a very well-researched, well-tolerated ingredient and have been clinically proven to cause no harm to skin or the skin barrier, so there is no concern about them as an ingredient in cosmetics.

Do Cetaphil products contain parabens?

There are three products that contain parabens within the Cetaphil range;

Gentle Skin Cleanser

Oily Skin Cleanser

Daily Defence Face Moisturiser with SPF 50+

The rest of the products in Cetaphil's UK range do not contain parabens.

Find out more about Cetaphil products and where to buy them here.