**Please note I am in the process of replacing some of the images for this post. Where images are missing, you can view images of the products by following the links provided**
Parabens are a class of chemical commonly used as a preservative in makeup and skin care. There are some concerns that parabens can cause allergic reactions, exacerbate skin conditions and may even be carcinogenic - although there is currently no evidence for a causal link between parabens and cancer. You can read more about parabens on Wikipedia.
I suffer from eczema and have done all my life, and I have been advised that avoiding parabens may help keep my eczema under control. With that in mind, I have started to move towards paraben-free skincare and cosmetics, and I will see if it makes any difference to my skin. In the future it may be proved that parabens have no effect and are completely safe to use, but if you are concerned about parabens in your products, here are some paraben-free things that I have tried:
Ingredients: [PR-001331], Aqua, Glycerin, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Steareth-20, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol
Price: £3.66 for 200ml from Superdrug (£5.49 for the same thing in Boots!!)
Overall Rating: 5/5
I am a big fan of Lush products as they are largely natural and seem on the whole to agree with my skin pretty well. I went into Lush this recently for some advice on their skincare products as I had previously tried (and loved) Sympathy For The Skin and Dream Cream for my eczema, but had discovered on reading the ingredients that they both contain parabens.
I was given a sample of their Ultrabalm to try, but having now used my sample, I don't think I will be buying the full sized product. For me, there didn't seem to be any particular improvement to my skin (unlike, for example, the Aveeno, which immediately made my skin feel cool and soothed). On my skin, this product seems to be pretty middle-of-the-road and not worth paying the price for.
However, I really enjoy the smell and the texture of this product, and it does seem as though the small size of the pots might still last a decent amount of time.