What are parabens?
Parabens keep your cosmetic products fresh so you can safely use them. Even if you forgot to put the lid on your face cream in the bathroom or your sunscreen gets pretty warm on your beach towel. Without parabens, many cosmetic products - especially those containing water - would spoil soon after you’ve opened them. Parabens give you the security that your body lotion, face cream, or other favorite product stays fresh as on the day you first opened it.
Parabens: function and safety
Parabens are preservatives. They make sure that skin care products, especially those containing a lot of water, stay fresh over a long period of time by acting against germs and fungi. Parabens can be created artificially or found in natural ingredients such as carrots, cucumbers, olives and more. Both effective and highly tolerable, parabens have been used to preserve cosmetics, household products, medicine, and foods for more than 80 years. Over the decades, parabens have been intensely researched. In fact, they are the most researched preservatives of all. The results: both the European Commission and the independent U.S. evaluative commission (Cosmetic Ingredient Review / CIR) agree that parabens are safe.
How NIVEA uses parabens
At this point, parabens are the safest and gentlest preservatives we can use. However, we keep constantly researching to find the best, effective and healthiest ways to keep our products, our environment and you safe. NIVEA only uses parabens in about 20 percent of our products - up to 80 percent are paraben-free. Take our classic NIVEA cream: its oily formula keeps it fresh without preservatives. All of our baby products are also paraben-free. A few products which still contain parabens are some face creams, sunscreens and body lotions. We include preservatives in these products to make sure they remain safe for you to use.
There are more studies on parabens than any other preservative. The conclusion is: parabens are versatile, effective and safe to use, causing little to no allergic reactions. Some people have raised concerns that parabens may accumulate in our bodies and affect our hormones or general wellbeing in the long run. However, additional studies have shown that parabens are quickly broken down in the body. This is why the European Commission and the American Cosmetic Ingredient Review have both concluded that parabens do not impact our health.
Our own NIVEA expert team also confirms that parabens are safe for humans, which is why we still use them in some products. But we want our products to be safe and good for everybody, including people with paraben intolerance. This is why we keep looking into other, equally safe and gentle preservative options. We have found a number of alternative preservative systems and created products for those of you who may be sensitive to parabens - or simply wish to avoid parabens in their products.