Why parabens and sulfates are bad for you.
Health Hub blog

Why parabens and sulfates are bad for you.

Despite most allergy-friendly brands using these two nasty ingredients, they have a long list of serious side-effects you should know about.

We think it’s only fair that beauty products do what they say with no sneaky side effects. We don’t mean anything too science fiction but itchy, puffy skin sucks. Too many good, allergy-friendly brands skimp on the good stuff and opt for cheap and convenient by adding in parabens and sulfates. These two nasties will cause a whole lot of drama for you, worse than high school drama. One of their biggest downfalls is that they’re hormone disruptors, yikes. After living with Hashimoto’s for seven years, a thyroid disease that affects hormone levels, our founder Ash knows a little something about this and it turns out that messing around with hormones will not get you fabulous skin. Here’s what you should do instead:

Change lanes and steer clear of sulfates

Sulfates are preservatives that are usually found in hair products and soaps. They’re the reason shampoos create that fun, thick, bubbly texture. But for something with a not so scary name, sulfates can have some scary effects on us:

– While they’re skilled at removing oil and dirt, they can also irritate your scalp, dry out your hair, and fade the colour.
– Sulfate is carcinogenic, aka toxic, un-safe, hazardous. It’s a no from us.
– Sulfates can break down proteins, and destroy hair follicles, preventing hair growth.
– Here’s a scary one, sulfate has been found to leave residue in the heart, lungs, and brain
– AND have a history of being linked to eye damage and blindness in young children.

So. Yep. Using products with sulfates will definitely clean your hair and body, but slowly damage it. We think that’s a bit rude and no packaging is cute enough for that.

Parabens? No, thank you

By adding parabens, brands can increase the shelf life of a product, aka its selling potential. We get it, that’s important for a business. But health is important to us, so here are some reasons to say no:

– Parabens irritate skin conditions such as dermatitis and rosacea.
– They can penetrate the skin and remain in tissue, and some studies show that they’ve been found present in breast tumours.
– Parabens mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen, and increased levels of estrogen is linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.

A shorter shelf-life is a small sacrifice for drama-free skin, and while the side effects depend on which research you’re reading, why even take the risk?

While they’re skilled at removing oil and dirt, they can also irritate your scalp, dry out your hair, and fade the colour.

How to spot these bad boys

Keeping skincare honest is important to us, so before you go back out there and make your next beauty buy, we want to make sure you know how to spot these two. Here’s what they’re called on ingredient lists.


– Methylparaben
– Propylparaben
– Butylparaben
– Ethylparaben

Some sneakier parabens are listed as Alkyl parahydroxybenzoates. You probably won’t remember that word so break it down into para-hydroxy-ben-zoates.


– Sodium lauryl sulfate sodium
– Laureth sulfate sodium
– Lauryl sulfoacetate sodium
– Lauroyl isethionate
– Sodium lauroyl taurate

So basically, anything with the word paraben and sulfate in it, or any words that vaguely resemble them. They almost made it too easy.

Where to from here?

Start by being more selective with your products. Not only does this mean moister, stronger hair and who could say no to that? But there are plenty of other benefits for giving up parabens and sulfates. All that excess product that washes down your drain winds up in the ocean doing potential damage to sea life. Not only are marine animals harmed but products with sulfates are typically tested on animals, as they are a known irritant to human skin. For the sake of all the cute, sea creatures and little fluff balls, don’t let them suffer for the sake of a hair wash.

Pick up CLEAN and COAT for happier skin

By now we should have instilled the fear of parabens and sulfates in you, and you’re ready to be picky for your skin. If you’re looking for a product that meets the mark, we got you. Yours Only products have no added parabens or sulfates. If your hair and skin could thank you personally for making the switch, we know they would.


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