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'Paraben-free': Should you care?

We offer a primer on parabens: what they are, what health and safety professionals say about them and which beauty products are made without them.

May 08, 2011|By Alene Dawson | Special to the Los Angeles Times

"My whole line is paraben-free, and some of the best, biggest-name makeup artists and celebrities are using it," she says. "That was kind of the approval that I had every product go through: Is it good enough for the best makeup artists to use on a shoot or in a movie or whatever? I have this word I call 'chic-ological' — it brings together fashion and performance with healthy and good-for-you stuff, merging the two worlds.

"You don't have to sacrifice cool stuff. You don't have to sacrifice performance. You don't have to sacrifice your health or the planet's health," Maran says.

Getting the goods

We found a variety of products that are paraben-free, including Josie Maran Earth Day Argan Essentials Kit ($48) and Josie Maran Natural Wonders Powder Palette ($36, Korres also makes vibrant paraben-free makeup, such as its Cherry Lip Gloss Trio ($19.50,, and Tarte has Tarte Flush Natural Cheek Stain ($30,

Other products include Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Anti-Aging Serum ($60), Paraben-free Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer ($52,, Ren Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash ($24,, Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo and Conditioner ($8 each,, Carol's Daughter Kids Hair Styling Set ($48,, California Baby Welcome Baby Tote ($34.99, and Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes (2.99,

Makers of products in this category also include Dr. Hauschka, the Body Shop, Tata Harper Skin Care, Aveda, Tom's of Maine, Kiehls, Philosophy, L'Occitane and Sonya Dakar. Resources for finding paraben-free products include the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database (, the Organic Consumer's Organization Coming Clean Campaign ( and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (

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