21 Paraben-Free Skin Care Products We Love
According to the FDA, parabens are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics. While many products are formulated with parabens— which can include butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben—they are still being reviewed by FDA scientists on their safety. “The truth is that parabens are a group of compounds so it would depend on the specific ingredient and concentration,” says board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. In short, the safety of parabens is still being debated; however, you can always opt to not use them. “Luckily there are lots of other preservatives out there as alternatives,” he says.
If you prefer to err on the side of paraben-free with your cosmetics and skin care products you’re in luck. We’re sharing 21 paraben-free products we love from the L’Oréal portfolio of brands that can be used for a full skin care routine, below.
The foundation of a solid skin care routine is always clean skin. Find a paraben-free cleanser formulated for your specific skin type and skin care concerns.
For oily, acne-prone skin: Vichy Normaderm Gel Cleanser. This deep cleansing gel—formulated with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and micro-exfoliating LHA—helps to remove excess sebum, unclog pores, and purify skin without causing dryness.
For oily skin: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser. This oil-, paraben-, fragrance- and colorant-free cleanser is designed to visibly diminish the appearance of oil on skin. Formulated with Imperata Cylindrica Root and Lemon Fruit Extracts, this cleanser helps you handle your oil concerns without stripping your skin of moisture.
For aging and dry skin: Vichy Pureté Thermale Foaming Cream. This creamy, hydrating foaming cleanser, removes impurities, makeup, and pollution from the skin’s surface, while leaving skin soft and comfortable.
For sensitive skin: Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Solution. This refreshing cleansing solution removes makeup and soothes skin while micelles help to attract, trap, and remove impurities from the skin’s surface.
For combination or sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream. Designed to gently remove debris, impurities, and makeup, this foaming cream cleanser is ideal for combination or sensitive skin. It’s formulated with antioxidant thermal water and can be used by those with sensitive skin as the creamy texture doesn’t strip the skin of moisture.
Whether you wear lots of makeup and want something to remove the remnants after cleansing; you have hard water at home and need something to help balance the pH of your skin; or you simply like to get started on a hydrating skin care routine before layering on the moisturizer, toner is likely for you! If you thought these solutions were akin to drying astringents, think again. Toners, like the Vichy Pureté Thermale Toner, help to remove residue from the skin’s surface and refresh the complexion. This paraben-free option is formulated with glycerin and Vichy’s exclusive mineralizing thermal spa water to help to strengthen and soothe skin.
Another paraben-free toner that we are huge fans of is the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner. If you’re in need of a toner that’s tailored for oily skin, look no further! The formula can help reduce excess oil on the skin, and has been specifically tested for safety and gentleness.
Looking for a paraben-free toner that can help tackle your acne concerns? We’ve got you covered. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner is formulated with salicylic acid and can help unclog pores and remove excess dirt. The gentle exfoliation this toner offers will leave your skin feeling both smooth and refreshed.
Serums are a great way to target skin care concerns like the signs of skin aging, dull skin tone, and lack of hydration. We love Vichy’s paraben-free Idéalia Life Serum which was formulated to fight the effects of behavioral aging—that is aging that occurs due to lifestyle choices and environmental factors and not the hands of time. With the brand’s first behavioral molecule association of LR2412 and micro-exfoliating LHA, the serum helps to reduce the appearance of surface pigmentation, visibly diminish the look of large pores, and improve skin radiance.
Are you a fan of vitamin C? SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is one of our favorite paraben-free vitamin C serums. Not only can this serum help reduce visible signs of aging and brighten skin but it can also protect skin against environmental aggressors by neutralizing free radical damage.
If you prefer a hyaluronic acid serum, look no further than SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier. It’s both a paraben-free serum and a hydration powerhouse thanks to its inclusion of fan-favorite hyaluronic acid. What’s more, it’s proven to improve hydration levels for all skin types, while plumping the look of skin to diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
Before bed, reach for an overnight serum that’s formulated with essential oils. Kiehls’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is infused with Lavender Essential Oil and Evening Primrose Oil and can help promote radiance. All you have to do is apply the serum before bed and you’ll wake up to better-looking skin by morning.
After using a serum you’ll want to lock in all that hydration and those skin care benefits with a hydrating moisturizer. If you’re looking for a daytime paraben-free option reach for Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Mineral Water Gel. This cooling water gel moisturizer is formulated with hyaluronic acid, Aquabioryl, and Vichy’s mineralizing thermal spa water. With its water gel base, it’s lightweight enough for even oily and combination skin types. If your skin is on the dryer side, reach for a richer cream like Vichy Nutrilogie 2. This ultra-creamy moisturizer helps to compensate for the lack of lipids in dry skin to help prevent further moisture loss.
Another paraben-free moisturizer favorite is La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Daily Soothing Moisturizer. If you have sensitive skin and looking for a preservative-free option, this is an ideal choice for you. It’s infused with the brand’s Thermal Spring Water.
Suited for mature skin, SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is a paraben- and dye-free moisturizer. This anti-aging cream gets its name from the lipids its formulated with: 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids. This unique formula helps repair the skin’s barrier while also smoothing the look of wrinkles and lines.
If you’ve heard about Centella Asiatica—a trending skin care ingredient—you may already know that it can be found in a wide range of cica creams, including our favorite L’Oreal Paris Cicacream Face Moisturizer which also happens to be free of parabens.
The soothing power of aloe is something that we cannot get enough of. So, you can imagine our excitement when we discovered Garnier’s SkinActive Hydrating 3 in 1 Moisturizer with Aloe —a paraben-free moisturizer formulated with aloe. This moisturizer is a triple threat as it works as a refreshing day moisturizer, a hydrating night moisturizer and a nourishing face mask.
Paraben-Free Night Cream
It’s during deep sleep that our skin is able to undergo its own self-repair process, so it doesn’t hurt to use this downtime as an opportunity to use a targeted skin care product. If wrinkles are a concern try Vichy’s LiftActiv Night. The paraben-free formula with rhamnose—a gentle anti-aging ingredient derived from the sugar of birch trees—can help promote smoother, softer, more radiant-looking skin.
Paraben-Free Face Masks
Once or twice a week, treat your skin to a little TLC with a face mask. If you are looking for paraben-free face masks that can exfoliate the skin, purify the appearance of pores, and hydrate the complexion, look no further than Vichy’s paraben-free mineral masks. We share everything you need to know about each of the three mineral masks here!
Need a great overnight mask that’s paraben-free? We recommend Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask. It provides skin long-lasting hydration that will leave your skin noticeably softer by morning. Formulated with glacial proteins and desert plant, this mask amplifies your skin’s ability to absorb moisture.