New Year, New (Healthy) Skin

With the New Year, we’re all being more conscious of what we put in our bodies, but what you put ON your body can be just as important.

While none of the products we carry in our stores contain any of the harmful additives below, we’ve outlined them so you can check the labels of your current products and included some easy tips for swapping.


  • WHY IT’S USED: Parabens are among the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetic products to extend the shelf life of products and ward off bacteria.
  • WHY IT’S HARMFUL: Although they are generally considered safe in low percentages, studies have found a link between parabens and breast cancer. When parabens are absorbed into the skin, they can mimic estrogen in the body and affect the growth of breast tissue.
  • WHAT TO SWAP WITH: There are a variety of paraben-free skin care and makeup options. The Acure line is fair trade, natural and organic – and always paraben-free.


  • WHY IT’S USED: Urea is used to slow the loss of moisture from a product during use and is found in many hair, nail, and skin products.
  • WHY IT’S HARMFUL: A proven formaldehyde releaser, Urea is considered by many, including the Organic Consumers Association, to be carcinogenic and toxic. It can also produce mild skin irritations and should be avoided by those with sensitive skin.
  • WHAT TO SWAP WITH: To replace this moisturizing agent, look for products containing aloe, honey or shea butter

Petrochemicals (petroleum, propylene glycol)

  • WHY IT’S USED: Petrochemicals can be found in plastic packaging used for skin care and makeup items, as well as in the products themselves to increase moisture or to add scent or color – ex: in paraffin wax, perfumes, etc.
  • WHY IT’S HARMFUL: Petrochemicals contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) impurities. They are also linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and irritation, according to the Environmental Working Group and Organic Consumers Association.
  • WHAT TO SWAP WITH: Consider using all-natural soap or shampoo bars in place of products with a laundry list of chemical ingredients

Antiperspirant (aluminum)

  • WHY IT’S USED: Aluminum is commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants because it alters the pH balance of the skin and the production of sweat.
  • WHY IT’S HARMFUL: If absorbed, it may travel to the lungs, liver and kidneys and can alter the function of the blood-brain barrier according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  • WHAT TO SWAP WITH: Consider an aluminum-free deodorant, such as from Tom’s of Maine or Veriditas Botanicals (local)

Phthalates/synthetic fragrances

  • WHY IT’S USED: Phthalates and synthetic fragrances are used to make personal products more fragrant by masking the smell of other ingredients
  • WHY IT’S HARMFUL: Phthalates are known to be a reproductive and developmental toxin according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. They are also easily released into the environment and easily penetrate the skin – so should be avoided especially by those with sensitive skin.
  • WHAT TO SWAP WITH SWAP: Many brands now offer products free of phthalates and synthetic fragrances. Dr. Hauschka offers makeup and skin care products for both men and women.

Learn more about our Body Care Standards