Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Parahydroxybenzoate… these terms probably don’t mean much to you at first glance, but you may have heard of their other name: Parabens.
Parabens have been a major topic of discussion within the health and beauty communities lately, and are getting increasing media buzz due to their widespread use and potentially harmful effects.
The jury is still out on whether or not parabens are actually dangerous, but we want to make sure you know that we do not use them in any Clarisonic products. We also want to share our insights on how to identify these chemicals and give you the tools to decide for yourself whether or not you want to avoid them.
What are parabens?
Parabens are a group of chemical compounds commonly used as synthetic preservatives designed to prevent the growth of microbes in food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products. They are widely available and cheap to produce, so companies all over the world use them to extend the shelf life of their products.
Causes for concern
Parabens can be absorbed through the skin, blood and digestive system, and can disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the hormone estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone associated with breast cancer, so some scientists worry that parabens increase the risk of certain cancers and reproductive health concerns.
While certain studies have found that the amount of parabens absorbed by the skin is very low and can be metabolized by skin cells without producing estrogenic activity, other studies revealed a correlation between parabens and incidence of breast cancer. Dr. Philippa Darbre, who led a 2004 study on parabens at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading, found that 18 out of the 20 tested breast tumor samples contained parabens, indicating that the chemicals stay intact within the breast tissue instead of leaving the body.
Further testing continues, but as a result of this study, experts all over the world are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products. Currently, the permitted paraben concentration in food is up to .01% in food, and 1% in cosmetics.
What to look for on product labels
Parabens can be found in everyday items like shampoo, moisturizer, shaving gel, topical pharmaceuticals, and even toothpaste, so it can be difficult to avoid them altogether. The items listed below are all parabens, so check your product labels for these terms:
- Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Parahydroxybenzoic acid
It’s important to know your body, what goes into it and on it, and how that affects your health. Keep an eye on the ingredients in the cosmetic products you use, and do your research before trying a new product. We will continue to update this post as we learn more about parabens, and would love to hear your thoughts on the debate. Do you think there is cause for concern?
Coconut oil is not only an amazing ingredient for general health, but also does wonders for your hair and skin.
They say beauty is only skin deep, but the way our skin appears is often a direct result of the lifestyles we lead and the foods we consume. Our bodies love whole, natural products that are easy to digest and absorb, and contain the nutrients we rely on for energy and growth. That’s why one of our favorite natural beauty secrets is coconut oil.
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids that are easy for the body to dissolve and turn into energy or use to strengthen and repair connective tissue. It also has powerful antioxidant effects that stimulate thyroid function, boost your metabolism, and help heal damaged hair and skin. Some coconut oil studies even report a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease.
Here are just a few of the ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your diet and your skincare routine:
- Use it to improve your skin. By protecting against free-radicals that cause wrinkles and aging, coconut oil can keep your skin looking young and smooth. It also has strong hydrating effects that help you lock in moisture—great for those moments before you dry off after a shower.
- It works as a deep conditioner for your hair, repairing damaged hair follicles and adding shine to your locks. Just pour a small amount into your hands and massage it into your scalp and the ends of your hair for a few minutes, then rinse it out. You’ll notice a new shine right away.
- Mix it with brown sugar to create a body scrub and exfoliate. Slough away dead skin cells and make your skin smell amazing while you’re at it.
- To help prevent sunburn—or provide relief if you already have one.
- Add a teaspoon or two to your meals. We love it mixed into smoothies or drizzled over a salad.
Health and wellness is all about giving your body the care and nutrition it needs, and whole, natural ingredients are key. Take a look at our post on the Best 5 Skin Care Ingredients From Your Kitchen and stay tuned for more Natural Beauty Secrets to come!
Have you tried using coconut oil as a beauty product before?
One of the first things many of us do every morning is cleanse, powder, and paint our faces. The cleansing part makes perfect sense, but what about the makeup? Why wear it?
It’s a question we don’t honestly ask ourselves very often, and the answer is a little different for everyone. Some wear it to cover blemishes and hide the parts of their appearance they don’t like, some use it to feel more confident and put-together, and others just love the creative twist it ads to their style. Many women also think makeup makes them look more competent, and survey data from the New York Times seems to support that idea. We shared the Times article with our fans on Facebook and responses ranged from the opinion that “less is more,” to the idea that it makes you “look more polished and more confident.”
We’re all about natural beauty here at Clarisonic, so we tend to like wearing only enough makeup to enhance the features that are already there. Makeup can be fun and help you stand out, but it’s also important to know and be comfortable in your own skin, and realize that you are a beautiful individual with or without it.
Last May, two middle school girls from Phoenix, Arizona named Gabby Klein and Michaela Good issued a challenge called “Only You,” encouraging girls to show off their natural appearance for a day and go without any make-up. They were frustrated by the unattainable beauty standards set by Hollywood, the media, and photoshop-loving women’s magazines, and decided to try and encourage girls everywhere to embrace their own skin. So far they’ve received national news coverage and support from women and girls all over the country. In North Carolina, a UNC-Charlotte educator named Rosie Molinary is also encouraging her students to try going a day without makeup. “Our skin is neither perfect nor bad,” she says, “and showing it in its natural form can be refreshing.”
We couldn’t agree more, and we love the idea that more women are going without makeup or aiming for a simple, natural look. It’s all about letting your inner—and outer—glow shine through. The more you take care of your skin and let it breathe, the better you’ll feel about showing it to the world.
What are your thoughts? Could you live without makeup?
Hey Sonic Fans! We are excited to celebrate the launch of our new Pedi Sonic Foot Transformation system, so in our next #SonicChat we’ll be chatting about foot care. Join on Tuesday (10/08/2013) at 11am, PDT (2pm EST). Don’t miss out on a great time!
How the #SonicChat works:
- We’ve already set up a tweet chat “room” that you can use to participate here: http://tweetchat.com/room/SonicChat
- Many people also like to use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck for tweet chats. If this is the case for you, you’ll just need to set up a column with the hashtag #SonicChat.
- Join in any time during the hour. The more the merrier!
- We will ask a series of questions, each beginning with “Q1,” “Q2,” and so on. If you’d like to answer a question, just tweet back with “A1,” “A2,” etc. to the corresponding question.
- Feel free to RT great comments from @Clarisonic or other participants in the chat, and interact as much or as little as you like. Just be sure to include the hashtag #SonicChat in all your tweets so everyone can keep track of the conversation!
- Most of all, #SonicChat is about learning, sharing, and having fun.
Sound like something you’d like to check out? Join us on Tuesday at 11am PDT. Let’s do this!
It’s starting to heat up outside and the layers are coming off. But how do you stay stylish when all you want to wear each day are shorts and tank tops? Accessories. Hats, shoes, jewelry, and sunglasses are fun and easy ways to make otherwise simple outfits stand out. Here are our picks for summer’s hottest accessories.
Wide-brimmed, floppy hats are total statement pieces, and they have the added benefit of shielding your face from harmful UV rays. We like this simple, black hat from Zara, but a classic straw shade is great, too. Pair your hat with a maxi dress or some short shorts and strappy sandals, or bring it with you to the beach.
Sunglasses are the most obvious summer accessory, but styles come and go with the years. Stick to a classic shape that fits your face shape and you’ll be able to wear them dressed up or down. We love the TOMS eyewear line because it’s simple and classic with a unique touch of color, but also gives you the opportunity to help someone in need. With every pair you purchase, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need.
Wedges are the perfect summer shoe. Comfortable, easy to wear day or night, and fun—we can’t get enough of them. We love these Kelly green Santa Monica Pier Wedges from ModCloth because the color is on-trend and attention-grabbing. Ankle-strap platforms are another fun trend this summer – check out this list from Lucky to find a pair that you like.
Nothing will dress up a plain t-shirt faster than a bold, brightly-colored necklace like this J.Crew Bubble Necklace. This season is all about neon, so be bold and embrace lively colors. You’ll shine even brighter in the sun!
Balance out a flowing white blouse or a little white dress with a few stacked wooden bracelets on your wrists. Wooden jewelry gives your style a natural, organic feel but still stands out. It’s also more comfortable in the hot sun than metal! Check out Good Housekeeping’s picks for some great, affordable options.
Add a burst of color to your outfit—and emphasize your womanly figure—with a summery leather belt. We love J. Crew’s neon skinny belts!
Which summer accessories are you dying to get your hands on? Did we forget any major looks?
It will never happen to me. That’s what we all like to think—until one of our loved ones is diagnosed, or the doctor gives us a call.
Skin cancer affects a whopping one in five Americans, but the good news is that it’s highly preventable. A few simple lifestyle changes can mean a world of difference for your health, so take a few minutes to read these tips and pass them on to your loved ones. You just might save a life!
- Stick to the shade. The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm, so be especially careful about sun exposure during those hours. This cute and clever Melanoma Bracelet will change color in the sun to let you know if you’re in harm’s way.
- Cover up. Call it an excuse to buy that cute new hat you saw while window shopping the other day, or an opportunity to try out a fun maxi dress. Either way, you’ll be stylish and safe.
- Lay it on thick. You can work that bikini at the beach, but don’t forget to wear your sunscreen, too! In fact, you should be wearing SPF 30 or higher every day – whether you’re sunbathing or just walking to the office. Try an all-natural sunscreen like Josie Maran’s Daily Sun Protention or even basic coconut oil, and reapply every few hours.
- Know your skin. Your skin is an organ just like your heart or your liver, and you need to take good care of it. Spend a few minutes every month scanning your own moles and freckles to see if any have changed in size, shape or color. Be proactive at the doctor’s office, too; schedule a full body screening with the dermatologist at least once a year.
- No tanning beds. Seriously. It’s not worth it. According to skincancer.org, just four visits to the tanning a bed a year can increase your risk of melanoma by 11%!
You are beautiful as you are. Tanned, freckled, smooth or wrinkled—your skin is unique, just like you, and it’s worth taking care of.
What other tips do you have for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays and preventing skin cancer?
*photo by Elisabeth R on Flickr
For nearly 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week to bring you the season’s most important color trends. We’ve pulled the colors, some cute clothes and accessories, and our Mia and Mia 2 to help you get the most out of the season’s hottest colors.
Pantone named tangerine the it color of 2012. Tangerine is a very flattering color for most skin tones due to its high saturation and reddish undertones. When the warm weather hits, try wearing a bold dress, top or sandals in this shade. However, if you’re feeling a little color shy, start small by rocking a tangerine manicure or accessory. The newest edition to the Mia 2 family is named mango and matches Pantone’s color of the year to a tee. For those going on name recognition we also have a Limited Edition Mia named Tangerine. Both would be the perfect accessory to add some spring to your bathroom.
Each year the spring color list is not complete without a shade of pink. This season’s chosen hue is a pink with a hint of orange. The color blends femininity and touch of edginess that will be able to work with most wardrobes. Our new Mia 2 in Coral would be a perfect way to bring this spring color into your life.
Anyone who loves color probably has a pop of Kelly Green in their wardrobe. This fresh hue started gaining popularity after Emily Blunt wore it at the SAG Awards earlier this year. It is the perfect pop of color to transition to warmer weather and blooming color palettes. Bring it into your space with our Limited Edition Kelly Green Mia.
The spring 2012 color trends are said to be influenced by “renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day”. These colors as well as the feeling of Sonic Cleansing embody a mixture of sunny bright, lighthearted hues.
We can’t thank you enough for all of your rave reviews of our products. Thanks to your support, we have received multiple beauty industry awards and readers’ choice awards. Here is a selection of the recent recognitions and awards.
Total Beauty‘s readers voted in the readers’ choice awards while the editors decided on the editor’s pick in 57 hot categories of beauty products. We can’t thank them enough for their picks!
- “Best Beauty Gadget” for the “Reader’s Choice” category: Clarisonic Classic
- “Best Beauty Gadget” for the “Editor’s Pick: Rising Star” category: Clarisonic Mia
The theme of this award was products that make you look and feel amazing. The products in this contest were chosen by a panel of Self readers who tested them in their own homes and submitted their honest feedback.
Self Editors’ Favorite: Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System
FOF readers were asked to fill out a survey of the fabulous things they discovered in 2011, from foodie finds and beauty products to exercise routines and tech gadgets.
- Beauty Product Discovery: Clarisonic Mia
Neiman Marcus customers were able to vote for their favorite products from 14 different categories. We’re happy to have been nominated twice.
- Neiman Marcus Beauty Award Finalist 2012 Clarisonic Mia
- Neiman Marcus Beauty Award Finalist 2012 Clarisonic PLUS
Elle Canada named the Clarisonic PLUS Sonic Skin Cleansing System Editor’s Pick. “After a few days using the Clarisonic PLUS, I can’t believe that, beforehand, I chose the Neanderthal-like ‘hand method’ as my cleansing method of choice. Friends, the future is here.”
The Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System is a finalist in the Prevention Beauty Awards.
Clarisonic Aria won an Allure Best of Beauty Award in the “Top Splurges” category. “This oscillating brush leaves skin extravagantly soft – and ready to lap up anti-agers.”