by Simon Schier

Parabens, silicones, alcohols and mineral oils: questionable ingredients in skin cream

In numerous skin care products for women and men you will find subs...
Parabene, Silikone, Alkohole und Mineralöle: Bedenkliche Inhaltsstoffe in Hautcreme

In numerous skin care products for women and men you will find substances that shouldn't really have been there: silicones, parabens, alcohol or even mineral oils. Many consumers have already noticed in recent years that these substances are not good at all.

At sober , with our Clean Care concept, we dispense with the aforementioned and a whole range of other substances in our products. But what exactly is it and what are the risks of these substances in cosmeticstik?


Silicones are used as inexpensive substitutes for high-quality care oils in cosmetics or to be able to simulate an instant skin-smoothing effect, which is not sustainable and expensive.

How do silicones work??

Although silicones provide an immediate, well-groomed skin feeling, they have no real effect. Because the film formed on the skin is foreign to the body and no vitamins and care substances can be transported. The silicone film also hinders the skin's natural ability to regenerate, because it swells up under it and becomes brittle. Not a good quality for a care product..

Silicones are not only cosmetically unnecessary, they are also not biodegradable. They get into rivers, lakes and our groundwater when showering or washing.

INCI names:

Dimethicones, methicones, polysiloxanes or cyclomethicones such as e.g. Cyclohexasiloxanes


Paraben is a group of preservatives which are supposed to ensure a longer shelf life of the product. Some types of parabens have not been adequately researched, but all of them involve significant risks.

How do parabens work?

It has been proven that parabens are deposited in the human organism. Due to their similarity to the female hormone estrogen, it is obvious that parabens have a negative effect on the hormonal balance in humans. This has already been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with rats; long-term studies on humans have so far been lacking.

INCI names:

Methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben. Take special care with isopropyl paraben and isobutyl paraben

Mineral oils

Mineral oils or paraffins are cheap substitutes for your use of expensive vegetable, cosmetic oils. They make the skin feel smooth and seal the surface of the skin. For example, while the blueberry seed oil we use is full of vitamins, antioxidants and microbiological nutrients, the aforementioned petrochemical products are cheap substitutes with no long-term effects.g.

How do mineral oils work?

The skin hidden under a layer of mineral oil can no longer be supplied with nutrients, germs and bacteria can multiply. Since sebum builds up and can no longer flow off unhindered, blemishes or acne occur more easily.

The "sealing" of the skin also means that no vitamins and nutrients can be transported and the skin can become brittle in the long term, similar to the use of silicone. The skin generally reacts well to paraffins, but does not receive any nutrients from them, since it is petroleum that is filtered except for a few hydrocarbons, hence the name "white oil".".

INCI names:

Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffinum Liquidum, Paraffinum Subliquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Microcrystalline Wax, Ozokerite, Ceresin, Vaseline,Paraffin Wax or Paraffin Oiland more.


Alcohols are used to preserve cosmetics and as antibacterial protection against possible germs. Especially in natural cosmetics, since numerous classic preservatives are forbidden here, very high concentrations of harmful alcohol are often found. A distinction must be made between the "bad" alcohols mentioned here and the good so-called fatty and wax alcohols such as the cetearyl alcohol we use, for example: the latter are caring for the skin and not harmful.h.

How do alcohols work?

Alcohol has an antibacterial effect, but it also dries out and irritates the skin. In high concentrations, it destroys the skin's own sebum layer. Some of the "bad" alcohols listed here are also denatured by phthalates: These are extremely harmful chemical softeners for the skin, which can damage the skin with frequent contact and get into the blood.

INCI names:

Diethyl Phthalate DEP and Dimethyl Phthalate DMP, Ethanol, Alcohol, Alcohol denat., Ethyl Alcohol, Methanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, SD Alcohol, Benzyl Alcoholohol

PEG derivatives and PEG emulsifiers PEG'ss)

Emulsifiers are fundamentally necessary in every cream, as water and fat are linked by an emulsifier and otherwise could not be mixed permanently.

How do emulsifiers work?

PEG emulsifiers can also combine with the skin's own fats. If you wash these, the fats are also washed out of the skin. Another problem with PEG is the absorption of these substances through the skin. Since PEG derivatives are contained in almost every conventional care product today, large amounts are absorbed into our skin. They stay there because they cannot be broken down and, in the worst case, trigger antibody reactions. We use an emulsifier based on olive oil fatty acids, which does not dry out the skin, but moisturizes it and is particularly gentle and compatible. It can be completely broken down through the skin.

INCI names:

Ceteareth-8, polyethylene glycol PEG) 

Other substances of concern

Sodium lauryl sulfate, nitrosamine sources carcinogenic, diethanolamine DEA, triethanolamine TEA and polycyanoacrylate, trisodium EDTA difficult to break down and toxicologically questionable as well) sowie Microplastic like for example Acrylates / C30-10 and Acrylate Crosspolymer, which pollute the environment.

Perfume and synthetic paints

Products can be honest and effective. We therefore see no reason to use artificial colors to make a white even more radiant. What is not needed is left out, including artificial fragrances, which can additionally irritate the skin. In our opinion, a care product should not compete with a perfume.

The sober Clean Care concept: Avoiding all ingredients that are unnecessary, harmful to our skin or the human organism.

Take good care of yourself and your skin and as always: #staysober 


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