Parabene, Silikone, Alkohole und Mineralöle: Bedenkliche Inhaltsstoffe in Hautcreme

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

In numerous skin care products (also for men) you will find substances that shouldn't have lost anything there: silicones, parabens, alcohol or even mineral oils. Many consumers have noticed in recent years that these substances are not good at all. With our Clean Care concept, we at sober do without the substances mentioned - but also a whole range of other substances - in our products. But what exactly is this about - and what are the risks of these substances in men's cosmetics?


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

How do silicones work?

Silicones provide an immediate, well-groomed feeling on the skin - but they do not have a real effect. Because the film formed on the skin, because it is foreign to the body, 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 not cosmetically necessary, they are also not biodegradable. They get into rivers, lakes and our groundwater while showering or washing.

INCI names:

Dimethicone, methicone, polysiloxane or cyclomethicone such as cyclohexasiloxane


Parabens are a group of preservatives that are intended to make the product last longer. Some types of parabens have not been adequately researched, but all of them pose considerable risks.

How do parabens work?

It has been shown 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 human hormonal balance. This has already been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with rats; long-term studies in 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 ensure a smooth skin feeling and seal the skin surface. 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.

How do mineral oils work?

The skin hidden under a mineral oil layer can no longer be supplied with nutrients, germs and bacteria can multiply. Since sebum builds up and can no longer drain off unhindered, it is easier to get blemishes or acne. Due to the "sealing" of the skin, no vitamins and nutrients can be transported and the skin can become brittle in the long run - similar to the use of silicones. The skin generally reacts well to paraffins, but does not receive any nutrients from them, since it is petroleum filtered except for a few hydrocarbons - hence the name "white oil".

INCI names:

Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffinum Liquidum, Paraffinum Subliquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Microcrystalline Wax, Ozokerit, Ceresin, Vaseline, Paraffin Wax or Paraffin Oil and others.


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

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 and get into the blood if they come into frequent contact.

INCI names:

Diethyl phthalate (DEP) and dimethyl phthalate (DMP), ethanol, alcohol, alcohol denat., Ethyl alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, benzyl alcohol

PEG derivatives and PEG emulsifiers (PEG's)

Emulsifiers are generally necessary in every cream, since water and fat are combined with one another by an emulsifier and could otherwise not be permanently mixed.

How do emulsifiers work?

PEG emulsifiers can also combine with the skin's own fats. If you wash them, the fats are also rinsed 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, high 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 tolerable. It can be completely broken down by the skin.

INCI names:

Ceteareth-8, polyethylene glycol (PEG)

Other substances of concern

Sodium lauryl sulfate, nitrosamine sources (carcinogenic), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA) and polycyanoacrylates, trisodium EDTA (difficult to degrade and toxicologically harmful) as well as microplastics such as acrylates / C30-10 and acrylate crosspolymer that pollute the environment.

Perfume and synthetic colors

Products can be honest and effective. We therefore see no reason to use artificial dyes to make white even more radiant. What is not needed is left out: so are 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: Dispensing with all ingredients that are unnecessary, harmful to our skin or to the human organism.

Enjoy reading - and don't forget: #staysober