On World Car-Free Day, Why Not Go Paraben-Free Too

On Sept. 22, millions of people across the world leave the car keys on the counter and grab their bicycles or walking shoes for a day free from vehicles. Designed to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society, the day is ultimately meant to encourage people to take a closer look at cars and how they negatively impact our environment.


“Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars... 365 days a year,” organizers say. “As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile.”

While pollution has been linked to global warming, it is also one of the biggest triggers of free radicals, which cause our skin to age faster than we’d like.

Numerous studies have shown that air pollution is a major contributing factor to premature skin aging, leading to the same type of skin aging as excessive sun exposure.

Those who live in larger cities, are at an especially high risk compared to their rural counterparts, says Dr. Zoe Draelos, a professor of dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C.

Draelos suggests consuming antioxidants – which fight free radicals and slow signs of aging – and establishing a regular skin care regimen to stave off the effects of pollution. (Ref. 2)

But if you’re not careful, this solution may be just as dangerous.

Dying to be beautiful?

Parabens – a common chemical included in beauty products – have the potential to trigger a host of problems, making them just as risky as air pollution.

Even more problematic, they’re still turning up in a wide range of products women use to look better, never realizing that the very action could harm them.

According to a 2004 study headed by Dr. Philippa Darbre, a research scientist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, tumors removed during breast cancer surgeries show high concentrations of parabens. (Ref. 3)

In 2013, further research from Darbre revealed that parabens could be carcinogenic, meaning that they can be capable of transforming healthy cells into cancer cells, adding to the danger. (Ref. 4)

“That first paper shocked people because it was the first time intact parabens had ever been measured in the human body,” said Darbre in an interview with Prevention magazine. “We’re going to see that the problem is long-term, low-dose exposure to a cocktail of chemicals. But the reason I’m keen on personal-care products is that women have the option to stop using these things. I want to empower them to be able to make their own decisions.”

Parabens are included in cosmetics to prevent the growth of bacteria, but while they may suppress bacteria, when they enter the body through the skin, they can interfere with hormone production and disrupt the endocrine system, creating the potential for not only breast cancer, but also early puberty.

The endocrine system is tasked with releasing hormones into the bloodstream, and endocrine disruptors such as parabens – which are stored in fat cells including breast tissue - can adversely impact the entire system, causing children as young as 6 to show signs of puberty.

While chemicals such as growth hormones fed to cattle have previously been linked to early puberty, parabens also have a place in the conversation, experts say.

“Household products like hand soap, shampoos, cosmetics and cleaning products contain chemicals - namely parabens - that are known as xenoestrogens and can mimic estrogen in the body, increasing the likelihood of early puberty,” according to Dr. Jennifer Landa in an article written for Fox News. (Ref. 5)

Parabens can also decrease sperm levels, according to researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, who tested rats both before being administered parabens and after, and found that the rats who had received parabens – an amount considered a daily acceptable level in both Europe and Japan - had a “significantly lower” sperm count, researchers said. (Ref. 3)

Choose paraben-free products

So why sacrifice your health in the name of beauty?

Check your labels carefully, and toss anything that includes methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben or butylparaben, or doesn’t say on its label that the product is paraben-free.

Xtend-Life has never used parabens in any of its products. Our skin-care line – which includes our Foaming Face Wash (featuring the natural antibacterial properties of Manuka honey and kiwi), our Day Cream, Night Cream, Body Lotion and Eye Contour Serum – contain only the most effective and safest ingredients that are designed to reduce the visible signs of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing the long-term health of your skin.

As we’ve said since we started, “if it’s not safe enough to eat – we don’t use it in our skin care products!” (Warren Matthews - Chairman, Xtend-Life Natural Products)


“I have been using your skincare products for about 5 months now. I feel obliged to comment and let you know how pleased I am. Your day cream is very nourishing, very hydrating and you need to use only a very small quantity to keep you moisturized, but not oily all day. The night cream is truly amazing. It soothes the skin, calms it and by morning all imperfections just vanish! Thank you and keep up the good work.” 

--- Alexia R, Cyprus.


  1. http://www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd/index.php
  2. http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/pollution-stress-take-toll-skin-aging?page=full
  3. http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/parabens-dangerous-preservative-cosmetics
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22744862
  5. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/05/hidden-hormones-can-bring-about-early-puberty-in-kids/

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