Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mineral Oils and Parabens In Mario Badescu Products

I'm feeling duped. I thought Mario Badescu was supposed to be a great company that I could trust. After using their products for almost a year I just now discovered that there is mineral oil, petrolatums and polyparabens in their eye creams and moisturizers. As I was brushing my teeth I glanced at the ingredients on the back of the Special Eye cream I had just ordered and was shocked to see propylparaben and mineral oil (they list it as Carnation).  I was quite taken aback by this discovery. With toothbrush still in my mouth I started rummaging through my medicine cabinet to look at the other Mario Badescu beauty products and I found paraffinum which is still another word for mineral oil. SERIOUSLY?! I can't believe I have been paying good money for mineral oil products. Mario Badescu eye creams are $18. I might as well have been using drug store brands at a much cheaper price. But money isn't the issue, I avoid using Equate, Vaseline and many other brands because of the mineral oils, petrolatum and parabens and their potentially harmful effects.

The only reason why I looked at the ingredients is because my friend posted a picture on Facebook and I thought that my eyes looked dry and tired which made start thinking about my eye cream. I wasn't sure if I was just getting old, it was just a bad picture or if my eye cream wasn't working. Low and behold, I think the eye cream might be the culprit of the dry skin around my eyes. Why? Because mineral oil does not add moisture to the skin, it only locks in moisture. But I am using the eye cream to get moisture, not create a barrier! There's no moisture to lock in. Duh! What a waste of time and money.

This is the pic that made me question my eye cream (that's me on the left)

I'm so mad at myself because I didn't do my due diligence. I started using Mario Badescu products on the word of a friend who has great skin. Over a year ago I was having some major problems with acne and skin irritations. My friend and I went to lunch and I was complaining about my complexion and my friend suggested I try using Mario Badescu. Naturally when she made this suggestion I looked at her face more closely and realized her skin was clear enough to not need base or powder. That to me was a testimony in itself. When we went to her apartment she showed me all her Mario Badescu products in her bathroom. Now prior to this she and I had some conversations about beauty products and what ingredients we should avoid like parabens. Because we were in complete agreement in our conversations I assumed that she and I thought alike and I completely trusted her suggestion on MB products. But we all know what happens when one assumes (ass-u-me). So I slowly switched to MB products. The very first item I ordered was Peptide Renewal Cream which does not have any mineral oil. Then I bought Peptide Renewal Serum which also does not any mineral oil. The next few products I ordered were also mineral oil and paraben free. So at that point I ass-u-me-d that MB was a trustworthy company that cares about what people put on their skin. Unfortunately, the next few products I ordered do contain mineral oils and parabens, but at this point I had already assumed all MB products are safe. I also thought that if my friend uses their products then it must be A-OK. On another note, I think I was also fooled by their sleek, white bottles and clean labeling. The white packaging looks so trustworthy like it's stating I am a pure and chemical-free product.  *thumps self on forehead*

Now if you're wondering what is this woman blathering about and don't understand why I'm freaking out then you must not have heard that parabens and minerals oils are bad for your skin. I suggest you Google the subject. Hundreds of articles and blogs discussing the cons of these ingredients will pop up. I am not a doctor or researcher so I can not explain in a scientific manner why they are bad for you.  So here is my assessment in my own laymen terms: mineral oil and parabens are cheap, crappy chemicals that companies add to products to lengthen the shelf life of the product and have a low manufacturing cost. It is no concern to them that their products are pore-clogging and potentially cancer causing because they are making millions of dollars in profit. Mineral oils may contain toxins because it is a derivative of petroleum. This is cheap, cheap, cheap. Any product made with mineral oil should not be high priced. As I mentioned earlier mineral oils only create a barrier between your skin and the air, it does not add moisture. The idea is that it locks in moisture by CLOGGING your pores so the moisture does not escape. But they won't advertise it clogs your pores, they will say that the products keeps your skin silky soft and moisturized.  As for parabens it could possibly be linked to breast cancer because they have found parabens in the removed tissue of women who have had a mastectomies. I suggest using a paraben and aluminum-free deodorant. They may not work as well but it's definitely worth it to be a little smelly and sticky as opposed to having cancer. When you shave your armpit, you may cut your skin, then you put on deodorant and the parabens & aluminum are in closer proximity to your breasts. (Full disclosure: I use 5 different types of deodorant and one of them is Secret. I still use Secret even though it has questionable ingredients. The other safer deodorants are not as effective and I use Secret in social situations that calls for something that will definitely work. However, I do try to avoid anti-perspirant altogether. I think anti-perspirants are even worse because they also clog your pores and you need to sweat to get rid of toxins.) So there is my view of parabens and mineral oil in a nutshell. Since I already deal with a myriad of other health issues I just don't want to take the chance on putting cancer-causing chemicals on my skin and clogging up my pores.

But this isn't just a woman issue, men should also be concerned about parabens.  From Readers Digest Best Health:  In a Danish study parabens could be detected in the blood and urine of healthy young male volunteers a few hours after paraben-containing lotions were applied to their skin. In conclusion since the chemicals could be absorbed, metabolized and excreted they "could potentially contribute to adverse health effect."   Read more at http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/beauty/parabens-what-are-they-and-are-they-really-that-bad#u4imwhkXmm6ZFpoZ.99

So lesson learned, I will always read the labels of every product I put on my body regardless of a friend's opinion. Now I must find a new eye cream that doesn't have harmful ingredients and won't irritate my skin. Fun.

Back labels of MB products

Here are a few more "good" dermatologist-approved products that have bad ingredients. 

CeraVe Renewing lotion (this is a sample from the dermatologist)

Mederma (yet another sample from the dermatologist)

SebaMed Anti-Dry Night Intensive Cream


  1. I'm totally freaked because I avoid propylene glycol, too, and I chose my MB products years ago after specifically checking their ingredients for PG, and avoiding all products that had it. Today, I was reordering and dumbstruck when I found that they had ADDED it to my favorite products - it didn't used to be there, now it is. WHY?!

    1. I don't know why Mario Badescu is taking a step backward and using bad ingredients. The only reason I can think of is to make more money. Buy cheaper ingredients and keep the prices the same or raise them. After I wrote this post I looked at my Arbonne and Bliss products and threw those out too. But I saw articles that Arbonne and Bliss are taking the parabens out of some of their products. At least they are heading in the right direction.

      I use Jeffrey James Botanicals, Dr. Perricone, First Aid Beauty, Tarte and different products now. I just wait for sales (like Black Friday) at Jeffrey James website to purchase.

  2. Parabens are used to prolong shelf life. MB has creams an lotions without parabens. If you use fresh hand extracted botanicals you have to ad paraben or you would have to purchase your products weekly, like produce. If they don't add parabens you would microbes.....and you don't want those either...

    1. I appreciate your comment. I understand that parabens extend the shelf life of the products and I def do not want mold and fungus. I noticed on safer products that the shelf life is usually 6 months as opposed to products that have more than one year shelf life.

      You prompted me to look at the most recent articles on parabens.
      One article does dispute the findings of the link between parabens and breast cancer and another says it may not be linked to breast cancer but the jury is still out on other side affects.

      I think this will be like the coffee debate where it is argued that it is bad for your health and then the other half says it has health benefits that make it worth drinking coffee.

      I will admit that my paraben-free facial scrub developed mold inside the lid within months of opening it and I was disappointed I had to throw it away. But personally I need to stay away from as many chemicals as possible until it can be proven to be completely safe. I have sensitive skin and I have to be very careful what I put on my face and body.


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