Foundation is a staple in every makeup maven’s bag of goodies.
Whether it’s to give you that full-on glam look or just a natural glow, it’s a crucial step in everyone’s makeup routine.
While it can help us feel more beautiful, foundation also has a less pretty side.
Your favourite foundation products may contain harmful chemicals that are detrimental to your bodies and your health – ouch!
Some harmful chemicals that may be present in your foundation are parabens, but what are they?
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in makeup. They are used to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mould in products.
Whilst this sounds all fine and dandy (who wants to be putting bacteria onto their face!), parabens can interfere with our hormones and can negatively impact growth, development, reproductive and brain functions.
Furthermore, a 2004 study linked parabens to the development of breast cancer tumours. Traces of parabens were found in cancerous breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women studied. These chemicals are definitely a no-go!
You can identify whether your foundation contains these nasties by checking for chemicals ending in “-paraben” on the ingredient list.
The most common forms are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben.
If you want to avoid parabens altogether, you should opt for natural alternatives that are kind to your skin.
Wondering where to find paraben-free and natural foundation?
No fear! We’ve got you covered with the best products on the market so you can glam yourself up with no worries.
Best Paraben-Free Foundation in the UK
1. Green People Pressed Powder SPF15
Green People is a popular UK brand producing a huge variety of cosmetics from haircare to skincare to makeup plus more!
The brand was created by Charlotte Vøhtz with the aim of creating natural and gentle skincare products for her daughter with eczema. From this mission, Green People was born.
Green People produce certified organic products with 99% of the ingredients being natural and organic, whilst also nourishing protecting and respecting your skin. Amazing, right?
Their organic pressed mineral powder is a great alternative to paraben-laden foundations. It contains no harmful chemicals, and uses 100% organic ingredients so is suitable for those with more sensitive skin types.
It doesn’t end there. Green People’s Pressed Powder contains broad spectrum SPF 15 to ensure your face is protected.
They recommend applying buffing it into the skin with a thick kabuki brush for a flawless finish.
- Talc-free, so minimises fine lines and wrinkles
- Smooth matte finish
- Comes in a stylish recycled compact mirror – points for environmental concern!
- Some find it drying on the skin
- Only comes in four shades and can be difficult to match
2. lavera 2in1 Compact Foundation
Lavera’s founder, Thomas Haase, grew up with neurodermatitis and struggled to find products that were suitable for his sensitive skin.
On his quest, he decided to create his own line of products and so, Lavera was born.
Lavera is motivated by an awareness of chemicals and pesticides, including parabens, and so they provide products made of natural ingredients. In fact, their products are 100% free from synthetic perfumes, preservatives and colourants!
Lavera has acquired 350 awards and recommendations from OEKO-TEST (the German critical testing magazine).
Their 2in1 Compact foundation provides both a foundation and a setting powder in one and is vegan, organic, silicone-free, paraffin-free and mineral oil-free.
It leaves out the bad stuff while adding beneficial natural ingredients. Some key ingredients are organic sunflower oil and organic shea butter to naturally nourish the skin.
Lavera recommend blending in the foundation into the skin with the sponge provided. Easy!
- Provides moderate coverage that is buildable
- Can hide blemishes and red marks
- Easy-to-use and good for those on the go
- May not suit drier skin types because of powdery texture
- Product does not last so long and refills are not available for purchase
- Can be difficult to shade match
3. Gaya Cosmetics Mineral Foundation
Gaya in Greek means ‘Mother Nature”, so it is clear that this Italian brand is motivated by taking care of the environment. All of their products are made of natural minerals, oils and plant extracts from the Earth.
The design of their cosmetics and the colour palettes have also been inspired by rocks and earthy tones. Even better is that they do not test on animals so you can also be totally guilt-free.
Their mineral foundation claims to provide 4 products in 1: A foundation, concealer, sunscreen and powder. It has never been easier to create that perfect natural base.
The ingredients are 100% natural and great for sensitive, acne prone or irritated skin. They recommend using a kabuki brush to blend the foundation into your skin for that flawless full coverage.
- Comes in 10 shades, so there is something for most skin tones
- Does not clog pores or dry skin
- The combination of minerals help prevent outbreaks, irritation and neutralises redness
- May need topping up throughout the day to maintain coverage
- Some find the product does not last long enough for the price
- Claims to be full coverage but requires a fair bit of product to achieve
4. Avril Liquid Foundation Cream
This French brand is relatively new, having been created April 2012, and has a mission of providing affordable and organic cosmetics that are also of great quality.
Their cosmetics are also free from GMOs, parabens, silicones and synthetic fragrances and colourants, and any ingredients derived from animals. Avril are certified “Cruelty Free” by PETA, so their products are vegan friendly.
What’s more, their packaging has sustainability in mind and is validated by Ecocert for their lesser environmental impacts. Avril gets the thumbs up from us!
The liquid foundation cream is certified organic and comes in 8 shades. It contains organic jojoba oil to moisturise the skin, keeping you looking baby-faced and fresh.
You’re recommended to apply the foundation with a brush for a smooth and even natural finish.
- Very affordable for the quality
- Has a light scent
- Light to medium coverage
- Not suitable for those who want a fuller coverage
- Some find the texture too watery and greasy
5. 3INA Makeup The 3 in 1 Foundation
This European brand is on a mission to provide premium products at affordable prices. Their ethos is to produce eco-friendly, responsible and cruelty-free cosmetics. Pretty awesome!
Their 3 in 1 foundation is a shortcut to that flawless face. It is a primer, concealer and foundation all in one go. It can give you that airbrushed and long-lasting look whilst being paraben free, vegan and SPF 15.
The ingredients are also super good for your skin. It contains fruit extracts like pulp from grapefruit, green lime and orange for rich moisture, and vitamin E to treat your skin.
3INA recommend that you blend the foundation with either your fingers or a brush.
- Medium coverage that is buildable to full
- Requires just a small amount, so product is long-lasting
- Easy to use sustainable packaging with pump dispenser
- Some find the consistency quite thick
- May be difficult to colour match
- May still need concealer for extra coverage on problem areas
While more research is still needed, it appears quite clear that parabens are bad for us.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to replace regular foundation that contains parabens with a natural alternative that doesn’t.
Our favourite is Green People Pressed Powder SPF15 because not only is it free from parabens, it’s also cruelty free, uses organic ingredients and gives a natural-looking finish.
Give it a go!
Let us know if you try any of our suggestions.