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This Big Beauty Brand Is Going Paraben-Free

Good-bye, parabens. Hello, olive-derived squalane. Photo: Courtesy of Kiehl’s

As 2019 creeps closer, it’s exciting to peek at what the beauty world has in store for the future. First up: Kiehl’s is doing something very big. They are going paraben-free, starting with the newly reformulated Ultra Facial Cream.

According to a press release from the brand, they spent five years testing over 100 versions of the Ultra Facial Cream to make a paraben-free one that was virtually indistinguishable from the original. Parabens are a preservative, and exposure to it in large amounts has been linked to hormone disruption and an increased risk of cancer. The release also describes the paraben stand-ins: “Glacial glycoprotein is a protein derived from sea glaciers to protect and deeply hydrate, while preventing water loss from the skin, and olive-derived squalane.” Glacial glycoprotein and olive-derived squalane sound like two things you might find inside the Goop Advent Calendar, but they seem to be doing a good job.

I have not tried the original version of this cream, but the new one is pretty fantastic on its own. It feels light and has an almost whipped quality to it. It’s slightly slick, though not greasy. It absorbs quickly which is important because when I see a pot of face cream, my instinct is to glob a ton of it on. I applied a thick layer at night, and woke up to really soft, smooth skin. I’ve been keeping it on my nightstand so I can keep up this ritual, because winter is a pretty brutal time for skin. Examining my dry-patch–free skin in the morning with glee is probably the reason why Kiehl’s has been a beauty mainstay for almost 100 years, and the paraben-free journey is just the next frontier. By the end of 2019, all Kiehl’s formulas will be paraben-free.

The paraben-free version will be available beginning in January, but you can purchase the OG version at a discounted rate until then.

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This Big Beauty Brand Is Going Paraben-Free