What are parabens and preservatives?

In recent years, consumers have become more aware of what products or ingredients they place on their skin regardless of marketing claims. Therefore, it is very important for brands to educate their consumers on what ingredients they put into their products before gaining trust from the consumers. Studies have shown that there has been a trend to reduce the use of parabens and preservatives in many cosmetic formulations for a variety of reasons including the safety of the ingredients themselves. Microbial contamination in cosmetic or food products may actually cause a major risk for the health of the consumer, regardless of topical or consumed products.

Preservatives are added to products to inhibit the development of microorganisms to increase the shelf-life of the products so that they can remain on the shelves for a longer time. They also have other functions such as to preserve the appearance of the food or cosmetic product, and also saving the products from spoilage from microbes. Parabens are considered chemical preservative ingredients used in cosmetic products, food products and also pharmaceuticals. They are able to prevent the growth of fungi, bacteria and yeast effectively and therefore are powerful preservatives for products which need to be shipped over long distances for longer periods of time. Parabens have been used more often because they have good antimicrobial activity, water and oil solubility, good stability over a wide pH range and also they are sold at very low prices.

Fact or Fiction?

Studies have found that parabens are actually able to penetrate the skin and even enter the bloodstream to reach parts of the body. In 2004, a group of scientists were able to find trace residues of “intact” parabens in human breast cancer tissues and suggested that these traces could have come from topical application of cosmetic products with parabens as the ingredient. Parabens are safe to use at concentrations of up to 0.4% (single paraben) or 0.8% (mixture), but when used consistently, they may accumulate and become a safety issue. Preservatives are also biologically active, and so, they may be toxic, and cause skin sensitisation.

Does The Lightening Serum contain preservatives and parabens?

No, na-dah, nyet, nein. The Lightening Serum by 28cubed does not contain preservatives as we do not want our consumers to experience skin sensitization and other health-related issues and several of our ingredients naturally have their own antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, such as maltol. With the presence of these ingredients and our packaging design, we are good to go without the need for preservatives. The cartridges are sealed once they are manufactured and filled and once open, they are directed to be used in a week. Within this time, there is minimal microbial contamination and the self-preserving properties of the ingredients are definitely sufficient to protect the serum for a good amount of time.
By delivering our product to consumers as hygienically as possible and doing our best to avoid contamination and bacterial growth within the product, you can be assured that our product is safe to use on your skin, with no unnatural side effects.

Find out more about The Lightening Serum and its 3 unique food based actives responsible for a revolutionary solution to excess pigmentation.

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Understanding acne

We all have that one insecurity we can never seem to get rid of and if that insecurity happens to be your skin, fret not because you are not alone.

In fact, 1 to 9 billion people suffer from skin problems worldwide– acne being one of the most common skin disorders treated by doctors and dermatologists, with 90% of the world’s population having been affected by it at any one point of their lives. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not limited to teenagers, but could be a standing skin issue faced by men and women of all ages. Often, improper treatment of acne could result in severe scarring or recurring lesions. Read on for more information on acne, it’s symtoms, and how to treat it.


Acne is a recurring inflammatory skin condition caused by hormonal changes during puberty, which could be then further aggravated by other genetic, environmental, or physical factors. There are 3 main forms of acne: mild acne in the form of a few occasional pimples, moderate acne that results in inflamed, swollen papules, or severe acne where individuals suffere from stubborn, inflamed breakouts, nodules, and cysts.

Although acne is primarily a usual physiologic occurrence, certain factors may exacerbate the condition. Examples of such factors are:

  • Fluctuating hormonal levels during the time of menstruation
  • Excessively picking at or prodding acne lesions
  • Unclean environments
  • Unclean head/face gear

Acne may be treated in several different ways, from the use of special facewashes or topical lotions, to the use of specific lasers or pulse-light therapies.

The three most popular treatments for acne are:

Benzoyl peroxide

Recommended for mild acne, benzoyl peroxide is believed to destroy bacteria associated with acne. Like many   over-the-counter and prescription products, it does not affect sebum production or the skin cycle, and when you stop application, the acne comes back. It is available in many forms, such as creams, lotions, and gels. Benzoyl peroxide may cause dry skin, so consult a professional before application.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid helps unclog pores to resolve and prevent acne lesions. For maximum effect on acne, it must be used continuously, because when you stop application, pores clog up again and the acne returns. Salicylic acid is available in many acne products, including lotions, creams, and pads.

Topical retinol gel

 Retinol works to keep pimples from forming by affecting the growth of cells, causing increased cell turnover to unblock pores. In some individuals, their acne may appear to get worse before it gets better because it will work on the pimples that have already started forming beneath your skin. It must be applied continuously and may take 8-12 weeks for visible results.

Acne scarring

In some individuals, severe acne may lead to acne scarring. There are mainly 5 types of acne scarring.

These are wide, U-shaped scars that have sharp edges. They can be shallow or deep. The shallower they are, the better they respond to skin resurfacing treatments.

Ice pick
Ice pick scars are narrow, V-shaped scars that can go deep into the skin. They can look like small round or oval holes, like a chickenpox scar. These are the most difficult scars to treat because they can extend far under the surface of the skin.

These are wide depressions that normally have rounded edges and an irregular appearance.

Hypertrophic or raised scars
Hypertrophic scars are most common with chest and back acne. They stand above the surface of the surrounding skin and are caused by too much collagen when healing.

Dark Spots
Discoloration left behind after a pimple has cleared is not considered a scar. These purple, red, or brown marks will fade over a few months on their own.


Acne scars are often treated with acids (Alpha hydroxy, salicylic, or lactic), retinoids, or chemical peels.
Each treatment targets a different form of scarring. However, they can be harsh on sensitive skin and could possibly cause photosensitivity. Therefore, it is always important to consult a medical professional before applying or ingesting any form of medication.

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